British Columbia from the Earliest Times to the Present c1914. - Vol. 1


Cat No.:   CA0361-1:

This is Volume one of a four volume work divided into a History (Vol. 1 & 2) and Biographies (Vol. 3 & 4.) Volume one authored (mainly) by E. O. S. Scholefield (BC Librarian and Archivist), has a text page count of 688, in addition to the 86 Maps and Illustrations plus 66 Introductory pages, and deals with the period from the first tentative explorations of the Northern reaches of the Western seaboard of North America - initially in search of a sea route between Western Europe and the Orient - through the beginning of the “Gold Rush” in the late 1880’s.

The experience - gained by these early explorers - of the furs, and other natural products to be traded attracted British exploitation companies as well as various US and Russian based organizations. This, in turn attracted the attention of the British, Spanish, Russian and US governments, all of whom claimed “ownership” of at least part of the coast, resulting in a multi way power struggle which ultimately defined the California / Oregon, and the “49deg” Oregon / British Columbia border. One of the major consequences of the definition of this latter border was the establishment of Fort (later the City of) Victoria and the development of Vancouver Island.

Efforts to find overland routes to the newly explored coast led to the opening of the inland portions of the area, particularly the major rivers and river systems which, in its turn, further expanded the lucrative fur trade. The expense of transporting food from the East encouraged the establishment of “home” farms, thus realizing an additional source of wealth to be gained by the agricultural development of region.

The introduction of non-aboriginal settlers into the area proceeded slowly until gold was found, initially in the Oregon region but soon “finds” were made in an ever northward expanding pattern, giving rise to an enormous boost in the non-indigenous population and establishing centres of population with all the attendant needs for governance, regulation, transportation, farming, commerce etc., etc. thus forming the basis for the more traditional settlement of Columbia and Vancouver Island, albeit with a large number of volatile mining communities in the mix.

The author has used many direct extracts from journals and reports sent “home” by explorers, trading agents (factors) and ships’ captains to provide a contemporary view of the history as it happened. This manages to lift this history out of the more traditional “lecture” roll and make it “real” and consequently far more readable. It also reveals a number of details that would normally be considered as irrelevant but which actually change the story telling into experience sharing.

The closing chapters of the volume provide more detailed explorations of the many Indigenous Peoples of the area, of the practice of “Medicine,” including that of the natives, of Education, and of Banking. There are also reprints of a number of “Proofs and Illustrations” referenced in the body of the volume, a Lists of Authorities, Contents, Illustrations, and an extensive Index - although the search-ability of this digital reproduction renders the Index somewhat obsolete.

The four volumes of this complete work are available as four individual CDs, or in two single CDs giving the Biographies (Vol. 3 & 4) and the Complete History (Vol. 1 & 2) or as a complete set comprising all four volumes.

We invite you to join in our thanks to the Slocan Community Library, BC and particularly to Joyce, their librarian and a longtime friend of Archive CD Books Canada, for allowing us to borrow this wonderful book so we could make the digital edition available to the wider Genealogy community. We will be donating copies of the CD to the library so further wear and tear on this great old book can be avoided.

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-897405-94-9 ;