An Analysis of a Historical Map: The Map of the Gold Regions by James Wyld

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1913 Words
Date:  2022-10-03

Introduction

Created by James Wyld, the map of the gold regions of the Fraser River and the Washington Territory to the western coast of America presents glamorous features. Wyld was a British map-seller and geographer, who is well known for his Wyld's Great Globe. The map was officially issued in the year 1858, and covered relief shown by spot heights and hachures. The map also goes by the name Wyld's new map of the gold fields on the Fraser's River; New Caledonia; and Vancouver's Island, but this name is not as common as the former. Wyld's map covers roads and massive tracks of land, gold deposits, and has shown the boundary between the American and the British territories, which had been settled by the 1846 treaty (Farley 2). The map also covers mineral resources, gold mines, and mining map in British Columbia, Mine Maps, the maps of British Columbia, the map of the Fraser River Valley, Oregon Territory, and Washington States maps.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Precisely, the map describes the British Columbia Gold Rush. The British Columbia experienced two key gold rushes. The first one occurred in the year 1858 on the Fraser River, while the other happened in the Cariboo District in the year 1862 (Mouat 14). The two gold rushes saw the migration of thousands of men, who were accompanied by a few women from areas such as California. In other words, they migrated from California, where the gold rush was nearing its end, to the Vancouver Island area, and in particular, to the land in Esquimalt Harbor. Also, the miners who sailed from California had to obtain licenses to prospect and pan for gold. Therefore, this means that they had to travel to Victoria to get these documents. Equally, the migration made Victoria a service hub and mining center. However, during this period, Fort Victoria was a small city, with only 500 immigrants occupying the southern part of the Vancouver Island. The majority of the immigrants comprised of employees who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as farmers and their families. Following the news of the discovery of gold in the area in early 1858, it only took two months for the population to reach 20, 000 (Mouat 14). Therefore, given the size and infrastructure of the Victoria City, it could not hold the incoming miners; thus it acted as a tent city as individuals camped in the area while purchasing their supplies and mining licenses.

Additionally, much of the emphasis and historical records focused on the gold mining that occurred in British Columbia. However, it is crucial to note that additional mining happened in other areas such as natural gas, copper, silver, oil, and coal. However, the rise of the aforementioned resources can pass in the 1960s, with the advent of the open pit mining technology.

Gold Rush Regions

Therefore, the map covered some regions that were rich in gold and ones that experienced intense mining activities. During the period of the gold rush happening between the years 1858 and 1862, the lower Fraser River welcomed thousands of miners who had come from different areas. As such, the development of settlements around bars such as Mariners, Yankee, Island, Fargo, among others. Additionally, the roadhouses were developed along the Harrison Lillooet route, which grew in popularity before the completion of the Cariboo Wagon Road.

Prospectors during the British Columbia Gold Rush

Among the critical prospectors of the British Columbia Gold Rush include the Chinese people. The Chinese women played a crucial role in the gold rush era, albeit being fewer in number compared to their male counterparts. The majority of women prospectors accompanied their men and family members in searching the British Columbia Rivers. While women played a crucial role during the gold rush era, they were few, and this was one of the critical challenges for the men. Therefore, their smaller number meant that the town had only a few brides. As such, brides were being moved from the neighboring areas and other parts of the world to increase them. This was seen in initiatives such as the Columbia Emigration Society, which aimed at moving young women from England to Cariboo to act as brides for gold miners.

In addition to women prospectors, the gold rush also saw the Chinese prospectors. Amid the Cariboo gold rush, the principal Chinese people group was built up in Canada in Barkerville. However, the separation towards the Asians kept the Chinese from prospecting any place other than on abandoned destinations. Thus, they did not make profits as the white miners. In spite of this separation, the Chinese people group flourished by giving a considerable lot of the expected administrations to the 20,000 miners, who came into the Barkerville district during the 1860s, including working markets and eateries. Nonetheless, during the peak of the gold rush, there were upwards of 5,000 Chinese residing in this region.

Amid both the Fraser and Cariboo gold rush, Chinese settlers arrived in Fortification Victoria, having moved from California to get away from the separation there, and once the gold rush was nearing the end, many remained on. In Victoria, the Chinese begun import organizations and filled in as little dealers, constructing a robust network in the city. The principal Chinatown in Canada was established in Victoria during the 1850s, and before the finish of the 1860s, roughly 7,000 Chinese were residing in the British Columbia area alone.

First Nations during the British Columbia's Gold Rush

In the historical documentation of the British Columbia gold rush of 1858, the First Nations individuals are often overlooked, even though their contribution was significant. For instance, the aboriginal residents of the area were essential to the miners, providing them with goods such as canoes, and other amenities like food and accommodation. Additionally, they offered the prospectors with services such as guides and translators. This was a mutual relationship between the aboriginal inhabitants of the British Columbia area and the miners. The prospectors required local knowledge and access to the goods provided by the aboriginal people.

On the other hand, the aboriginal tribes wanted to develop trade ties with miners. With the increase in the numbers of the prospectors, there was an increase in their local knowledge, which posed a fundamental threat to the previously mutually beneficial relationship shared by Aboriginal people and the miners. With the passage of time, people were discriminated against and intimidated in their native land.

The Role of Major Towns in British Columbia during the Gold Rush

A majority of the towns in British Columbia during the gold rush started as mere shacks that were collected together around the mines. Later, the rising population of miners resulted in the growth of these towns. The miners needed entertainment and supplies, and individuals set up businesses in these areas in forms of saloons, provision houses, and restaurants among others. Also, the establishments provided the miners with additional methods of spending what they were earning in the mines. Therefore, towns such as Barkerville, Camerontown, and Richfield had the business as mentioned earlier establishments that served not only the miners, but also other travelers (Akrigg, GP Philip & Helen 22). Also, the vital role of the towns in British Columbia during the gold rush era was providing miners and travelers with entertainment and supplies required for mining and traveling.

Similarly, the mining resulted in the evolution of other towns Such as Richfield among others. The growth of Richfield led to the establishment of a few saloons, a Roman Catholic Church, a courthouse, and a jail. Additionally, a few branches of the Bank of British Columbia and the Bank of North America had also been opened in this town, serving the miners and living in the British Columbia area. Also, there were several stores, a post office, an express office, as well as a French hotel. Other amenities included the slaughterhouse that catered for the nutritional needs of the miners. However, mining at Richfield was shallow, and soon the miners moved to places such as Barkerville. Barkerville emerged in the year 1862 and was named after Billy Barker. Billy Barker came into contact with gold in on Williams Creek, which made him extremely rich and famous around the area. The town became the most extensive mining city in the era, having a total of 10,000 residents during its peak. It became the primary business community, and this was further boosted by the development of the Cariboo Wagon Road that started at Yale through Barkerville between 1862 and 1864 (Siegel et al., 273). Barkerville had a few restaurants, barber shops, rooming houses, a hotel, Chinese shops, a church, a few doctors' offices, among other facilities. There was also a printing press providing the miners with important news throughout the region.

During the gold rush, cities and towns acted as sources of information from the press, as well as sources of entertainment and supplies. The business facilities developed in these towns provided the miners and travelers and miners with various services such as financial services through banks, news through the printing press, among others. This was the primary role of these towns during the British Columbia gold rush.

Impacts of the Gold Rush on First Nations

The activities of the miners disrupted the conventional ways of the aboriginal tribes. Flocks of cattle and sheep were forced to change their environments because the crowds of men occupied their previous habitats. The miners chopped trees to use for housing and firewood, and for reinforcing tunnels. Mining activities also affected the sources of clean water for the First Nations, and some rivers and creeks were diverted by the miners to use the water in other areas (Tennant 1849). Mining also left huge pits on the ground, which later acted as garbage disposal pits for the towns. The gold rush served to damage the traditional land and ways of life of the indigenous people.

An apparent fact is that the gold rush saw an increase in the number of miners in the traditional territories of First Nations. The aboriginal residents of the area were important to the miners, providing them with goods such as canoes, and other amenities such as food and accommodation (Jorgenson 110). Additionally, they provided the prospectors with services such as guides and translators. This was a mutual relationship between the aboriginal inhabitants of the British Columbia area and the miners. The prospectors required local knowledge and access to the goods provided by the aboriginal people. On the other hand, the indigenous tribes wanted to develop trade ties with miners. With the increase in the numbers of the prospectors, there was an increase in their local knowledge, which posed a fundamental threat to the previously mutually beneficial relationship shared by Aboriginal people and the miners.

Also, with the passage of time, First Nations people were discriminated against and intimidated in their native land. Additionally, the miners did not take into consideration the fact that they were destroying the natural habitat of the First Nations. The miners ensured that they exhausted the natural resources within an area, which meant that only a few were left for the First Nations. While some individuals from aboriginal tribes attempted to join the mining practices, they were discouraged by the prospectors due to the fear of competition (Harris 76). To that end, it is safe to say that among the impacts of the gold rush on the First Nations included destruction in their natural habitats and traditional land, and the introduction of gold mining to the aboriginal tribes.

Contributions of the Gold Rush to the Development of Canada

As mentioned, British Columbia had two gold rushes. The fi...

Cite this page

An Analysis of a Historical Map: The Map of the Gold Regions by James Wyld. (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/an-analysis-of-a-historical-map-the-map-of-the-gold-regions-by-james-wyld

logo_disclaimer
Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism