Along the exterior of the Legislative Library are 14 statues of individuals who held prominence in the earlier history of the territory now known as British Columbia. One of those statues depicts Simon Fraser.
Simon Fraser was born in Mapletown, Vermont, on May 20, 1776. After growing up in the chaos of the American Revolutionary War, in which his father was killed, Fraser’s mother brought the family to Montreal in 1784. They were part of the thousands of British loyalists who migrated from the United States to Canada at this time. Fraser soon joined the North West Company, who was competing against the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly over fur trading on the continent. In 1792, Fraser would travel over 4,500 km (2796 miles) west with the North West Company as the Company attempted to expand its control past the Rocky Mountains through the establishment of permanent European settlements and trading posts. Fraser would arrive at the Pacific Ocean in 1808, producing the first map of what is now known as the Fraser River. Simon Fraser died on August 18, 1862, in St. Andrews West, Ontario, where he is buried.