Philip Turnor

Philip Turnor, surveyor, fur trader (b in Eng c 1751; d at London, Eng 1799 or 1800).

Philip Turnor, surveyor, fur trader (b in Eng c 1751; d at London, Eng 1799 or 1800). The first servant of the Hudson's Bay Company employed specifically to survey and map its vast empire, he accumulated, in the course of his employment from 1778 to 1792, a considerable part of the information on the northern interior of N America published on Arrowsmith's map in 1795 (see Cartography). In 1789-90 he taught surveying to David Thompson and Peter Fidler; and during his last assignment, to establish the position of Lake Athabasca and to find a route to it from the Saskatchewan R, he met Alexander Mackenzie, whom he evidently persuaded to seek instruction in navigation before continuing his explorations. His enthusiastic evaluation of the great fur trading potential of the Athabasca region led to the establishment of the first HBC post there in 1793.