In 1858, over eight decades had passed since Captain James Cook claimed the shores of what would become British Columbia for the British crown, but European settlers had shown little interest in the new lands. The non-aboriginal population was only about 700. Then gold was discovered on the shores of the Fraser River and, overnight, the lonely outpost of empire was overrun by some 30,000 fevered gold-seekers. The raucous sourdough hordes were mostly American and treated the new territory as an extension of the United States. The fragile colonial administration in Victoria was overwhelmed and the territory's future as a British possession hung in the balance. But by the time the gold rush wound down a decade later, the colony of British Columbia had come into being and BC's destiny as a part of Canada was sealed. In "The Trail of 1858", host Mark Forsythe and co-author Greg Dickson augment their historical research with contributions from CBC listeners that give the gold rush story a personal, folksy feel.
Making liberal use of historic photos, the authors celebrate memorable personalities from this epic time: the stern but sensible Judge Matthew Begbie; the peacemaking Chief Spintlum; Nam Sing, the first Chinese miner in the Cariboo; overlander Catherine Schubert; high-rolling miners Billy Barker and Cariboo Cameron; and a host of others. "The Trail of 1858" is a combination of fact and memory of the colourful characters who helped form this province; it is a book from which history truly jumps.
Buy Trail of 1858 book by Mark Forsythe from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(215mm x 255mm x 13mm)
Publisher: Harbour Publishing
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Author Biography - Mark Forsythe
Mark Forsythe is the long-standing host of CBC Radio Ones BC Almanac and co-author of The BC Almanac Book of Greatest British Columbians. Raised in Toronto, Forsythe moved to BC in the mid-seventies and has come to know the province well through broadcasting assignments in Smithers, Prince George, Prince Rupert, the Okanagan and Vancouver. Greg Dickson was a journalist and producer at CBC radio and television for over 20 years. He also taught journalism at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is the co-author of The BC Almanac Book of Greatest British Columbians, The Trail of 1858 and From the West Coast to the Western Front.