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list price: $24.95
also available: eBook
category: History
published: June 2018
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Claiming the Land

British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado

by Daniel Marshall

tagged: pre-confederation (to 1867)

This trailblazing history of early British Columbia focuses on the 1858 Fraser River gold rush. Marshall's detailed account becomes an adventure, prospecting the rich pay streaks of B.C.'s "founding" event and the gold fever that gripped populations all along the Pacific Slope. In doing so, Marshall unsettles many of our romanticized assumptions about the Fraser rush. He shows how foreign miner-militias crossed the 49th parallel, taking the law into their own hands and conducting extermination campaigns against Indigenous peoples. Drawing on new evidence, Marshall explores the three principal cultures of the goldfields: those of the fur trade (both Indigenous and the Hudson's Bay Company); the Californian; and the British. The year 1858 was a year of chaos unlike any other in 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 - leaving Indigenous sovereignty waiting for a full resolution.

About the Author

Daniel Marshall

Contributor Notes

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. As host of Canyon War: The Untold Story, televised on Knowledge Network, APTN and PBS, the author was subsequently Chief Curator for the Royal BC Museum's successful "Gold Rush: El Dorado in British Columbia Exhibit" in 2015. He makes his home in Victoria, B.C.

Editorial Review

"This is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the gold rushes of the Western Cordillera and the geopolitical origins of British Columbia." - Richard Mackie, The Ormsby Review

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