Article ID: CBB001211516

The Hudson's Bay Company as a Context for Science in the Columbia Department (2008)


Schefke, Brian (Author)

Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Volume: 31
Pages: 67--84

Publication Date: 2008
Edition Details: Part of a special issue, “Natural Science in the New World: The Descriptive Enterprise”
Language: English

This article aims to elucidate and analyze the links between science, specifically natural history, and the imperialist project in what is now the northwestern United States and western Canada. Imperialism in this region found its expression through institutions such as the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC). I examine the activities of naturalists such as David Douglas and William Tolmie Fraser in the context of the fur trade in the Columbia Department. Here I show how natural history aided Britain in achieving its economic and political goals in the region. The key to this interpretation is to extend the role of the HBC as an imperial factor to encompass its role as a patron for natural history. This gives a better understanding of the ways in which imperialism---construed as mercantile, rather than military---delineated research priorities and activities of the naturalists who worked in the Columbia Department.


Description On the 19th-century naturalists David Douglas and William Fraser Tolmie.

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Article Dickenson, Victoria; Heaman, Elsbeth (2008) Introduction. Natural Science in the New World: The Descriptive Enterprise. Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine (p. 1). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Lamm, Kimberly
Colnett, James
Galois, Robert
Prince, Sue Ann
Schefke, Brian
Porter, Charlotte M.
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Archives of Natural History
American Quarterly
Museum History Journal
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
University of Virginia Press
University of British Columbia Press
American Philosophical Society
Berghahn Books
Sasquatch Books
UBC Press
Natural history
Travel; exploration
Collectors and collecting
Fur trade
Correspondence and corresponding
Douglas, David
Jefferson, Thomas
Humboldt, Alexander von
Lewis, Meriwether
Clark, William
Colnett, James
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
17th century
20th century, early
North America
Great Britain
United States
Hudson Bay (North America)
Pacific Northwest (North America)
Hudson's Bay Company
American Philosophical Society
Smithsonian Institution

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