Vancouver's Voyage: Charting the Northwest Coast


131 pages
Contains Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55054-023-8
DDC 917.11'04'2





Photos by Gary Fiegehen
Reviewed by Barry M. Gough

Barry M. Gough is a history professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and
author of The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade, and
Discoveries to 1812.


This celebratory work was published on the approximate occasion of the
200th anniversary of Captain George Vancouver’s voyage to the coast of
British Columbia and adjacent waters. Vancouver has acquired a
fundamental position in Pacific history, and his role in B.C. affairs
has been accorded heroic status in this book. Sent from England on a
mission for which he was given inadequate initial instructions,
Vancouver had to work out with his Spanish counterpart, Bodega y Quadra,
a modus vivendi that did not reinstate the British Empire at Nootka
Sound, but did give Britain a right to trade and claims to territory
equal to that enjoyed by imperial Spain.

The nicely reproduced illustrations of the era are complemented by
those of the author and Gary Fiegehen. Although it has the appearance of
being a coffee-table book in miniature, the book is solidly researched
and documented. Even Native claims that Vancouver encroached on their
reserves and was in the vanguard of imperial influence and disease
cannot take away from his considerable achievements, which are
effectively portrayed here. Recommended.


Fisher, Robin., “Vancouver's Voyage: Charting the Northwest Coast,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,