Kelsey, Henry

 Henry Kelsey, explorer (b at East Greenwich? Eng 1667?; d there and buried 2 Nov 1724). He was apprenticed to the HBC in Mar 1684 and served the company nearly 40 years - all but 3 of them at Hudson Bay. He is chiefly remembered for his journey to the Canadian plains 1690-92. His exact route is unknown, but he left York Factory in June 1690 and with his Native guides travelled the Hayes and Saskatchewan rivers and wintered near The Pas, Man, before striking out on foot across the prairie, possibly as far as the Red Deer R.

This trip marked the first time a white man had entered present-day Saskatchewan. Kelsey's journal of the trip, which opens with some curious, rhyming doggerel, describes buffalo, grizzly bears and a Native group - possibly the Sioux or Gros Ventres. The company's hold on the bay was tenuous, and Kelsey twice negotiated surrender of York to Pierre Le Moyne d' IBERVILLE (1694 and 1697). His reward for loyal service was his appointment as chief trader at Albany (1705) and governor of all the bay posts (1717). The Kelsey Papers, a single, paperbound volume dated 1693, were not known to historians before 1926, and mysteries still surround them.