Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado

Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado

by Daniel Marshall


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Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado by Daniel Marshall

Literary Nonfiction. California Interest. Native American Studies. This trailblazing history focuses on a single year, 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush--the third great mass migration of gold seekers after the Californian and Australian rushes in search of a new El Dorado. Marshall's history becomes an adventure, prospecting the rich pay streaks of British Columbia's "founding" event and the gold fever that gripped populations all along the Pacific Slope. Marshall unsettles many of our most taken-for-granted assumptions: he shows how foreign miner-militias crossed the 49th parallel, taking the law into their own hands, and conducting extermination campaigns against Indigenous peoples while forcibly claiming the land. Drawing on new evidence, Marshall explores the three principal cultures of the goldfields--those of the fur trade (both Native and the Hudson's Bay Company), Californian, and British world views. The year 1858 was a year of chaos unlike any other in British Columbia and American Pacific Northwest history. It produced not only violence but the formal inauguration of colonialism, Native reserves and, ultimately, the expansion of Canada to the Pacific Slope. Among the haunting legacies of this rush are the cryptic place names that remain--such as American Creek, Texas Bar, Boston Bar, and New York Bar--while the unresolved question of Indigenous sovereignty continues to claim the land.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553805021
Publisher: Ronsdale Press
Publication date: 07/15/2018
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Daniel Marshall is a fifth-generation British Columbian whose Cornish ancestors arrived in the Pacific province in 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush. He has long been a student of history and received his BA and MA from the University of Victoria. Subsequently, he received his doctorate, first-class, from UBC with his dissertation on the Fraser River gold rush, which included a detailed study of the Native-newcomer conflict known as the Fraser River War. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria and lectures in the history of British Columbia and Indigenous-newcomer relations. He has published numerous articles on British Columbia history and is the author of Those Who Fell from the Sky: A History of the Cowichan Peoples (1999, reprinted in 2007), which received a BC2000 Millennium Award. More recently, Marshall was both host and historical consultant for the documentary Canyon War: The Untold Story, televised on the Knowledge Network, APTN, and PBS, which took honours at both the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival and Worldfest 2010 (the Houston International Film Festival).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface xi

Introduction: Fraser River Fever on the Pacific Slope of North America 1

Chapter 1 Prophetic Patterns: The Search for a New El Dorado 13

Chapter 2 The Fur Trade World 36

Chapter 3 The Californian World 62

Chapter 4 The British World 107

Chapter 5 Fortunes Foretold: The Fraser River War 144

Chapter 6 Mapping the New El Dorado 187

Chapter 7 Inventing Canada from West to East 213

Conclusion: "The River Bears South" 238

Acknowledgements 247

Appendices 249

Notes 267

Bibliography 351

About the Author 393

Index 395

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