Introduction • From 1820’s – BC is a territory controlled by the HBC • Two fantastic Gold Rushes • Creation of the first Legislative Assembly • 1871 – entry of BC into confederation • To the 1880’s – Vancouver becomes the last stop on the CPR • Immigration from numerous countries world-wide (USA, Britain, Asia) • Came to work, settled permanently and created the diverse culture we have inherited today
The Pacific Northwest • The last place in North America to be settled by Europeans • Home to more than 25 different Aboriginal groups • Dazzling landscape: rivers, mountains covered with fir, spruce, red cedar standing 60m tall and meters wide • Abundance of fur bearing-animals
Fur Trade • Russians the first to reach the Northwest coast in 1741 • Russians immediately launched a successful trade in Sea Otter fur • Ships from Spain, Britain, and the USA soon followed and trade in seal and sea otter flourished • Intense rivalry between Britain and the USA ensues
Oregon Territory • 1826 – HBC sends George Simpson to govern New Caledonia and Columbia (future British Columbia) • Russia claimed the coast as far South as N. Vancouver Island • The 49thparallel drew a firm boundary between USA and British North America; but the boundary ended at the eastern slope of the Rockies • USA claimed Oregon Territory as far north as 54’40 • British North America claimed as far south as 42’
Oregon Territory Con’t • HBC had no interest in encouraging settlement • It could disrupt a lucrative fur trade and undermine the companies trade monopoly in the area • America’s population was growing rapidly • America pursued an aggressive policy towards the Oregon Territory and encouraged settlement
HBC’s George Simpson • Established forts in the Oregon Territory (see map p.209) • Fort Vancouver on the Northern bank of Columbia River. • 1827 Ft Langley on the Fraser River • Open trade in the Fraser Valley and expand trading networks with native peoples • Area was rich in furs and dwindling fur stocks becoming a real problem
John McLoughlin • Appointed chief factor at Ft. Vancouver by Simpson • Political realist, recognized American’s would settle the region South of the Columbia River • To reduce competition with the HBC he encourages them to do so and stay out of region North of the River • Offers them money and supplies to Americans even though he is only supposed to help HBC employees • His plan led to a strong American presence in the Oregon Territory.
Russians • Russians had established a number of fur-trading posts in Alaska and along the northern Northwest Coast • 1839 HBC and Russians agree that the Russians will cease operations south of 54’40’ N • In exchange HBC would supply Russian posts in Alaska with food • HBC steamboat the Beaver (1835) supplied these posts, was a mobile trading post with the Northwest coast peoples and added to British presence in the area