Company. From their posts on the great bay he made several trips into the interior, and in the year 1771 finally succeeded in reaching the Arctic Ocean by way of the Coppermine River. Afterwards he led a party up the Saskatchewan, and, in 1774, established a post on that river—Fort Cumberland. He has been called "the Mungo Park of Canada," his extensive explorations rivalling those of the celebrated traveller in Africa. He was followed by many others of the most skilled officers in the company's employ, and, before 1800, posts had been established at various points on the Saskatchewan, from Lake Winnipeg to Fort Edmonton, not far from the Rocky Mountains. There were also posts on Lake Winnipeg, on the Red River, and on its great affluent, the Assiniboine.
The X. Y. Company.—All through this same region the North-West Company had built its posts, the rival establishments often standing side by side or facing each other across some stream. At one time indeed a third competitor appeared in the field. In 1796 there was a division among he Nor'-Westers, and a new North-West Company, commonly called the X. Y. Company, was formed by the outgoing partners. At many points three rival posts took the place of two. In 1804, however, the X. Y. Company was again merged in the old North-West Company.