Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Salmon in the fur trader's New Caledonia

We speak now of the salmon found in the interior rivers and lakes, in Alexander Caulfield Anderson's words -- a continuation of "Killing Fish by Explosion," blog posting for Sat. February 4, 2012:

"Overlooking a variety of smaller fishes chiefly allied to the carp, and all more or less of inferior consideration to those I have mentioned, I shall proceed now to notice the noble Salmon. In venturing, however, to describe the habits of the Salmon in its ascent from the sea into the fastness of the interior, I must premise that there are statements to make in regard to it which may possibly startle the reader, accustomed to judge of the ordinary habits of the tribe by his European experience alone.

"The Salmon has been since time immemorial the chief, and frequently the sole, dependence of the aboriginal races bordering on the interior of the Coast range, for the sustenance of life. For many years, too, the European traders and their employees, had this resource alone to trust to as the staple article of food -- eked out, it is true, by various other products in both cases; the beasts of the chase, the minor fisheries, the wild-fowl, and the hare -- but still, for their winter dependence, the Salmon was the chief and most valued.
The one was the main support, the others composed the luxuries of life, though at times, in years of scarcity of salmon occupying a more important position.

"And here, if in a practical essay such as I am supposed to be engaged upon, I may be permitted to deviate momentarily from the dull monotony of description, I would vain direct the attention of the Reader to the beautiful concatenation of circumstances through which the ascent of the salmon is made practicable.
From the rising ocean vapours, to their condensation on their interior ranges; the melting of the mountain snows; the consequent rising of the rivers, whereby eddies are formed, and the abruptness of waterfalls, else impracticable to the salmon, is modified -- all these circumstances, coincident as they are with the natural causes which impel the shoals of salmon to ascent, compose one more line in the chain of evidences design.

"The various tributaries both of Fraser River and the Columbia, with rare exceptions, are the resort of vast shoals of Salmon at the proper season. Of these exceptions, upon the latter-mentioned stream, the Similkameen is one: an effect proceeding apparently from local obstacles to their ascent not far about the junction of the stream with the Okinagan.

"To these spawning grounds, following the instinct of their race, the various shoals generated originally upon each direct their course with undeviating precision -- to those conversant with the habits of the European Salmon it is superfluous to mention that each shoal as it ascends strives perserveringly and with unerring instinct to reach, for its spawning-ground, the spot where itself was generated. The natives employ various devices for catching them, accordingly as the stream be clear or turbid; the same means not being generally applicable to both.

"To speak more particularly of the Fraser -- there are at least six varieties of the Salmon which enter this river, distinquished by the Hartlins as Sa-quai, Suck-kai, Sa-wen, Paque, Qua-to, and Hun-nun (or Hoan).
The Salmon entering Fraser River are of several varieties, making their appearance successively at various periods from early Spring to the end of Summer. As a general rule it may be asserted that the earlier shoals are the strong and richer fish. Of these the most conspicuous are the two first named -- the Sa-quai (Kase of the Carriers) entering the Fraser in April and continuing through May and June: and the Suck-kai (Ta-lo of the Carriers), a much smaller species, arriving early in July.

"For clearness sake, I shall confine my remarks chiefly to two principal varieties, called by the lower Indians Saw-quai and Suck-kai, by the upper Indians Kase and Ta-lo; by which latter names I shall distinguish them. The first, equal in size and quality to the large Salmon in Europe, enter the Fraser in May; the latter, a very much smaller and not so rich a fish, arriving a month or so later. In the lower part of the river the natives secure them in large quantities by means of drift nets. Higher up scoop-nets are chiefly used, which are wrought from stages suspended from the rocks bordering on rapid current; and above Alexandria the Ta-cully [Dakelh] tribe construct ingenious weirs for their capture.

"The preceding pages referring to the habits of Salmon are, as premised, a transcript almost literal, from notes made by me during a protracted residence in the interior. I may now add that subsequent observations have led me in nowise to modify the conclusions then arrived at. I will now trace the course of the two principal varieties in their upward way, repeating what I have already remarked, that all the shoals and portions of shoals of the inferior kinds have each their peculiar stream to which they resort with unerring accuracy.

"There are two varieties of the Kase, differing very little in their characteristics, but one shoal, perhaps a little smaller in size, entering the Fraser somewhat earlier than the second; this first shoal, as nearly as I could ascertain, resorts to the West Road River. The Kase arrive at the mouth of the Fraser River somewhat earlier than the Talo, in May, and are caught at Alexandria in the beginning of July. The course of the Kase, apart from the minor shoals which may diverge to their native tributaries by the way, may thus be indicated from the Forks of Thle-et-leh (at Fort George). A division of the grand shoal here takes place; one detachment ascending the eastern, or Great Fork, or Tete Jaune Branch, and some individual fish attaining as before stated as far as Tete Jaune's Cache, where an abrupt over-fall debars all further progress.

"The other division strikes up the Stuart's Lake Branch, as high as the point called the Forks of Chinlac, 60 miles above Thle-et-leh. A further subdivision here takes place; one portion continuing to ascend the Stuart Branch nearly to Stuarts Lake which, however, they do not enter -- instead ceasing at the Rapid a short distance below the issue of the Lake. The other detachment ascends the Fraser Lake branch, and turning off about a mile below the outlet of the lake, continues their course towards the Nechaotin lands, up the river Neja-coh, on which its spawning grounds are situated. This is a stream which on the other hand the Talo do not enter.

"The Talo, its vanguard reaching Thle-et-leh in company with the rearguard of the Kase, strike up the Stuarts Lake Branch, not frequenting the main fort heading to Tete Jaune's Cache. They continue undeviatingly up to the the Forks of Chinlac, before mentioned, where a separation takes place. On reaching Chinlac they divide; one shoal ascending to Stuart's Lake, passing through it, and continuing up its chief feeding tributary towards Lake Tat-la. The other division, passing the Naja-coh unnoticed, proceeds directly to Fraser's Lake; continues through it and pursues its route by the tributary stream issuing at the village of Stella, ascending it towards the Lac des Francais on the inner vege of the Coast Range, and opposite to the Southern heads of the Skeena.

"The Ta-lo reach the Lakes of Fraser and Stuart almost simultaneously about the first week in August. This process, actuated by an infallible instinct, goes on undeviatingly from year to year: and though at times there may occur, from inscrutable causes, a partial failure of the supply, the period vary but little and the regularity of the system is never interrupted. The Talo do not enter the Fork uniting with the Stuart and Fraser Branch at Thle-et-leh. To this the Kase alone resort; struggling upwards even as far as Tete Jaune's Cache, where an abrupt overfall debars further progress. In no case, it should be remarked, has it been known that a Kase has been caught above the debouchure of the Naja-coh, upon the stream issuing from Fraser's Lake which there unites with it. On the other hand, it would be equally vain to seek for a Talo in the Neja-coh.

"It will thus be seen that the laws which govern the ascent of these fish are fixed and undeviating. The knowledge of their habits, therefore, which long experience has taught them, enables the Indians to prepare devices for their capture, in the full certainty that, when the fish do arrive, their preparations will not have been made in vain: in these various devices much ingenuity is displayed, but in different portions of the river, and by different tribes, various methods are practiced.

"Before the salmon enter the river they are readily caught in the adjacent straits and inlets with baited hooks, frequently affixed to long lines fastened to a canoe, which is then paddled briskly through the water. The bait used in this system of trolling is a small fish, or some other substance or even a piece of old cloth.

"The lower Indians of the Fraser use small drift nets which are plied from their canoes. Higher up they erect scaffolds on rocky projections where the current is strong. From these scaffolds bag-nets distended by light frames, nearly similar to the drift-nets, are plied by the fishermen. This system continues as far as the borders of the Ta-cully tribe near Alexandria.

"The Ta-cully who are peculiarly expert in preparing various devices for fishing and the snaring of the beasts of chase, construct weirs for catching the salmon. A close fence of light hurdles, supported by strong stakes driven into the bottom, is projected some forty or fifty feet into the steam, where the current is swift and the bottom gradually shelving. Another fence is run downstream; then at a right angle six feet or so towards the bank, and again upwards nearly to the first transverse fence. The ascending fish thus intercepted in their progress by the upper fence seek in vain to round the obstacles, and after a while enter a large cylindrical basket which is sunk at the angle where the descending fence is formed, with slender rods converging inwards like the entrance of a wire mouse-trap. Great numbers are thus caught. This is the plan adopted on the main stream where, as before stated, the water is turbid. In the clear tributaries the submerged basket is not found to answer, except where the stream can be fenced from side to side.

"Elsewhere the natives substitute an open basket, in the same position as the other but sunk only a few inches below the surface, above which the top of the basket projects. An opening is left in the top of the fence opposite to the basket, through which the water rushes. The salmon leap this tiny fall and drop unsuspectingly into the trap prepared for them. At the discharge of Frasers and Stuarts Lake the stream is fenced across, and the sunken basket is used; immense numbers are thus caught in ordinary years. The fence, however, is rarely so secure but that the main portion of the shoal contrives to force a passage, and even admitting it were perfectly close, the natives have a convention understanding that the fish shall be allowed to pass towards their neighbours further inland, who in turn do not seek to intercept the main body from the spawning grounds.

"The spear cannot be used save in the tributaries when the water is clear. At Alexandria I used to amuse myself at times with the scoop net and have thus secured fifty or sixty fish in an evening. The Seine, too, can be effectually employed.

"In the Appendix will be inserted a brief notice of several other varieties of the Salmon resorting to Fraser River, some of which, diverging up the Thompson's Branch and other tributaries, do not ascend to the Upper Fraser: and I will now advert to a peculiarity in their fate, which, strange as it may appear, distinguishes the majority from all other known varieties of the genus. There seems to be no question that the shoals resorting to the smaller streams debouching upon the Coast return, after performing their procreative functions, to the sea, as elsewhere. But as regards the main body, resorting to the distant head-waters of those great rivers, it may be incontestably asserted that they never return to the sea. At first incredulous of this asserted fact, subversive of all my preconceptions on the subject, it was only after the observation of years, under circumstances which seem to preclude the possibility of error, that I was constrained to arrive at the same conclusion. Without prolonging my notes by entering on the particulars of these observations, I may confidently repeat the assertion that, the function of spawning over, the fish, still struggling upwards, die of exhaustion. Upon the main, or Eastern, branch of the Fraser, which as I have said is frequented only by the large variety or Kase, the strongest of those fish attain as high as Tete Jaune's Cache, between 700 and 800 miles from the sea: there their further progress is arrested by a steep fall. At the foot of this fall, and elsewhere below, the stream swarms in September with dead and dying fish. The once brilliant Salmon, no longer recognizable save from its general form, may here be seen, the function of spawning completed, almost torpid from exhaustion; its nose in many instances worn to the bone, its tail and fins in tatters, nay its very flesh in a state of half-animated decay, either helplessly floating in the eddies or with momentary exertion still struggling to ascend. In no case is the smallest disposition to descend perceptible: its course is still onwards, until, dying at last, it floats with myriads of others to be cast upon the beach, attracting to a hideous banquet a multitude of Bears and other carnivorous beasts from the adjacent mountains. In like manner perish the other shoals upon the head-waters of the several streams to which they resort -- on the Columbia the Salmon attain to the head of the McGillivray Fork, more than a thousand miles from the sea. There is there a small lake, which, before winter sets in is crowded, I have been assured, with the dead and dying fish.

"I am not, however, to write a treatise on natural History, but to confine myself to such notes as may tend practically to a useful end. Nevertheless I may be pardoned if I have dwelt passingly upon a fact which, if for its singularity alone, is worthy of record. Before quitting this branch of the subject, too, I may supply some memoranda which will convey an idea of the productiveness, in favorable years, of the salmon fisheries on the Fraser. At the Post of Fraser's Lake, in 1836, 36,000 dried salmon were purchased and stored for use; and at other posts proportionate quantities were likewise secured out of the superabundant provisions made by the natives. The year in question, it is true, was one of great abundance.

"At Fort Langley (some fifteen miles above New Westminster) large quantities were formerly salted every year by the Hudson's Bay Company, as well for home consumption as for exportation. In some seasons between two and three thousand barrels were thus provided; the fish procured by barter from the natives. For some years past private fisheries have been established, where large quantities are annually cured: and recently an establishment for preserving the fish in cans for exportation has been started, which promises to be very successful. The chief markets are South American, the Sandwich Islands, and Australia.

"We may here mention cursorily that, while the salmon of some particular variety is common, perhaps, to every stream issuing along the Coast from the Coast range of mountains, as well as to the many tributaries of the Fraser, it is not found upon the waters of the British Columbia tributary to the Peace River, or indeed to any of the streams flowing eastward from the Rocky Mountain boundary of the Province. Thus Peace River, and its co-tributary to the great McKenzie, the Athabasca, as well as the Saskatchewan, are destitute of this valuable fish. with our knowledge of the habits of the genus it would be a facile undertaking to introduce the fish artificially into these rivers, by spawn taken from the western watershed: but it is questionable whether the extreme length of the two first-named streams, at least, in their course to the ocean, might not prove an insurmountable obstacle to their successful propogation. Nevertheless, it is possible that the attempt may at some future day be made."

Monday, February 13, 2012

A notice for those interested in British Columbia's history

There is a new online website available -- a sort of Wikipedia but for British Columbia history only.

It is a beginning project, and it is an attempt to make permanent things of value posted on the web, that may disappear or are hard to find -- websites that disappear when owners become too ill to manage them, etc. etc.

This site is found at

If you have a site that you think is of interest to British Columbians, you need to get in touch with the managers of British Columbia Historical Federations's new online Encyclopedia of B.C. History website, at above address.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Alexander Caulfield Anderson's maps

As you have heard before, I was invited to speak in front of the Historical Map society, which meets at UBC, in Vancouver.
My sister and I met some of the members of the group for supper, and proceeded to UBC.
I had been told there would be about 12 to 15 persons in the group, but when we arrived in the room we found there were more like twenty-five people waiting for us.
Many of the younger members of the group, who do not often come to the meetings, attended this meeting.

Of course I was pleased to see the crowd, but what it meant was that I had not brought nearly enough books to sell, and quickly ran out.
For those of you who were unable to purchase a  book at the meeting, you should find copies of it at the UBC bookstore just down the road, and my publisher is ensuring there are sufficient copies.
The People's Co-op bookstore has copies, and you can purchase e-books through Chapters (if you have a Kobo), and other sources.

Anyway, we set up quickly and listened as they held their meeting, and I was introduced to the crowd. For those of you who want to do further research on Anderson's maps in British Columbia archives, I am adding further information to the talk that I gave on his maps.
I am also including a little history, which on looking back I think I should have included in the talk to make the speak easier to follow.

Here we go:
"Good evening, everybody. Thank you for coming. As you may or may not know, I am the author of "The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson's Journeys in the West, published by Heritage House in Fall, 2011. Anderson's full name is Alexander Caulfield Anderson and, in the mid-1840's, he was a Hudson's Bay Company fur trader, explorer, and map-maker.

"In order to write Alexander's biography, I had to access his many maps for stories written on them that appear nowhere else. Even now I am not certain I have all the answers -- or even that I have discovered all the questions.

"People ask me why Anderson drew his maps; I can only guess the reason. All fur traders drew maps of the territory they lived in, which they left behind for the next person in charge of the post. But often they kept a copy for themselves. Both Alexander, and his brother James -- also an HBC fur trader -- had a collection of maps when they retired. But I think that Alexander had an artistic bent that James did not have, and map-making was just an extension of that natural interest in art.

"Both Alexander and James received a liberal education that centered around culture and the arts; their relatively rich father had even paid for elocution and dancing lessons for his sons. They probably received art lessons; both brothers read widely though Alexander studied Latin while James quoted poetry in later letters to his brother.

"Alexander's first map-making experiment began, I believe, at Fraser's Lake, when he took charge of this small post in the winter of 1835-36. So this is where we will begin:

"His first map is numbered CM/13703A, and the archives lists it under the name, "Northern Interior of British Columbia." During the time he was at Fraser's Lake, Anderson copied down information from maps that would have existed at the post. This map, drawn in the 1870's, contained information taken from an old map and formed the basis of his finished map of the New Caledonia area that surrounded Fort George, Fraser's Lake, Fort St. James, and McLeod Lake.

"The map numbered CM/13665A, "Guide Map to the Peace River Mines," was drawn to show gold miners at Victoria north to the Omineca District east of Fraser's Lake -- where a new gold rush was just beginning. By the time Alexander drew this map, he was the only person in Victoria that was known to have spent any time in this region.

"The writing on the edge of the map begins with: "N.B. The route from Quesnel to Fraser's Lake is so well traced as not to be mistaken. (It was almost certainly the old horse road between Fort Alexandria and Fraser's Lake). From Fraser to Stuart Lake more care is necessary. The route strikes up from the village of Nantley (on Fraser Lake), a little to the eastward of North, and follows the same general course throughout...." The instructions continue, and are clear enough that an outdoorsman could, even today, follow Anderson's description of this trail, making his way from the old fort at Fraser's Lake to Fort St. James.

(For those of you who are outdoorsmen and who live in the area, I am writing out the complete description of this trail here -- those of you who don't want to hike through the bush with the bears can ignore this paragraph:
"The route strikes up from the village of Nantley (on Fraser Lake), a little to the east of North, and follows the same general course throughout. After passing the small stream called the "Beaver Dam," the pass narrows generally till a few miles further on the first height of land is crossed. This is the head of Hootsan River. Following down the Grand Boulee[?] a short distance, the trail strikes to the left and the second rise is ascended. Crossing it obliquely, Stuart's Lake is seen, and the hill is descended to Quaw Lake. [Quaw was an important Native chief in the area, and this note might indicate where Quaw had his village.] This part of the road takes care, as the path is indistinct in the mossy land. Pass around the right or east end about a miles and a half, the trail will be perceived crossing the point of wood to the second small lake, at the further end of which is a bridge over the small issuing stream. Thence the road is well marked, passing along the hills bordering the right of the river leading to the lake. There is only one trail to be avoided, that is, shortly after leaving Fraser's L., a fishing path striking to the left. There was formerly a good deal of fallen woods in parts, the result of fire, else the rail was on the whole good.")

"Two other old trails are marked on Map CM/13665A, "Guide Map to the Peace River Mines." One was the horse-road that existed between Fort Alexandria and Fraser's Lake, mentioned in the Fort Alexandria journals in mid-1840's -- Fort Alexandria stood on the Fraser River north of Soda Creek and south of Quesnel. Also, Alexander Mackenzie's 1793 route along the Black Water River to the coast is marked. In fact you will find Alexander Mackenzie's route noted on any A.C. Anderson map that covers this part of the world.

"The double-sided map, "Upper Fraser River; map and notes submitted to Marcus Smith," CM/13699A, [drawn in January 1874], shows, in various portions and inserts, the entire Upper Fraser River north of Fort George [Prince George], all the way to Tete Jaune Cache at the base of the Rocky Mountains. When I was writing the Leather Pass story in "The Pathfinder," I had to read all the notes on this map to complete the tale of that adventurous and frightening mid-winter journey across the snow-bound Rockies to Edmonton House.
When you look on the reverse side you will understand what I mean by "notes."

"Note, too, that opposite the location of Fort George, Anderson indicated an "old fort" that apparently stood across the river from where Fort George was. Bob Campbell of the Exploration Place, Prince George, told me that: "it is probably a mistake, as there is a description of the sun rise at Fort George in the morning from the early 1840's, which describes how the sun is blocked by the hills. This would fit the traditional west bank location."

"But Anderson spent the winter of 1840 trapped at dreary Fort George, and he was bored, active, and curious enough to have explored the area; it is likely that all the fur traders of the time were familiar with this "old fort." The ruins of an earlier post could easily have stood in that location, especially as the chimneys of these fur trade buildings were so well constructed that they stood for many years after the fort itself had disappeared. That is true, at least, of old Flathead House of David Thompson, which stood for many years after the post was abandoned."

After the meeting was finished, fur trade historian Bruce McIntyre Watson approached me to introduce himself. He agreed with me in the possible existence of an old fort and suggested it was Simon Fraser's post, called Chala-oo-chek. (I looked up the name of the fort in his "Lives Lived;" it had taken him a few minutes to remember the post's name.)

To continue: "Here is the first of three travelling maps that reached the archives -- rough maps, drawn whilst travelling on horseback or in the boats. This is identified in Anderson's handwriting, at the top, as "A travelling sketch not reduced to scale: Chilcotin River, 1844," and is found under CM/13703A. In "The Pathfinder," you will see a portion of this map at the top of page 100 -- Chapter 14, The Fur Trade, 1845-46. How many of you have realized that every chapter heading contains a map or illustration relevant to the chapter which it heads?

"In the early 1840's Anderson, now at in charge at Fort Alexandria on the Fraser River north of William's Lake, suggested to Governor Simpson that the difficult Chilcotin post south west of the fort be closed down, and a new post built at Kluskus Lake, on Alexander McKenzie's West Road River.

"In 1844, Anderson and his men travelled on horseback over one of the uncleared Dakelh footpaths, from Fort Alexandria to a lake he said the Natives called "Thleuz-uz-cuz." The Thleuz-cuz post was built later that summer and proved very successful, and is often mentioned in the Fort Alexandria journals during Anderson's time there.

"If you look closely at Anderson's 1867 map (and I am sorry to say you will have little opportunity to do that, as it is not available for viewing), you will see he named the lake "Pelican Lake." It is likely that Anderson discovered a healthy breeding colony of American White Pelicans at Kluskus Lake, They are no longer there -- the only place that pelicans now breed in British Columbia is at another Pelican Lake, north-east of Kluskus Lake.

"Anderson drew his second travelling map -- Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River to Kettle Falls, 18[42], CM/13671A -- as he journeyed up the Columbia River in the boats, leading out the York Factory express in spring 1842. The map consists of two lines, one line almost on top of the other -- but each line represents a different part of the journey. The line at the left side begins at Fort Colvile and continues north up the Columbia, through the Arrow Lakes to the north end of the northernmost lake. On the east shore of that lake, Anderson marked the place where they camped on the night of their 4th day of travel.

"The right hand line shows the next morning's travel, and leads north from the campsite through Death Rapids, to the Boat Encampment at the junction of Canoe and Wood Rivers.

"I happened to turn over this travelling map and stumbled on a treasure. In 1842, Anderson drew pencil portraits of two of the voyageurs who travelled upriver with him. One is French Canadian, the second clearly Iroquois [or Bruce Watson suggests, Abenaki, I believe]. It is unusual to rare to find images of voyageurs in the fur trade records, and I hope that with a great deal of photo-shopping this image might eventually be made reproducible.

"From this first rough travelling map came Anderson's finished map, Sketch of the Upper Columbia, Fort Colvile to Jasper's House," CM/13662B -- and you will find a piece of this map in "The Pathfinder," on the top of page 76, Chapter 10 -- the York Factory Express, 1842. Anderson must also have drawn a travelling map of the traverse from Boat Encampment via Athabasca Pass to Jasper's House, and he attached the information that map contained to the top of his finished Columbia River map. The interesting part of this map -- at least to fur trade researchers -- is that Anderson showed how many times the fur traders waded through the chest deep waters of the Wood River on their way to the height of the pass."

I will here add the history of the time, that will explain the many changes the fur traders west of the mountains would experience over the next few years. In the early 1840's everyone was aware the British and American governments were negotiating the placement of the boundary line west of the Rocky Mountains. Most traders assumed the line would follow the Columbia River south, but Anderson believed it might continue west, along the 49th parallel. He wrote to Governor Simpson, offering to explore for a new route to Fort Langley, and the Governor accepted his offer. In 1846 and 1847, Anderson made four expeditions across the mountains that separated the forts in the interior from Fort Langley, on the lower Fraser, by which the fur traders in New Caledonia and Kamloops could carry their furs to the coast.

To continue: "The Sketch Map of the Thompson River District," HBCA B.5/z/1, fo.2, by Alexander Caulfield Anderson, has been published in Derek Hayes' "Historical Atlas of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest -- Maps of Exploration," on page 130. In 1846, Anderson started on the first of four expeditions across country between Kamloops and Fort Langley, and this is the drawing he made of the expected route of his first journey -- it shows an easy route down the Lillooet River to Fort Langley.

"The information contained in this map would have come as a result of the exploration that boisterous, fast-talking Francis Ermatinger made in 1827. From the Thompson River post (early Kamloops), Ermatinger and another man explored the Pesaline or Pishaleor or Pasilico Lakes (Anderson and Seton Lakes) and travelled across the range of hills to the Li-li-what River. Like Anderson, they were looking for a route to Fort Langley, but they turned back when they saw the roughness of the Lillooet River.

"When Anderson arrived at the mouth of the Seton River almost twenty years later, he noted that it "had a name so cacophonous that I scarcely dare write it, 'Pap-shil-qua-ka-meen,' or River of the Lakes. Unlike Ermatinger, Anderson tried to come close to the Native pronunciation, and though he often shortened names for convenience in writing his reports, he often also included the longer phonetic spelling of Native names for places and rivers.

"I looked at Sam Black's map, CM/B2079, which was found amongst Anderson's papers at his death. I thought that John Tod of Kamloops, and Alexander Anderson might have consulted Black's map, in 1846, in order the choose Anderson's route. But that map now shows both Anderson and Seton Lakes and the Lillooet Lake and River all the way to Fort Langley. So I think this was a working map, and that John Tod added new information about the Lillooet River route to Sam Black's old map on Anderson's return to Kamloops.

"Anderson's "Original Sketch of Explorations," CM/B1094, is contained in the book in the section of maps following page 95. Kamloops is in the top right hand corner, and Fort Langley in the bottom left. This might be the first map that Anderson drew in Victoria, after being encouraged in his map-making by the Royal Engineers, many of whom he knew. Anderson's four cross country expeditions took place in 1846 and 1847 -- but this map also shows Peers Creek and the Coquihalla River, places he would not have seen before late summer 1849.

"Not too many people have seen the map contained in Anderson's original journal of exploration in 1846 -- Return Journey, found is the BC archives under Accessioned Map18941A. Yet it might be the most important of all. The map shows the route that Anderson and his men took, from the mouth of the Coquihalla River, through the Nicolum and Sumallo River valleys and up the south side of the Coquihalla. It continues through his descent of the Tulameen River to the Similkameen chief Blackeye's Camp, and it also indicates where he though Blackeye's Trail across the plateau would lead -- that is, to Rhododendron Flats on the south side of the mountain.

"The coloured lines and numbers are referred to in his journal, and historians who did not uncover this map when they read Anderson's journal on microfilm had no idea what the numbers referred to, and where the coloured lines he talked of were. Thus, lack of access to this map confounded Harley Hatfield and those many other brigade trail researchers over the years, and I am not certain that any of them ever found this map.

"This is probably the map mentioned in Richard Ruggles' book, "A Country So Interesting," as the "Sketch Map from Fort Hope to Otter Lake (Tulameen); copy apparently at BCARS.""

Again, I am going to insert a little history to help explain the occurrences over the next few years -- that is the brigades of 1848 and 1849. In 1847 Anderson learned that the boundary line now followed the boundary line to the coast, but the fur traders all thought they could use their old brigade trail down the Columbia River to Fort Vancouver for a few more years. But in late 1847, measles and the resultant massacre of the missionaries at Wailatpu, and the Native wars that followed, forced the fur traders of New Caledonia, Kamloops, and Fort Colvile (on the Columbia River), to bring their furs out by one of Anderson's unfinished trails. The trail the fur traders at Forts Vancouver and Victoria chose led from Kamloops through the Nicola Valley and followed the Coldwater River to the range of hills that separated the Nicola Valley from modern-day Boston Bar and the Fraser River. If you visit Hell's Gate and Boston Bar, and look at the hills on the east side of the river -- those are the mountains that Anderson's trail led over.

They came to Fort Langley and returned, with many difficulties and a huge loss of horses and trade goods. At Kamloops the gentlemen sent Henry Newsham Peers south with Edouard Montigny south to Blackeye's Camp, to have that Native chief show them over his trail to Rhododendron Flats and the Sumallo River valley. In the end the trail didn't quite run the route that Anderson expected it would, but the fur traders decided to open up the new trail over the Coquihalla.

To make a long story short, a heavy snowfall that winter buried the Coquihalla River valley and prevented any work from being done on the new brigade trail. The fur traders came out, one my time, over the trail that led up the Coldwater River, and on their return journey they opened the new Coquiahalla trail. The next few maps which I will be discussing show the routes of many of the trails that Anderson and other brigaders followed on the way from Kamloops to Fort Langley in 1848 and 1849.

To continue: "A rough map called "Kamloops Region, Nicola Valley and Upper Similkameen Valley," CM/13664A, shows much of the history of the Nicola Valley and the trails that the fur traders used in the mid-1840's and before. The fact that Kamloops stands on the west bank of the North Thompson River means this map was drawn after 1843.

"From the west end of Kamloops Lake is the trail that Anderson followed in 1846. It led through Marble Canyon to the Fraser, and ended at "the Fountain," just north of Fountain Ridge on the Fraser River. There the Natives had a fishery that supplied the Kamloops fort with salmon.

"In 1847, Anderson set out from Kamloops on his second journey to Fort Langley. He crossed the hills to the Nicola Valley and, unable to cross by the normal portage, followed that river north. I had a strong feeling that he intended to reach the banks of the Thompson River by one of several trails on the other side of the Nicola River -- one of which ended up at the mouth of the Nicoamen River. He was looking for a brigade trail, and as he followed the Nicola to its mouth he noted that the sharp rocks on the Nicola's east bank would prevent it from being used as a path for horses. So, I think it was important to him that he crossed the rain-swollen river.

"Also marked on the map is the Anderson River route that he explored in 1847, on his return journey to Kamloops, and the route the brigades took out in 1848. If you take a look at Sam Black's map mentioned above -- this route passed through the "Terrible Mountains all over Hereabouts" that Black marked on his map -- and for the brigades it proved to be true.

"The fur-traders' Similkameen River is marked at the bottom of the map, as is Blackeye's trail to the top of the plateau. You will remember that when discussing earlier maps I said that Blackeye's trail led southward to Rhododendron Flats. In this map, Blackeye's trail now connects to the brigade trail, which indicates that it was drawn in 1849 or later.

"In the case of the "Shuswap Okanagan District," CM/B104, the archives suggests the map was drawn earlier, I am certain that Anderson worked on it as late as 1877, when he returned from Shuswap Lake as Dominion Indian Reserve Commissioner. You can see how the Shuswap Lake overlay covers up the section of the Columbia River that would certainly have appeared on this map.

"On this map, as on others, Anderson omits any mention of the old trail that once led up the North Thompson River to Little Fort, but as it was not used after 1843, he probably considered it was overgrown. He does show the replacement for that old trail -- the new brigade trail, opened in 1843, that led up Copper Creek to Loon Lake and Green Lake, joining the old trail just south-east of the fur traders' Lac la Hache.

"On the bottom half of this map we can see the old brigade trail south of Kamloops and Okanagan Lake. With the exception of his 1867 map of British Columbia, and his 1858 Map (discussed next), all of Anderson's maps stop at the boundary line.

"The map also indicates the brigade trail through the Kettle and Similkameen valleys to the foot of the Coquihalla Mountains, first used by the Fort Colvile men in 1849. I suggest that Blackeye's son guided them through this trail the first year they used it, on their return journey. East of modern day Princeton, this trail was buried when the Dewdney Trail was constructed over virtually the same route in the 1860's.

"Finally, the trail north from Blackeye's Camp to Kamloops is shown; a little bit of the 1848 brigade trail along the Coldwater River is drawn in.

"Next we will talk about Anderson's "Map showing the different routes of communication with the gold region on Frazer's River," CM/A78 -- a map familiar to anyone who writes about the 1858 gold rush. About 1854, Anderson retired from the fur trade and settled at Cathlamet, WA. -- but because so many gold miners were approaching him for information on routes into the new goldmines being discovered on the Thompson River, he wrote his book, "Guide to the Goldfields," which included this map. The book sold well; copies are in archives in Australia and elsewhere -- and publication of this book might have been Anderson's only money-making project after he left the fur trade.

"Anderson drew the base-map, but the finished map is not his. Probably the publisher provided it; alternatively it might have been drawn by his new brother-in-law, artist William Henry Tappen -- a "most superior gentleman" who had just married Anderson's spinster sister, Margaret.

"An interesting and historic map is, I think, being overlooked. It is the Lands and Forests Hope-Princeton sheet of 1939, CM/C724, drawn specifically to show all the area's historic trails -- the brigade trails once again opened by Harley Hatfield and his friends; the Dewdney Trail, and many others. Firstly, it is a fascinating map that you should know about, if you are interested in British Columbia history; secondly, on this map Outram Lake -- the lake named by Alexander Caulfield Anderson for his cousin General Sir James Outram, is the lake at the end of the Nicolum River system.

"I believed this was true, too, until I really looked at Anderson's 1867 Map of the Colony of British Columbia, CM/F9 -- and you can see this section of the map of BC on the top of page 113, in "The Pathfinder."

"To me, the most interesting section of Anderson's 1867 map is the area south of the Coquihalla, which shows a portion of his 1846 exploration from Fort Langley to Kamloops. On this map, Anderson's Outram Lake is clearly indicated as part of the Sumallo River system. But sometime after Anderson drew this 1867 map, surveyors or settlers moved the lake's name westward, to another lake later buried under the massive Hope Slide of 1965. Anderson's Outram Lake is just east of the Hope Slide.

"Anderson's Tree, which sits southeast of Council's Punch Bowl Lake, on the top of the Coquihalla, was another total mystery to me. It appears first in Anderson's 1858 map to the Gold regions; next on his map of Four Explorations drawn in 1860 some-odd; and finally on his 1867 map of British Columbia.

"In 1846, Anderson's party of voyageurs and Native guides continued their walk past his Outram Lake, through the steep sided mountain valley. Just past Manning Park's Rhododendron Flats they climbed the mountain to reach the little lake at the top. Anderson named the lake, "Council's Punch Bowl." Years later [about 1820], Alexander's son James wrote that Council's Punch Bowl Lake was commemorated by a marked tree -- a story he must have heard from his father.

"When I picked up Carolyn Podruchny's book, "Making the Voyageur World; Travellers and Traders in the North American fur trade," I ran across a section on Maypole Trees, sometimes called lobsticks:

""Theatre and Maypoles -- the quotation that begins this chapter illustrates a striking performance of the master and servant relationship in the fur trade... Voyageurs selected a tall tree standing out on a lake, "lobbed" off all its branches except those at the very top, carved into the trunk's base the name of the bourgeois, clerk, or passenger to be honoured, and gathered around the maypoles to cheer and fire muskets. The honouree then provided regales, or treats to all the brigade...."

"From this I came to realize that Anderson's Tree might be a Maypole Tree -- an honour granted to very few men west of the Rocky Mountains. No fur trader ever saw Anderson's Tree after he and his men walked away from it. But Anderson knew it was there, and I believe he marked the tree on his maps so that he, if no one else, would remember the honour."

At this time I showed an image of Anderson's 1867 Map of British Columbia as it hangs in the archives, with some descendants on a visit.

I quote from "The Pathfinder" here: "Fourteen of Anderson's hand-drawn maps are preserved in the British Columbia archives, but the map that historians consider most significant is his 1867 Map of British Columbia. This massive map measures 4.5 feet by 6 feet and is drawn at a scale of approximately 10 miles per inch. It shows all of modern day British Columbia south of Fort St. James; it extends eastward as far as the HBC's Edmonton House and shows the route Anderson's party took through Leather Pass in the winter of 1835. When he drew the area around Fort Colvile, Anderson indicated his interest in NWC explorer David Thompson's earlier presence in the area when he drew in "David Thompson's River" and the location of Saleesh House.

""In all his finished maps, Anderson used good-quality rag paper that aged to a warm cream colour. The black ink contained iron that rusted to a rich reddish-brown. He used watercolours to paint the larger bodies of water blue, and in red indicated the many trails the fur traders of his time travelled. His signature appears everywhere. Handwritten notes on the map indicate events in his personal life such as his journey from Fort Colvile to Kamloops in the winter of 1842. At times he recorded information he obtained from post journals that no longer exist, as when he drew the route of a trading party led by Fraser's Lake clerk John McDonnell to Salmon River in 1828."

"Curator Derek Swallow tells me this about the map: "According to my informants, the map was in pieces when we received it. Our conservation department treated it, put it together, and mounted it on an acid-free backing, then encapsulated it between two sheets of mylar. Mylar is a type of plastic that doesn't break down over time, as other plastics do.

""It was mounted to a vertical rack to prevent stress on it if people came to view it... To prevent light damage we keep the front covered so if we enter the storage area and switch on the overheads it won't be illuminated. This is very critical since many of the First Nations territorial boundaries and some of the written inscriptions were done in coloured, light-sensitive, fugitive ink. In other words, light will fade the colours. To mitigate fading when we do show the map, our flourescent lights are low UV yield and the tubes are covered in secondary UV filters -- UV is the primary source of colour fading....

""The map... is of huge significance to the province and the people of B.C. so we have put a great deal of resources into preserving it and storing it in conditions that will guarantee its longevity. If exhibited, the map would be subject to strict handling, environment conditions, lighting and security."

"I visit the map on occasion, and I always enjoy turning around and looking at Tsilaxitsa's portrait [see page 203 of "The Pathfinder"] which hangs directly behind the person who is viewing Anderson's map. Tsilaxitsa was the nephew of Chief Nkwala after whom the Nicola Valley is named, and he became the most powerful Okanagan chief of his time. He and his close relative, Blackeye's son, accompanied Anderson on his 1847 exploration up and down the Fraser River, and almost certainly they both worked for the brigades, taking out the furs and bringing in the trade goods. In 1877, Anderson met Tsilaxitsa again, as Dominion Indian Reserves Commissioner. In his journal of that time, Anderson wrote that he had ridden many miles with this man. I find it eminently suitable -- and very romantic --that Tsilaxitsa's portrait faces Anderson's map in the archives store-room.

"There are many stories written into Anderson's 1867 map of the Colony of British Columbia:

"From early days Anderson was fascinated by Alexander Mackenzie, and in later years he own an 1802 version of Mackenzie's "Voyages from Montreal.." Mackenzie's journals were always more accessible to Anderson than those of the other explorers. In 1876, Dr. Israel Wood Powell loaned Anderson Simon Fraser's original journals to read. But Anderson had no access to David Thompson's journals, as they were never published while he was alive. But, when he was in charge of Fort Colvile, Anderson identified both David Thompson's River and location Saleesh House on it -- and he also drew in the location of the HBC fur trader Joseph Howse's House.

"In a PhD thesis called "Historical Cartography of British Columbia," written in 1960 and stored in the archives under Mss. 1104, student Albert Leonard Farley says this of Anderson's map:

""All sections of the manuscript map represent generally improved configurations, though, as one might expect, some are rendered in greater detail than others. The Kootenay-Columbia drainage, for example, is shown in the greatest detail since Thompson's day, though still lacking the mark of precision so characteristic of the great geographers' maps..."

"So, if Anderson had help in drawing this section of his map, I assumed there would be a map somewhere that would indicate that. Amongst the listing of documents that his son, James, gave to the provincial librarian, is listed, "Original map of the Flathead River."I looked for this map and finally realized, as I leafed through the file, that James' notes changed to indicated that this Flathead map was the Royal Engineers' Map of the British North American Exploring Expedition's route, under John Palliser [CM/A335, BCA] through the Fort Colvile district, which Anderson must have owned.

"The historic Collin's Telegraph Trail is located on the map, because there is a family connection to the trail. American businessman, Perry McDonough Collins, hoped to run a telegraph trail from San Francisco through British Columbia, Alaska and Russia, all the way to London, completing this before Cyrus Field managed to lay his line across the Atlantic Ocean. The Collin's Trail was as far north as the Skeena District when Field's Atlantic line was successfully laid, and Collin's gradually abandoned his project. But one of the men who worked on the trail was James McKenzie Anderson, son of Alexander's brother James. He was in the area around Fraser's Lake when George Mercer Dawson hired two men as axemen -- one was James Anderson, almost certainly Alexander Anderson's nephew. When the Collin's trail was finally abandoned, James came to Victoria to visit his uncle, and Alexander obtained as much information as he could on the location of the trail -- which is why it is not accurately located on his map.

"Just southeast of Lac la Hache is "Peter Ogden's camp" south-east of Lac la Hache on the 1843 brigade trail. I have always looked at this and wondered what it meant. In the Fort Victoria letters in HBCA, James Douglas reported that, in 1851, "a party of ten men, under the direction of Mr. Peter Ogden, were employed upon the new road for nearly two months... They cleared the points of wood on the whole route between Alexandria and Fort Hope...." So here's a little bit of history explained -- this is where Peter Ogden, son of Peter Skene Ogden, set up camp to cut a trail that cut off the long loops of brigade trail that diverted the fur traders miles out of their way, eastward toward Drowned Horse Lake (Horse Lake) rather than west toward Lac la Hache.

"The 1843 brigade trail through Loon Lake is shown on this map, and there is only one other map in British Columbia that has this trail marked on it; it is also an A.C. Anderson map. There are at present two historical-geographers geo-mapping the trail, and one of these men is a descendant of fur-trader Donald Manson. The trail actually passes through creeks and lakes that carry names that indicate this was an old brigade trail -- for example: Fly Creek, Brigade Lake, Carabine Creek.

"This is also the only map that shows the brigade trail past Okanagan Lake, and it shows all the other trails in the area. I have been puzzling as to where the brigade trail passed in the years after 1843, and I learned as the book was going through the presses that the brigades continued to follow the old trail, via Monte creek, all the way through 1849, when Anderson brought his men north to Kamloops.

"In the Fort Colvile area to the south east, modern day Curlew Lake bears the name, Eliza Lake. Obviously this is Anderson's name for the lake, named for his daughter or perhaps his wife. Jack Nisbet tells me that the trails that Anderson had drawn onto his map run along the same paths that the modern days follow -- almost nothing has changed.

"In this same area I find "Flying Squirrel Camp," and while I connect this with the botanist John Jeffries coming through Fort Colvile in 1851 (I think), I have absolutely no idea whether this is so. It could simply be named by the voyageurs for the flying squirrels in the area... Sooner or later I hope I will uncover this story.

"Albert Leonard Farley, author of the aforementioned thesis, "Historical Cartography of British Columbia," finished his essay with the words: "Aside from its understandable shortcomings, Anderson's manuscript map was a remarkable achievement. It was a great forward step towards a comprehensive map of all of southern British Columbia. The innumerable statements and explanatory notes... provide a valuable summary of geographic knowledge at the time, as well as offering clues to the sources of information which Anderson used in compiling the map. In a very real sense, Anderson's manuscript [map] represents a culmination of the cartographic accomplishments attributable to the fur-trade in British Columbia. It goes beyond this, however, by including liberal additions to knowledge of the country as a result of mining activities, and as a result of official explorations and surveys undertaken up to 1866."

"As we are going chronologically through his maps, I will quickly discuss his two Saanich maps -- the first, "Approximate Sketch showing the line of road [North Saanich]; the second his "Sketch of two Roads, etc." One of these maps is shown in "The Pathfinder" on page 187, and both -- once difficult to find -- are now stored under their new number, C/B/30.7K/An2.

Another interesting set of maps is Anderson's "Course from McK's travels, 1793," CM/12709A. You can see from these two maps that Anderson was reading Mackenzie's journals and trying to figure out his location. (On one of these maps Prince George is clearly shown, by its Native name). I suspect that Anderson's copy of Mackenzie's Journal might be found in the Rare Book Room of the Legislative Library, identifiable because I will have Anderson's name and the date he purchased the book written on the first blank page of the book.

"The map titled "Northwestern North America," CM/13666C, is by far my favorite map, and the one that hangs on my living room wall. Anderson drew this map about 1870-74. In the summer of 1875, geographer George Mercer came to Victoria and saw the finished copy of this map. He asked Anderson to lend it to him; Dawson displayed the map in the Canadian log-cabin exhibit at the massive 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. When that world's fair closed, the map itself returned to Montreal and hung on the walls of the Geological Survey of Canada for many years-- and then it disappeared. No one knows where the map is, and it probably no longer exists.

"The map was clearly drawn by Anderson to connect the New Caledonia and Columbia district, where he had spent his lifetime, with the Mackenzie and Athabasca districts where his old brother, James, had spent a few years.There is no other reason for Alexander to have drawn this map, other than to find where James had worked. It's a very personal map; and not one of interest to anyone that Alexander knew in British Columbia.

"This is what Alexander Anderson said of his brother: "James Anderson, my elder brother, born near Calcutta in 1812, educated in England, and entering the Service in 1831, co-temporaneously with myself -- After wintering for some years at Moose Factory in Hudson's Bay, and other stations in the Southern Department, he was transferred to the Northern Department and succeeded Dr. Rae in the charge of Mckenzie's River district in 1850.

""In 1854 he was appointed by the Company to descend the Tleu-e-cho Dozeth, or Back's River, in quest of intelligence respecting the fate of Sir John Franklin's party. On this expedition he proceeded with two well-manned birch bark canoes early in 1855 -- returning late the same Autumn, after having performed a most expeditious journey, and having discovered what appeared to be the last relics of at least a portion of the party of Dr. Stanley, namely, and others of the crew of the Terror."

"James Anderson retired in Canada and died of tuberculosis in 1867. this map was drawn after James' death, and to draw in the Northwest Territories, Alexander copied the map contained in Thomas Simpson's book, "Life & Travels of Thomas Simpson," listed in [son] James Robert Anderson's fonds [CM/13680A) and published in London by Richard Bentley in 1845.

"Anderson also wrote an essay to go with the Map of Northwestern North American, and it was printed in a magazine called "The Naturalist," or "Canadian Naturalist," as well as being published by Mitchell & Wilson [Montreal] in 1876. Anderson requests reprints of his essay, which are preserved in the BC Archives under NW971M A545n, "Notes on North-Western America."

"George Mercer Dawson was a sinkhole of Anderson maps: In a letter that James Mackenzie Anderson (son of Alexander's brother James) wrote to his cousin, James Robert Anderson (son of A.C. Anderson) on January 30, 1914, he said: "I had some maps of your late father's, which I lent to Mr. [George Mercer] Dawson to copy, which I cannot now find, and they may have not returned them..." I find no evidence that Dawson ever returned the Anderson maps to their owner.

"The last map that I am going to discuss is this one: Sam Black's map of the Thompson's River district, CM/B2079 -- and a very confusing map it can be. It was found in Anderson's papers by son, James, after Alexander's death in 1884, and in 1915, James wrote in the top corner of this map: "I have no means of ascertaining by whom this unique map was made, certainly not by my father...." The map was re-discovered and written up in BC Studies some years ago, by Bob Harris, but the location of the map was never given. It should be listed in James Anderson's fonds, Mss. 1912, where it belongs.

"The Royal Engineers saw a copy of this map in James Douglas' hands when they were in Victoria; I think Anderson probably received it from Douglas when he was drawing his 1867 map of British Columbia. Is it possible there are two copies of this map? It's hard to know.

"So these are Anderson's maps, and as you can see there is history written into every one of these maps. Finding all the stories has been a long and interesting project and continues to be so -- some of the stories I told you I only learned two or three weeks ago. Some stories I have yet to uncover. There may also be new discoveries of maps stored in other archives, and I believe there are a number of maps that will probably never turn up.

"But it has been an interesting project, following Alexander Caulfield Anderson's life from his early days on the Northwest Coast and at Fraser's Lake -- through the many changes to the fur trade and through his later days at Fort Colvile and Fort Vancouver. In a way, Anderson remained stuck in the fur trader throughout his entire life, and it was his knowledge of the fur trade districts in which he had lived and worked that made him the perfect person to draw all these maps for the new immigrants that were flooding into British Columbia. It was, of course, an interest; but because Anderson proved able to incorporate new information on his old maps, he proved to be a valuable -- if underappreciated -- asset to the new colony.

"So I am sure that Alexander Caulfield Anderson would be the first persona who would courteously and warmly thank you for your appreciation of his maps. And I thank you, too, for your interest in the stories contained in these maps, and hope you have more stories to add to them."

For those of you who want to view all of Anderson's maps in the archives, and perhaps discover how he copied and re-copied them, I will include now a list of maps that I have not spoken of. All of these are simple black and white maps of the finished maps we have discussed.

I also haven't spoken of one map: "Map to accompany road tax assessment roll, Lake and Saanich district," found under number CM/13672B with a copy under CM/13712B. An expert in Saanich history has given the date for this map as 1869.

Northwestern North America, CM/13666C, has a rough copy under CM/13714C -- stored offsite to arrangements must be made to bring it to the archives to view. That is probably true of many of Anderson's maps, so be prepared to stay a few days in Victoria.
Sketch Map of the Upper Columbia..., CM/13662B, has copies: a copy of this map is in Land & Titles, Legal Surveys Vault 25T; but the handwriting is not Anderson's. I also have a copy listed under number CM/B246. Because I haven't seen these maps for years my numbers might not be accurate and you might have to search around a little.
The upper Fraser River map has two copies: Anderson's copy, a rough drawing, is under CM/13702B, while a Royal Engineers' copy is under CM/13705B [Mss. 1912].
Guide Map to the Peace River Mines, CM/13665A, has a copy under CM/A1412.
The Arrowsmith copy of Anderson's Map to the Gold Regions, CM/A78, is under CM/A283. It is not as attractive as Anderson's map.
Some of these maps apparently have copies in Lands and Titles office, but I have not seen them.

Thank you, everyone. For those of you who want to hear me talk a bit more about the history behind these maps, I will be back in Burnaby about May 9th or 10th, to speak in front of that historical group.
I might also be in Steveston (which sounds like a fascinating place to visit) but this is still being arranged.
In April I will be guiding people through the South Saanich cemetery, at St. Stephens Church, where both Alexander Caulfield Anderson, and his wife Betsy, are buried.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Historical Maps Society Talk

I am just finishing off my talk for the Historical Maps Society, and have learned that the meeting is open to the public -- anyone can come. I had thought it was a private group, but not so.
The meeting is held in a boardroom in the Barber Learning Centre, at UBC; the talk can be from three-quarters of an hour to one hour and I see I can actually bring some of my maps with me.
It begins at 7pm. in the evening, Monday Feb. 6 -- tomorrow, in fact.

I am bringing a dozen or so books to sell at the meeting, but if you are unable to come the books are for sale at People's Co-op Bookstore. I will be at the Commercial Avenue/Street branch to sign the copies they have on hand -- this is not a formal event, I will just drop in to do it.

We'll see you tomorrow.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Killing Fish by Explosion"

A good title, and one that is found in the papers of James Robert Anderson, son of Alexander Caulfield Anderson.
Why I am speaking of this now is a long story, and here it is:
When I spoke at Hope last week, two of the attendees were re-enactors for the Royal Engineers.
I had met them previously at Fort Langley, when these flintlock gun enthusiasts -- the Royal Engineers and the Victoria Voltigeurs -- demonstrated their flintlock guns and told us how they worked.
One of these Royal Engineers read my book, and noticed the caption of the picture on page 61.
The picture shows men standing on the fish weir at the outflow of Fraser Lake (with the post in the background); the caption read: "Anderson was amazed to learn that Natives who fished at the salmon weir on Fraser's Lake, shown here, also killed fish by submerging the barrel of a flintlock gun up to the breach in the water and pulling the trigger.
"The resulting explosion stunned the fish, which floated to the surface, and the gun never burst as it would have done if only the muzzle was submerged."

You who are not sportsmen/fishermen would not have paid much attention to this caption -- but this flintlock gun aficionado perked up.
"I was most amused by your anecdote re: the Natives "fishing" with their flintlock guns."
Now the scary sentence .... "I mentioned that to [his contact] suggesting that some of his Trade Gun writers give it a go."

Well, at first I thought it would be interesting to hear how it worked -- then I thought about liability.
What would happen if one of these guys actually attempted this, and in that attempt blew off their hand or face?
The Royal Engineer assured me their guns were far too expensive to blow up for an experiment like this, and finished with a story about shooting fish in a shallow stream with a .22 rifle. "It works! The concussive force made them rise to the surface momentarily, and we were able to grab a few."

I hope that if anyone reads that line and is silly enough to try it with their flintlock gun, that they will do it safely and from a distance -- a la Mythbusters!
Flintlock guns are not toys!

By the way, if anyone of you wants to catch up on my article re: flintlock guns, you will find it in this blog under "Flintlock Guns and Percussion Guns," Sunday, February 7, 2010.
I just about cried when my editor cut this from my manuscript.

This where this caption was sourced -- James heard many of his father's stories, and wrote some of them down.
This is one:
"My father who was for many years situated in the Upper Country in great part of which was then known as New Caledonia in the service of the Hudsons Bay Co. relates how he found the Indians obtaining fish by exploding their guns in the water.
"This was done by submerging the barrel of the gun up to the breach otherwise the gun would certainly burst.
"How the Indians discovered that fish would be stunned by the explosion or that the gun would certainly burst if only the muzzle were immersed, could not be discovered." [Mss. 1912, vol. 13, file 6, BCA]

Anyway, if the Natives were catching fish by exploding their guns in the water, these are the fish they would have caught -- in Alexander Caulfield Anderson's writing.
I leave it up to you to figure out which fresh and salt-water fish he is speaking of....

"As may be surmised from the enormous coast-line, and the great extent of the inland water, the fish of British Columbia enter largely into the consideration of her resources. Of the former the Salmon may be regarded as the chief in place; but as it will require a more extended notice than the rest, I shall first proceed to mention the other varieties frequenting the lakes and rivers. Trout of many different kinds, varieties of Carp and other Cyprindidae; the Methy or Loche; and many others, including that Prince of fresh-water fishes, the White-fish (Coregonus), are generally distributed.

"The varieties of Trout, in the next place, demand attention; and for want of more legitimate nomenclature, they will in most cases be distinguished by the native names, adopting those of the Ta-Cully [Dakelh] of the Upper Fraser, to the writer the more familiar.

"A variety of excellent Trout frequent the upper waters; and the Carp-fishery in Spring is a great resource for the support of the native population. Two varieties of Trout, called by the Carriers [Dakelh] Peet and Sha-pai, are taken in the great lakes.

"Trout differ from each other materially in size and quality; those in the principal lakes are much larger than the varieties found in the smaller. All the different kinds (chiefly varieties of the Salmo Ferox) have distinctive names applied to them by the natives of the Upper District.

"The Peet [Rainbow Trout] is a red-fleshed trout frequenting large lakes, such as Stuarts, and Fraser's. They grow to an great size, frequently weighing between twenty and thirty pounds, and in some positions, I have been assured, weighing as much as forty, though I have never myself seen any so large.

"They are usually caught with hooks baited with a small fish during the season of open water, in the winter or early spring, by making holes in the ice and roofing them over with pine boughs so as to exclude the surface light. In this way the fish, attracted by a lure, is readily detected as it swims below, and the fisherman dexterously spears it. This is a modification merely of the Water-telescope used by the Norwegian fisherman, and tends to show how readily man, in exigency, arrives through different processes at a common end.

"The Sha-pai is another variety, equal in all respects to the first named. It differs, however, in appearance; its skin being studded with light orange-coloured spots and the flesh having a yellowish tint.

"The Peet-yaz or Salmon-trout is of smaller size, resembling generally the ordinary trout caught elsewhere. There are, however, several varieties, differing in size and quality as well as appearance, according to their habitat.

"The Talo-yaz (ie. Little Salmon) is a peculiar variety of Trout, of excellent quality, which is not found in the lakes generally, but is confined to certain lakes of the upper District. They seemed to be very abundant in the Great Okinagan Lake; a sheet of water abounding also in the larger species.

"In addition to the hook and spear, weirs are used for catching the various descriptions of Trout as they enter the rivers from the lakes to spawn. The gill-net, too, set in favorable positions in the shallower places which the fish frequent, is employed for the small varieties. In most of the lakes there is excellent fly-fishing, but the artificial fly and the spoon-bait, which the angler bent on sport would employ, were of course unknown to the native fishermen, whose devices I have mentioned.

"The White-fish (Coregonus Alba of Richardson), by many esteemed the Prince of fresh-water fish, found generally throughout the northern continent, is common to most of the lakes in the upper part of British Columbia (though not common to all). It varies very much in size, and no less in quality, in different localities: a variation arising doubtless from the nature of their food. Those in Upper British Columbia rarely exceed from two to three pounds, but in the large lakes East of the Rocky Mountains they are caught more than twice as large. Thus the fish produced in Fraser Lake, though no larger, are in quality far superior to those of the neighbouring lakes of Stuart; while those of the small lake of Yoka, in the depression of the Coast range between the latter lake and Babine, are superior to both. Far excelling these again are the fish caught in a small lake near Jasper's House on the Athabasca, a little outside of the northern frontier of the Province. Eastward of the mountains it is a staple article of food at the different posts; and though a rich and succulent fish, it has the peculiar quality of not cloying the appetite like the salmon and other fish of a like description. The White-fish is, however, peculiarly a Northern fish; and I question whether it be found in any of the waters of British Columbia south of Alexandria. In the Atlantic waters, it is caught considerably farther to the south.

"The Common Loch (Gallus Barbatula) called also the "Fresh-water Cod," is found commonly in the lakes and rivers of the Central and Upper British Columbia, preferring dull, sluggish streams and the shoaler lakes. Its flesh is highly esteemed by some; and its liver, which appears to be its sole depositary of its fat, yields a fine well flavored oil, equal in all medicinal respects to that of the Sea-Cod, while far less nauseous. A fish, on the whole, of very little mark.

"The Pike (Esox Lucius) common to the eastern waters, is unknown in the western watershed -- and, I need not add, is not regretted. To the above list may be added, as frequenting the waters of Manitoba, the Cat-fish, the Sun-fish, and divers[e] others, some of which are found elsewhere.

"There are immense numbers of Carp of several varieties. These when they enter the rivers to spawn, commencing in April, are caught by means of ingenious weirs and sun-dried in large quantities. The natives dry the roes which, cooked, with berries, afford them an important addition to their summer fare. After the spring fisheries are over the Carp is caught in common with the smaller Trouts, the white-fish, and others, in the gill nets before mentioned -- and thus till the arrival of the Salmon."

I should here interrupt Alexander Caulfield Anderson's writing to let you know that the carp he saw in the Fraser River are not the common carp [cyprinus carpio] that are in the upper Fraser River today. The fish Anderson saw were probably the Northern Pikeminnow, a bone-filled and edible member of the minnow family, or its close cousin, the Large-scaled Sucker.

"Two varieties of Sturgeon are found, one in the waters of Lake Winnipeg, the other a fish of enormous dimensions in the Columbia and the Fraser. The Sturgeon of British Columbia (Acipenser transmonanus of Richardson) differs widely in all respects from the common Sturgeon of the Atlantic (Acipenser Sturio) in size, quality and appearance. This noble fish is common both to the Columbia and Fraser River, but does not by the former stream penetrate to the British Columbia frontier -- interrupted, apparently, by the Kettle Fall at Colvile, near to which point some have been known to reach.

"The fish enters Fraser's River in February, following the shoals of a certain small fish, called by the natives Oola-han, as they resort to the lower parts to spawn. The Western Sturgeon attains an enormous size: in the upper parts of Fraser River about Stuart's and Fraser's Lakes, having been caught weighing as much as seven or eight hundred pounds. I was informed of one caught in Stuarts' Lake, the length of which was fourteen feet; but I never saw one nearly so large. These huge fish, I have reason to believe, do not return to the sea, but finding abundant food in the interior waters continue to dwell and propagate there. I do not, however, give this as an ascertain fact, but as an assumption, inferred chiefly from the following circumstances: --

"1st -- That they are caught until very late in the Autumn, and very early in the spring.

"2nd -- That the young fish (called by the voyageurs "Escargo"), a foot or two in length, are caught occasionally in nets set for other fish early in the summer. These doubtless descend to the sea, even admitting the grown fish to remain.

"3rd -- That Sturgeon of the size mentioned as inhabiting the Upper Lakes are rarely, if ever, caught in the lower Fraser. Be this, however, as it may, the Sturgeon, unlike the Salmon, continues to improve in condition as it ascends; for after the return of the Oola-han to the sea after spawning, the shoals of Salmon begin to ascend, yielding an abundant prey to their gigantic fellow travellers. Caught in the interior, the Sturgeon is extremely fat and, intrinsically a food fish, is on account of its fatness the more highly esteemed by the natives.

"There are several modes of taking the Sturgeon, varying accordingly to the locality. On the Lower Fraser, these fish are caught by the natives in a singular but very effacious manner.

"Two fishermen embark in a canoe; one merely steadying it with his paddle; the other crouched in the bow, provided with a long light rod -- a jointed staff -- which can be lengthened by the additional joints whenever the increased depth of water requires it. At the lower end of the rod a barbed harpoon, attached to a cord, is loosely affixed. The canoe is then suffered to drift down the centre of the channel; the harpooner carefully and constantly sounding so as to keep the point of his implement about a couple of feet from the bottom. The fish, slowly swimming upwards, is detected by the touch; and instantly struck. The rod is at once disengaged, and the fish is hauled in by means of the strong line attached to the harpoon.

"In the Columbia River, this plan is not available. The sturgeon is there caught with set lines, baited with a small fish or, what is better, a piece of Lamprey-eel.

"Throughout the remainder of Fraser River the bait is chiefly used; though in the large eddies strong nets are found very effective. In the shallows at the effluence of Lakes Stuart and Fraser, near which the Hudson's Bay Company's posts are situated, long stake-nets are set during Spring and Summer, by means of which a fish is occasionally caught, the more highly prized for its comparative rarity: for while the Sturgeon grows to larger dimensions in these vicinities, it is very much rarer than in the lower parts of the river. These nets are made, of course, of very strong twine, of the description called Maitres de Rets; and withal are frequently broken by the larger sturgeon. It is, however, a comparatively sluggish fish, and does not exhibit the spirited struggle of the captured salmon.

"A very valuable fish entering Fraser River to spawn in the early spring, is the Thalcicthys (or preferably Osmerus) Richardsonii -- locally known as the Oola-han. I was long under the impression that this fish was a variety of Pilchard (Chupandon Thrissa) peculiar to the Pacific; and am indebted to Dr. Robert Brown, of Edinburgh, formerly in command of the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition, for the correction adopted above.

"The Oola-han is, in the estimation of most people, one of the most delicious products of the sea. Smaller than the Herring, it is of a far more delicate flavor; and so rich that, when dried, it is inflammable -- so much so, indeed, that in Alaska, where it is likewise found, it is I believe called the "Candle-fish."

"The merits of this fish are peculiarly worthy of note both for its delicacy of flavour and the unctuous richness of its flesh. Equal, if not superior to the sardine of Europe, this fish must eventually become of great mercantile value. From the fact of its being strung on long lines for drying by the Chinooks, it was formerly called, by the Voyageurs, Poisson a la Brasse -- or Fathom fish; and under this name, sometimes varied by that of "Anchovy," it is mentioned by Franchere, in his account of the Columbia River, under the name of Outhelekane, from which its present designation is modified. They were formerly very abundant in Spring on the lower Columbia; but suddenly, about the year 1835, none frequented the river. I have  been informed, however, that they have since reappeared, and that there is now a regular supply as formerly.

"The Oola-han does not ascend Fraser River far beyond its mouth. It enters this river, as well as other rivers along the Coast, and especially the Nass near Fort Simpson, in immense shoals at the spawning season in April. It appears in immense shoals, and is caught either with the scoop-net, or, like the Herring on the sea-board, with the rake. This simple device is merely a long light pole, flattened in one direction so as to pass readily through the water, with the edge set towards the lower extremity with a row of sharply pointed teeth. The fisherman, entering the shoal, passes the implement repeatedly through the water, with a rapid stroke, each time transfixing several fish. Thus a copious supply is soon secured.

"Those caught at the mouth of the Nass are of a quality even richer than those of Fraser River. The natives, who assemble there in great numbers in Spring to prosecute the fishery, besides drying them in large quantities, extract from the surplus a fine oil, which is highly prized by them as a luxury, and forms a staple article of barter with the interior tribes. This oil, of a whitish colour, and approaching to the consistency of thin lard, is regarded by those of the faculty who are acquainted with its properties, as equally efficacious with the Cod-liver Oil so commonly prescribed, and it is said to have the great advantage of being far more palatable. With the exception of a few scores of casks salted annually for local sale, and a quantity prepared like the Red-herring, this fish has not yet, I believe, been systematically cured or become an article of exportation. There can be no question, however, than when more widely known and properly prepared, it will be the object of much extraneous demand.

"But we have dwelt sufficiently on them, and must proceed to notice the other products in which these waters are notably prolific. And first of the Herring. This valuable fish resorts in prodigious numbers at the spawning season in early spring, to the bays and inlets of the Gulf of Georgia and elsewhere along the coast. The method by which the natives capture them at this season, mentioned before while treating of the Oola-han, suggests an idea of their scarcely conceivable numbers. In appearance they do not perceptibly differ from the European variety, though rather smaller. At the period in question the quality of these fish is inferior; but when caught during their prime, with the net, on the banks which they permanently frequent, they are, to my conception, fully equal to their congeners of the Atlantic sea-board. This remark applies at least to some of the localities bordering on the Gulf of Georgia; and I fancy is generally true. The spawn, attached to sea-weed or to branches purposely sunk in the shallows for its reception, is gathered in large quantities by the natives, and dried for food.

"The Cod caught in the narrow waters are inferior to the Atlantic fish. There are, however, certain outlying banks upon which they are found abundantly, of a quality, it is said, approaching, if not fully equal to, the last.

"The Halibut attains upon this Coast a very high degree of perfection. On the outer shore of Queen Charlotte's Island, especially, it is found of a very large size; frequently exceeding 100 pounds in weight, and not unseldom, I am assured, of twice that size. Caught with the hook, these fish are dried in large quantities by the natives, especially of the more northerly parts of the Coast.

"To these may be added the Smelt, the Rock-cod, the Flounder, Whiting, and a host of others, with which, in season, the markets of Victoria are constantly supplied -- chiefly through the industry of Italian fishermen, who appear here to enjoy a prescriptive monopoly of the trade. Oysters are very abundant. those dredged near Victoria are of small size, but well flavoured; northward in the vicinity of Comox, a large sample is procured. Of Cockles, Mussels, and other shell-fish there is a copious supply.

"Crabs and prawns are not wanting; but there are no Lobsters, save a small kind found in fresh-water streamlets. Oil-producing fish such as the Ground-shark and the Dog-fish, are common to the whole Coast: the latter so abundant as to give lucrative employment to many fishermen and afford a boundless resource prospectively to others. Of the Phocidae, the Hair-seal is the most numerous; while the fur-seal, the Sea-lion, &c, are found chiefly on the outer shores.

"The Whale fishery has of late attracted much attention, and has been prosecuted with a certain degree of success; though, from want of experience, probably, less than one might have been justified in expecting. On the outer Coast Whales of the larges description are numerous; which, by the native inhabitants, who combine in parties for the purpose, are harpooned and captured by an ingenious process which it is unnecessary here to describe. In the inland waters of the archipelago a variety known as the Humpbacked Whale is very numerous. These yield from 30 to 50 barrels, or more, of oil; and so far have been killed by the whaling-parties with the harpoon-gun and shell. Many wounded victims, however, through some mismanagement of detail/ or perhaps unavoidably under the system, have thus escaped. The system, however, from its assumed wastfulness is, I am informed, declared illegal by the general laws of the Dominion: in which case it will of course be interdicted, and give place to other schemes less liable to objection. On the whole the pursuit of whales in these waters, vigorously prosecuted, with a competent knowledge of the business, will doubtless prove ere long a lucrative and extensive branch of the Provincial industries."

Anderson became the Dominion of Canada's Inspector of Fisheries in 1876, and continued in that position until his death in 1884. His fisheries reports are fascinating reading, filled with facts and descriptions of some of the fisheries. But those I will leave for future reports; you must be satisfied with this listing of fresh and salt water fish for now.