Historical Map Society of British Columbia
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1This is the very first map to show any part of what is today British Columbia on a map based on actual exploration - there were many maps that showed an imagined BC before this map.
It is a map of the West Coast of North America from Monterey Bay, just south of San Francisco Bay, at the bottom of the map, to the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands - Haida Gwaii - a little island called Langara.
The map is Spanish, and it was drawn in 1775 by Jose Canizares and summarizes information from the voyage of Juan Perez, who sailed along the BC coast the year before, reaching Langara Island, which he calculated to be at latitude 54 40. Spanish claims to the Northwest Coast passed to the Americans in 1819 by the Transcontinental Treaty, and then to the British, north of 49, in 1846 when the 49th parallel boundary was agreed upon west of the Rockies (except for Vancouver Island). When the Americans purchased the and to the north from Russia in 1867 the southernmost Russian claim and the northernmost British claim - 54 40 - became the boundary between BC and Alaska, a boundary of today derived from Juan Perez's first venture into the land that would become our province.
2The northern part of the Perez map (#1), showing the coastline of today's British Columbia. Note that Vancouver Island is not distinguished from the mainland coast.