visions of the unknown

Vision is an essential part of greatness. Being able to see what others can not makes all the difference and even more so, having the courage to see it through. Men and women with such a powerful vision are still remembered long after their death.

Alexander Mackenzie was such a daring man with a vision and he is remembered on a rather large scale in the old burial ground of Avoch. Flags mark, where his vision led him, Canada.

After the early death of his mother, his family emigrated to New York in 1774, he was but a boy. They moved on to Canada and new life in the new country must have felt like a big adventure to the now 15-year-old Alexander who would develop into one of the biggest explorers in the history of Canada.

1789 and 1793 he explored new ground for the North West Company, made it to the Pacific Coast and the Arctic Ocean along what could become new and valuable trading routes, large unknown areas in the vast Canadian wilderness were no blanks on maps any longer.

Alexander Mackenzie came back to Scotland, was knighted and married the 14 years old Geddes Mackenzie, he was 48 years old. They had three children but he would not see them growing up. He died in 1820 and was buried near the estate he had bought on coming back from Canada.

Avoch church and graveyard

In Avoch he is remembered even though he did not spend many years on the Black Isle, he was born in 1764 in the Hebrides, near Stornoway on Lewis.

Sources & further reading:

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the great Scottish explorer

James Hunter: A Dance Called America

Graveyards of Scotland: Island in the Black Water

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