Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across Western North America

Author: Jack Nisbet

From 1784 to 1812, fur trader, surveyor, and mapmaker David Thompson explored western North America. His field journals provide the earliest written accounts of the natural history and indigenous cultures of what is now British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Thompson was the first person to fully chart the Columbia River, and his wilderness expeditions have become legendary. Jack Nisbet tracks the explorer across the continent, interweaving his own sharp observations with Thompson’s historical writings.

Sources of the River: Tracking David Thompson Across North America

Portland Oregonian:

There are times when tracking the early British explorer, Nisbet seems to cross [David] Thompson's path through time. A lively narrative and an important addition to the growing history of the region.


Murray Morgan, author of Puget's Sound:

Jack Nisbet tells Thompson's story superbly ... SOURCES OF THE RIVER goes immediately onto my short shelf of best books about the Pacific Northwest.


Peter C. Newman, author of Company of Adventurers:

This is an important chronicle of the continent's most significant and literate explorer.


David Buerge, Northwest writer and historian:

Nisbet's writing, his treatment of his subject, and his sensitivity are masterful. I am deeply impressed.