Simon Fraser’s expedition nearly dissolved into mutiny. It wasn’t long before the voyageurs came to the conclusion that this route wasn’t the best one after all. The river was so treacherous that their birchbark canoes were falling apart.
The voyageurs weren’t pleased at the prospect of carrying everything on their backs and borrowing canoes from the Native tribes they encountered along the way.
As Fraser’s expedition progressed down the river the Carrier and Secwapmec people warned him that the river he was following could not be navigated by canoe. Fraser, however, did not believe them.
If Fraser had listened to them, he would have learned that the best way to the coast was to follow Seton and Anderson Lakes from the junction of the Fraser River and Seton River, to the portage at Pemberton and then to follow the Lillooet and Harrison Rivers south to the coast. This route was the one that the Stat’imc had used to trade with coastal Ucwalmicw for centuries.
But Simon Fraser pressed on to a village called Camchin, at the confluence of two great rivers. This was the site of the future gold rush town of Lytton.
Below is the second page from my graphic novel that I’m working on, Cartoon Introduction to the Fraser River Gold Rush.