John McLean, fur trader, explorer (b at Dervaig, Scot 24 July 1798; d at Victoria 8 Mar 1890). In charge of Hudson's Bay Co trade at Fort Chimo [Qué] 1837-43, he searched relentlessly for an overland route to Fort Smith [North West River], on Hamilton Inlet. In 1839, he ascended the George River, travelled overland to Petitsikapau Lake, moved southeast to the CHURCHILL RIVER
, and was the first European to see CHURCHILL FALLS
. In 1841, he found a route into the interior, circumventing the falls.
McLean did not receive the promotion he thought he deserved, and resigned after a stint at FORT SIMPSON (1846). He managed a bank in Guelph, Canada West, for 9 years, but his career ended when he took responsibility for the loss of £1300 from his branch. By 1857 he was in Elora, where he was clerk of division court for 25 years. McLean published Notes of a Twenty-Five Years' Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory (1849), a valuable account of the FUR TRADE.