Vancouver Island in the Empire
During the century 1850-1950, Vancouver Island attracted Imperial officers, civil servants, medical officers, businessmen, and others from India, the British Isles, and elsewhere in the Empire. Victoria was the main British port on the northwest Pacific Coast for forty years before the city of Vancouver was founded in 1886 to be the coastal terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. These two coastal cities were historically and geographically different, as well as seventy miles apart. The Island and British Columbia were combined in 1866 and joined Canada in 1871. Thirty-five years later, the Royal Navy withdrew from its Esquimalt station, but the Island communities did not lose their Imperial character until the 1950s. J. F. Bosher's first ancestor on Vancouver Island was Sarah Taylor Marsden (1833-1916), who sailed 14,300 miles from Liverpool around Cape Horn in the "Bride Ship" Robert Lowe, arriving in Victoria in January 1863. The author's father emigrated from Berkshire in 1920 and became an inspector of commercial bulb crops for the Dominion Experimental Station in Saanich. After a Diplome d'Etudes superieures at the Sorbonne and a Ph.D. at London University, the author taught history at King's College London, the University of British Columbia, Cornell University, and York University in Toronto."
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