The First Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island


Cat No.:   CA0399:

by C. F. Newcombe, M.D. - 1914

Designated as “Memoir No.1 of the Archives of British Columbia;” the author Dr. Newcombe (an expert in this subject) has bought together archived documents of many of the original explorers of BC and in doing so provides us with a single composite report on the earliest impressions of this “newly discovered” territory.

In the first chapter of this 1914 publication, the author also states that his primary objective is to “… vindicate the contention of Captain George Vancouver that his ships were the first to complete the navigation of the inland channels which separate the island now called by his name, from the mainland of British Columbia.”

Each of the papers called out in support of Capt. Vancouver’s claim is dated and we can see that between 1786 and 1792 a number of explorers were active in the area, most trying to find any truth in the claims of earlier explorers of having identified a “North West Passage” between Europe and Asia. The book even contains a “Probability map” dated 1786 and drawn up by Th. Jeffreys which illustrates such a passage. It also - unfortunately - shows “The Japanese” as occupying a position on the 70 deg. parallel in the Northern hemisphere! Fortunately the explorers whose reports are being used to support Vancouver’s claim hold far more realistic - and truthful - information.

Although this book only runs to some 68 pages of text it also includes photographs of 8 of the original explorers maps, one showing the actual track of Captain Vancouver’s circumnavigation. In order to achieve the book’s purpose the information included tends to concentrate on the navigational and explorative aspects of these early voyages but it cannot be totally divorced from the general background, the evolving political situations and the general experience of the explorers, so it provides much valuable general information.

This book is one of several which we have arranged to borrow from the Slocan Community Library after their librarian, Joyce Johnson was far sighted enough to ask us to help her to preserve some of her rarer and more valuable books while making their content more available for consultation in matters related to Canadian history and genealogy.

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

FastFind:  Yes;  ISBN No.:   978-1-927503-15-7 ;