Unlike the CARIBOO GOLD RUSH (1860-63), which attracted many Canadians, the Fraser Rush was an extension of California MINING society. Yale, formerly a Hudson's Bay Co post, was quickly transformed into a cultural centre typical of 1850s San Francisco.
The richest discoveries of fine flour gold occurred between Hope and Yale in the FRASER RIVER CANYON. This region was controlled by Americans who provoked conflicts between whites and aboriginals prior to the assertion of British sovereignty from the adjacent colony of Vancouver Island. All aboriginal lands of southern BC were invaded by large companies of miners that triggered the Indian Wars of Washington and Oregon, and by extension the Fraser River War of 1858.
Through diverse overland and maritime routes north, it was this rush that broke the back of full-scale aboriginal resistance, particularly among the CENTRAL COAST SALISH, Interior SALISH and southern populations of the CHILCOTIN. Above Yale waterfalls and steep canyons prevented steamers from further ascending the Fraser River. Miners excluded from the dominant culture in the lower Fraser, such as the CHINESE, Chileans, Hawaiians and other ethnic groups, established diggings beyond Yale.
Author DANIEL P. MARSHALL
Links to Other Sites
Colourful Characters in Historic Yale
Learn about the colourful characters who created the historic town of Yale, BC. This nicely illustrated online exhibit is from the Virtual Museum of Canada.
An overview of the major issues and events leading up to British Columbia's entry into Confederation. Includes biographies of prominent personalities, old photos and related archival material. From Library and Archives Canada.
The Fraser River Gold Rush and the Victoria Newspaper Boom
A virtual display about pioneering newspapers in Victoria, British Columbia. Features a historical overview, digitized archival documents, and a PowerPoint presentation. Includes details about early BC printing presses.
Miners at Work
An informative site about the life and times of the miners seeking their fortune in British Columbia in the gold rushes of 1858 through the 1860's. A Government of British Columbia website.
Attitudes Toward Chinese Immigrants to British Columbia 1858-1885
Download a copy of a thesis about the widespread discrimination suffered by Chinese immigrants in BC during the late 19th century. From Simon Fraser University.
Fraser River War Symposium shines light on shadowy chapter in B.C. history
This symposium website provides a brief history of the Fraser River War and its lasting legacy. See also links to related articles on the right side menu. From the New Pathways to Gold Society.
A Biographical Examination of Chief Emmitt Liquitum
A study of the interaction between First Nations communities in the Fraser Canyon and and the impact of the arrival of miners and other pioneers in the 19th century. From the University of Victoria.
Canyon War: The Untold Story
A brief synopsis of "Canyon War: The Untold Story," the award-winning documentary about a series of bloody skirmishes in 1858 between gold prospectors and First Nations peoples in British Columbia.
Archival Research on the Traditional Use and Occupation of (First Nations lands in British Columbia)
A review of archival material documenting the history of First Nations communities in British Columbia and their early encounters with European settlers.