Fort Rupert, Beaver Harbour, Vancouver's Island, July 23rd 1851 [Canada]
Mounted in album with PAI4605-PAI4663, PAI4665-PAI4670.; No.57. No. 57 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849-1852. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. Fort Rupert was a former Hudson's Bay Company fort, built in 1849 on the south-east side of Beaver Harbour, itself in north-east Vancouver Island opening into the Vancouver Sound, south of present-day Port Hardy. The view here is approximately south-east, with the sound to the left and the fort on the right. Fanshawe's 'Daphne' reached Beaver Harbour after sailing from Esquimalt Harbour on 3 July and lay there from the 10th to the 30th, when he sailed back to the Victoria settlement (next to Esquimalt), now the capital . His mission at Fort Rupert was to punish a local Indian tribe for the murder of an Englishman. A party sent ashore under Lieutenant Lacy sighted the culprits and 'probably inflicted some loss, but could not get to close quarters, as they had taken refuge in inaccessible country'. While 'Daphne' was there, party of Indians living by the fort also waylaid and murdered a fishing canoe of men, women and children from a harmless neighbouring tribe with whom they had a feud, and then flaunted their scalps at some of Fanshawe's officers who happened to walk through their village. Fanshawe greatly blamed the Hudson's Bay Company regime: he considered its officials 'autocratic and domineering' and that the 'company's policy had been, and continued to be, adverse to progress and civilisation in the country dominated by them. It was in the interest of their fur trade to keep the country wild and the natives ignorant and savage, and other considerations did not appear to have influenced them' :see Fanshawe (1904), pp. 269 - 72. The Company unsuccessfully attempted to exploit a local coal seam in 1851-52 but then gave up and moved its operation to Nanaimo. Modern Fort Rupert is an historic Kwakwaka'wakw village of the local Kwagu'? (Kwagyewlth or Kwakiutl) subgroup, specializing in traditional indigenous crafts. Indian canoes are here shown on the calm water of the bay, with others drawn up on the distant beach round the fort. 'Daphne', is shown distantly at anchor in the centre, to left of the fort. Fanshawe also did a drawing of Indians at Fort Rupert (PAI4661) and a view out from the beach towards offshore Deer Island (PAI4663), from which he may have drawn this one.
Edward Gennys Fanshawe
Original size: 173 mm x 256 mm
- Image reference: PZ4664
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
More by this artist
Explore the collection
Search for similar images
Product images of Fort Rupert, Beaver Harbour, Vancouver's Island, July 23rd 1851 [Canada]
We use a 240gsm fine art paper and premium branded inks to create the perfect reproduction.
Our expertise and use of high-quality materials means that our print colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Read more about our fine art prints.
Manufactured in the UK
All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.
We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Delivery & returns
We print everything to order so delivery times may vary but all unframed prints are despatched within 2-4 days via courier or recorded mail.
Due to the coronovirus pandemic and Brexit situation, current shipping times may be longer, particularly for destinations outside the UK.
Delivery to the UK is £5 for an unframed print of any size.
We will happily replace your order if everything isn’t 100% perfect.