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BC History — la colombie-britanniique

© The Begbie Contest Society - La Société du Concours Begbie
Multiple Perspectives - perspectives multiple

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Captain Cook meets the West Coast Indians at Nootka, 1778. LAC Acc. No. 1972-26-765, Charles W. Jefferys, 1920s or 1930s

Chief Maquinna of Nootka Sound, Tomas de Suria, 1791

Friendly Cove

Habitations at Nootka Sound, 1778. LAC Acc. No. R9266-2667 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, John Webber, 1812

A Man of Nootka Sound, 1778. LAC Acc. No. 1991-265-232, John Webber

Inhabitants of Nootka. LAC C-033614, Gallo Gallina

Natives Outside a Communal House, Nootka / Indiens à l'extérieur d'une loge communale à Nootka. LAC C-002822, John Webber, March 29-April 26, 1778

Interior of a House with Women Weaving, Nootka Sound / Femmes en train de tisser dans une habitation du détroit de Nootka. Acc. No. 1991-265-234, John Webber, March 29-April 26, 1778

The Launch of the North West America at Nootka Sound. La mise à l'eau du North West America à la baie Nootka. LAC Acc. No. R9266-3477 Collection de Canadiana Peter Winkworth, Conrad Martin Metz, ca. 1790

The Spanish Insult to the British Flag at Nootka Sound, 1789. LAC Acc. No. R9266-3257 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, Robert Dodd, 1748-1816


Callicum and Maquilla. Chiefs of Nootka Sound. LAC C-027699, 1790

Captain Robert Grey, captian of the ship Columbia, wintered near Tofino, 1793

Captain George Vancouver's arrival on the West Coast, June 1792, Dr. Charles Comfort, 1939

Captain George Vancouver Exploring Burrard Inlet, 1792, John Innes and George Southwell, 1925

Commander Vancouver Meeting the Spanish off Point Grey, 1792, John Innes, 1925

August 1792


Murals prepared for the rotunda at the BC Legisture by George Southwell in 1933. He was asked to illustrate "the historical qualities necessary for the establishment of a civilization [Courage 1792, Enterprise 1843, Labour 1843 and Justice 1874]."


Grease trail followed by Alexander Mackenzie

Charles W Jefferys 1920s or 1930s

Alexander Mackenzie Recording his Arrival at the Pacific, 1793, John Innes, 1925
John Innes depicted highlights of the province's romantic history. His pictures are heroic in conception – of great events and 'men with empires in their bosoms.'

Simon Fraser Descending the Fraser River, 1808. Simon Fraser descend le fleuve Fraser, 1808. LAC Acc. No. 1972-26-6, Charles William Jefferys, 1920s or 1930s?

Simon Fraser’s Canoes Descending the Fraser River,  John Innes & G.H. Southwell, 1925

Simon Fraser in the Black Canyon, 1808, John Innes, 1925


The Hudson's Bay Company Fur Brigade Passing Down the Okanagan, 1825-1847, John Innes, 1925 (see Fur Brigade theme)

Chief Trader Archibald McDonald and George Simpson descending the Fraser River, 1828, Hudson's Bay Company Archives, Adam Sherriff Scott, ca. 1942

Enterprise - Hudson's Bay Company Chief Factor, James Douglas, landing from the Cadboro at Clover Point to select site for Fort Victoria, 1843, George Southwell, 1935


Murals prepared for the rotunda at the BC Legisture by George Southwell in 1933. He was asked to illustrate "the historical qualities necessary for the establishment of a civilization [Courage 1792, Enterprise 1843, Labour 1843 and Justice 1874]."
"The notion implied in these murals ¬— that colonial power was established here with a dab of ceremony and no subsequent heartache, loss, dislocation, political danger, set-back or risk for any of the participants — is simply childish."
Michael Scott, "A critic's advice: Take the murals down," The Vancouver Sun, 20 April 2001

[The depictions of colonial times are] "highly offensive, demeaning and degrading."
Criticism by aboriginal leaders, The Vancouver Sun, 20 April 2001

"They [the murals] are fables, in a way. They are historical events that happened, but not that way. They are scenes that were invented [interpretations]. . . Southwell is believed to have been sympathetic to aboriginals, and his depiction of them in murals in the legislature was progressive. Until that time, the only aboriginal representation on the grounds was a statue of the Indian chief Maquinna. I think in their day, [the murals] were a brave statement about bringing British Columbians together in their historical and cultural context."
Art historian Martin Segger

"[The murals] may be reflective of attitudes of white people at the time, but that doesn't make them right . . . [they] depict a relationship with aboriginal people that – if it ever existed – is over."
Bill Wilson of the First Nations Summit Task Force

James Douglas Building the Hudson's Bay Post at Victoria, 1843, John Innes, 1925


Return of a war party, Fort Victoria, Paul Kane, 1847



Rare books and special collection UBC

On the Old Cariboo Trail, J. D. Kelly

James Douglas taking the oath as First Governor of BC, Fort Langley, 19 November 1858, John Innes, 1925

British Columbia becomes a colony, 19 November  1858

Marines Camp, Fraser River. LAC Acc. No. 1989-171-29, William Willis, 1859

Nanaimo, The Coaling Station at Vancouver Island, 1859. LAC C-009561, Edward D. Panter-Downes, 1859


View of Victoria. Vue de Victoria, LAC C-001893, 1860?

Fort Yale and the Gold Hunters' Camp, Frazer's River. LAC Acc. No. R9266-1550 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, ca. 1860 

Negro Volunteer Military Company [Victoria Pioneer Rifles] formed between 1860 - 1862, disbanded in 1863 – 1864, LAC C-022626, Charles Gentile, ca. 1860-1864 

Panning for gold, Provincial Archives of BC, William Hind, 1864?


New Westminster, The Capital of British Columbia. LAC Acc. No. R9266-1554 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, F. L. Pope


Finding Placer Gold by Pioneer Miners in the Cariboo, 1858, John Innes, 1925

Gold Regions British Columbia, Compiled from Sketches and information by His Excellency James Douglas, C.B. Governor of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, -and from data obtained from the most intelligent and reliable Miners, Gust. Epner, San Francisco, 1862

The Overland Pioneers Journeying Through the Rockies, 1862, John Innes, 1925


The Fraser Canyon by Frederick Whymper, 1863?, Image PDP00107 courtesy of
Royal BC Museum, BC Archives

Indian group at Boston Bar. LAC C-088948, 1863-1867

Fort Yale, B.C. LAC Acc. No. 1935-124, Frederick Wymper, ca. 1863

Victoria, Vancouver Island. LAC Acc. No. 1935-125, Frederick Whymper, 1863

Songish Village Opposite Victoria, Vancouver Island. LAC Acc. No. 1981-55-16 David J. Bushnell Collection, Edward Parker Bedwell, before 1863

Victoria (British Columbia). Acc. No. R9266-342 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana. Edward M. Richardson, 1864

Cabin on the Fraser River, BC, W.G.R. Hind, McCord Museum M471

Far From Home

Young Man From Canada

Teaming up the Cariboo Road

The Lousey Miner



Port Douglas 1976


Port Douglas 1995

A miner in the Rocky Mountains, by William Hind, 1864. Image PDP00028 courtesy of Royal BC Museum, BC Archives


29 Mile House, Tenass Lake


Sternwheeler on Tenass Lake, 29 Mile House

Lillooet Lake 1995

Chinese Gold Washers on the Fraser River, BC, McCord, M609


Lillooet Indians., LAC C-088931, Charles Gentile, Lillooet, 1865

Cariboo - wagon road 17 miles above Yale River. LAC PA-023270

Interior of a Salish Longhouse. LAC Acc. No. R9266-343 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana, Edward M. Richardson, 1864

A Salish Grave, British Columbia. Une tombe Salish. LAC R9266-344 Collection de Canadiana Peter Winkworth, Edward M. Richardson, ca.1864

Williams Lake Indians. Les indiens du lac Williams. LAC Acc. No. 1937-133-1, Edward M. Richardson

Drink shop on road to Cariboo Mines. Mule and bullock teams stopping. (Alexandra Lodge at Chapman's Bar) LAC C-034945, 1866?

Alexandra Suspension Bridger over Fraser Rivern the Fraser River, 14 miles above Yale. C-088889, Charles Gentile, 1864-67

Part of Cariboo Road B.C. LAC Francis McLennan C-029180, 1867-68

Alturas Gold Mining Co. in Stout's Gulch, near Barkerville, Frederick Daily, ca. 1868,
BC Archives A-04919



Yale, B.C. LAC Frederick Dally, C-000294, 1867-68

Cariboo Road at Yale showing Miss Irving and Miss Brown. LAC C-034943, Dally Frederick, 1868

Chinese man washing gold. LAC PA-125990, Chinese man washing gold. LAC PA-125990, 1875

(see Alaska Boundary Dispute theme)


"A Lover of Beauty on his way to Yale:"; a cartoon in sugar of John Gustavus Norris, Amor De Cosmos and Mifflin Wistar Gibbs; delegation to the Confederation League convention in Yale; created by Victoria confectioner Andrew W. Piper. BC Archives, A-01225, 1868

A view of an Indian village. Village indien de la Colombie-Britannique. LAC C-024286, ca. 1870




or Justice - Chief Justice Sir Mathew Baillie Begbie holding court in Clinton during the Cariboo gold rush (early 1860s), George Southwell, 1935.
Murals prepared for the rotunda at the BC Legisture by George Southwell in 1933. He was asked to illustrate "the historical qualities necessary for the establishment of a civilization [Courage 1792, Enterprise 1843, Labour 1843 and Justice 1874]."

Indian Potlach - Vancouver Indians. LAC e008303330, ca. 1875-1877

Teaming on Cariboo wagon road. LAC PA-023269, 1878-83

AMOR DE COSMOS: "The Love of the World or the Lover of Mankind."
HEATHEN CHINEE: "Why you sendee me offee?"
A. D. C.: "Because you can't or won't 'assimilate' with us."
HEATHEN CHINEE: "What is datee?"
A. D. C.: "You won't drink whiskey, and talk politics and vote like us."
LAC, C-072064 J. Weston Canadian Illustrated News, 26 April 1879

A Logger's Camp on Vancouver Island. LAC Acc. No. 1989-201-32, E. Sandys, 1880-1900



Canadian Pacific Railway construction between Yale and Boston Bar, B.C. Tunnel No. 4, 2 miles above Yale, looking down valley. LAC PA-022531, Richard Maynard, 1881

Donald A. Smith driving the last spike to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway, Lac C-003693, Alexander Ross, 7 November 1885
(see CPR theme)

Sir John A. Macdonald Crossing the Rockies Over the Newly Constructed Canadian Pacific Railway, 1886, The Western Home Monthly, Winnipeg, July 1917

New Westminster, Colombie-Britannique. LAC Acc. No. 1989-446-30, Edward Roper, 1887-1909 

1895, BC Sugar, Courtesy of Brent Axelson

Processing Ooligan Grease on Nass River, ca. 1880s. BC Archives C-07432









Strikers from unemployment relief camps en route to Eastern Canada during "March on Ottawa". Grévistes de camps d'assistance-chômage en route vers Ottawa durant la " March on Ottawa ". LAC C-029399, June 1935


1942-45 David Suzuki and his two sisters in an internment camp. David Suzuki et ses deux soeurs dans un camp d'internement. LAC, 1976-087, PA-187835

Internment camp for Japanese – Canadians, June 1945, NFB, LAC PA-142853


Summary of Groups Disenfranchised Provincially in British Columbia


Native Indians
East Indians
Year Disenfrancised
Year Enfranchised

Sooource: Electoral History of British Columbia, 1871-1986
(Victoria: Elections British Columbia, 1988)