Robert Campbell (fur trader)

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For other people named Robert Campbell, see Robert Campbell (disambiguation).

Robert Campbell (21 February 1808 – 9 May 1894) was a Hudson's Bay Company fur trader and explorer. He explored a large part of the southern Yukon and northern British Columbia. He established the short-lived Dease Lake Post, and in 1838 he was the first European to reach the Stikine River overland.[1] He established Fort Frances, Yukon on Frances Lake in the Liard River basin. In 1840 he crossed from Frances Lake to the Pelly River becoming the first European to explore the upper Yukon River Basin. He established Fort Selkirk, Yukon at the juncture of the Yukon River and the Pelly River.

His discoveries lead to little financial gain at the time. All the posts he established were abandoned within a few years. This was due largely to the high price of transporting trade goods from Hudson Bay, via the Methye Portage and Mackenzie River. Meanwhile, there were already well-established native trading routes leading to nearby Russian Alaska on the Pacific Ocean.[1]

He was also for a time in charge of Fort Halkett. Campbell Peak, just south of the British Columbia community of Liard River, is named after him.[2]

The Robert Campbell Highway in the Yukon is named after him.


  1. ^ a b Theodore J. Karamanski (1983) Fur Trade and Exploration, University of Oklahoma Press
  2. ^ "Campbell Peak". BC Geographical Names. 

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