To the Charlottes: George Dawson's 1878 Survey of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Published by: UBC Press
Imprint: UBC Press
Sales Date: 2007-10-01
Published: October 2007
222 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
ISBN: 9780774853712Add to Wishlist
Haida-Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) were still relatively untouched by European exploration when, in the summer of 1878, a young geologist name George Dawson arrived there on behalf of the Geological Survey of Canada. Separated from the mainland by many kilometres of water, the islands had retained a distinct ecological and cultural envionment that reflected millennia of isolation. They were, at the time that Dawson visited them, home to many rare species of plants and animals as well as to the unique culture of the Haida people.
One of the most remarkable scientists and explorers of his time, Dawson drew maps, collected fossil, plant and insect specimens, and investigated the ethnology of the Native people. His interest in Native culture is readily apparent in his personal reports and private journals, and he collected artifacts and took photographs which are well known for their early depictions of Haida villages and architecture. Yet what is most amazing is that he accomplished all this despite being physically challenged by the debilitating effects of a childhood illness.
This edition of Dawson's 1878 exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands includes a reprint of Dawson's report, On the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands, as well as numerous photographs taken by Dawson during his explorations. The text of the 1878 journal is meticulously annotated by editors Cole and Lockner, who also provide an informative introduction which includes biographical, scientific, and ethnological details.
George Dawson's 1878 Journal On the Haida Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands
Remarkable photographs of villages, poles, and canoes allow us to revert to 1878, if only to imagine what life was like in that time and place. Dawson's journal is meticulously edited and contains useful signposts for future scholars Barry Gough, Canadian Historical Review
It is a pleasure indeed to welcome this splendidly edited volume on George Dawson's 1878 survey of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Professors Cole and Lockner's short but highly informative introduction is complemented by almost forty pages of notes--bibliographical, biographical, and historical. Students, scholars, and the general public are in their debt for these fine contributions to the history of British Columbia. James Scott, The American Review of Canadian Studies