Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fort Okanogan

Thank you to the people who sent me old photographs of Fort Okanogan.
The first I received was an engraving called, "Engraving of Fort Okanogan by John Mix Stanley, 1853-54, U.S. War Dept., Reports of Explorations & Surveys to Ascertain the Practicable & Economical Route for a Railroad..."
You will find the image embedded in an article on, written by the David Thompson biographer and his wife, Jack and Clare Nisbet.
John Mix Stanley was one of the most accomplished Western artists of the nineteenth century, in spite of the fact that so much of his finished work was destroyed by fire.
Born in New York in 1814, he came to Oregon in 1853 and was expeditionary artist with territorial governor Isaac Stevens' survey of a northern transcontinental railroad route to the Pacific coast.
Whilst in the area around Fort Vancouver he painted a portrait of Peter Skene Ogden, a copy of which is in the B.C. Archives.
In this portrait, Ogden looks like the rough, tough, and aging gentleman-fur trader he was at that time.
It's a good image of the man.

The second came from the B.C. Archives and is labelled "Fort Okanagan," which is why I did not find it in a quick search.
Anyone who wants to see this photo can go to the B.C. Archives website, and in the search page enter either "Fort Okanagan" (watch the spelling), or put in its number -- A-01033.
Remember to check Photographs at the left of the search page or you'll get nowhere.

At the same time I checked this, I discovered that there are three other images of Fort Okanagan at the B.C. Archives.
Their digital images are not on display, but I can go to the archives and ask to see the pictures.
One seems to be an old image with undetermined artist and date.
But the third and fourth are photographs taken about 1911, of the site of the original Fort Okanagan.
I might have accidently found Eric Sismey's missing photographs in the B.C. Archives!

As I have said, I am slowing down on this blog for a little while.
I have a tremendous amount of work to do on the other project -- that is, the book.
I have hinted before that it will be published in Fall 2011.
Now I have received the signed contract and it suddenly becomes very real.
Let me list for you the work I have to do.
It's really interesting....

Immediately: Re-read and edit the manuscript and merge it into one document with all appendixes and additions (do I have to write a forward or introduction?), cutting the manuscript to about 70,000 words -- the ideal length.

Next, and almost immediately: Decide on illustrations I want in the book, photograph them or obtain digital copies, Place the illustrations where I want them in the manuscript and write their captions.
Then I put all illustrations onto a CD labelling them very clearly so the publisher can place them accurately in the manuscript without making expensive errors, and submit both 2nd copy of manuscript and CD to publisher.

Within two months: Get a professional photograph that the publisher can use for marketing the upcoming book.
Complete author biography, answering tons of questions including suggesting book prizes I feel the book would be eligible for (all of them), book events in which I can market the book, and historical or other societies where I can later give presentations.
I have to speak to bookstore owners to let them know about the upcoming book.
As historical societies book their speakers up to a year ahead of time, I am contacting those societies I can easily reach to let them know a book of interest to their members will be available next year.
I will also be submitting articles to Pacific Northwest history publications, to raise interest amongst their readers in Anderson's story.

The publisher will edit the book and decide how many photographs they can use; then it is up to the author to apply and pay for copyright on archival photographs and to get written permission from those who have loaned photographs from their private collections.
B.C. Archives charges $25.00 for each image used, and more for the cover portrait -- but they will negotiate on price.
As many of my illustrations come from Anderson's 1867 Map of British Columbia, which archives staff have told me is tremendously important to British Columbia residents (who cannot see the map because it is hidden in the depths of the archives stacks), I hope they will negotiate a reasonable price to allow our citizens to see portions of the map.

Eventually I will have to index the book, and I assume that I will do that to the publisher-edited copy.
I will also have to read the edited manuscript to catch any errors they have made in editing -- ie. putting a modern or Canadian spelling on words like Colvile or Okanogan/Okanagan, or something like that.
This will also be the last chance for me to catch my own errors before publishing.
Of course I will make errors, and someone will contact me to correct those errors.

I will have to suggest people who will read early copies of the book and give cover quotes -- that is, I hope, not a problem as I have worked with a few historians in this project.
I just hope these important people have time to take out of their busy schedules to read the book.
I will have to approach the best news media persons to promote the book -- my sister learned in promoting our mother's book that if you promote yourself in a minor newspaper before approaching a major one, the latter will not be interested in promoting your book.
Finally, I will have to learn power point, and learn how to create good presentations.
These are the things I know I have to do; I wonder what else I will be learning how to do through these next exciting years?

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