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Module 13

Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Colonial British Columbia

Lynne Marks

During the colonial period, from 1849-1871, B.C. more closely resembled other British frontier settler colonies than it did much of the rest of British North America. In this module Adele Perry discusses how the scarcity of white women in the colony led to the identification of two major ‘social problems’ among colonial promoters: a rough homosocial male culture of the backwoods, as well as frequent intermarriages between white men and First Nations women. The documents, which present eye-witness accounts from a working-class gold miner, an upper class Anglican woman, a naval officer and a local minister, reveal different perceptions of these and other ‘social problems’ in the West Beyond the West.

Primary sources:

  1. Text: Matthew Macfie, The Far Western Frontier: Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Their History, Resources and Prospects (1865)
  2. Text: Richard Arthur Preston (ed.) For Friends at Home: A Scottish Emigrants Letters From Canada, California, and the Cariboo (published 1974)
  3. Text: Allan Pritchard, ed., Vancouver Island Letts of Edmund Hope Verney, 1862-65 (published 1996)
  4. Text: The British Colonist, September 19, 1862.
  5. Text: Lady Franklin Visits the Pacific Northwest: Being Extracts from the Letters of Miss Sophia Cracroft, Sir John Franklin's Niece (February to April 1861 and April to July 1870)
  6. Photograph: Male household in the backwoods. (c. 1865)
  7. Photograph: Evening at a wayside house. (c. 1862-3)
  8. Photograph: Lekwammen group (1858)
  9. Photograph: Lekwammen people in Victorian Dress (1868)
  10. Photograph: Sir James Douglas and Amelia Connolly Douglas (c. 1863 and c. 1862)

Secondary sources:

  1. Adele Perry. On The Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871 (2001)

Introduction

List of Modules -- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50