The Curious Passage of Richard Blanshard: First Governor of Vancouver Island (Hardcover)

The Curious Passage of Richard Blanshard: First Governor of Vancouver Island By Barry Gough Cover Image

The Curious Passage of Richard Blanshard: First Governor of Vancouver Island (Hardcover)

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Celebrated historian Barry Gough brings a defining era of Pacific Northwest history into focus in this biography of Richard Blanshard, the first governor of Vancouver Island--illuminating with intriguing detail the genesis and early days of Canada's westernmost province.

Early one wintry day in March 1850, after seven weary weeks out of sight of land, a well-dressed Londoner, a bachelor aged thirty-two, stood at the ship's rail taking in the immensity of the unfolding scene. From Her Britannic Majesty's paddlewheel sloop-of-war Driver, steadily thumping forth on Imperial purpose, all that Richard Blanshard could make out to port, in reflected purple light upon the northern side, was a forested, rock-clad island rising to considerable height. Vancouver's Island they called it in those far-off days. This was his destination.

Richard Blanshard was governor of the young colony for three short, unhappy years--only one and a half of which were spent in the colony itself. From the very beginning he was at odds with the vastly influential Hudson's Bay Company, run by its Chief Factor James Douglas, who succeeded Blanshard as governor of the colony of Vancouver Island and later became the first governor of the colony of British Columbia. While James Douglas is remembered, for better or worse, as a founding father of British Columbia, Richard Blanshard's name is now largely forgotten, despite his vitally important role in warning London of American cross-border aggressions, including a planned takeover of Haida Gwaii. However, his failures highlight the fascinating struggles of the time--the supreme influence of commerce, the disparity between expectations and reality, and the bewildering collision of European and Pacific Northwest culture.

Product Details ISBN: 9781990776380
ISBN-10: 1990776388
Publisher: Harbour Publishing
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 368
Language: English