William Cormack

William Eppes (Epps) Cormack, merchant, explorer, naturalist (b at St John's 5 May 1796; d at New Westminster, BC 30 Apr 1868).

William Eppes (Epps) Cormack, merchant, explorer, naturalist (b at St John's 5 May 1796; d at New Westminster, BC 30 Apr 1868). During 2 expeditions to the Newfoundland interior, he made important contributions to knowledge about the island's geography and collected information about the Beothuk. Educated in Scotland, Cormack returned to St John's early in 1822 to run his family's business interests. A keen naturalist and explorer, he crossed Newfoundland on foot that year with an Indigenous guide, the first white man to do so. His account of the expedition is a classic of Newfoundland literature. Host for several years of Shawnadithit, Cormack founded the Beothic Institution in 1827 in a fruitless attempt to locate survivors of this First Nation. He left Newfoundland about 1830, eventually settling in British Columbia.