A journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudsons Bay


This illustration is of Athapuscow (now Athabasca) Lake, which Hearne discovered in 1771. Its name is of Cree origin and might mean “where there are reeds” or “meeting of many waters”.

From Samuel Hearne's dramatic account (with his own illustrations), published three years after his death, of his three trips northwest by land from Hudson Bay. On the third expedition, 1770-2, he reached the mouth of the Coppermine River and thus became the first European to see the Arctic Ocean between eastern Siberia and Baffin Land. His journey proved that there was no possibility of a low-latitude Northwest Passage.

Full title:
A journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean, undertaken by order of the Hudson's Bay Company for the discovery of copper mines, a North West passage, etc. in the years 1769, 1770, 1771, & 1772
1795, London
Illustration / Printed book
Samuel Hearne
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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There were many expeditions in search of a Northwest Passage during the 1700s. They include the voyages of Frances Smith, Samuel Hearne and James Cook. By the end of the century, George Vancouver had explored the northwest coast in detail.