This previously unknown collection of letters lets us experiencecolonial British Columbia through the eyes of a young British navalofficer who spent three years on Vancouver Island commanding a RoyalNavy gunboat during the Cariboo gold rush.
A keen observer of life in the new world, Edmund Hope Verneycorresponded on a regular basis with his father, a prominent BritishMP. In his letters, which are filled with lively narration anddescription, candid commentary, and fascinating personal detail, hetalks about having 'the opportunity to observe a colony in [itsfirst] stage of existence' and to 'watch the development of acommunity.'
Trivial or traumatic, everything went into the letters home ... Allan Pritchard's satisfying introduction and notes brief us on who-was-who and what-happened-next in both historical and human contexts.
Allan Pritchard has discovered a remarkably revealing source and used it to create a book that is both useful and interesting ... Vancouver Island Letters makes accessible an archival source that is valuable not only for historians of British Columbia but also for scholars of nineteenth-century colonialism ... The sizeable introduction ... is well documented, thoughtful, and articulate ... A rare and fine book. It makes a revealing primary source easily accessible to anyone interested in British Columbia and colonial life ... Verney’s letters are an important reflection of British Columbia in the 1860s, and a telling testament to the peculiar perspectives and inner life of one foot-soldier of nineteenth-century colonialism.
Allan Pritchard ... Has made an excellent job of preserving and editing them for posterity ... A very useful and entertaining source for researchers into the maritime history of the Northwest Coast of America during a crucial phase of its political and economic evolution.
1. Family and Early Life
2. Letters of Sir Harry and Lady Verney
3. The Voyage Out: England to Vancouver Island
4. Naval Activites
5. Other Activities
6. People and Politics
7. Native Indians
8. Coastal Scenes and Scenery
9. The Return Journey: Vancouver Island to England
10. Later Life
Notes to Letters
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