MACDONALD, Duncan George Forbes




Author Tags: 1850-1900, Early B.C.

"It is highly censurable, cruel and unjust... to induce the sons and daughters of the mother country to migrate to these distant shores..." -- D.G.F. Macdonald

Duncan George Forbes Macdonald was a rarity--someone who wrote a 524-page book advising would-be immigrants NOT to go to British Columbia. He dismissed the area as an "inhospitable wilderness" and "England's Siberia." MacDonald was an agricultural engineer who served as one of the commissioners to adjust the Northwest boundary line. Unimpressed by colonial officials, he railed against their "irresponsible autocracy." He included a Chinook-English dictionary in his book and the comments, "It is highly censurable, cruel and unjust... to induce the sons and daughters of the mother country to migrate to these distant shores..." His 1862 book was reprinted in 1863. A lecture he gave at the Royal United Services Institute on March 27, 1863 about Vancouver's Island and British Columbia was printed by the same firm that had published his book. He was born in approximately 1823 and he died in 1884.

BOOKS:

British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, Comprising A Description Of These Dependencies: Their Physical Character, Climate, Capabilities, Population, Trade, Natural History, Geology, Ethnology, Goldfields, And Future Prospects; Also An Account Of The Manners And Customs Of The Native Indians (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1862)

[BCBW 2004] "Early B.C." "1850-1900"