Barbara Mitchell is the co-author of a two-volume biography of W.O. Mitchell, Beginnings to Who Has Seen the Wind and The Years of Fame. She lives in Otonabee, Ontario.
“Barbara Mitchell fills a yawning gap in the history of the fur trade and northern exploration. This is a labour of love, and it shows.” – Ken McGoogan, author of Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage
As the first inland surveyor for the Hudson’s Bay Company, Philip Turnor stands tall among the explorers and mapmakers of Canada. Accompanied by Cree guides and his Cree wife, Turnor travelled 15,000 miles by canoe and foot between 1778 and 1792 to produce ten maps, culminating in his magnum opus, a map that was the foundation of all northern geographic knowledge at that time. Barbara Mitchell’s biography brings to life the man who taught David Thompson and Peter Fidler how to survey. In her search for Turnor’s story, Mitchell discovers her own Cree-Orkney ancestry and that of thousands of others who are descendents of Turnor and his Cree wife.