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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Overland from Canada to British Columbia

By Mr. Thomas McMicking of Queenston, Canada West

Spurred on by reports of gold in the Cariboo, adventurers from all over the world descended on British Columbia in the mid-1800s. Among them were ambitious easterners who accepted the challenge of the shorter but more arduous overland route across the prairies and the Rockies. One such man determined to find his fortune in the West was Thomas McMicking – destined to lead the largest and best organized group of “Overlanders” into British Columbia. His record of their epic journey is a valuable historical document that possesses the universal appeal of an adventure story. McMicking presents a vivid image of the hardships of the overland route, the dangers, both real and imagined – like the apparently threatening Plains Indians who turned out to be “our best friends” – facts about important officials and settlements, and scientific observations of the physical environment. But this is also a very human document that describes a journey of self-discovery revealing a sensitive man’s encounter with a bountiful and beautiful yet hostile and alien land.

Table of Contents




William G.R. Hind: The “Expedition Artist”

A Note on the Text

McMicking’s Journal: Overland from Canada


1 A Note on the McMicking Family

2 A Note on the Trail


Selected Bibliography


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