By Daniel W. Clayton
This article experiences encounters through explorers, investors, and politicians with the territory and local humans of Vancouver Island. It questions premises underlying a lot of BC ancient writing, arguing that overseas literature bargains extra fruitful methods of framing neighborhood old reports.
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Extra resources for Islands of Truth: The Imperial Fashioning of Vancouver Island
Chief ITkwisktcik was the first to go up, and others followed. They exchanged their cedar bark mats and returned to the village to get more blankets. When they returned, the Whites wanted to trade clothes but the Natives were not interested because they did not know how to wear them. They wanted iron spikes to make hooks. Back at the village, the chief wanted to know if any one had had a bad dream about the ship. When they said they had not, it was surmised that the ship was not a bad spirit.
Firearms were to be used as sparingly as possible. This made logistical sense to both the Admiralty and the Royal Society. On these long voyages, Cook could not afford to lose men and supplies in skirmishes, and hostilities that drove his ships offshore would hinder scientific study. Trade was the preferred means of securing supplies and artefacts from Native peoples and was deemed an important way of breaking down language barriers. It also brought Native peoples within close range of Cook's artists and scientists.
In fact, Cook's contemporaries did not try to hide these imperial undercurrents. 33 He followed his instructions, and commentators thought he fulfilled his scientific-humanitarian mandate. He did not wield British power so much as an enlightened world view - a new curiosity about the world and tolerance of other peoples. C. Beaglehole, who re-edited Cook's journals for the Hakluyt Society of London. 34 Beaglehole saw Cook as an Enlightenment figure: as a sailor of humble origins who broke out of the shackles of speculation and tradition and developed a self-conscious attitude towards observation, description, and interaction.