Gold Rushes in the Pacific Northwest

Partitioning the North Pacific

the Arctic 1862.0719

Gold Rushes in the Pacific Northwest

Alaska Purchase, Rupert's Land Act, Amur, Opening of Japan (19 July 1862)

Historical Map of the Arctic & the Far North

For some time after the Oregon Treaty, Britain's naval base on Vancouver Island was its only major presence in the Pacific Northwest. However in the late 1850s multiple gold strikes began drawing large numbers of prospectors from the United States to the region. In an attempt to maintain control of this influx and preempt any secessionist movements, the British announced the new colonies of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, and the Stickeen Territories. Of the three, only British Columbia was really viable and soon absorbed both the other two and Vancouver Island.

Main Events

Acquistion of Primorye

At the Russo-Chinese Convention of Peking, the Chinese Empire ratified the Treaty of Tientsin and ceded all land north of the Amur (Priamurye) and east of the Ussuri (Primorye) to the Russian Empire.

Secession of South Carolina

On 9 November 1860 the South Carolina General Assembly passed a "Resolution to Call the Election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. President a Hostile Act" and stated its intention to declare secession from the United States. The following month, on 20 December, South Carolina declared its secession from the Union as the "Republic of South Carolina", becoming the first of the slave states to secede.

Cariboo Gold Rush

Gold was discovered in the Colony of British Columbia at Hills Bar in 1858, on the Horsefly River in 1859, followed by more on Keithley Creek and Antler Creek in 1860. When these discoveries were widely publicized in 1861, a gold rush was triggered, with a massive influx of people into British Columbia, leading to the founding of several towns, such as Barkerville.

Stikine Gold Rush

Alexander "Buck" Choquette discovered gold on the Stikine River, in what was then part of North-Western Territory (but now part of British Columbia, Canada), leading to the short-lived Stikine Gold Rush.

Stickeen Territories

The British detached the new Stickeen Territories from the North-Western Territory in the wake of the Stikine Gold Rush to better control incoming miners. The territories existed for only a year before they were added to British Columbia.

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