Photography was in its early stages in the mid-1850s when the Fraser River gold rush broke out. Amongst the hordes of goldseekers who ventured to the Fraser River and the Cariboo were some who stopped at photographic galleries to have their ‘likeness’ taken. This was not a spontaneous process but an art in itself; a photographer like Louis A. Blanc would have taken quite some time to arrange the backdrops, set the subjects at ease and after the plates were exposed, carefully printed images onto paper.
I drew from these old photographs and compiled a selection of biographies for my upcoming book, Portraits of the BC Gold Rush.
As the historian Thomas Carlyle wrote, “history is the essence of innumerable biographies.”
Within the stories of these men and women—miners, merchants, express carriers, brewers, and boarding-house keepers—are the historical events that forever changed British Columbia.