Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest by Gough Barr

By Gough Barr

Gunboat Frontier provides a clean and diversified interpretation of Indian-white relatives in nineteenth-century British Columbia. it focuses for the 1st time intimately at the interplay of West Coast Indians with British legislation and authority. This authority was once exercised by means of officials, seamen, marines, and ships of the Royal army on behalf of the colonail executive sof Vancouver Island and British Columbia, and, after 1871, of Canada.

The publication comprises new ancient facts supplied via the Admiralty Papers--possibly the final, hitherto unused, significant records approximately nineteenth-century Northwest Coast Indian lifestyles. Drawing on those and different governmental and archival documents and a variety of secondary assets, the writer chronicles encounters among the Royal army and the Indians over missions, piracies, local slavery, liquor trafficking, and crims opposed to people and estate, resulting in the final situations of "gunboat international relations" used opposed to Northwest Coast Indians within the past due 1880’s.

Publication of Gunboat Frontier will whole an enormous trilogy by way of one in every of Canada’s preferable historians of teh maritime historical past of British Columbia and family among Imperial governments and the west coast of North the US. past spouse volumes are far away Dominion (1980) and The Royal military and the Northwest Coast of North the USA, 1810-1914 (1971).

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Extra resources for Gunboat Frontier: British Maritime Authority and Northwest Coast Indians, 1846-1890

Sample text

D W E L L E R S A L O N G THE SHORE ÏJ Their général Indian policy of fair but firm dealings had thé Colonial Office's tacit support in an era when cries were coming from certain public quarters that aboriginal interests were or might be threatened by thé growth of white settlement and trade. London sought to avoid a répétition of thé violent American frontier expérience and trusted to thé good sensé of thé Bay traders, ail thé while keeping a close watch on any affairs of Rupert's Land and Oregon that might corne to thé public's attention.

To terrorize natives and burn villages thé British found rockets which could be fired from thèse boats particularly handy. Most of Her Majesty's ships carried well-drilled Royal Marines who were sent ashore with sailors for limited periods. They were always well equipped with rifles and small arms. Sometimes they took howitzers and other field pièces when terrain, végétation, and weather permitted. The steady rise of industrialization and thé need for fast gunboats capable of manoeuvering in shallow, protected waters during thé Crimean War, 1854-56, affected white-Indian maritime encounters on thé Northwest Coast.

By 1868, when thé boilers of thé Forward and Grappler were beyond repair, thé ships were sold and replaced with thé two gunvessels Boxer and Rocket, whose mobility, speed, and gunpower were superior to thé gunboats. S. " Thèse were not thé only ships in Her Majesty's fleet to be used on thé coast against thé Indians. 4 But because of their availability, size and mobility, gunboats and gunvessels were thé warships most commonly seen in thé waters adjacent to native villages and encampments. Their psychological impact on Indians was sometimes, but not always, immense.

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