Is this the price of gold—the murder of defenceless people followed by retaliatory beheadings as a private American army threatens genocidal war in the future Canada? There’s more to British Columbia’s first great gold rush than has been acknowledged and, 160 years after the fact, a newly published book casts harsh light on the Fraser River mania and its accompanying Fraser River War.
That the war even happened will take many people by surprise. Downplayed or ignored in Canadian research, its significance gets special emphasis in Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado.
The war constitutes one of a number of surprises in what author Daniel Marshall, a University of Victoria professor and descendant of 1858 arrivals from Cornwall, calls a “substantial revisionist history.”
Officially, the rush began with the sudden arrival of some 450 “dregs” of the California goldfields, unloaded by steamboat in April 1858 at the Hudson’s Bay Company fort in Victoria.
But HBC officials including chief factor and Vancouver Island colonial governor James Douglas had been anticipating such an event for two years, all the while buying gold from native placer miners. That ongoing trade, of course, belies stories of a dramatic discovery that sparked the rush.
For the rest of this article: http://resourceclips.com/2018/08/03/fraser-river-rush-revisited/