Simon Thomas Fraser (20 May 1776 – 18 August 1862) was a Scottish fur trader and an explorer who charted much of what is now the Canadian province of British Columbia. Fraser was employed by the Montreal-based North West Company. By 1805, he had been put in charge of all the company's operations west of the Rocky Mountains. He was responsible for building that area's first trading posts, and, in 1808, he explored what is now known as the Fraser River, which bears his name. Simon Fraser's exploratory efforts were partly responsible for Canada's boundary later being established at the 49th parallel (after the War of 1812), since he as a British subject was the first European to establish permanent settlements in the area. According to historian Alexander Begg, Fraser "was offered a knighthood but declined the title due to his limited wealth"