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Map and account of the Mackenzie River

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 253

Scope and Contents

Map (394 x 420 mm) and brief description (7 pages) of the river’s geography, Indigenous Peoples, exploration and significance.


  • 1821-02-25 - 1821-02-26

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Biographical / Historical

Willard Ferdinand Wentzel was born In Norway about 1780 and emigrated to British North America. In 1799, he joined the North West Company as a clerk or manager of one of its fur trading posts, working first on the Mackenzie River and at Great Bear Lake, before moving to Fort Providence on Great Slave Lake. There in July 1820 Wentzel was recruited by John Franklin’s British Naval Exploring Expedition (first Arctic Land Expedition, 1819-1822) to provide Indigenous Canadian guides and hunters. In August 1820, he and his party travelled with the expedition to Winter Lake on the Arctic coast, where they established a winter base, Fort Enterprise. In June 1821, the expedition reached the mouth of the Coppermine River. Here Wentzel and his men parted company with Franklin, returning with dispatches and equipment to be sent to Britain. During that year, the North West Company merged with its rival, the Hudson's Bay Company (under its name), to form one fur trading enterprise, and Wentzel served the HBC at Fort Simpson (1822-24), Fort Chipewyan (1824-25) and at Mingan. He retired in 1829 and died in 1832.


1 file(s) (1 file) : paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

good condition

Related Materials

Archives relating to Wentzel are also held by the Scott Polar Research Institute Archives, University of Cambridge.


This description as entered by MJC.


Wentzel, Willard Ferdinand, c 1780-1832, trader

Includes index.
2018-07-10 12:34:43+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom