If we have a look to the current map of North America, we can see that Mexico is located at the bottom. In the Caribbean Sea, opposite the Yucatan Peninsula we can see Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti. All these places are painted in blue.
In the middle, the United States are painted in green, and further north we can see Canada painted pink.
Up in the west we can see a part of Russia, marked in yellow, and opposite, separated by the Bering Strait, Alaska is located in red.
When our history begins, Canada and Alaska were inhospitable lands inhabited by the people we now know as First Nations. Their people lived in the Neolithic Age; they didn’t know the metallurgy of metals.
They were hunter-gatherer peoples who lived from the fruits of the wild Nature. They clustered in small groups, many of them nomadic ones. They did not have the necessary means to develop specialized industries, such as the extraction and processing of metals.
The political map was then very different from the current one.
The center point of the current United States was part of the Spanish Protectorate of Louisiana, and the territories of the Far West belonged to the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
In the east, the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts among others had already been formed by the pioneers.
On the west coast, from northern New Spain to the North Pole, large virgin and unclaimed territories extended.
In the mid-eighteenth century, the Russian Empire sent its explorers to take possession of the lands of Alaska, and its expeditions went down the west coast of North America. When looking at this Colombia Britanica (British Columbia) map, you will notice that the Russian Empire, in red, was spreading its Alaska possessions along the coast moving further south.
For this reason, when the governor of New Spain heard about those developments, he sent ships and the First Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia to occupy strategic places in what we know today as the coast of Canada prior to the arrival of the Russians.
In Alaska, they founded the town of Cordova and the First Free Company of Volunteers of Catalonia built a fort in Nootka Island, in the Vancouver Island coast.
Its commander, Pere d’Alberni from Tortosa, established a great friendship with the indigenous peoples and wrote the first dictionary of their mother languages.
As a result of the Nootka Convention concluded between Spain and Great Britain, the Spanish influence in the area ended in 1795.
In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for 7.6 million dollars.
The adventure of that group of brave men who arrived to the coast of Vancouver Island in 1774 with their ships, and succeeded so remarkably in altering the course of History was quite unusual.
Therefore, in British Columbia, they are still remembered with affection and many places and geographical features preserve the names they gave them.