Go to Top

Year 1771. California was shocked after the reception of a memo from the Ministry of the Indies. Said memo reported that a Spanish Diplomat had notified from Moscow that the Czar of Russia was sending expeditions to the west coast of North America aiming to colonize those lands and incorporate them into his empire.

Immediately upon reception of the memo, the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio Maria de Bucareli Ursua ordered the Majorcan captain Joan Peres depart with the frigate Santiago and the "First Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia" (original name in Catalan, Primera Companyia Franca de Voluntaris de Catalunya) to the north to take possession of those lands.

In August 1774, Joan Peres, together with the Franciscan monks Father Joan Crespi and Father Tomas de la Pena, were the first Europeans to sail through the waters of Vancouver Island. They created a long-lasting friendship with the natives of the noble people of the Nuu-chah-nulth, and exchanged their skins for copper tools.

Thus, the Humans of Vancouver discovered the use of metals, and their hospitality to strangers brought peace and prosperity to the lands of British Columbia.