The Hidden Journals: Captain Vancouver & His Mapmaker
History turns into mystery when the authors begin to research the oral stories about Wade Baker's ancestor, Third Lieutenant Joseph Baker, mapmaker on HMS Discovery. from 1791 to 1795. Memories from Grannie Lizzie and other Coast Salish and Hawaiian elders lead to authentic stories about Captain Vancouver, and his officer's relationships with Kings, Queens and royal families in their kingdoms in North America and Hawaii.
When Wade and Mary started their research, they did not realize how extensively this important piece of Pacific West Coast history had been airbrushed from the records. Over eight years of investigation with several museums around the world as well as many conversations and interviews with Maui and Vancouver cultural elders, uncover a very different Captain Vancouver than the man portrayed in mainstream history. Stories revealed about the respectful social and trading interactions with the native peoples are compelling. moving. and insightful. The book includes many photos of knowledge keepers, as well as protocols around chieftainships as Wade Baker's late mother Emily Nelson Baker was a four copper chieftain. Maps and detailed "observations of the day" from log books and journals are included with permission from the various museums consulted. A Chapter on Captain Cook gives an alternate and indigenous version of events. Captain Vancouver was a young midshipman on the ship, and was a witness to the events that shaped his character for future voyages.
The authors were honoured to meet the British descendants of Lt. Baker in 2017, and a new epilogue from 2018 details the meeting and reconciliation that occurred.
The Hidden Journals will forever change how you think about the indigenous people and their history, and brings understanding to the profound effects that the later historical distortions of those times had on the subconscious beliefs we carry today. The 1790's to the early 1800's was a time of high-level friendships between cultures, and an era of spiritual and mystical values about the land, water and sky. This open-hearted adventure is an inspiration for these times, and a call to the reader to pick up the torch and continue their own journeys of discovery.
The book was chosen for an Honourable Mention at the Whistler Independent Author's Festival Awards, and the authors were interviewed by Shelagh Rogers at CBC Radio for The Next Chapter series.
"This book is a refreshing delight to the senses, articulate and colorful. Primary records, images, oral stories, literary imagination and personal interviews come together seamlessly. The story is an exploration of the Baker family history on one hand, but also a reconsideration of history, another interpretation that provides a welcome alternative to official histories we have all grown up with in British Columbia. The authors reach beyond a critique of the past, and the obvious injustice, and open up the historical imagination to portray a more dynamic and inclusive history between equals, based on respect and recognition of historical differences, and the establishment of relations based on reciprocity and protocol." Joe Desjarlais, Principal, Northwest Trail Consulting, North Vancouver, BC "I loved this book. WOW. I love Pacific NorthWest Coast history, and everything said is true. I never stopped to wonder why we did not know more about that time, or about Captain Vancouver's interactions with the people he met. Thank you to both of you for doing the work, and sharing it. This book is refreshing because it shows the struggles of a historian, and reminds us how history is interpreted and transformed into a narrative that is passed down. And if we don't stop to question it, we will perpetuate it. Tracey Drum, Teacher Seattle, USA "The authors have been very persistent in finding the real stories of those times. It is particularly important information they have discovered about the gracious and respectful behaviours and manners of our royal women as described by Captain Vancouver. The true spirit of Kana Ka - humanity. Ma Kua Sam Kaha'i Kaai, Keeper of the Cultural Stories, Hawaii "This is a story about the time of transition, when the waves were just meeting the shore. This story reconnects the hosted to the host. You have a story to tell, vastly different than the one commonly known. Clifford Naeole, Cultural Advisor, Hawaii "I like the idea in this book that we must make space for other interpretations of those times, We have to transform history into light." Dr. Jack Lohman, Chief Executive Officer, Royal British Columbia Museum "A lot of our history is full of na puka. This could be a doorway, or holes in the story. I am very supportive of this book which is looking at the whole stories, based on original source material an oral stories, not just later interpretations." Chi Pilialoha, Museum Docent, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Lahaina, Maui
About the Author
Mary Tasi was born in England, and immigrated to Canada in 1967. She was educated at the University of Waterloo as an urban planner and spent over 20 years in the urban design and research field. She has also spent over 20 years within indigenous communities listening to oral stories of ancient times. She is co-founder of Sky Spirit Studio: Art Images, a public art and urban design firm specializing in historical community projects.