Cartwright, George

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Cartwright, George

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1739-1819

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George Cartwright (1739-1819) was a trader and explorer born in Marnham, England, the second of ten children of William Cartwright and Anne Cartwright. He was one of Labrador's best-known early settlers. He voyaged to Newfoundland while a captain in the British army and explored its interior. He foresaw the extinction of the Beothuk people and the Great Auk due to the assault of Europeans. By 1770, Cartwright had quit his position in the army and joined a partnership with Lieutenant Lucas Perkins and Jeremiah Coglan to trap, hunt, fish, and trade with the Inuit of Labrador. Cartwright had friendly relations with the Inuit and when he returned to England in 1772, a party of seven Inuit went with him, six of whom died of smallpox. While residing in Labrador Cartwright wrote "A Journal of Transactions and Events during a Residence of Nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador" which contains more information about the environment of Labrador and his daily hunts rather than his business transactions. In 1784, George Cartwright went bankrupt and returned to England and it is unknown if he ever returned to Labrador. He spent his latter years in Nottingham, employed as a barrack-master known as "Old Labrador". he died unmarried in 19 May 1819 in nearby Mansfield. For a more complete biography see Dictionary of Canadian Biography http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/cartwright_george_5E.html

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