search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
The Many Voyages of Arthur Wellington Clah
A Tsimshian Man on the Pacific Northwest Coast
Peggy Brock  

$97.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 4/22/2011
ISBN: 9780774820059    

$29.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/1/2012
ISBN: 9780774820066    

324 Pages


About the Book

Shortlisted, 2012 Canadian Aboriginal History Book Prize, Canadian Historical Association

First-hand accounts of indigenous people’s encounters with colonialism are rare. A daily diary that extends over fifty years and two thousand pages is unparalleled.

Drawing on a painstaking transcription of Arthur Wellington Clah’s diaries, Peggy Brock pieces together the many voyages -- physical, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual -- of a Tsimshian man who moved in both colonial and Aboriginal worlds. Clah’s birth in 1831 coincided with the establishment of a permanent fur trade post, and he became student, teacher, and confidant to missionary William Duncan. Later, Clah’s spiritual voyage into the world of colonial culture transformed him into a devote Christian and an evangelist for the faith.

From the goldfields of BC and Alaska to the hop fields of Washington State, Clah witnessed profound change. His diaries reveal the complexities of personal interactions between colonizers and the colonized and the inevitable tensions within a community undergoing rapid change. They also show how Clah’s hopes for his people were gradually eroded by the realities of land dispossession, interference by the colonial state in cultural and political matters, and diminishing economic opportunities.

Taken together, Clah’s many voyages offer an unprecedented Aboriginal perspective on colonial relationships as they played out on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

About the Author(s)

Peggy Brock is emeritus professor, Edith Cowan University, Perth, and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Table of Contents


1 The Life and Times of Arthur Wellington Clah
2 Keeping Account: The Diary
3 The Fur Trade Era
4 Chasing Gold
5 Food Production and Wage Labour
6 Land Matters
7 Becoming a Christian
8 Parading and Preaching
9 Clah and the Missionaries
10 The Changing World of Feasting
11 Ligeex, Chief of the Gispaxlo’ots
12 Old Age: The End of Voyaging

1 Clah’s Trade Records for 24 and 25 December 1865
2 Key People in Clah’s World


Arthur Wellington Clah’s diary is likely the most remarkable document to come into the light of Pacific Northwest Coast history ... Surmounting the challenges presented by this rich and at times near impenetrable personal record, Peggy Brock has researched and admirably summarized fifty years of the diary, pulling out key themes and highlighting its many contradictions. This much-needed introduction to a man and an indigenous history of British Columbia and Alaska will change the way we think about our past.
-- John S. Lutz, author of Makúk: A New History of Aboriginal-White Relations

Clah’s life and diary offer a window into the lives of the Tsimshian political hierarchy of the time and Tsimshian society’s interaction with colonialism ... His voyage is a metaphor for the voyage that his own and other indigenous people were also taking in their encounters with colonialism.
-- Neil Sterritt, consultant in Aboriginal leadership and governance

Sample Chapter

Front Matter and Introduction [PDF]

Related Topics

Aboriginal Studies
History > Canada
BC Studies > History

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of The Many Voyages of Arthur Wellington Clah from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832

Ordering information for customers outside Canada

© 2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e.
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure