The Journey: The Overlanders' Quest for Gold


235 pages
ISBN 0-920663-83-4
DDC C813'.6




Reviewed by Norman P. Goldman

Norman P. Goldman is a retired Civil Law Notaire (Notary) who also
specializes in Montreal history and culture.


In 1862, a group of pre-Confederation Canadian pioneers nicknamed “The
Overlanders” traveled from Eastern Canada and points west to the
Caribou in a quest for gold and a better life. These brave souls played
a vital role in the opening up and settling of Western Canada.

Bill Gallaher’s fictional treatment of this fascinating journey
focuses on a memorable assortment of characters, including the only
woman to participate, Catherine Schubert, and her husband and three
children. Among the other travelers are the narrow-minded, anti-Catholic
James Sellar, whose “boundless enthusiasm and energy were an annoyance
to many people during the initial stages of the journey, particularly
his drive to be the first to move out every morning and therefore have
his pick of campsites at night,” and Thomas McMicking, whose
leadership, good judgment, fairness, and intelligence were instrumental
in keeping the group working reasonably well together.

Gallaher divides the grand journey into five roads: Fort Garry, Fort
Edmonton, Tкte Jaune Cache, Cariboo, and Fort Kamloops. His fast-paced
and gripping account of the journey admirably contradicts the notion
that Canadian history is boring. An epilogue provides the reader with a
factual account of what eventually happened to the book’s principal
characters, as well as many of the minor players.


Gallaher, Bill., “The Journey: The Overlanders' Quest for Gold,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 28, 2022,