Current Interest

Barry Gough

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Enjoy Dr. Gough's Podcast             


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Barry Gough, the distinguished historian, has embarked on an enthralling voyage of historical exploration with his captivating podcasts, which are available on his website. The inaugural series of these podcasts delves deep into the life and legacy of Richard Blanshard, the inaugural Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island. Gough's storytelling prowess and meticulous research skills bring history to life, offering listeners a front-row seat to the intriguing tales of the past. With his expert guidance, audiences are transported back in time to witness the challenges and triumphs of Vancouver Island's early colonial days. These podcasts serve as a captivating gateway into the rich history of the region, making them a must-listen for history enthusiasts and anyone eager to uncover the remarkable stories that have shaped our world.

Podcast Series - Hosted by Dr. Barry Gough

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Richard Blanshard's role in the history of British Columbia is significant, as he was the first Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island, a position he held from 1849 to 1851. His tenure was marked by a challenging and often contentious relationship with James Douglas and the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). Blanshard's appointment as governor came at a crucial time when the British Crown was trying to assert its authority in the Pacific Northwest. However, his authority was limited in practice, as the HBC, under James Douglas's leadership, held substantial power and influence in the region. The HBC had established trading posts and settlements throughout the area, and they effectively controlled many aspects of colonial life, from trade to governance.

Blanshard's struggles with Douglas and the HBC primarily revolved around the issue of governance and control. Blanshard sought to assert British governmental authority over the colony, but he often found himself at odds with Douglas, who was both the Chief Factor of the HBC and the Colony's Chief Executive Officer. Douglas, loyal to the HBC's interests, often disregarded or resisted Blanshard's directives, creating a situation of dual authority and friction.

Ultimately, Blanshard's efforts to assert British control were unsuccessful, and he faced numerous challenges, including a lack of resources, support, and an increasingly tense relationship with Douglas and the HBC. In 1851, Blanshard resigned from his position as governor, and James Douglas continued to play a prominent role in the governance of Vancouver Island, later becoming the first governor of the united colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.

Richard Blanshard's struggles highlight the complex power dynamics and conflicts that shaped the early history of British Columbia. His tenure as the first governor serves as a pivotal moment in the region's history, as it marked the beginning of British efforts to establish formal colonial control, eventually leading to the development of the province of British Columbia as we know it today.

In the world of historical exploration and the forging of new frontiers, the names Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser shine as beacons of courage and vision. Dr. Barry Gough, a distinguished historian and prolific podcaster, has embarked on a remarkable journey to shed light on the profound significance of these two early fur traders and explorers in the rich tapestry of British Columbia's history. In two outstanding podcasts, Dr. Gough delves into the lives and expeditions of Mackenzie and Fraser, unraveling their roles in shaping the destiny of this magnificent region.

Podcast 1: Alexander Mackenzie - The Path to the Pacific

In "Alexander Mackenzie - The Path to the Pacific," Dr. Barry Gough takes his listeners on a captivating voyage through the life and exploits of one of Canada's most remarkable explorers. Mackenzie's name is synonymous with the first recorded transcontinental crossing of North America north of Mexico, a feat he accomplished in 1793. Dr. Gough paints a vivid picture of Mackenzie's daunting journey, as he ventured westward in search of a route to the Pacific Ocean.

As Dr. Gough narrates Mackenzie's odyssey, he highlights the sheer determination that fueled this intrepid explorer. He faced the relentless challenges of rugged terrain, uncharted waters, and harsh weather conditions, all in pursuit of a dream to open up new trade routes and establish a path to the riches of the Pacific coast. This pioneering spirit not only shaped Mackenzie's legacy but also laid the foundation for the development of British Columbia as we know it today.

Dr. Gough's meticulous research and passionate storytelling bring to life the trials and triumphs of Alexander Mackenzie, making this podcast a must-listen for anyone eager to explore the roots of British Columbia's history.

Podcast 2: Simon Fraser - The River of Destiny

In "Simon Fraser - The River of Destiny," Dr. Barry Gough takes his audience on another enthralling historical expedition, this time focusing on the indomitable Simon Fraser. Fraser's name is forever etched in the annals of Canadian exploration for his perilous descent of the Fraser River in 1808, a journey fraught with treacherous rapids, uncharted wilderness, and the constant threat of danger.

Dr. Gough expertly weaves together the threads of Simon Fraser's life, emphasizing his pivotal role in the fur trade and the development of British Columbia. Fraser's courageous navigation of the wild waters of the Fraser River not only solidified his place in history but also opened up new trade routes and opportunities for settlement in the region.

Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Dr. Gough unveils the legacy of Simon Fraser, showcasing the profound impact of his adventures on the cultural and economic landscape of British Columbia. This podcast is a testament to Fraser's unwavering determination and his integral role in the early history of this majestic province.

In conclusion, Dr. Barry Gough's podcasts on Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser offer a captivating exploration of the lives and contributions of two outstanding fur traders and explorers. Through his meticulous research and engaging storytelling, Dr. Gough underscores the enduring importance of Mackenzie and Fraser in shaping the history and destiny of British Columbia. These podcasts serve as a valuable resource for history enthusiasts and anyone eager to uncover the captivating tales of Canada's pioneering spirit.

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The development of railways in British Columbia (BC) had a profound influence on its commercial and political landscapes. When BC contemplated joining the Canadian Confederation in 1871, a pivotal promise was the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). This commitment was not just about connectivity; it was a strategic move to stimulate trade, migration, and investment. Once completed in 1885, the CPR transformed BC's commercial landscape. It enabled the efficient movement of goods—especially lumber, coal, and minerals—from BC's interior to major ports like Vancouver, linking them to global markets. Vancouver's rise as a major Pacific port and its subsequent growth into a commercial hub can be directly attributed to its position as the CPR's terminus. Politically, this rail integration reinforced BC's role within the Canadian federation and was a testament to the federal government's commitment to knitting together the vast Canadian landscape. Moreover, while the railway ushered in economic opportunities, it also introduced political challenges, such as addressing the significant contributions and subsequent injustices faced by Chinese laborers during the railway's construction. In essence, BC's railways were instrumental in sculpting the province's commercial prominence and its intricate dance with Canadian politics.

Set against the stunning backdrop of British Columbia's rugged landscapes, our upcoming podcast series traces the intricate web of roads, bridges, and maritime vessels that have interconnected this vast province. Each episode dives deep into the engineering marvels, the human tales of ambition and adversity, and the political maneuvers behind BC's infrastructural evolution. From the ambitious Cariboo Wagon Road that opened up the province's interior during the gold rush, to the iconic Lions Gate Bridge that spans Vancouver's Burrard Inlet, and the storied history of the coastal ferries navigating the treacherous waters of the Pacific Northwest, this series offers listeners a captivating journey through time. Weaving tales of innovation, resilience, and visionary foresight, the podcast unveils how these monumental projects not only shaped British Columbia's physical terrain but also its socio-economic and cultural fabric, uniting communities and catalyzing growth across this magnificent westernmost province.

People - Coming

The upcoming podcast series delves deep into the tapestry of British Columbia's history, spotlighting the influential figures who shaped its legacy. From indigenous leaders who stewarded the land long before European contact to pioneering settlers, visionaries, politicians, and activists, each episode unravels the intricate narratives of these remarkable individuals. As listeners journey through each installment, they will discover the tenacity of Nellie Yip Quong, the diplomatic acumen of Chief Dan George, and the transformative politics of figures like W.A.C. Bennett. This series isn't just a recount of dates and events; it's an immersive experience into the lives of those who crafted the rich mosaic of British Columbia's past. It's a testament to the indomitable spirit and diverse heritage of BC, told through the stories of its most impactful denizens.

Governors - Coming

BC Issues - Coming