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The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey


The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey Cover

ISBN13: 9781550173260
ISBN10: 155017326x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

British Columbia is known for the colourful pioneers who helped build and shape the character of this weird but wonderful province. And few were as colourful as Portuguese Joe Silvey - a saloon keeper, whaler and pioneer of seine fishing in British Columbia.

Born on Pico Island, of Portugal's Azores Islands, sometime between 1830 and 1840, Joseph Silvey began whaling when he was just 12 years old. In 1860, when Silvey came to the BC coast on a whaling schooner, he decided to jump ship to try his hand at gold-mining.

From harpooning whales in small open rowboats, to serving up liquor to rambunctious millworkers, to being the first man to have a seine license in BC, Silvey was the Renaissance man of his generation. His friends were many, and included saloon keeper Gassy Jack Deighton for whom Vancouver's Gastown is named, his prestigious grandfather-in-law Chief Kiapilano (of the Capilano Nation) and a remittance man who liked to wear either his wife's clothes or none at all.

Although Portuguese Joe and his family prospered - he had 11 children with two wives and his many descendants still populate the BC coast - they also had their share of grief. Joe's first wife Khaltinaht died after a few short years of marriage; his eldest child Elizabeth was later kidnapped and forced to marry against her will; and his sixth child John was murdered in a rowboat while on his way to buy clams.

Historian Jean Barman brings to life the story of Portuguese Joe - the romance, the tragedy, and the adventure - with skill, piecing together interviews with Silvey's descendants, archival records and historical photographs to build an intriguing and entertaining portrait of Joseph Silvey, his family, and the time and place in which he lived.


A biography of one of the West Coast's most vibrant characters written by one of the West Coast's top historians.

About the Author

Jean Barman is the author of ten previous books, including the bestseller The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey and winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Prize, Stanley Park's Secret. Barman's longtime, impassioned pursuit to understand and uncover the history of British Columbia has earned her a position as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, among other honours.

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jessicamackenzie80, January 8, 2014 (view all comments by jessicamackenzie80)
My name is Jessica Mackenzie my mother's name is colleen silvey here father my grandfathers name is Sanford silvey who's father was Joe Silvey. I've read this book and was very interested its very special to have a book written on my family. Also its amazing to know where I come from. I was in search for many years and the history as well as the photographs have given me peace. I'll be sharing this book with my daughters and son.
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Product Details

Barman, Jean
Harbour Publishing
Barman, Jean
Madeira Park, B.C.
Historical - General
British Columbia
Canada - Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
Portuguese Canadians
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
April 2004
Grade Level:
11 x 8.5 x .25 in 360 gr

Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Canada » British Columbia
History and Social Science » World History » Canada
History and Social Science » World History » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Crossword Puzzles » General

The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey Used Trade Paper
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Product details 88 pages Harbour Press - English 9781550173260 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A biography of one of the West Coast's most vibrant characters written by one of the West Coast's top historians.
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