The Imaginary Plank Houses of Henry Warre

By Grant Keddie.  2013. Introduction Captain Henry Warre, while on a spy mission for the British Government, painted a detailed water-color that shows the view looking north along the west side of Fort Victoria ( Figure 1). The image, painted on September 27, 1845, shows at least four traditional style First Nations plank houses adjacent to the Fort. The presence of these more permanent style plank houses has caused some confusion in the placing of various First Nations villages or encampments. Other images of Fort Victoria drawn or painted around the same time period clearly show that these plank houses did not exist. Based on the available evidence it is clear that the plank houses painted by Henry Warre in … Continue reading “The Imaginary Plank Houses of Henry Warre”

Paul Kane Sketch Brought to Life at the Royal BC Museum

September 14, 2017. By Grant Keddie In the 1970s, I was aware of an old lantern slide in the Royal BC Museum ethnology collection that I later identified as a Songhees First Nation. I based my information on the original field portrait catalogue of Paul Kane – created when he was at Fort Victoria in 1847 (Harper 1971:315-317). I did not know at the time the original sketch was missing, and this seemed to be the only image of it. Figure 1, is No. 46 in Paul Kane’s portrait log: “Ska-tel-san – a Samas Tillicum with a (grass) hat that is much worn here south of de Fuca”, and in his Exhibition of 1848 he is listed as: “124 Sca-tel-son … Continue reading “Paul Kane Sketch Brought to Life at the Royal BC Museum”