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Literary Nonfiction. The Fraser River and Cariboo gold rushes were defining moments, not only in the history of British Columbia but also Canada. With the influx of over 25,000 European and Chinese miners to the Fraser River in the spring of 1858, the British government was compelled to declare the mainland, known then as New Caledonia, the Colony of British Columbia. Thirteen years later the colony would join Confederation, assuring that the country would reach from sea to sea. To capture the excitement of this period and the challenges faced by the colonial government, GOLD IN BRITISH COLUMBIA seeks to answer three vital questions: How did the two gold rushes unfold? Who were the participants? And what were the outcomes? Excerpts from the correspondence of government officials such as Supreme Court Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie provide insight, humour and new perspectives on the gold rush events and the enormous task of establishing law and order. Here readers will meet the miners, First Nations peoples, Hudson's Bay Company personnel, governors, Royal Engineers, assistant gold commissioners, steadfast community leaders, and the brave women who trekked over the mountains.
Marie Elliott has written numerous articles and two definitive books about British Columbia's interior: Gold and Grand Dreams (2000) and Fort St. James and New Caledonia: Where British Columbia Began (2009). Her great-great-grandfather, William Collinson, took part in the Cariboo Gold Rush. She makes her home in Victoria, B.C.Author City: VICTORIA, BC CAN