WATSON, Bruce McIntyre




Author Tags: 1800-1850, Early B.C.

Twenty years in the making, Bruce McIntyre's massive, three-volume compendium entitled Lives Lived West of the Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858 has been made available electronically in conjunction with the Centre for Social, Spatial, and Economic Justice, an academic research centre located on the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. It records the lives of more than 3,500 individuals from northern B.C. to southern Oregon.

Jean Barman has clearly acknowledged the importance of the meticulous primary research of the fur trade undertaken by Bruce McIntyre Watson that facilitated the publication of his three-volume Lives Lives West of the Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858. Watson and Barman jointly received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant that facilitated their books on the fur trade. Barman produced the award-winning French Canadians, Furs and Indigenous Women (UBC Press 2014).

According to promotional literature: "The main biographical section (which spans all three volumes) is introduced by chapters on the various groups of people and companies which employed them, as well as a detailed breakdown of the fur trade posts in terms of physical structure and the necessities that the men manufactured within the posts. This is followed by a lengthy narrative on the complex daily realities that the ordinary fur traders experienced, family lives, special events, daily routines, celebrations and holidays, conflicts and resolutions and adjustment to the realities of the inevitable non-fur trade pioneer settlement. Following the extensive biographical entry section is a comprehensive set of appendices detailing all of the fur trade forts and posts and their personnel, the ships servicing the land based fur trade, medical instruments and medicines found at the posts, a sampling of items that individuals ordered in, and a listing of books found in company and private post libraries. Last, showing how the fur traders moved on with their lives, is the post-fur trade settlement patterns on both sides of the international border."

All three volumes of Lives Lived West of the Divide can be ordered at lulu.com.

ALSO:

More than one thousand Hawaiians made the crossing to the Pacific Northwest coast, mainly to mainly work within the fur trade, after Captain Cook reached Hawaii in 1778 and dubbed the place the Sandwich Islands. By the time the United States annexed the Hawaiians’ territory in 1898, their numbers had dropped from 300,000 to 30,000. Some Hawaiians made the sojourn to British Columbia more than once, and many stayed. Jean Barman and Bruce McIntyre Watson of Vancouver have rendered a comprehensive study and catalogue of Hawaiians and Polynesians who reached the mainland in Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787-1898 (University of Hawaii Press, 2006 $45 U.S.). Their summary ranges from the likes of labourer Joe Dwarty who “wracked up his eleventh conviction for being drunk and disorderly in the Victoria area” in 1881, to descendants such as Tamara Dart, of the Naukana and Newanna families, who was crowned Miss Surrey in 1991. 0-8248-2943-3

[BCBW 2010] "Hawaiian"

Review of the author's work by BC Studies:
Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787-1898
Lives Lived West of The Divide: A Biographical Dictionary of Fur Traders Working West of the Rockies, 1793-1858 Volumes 1-3