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Manning the Fraser Canyon gold rush Groeneveld-Meijer, Averill 1994

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MANNING THE FRASER CANYON GOLD RUSHbyAVERILL GROENEVELD-MEIJERB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1991A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSINTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Geography)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAAugust 1994© Averill Groeneveld-MeijerIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of therequirements for an advanced degree at the University of BritishColumbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely availablefor reference and study. I further agree that permission forextensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may begranted by the head of my department or by his or herrepresentatives. It is understood that copying or publication ofthis thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without mywritten permission.Department of___________The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Q9yUAbstractIn the canyon where the Fraser River flows through the Cascade mountains,migrating salmon supported a large, dense native population. By 1850 the Hudson’s BayCompany had several forts on other parts of the Fraser River and its tributaries but foundthe canyon itself inaccessible. Prior to the gold rush, whites rarely ventured there.Discoveries of gold in Fraser River in 1856 drew the attention of outsiders and arush of miners, and led eventually to permanent white settlement on mainland BritishColumbia. Contrary to much historiography, these were not foregone results. Instead, thegold rush was a complex process of negotiation and conflict among competing groups asthey sought to profit from gold discoveries. The Hudson’s Bay Company sought to gainand retain control of the resource by incorporating it into its trade and by excludingoutsiders. But miners arrived by the thousands, and the Company was forced to try toregulate miners’ access to the resource. However, as a group, miners were cohesive andself-reliant; they had little need for outside intervention. The Hudson’s Bay Company wasunable to regulate them while pursuing its own ideas of profit. The British governmentsubsequently revoked the Hudson Bay Company’s trade license, and proclaimed BritishColumbia a colony. In efforts to impose its own ideals of order on the gold fields, thegovernment introduced a new colonial administration which, following a chain ofcommand extending from London through Victoria to the Fraser, sought to organize thepopulation in the spaces of the Fraser Canyon. Government authority was reinforced bythe legal system’s flexible responses to the diverse population’s activities it deemed illegal.By studying the interactions of natives, miners, traders, administrators, and thelegal system, I have attempted to untangle the ways in which white men negotiated theirparticular racist and masculinist ideals and sought to impose them in the spaces of theFraser Canyon.111Table of ContentsAbstract iiList of Figures vList of Tables viAcknowledgements viiCHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER 2: THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY AND THE GOLD TRADE 10Precedents 11Roots of the Fraser River Rush 16From Managing Resources to Managing Miners 24The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Colonial Office 26CHAPTER 3: MINING MEN IN THE FRASER CANYON 33To the Fraser River Mines 35The Mining Life 44Mining Men 49Miners and Women 52Pardners’ 58Miners’ Rules 63Racism 67Miners and “Indians” 72Economy and Trade 72Annoyances and Belligerance 73Indian Wars 76Conclusion 80ivCHAPTER 4: GOVERNMENTS’ DESIGNS FROM LONDON TO LYTTON 82London’s Colony 83A Governor’s Colony 89A Gold Commissioner’s Beat: H.M.Ball at Lytton 92Management of People: the institutionalization of race 95Managing Land: the creation of town and country 110Transportation: connecting the dots 115From E.B. Lytton to Lytton B.C. 120CHAPTER 5: THE LAW AND “THE STATE OF THE COUNTRY” 128Justice or Peace? 131The Law’s Diplomat 138Case Studies 142Conclusion 153POSTSCRIPT 155BIBLIOGRAPHY 159VList of FiguresFigure 1. British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, 1858. 2Figure 2. Winter Villages in the Fraser Canyon, ca 1850. 5Figure 3: Hudson’s Bay Company Mainland Forts and Trails. 12Figure 4. J.D. Pemberton’s Map of Cross-Continental Routes to the Fraser. 37Figures. Miner’s Map to the Fraser River. 38Figure 6: Mining Bars in the Fraser Canyon. 42Figure 7: Mountain Roads. 43Figure 8: To the Diggings and from the Diggings. 64Figure 9: C.O. Phillips’s Impressions of the Fraser Canyon. 69Figure 10: Reconnaissance of Fraser’s River (for Parliament’s use). 84FIgure 11: Leverett Estabrooks and Company’s Claim. 100Figure 12: Cameron’s Flat. 102Figure 13: Town plan of Lytton, 1860. 112Figure 14: Lytton, ca. 1868. 113Figure 15: Detail of the Waggon Road Survey, 1861. 118Figure 16: Thompson River Survey. 119Figure 17: A Section of the Waggon Road. 120Figure 18: Judge Begbie’s Travels. 141Figure 19: Topographic maps of the Fraser Canyon, 1990. 158List of TablesTable 1: Gold Commissioner Ball’s Quarterly Reports for the Lytton Disctrict,October 1858 to June 1860. 94Table 2: Travaillot’s “List of the different places where water’s priviledges havebeen recorded, and the number of of mining licenses to be collectedtherein,” April, 1859. 96Table 3: H.M. Ball’s List of Mining Bars, Lytton District, May 1860. 97viAcknowledgementsA lot of people helped me to write this thesis. I thank the following in particular.Cole Harris put a lot of effort into reading my work, but always made me feel it was myown. I am grateful for his patience and criticism. Geny Pratt helped me rethink someearly thoughts on this project and offered useful comments on the final draft.Dan Clayton and David Demerritt were helpful and interested from the moment Istarted my research. They listened to, and argued with, many versions of my ideas. BrettChristophers read endless drafts and was supportive through the worst of it. Kate Boyer,Michael Brown, Natalie Jamieson, and Lynn Stewart commented on particular chapters andwere friends throughout. Heather Jenkins and Leanne Martinson provided differentperspectives, and, along with the above friends, always knew when it was time for dinneror a beer.I would not have started this project without the encouragement of (all!) myparents, and I could not have completed it without their emotional and financial support.vii1CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONThe foundations of the Fraser Canyon gold rush were laid in 1856 when gold wasfound in the territory of the Ntlakapamux and within the jurisidiction of the Hudson’s BayCompany monopoly for trade with natives in what is now mainland British Columbia(Figure 1). The Hudson’s Bay Company pursued a gold trade with natives and tried tolimit miners’ interference, but in the spring of 1858 thousands of men travelled fromCalifornia to the lower Fraser to mine gold. Their searches drew them northward into theFraser Canyon, the densly populated territory of the Stolo and Ntlakapamux. Later thatsummer the British Colonial Office revoked the Hudson’s Bay Company’s license,proclaimed the colony British Columbia, and began to install institutions for themanagement of the region.I first became interested in the Fraser Canyon when, like many other travellers, Iwas stunned by its magnificent scenery. While I remain impressed by the turbulent river,the steep canyon walls, and the high, isolated benches, I was fortunate to have been shownremnants of native villages and other traces of a pre-colonial native world which surroundthe current highway. More fortunately, I have been surrounded by people who would notlet me ignore the indicators of the colonial past and present, in Indian Reserves and roadside monuments, along with my own implication as an individual and as a geographer.This thesis, then, is about natives, the gold discoveries, the Hudson’s Bay Company’sgold trade, the arrival of miners, and the colonial administration put in place to (re)create“British Columbia.” It is, in other words, about gold rushes, colonialism, and white menwithin the Fraser Canyon during the late 1850s and 1860s.From the first guides to the gold fields published in 1858 through to recenthistories, the Fraser Canyon gold rush has been considered one of the starting points ofBritish Columbian history. As British Columbia’s favourite foundation myth it hasreceived much superficial attention, which has served to render static centuries long-j ,f :; r :—f QE HRç - / 2 “ ‘ i, \}/////J;f I [J J51 r:14——— ---_-_—_: - S 1,\’’ J-’ : i_Fi zESj ‘ ‘- ;•_ . I )1I ‘ I \1%l —I--- ZW’m i 1II# ‘ ‘\l/i&/‘— ‘7 ‘W4 _ % . - Q”’ jnFy& ‘ atwe UWUS ) ! ‘ Iif :: - • -c:: booêS4o: i I Dog_(;4,liI:s\\\\,o‘-\ L -1 , 1, ç - - (\ oi . ft % 4 F 1 t E b-w- ] n1*j . E— ar?) :;:_______‘.I. .vo_ _i_f__;r.,Figure 1 British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, 1858 sg d I rf — i oi.Source Great Bntarn, Parliament , “ --PapersRelativetotheAffairsofBntishColumbia, 1859 Dr WI6d : :c :: • : ...i: 4: . . . Ip-L;dr 4 : :.:w ;: ;,_ ;-;: - c!;‘1;JE: -Cr- : :.I.:t Nj f F / , I - ‘4 ...-;J 1r’ __4 MS1,n Ii IqmI C 0£ tiB IA11’Roky L f° Grassff.34-:±k ‘1L:r —IShoaIwtcr BaySw 4. ..WF’y . . .. . . . SnaJeJ—.;3histories of aboriginal people and to deny other imperial histories of exploration and trade.As a result, study of the gold rush provides one means for uncovering the ways in whichmuch history of British Columbia has been constructed around the singular narrative ofwhite mens’ conquest of natives and land. The gold rush brought outsiders into the regionin unprecedented numbers, brought the attention of the world to the region, and finallyinvoked the institutionalized presence of colonial power. However, I would like todestabalize some gold rush myths, and argue that these changes were not as ‘natural’ asthey may seem in retrospect. Not all gold discoveries led to gold rushes, and not all goldrushes have resulted in the sustained presence of outsiders. Colonialism was not aninevitable fact of history.Histories of world gold rushes focus on the roles of institutional intervention inharnessing miners’ cumulative energies in service of colonial progress and convey anexcitement usually associated with a Clint Eastwood Western- Miners and Indians insteadof Cowboys and Indians. Unfortunately they say little about processes of colonialism,seeing it instead as the product of an all-powerful monolith, mysteriously represented by amere handful of colonial administrators whose courage and righteousness tamed the wildmen. Instead, I would argue that the transition from gold rush to colony was neitherinevitable nor a simple equation of oppressors, oppressed, and conquest, but wascomposed of processes of interaction, negotiation, and conflict within and among severalgroups, including natives, traders, miners, administrators, and legal practitioners.Put geographically, the colonization of British Columbia was about more than thestraightforward and rigid application of new ideas to a neutral surface. Miners andadministrators arrived in British Columbia from very different experiences in other goldfields, homes, and colonies. Miners from California or rural New England, andadministrators from Australia or the English countryside seeking to apply their ideas toBritish Columbia immediately encountered a rugged terrain and large aboriginal populationresistant to their ideas. As a result, ideas about British Columbia were formed and4reworked at various scales. As outsiders approached the space of the canyon, they foundthey had be flexible and allow their ideas to become increasingly suited to the spaces inwhich they found themselves, while remaining true to their general principles.In an attempt to uncover the relative flexibilities and rigidities of colonialism, thisthesis is concerned with some of those who sought to construct a certain kind of BritishColumbia, that is, white men. Their official and personal writings - including governmentdespatches, court records, journals, and letters - express their perceptions of this ‘new’place and their intentions for its future, and offer frighteningly familiar glimpses of distanttimes and places. The narratives show that their ideas were neither random nor irrational,but served the very particular purpose of establishing common ground among newcomers,often at the expense of those who stayed home and those who were already there. Racistand masculinist notions crowd the pages of most narratives, demonstrating how themeaning of “British Columbia” was created in particular ways by particular groups.The topics of this study - white men, colonialism, and the gold rush - are linked toits themes - masculinity, racism, and power - by the spaces in which these social relationswere worked out. The Fraser Canyon is the 75 kilometer stretch of the Fraser River thatflows through the Cascade mountains. The northern edge of the canyon lies at theconfluence of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers. The town of Lytton was founded hereduring the gold rush, adjacent to the Ntlakapamux village Tlicumcheen, where SimonFraser reported shaking hands with 1,200 natives in 1808. At the canyon’s southern limit,in Stab territory, lies Yale, another gold rush town. South of Yale the canyon widens intothe Fraser Valley. The boundary between the two linguistic groups was near the lower endof the canyon. For natives the canyon provided a zone of plenty as swift currents andnarrow canyons allowed migrating salmon to be caught in adundance. Supplemented byhunting and gathering, the fishery sustained one of the densest aboriginal populations inNorth America, as seen in the map of villages (Figure 2), based on archeological fieldworkand archival and narrative sources. The territorial divisions along the canyon suggest that5Figure 2. Winter Villages in the Fraser Canyon, ca. 1850.North SouthCanyon CanyonNkattsi’m (T)Nkatzam (H-T)Nqopkin (T) inkafltsapt (SB)Nokoieken (l-t-T)Sta’iEn (T) • Sük (T)Stain (H-T) • Cuk (H-T) ,Stryne (SB) AnExterim (fl? Sho.ook (5))in-kiuck-cheen (S) Kimus (T)Stein Kah-moose (S) SintakL (flNxSmin r)• Skmuc (H-T)Cntaktl (H-T)Nhomin (H-T) Tuckka-zahp (S) Skwauyix (T) • Tsin-tahk-tI (S)No-Ho-Meen(S)Spaim çr • Tsaumäk (T)Spapum (H-T •iKamtcin rn—Speim (H-T) Tzauamuk (H-T)Papyum (mod) Tlkumtcin (H-T)Klick-kum-cheen (SB) Sp2um (5)Tsa-waw-muck (SB)Nqaia (T)Nkaia (H-T)Neek-eye-yah (S)Kapatcitcin (T)Kiapatcitcin (H-T) Npiktrm (flKapahchut-lnn (S) Npektem (t-i-T)Skapa (H-T)Skuppah (5) Ntsuwi’Bk (T)Koiaum (T)Tlclcoeaum (H-T)Siska (T) •TUCIc-Kwi-oWh-urn (S)CD Siska (H-T)Noiêttsi r)•Kaluiaa-IEX (T)z Skuzis (H-T)iqiaqtin (T) NLaqLakitin (T) Scousey (5) rtSluktiakten (H-T) I CeTslank.Iahktun (B)Staxahani (T)Statciani (H-fl • Tcêtawe (flSti-e-hanny (5) Skoxwic (fl catua (H-T)Skuouakk (H-T) pep.I.kim (B)Yelakin (mod)Ckuet (H-T) • Tikwalus (T)Tikuiluc (H-T)Teeqaloose (5)Orthography Cuimp (H-T)Skueernp (S)• winter villageB = BlenkinsopSpÔzêm (T)H-T = HBI-ToutS = Sproat Spuzum (H-flo 3 6 9kmT =TeitSource: Cole Harris, “The Fraser Canyon Encountered,” BC Studies, 94, Summer 1992.6the Fraser Canyon was not so much a linear transportation corridor, as a place to be livedin.During the early Hudson Bay Company years fur traders and explorers wrote of thecanyon as a difficulty to be overcome and, after the border agreement of 1846, desperatelysought to use it as a transportation corridor between the interior posts and Fort Langley (onthe lower Fraser), or even to provide a link in the overland route from Eastern Canada tothe Pacific. Exploration parties wrote with despair of their experiences through the canyon;most barely survived the journey. Beyond such explorations, fur traders had little reasonto travel to the canyon, as natives brought salmon and furs to trade at Fort Kamloops andLangley. The effects of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s presence above and below thecanyon on natives there is hard to establish. Exotic trade goods undoubtedly entered intothe regional economy, but it hard to assess their influence. Fur traders wrote of bothrespectful treatement by natives and of violent attacks. The picture of native-white relationsin and around the Fraser canyon is not clear, but not until the discovery of gold wouldoutsiders be interested in the canyon as a place to stay.In the process of uncovering the tensions and transformations brought on by thisinflux of outsiders into the Fraser Canyon, my thesis will be organized as follows.Chapter 2 looks at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s responses to the discovery of gold. Thecompany tried to fit gold within its diversifying trade and to prevent other traders andminers from interfering. When, despite its efforts, miners travelled to the Fraser, thecompany also tried to incoporate them into its trade. Its lack of success, and BritishParliament’s subsequent revocation of its license and creation of the colony suggest thatadministering a trade was unlike, and perhaps incompatible with, administering apopulation. The HBC could deal with natives as trade partners, but however it adapted itsspatial strategies, proved unable to respond to the challenges posed by the arrival ofthousands of miners, along with natives’ responses to their presence.7Chapter 3 seeks to refute stereotypes of miners as rowdy, irrational individuals.Miners came from widely varying backgrounds but managed to pull together and create agroup identity in the face of opposition from natives and, in some ways, government.Miners’ journals, letters, and reminiscences reveal how they articulated their group identityon the basis of their experiences as miners. Many had spent time at the California mines,took their occupations as miners seriously, willingly moved about in search of gold, and inso doing encountered similar hurdles. This identity was reinforced in opposition to othergroups, including administrators, natives, Chinese miners, and women. In other words,miners saw themselves as white working men, and used racism, masculinity, and class asmeans of group definition. These identities were not expressed in towns and other longterm settlements, but among partners and friends in shifting camps and saloons. Miners’motives were not always comprehensible to non-miners, but government officials foundsome areas of compatibilty with their own visions for the future of British Columbia andsought to reinforce them in order to garner support from this powerful section of thepopulation.Chapter 4 is about the attempt of a colonial government to transform BritishColumbia into a settlement colony. Ideas for the colonization of British Columbia wereworked out at several scales and underwent several rounds of translation before they couldbe made applicable to the Fraser Canyon. In London, the Colonial Office and the Britishparliament debated the wisdom of establishing the colony and the types of governmentconsidered suitable to the task of transforming a turbulent gold rush into an orderedsociety. Broad instructions were sent from the Colonial Office to the governor of BritishColumbia who spent most of his time in Victoria in the separate colony of VancouverIsland. He rejected some instructions and rethought others, and communicated the resultsto the Gold Commissioners. Gold Commissioners were, in essence, administrative fieldofficers placed in strategic locations in the gold regions to watch, register, and regulatepeople, that is, to uphold the governor’s rules and report inconsistencies and irregularities8back to him. In this way, the most distant ideas were of necessity the most abstract, andconcerned reasons for territorial expansion and the role and powers of government ingeneral. Local ideas were the most practical and focussed on individuals, groups and land.Thus, London’s advice to use overt force sparingly became translated into the use of landand access to resources to establish an order for the benefit of some (white miners andsettlers) at the expense of others (natives and Chinese miners). Land regulations and theprinciples behind them sought to make social relations concrete in spaces of the FraserCanyon.Given the magnitude of these tasks, government required additional support. Thelegal system, discussed in chapter 5, was important in establishing the bases of colonialauthority for such transformations, as well as in communicating ideals of a civil society toall groups in the population. The legal system approached both tasks by overseeing and,where necessary, interfering in interpersonal relations. Through flexible interpretations ofcourt room procedures and sentencing strategies, the court was able to make laws shaped indistant times and places applicable to colonial British Columbia and its diverse population.In this way, it discouraged personal violence and asserted the state’s monopoly on the useof force, while reinforcing the relative positions of whites, natives, Chinese, as well as,men and women. This, too, worked at several levels; local Justices of the Peace (the samepeople as the Gold Commissioners) responded summarily to most disputes, but capitalcases were dealt with more elaborately by the Court of Assize during its annual circuitthrough the gold regions.The activities and ideas of these groups - natives, miners, governments andpractitioners of the law - collided in the relatively small spaces of the Fraser Canyon.Miners and natives competed for access to the river and fishing sites and mining bars.Roads and towns were laid out over such human spaces to avoid the many physicalobstacles. Government officials sought to keep their eyes on scattered populations and, asfar as possible, impress them with their presence. Through the interactions of thesegroups, webs of control began to tighten, setting precedents for the further colonization ofBritish Columbia.910CHAPTER 2THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY AND THE GOLD TRADE“The most certain means of retaining the trade in our own hands is to aidand assist the Indians in working the treasures of their own country.”James Douglas, 18571The discovery of gold in the Thompson River District, on the mainland of what isnow British Columbia, required the Hudson’s Bay Company to rethink its trade policiesbetween 1856 and 1858. The diversifying Company had already adapted established fur-trading practices to include a variety of commodities, and initially James Douglas, the chieffactor, sought to fit gold into its trade - among salmon, cranberries, shingles, ice, potatoes,and coal.2 In this process of adapting to the exploitation of a new commodity, thecompany tried out different strategies for procurement and trade and, in so doing, reworkedestablished components of the fur trade such as trading posts and mobile trading brigades.The advent of large numbers of miners drew the attention of the colonial office and requirednew shifts in policy. Throughout this process, the Hudson’s Bay Company worked atseveral geographical scales. Douglas, in Victoria, relied on his field officers (the chieftraders of the mainland posts), and was responsible to the Governor and Committee of theCompany and later to the British Colonial Office, both in London. Advice and informationrelied strongly on the positions of the authors of despatches in relation to both thegeography of gold and the colonial hierarchy. Eventually it became apparent that theHudson’s Bay Company could make commercial adjustments but was unable to operate asa colonial government. The gold discoveries had renewed interest in the canyon’s potential‘James Douglas, to Donald McLean, December 26, 1857. Fort Victoria, CorrespondenceOutward, Country Letter Book.2Diversification was a feature of Hudson’s Bay Company operations from 1849 to 1858,according to Richard Mackie, “Colonial Land, Indian Labour, and Company Capital: theEconomy of Vancouver Island, 1849-1858,” M.A. Thesis, Department of History,University of Victoria, 1984.11as a transportation corridor, and a whole new apparatus of power, a colonial government,also came to focus its attention on the Fraser canyon and its inhabitants. The Fraser canyonbecame the destination of miners- a place to be travelled through - and perhaps a place tostay.Historical writing on the gold rushes in British Columbia has often seen this shift interms of “pioneer progress,”3in which the discovery of gold led to an inevitable rush,which spelled the obvious end to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trade monopoly on themainland. Barry Gough put it this way: “Gold is found; gold-seekers move in; colonialofficials fear the undermining of authority; British warships give support; the frontier ismade secure; and the area is added to the “formal empire,” that is, it comes under thejurisdiction of the Colonial office and the governor.”4 Such summary patterningencapsulates the general courses of events, but obscures the different processes ofnegotiation and conflict between natives, miners, the Hudson’s Bay Company, and thedifferent levels of government that worked out the ‘meaning’ of gold in British Columbia.The Company’s attempts to incorporate gold, and later miners, into established tradepractices, question such rigid patterns.PrecedentsGold mining was not entirely new to the Hudson’s Bay Company. During theearly 1850s there was a small, unsuccessful, rush to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and goldhad been mined around Fort Colvile before the finds on the Thompson River in 1856(Figure 3). According to Rickard, the first gold discovery in what is now British Columbiawas made in 1850 by a native on the Queen Charlottes who brought a nugget to a3Leslie M. Scott, “The Pioneer Stimulus of Gold,” The quarterly of the Oregon HistoricalSociety, 18 (3), 1917, p.147.4Barry M. Gough, “Turbulent Frontiers” and British Expansion: Governor JamesDouglas, the Royal Engineers, and the British Columbia Gold Rushes,” Pacific HistoricalReview, 41, 1972, p.17.12British Columbia, 1859.Figure3:Hudson’s Bay Company Mainland Forts and TrailsSource: Great Britain, Parliament, .Papers Relative to the Affairs of\ç j‘. \,6 I \. ill i. .? /1OU\ —i\..jiascaJ’-1 ‘s’....’--.m j %.. . ..o ...., %— -.....——-.-..--- ,.13Hudson’s Bay Company post.5 In 1851, another native brought in a specimen whichBlanshard, then governor of Vancouver Island, reported to the Colonial Secretary.Included in this dispatch was the promise that Blanshard would arrange that a party be sentto the Queen Charlottes to assess the resource. The initial discoveries drew someHudson’s Bay Company interest, and some prospectors from California during 1851 and1852, but natives resisted, little gold was found, and “the miniature rush” ended.6 Thisrush, according to Rickard, had two tangible results. It “made the few people then on ourwestern coast aware of the possibility of developing profitable mines.”7 And this, in turn,prompted an official response by Douglas who asserted the Crown’s right (the “regalianright”) to all potential gold deposits. This response, made several months after the rushhad ended, was to become the precedent for Douglas’s licensing strategies during theFraser River rush several years later. The Hudson’s Bay Company’s only other actionhad been to send a ship for exploration and a half-hearted show of force.The Colvile finds were more complex. In response to the boundary settlement of1846, most of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading operations at Colvile had been shiftedslightly north to Fort Shepherd.8 The Company did not hold a monopoly license south ofthe 49th parallel and as a result it operated as one of many traders there. Operations werehampered by serious native opposition to settlement north of the Spokane River,95T.A.Rickard, “Indian Participation in the Gold Discoveries,” British Columbia HistoricalQuarterly, 2 (1), January, 1938, p.7. But, contrary to Rickard’s assertions, gold was not aspecial item of native trade in what is now British Columbia, and not nearly as important ascopper.6Rickard, p. 6.7lbid.8But not until the Palliser boundary surveying expedition came through in 1859 were thetraders sure they were north of the border; Palliser read their location at 49’ 1”. Irene Spry,The Palliser Expedition: An Account of John Palliser’s British North American Expedition1857-1860, (Toronto: The MacMillan Company, 1963), pp.265-6.9Horace S. Lyman. History of Oregon: The Growth of an American State, (New York:The North Pacific Publishing Society, 1903), p.22114where gold was being washed by “inexperienced miners, Frenchmen and 10(the latter two were probably references to fur traders). The Baptist missionary in OregonCity attributed the unrest to the interference of French Catholic missionaries, who werealleged to have known about the gold deposits for years and to have convinced natives tokeep them secret:“Rumours reliable say the chiefs forbid the Oregonians, except French and half-breeds, to dig till they have treated with the Indian agent for their lands. Money isextremely scarce in this valley and, if there is much gold to be had, our citizens willhave their portion of it, even at the price of blood. They will not stand by, by thethousands, and see French Catholics, half-breeds and Indians monopolize the bestof the diggings.” 11The conflict expanded with many tales of atrocities committed by natives, negotiations, andU.S. military intervention. In order to placate the natives, and to stop this “Indian War”General Wool, the officer in charge of the Pacific Department, issued the following order inAugust, 1856:“No emigrants or other whites, except the Hudson’s Bay Company, or personshaving ceded rights from the Indians, will be permitted to settle or remain in theIndian country, or on land not ceded by treaty, confirmed by the Senate, andapproved by the President of the United States. These orders are not, however, toapply to miners engaged in collecting gold at the Colville mines. These miners willhowever, be notified that, should they intervene with the Indians, or their squaws,they will be punished and sent out of the country.”12This curious treaty allowed miners, but not their suppliers, to go to Colvile, and thusbenefitted the Hudson’s Bay Company. Although it was perhaps designed to keeppermanent settlers out the region (as were natives’ attacks), Colvile and the Dalles began todevelop as mining supply towns.‘°Ezra Fisher to Rev. B.M. Hill, July 3 1855. In Sarah Fisher Henderson et al. ed.s,“Correspondence of Reverend Ezra Fisher,” The quarterly of the Oregon HistoricalSociety, 20, 1919, p. 121.11Ezra Fisher to Rev. B.M. Hill, August 2, 1855, in Henderson, p. 123.‘2From the 34th Cong. 3d sess., Vol. I, pt. 2, p. 169, cited inScott, p. 149.15The Colvile gold finds did not result in a rush as much as they helped strugglingfarmers from the Willamette Valley to survive hard times. Migrants from California, orother parts of the world, did not appear in great numbers, perhaps because the Californiamines were still promising. The discovery of gold did draw the Fort Colvile area into aslightly larger regional economy through the development of the Dalles, which would alsoplay an important role in the Fraser rush. In all, the Colvile gold affected the Hudson’sBay Company little, and did not impress Douglas:“The intelligence it gives is on the whole satisfactory, especially in regard to theearnings of the gold miners, who appear to be making remarkably good wages,how then does it happen, in the midst of wealth so easily acquired, that so small aportion should reach our Establishments; one is almost tempted to believe that thegold diggings are a myth.”13While mining at Colvile and prospecting along the Columbia, miners likelyexplored north of the 49th parallel. As the boundary had yet to be surveyed, the minersapparently stayed on the margins of Hudson’s Bay Company territory, and their numberswere not large, the Hudson’s Bay Company did not respond to these incursions. Inaddition, the Hudson’s Bay Company felt protected by natives:“The people from American Oregon are therefore excluded [by natives] from thegold district, except such, as resorting to the artifice of denying their country,succeed in passing for British subjects. The persons at present engaged in thesearch of gold are chiefly of British origin and retired servants of the Hudson’s BayCompany, who being well acquainted with the natives, and connected by old ties offriendship, are more disposed to aid and assist each other in their common pursuitsthan to commit injuries against persons or property.”413Douglas to Blenkinsop, September 20, 1857, Correspondence Out, Country LetterBook.1-4Douglas to Henry Labouchère. October 29, 1856. “Correspondence relative to theDiscovery of gold in the Fraser’s River District, in British North America”. Great Britian,Parliament, Papers Relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, (London: George EdwardEyre andWillaim Spottiswoode, 1858). In British Columbia, the gold miners toocommented on that “artifice”: “the indian ast us if wee was boston men or not we told himwee wos kinggorge [King George’s] men and we was sent out to see thar cuntry and weewodent du them eny harm ... te brith [British] american indins dident like the americans atoll [at all] and cold [called] them bostnars and the english kins Jorge men.” Lucius SamuelEdeiblute, “The History of Lucius S. Edeiblute.” n.d., BCARS, p. 43.16Gold finds on the Queen Charlottes and around Colvile did not attract largenumbers of miners from afar and were hardly precedents for the Fraser River rush. As aresult Douglas had little reason to anticipate the many miners who would respond to theThompson River finds.Roots of the Fraser River RushIn April of 1856, Douglas reported gold had been found on the ‘British Columbian’side of the Columbia,’5and in February 1857 he received a specimen of gold from DonaldMcLean of Thompson’s River. Unfortunately, McLean’s correspondence no longerexists, but Douglas responded that the gold was an indication of the “highly auriferous”nature of the country and encouraged McLean to “contrive to collect a large party ofIndians, & proceeding to the Gold Districts make them search and wash for the preciousmetal, buying it from them as fast as they collect t.”16 This, Douglas continued, wouldallow McLean to develop the resource and to estimate the productivity of the region “morecorrectly than by mere Indian report.” In contrast to his comments concerning the Colvilefinds, Douglas concluded with the encouragement:“make every exertion in your power to test the gold diggings, and I will supply youwith all the necessary means,..., and remember that the object is of so muchimportance, and may be so productive of gain to the Concern, that no reasonableexpense, should be spared to accomplish it.”The discovery of gold within the territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly wasimportant to its policy of economic and resource diversification, but communication wasslow. Douglas did not respond to McLean’s report of his expedition until September: “Thediscovery appears no longer a shadow but a sober reality. The quantity you have tradedproves that fact beyond question, and we must now prepare to turn that great discovery toadvantage.”7 Estimating the extent of the resource was a standard procedure for trying to15Douglas to Labouchere, 16 April 1856. Great Britain, Parliament, CorrespondenceRelative to the Discovery of Gold in the Fraser’s River District, London, 1858.16Douglas to Donald McLean, Feb. 10 1857, Fort Victoria, Country Letter Book.17Douglas to McLean, September 10, 1857, Fort Victoria, Country Letter Book.17turn a new resource into a commodity, and Douglas encouraged McLean to identify“American” trade items so that he could order them for the following year. Douglas, itseems, expected the arrival of some miners into the region, and sought to benefit from thediscoveries in two ways: through the gold trade with natives and through a new provisiontrade with miners.The scale of a potential rush of miners had yet to strike Douglas and, unlikeMcLean, he was not concerned about security. McLean had suggested building a fort at themouth of the Thompson River, thinking it could be supplied directly from Fort Langley,but Douglas pointed out that this would require two separate lines of water transport, oneabove the Fraser Canyon, should it even prove navigable, and the second below the canyonto Fort Langley. In between these two lines, through the canyon, the Company wouldhave to rely on land transport for, he estimated, 13 miles.18 It seems unlikely that, whenputting forward his suggestions, McLean was ignorant of the topography of the canyon.Instead, it is likely that his position in the midst of the finds forced him to take miners’impending presence more seriously than his superior in Victoria. Although Douglas’sactions were economically cautious, unlike McLean he had no sense of urgency andseemed unconcerned about the huge numbers of people gold could draw, the speed withwhich “gold hysteria” could bring them, and the threat they would pose to the Hudson’sBay Company’s monopoly. In a letter to his superiors in London, Douglas indicated hisuncertainty about establishing the new fort: due to the poor knowledge of the country theCompany should delay building a fort to prevent it from being placed in the wronglocation, and postpone the substantial investment until the mines had proven themselves. 19He further responded to McLean’s finds at his leisure, rejected his urgent pleas forreinforcement in the form of a fort, and preferred instead to test the ground with horsebrigades, a relatively low cost alternative. He also planned to keep the gold collected thus‘8lbid19Douglas to William G.Smith, September 1, 1857. Fort Dallas, Correspondence Out.18far for another five months, until March, when the annual return ship would take it toLondon. For Douglas, the discovery of gold and the arrival of miners was in the firstinstance a matter of trade and profit - scarcely different from other forms of trade - ratherthan an international issue of security and statehood.In pursuing the gold trade, Douglas occupied himself by organizing the mobiletrading brigade. He advised McLean:“We will certainly not be able to commence that establishment this year, ... in themean time we must push trade with the means at our command, and if necessarykeep a trading party continually on foot carrying supplies to the mines for sale.”20Dissatisfied with the returns of the Colvile mines, Douglas informed George Blenkinsopthat he would be moved to Thompson’s River to use his “head for business” managing the“moveable party to travel with horses and goods among the diggings to supply theminers and to collect as much gold dust as possible. That plan I think will answerbetter than having a permanent post on any of the great water communications at adistance from the mines.”2’Douglas may not have expected a full-blown gold rush, but he was anticipating thearrival of some miners and acknowledged possible difficulties. He was determined to turnthe arrival of miners to the Company’s benefit. In the postscnpt he added: “There will beere long a great rush of people into the District of Thompson’s River, and nothing but themost energetic measures will protect our interests.”22 These energetic measures includedthe construction of a post, but Douglas thought the time was not right:“we must strive to secure the trade in our own hands. We have been thinking ofestablishing a post in the Gold District, for the supply of the miners, but it wouldnot be advisable to do so, until the country is better known.”2320Douglas to McLean, September 10 1857, Country Letter Book.21Douglas to Blenkinsop, September 20.1857, Country Letter Book.22Jbid23Douglas to Angus McDonald, September 21, 1857, Country Letter Book.19He added that the new post would wait until spring, and instructed McLean to carry onwhile reiterating the comments he had made to Blenkinsop.24 Douglas expressed some ofhis concerns more clearly to Peter Ogden:[this] event ... will give us no end of trouble, so far as the Company’s servants areconcerned; and leave us more than ever dependent upon the natives for gettingthrough with the Brigade and other interior work.You must however prepare to meet the evil; and to derive every possibleadvantage from the discovery of gold. We have just sent out additional supply ofgoods to Thompson’s River and Fort Colville in consequence of our anticipating alarge demand for supplies.”25While Douglas acknowledged the amount of trouble (no end) he was not clear about itstype. He considered defection of company servants more threatening than an influx ofminers. He gained reassurance from the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trade position on themainland, and did not doubt that the license would be renewed when reviewed in 1859,and that he would remain free to exclude competing, independent, traders.26During the fall of 1857, the Company seemed to be settling down with the goldtrade with native miners; when Yale wrote requesting some gold scales for Fort Langley,he was informed that there were none left.As miners from the Dalles started to trickle into the region, McLean reiterated hisappeal for a post on the Thompson River 12 miles from the Forks, but Douglas respondedinstead with a long letter about the benefits of using mules over horses in a trading brigade.He continued :“Let us now return to the all engrossing subject of the gold trade. It appearsfrom your letter that Thompson’s River, Fort Yale, the Falls and Pavillion are all highly24Douglas to McLean, September 20 1857, Country Letter Book.25Douglas to Peter Ogden, September 21, 1857, Country Letter Book.26Douglas to Dodd, September 22, 1857, Country Letter Book. This action was notwithout precedent according to Mackie’s reverse parallel: “. . . the cranberry trade shows theCompany did not hesitate to expel intruders who came to the Fraser River to trade with theIndians of the Company’s continental territories. Douglas’ prompt and decisive use of theCompany’s legal right to the mainland Indian trade is strikingly reminiscent of hisbehaviour during the 1858 gold rush.” Mackie, p.113.27Douglas to Yale, November 23, 1857, Country Letter Book.20auriferous districts.”28 The trading party was just about to get under way in lateNovember, three months after the idea was first discussed. In recommending theconstruction of a post, it seems that McLean was intent on asserting a stable Hudson’s BayCompany presence in the region and impressing incoming miners. Douglas’s responses,on the other hand, indicate that he was considering a post more as a place for trade and, atmost, secure storage. As a result, Douglas felt no urgent need to establish a post as themonopoly license still excluded competition:“The Company have exclusive right of trading with Indians on the West side of themountains, no other person can lawfully carry on trade or erect tradingestablishments within the British Territory, and you may warn them off on anyattempt being made to do so, but I would advise you to avoid collisions which mayend in serious difficulty and bloodshed.”29The Company, he thought, was further protected by natives’ resistance to the intrusions ofoutsiders:“The Indians object to the entrance of white men into their country, and will notpermit them to work the aunferous streams, partly with the view of monopolizingthe precious metal for their own benefit, and partly from an impression that thesalmon will leave the rivers, and be prevented from making migrations from thesea.That disposition on their part is altogether in favor of our interests, and Icannot help admiring the wisdom and foresight of the Indians; and have givendirections to the officers in charge of the Company’s Posts to respect their feelings,and to permit them to work the gold for their own benefit and to bring it in as anarticle of trade.”3°Douglas was not disturbed about natives’ hostility to outsiders, in fact it was an addedinsurance for the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly, although he did want to protect theCompany from liability for natives’ behaviour. In addition, natives were not to think theycould exert pressure on the Hudson’s Bay Company officers and servants; a trading28Douglas to McLean, November 23, 1857, Country Letter Book.30James Douglas to George Simpson, July 17, 1857, Fort Victoria, Western DepartmentLetterbook, 1855-1857.21relationship with natives had to be maintained. In directions to McLean, Douglas tried tofind a balance between using and tempering natives’ hostility:“I am aware of the feeling of the Indian population in respect to the Americans, butI think they will find it impossible to carry out their determination of preventingwhites from working in their diggings. Leave them entirely to their own impulsesand be careful not to encourage them to resist the influx of gold diggers, as we maybecome embroiled in serious difficulties; in short inculcate upon the Indians theduty of being kind to all Whitemen; your words will at least have a restraining effectif they cannot altogether prevent evil, at the same time I should take care to informany white strangers coming into the country that the Indians are dangerous and notto be trusted.”3’In July 1857, to further emphasize that the Company was not aggravating the Natives andleading them to commit acts of violence on the miners, Douglas denied Hudson’s BayCompany servants were involved in washing gold:“The officers in command of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s posts in that quarter,have received orders carefully to respect the feelings of the natives in that matter,and not to employ any of the Company’s servants in washing out gold, withouttheir full approbation and consent. There is, therefore, nothing to apprehend on thepart of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s servants, but there is much reason to fear thatserious affrays may take place between the natives and the motley adventurers whowill be attracted by the reputed wealth of the country... and may probably attempt tooverpower the opposition of the natives by force of arms, and thus endanger thepeace of the country.”32As if to justify his policy of excluding foreigners, not to protect his monopoly, but toprotect “his Indians,” Douglas continued:“I beg to submit, if in that case, it may not become a question whether the nativesare not entitled to the protection of Her Majesty’s Government, and if an officerinvested with the requisite authority should not, without delay, be appointed for thatpurpose.”33With these words, Douglas was implying that he thought mining should be reserved for theprofit of the company and that the British government should be in charge of protecting thatright, as well as the rights of natives. So while Douglas began to acknowledge miners’31Douglas to McLean, November 23, 1857, Country Letter Book.32Douglas to Labouchere, July 15, 1857, “Correspondence relative to the discovery ofgold...” British Parliamentary Papers33Ibid.22potential for disturbing the peace, he had little idea that he would become responsible fortheir behaviour and liable for their safety.Douglas continued to protect the monopoly with words, by issuing a proclamationstating the Crown’s exclusive rights to all minerals (to which the Hudson’s Bay Companythus had exclusive right through license). This was published in all the relevant papers:“I beg that you will cause the proclamation and license regulations to be inserted inthe Oregon Weekly & Journals, for the information of the Public. It is also properto state that the Couteau indians are decidedly dangerous, and that they haveforcibly expelled all the whites who have attempted to work Gold in theirCountry. “‘If this proclamation and its advertisement were acknowledgements of a pending rush andwere intended to buy time for the organization, they were not so interpreted by the ColonialOffice which reprimanded him for his high handed measures.Douglas started to hit his stride as he settled down to arranging details. If, heinformed McLean, servants were to start leaving for the gold fields themselves he would“send to Honolulu for a few Sandwich Islanders to meet defections.” As the threat ofoutsiders (Americans) became more real and as he gained confidence in the productivity ofthe mines, Douglas started to take McLean’s advice more seriously, pursuing the idea of agold trading post:“About 209 oz. of Gold have been traded from the natives since the 6th of lastOctober. I am forming a transport corps for the purpose of pouring supplies intothe interior by Fraser’s River making a portage in whole or in part at the Falls, andwe shall probably form a Depot at the junction of Thompson’s River with Fraser’sRiver.”35McLean found the richest gold deposits to be 12 miles from the Forks of the Thompsonand Fraser rivers, and in January, 1858, Douglas advised his superiors of his decision toestablish a “small trading post” near those forks. He acknowledged the impassable natureof the Fraser below that point, and restated the need for two lines of vessels.36 The post34Douglas to McTavish, December 30, 1857, Country Letter Book.35Douglas to Tolmie, December 28, 1857. Country Letter Book.36Douglas to Smith, January 14, 1858. Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward. HBCA.23would be small because he was no longer sure the license would be renewed in 1859.By February of 1858 he issued a contract for the Fort’s construction.38 Part of thenecessary arrangements included standard negotiations with the native groups upon whoseterritory they would infringe and upon whose trading cooperation the scheme depended:“I send herewith a small gift for each of the two Chiefs of Quayome and the Chiefof Tlcumjane ... tell them that I have sent you to build a Fort on their lands and thatthey must behave well and be kind to my pc”39By March the post had been named Fort Dallas and the building party despatched. Securityhad finally become an issue, and along with diminishing economic hesitations justified thenew fort:“When the buildings are finished, we will use the place as a Depot, and throw in alarge supply of Goods for the gold trade; until then we must furnish goods asrequired, as it would be unsafe to keep a large stock on hand without adequateprotection... “40McLean was instructed to decide on the precise site of the Fort and the aspect of thebuildings, keeping both business and defense in mind. Douglas recommended housesforming three sides of a square, but made no mention of palisades.4’Experiencedpersonnel were a further necessity, Douglas was thinking of putting Thomas Charles ofNew Caledonia in charge of Fort Dallas,42 and had decided to use “small handy riverboats” instead of canoes for transportation.43In April ships from California brought about five hundred miners to Victoria, enroute to the Fraser River. Despite this, operations seemed to Douglas to be runningsmoothly. The Hudson’s Bay Company was still in control of the situation:37Ibid38Douglas to McLean, Fort Langley, Feb. 9, 1858. Fort Dallas, CorrespondenceOutward.39Douglas to George Simpson, February 9, 1858, Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward.40Douglas to Smith, April 19, 1858, Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward.41-Douglas to McLean, March 13, 1858, Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward.42Douglas to McLean, March 30, 1858, Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward.43Douglas to McLean, April, 19, 1858, Fort Dallas, Correspondence Outward.24“It would perhaps be impossible so great is the excitement to arrest the torrent ofemigration at present, but by watching the course of events we may I conceivemanage to limit and control the tide, and to introduce something like order andsystematic management into the mining operation of the country.”44But by May 1858 Douglas lost control of immigration and took little consolation from theFort:“The conviction has at last been forced upon me, that it is altogether impossible toprevent people from entering the British possessions, in search of gold, as long asthere is a prospect of finding it in abundance. The evil will thus work its owncourse, without interposition on our part.”45While Douglas acknowledged this situation, he did not consider it permanent or a threat tothe future of the Hudson’s Bay Company on the Pacific coast. Even the appearance ofcompeting traders did not worry him as he saw new ways to profit from the gold rush, andat the same time tried to convince the Colonial Office that the Hudson’s Bay Company’sadministration of it could benefit British interests. In the meantime, the gold discoveriesbrought more outside scrutiny to the Fraser canyon than it had ever received.From Managing Resources to Managing MinersThe Thompson River finds brought the first serious gold discoveries north intoBritish territory and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly. Other finds north of the49th parallel had not been threatening, because they drew few miners or had beenconsidered offshoots of the Colvile diggings. The Thompson River finds were seen asdiscrete, as witnessed by Douglas’s constant attempts to define the “gold district.” In thefirst instance the Company sought to treat gold as any other resource. Its presencesignalled possible benefit for the Company and steps were taken to evaluate the extent ofthe resource and its distribution, followed by economic considerations of the most efficientand cost-effective ways to develop it. Because the Hudson’s Bay Company had never triedto extend its monopoly to gold, methods were not immediately obvious. This led, in part,‘Douglas to Smith, April 17, 1858, Douglas, Correspondence Out, Letterbook of Affairson Vancouver Island Colony, BCARS.45 Ibid. May 18, 1858.25to the debate over the establishment of Fort Dallas. However, Douglas’s ambivalentattitudes were brought on by more than the difficulties involved with exploiting a newresource. He could have been informed by examples from other British colonies(Australia) or by gold rushes closer to home (California). Already in 1857 he realized thatgold could draw intruders into the British mainland and threaten other Hudson’s BayCompany operations. It is difficult to know how much of the rush Douglas could haveforeseen, but clearly he underestimated both the potential of the Thompson river finds todraw thousands of gold seekers as well as the threat they would pose to the monopoly. Hewas slow to organize his mobile trading party and even slower to establish a stable physicalpresence close to the finds. Initially, he was hampered by economic concerns and lack ofinformation. The size and distribution of the gold fields were unknown and any actionDouglas took would have been an awkward gamble for what was, essentially, a tradingcompany. A still meager knowledge of the land, including lingering doubts over thenavigability of the Fraser Canyon, also inhibited Douglas. He placed too much faith in thelegality of the company’s trade license and, apparently, in natives’ dislike of foreigners.While some groups were eager to exclude miners, others found employment and tradepartners among the newcomers. Whatever the nature of the Hudson’s Bay Company’shold over natives, it could not be maintained in the presence of a gold rush.The influx of miners introduced a whole new series of problems. The companyhad to move from procuring a resource to managing people. At one scale this changed themeanings of the forts. These traditional points of collection for trade goods and of defensefrom natives were adapted to provide for the provision trade, aimed at the miners.Brigades shifted from transporting traded goods to supervising native miners, providingthem with tools, and collecting their gold, and to surveillance of white miners’ activities inthe region. In addition, both forts and brigades came to stand as symbols of the Hudson’sBay Company’s authority throughout the region. At another scale, the gold rush changedthe entire meaning of the Hudson’s Bay Company, posing questions about the priority of26trade over colonization. During the fur-trade years the Fraser Canyon had been virtuallyfree of white activity, but as a result of the gold discoveries the Company itself began totake a more focussed interest in it and its inhabitants. The arrival of outsiders also drew theinvolvement of a whole new apparatus of power, a colonial govermnent, which focussedsquarely on the Fraser Canyon.The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Colonial OfficeThe Hudson’s Bay Company was quickly forced to shift its position on themainland, moving from exploiting a resource to defending a territory. Once the influx ofminers was underway, it tried to limit that flow. When this proved ineffective, it had tocontrol the population within the boundaries in more precise and directed ways.Throughout this process it worked at a variety of geographical scales.As Douglas was trying to prepare the Company to exploit the resource and later todefend against miners, he formed his policies based upon his own experience and oncommunication from traders in the field, in this case primarily McLean. The Governor andCommittee of the Hudson’s Bay Company gave Douglas considerable freedom. He hadonly to report generalities to them as they were not interested in day-to-day operations. Buthis jurisdiction over trade on the mainland was ambiguous. When miners entered themainland and the gold rush drew international attention, the emphasis shifted fromHudson’s Bay Company license to British Territory. As a result Douglas was drawn intoanother level of communication and was made responsible to the British Colonial Office.The Colonial Office appreciated the problems of communication and their own distancefrom the Fraser Canyon. It entrusted Douglas with considerable responsibility and reliedupon him to exercise“whatever influence and powers you may possess in the manner which from localknowledge and experience you conceive to be best calculated to give developmentto the new country and to advance Imperial interests.”46E.B. Lytton to J.Douglas, July 11858, Great Britain, Colonial Office, British ColumbiaOriginal Correspondence, CO 60/1, BCARS. (Hereafter cited as CO 60/1)27Despite the Colonial Office’s appreciation of “local knowledge” and Douglas’s use of it asa rationale for his policies, he received frequent repnmands. The Colonial Office ensuredhe understood that his jurisdiction did not cover matters other than trading on the mainland.He represented the Colonial Office because he was at hand, but he was to report to themand take orders. The Colonial Office knew little about the area, communication was slow,and the actual correspondence quite abstract.The Colonial Office and Douglas shared common concerns, particularly about theinflux of Americans. Douglas’s policies and the Colonial Office’s responses were basedon particular understandings of the types of threats Americans could pose to the Hudson’sBay Company monopoly, as well as to British presence in the region in general. In hiscorrespondence to the Colonial Office Douglas tried to tie Hudson’s Bay Companyinterests to those of Great Britain:“the interests of the Empire may suffer from the introduction of a foreignpopulation, whose sympathies may be decidedly anti-British and if the majority beAmericans, strongly attached to their own country and peculiar institutions.”47He tried to speak to broader issues by emphasizing the Empire, but if that were notconvincing enough, he made oblique references to the Oregon boundary dispute of 1846:“there will always be a hankering in their minds after annexation to the UnitedStates, and with the aid of their countrymen in Oregon and California, at hand, theywill never cordially submit to British Rule, nor possess the loyal feelings of Britishsubjects.”48When Douglas estimated the actual numbers of immigrants he had to concede thatAmericans formed but a small proportion of the total numbers. Germans and French werein the majority and were considered safer by far than the Americans. The Colonial Officealso found relief in this, as the Secretary of State, Herman Merrivale’s, marginal commentsindicated.49 At the same time the Colonial Office was not completely taken in by Douglas.It was less concerned with the viability of the Hudson’s Bay Company than with imperial47Douglas, to Colonial Office, May 8, 1858 CO 60/1‘Ibid.49Memvale in margin of ibid.28interests. It impressed upon Douglas the need to avoid “serious complications between twoneighboring and powerful states.”50 The Colonial Office stressed“that it is no part of their policy to exclude Americans and other foreigners from theGold fields. On the contrary, you are distinctly instructed to oppose no obstaclewhatever to their resort thither for the purpose of digging in those fields as long asthey submit themselves, in common with the subjects of Her Majesty, to therecognition of Her authority, and conform to rules of police as you may havethought to establish.51Douglas had tried to exclude miners or at least control their entrance. He definedthe gold finds as bounded within a region requiring defense. This was to be achievedthrough imposing strict licensing regulations, but they did not discourage miners, nor couldhe enforce them. He finally conceded that he would have to allow immigration to “take itscourse.” Yet Douglas sought to channel the flow in such a way as to benefit the Hudson’sBay Company, Victoria, and, he wrote, the “mother country” by “forming a valuable outletfor British manufactured goods.”52 To the Hudson’s Bay Company he wrote:“The merchants and general dealers of Victoria are rejoicing in the increaseof wealth and business, produced by the arrival of so large a body of people in theColony, and are strongly in favour of making this a stopping point between SanFrancisco and the gold mines, which so far as respects the prosperity of the Colonyis evidently an object of the utmost importance, as both in going and returningminers would make purchases, and spend a great deal of money; the value ofproperty would be greatly enhanced, while the sale of public land and thecolonization of the country would be greatly promoted.”53Simpson too found that protection of the Hudson’s Bay Company trade was only just,considering what it had lost: “I hope we may secure a fair share of the profits to be made bysupplying the miners and collecting the precious metals, as some compensation for the lossof our trade, which will at once become extinct.”54 To the Colonial Office too, Douglaswrote of his intentions in making the “port a stopping place between San Francisco, & the50E.B.Lytton to Douglas, July 11858. CO 60/151Ibid.52Douglas, Victoria, to Col. Office, May 8 1858, CO 60/153Douglas to Smith, April 27, 1858. Letterbook of Affairs on Vancouver Island Colony.54George Simpson to H.H.Berens (private) July 30, 1858, London, Locked PrivateLetterbook, 1855-1860, HBCA, p.152.29gold mines, converting the latter as it were into a feeder and dependency of this Colony.Victoria would thus become a depot of trade for the gold Districts, & the naturalconsequence would be an immediate increase in the wealth of the Colony.”55 These endswere to be achieved through the organization of regular steamers from Victoria to the FraserRiver in order to encourage miners to favour that route over the various American onesthrough Fort Colvile or Whatcom. An entry to the gold fields via Victoria also deemphasized the proximity of the gold region to the U.S. and protected British sovereigntyby discouraging the north-south routes.In more overt efforts to protect the Hudson’s Bay Company trade monopoly,Douglas tried to enforce its license and interpreted the Company’s “exclusive right of tradewith Indians” to include whites. After all, he argued, when the license had been given nowhites were in the region. Miners were encouraged to outfit themselves at Victoria, andwere required to pay duty on the goods they took up the Fraser. Non-Hudson’s BayCompany traders were at first not allowed to bring any goods that the Hudson’s BayCompany carried, and later were required to pay duties on them. These regulations causedan uproar among miners and traders alike, as the Hudson’s Bay Company could not keepits posts stocked with provisions for the miners. The company was forced to allow othertraders up the river, provided they did not sell the same goods as the Hudson’s BayCompany. It rapidly lost control of that trade: “For a time we did a very large business, butit did not last long. Competitors arose, and we have on hand very large stocks ofprovisions and American goods, on which we are undersold by outsiders.”56 As a resultthe Hudson’s Bay Company tried at least to maintain control of trade with natives but thistoo could not be enforced and natives soon traded with, and worked for, whites.55Douglas to Labouchere, May 8, 1858, “Correspondence Relative to the Discovery ofGold in The Fraser’s River District.”56 A.G. Dallas, to Captain Shepherd, September 1, 1858. London, Locked PrivateLetter book, pp. 164-168.30As long as Douglas avoided international incidents and kept the miners undercontrol the Colonial Office was not concerned about the Hudson’s Bay Company. At firsthe thought this could be achieved by requiring foreigners to take an oath of allegiance toHer Majesty, but this was never done, in part because miners refused. Instead, Douglasfocussed on practical control. While his original policy was to limit access to the region asa whole, once the miners arrived he had to exert his authority within the boundaries of the“gold region.” He did this by controlling access to items within the region, particularlyland. If land could not be occupied legally, through title, he feared miners would “occupythe land as squatters.” Indeed,“Several applications for preemptions of land rights were made by parties desirousof settling in Fraser’s River. Refused to entertain the said applications for want ofauthority. Think we ought to immediately commence the sale of land for if werefuse to make sales the people will squat on every part of the country and there willbe a great difficulty in ejecting them. In fact unless sales are made at once they willneither pay for the land afterwards.”57In response, all land was to be opened for settlement, surveyed, and sold at a fixed rate.This would require “a large and efficient corps of Surveying Officers to be placed under themanagement of the Surveyor General [of Vancouver Island, Joseph Pembertonj...”58Perhaps this would protect land from squatters and promote lawfulness, but moreimportantly the focus of Douglas’s defense had shifted- he was now seeking to impressthe Colonial Office with the Hudson’s Bay Company’s ability to organize a population.Thus, he emphasized that the region could be self supporting: the revenue raised from57 Douglas, May 14, 1858, Private Papers, “Diary of Gold Discovery on Fraser’sRiver in 1858,” p. 58. BCARS.58Jbid. June 10. Quite how the Hudson’s Bay Company license and position on themainland was to be interpreted was not immediately clear. Walter Sage portrays threepossible solutions to this “vexed constitutional and administrative problem.” “The first wasto extend the authority of the of the government of Vancouver Island over the mainland ofBritish Columbia.” The second was to annul the 1849 grant fo Vancouver Island andamalgamate the mainland and the Island into one colony. The third option, and the oneeventually carried out, was to create a separate colony out of the mainland. By trying toestablish a land policy, it appears, however, that Douglas favoured the first option. See,Walter N.Sage, “The Gold Colony of British Columbia,” The Canadian Historical Review.2(4), 1921, p. 350.31selling land would cover the cost of surveying it - just as licensing would pay for its ownenforcement. In effect, then, the Hudson’s Bay Company had been moved towardsoperating as an arm of Colonial administration. But the transition was not complete, evenif licensing and surveying could pay their costs, there were services some miners felt werestill lacking, including security of life and property achieved through transportationimprovements, enforcement of land policy, and control of natives.Before land laws were in place, Douglas had felt absolved from any responsibilitytowards the miners. Of his talk with miners on Hill’s Bar he said:“I refused to give them any rights of occupation to the soil, and told them distinctlythat Her Majesty’s Government ignored their very existence in that part of thecountry which was not open for settlement, and they were permitted to remain theremerely on sufferance, that no abuses would be tolerated...”The plan to open land for settlement served to acknowledge the miners’ presence, andbrought with it responsibility for their safety. As the focus of the rush shifted northwards,it became apparent that the route through the Fraser Canyon was exceedingly difficult. Itslowed the pace of northward movement and resulted in many accidents, particularlyamong miners who tried to canoe through the Canyon. Drowning miners could become“international incidents” and raised miners’ dissatisfaction with Douglas. To promote hisimage and bolster his authority, Douglas hired approximately 500 miners to build theHarrison-Lillooet route, and planned for a new fort (Berens) near Cayoosh (Lillooet). LikeFort Dallas it was never completed.The miners and the Colonial Office also felt the Hudson’s Bay Company shouldprovide for civil order. Douglas appointed George Perrier as justice of the Peace at Hill’sBar in June, and also tried to establish a series of “Indian Magistrates” “to bring forwardwhen required any man of their several Tribes, who may be charged with offenses againstthe Laws of the country...”59 During the summer, as conflicts among whites and betweenwhites and natives became increasingly serious it became clear that the Hudson’s Bay59Douglas to Colonial Office, June 15, 1858, CO 60/1.32Company could not provide the requisite civil order. One Justice of the Peace would not beenough to control the miners, especially as they spread inland. The provision of justice didnot pay for itself, at least not in the short term, and a trading company could not carry itout.As a trading company, the force at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s disposal waslimited. Douglas’s realization of this is reflected in his attempt to exclude miners from theregion altogether. With a little naval backup, the mouth of the Fraser and perhaps some ofthe Company’s brigade trails (the main overland routes), could have been shut off, at leastfor a time. The Colonial Office’s dismissal of this option led Douglas to more complexalternatives. Defending a bounded region was easier than controlling a large and complexpopulation within it. Douglas tried to achieve this by regulating the inventory of thatregion, but as the summer wore on it became apparent that the miners had their own ideasof how gold rushes should be run. In effect the Colonial Office and Douglas were trying totransform the Hudson’s Bay Company into a form of colonial government, but this wouldhave entailed forcing a trading company to reconsider its ideas of profit. The Hudson’sBay Company’s spatial strategies were based on trade, not on administering a population.This new population consisted of experienced miners who had their own ideas about thenature of a gold rush. The right to mine the soil was not return enough for their licensingfee, they also demanded services. Douglas hoped that the group would be tooheterogeneous to pull together and assert itself as a community, but the miners proved himwrong.33CHAPTER 3MINING MEN IN THE FRASER CANYON“Every joke that is cracked is mixed in Frazer River water, and Frazer forms partand parcel of everybody’s meat, drink, and apparel.”William Carew Hazelitt, 18581“[Biitish Columbia] can never be aplace, because there is nothing to support it,except the mines, and just as soon as they are done the place goes downcompletely, for there is absolutely nothing to keep it up; and I tell you the truth themines are falling off very fast.”Charles Major, 18592“...the impartial student, without in the least denying or seeking to palliate whatwas ugly, will not overlook essential traits of manhood, but will remember thatmost of the mining populace were young men, far from the restraints of home.William J. Trimble, 1914Mining society in British Columbia has been interpreted in two ways. Historianssuch as Frederic Howay and, more recently, Robin Fisher and Tina Loo, have focussed onthe miners’ disorderly and a-social nature.4 Fisher discusses them only as precursors ofsettlers, whom he sees as the real agents of shifting native-white power relations, whileLoo argues that miners were bondless individuals who relied on the fledgling legal systemfor social cohesion. California historians H.H.Bancroft and Rodman Paul, and the goldrush historian W.P. Morrell, on the contrary, interpreted miners as frontier heroes whocarried (the beginnings of) ‘civilization’ with them to wild or under-utilised territories.5‘William Carew Hazlitt, British Columbia and Vancouver’s Island, (London: G.Routledge& Co), p.149.2Charles Major, Fort Hope Frazer River, Sept. 20, 1859, to Sarnia Observer. Reprinted inBritish Columbia Historical Quarterly, 5(3), July 1941. p 229. (His emphasis).3Willaim J. Trimble, “The Mining Advance into the Inland Empire,” Bulletin of theUniversity of Wisconsin, No. 638, History Series, 3 (2), 1914, p. 1524Robin Fisher, Contact and Conflict: Indian-European Relations in British Columbia,1774-1890, (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1977). Tina Loo, “Law and Authority in BritishColumbia, 1821-1871,” PhD Thesis, Department of History, University of BritishColumbia, 1990.5W.p. Morrel. The Gold Rushes. (London: Adam and Charles Black,1940 (1968),particularly pages 188-200. Rodman Wilson Paul, Mining Frontiers of the Far West 1848-1880, (New York: Holt Rheinhart and Winston, 1963).34William Trimble, a western mining historian, was wary of stereotypes, but drew similarconclusions:“But whatever elements of population prevailed in one or other place, there was oneeverywhere present, everywhere respected, everywhere vital- the Californian. ToFraser River, Cariboo, Kootenay; John Day, Boise, Alder Gulch, Helena, went theadopted Sons of California - youngest begetters of colonies - carrying with them themethods, the customs, and the ideas of the mother region, and retaining for it not alittle love and veneration.”6Contemporary observers such as government officials and the press viewed these whiteworking men with suspicion. Whether miners were cast in a positive or negative light, thereal ‘civilization’ of the Fraser Canyon awaited the arrival of settlers. After all, outsidersseem to imply, how could a group incapable of physical reproduction be expected toreproduce itself socially?Mining society was not instantly recognizable as such to these outsiders: it wascomposed mainly of men, who moved about in search of gold. Indeed, mining societywas not grounded in permanent towns, but in a strong identity based upon ethnicity,gender, class, and race, and expressed at a local level on the river bars. In a more generalsense miners considered every gold bearing region - including the Fraser River region oreven British Columbia - as theirs. Their narrowly-defined identities provided for commoninterests and social cohesion. The Fraser canyon was a space in which to continue achosen lifestyle, but not an empty space: miners had to be able to draw together in the faceof opposition from natives and administrators in order to survive as individuals and as agroup.Miners brought with them a jumble of ideas and left behind a jumble ofimpressions, expressed in their writings on women, natives, mining, friends, home, andthe British administration. Their ideas frequently contradict each other, and no onenarrative contains the ‘whole story’ about miners. But the narratives do demonstrate thatthese ideas were not random, irrational, nor disconnected from the world around them.6Trimble, p. 141.35They show how miners perceived of themselves as miners, how they thought about theworld around them, and what it meant to be white men working in this region.To the Fraser River MinesDuring the spring and summer of 1858 around 15,000 gold miners arrived inVictoria from San Francisco, most en route to the Fraser River mines, and others cameoverland. In 1858, most miners came directly from California, in later years they camefrom further afield - from the eastern United States, Canada, China, and Western Europe.For the miners coming via the California gold fields, the Fraser rush started long beforethey reached Victoria or the Fraser River. It drew directly on the momentum of excitementbuilt up in California, coupled with the waning possibilities for independent miners in thatregion. What may have started out as a quick adventure in 1849 had become a way of lifefor many miners. But by 1858, this life was threatened in California as more expensiveequipment and techniques became necessary to mine increasingly diffuse gold deposits andas large corporations took over mining. The miners were forced to contemplate eithergoing home or moving on to other gold regions.7 News of the Fraser gold fields reachedCalifornia, and reports from Californian prospectors convinced many to try their luck in the‘Northern Eldorado.’“The geographical location of Fraser River was decidedly limited, but that made nodifference, there was gold to be had, so [the] report said, and that was enough -Miners sold or abandoned thier claims, farmers sold or leased thier [sic] ranches,and mechanics and traders all became wild with the fever, and all flocked toSanfrancisco, as a starting point.”8The flow was fed by rumours, leaked information, and rapidly written and published goldrush guides. Fur trader A.C. Anderson used his experience of the region to guide minersalong the Fraser River (Figure 3), while J.D. Pemberton, the Surveyor General ofVancouver Island, encouraged miners from further afield with his maps of cross7Frank Sylvester, “Reminiscences,” 1901, p. 1. BCARS.8lbid. According to Sylvester, as a disincentive, miners had to pay a fee for leavingCalifornia.36continental trails (Figure 4). Another gold rush writer made his maps seductive with labelsindicating where gold had been found (Figure 5). Such guides helped to convinceCalifornians that the Fraser River was worth the nsk, and the gold discoveries,commentators wrote, took hold of their imaginations in pathological proportions. Somefailed to see the rationale for the rush: “It is extremely doubtful whether the evilsres[ulting] from such excitements though attended by a distribution of wealth and benefitsdo not by far counterbalance the advantages.”9Another wrote, “There was nothing in therepresentations of the New Gold Fields to warrant such multitudes leaving theiroccupations, and Families at one time...”10 Others tried to find something principled in thebehavior of the miners, but were mocked for their efforts: “How strange is the comparisoninstituted by the Times between the rush to Fraser River and the medieval crusades, whichcarried so large a portion of the population of Europe to die on the burning plains ofPalestine.” This writer explained, instead, that the miners were possessed by greed:“Their object is of the earth, earthly-wealth in its rawest form - gold, the one thing forwhich they bear to live, or dare to die.”12 Frequently, physiological metaphors were used:“the news acted as a match to powder - The people became wild, in fact temporarilyinsane.”13 Other authors also stress this irrationality: “Madly the goidhunters risked lifeand property, infatuated with this mania to try their fortunes on the Fraser. This GoldMania is irresistible... “14 Coupled with this fever, they found, was the need for haste, “theimpetus [of] Gold [was] to be there first.”59Elwood Evans. “The Fraser River Excitement, 1858 - its philosophy and claims tohistorical notice.” Olympia, 1856-1878. BCARS, original in Bancroft library.10James Bell, Sanfrancisco, to Mr. John Thompson, Annan, Scotland, Feb. 27, 1859,James Bell, Correspondence Outward. BCARS.11Robert Ballentyne, Handbook to the New Gold Fields, (Edinburgh: Alex. Strahan,1858), p.2.12Jbjd13Sylvester, p.1.‘4Evans, p. 12.15Charles Alfred Bayley, “Early Life On Vancouver Island,” [1878]. Reminiscences,preprared for H.H. Bancroft. BCARS, orig. in Bancroft. p.18.CNV6rr-’ISp:v;•c•m/J/::,e:\I•—;,y1FL,3P’II-•0IH•c.-r:;:Iz••1-738Figure 5: Miner’s Map to the Fraser RiverMINER’S MAPFRAZER RIVERAND ITS TRIBUTARIES,- GOLD BEARING COUNTRY.TABLE OF IITSTANCES.VIOTORIA ROUTE.IntoFrmeb.c )Iot.rla S.OTht.,ia 71.0th Frozor Rher 71171..th Frooor Rhror F•rI L.tgioy 61F.rt L...jJey F.rt H.p OSF.rt H.p F.rt V.o 10F.m aIe Fork. Th..p.... Hirer 46F.rkn Th.o.p... RlveiF.mt fl..up.501063-aOOLUMIA RIVER ROUTE.1.00 To Hitno.6.. Fra.cinc IIroih (J.IobIa River 000I1.Ih Coloneblo River.. Fort Ok.oig 435Fort Ok..igo Troi.t 140Teeki Fort Tb..opo .651070Source: S.F. Baker, engr., [San Francisco: Whitton, Towne & Co., 1858], Spec. Coil.39Miners were more matter of fact: “The very flower of California came into thiscountry. It was because they had money that they came and they had money because oftheir habits of living. I did not have much but I had six hundred dollars in gold dust.”16For Lucius Edelbiute, British Columbia was a reasonable sequel to California. Friends inCalifornia told him“to load load up and stick tu it thay wood fit me out again but i dident du so i pootmy mules up at oxin [auction] and sold all but dick i then tuck him to a friend atJohntown and left him on his ranch and started for the frasier river... i ship on thebruthe Jomthan to vancover island then on the wild dutchman to new westminsterthen up the frasher river to fort yal.”17Bills of lading for ships coming into Victoria show the following numbers ofarrivals: April/May 1,262; June 7,149; July, 6,278; August 254.18 From Victoria minerstried to board over-booked steamers (like Edelbiute), or to build their own boats to crossthe Strait of Georgia to the Fraser River. Some miners tried to avoid Victoria (and mininglicenses) by travelling overland from Fort Colvile and The Dalles along the Hudson’s BayCompany’s brigade trail through the Okanagan valley, or by sailing to Bellingham Bay totake the Whatcom trail. Once in Whatcom, early arrivals discovered that the trail had notyet been cut through to the Fraser River, and were forced to revise their plans. One miner“Boarded the Steamer at Portland Maullanoma [?] Landed about a mile below themouth of Cowletz River Went to the little town of Cowletz about two miles up theriver. And got cayuses and went across to Olympia. And Boarded the old Steamer(Sea Bird) and went [sic] Bellingham Bay then known as Watcum And fitted outsome canoes for the Fraser River.”9Whatcom, an abandoned coal mining settlement (“but some of the men - half breeds + theirsquaws still lived there”20),and the Dalles were the last American places where minerscould outfit themselves. Later arrivals, heading for the upper Fraser could outfit at New16Edward Stout, Tales from Edward Stout At Yale, British Columbia, May 14th, 1908,Reminiscences, p.1. BCARS.‘7Lucius Samual Edelbiute, “The History of Lucius S. Edelblute,” p.4.1. BCARS.18E.W. Wright ed.Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest, (NewYork: Antiquarian Press, Ltd. 1961), p. 69.19J.C. (Dutch Charlie) Lual, “A trip to the Fraser River in 1858,” 1911. BCARS.20Stout, p.1.40Westminster and take the Harrison-Lillooet road. Despite efforts to reduce costs by usingas much overland transportation as possible, and attempts to avoid Victoria where minerswere required to take out licenses, alternate routes were difficult and the Victoria-FraserRiver route remained the most travelled. At Victoria and points along the Fraser, minerswere observed and counted as officials and naval detachments tried to force them to paytheir license fees and duties on personal goods. Among the miners arriving in Victoria inearly May, Governor Douglas counted “About 60 British subjects, with an equal number ofnative born Americans, the rest being chiefly Germans, with a smaller proportion ofFrenchmen, and Italians...”21 Licensing regulations were difficult to enforce: “theascertained number of persons who had actually sailed from the Port of San Francisco,with the intention of going into Fraser’s River mines, up to the 15th of Instant [May], was10,573,” but only 2525 licences had been taken out.22Victoria was ill-equiped to feed, lodge, or provision the thousands of miners. Goldseekers were described as desperate to outfit themselves and to get to the mainland.“Imagine hundred of tents pitched every where, and boats being built without beingpitched &c, to travel a distance of Ninety miles to reach Fraser River and then toascend the same which many hundreds never did, being assaulted by the Natives orLost crossing the Gulf of Georgia.”23This chaos caused the merchants, who had been largely in favour of new trade to askthemselves what they stood to gain:“OUR FUTUREThe world can no longer be astonished by the growth of mushroom cities.California has exhausted the list of possible wonders in this line. Her towns haverisen like magic apparitions, and her experience has also shown how much morerapid than creation destruction may operate, when fire is the agent of the latter.Gold can be no more potent in the Eldorado on the North, than it has been in that ofthe West. We see memories of the “old time” in every tent, canvas structure andfrail wooden tenement that springs up along our streets, and covers the vacantground with dwellings more or less hospitable. We hear echoes of the old wilddelusion on the auctioneer’s cry, as he vends his wares of goods or grounds, and21Douglas to Col. Office, May 8, 1858, Co 60/122Ibid23Bayley, p. 1841instances their increased value of wonderful cheapness when compared with therates of yesterday, or prospects of to-morrow; and it is not wonderful that eventhose whose experience had been dearly bought and in some instances still fresh inmind should fall in line, and rush wildly, as in years past, toward the will-o’-thewisp of sudden wealth. 24Other tradesmen were more practical: in response to the first large group of arrivals in May1858, Charles Bayley“Took a survey of the circumstances [on board the ship] and returned satisfied that Ihad seen the most motley crowd of men that could be congregated together fromany country. I returned and took in the situation immediatly bought up all the breadin the “Town” and had to feed over 250 men who would not wait for the meat to becooked... steamer after steamer followed and in one day 3500 men were landed inEsquimalt from two steamers all bound for the Diggins.”25Although the Thompson River had been the focus of the Hudson Bay Company’sgold trade and native miffing, most gold seekers entering the Fraser initially worked thebars between Hope and Yale. Hill’s Bar was said to be the richest, but others, including,American Bar, St. Clara Bar, Posey Bar, Emory’s and Texas Bar were also denselypopulated (Figure 6). From there miners moved through the canyon on native trails, layinglogs across the deep ravines as makeshift bridges as they went. Miners frequently wrotehome about the difficult trails (Figure 7), and as alternatives some miners paddled up theriver, and “erected wind-lasses at some point in the canyons to wind the boats up falls andrapids and overcome difficulties which no other class of men would surmount.”26Several travellers, but few miners, recorded their impressions of the largersettlements, such as Hope and Yale. Dr. Carl Freisach visited Yale in 1858 when itconsisted of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fort, the “American restaurant,” some framecabins, and a large number of tents in which most of the estimated 3,000 people lived.Among these inhabitants, he found the majority to be Americans, with numbers of24The Victoria Gazette, July 7, 1858.25Bayley, p.18.26William Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his Brother, July 12, 1859,Correspondence Outward. BCARS.42Figure 6: Mining Bars in the Fraser Canyon.Source: Great Britain, Admiralty, (London: The Admiralty, 1865, Corr. 1890)Figure 7: Mountain Roads7I /1/i /Ic, ‘ 4I’!-Source: “To the Cariboo and Back” The Leisure Hour: a family journal of instruction andrecreation, Volume 14, 186543A)2Ji7:1 ,‘AA1N flOiDU.44Germans, French, Chinese, Italians, Spaniards, and Poles. He counted six women. Hepresumably meant white women, as he found large numbers of natives “in theneighbourhood.” Sophia Cracroft visited Yale in 1861 while travelling with her aunt, LadyFranklin.“The shore slopes rather gradually upwards to the bank on which the little town isplaced, and the intervening beach is strewn with tents, and miners fluming &digging... Many of the tents were occupied by indians who are more numeroushere than we have seen them in any settlement on this river. The little town extendsitself right & left along the bank - the lower extremity having the H.B.Cos Fort,from which however the stockade was removed.”27The Anglican Bishop, George Hills, went further up the river to Boston Bar, whichconsisted of five houses, a liquor shop, and a combination restaurant/blacksmith. Hefound eight inhabitants: three Frenchmen, a Spaniard, “two coloured men,” a blacksmith,and the ferry man.28 Lytton he found scarcely worthy of description, its “environs arebare & dusty. The Sappers are laying out a Town. I was much disappointed at theappearance of it - not a tree near for some hundreds of yards.”29 He visited all the storesand restaurants, and found one Englishman, and several Frenchmen among thepredominant group of “Jews and Americans.” He held service in the government building.The gold commissioner and constables lived together in rough quarters. There was onewhite woman in Lytton, and she was “of ill-reputation.”30 Apart from Yale, towns werenot sites of great activity.The Mining LifeOnce they got to the Fraser, miners sought rich river bars and set about the hardphysical labour of placer mining. This involved digging gravel from the bars and separating27Dorothy Blakey Smith, ed. Lady Franklin visits the Pacific Northwest: being extractsfrom the letters of Miss Sophia Cracroft, Sir John Franklin’s neice, February to April,1861 and April to July, 1870, Provincial Archives of British Columbia, Memoir, no. 11,(Victoria: Provincial Archives of British Columbia, 1974), p.52.28Bishop George Hills, “Journal,” June 27, 1860. Vancouver School of Theology.29Hills, June 30, 1860.30Hills, July 3, 1860.45gold from it by ‘working’ the gravel with water in pans, rockers, or flumes. By August of1858, there was already a steam saw mill near Yale to provide lumber for flumes.31 Veiyfine particles of gold were amalgamated using mercury (quicksilver). One miner describedhis settling-in as follows:“Got to Fort Yale about the middle of may and started through the canyon andlanded on a place called Sailors Bar. Built our rockers and went to work And keptmoving up till we got to the old Suspension Bridge that is now And from there upto Chatmans Bar. About a mile distant from the bridge. There was now somefifteen or twenty of us in our gang. We made our headquarters on Chatmans Bar.We all lived together then and worked in that vicinity.32As Lual indicates, gold washing was not a solitary activity: each mining bar became atemporary home to groups of men, and even those miners working alone were seldom farfrom male companionship.“I used to play the fiddle on Boston bar. Cabins were scattered all down the beechfor half a mile and there were forty or fifty miners around Yankee Flat at that time.All the boys had more or less gold those days and they used to take in a thousanddollars a night at White’s Place on Boston Bar. The principal amusement thosetimes was drinking and playing a little cards. Every man on Yankee Bar then couldgo down in his pocket and bring up a few hundred dollars in quick silver dust.”33Drinking was the most common entertainment mentioned by the miners, and drinkingestablishments and their proprietors were looked back upon with fondness. Even a sly barkeeper was remembered that way:“I remember Dick Bowdon who kept the California House in Yale in 1862. Hewas a jolly Irishman. When the miners were pretty well stewed up and there was acarelessness as to how money was handed in for drinks Dick used to measurehimself what was coming to the bar. He would pick out a sizeable lump af goldfrom the bags which were extended for that purpose, remarking “only a pinch meboy” They no bother with the scales.”3431Daily Victoria Gazette, Sept. 28, 1858. The sawmill was an imporatant addition, as thepaper reported: “Messrs. Land& Hemming’s sawmill at Fort Yale has proven a god send tothe miners at that place, as well as at Hill’s, Emory’s, and other neighbouring bars,supplying them with lumber for sluices, without which a large proportion of the fine goldwould be lost, the old fashioned rockers not being well adapted to save the fine particles.”Daily Victoria Gazette, Oct. 18 1858.32Lual, p.2.33John S. (Dec Holloway) Holloway, “Reminiscences,” p.8. 1908. BCARS.34Stout, p.9.46Another miner provides some background for these shifting, improvised taverns, and theirowners.“Among the arrivals on Hills Bar in April 1858 was Edward Edwards who hadserved as a Midship man in the early fifties on one of Her Majesties fightingbattleships and was a great favorite with the miners on Hills Bar. Edwards had aStock of Provisions of different kinds and started to do business as a storekeeper inhis stock was also the inevitable whiskey the majority of miners at this time on Hillsbar were Americans they would very often congregate at Edwards Store and whenthe party gin [flied up they would try to induce Edwards to becom an American butthey could not induce him to change his Nationallity he would tell them he wasquite satisfied to be a bloody good Englishman. In Edwards conversation heinvariable used the word bloody and that name stuck to bloody Edwards during hislife time. Edwards died in Mexico a number of years ago.”35In part this jovial atmosphere is a product of reminiscence, but contemporaryaccounts too speak of the great sense of comraderie combined with individual freedom.Miners were a highly mobile group, and as the lower Canyon filled up with miners, or asbars were worked out, they spread northward. They also responded to reports of betterdiggings elsewhere. Furthermore, during the early summer run-off the Fraser rose so highas to prevent work on its lower bars. The miners responded by testing the high banks for“dry diggings” or by moving up along the river.Mining was frequently described as a hardship. One of the most commoncomplaints (sometimes in reference to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s administration)concerned the lack of food. Many miners had bought provisions at Victoria, usually littlemore than flour, bacon and beans. Some of the English miners were more particular.According to Charles Bayley, the proprietor of the Red House Grocery in Victoria in 1861:“The contemptuous manner that was exhibited when beans and bacon weresuggested to some of the newly imported scions of a large family of the Aristocratsof the Old Country was very amusing, Beans! they fed orses on them where Icome from was the reply; but after a while they were not asses enough to refusethem as many a day before they returned they were glad to take Beans straightpeppered with Sand Flies and Mosquitoes.”3635james Moore, Reminiscences, p.3.36Bayley,p. 20. Indeed, one English miner also brought the following, two tents, flour,bacon, “30 lbs of tea, 12 lbs of sugar, 6 tins baking powder, 3 bottles mustard, 3 do.pepper, 15 lbs beans, 12 lbs oatmeal, some soap, candles, and matches, waterproof sheets47Miners looking for supplies at Fort Langley in April and May of 1858 were disappointed attheir stores, but by May, Fort Yale had laid in some supplies. The Dalles and Walla Wallawere better prepared to supply a gold rush, but traders there had to use an arduous route toget to the Fraser. In 1858 Joel Palmer led a pack train with cattle and a variety ofpackhorses with mining implements along the Okanagan Trail to the Thompson River.37In 1859, he took a route that connected up with the Hudson Bay Company brigade trailthrough the Similkameen Valley to Fort Hope, and then travelled along the Fraser. Suchprovisioning remained difficult. It was dangerous because natives in the Okanagan werehostile to pack-trains.38 In addition, merchants from Victoria and United States wereinitially excluded from operating on the mainland by the Hudson’s Bay Company’smonopoly. Miners’ narratives often referred to food shortages, both because of lack offunds and because food was not available. Strategies to procure food included tradingsalmon from natives or planting small gardens. One miner revelled in this luxury “I shalleat no more bacon for the next three months, if I stay here, for the Indians have begun tocatch the delicious salmon. I shall live on them I bought a half one a few days ago for 50cents, about 8 pounds and had quite a feast.”39 Another was more prosaic: “Them broughtus Salmon and we traded them Grub for it.”4° Gardens were often mentioned, and minerswere allowed 5 acres near their claims for the purpose. Others took up more elaboratestrategies of survival:a frying pan, a camp kettle, and a small compact cooking apparatus...” Cecil WilliamBuckley, “Journal of a journey to the Cariboo gold mines, April - August, 1862,” p. 28.BCARS.37Scott, p.153 and Judge William Brown, “Old Fort Okanogan and the Okanogan Trail,”The quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, XV(1), March 1914, p.33-35. Accordingto Brown, heavily laden pack-trains had to take the “old Okanogan trail” along the east sideof the Columbia, while fur traders could travel either side of the river.38An agent from Kent& Smiths’s Express reported a “severe fight” with natives at FortOkanogan, in which three of his party were killed and six wounded. Daily Victoria Gazette,August24, 1858.39William Henry (Dutch Bill) Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12,1859. BCARS.40Lual, p. 4.48“... I think I still have cause to think my luck is hard. I am living alone on theranch as one can keep the crops cultivated, and Bob Garner has gone up on toEmory’s Bar to mine so that we may keep from starving while our potatoes grow.He is only making about two dollars a day, and I suppose when our potatoes havegrown it will be our luck to get nothing for them.”41Growing vegetables provided dietary variety and extra income, and allowed miners tostretch their supplies to last the winter months.While the rush brought a lot of people to the Fraser River very quickly, the miningpopulation, and all who were building on its success, were frequently beset by doubts.There was no way to gauge the distribution of gold or the size of the deposits. Miningsociety was built on a gamble. For some it was a way of life upon which they thrived, forothers it was adventure, but they all hoped sudden wealth was nearby. At times the attitudeprevailed that all unknown regions were full of gold, but negative reports periodicallyshook this faith, sending waves of despair and depression through the society. A letter ina local paper (directed at concerned speculators) explained that the origin of suchcontradictory reports resulted from two types of gold hunters, the intensive and theextensive, or:“1. Men who have gone hastily over a large extent of country, prospecting hereand there, whose information is too general to be of practical value in establishinganything beyond the extent of the diggings. 2. Men who have remained in onelocality, and can only state its operation in detail, but who indulge in whole salestatements of prospects and operations at other points on hearsay authority.”42People also left the mines because of individual hard luck. The way of lifementioned above by the old miners in their reminiscences had both good times - at leasttimes looked back upon with fondness - and bad. The nature of gold-rich sediments andthe unknown physical geography frequently caused panic among the miners. Hard luckstories are common in the accounts:“I hung on for six weeks like a drowning man catching at straws always hopingthat something would turn up that I might make a living at and perhaps make a littlemoney. I am sure that brother John will think it cowardly in me to give up but in41-Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12 1859.42Victoria Gazette, July 17, 1858.49fact I could do nothing else it came to be a question to either go down [river] orstarve.”43Another miner walked from Lytton to Yale wearing only one boot, which he cut to fit eitherfoot. Gold rush society was filled with uncertainty, and its growth was by no meansunidirectional. As a result, the routes to river bars were also used to leave them. As JamesBell wrote: “the rush north was immediately succeeded by as unwarranted a rush south.”He called this communal shaken confidence “home fever.”45 Particularly during thesummer of 1858, before the reputation of the mines was established, and most miners werethere on speculation, waves of miners headed south,46 but southward rushes werementioned in other years as well, including 1860:“Miners are coming here daily from Canboo and other parts of the upper country,cursing the whole affair, and saying they have been shamefully taken in; that it isthe most awful country they ever set their foot into, that there is no gold, and ifthere was, that there are no means to work it, that provisions are at famine prices,and in some places there is none left at all.”47Miners movements were not irrational but observers did not understand theirmotives. Miners mined because it was what they knew; and based decision-making on thepresent and the immediate future. They were willing to struggle for the preservation oflivelihood and a way-of-life, but both depended on the availability of gold.Mining MenVeterans of the British Columbia rushes identified strongly with their mining livesand lifestyles. As one elderly miner commented: “I have been fifty years in the mines andat seventy six years of age I am still a child of chance. If a gold rush were to take place43Alexander Robb, to his father, August 10, 1862, Alexander Robb, CorrespondenceOutward, B CARS.44Harry Guillod, October 10, 1862, Journal of a Trip to Cariboo, 1862. BCARS.45Bell, p. 2The developments were eagerly watched from California, who headlined stories asfollows “Why Don’t You Send the Gold?”, demonstrating the level of communicationbetween the two regions in their knowledge of the river’s rising and falling. Indeed,Bayley noted with surprise that the first arrivals from California in May 1858 knew moreabout the Fraser River than residents of Victoria. Bayley, p. 18.47Buckley, June 20, 1860, p. 44.50tomorrow I should be the first to go.”48 Another miner, J.C. Lual, felt particularlyknowledgeable about of the history of the mines, and warned against believing all thesetales: “There is a hole lot of stories told by people who call themselves old timers. Theyknow they are lying But they have told them them so many times that they actually believethemselves. In reference to this there is one man I could refer you to Mr. yates thenHudson bay man at Fort Hope.” Although William Yates had eye-witness experience ofthe mines, Lual considered his own experience more extensive and his own story morelegitimate:“I culd give the history of the country if I had space to put it in Writings. I havebeen to every gold excitement in this country excepting one and that was granitecreek. And in ever gold excitement I met Sam Adler. When Sam came back fromGranite Creek I asked him what luck. He said he knew it was no Good. Because Idid not see you there.”49When Edward Stout told his story for the 50th anniversary celebration of Yale, he knew ofthirteen “58-ers” still living through the canyon.50 In a 1918 letter to E.O.S.Scholefield(the provincial archivist), James Moore carefully recited the names of the discoverers of thefirst mining bars, and thanked the archivist for preserving his materials in the archives.5’From 1914 to 1919, Moore wrote eight letters and articles to archivists, a Premier, and theDaily Province. As one of the first white miners in British Columbia, Moore consideredhimself an authority on their history and signed himself, “Pioneer of Pioneers” at the end ofone of his letters.52 Onlookers may have been on skeptical but miners prided themselveson their pasts.These carefully preserved identities were composed of various strands of socialconstructions, intertwined like the currents of the Fraser and as difficult to separate. WhileShearer, “Reminiscences of Mr. Shearer, a pioneer of 1862,” p.8, 1911. BCARS.49Lual, p. 18-19.50Stout, p. 9.51James Moore, to Scholefield, January 31, 1918, Reminiscences, BCARS.52James Moore, to H.L. Harding, August 19, 1919, reprinted in “The Discovery of Hill’sBar,” British Columbia Historical Quarterly. 111(3), July 1939, p. 220.51miners had left their homes, they did not forget them. Similarly, the ideas acquired in othergold fields were not discarded the moment they got to the Fraser. Instead, they adaptedtheir ideas to the new gold region, and for the rest, expected it to adapt to them. Whilecertain travellers such as Sophia Cracroft, Bishop Hills, and Doctor Fnesach described thesettlements of the Fraser Canyon, miners themselves did not. Instead, miners wrote aboutlife on the mining bars and in the drinking bars. They emphasized their common ways tocreate common ground; after all, they were all a long way from home.Miners left their relatives behind to come to the Fraser gold rush, some morerecently than others, but they did try to keep in touch. Miners kept careful track of theircorrespondence and often reprimanded their relatives: “My Dear Brother, I have had noletter from you later than the mail of 20th May and none from sisters or Ella later than themail of 20th April from New York. I can’t understand this long silence and have beenmuch disappointed in not getting letters the last few mails.”53 Relatives were not alwaysassociated with happiness, but they were the ones to whom miners felt accountable.“To call up despondency, with all its gloomy associations I have only to sit downwith the intention of writing my relations; why I should experience such feelings oncalling to memory, those who above all others, excep[t] my two dear Children, Imost love and esteem, may appear unaccountable... Though we cannot hopeforgiveness, still would we plead sympathy... I fear I have dwelt too long on asubject in which you may be little interested, It is my home however, and in whatever country that is, I trust my relations will still feel an interest, if only for mysake.. “54Bell stressed his physical distance from his brother in Scotland, but he wanted emotionalsupport in his endeavours. Others felt the need to justify their reasons for leaving theirrelatives and, as the following letter demonstrates, were anxious to remain involved infamily affairs, but on their own terms:“I have given you my reasons, in previous letters, for not being particularlydesirous of coming home and I think they are good. Sam says the business is in53Willaim Henry (Dutch Bill) Dietz, Lytton City, Forks of Thompson and Frazer River,August 19, 1859, to his brother, BCARS. See also Joseph Haller, Canboo Letters,Vancouver City Archives.54James Bell, San Francisco, to Mr. John Thompson, Annan, Scotland, Feb. 27, 1859.52wretched condition, but gives no particulars in consequence of not being well. Hesays he hopes improvement from your being back. I fear the want of harmony andconcert of action among you will be the great difficulty, and unless there can beharmony I have no faith that my services would be of much avail. I certainly do notwish to engage in family quarrels I know I have duties there and have full faith thatI can run the business successfully and well, if I can be received with confidenceand sustained by the harmonious co-operation of all and without that assurance Ihave no desire to return; as to the means, the want of that alone might keep me herea lifetime if I have no better luck in the future than have had in the past.”55Others begged quite openly for news from home; despite a jaunty attitude Alexander Robbwas anxious to know what was going on with all he had left behind.“Dear Father,I suppose you will be thinking by this time that I am either dead or haveforgotten all about home else I would have written long ago. I can assure youhowever that this is not the case for I am as well as ever I was and as for theforgetting part it will be a long time before that time comes... [closes letter with:] Inthe meantime dear father keep writing to the care of Mr. Kyle tell me how the farmis getting on and in fact everything Nothing will be uninteresting Give my love toall brothers and sisters friends...Miners were far away from their families, but shared experiences of mining drewthem together in a place that Was definitely not like those original homes. Those elementsof life in the Fraser canyon that made it so different from home, including the lack of whitewomen, the overwhelming presence of natives, and some level of freedom fromestablished authority, were precisely the factors that served to draw them together to findnew definitions of their new homes.-Miners and WomenMining was not generally perceived as an occupation suitable for women, and, inrelative terms, very few women travelled to the gold mines. Fnesach’s numbers of thepopulation at Yale - six women among three thousand men - give a very rough estimate ofthe numerical proportions. But both Trimble and Sylvia Van Kirk, writing some 80 yearsapart, stress the importance of acknowledging that some women did go to the Fraser and55Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12 1859.56Alexander Robb, to his father, August 10, 1862.53Cariboo.57Tnmble cites some examples, but concludes that most “respectable women”were married to professional men, merchants, and fur traders, and lived in Victoria, oroccasionally in the smaller towns.58 Most white women, he wrote, were “hurdy-gurdygirls” (women who danced with miners for a fee), and occasionally prostitutes, but thesetoo were few, and lived in towns.59 He does not consider the possibility of women asminers, nor does Van Kirk. Van Kirk objects strongly to the idea of a “womanlessfrontier,” and argues that women had an effect “out of all proportion to their numbers.”6°Searching through a variety of records, she found names of 75 women who lived in theCariboo between 1862 and 1875. She stresses that most of these women were married andimportant entrepreneurs (which probably goes a long way toward explaining why theywere ‘named’ in records). Van Kirk demonstrates the presence of a very few women, butnever explains why their presence was “vital”, beyond upsetting the masculine frontiermyth. This does not explain why gold rushes were generally perceived as male events orhow they were constructed as such.The Fraser River rush undoubtedly drew some women, but in contemporarywritings, it was perceived as an opportunity for men, not for women. There were a varietyof ways in which the exclusion of women from the profits and freedoms of the gold rushworked. Again, many of these ideas of exclusion were present before the miners evercame to the Fraser region. In California gold fever affected both men and women.“The appearance of a steamer in the harbor was the signal for general stampede ofthe pantalooned to the waves; while the pantaletted seek the attic windows andhuddle together near their doors to catch the first whisper of the “news.” It maywell be debated whether the feminines are not more seriously affected just now thantheir natural protectors.” 6157Sylvia Van Kirk, “A Vital Presence: Women in the Cariboo Gold Rush” in BritishColumbia Reconsidered: Essays on Women, eds. Gillian Creese and Veronica StrongBoag, (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1992).58Trimble, p. 142 -143.59Trimble, p. 150-151.60Van Kirk, p.22.61Victona Gazette July 7 1858.54The “pantaletted” may have been eager for news, but they were confined, at least as far asmen were concerned, to their attics. Attempts to break such stereotypes were reported inthe papers with mockery. One woman in Sacramento was said to have packed her bagsand $500 with the intention of leaving her husband and going to the Fraser. Her husbandcaught her, took most of her money, and left for the Fraser himself.62 The report gave noaccount of what she did. Both husband and wife were ridiculed: she for thinking she couldmake it to the Fraser, he for having a wife who would do such thing and almost allowingher to get away with it. The newspaper heading “Matrimonial Felicity” was a wrycomment on the state of the marriage in which such a thing could happen.William Buckley described a more complicated incident concerning the situation ofwomen on the vessels sailing from Europe to San Francisco. He first described withhorror the conditions under which women on board had to travel. He thought it wasdisgraceful that they shared berths and washing space with men, and deplored the lack ofboundaries between them. But when the American captain gave a heavy punishment to anIrishman for insulting an American woman he decided that this was the result of thecaptains dislike for the British. The Irishman was “drunken, worthless fellow, and I havenot the least feeling of sympathy for him, but I do not not see how he could do more thanapologize...”63 Buckley felt he had to rationalize his responses to a situation which pittedmen against women, English against Irish, and American against British. In the strugglesbetween classes, nationalities, and gender, different boundaries were crossedsimultaneously, in this case leading to considerable confusion.In the above accounts, as in most others, women were nameless. This erasuredistanced women from debates going on around them and about them. Even women whoovercame the obstacles on the way to Fraser Canyon were not named in the miners’narratives or in newspaper reports. The Victoria Gazette reported that, “on the 16th a canoe62Victoria Gazette, July 10, 1858.63Buckely, May 20, 1862.55was upset in the Lower Canyon, and three men and one woman met with a watery grave.The men’s names were Henry Brown, Jacob Wilson and John Linderman, the woman’sname I was unable to learn.”M Other times women were noted in accounts as symbols ofthe potential for civilization in the region. The Methodist missionary at Hope often notedhow many women were present at his meetings.65 The Anglican Bishop, George Hills,met white women during his annual tours of the Canyon. Sometimes they suffered fromthe roughness of the country, including Richard Hicks’ (the controversial Justice of thePeace) wife who “once lived she said a Xtian life & was happy & every day her resolutionswere good. She was surrounded by profanity which her heart condemned.” Others, suchas Mrs Price of Lytton were women of “ill reputation.”66 ‘Good women,’ in Hills terms,did not fit in, and others were ‘bad.’In most accounts women are notable by their absence, prompting the comment thatthis place was not quite home:“This day .. .one of the finest I have seen; all nature ... smiled. we travelled all daystopping to eat out meals in ... pristine style & but for the absence of woman mighthave failed to realize the far distance which separated us from those we were with inother times to greet upon this anniversary of flowers. Picked a bouquet 12 milessouth of Lytton...”67The lack of women required some adjustments. A member of a Welsh company of minerswrote: “By now we have learned to live without the support of a woman.”68 But a yearand a half later, another Welsh miner, Morgan Lewis, was less sure:“I am ashamed to tell you of our way of living... I am one of four living in a plankhouse without one woman, remember, and you can imagine what an unpleasantsituation this is. Considerable value is placed on a good woman in this country.Our first task when returning home is to light a fire and, after cleaning up andgetting a little food, each one is bound to do his chore. The first does the dishes64Daily Victoria Gazette, Aug. 24, 1858.65Ebenezer Robson, “Diary,” 20 March and 23 April, 1859. BCARS.661-Iills, Journal, see for example, June 25, and July 3,1859.67John Damon, Diary, April 30 1859. BCARS.William Jones, Lytton, June 1861, in Y Gwladgarwr, September 20, 1862, reprinted inAlan Conway, “Welsh Gold-Miners in British Columbia during the 1860’s,” BritishColumbia Historical Ouarterly, XXI(1-4), January-October 1957-1958), p. 58.56and cleans the cabin, the second plies the needle, the third bakes bread and thefourth washes etc.”69For some miners women were practical. Other miners thought with longing of the womenthey had left at home, but justified the absences because women were irreconcilable withthe Fraser Canyon.“It is now between nine and ten o’clock here and I reckon you are at dinner: I oftenpicture to myself what you are all doing at home; and many a time when I have beencold, hungry, wet and tired, my thoughts have centred on a quiet cup of tea atPaddington: to walk in and see you all just then would have been the highestpinnacle of happiness; of course to make it complete it must be in the short dayswith closed curtains and a comfortable fire and then to my idea there is somethingsuperlatively cozy about it.”70White women were spatially restricted to cozy, comfortable and safe homes elsewhere.The white women who did make it into the Canyon were discounted. The Fraser Canyon,in the eyes of some miners, was no place for white women. Others were less sure, andlike Morgan Lewis bemoaned the lack of white women and their homely skills. In anattempt to bring ‘civilization’ to the colony (while solving the problem of too many singlewomen in England), Angela Burdett-Coutts, the philantropist who funded the AnglicanBishop of British Columbia, sent 50 or 60 young women to Victoria. Most of thembecame domestic servants in Victoria and married quite quickly.71Comments about native women were more complicated. Joseph Haller wrote hisfamily that“A. Munch [a friend in Pa.] wants me to send him a wife, but there are not manyaround here. There are only Indian women. If he wants one of them let him say soand I will send him one in the next letter or by telegraph. He says that the girls arevery scarce at home, and I guess there must not be many if he wants one from here.If I want one I guess I will have to bring one along with me when I come home.”7269Morgan Lewis, New Westminster, to Rev. D.R. Lewis, Ocober 29, 1862, Seren Cymru(Star of Wales), January 23, 1863, reprinted in Conway, p. 65.70Guillod, Letter to Mother, Sunday, Oct. 19th, 1862. in Journal of a Trip to Canboo,1862.71Shearer, p.1.72Haller, December 26, 1865.57Haller’s tone suggests he was only partly serious; native women were not realreplacements for the white women of home. Edeiblute was less certain: “to [be] shure [thechief’s] doter was a indin buty. . .sum of the bois sed that they would like to marry hur shewas fin and well drest.”73 Maybe Edelbiute were serious, maybe not, but the chief and hisdaughter were looking for horses not husbands. Other times native women were a part ofminers’ entertainment: “We had a cracking ball on yankee Flat one winter. We had a goodmany squaws here you know and the miners came in from bars all around the country. Wekept it up for a couple of weeks.”74On the whole, Native women were considered native first, and women second.They were difficult to define: they were not miners’ mothers and sisters. Instead, theyoverstepped spatial boundaries and were present to such an extent that the miners wereforced to struggle with some sort of definition. Racism provided the miners with quick andeasy answers to the position they thought native women should have in the miners’ newterritory. Native women’s omnipresence in the region and in mining society as tradepartners and providers of a variety of services became taken for granted, in these matters,miners used race to deny gender, that is, native women did things white women were notsupposed to do, including packing, mining, and paddling canoes, but were discountedbecause they were natives. Native women as women were more difficult to define. Theywere viewed lewdly and their sexual availability was taken for granted.75 Amicableliaisons between native women and white men must have existed but beyond Haller’sjokes, were rarely commented upon, perhaps because of their dubious acceptability at thetime. They endangered the sense of cohesion in mining society by providing an73Lucius Samuel Edelblute, The History of Lucius S. Edelbiute, p.44. BCARS.741-Iolloway, p.9.75See A.C. Anderson’s Handbook and map to the gold region of Frazer’s and Thompsonrivers, (San Francisco: J.J. Le Count, 1858). In later years (native) prostitution would bemore overtly refered to.58opportunity for whites to cross established racial boundaries, as Friesach mused, afterhaving met Ovid Allard:“The officer in command of Fort Yale is a french Canadian who has become halfsavage by living so long in the far West; he has almost forgotten his Mother tongue,has never known the English language and makes himself best understood inChinook. He has married a full blooded squaw, who gave him a number ofchildren, who in their appearance take far more after the mother than after theirfather. It is a matter of common experience that Frenchmen and Irishmen becomealmost entirely savage when living with the Indians. In the case of men belongingthe Teutonic races this process encounters stronger obstacles. The Yankee and theScotchman seem to resist best.”76Stout remembered an incident where native women’s ambiguous positions were useful:“While we were on the Thompson, one good morning, a klootchman came along and toldus that the indians had massacred a number of whites down below and warned us to get outof the country as they were coming after us. She was in love with one of our men and wasfriendly to us for that reason.”77 Such treachery could easily work both ways, and on thewhole native women were to be resisted (emotionally if not sexually). They representedthreats to miners’ links to civilization elsewhere, as well as to the pending civilization of theregion. Potentially native women could distract miners from their links to each other: thereal source of social power.-‘ Pardner&Beginnings of social organization were already in place before the miners reachedFraser River as men either travelled with their partners or ran into old friends at the mines:“a great many of us were old aquaintance[sJ from the mining camps of California.”78Others met their partners during their journeys:“There were 4 of us in the party that started up the river. We were just throwntogether and I do not remember the names except as Jack, Tom and Dick. Theywere all from California.”7976Fnesach p. 2977Stout, p.2.78Stout, p.179Ibid.59Sometimes they travelled together for protection:“when I got thar the bar [Boston Bar] was cuvered with watter and the minersduing nuthen thay was a graidell [great deal] tolk a bout the hed woters of thefrasier river the supsishion woz that it wood bee hard to get thru an the count ofindins and hi woter but feling ancious to see whar the gold cam from thay wasseven in number maid a start i wos one of that number wee got our packs andhorses redey and started up the river the nams wos bill wiliams from pensilvana billcunnigham from Kentuckey frank fulford from verginia Sorge scott from elinoisabit and black Jack and cairboo odd that wos the name that wos given me...Another miner started out with just one partner, “I left Portland Oregon & my pardner TomI only knew him by the name of Tom and he only knew me by the name of DutchCharley”,81 but by the time they got to Chatmans bar, “there was now some fifteen ortwenty of us in our gang. We made our headquarters on Chatmans bar. We all livedtogether then and worked in that vicinity.”82 The partnerships were also based oncommon backgrounds including class, as in the case of William Buckley, a decoratedveteran of the Crimean war. He travelled with a group of men he met in Victoria, “MajorB, Captain S, and Doctor G.” He noticed everyone else too “forming themselves into smallcompanies, buying horses a tent, and as much provisions as they can afford..”83 Not onlydid a group provide protection, but it also made financial sense: “many would form incompanies, buy a canoe, lay in three to six months provisions, and start working their wayup as far as possible, until the river fell.”84 Like the gardening miner above, partnershipswere based on trust, not proximity:“Some three weeks ago a man went out from American bar up the river & yesterdayhis partner received a letter.. .stating there was more gold up there [40 miles northof Lytton] than the writer had anticipated & desired his partner to procure a stock ofprovisions & come up. He accordingly laid out $160 in a hill of goods & leftrejoicing.”8580Edelblute, pAl81Lual, p.182Lual, p. 283Buckely, June 9, 1862.C.C. Gardiner, Michigan Bluffs, Placer County, California, to the Editor of TheIslander [Prince Edward Island],November 17, 1858. Reprinted in British ColumbiaHistorical quarterly, Oct. 1937.85Damon, April 13, 1859.60A less perfect situation was experienced by Dutch Bill Dietz:“I am not, as you suppose, so far away as to be beyond suffering the meaness ofwhite men. Sanborn, one of my partners whom I kept from starving all winter (forhe had neither money or credit), run [sic] off to California, leaving me to pay over$70.00 for him. He quit our claim in March and by little run of good luck inmining saved about $300 in two months and then run off leaving me to pay thedebts of the Company...”86Betrayal of friends was not acceptable for as Tnmble wrote, “One of the very essentials ofmanhood was violated if fidelity to friends was lacking”87 Similarities of purpose andposition united the group and gave them common concerns lending them a certain amountof power. These partnerships and groups of travelling companions coalesced into largergroupings, based in part on different attitudes towards class and masculinity.The lack of physical reproduction, as commented upon by the missionaries, wasused to imply a lack of social reproduction, but instead of traditional households, menarranged themselves into small groups which felt, to varying degrees, connected to thelarger whole. Masculinity and class were bonds between miners, but it also caused frictionin mining society. For the California miners, gold mining and gold rushes were familiar,but the terrain, the government, and the people were different. For miners coming fromBritain, the colony was a safe place to make a new life - safe because of the Britishpresence, new because of the distance from home and the expectations of the new world.The gold rush was seen as presenting opportunities for settlement both on VancouverIsland and mainland British Columbia, if the British government encouraged “men withempty or slender purses, and strong hearts, to go out and take up the waste land, at a lowerrate than that which the government now demands for it.” On Vancouver Island,“there is no reason why every man should not be his own landlord, and in a newcolony the more independent of domestic help that a family may be the better thebetter the prospect of that family; in no country in the world can a working man86Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12 1859.87Trimble, p. 161.88Captain Fenton Aylmer, A Cruise in the Pacific From the Log of A Naval Officer,(London: Hurst and Blackett, Publishers, 1860), p.9461earn such wages, and at the same time live so cheaply; and every man with a smallcapital and the exercise of patient industry may soon have a house of his own.”89Some miners agreed. Bell encouraged his people in Scotland to join him:“I learned that the progress of the country heretofore has been entirely indebted toScotch enterprise [fur traders], and as I consider the future development of its manygreat natural resources, as holding out inducements peculiarly to the hardy,industrious, scientific Scotchman... may not only be interesting to yourself butmay serve to induce some of your many worthy aquaintances to secure forthemselves, and Families, an independent and prosperous future; the certain rewardof all who bring with them, to the new colony, habits of industry and frugality.”90The above quotes contain ideals of settlement as civilization, but Americans andsome British miners had no intention of replicating the hierarchies of the settled societiesthey had left behind. The gold rush, they thought, would provide freedom from that modelof settlement associated with class-divisions, because during the gold rush, “one man wasas good as another and a dam sight better.”91 For some British miners equality andindependence were tightly bound up with their ideas of colonialism and the Americanmodel of gold rushes, even though most were skeptical of Americans. A Welsh minerwrote “I am entirely sick of America and Americans; I am disgusted with the liberty andindependence of Americans,” but added in the same letter “I would rather brave all thewrath of the elements of creation, and dare all the torments of human invention to acquirean independency than crawl like a worm through the mire of poverty.”92 Buckley, thedecorated British officer, was confronted with ideals of equality during his voyage throughPanama:“The 3rd Class passengers insist on dining with the 2nd - great growling anddiscontent - they call the 2nd class a set of “bloated aristocrats,” saying we shall allbe alike at the diggings, and “them as tries to make themselves exclusive now, hadbetter look out then.”9389( Forbes, Vancouver Island, its Resources snd capabilities as a new colony, PrizeEssay, (Victoria The Colonial Govemment,1862), p.27.90James Bell, Sanfrancisco, to Mr. John Thompson, Annan, Scotland, Feb. 27, 1859.lHolloway, p. 8.92Thoman 0. Price, Letter to Dear LL, March 20, 1862, in Merthyr Telegraph, May31, 1862, Reprinted in Conway, p.54 - 55.93Buckely, May 4, 1862.62Buckley did not take the incident seriously but, as mentioned, he was quick to team up withan equally illustrious group of other professionals. After several months he quit theCariboo, because he did not have enough money to buy his way into a claim, and lackedthe skill or inclination to prospect his own. Other observers too saw the gold rush aspresenting opportunities for independent men - one author of a gold mining handbook,addressed himself to the “manliness of England and to the worker, and not to the idealist ormere thinker.”94 And despite the hardships of mining, British Columbia was considered ahealthy region for British constitutions, as well as for the Californian: “The extremes ofclimate in California, tells very quickly amongst the working population; It was curious towitness how those old worn-out Californians gained flush, and strength while north, eventhose in the mountains who had scarcely the means of sustaining life, came down ruddyand healthy...”95 Manliness and labour were seen as mutually reinforcing qualities, andwould flourish when independent from other constraints.“Previous to this time [the Canboo] we had men in this Province men fit at all timesto explore and prospect who did not know what hardships ment like Old Texas whowould take his gun a little salt a pick shovel and gold pan and be gone severalweeks on a prospecting trip. It may not be out of place here to quote from R.W.Service Send not your foolish and feeble... “96Like the Americans, the “3rd Class” wanted to work for themselves, but theseAmerican ideologies of independence through labour, were viewed with suspicion by someBritish onlookers, as they precluded social order:“By far the larger proportion of the colonists are miners, who, though as yet theirconduct since they arrived in British territory has been very praiseworthy, hadpreviously been living for years in California where the “Almighty Dollar” is theonly object of worship. Apart from this, the very nature of a miners life tendstoward ungodliness: he is perpetually roving about, in the morning rich, at sunset94W. Parker Snow. British Columbia, Emigration, and our Colonies, ConsideredPractically, Socially, and Politically. (London: Piper, Stephenson, and Spence, 1858).95james Bell, Sanfrancisco, to Mr. John Thompson, Annan, Scotland, Feb. 27, 1859.96Moore, Letter to Schoufield, n.d., Reminiscences, BCARS.63poor; to-day a gentlemen - in the American sense of the term - to-morrow alabourer.”97A popular English magazine illustrated the decline from gentleman to pauper (Figure 8).The value placed on independence in gold rush society had implications for viewsof social organization. Many authors narrow this down to “the essential traits ofmanhood.” Independent from the bonds of the home it seemed, to outsiders, only naturalthat miners congregated in saloons:“One may be a determinedly sober man when first he arrives in a new colony.Speedily however, the want of companions, of some society, cause him to visit anyplace where society is found. Among the first establishments erected in any spotwhere man located, houses of entertainment [“taverns”] are essential.“Saloons were as transient as the miners but were also used as landmarks in many of theiraccounts, not so much because they created society, but because it was expressed there.Gambling was one of the most visible forms of entertainment, as was fighting. Disputesarising from drinking and gambling were solved by fighting, and occassionally manhoodhad to be proven:On one occasion I remember when the miners were enjoying themselves atEdwards Store a little more than usual some of the party questioned his bravery.Edwards to prove his grit held a lighted candle and stood at the back end of hisStore and held the Candle out at arms length while the others standing at the front ofthe store were shooting with their revolvers at the lighted candle...”99Despite its playful tone, this incident was dangerous, but integral to Edwards’ (financial)survival for it allowed him to prove his courage and retain the respect of his many drunken,armed, partrons.-miners’ rulesDespite the emphasis on “every man for himself,” there was an honour codeparticular to mining society. When William Dietz ran (walked) his express company97Richard Charles Mayne, Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island,(London, John Murray, 1862; Reprint: S.R.Publishers Limited, Johnson ReprintCorporation: 1969), p.350.98Snow, p.35.99Moore, p.3.64Figure 8: To the Diggings and from the DiggingsSource: “To the Cariboo and Back” The Leisure hour: a family journal of instruction andrecreation, Volume 14, 1865.TO T1U DIGGZKG AND NItON TILN DXGGING.65through the Canyon in 1859, he experienced something of a brotherhood among theminers. “I found the miners universally kind and accomodating on the route, giving memeals and lodging when night overtook me at their camps and refusing any compensationtherefor. I could give them [news] papers on way up, but coming back my papers wereexhausted and I could only give my thanks.”10°During his impoverished trip down theriver, Guillod too made frequent mention of spending nights in shacks and sharing themeals of people he did not know.The Methodist missionary certainly did not see miners this way. During his firstsermon among the “gambling class,” “There were about 40 miners present. Excellentattention and some deep emotion- many a tear flowed from eyes little used to101 But three weeks later, again on Puget Sound Bar he met with less success:“I was punctual & waited an hour after the time but no one came not a single soul...” Twoweeks later, after a sermon at Victoria Bar he wrote “I lack power in preaching. My[desire] is to see actual conversations among the people from day to day. The devil israising a star amongst the miners on some of the bars which is for the present keeping themfrom meeting- but I trust God will take care of his own work.” Evangelizing miners wasdiscouraging work, and Robson had little support, except when he “walked out upon themountain side & communed with God.”There is some evidence to suggest that miners codes of ethics were formalized intomining boards. When the Governor made his first official visit to the mines, he found thatthe miners on Hill’s Bar had composed and posted the following regulations, following theCalifornia precedent:1 No claim on this bar to exceed 25 feet to each man.2 Each man can hold 2 claims viz, one by preemption and one by purchase. Provided heworks both.3 Bar claims can be held during absense by partners representing claimant.-°°Dietz, Lytton City, Forks of Thompson and Frazer River, to his brother, August 19,1859.101Robson, Sunday March 20, 1859.664 When workable every claim must have one day’s work in every three put on it, except incase of sickness.5 Any whiteman caught stealing on this bar shall be punished as a Committee appointed bythe mines shall direct, and shall if he belongs to the Bar forfeit all his right, title and intereston it.6 Any white man molesting the Indians whilst in a state of intoxication or otherwise shallbe dealt with as a committee of miners shall direct.7 No liquor shall be sold or given to the Indians, nor exposed publicly for sale on this bar.Any one violating this law shall be fined $100 for the first offense & for the second be sentfrom the [bar] forfeiting all his right title and interest in it.For mutual safety1 There shall be elected a captain & 2 lieutenants who shall have entire control in case ofdanger or attack, or whenever they may have reason to apprehend any. Anyone disobeyingthe orders of either shall be subject to a severe penalty.[signed], Geo. Tennent Secty. P.H. Fumess, Presdt.”-02Some of the regulations mentioned in this document contradict the descriptions in minersnarratives. And it is quite possible that the above regulations were written in order toimpress Douglas, particularly after he sent the natives mining at Hill’s Bar back to Yale.Miners’ narratives rarely mention mining boards, but John Holloway remembered two inthe Cariboo, “They had what was called a Mining Board on Williams Creek and they hadsomething to do with making the laws theselves.”-°3 A page later he explained, “TheLaw used to be that so many miners when they went onto a new bar, could make their ownlaws and it would stand. On Bodkins Bar for instance, the miners had a meeting and cutthe claims down to 25 feet on account of it being so rich.”104 Clearly miners brought theidea of mining boards with them from California,’05particularly as Douglas’sproclamations made allowance for them, but otherwise miners’ narratives are vague aboutformalized rules. The few references made to them indicate that miners had other ways oforganizing themselves. Perhaps miners shared enough values in every day life that theirformalization and enforcement by committees of miners were not necessary.‘°2James Douglas, Diary of the Gold Discoveries on Fraser’s River in 1858, May 26,1858. Private Papers, BCARS.103Holloway, p.8.104Holloway, p.9.‘°5For mining boards in Califoma, see Charles Howard Shinn. Mining Camps: A Study inAmerican Frontier Government. Rodman Paul ed. (Gloucester, Mass: Peter Smith, 1970).67Serious disputes, particularly those centering on mining rights, were solved on thespot by fellow miners. Yates, the Hudson’s Bay Company servant, was a more detachedobserver, and noted several instances where miners took the law into their own hands.Besides stones of miners’ intervention in a botched hanging and their persecution of anative accused of capsizing a miners’ boat, he also told the following:“In 1859 there was a fir stump which stood about sixty feet in front of thecompany’s store here. The new coming miners had a habit of getting the minerswho had been working on the bars to give them information as to what theprospects were and what they had been doing. On one occasion a miner got up onthe stump and commenced making a stump speech - telling what he had been doing.He was going to tell about the success he had met with on Hills Bar whensomebody in the crowd called out that he was a dam liar and a shot was fired and hewas killed instantly. This happened in the evening just before dark and I wasstanding on the stoop in front of the store a the time. The next day there wasanother stump speech in the same place and another miner was shot. Theconstables were powerless to do anything. There were miners laws among themen. We were there to do the best we could. The miners soon got to know that theonly safe way to give information was to answer yes or no when questions wereasked.”06On the whole, the Fraser Canyon was defined as a male space and gold mining as amale activity. For the most part, women were physically excluded from gold mining, andthose that did come to the Fraser canyon were excluded from the writings. At one level thismeans even the most approximate numbers of women and their activities cannot be figuredout. At another it demonstrates how the exclusion from an activity was made concrete inspace. Women were excluded from the gold rush because it was defined as a male activity,and were excluded from the Fraser Canyon because it was defined a male space. But,contrary to outsiders’ expectations, the lack of women did not prevent miners’ socialorganization. Instead, mining men organized themselves around friendships andpartnerships, and interacted on mining bars and in saloons.- RacismRacism also enabled miners to define themselves; by differentiating themselvesfrom natives, miners were able to act in opposition to them when the need arose. In‘°6William Yates, Reminiscences,n.d., p. 20. BCARS.68California, as well as on Vancouver Island and at the Fraser, racism towards nativesdiffered from that exhibited towards Chinese and Black miners, who were after all miners -if only second rank ones, in whites’ opinions. Despite the huge numbers of Chineseminers at the Fraser rush, white miners rarely wrote about them or about Black miners, butall wrote about natives. Natives were difficult to deal with because they had some priorclaim to the territory. In order to rationalize their own presence, miners sought to deny thisprior claim. Its invalidity was demonstrated by emphasizing natives’ lack of civilizationand by trivializing their presence. One miner wrote: “There were very few Indians inCalifornia, and these were nearly all of the tribes called Diggers, about the lowest ofIndians, something like the African Hottentots, and nearly allied to animals.”107 Suchracist attitudes were imported into Vancouver Island and the Fraser River:“our miners had hardly got into the country before they were fighting with theIndians and they generally speak of them with contempt and scorn and regard themwith feelings less humane than they apply to brutes. Our people through theirwhole history have in general treated the Indians with worse than savagecruelty.”108But such Californian racism required some reworking because the native population in theFraser Canyon was large and natives were an integral part of every day life (Figure 9).Sylvester noted miners’ surprise on their arrival in Victoria at the presence of natives:“there were no navigable swift rivers in California and few of the miners knew anything ofcanoe navigation, consequently when we got into Esquimalt on a fine sunny July morningand found the steamer surrounded by numbers of canoes filled with Indians, we werecertainly astonished.”09 Natives were important sources of information about the region,including mining, and were central to the economy. Unlike white women, natives couldnot be erased. Once confronted with natives then, miners and travellers abandonned the107 Sylvester, p. 3.108 Dietz,Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12 1859.l09Sylvester, p.1.Figure 9: C.O. Phillips’s Impressions of the Fraser Canyon-/—/‘-/69::S-‘.— ---V::I/“a tribe builds a ranch as it is called being a lot of sheds all togather [sic] & they all livetogather & wherever you see indians mar[k}ed on the map it is one of those ranches.”1..fI /Lk‘S -4 /7 I‘I -1r..1Source: charcoal sketch and quote: C.O. Phillips, Port Douglas, to Doc. A.D. Merritt,Woodstock, Ill., November 12th, 1858, Howay Collection, Box 34, File 10, Spec. Coll.70myth of the noble savage and replaced it with a more obvious racism. One gold rush writernoted this shift as follows:“The public mind has long been disabused of the pleasant fiction of the noblesavage, a being who only existed in the imagination of dreamers, and who hasreceived his most recent embodiment at the hands of American story-tellers. He hasbeen drawn out of the haze of the novelist, and examined in the light of day, and heturns out to be a compound of sensuality, treachery, and cruelty the most revolting.Civilisation may have much to answer for, but there is nothing it has introduced atall to be compared to what it has driven away. It would be more just to say thatthere are evils which civilisation cannot eradicate, and which still remain amongstus, the residuum of the primal savage.”110However, early attempts to understand natives’ participation in the gold rush andtheir rightful place in the Fraser Canyon, continued to focus on natives as decorativeobjects, parts of the local scenery. Descriptions of them were used to enliven both personaland published travel accounts.“On Steamer days it was always a picturesque sight to see the Indians turn out andsquat on their haunches on the banks of the River watching the approach of theSteamboat coming slowly up the strong current of the River at Hope to her landing.Their shades and colors of shawls and blankets broke the monotonous aspect of thescene.”111Benjamin Israel, a German Doctor, wrote a detailed account of a native funeral ceremonyhe sought out with his hired guide, where he saw, “About two thousand feet away fromus, ... a crowd of men garbed in bright colors who formed themselves into groups andthen ran apart.” The chief of these men was, “the handsomest Indian whom I had seen upto this time. His body was tall and slim, his features grave but pleasant.”2 Israel couldnot deny the existence of, he thought, 2,000 natives near Hill’s Bar, one of the busiestmining bars at the time. Instead he had to somehow see this existence, which he and his110D.G.F. MacDonald. Lecture on British Columbia and Vancouver’s Island, (London:Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1863), p.9.“William Teague, Reminiscences by William Teague, n.d., p. 2.112Benjamin, p.35. Reprinted from the communications of the Philosophical Society,Graz. 1875. Transi. E.E. Delavault.71compatriots were intruding upon, as less valid than his own. He did not openly ridicule thefuneral ceremony, but focussed on its, in his opinion, distasteful simplicity: “men andwomen alike had their faces painted in the most abominable way. The paint of the womenwas confined to an ugly dab of red on each cheek and over the eyebrow...” Edelblute,shielded from literary convention through his near illiteracy, wrote a simpler description ofnatives:“[T]he frasher-river tribe lives on the river and cetch samon fissh thair rother asmoll size indin and du bary thar ded on top the with open around them and cut outimaiges out of wood as near thar looks and form as when they was alive and potsthar gun in the woodens man hands”113The population in general enjoyed native ceremonies. Newspapers reported on a nativepotlatch that took place in Yale. So many miners flocked to see it that a constable had to becalled in to make room for the participants.Miners were keen to witness such ceremonies as in their opinions theydemonstrated that native societies were not viable in a gold mining culture. Contemporaryauthors reinforced these beliefs:“The Indian will recede before the white man, as his fathers have done. The lovelyvalley in which the warriors stood forth in their triumphant glory, in which theyoung and sprightly listened with throbbing hearts to the chants of other days, inwhich the mothers fondly played with their tender offspring, will soon know himno more. But, as he turns to take a last look on the tombs of his race, he will shedno tear, he will heave no groan; for there is in his heart that which stifles suchindications of emotion. It is savage courage absorbed in despair.”4Israel went an hour out of his way and found 2,000 natives engaged in a ceremony,but he never mentioned daily activities such as mining, or fishing (which had the sameseasons and locations as mining). Such activities were only mentioned when theypertained to the white economy. Natives were considered disposable, “revolvers are oflittle use, as you must not make too free in shooting an indian by the way, even if you do113jelblute, p.95.‘14MacDonald, p.14..72get a chance; better bear with an insult than stir up the ire of these savages.”5 Seeingnatives as degraded beings or as part of the local color, allowed whites to consider them tobe detached from every-day life. The maintenance of native lives was not importantbecause native culture could be shown to be obsolete. However, these ideas stood inconstant tension with the day-to-day presence and interaction of natives in business and inresistance.Miners and “Indians”-Economy and tradeOn one level natives reacted to the miners’ presence by providing transportation andselling food. Such trade was an assertion of natives’ rights to the territory and its products.Edelbiute and his partners were among the first to reach the Alkali country on the northernFraser. He tells how he and his partners had caught some salmon and were immediatelysurrounded by a group of natives “the cheaf sed them [salmon from the river] was tharliven and wee had no rite to take them and for to poot them back wee dun so at once.”116The miners were allowed to purchase some of the salmon they had caught and the chiefwent back to their camp to eat what he had just sold. The miners fried the fish in bacongrease “and the chief liked it well.” The following day the chief returned to convince (orcoerce?) the miners to sell their best horse to him, and an agreement was reached. Salmonwas a desirable item as it gave the miners a welcome respite from salt pork and beans, andnatives’ assertion of ownership of the resource was important.”7Natives carried miners’ goods on their backs on the way up river and in theircanoes on the way down. When impoverished miners could not pay for their trip in cash,they were convinced to part with their prized possessions as fare. One miner bartered with115Captain C.E. Barrett-Lennard, Travels in British Columbia, with the Narrative of aYacht Voyage Round Vancouvers Island, (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1862), p.189.116Edelblute, p.43.117For salmon trade, see Dietz, Emory’s Bar, Fraser River, to his brother, July 12 1859;and Lual, p.4.73a native woman to him take down the river from Yale: “for this we had to pay $2.50 eachand I had only $1.25 I had to make a bargain with the old “Klootchman” giving her whatmoney I had, the red smoking cap the girls made and jersey.” 118 As part of the price ofpassage, Guillod, and other passengers were put up for the night with the woman’s familybefore continuing the journey the following day. Ebenezer Robson, the Methodistmissionary, had a standing arrangement with a native man to help him paddle from Hope toYale every Sunday. He noted he had “Hired an Indian in the afternoon. They have learnedto charge for work as I have to pay $2 per day for an Indian.”19 Robson called him his“Man Friday.” Robson was shocked at the expense of native labour, but paid a white mantwice as much with little comment.’2°Native packers were regarded as lazy or weak when they refused to follow thecommands of their employers or took control of their payment. When they raised theprices for their services they were considered greedy; when they set the pace on trips theywere called lazy. On the other hand, observers remarked upon the natives’ industry whenthey worked for whites. A journalist saw “A train of Indians, each with a hundred weightof flour or other food on their shoulders, packing for whites, and then again you see themin every stage of filth carrying baskets and food on their backs.”2’ It seems that whitesconsidered working natives useful, and thought that natives sunk back into distastefulhabits when not working for whites.By treating miners and their activities as financial opportunities, natives were alsoasserting control over miners’ presence in their territory. Because miners resented beingreliant on any outsiders (let alone natives), they resented natives’ ability to control the termsof trade relations.-Annoyances and belligerence118Guillod, Oct.15. 1862.‘19Robson, April 29th 1859.120Robson, May 11, 1859: “Had a white man working with me today at $4 per day.”121DaiIy Victoria Gazette, July 27, 1858.74The miners often felt themselves to be in precarious positions, and feared violentattacks. The HBC was the source of information on how to interact with natives. WilliamYates of the Hudson Bay Company fort at Yale was often called in to translate and resolvedisputes between miners and natives. Edelbiute, though practically illiterate, carried aHudson’s Bay Company dictionary (probably English and Chinook) with him.122 Otherminers, perhaps ones who did not take natives’ presence and ownership seriously, wereoffered a series of non-violent, yet important reminders.“The indians showed a disposition to annoy us and were around our campsall the time. /We became very uneasy/[struck out] We had to submit to all kinds ofindignities from them and they would take anything in our camps they took a violintheir venom was sometimes shown by spitting in our hats.”123Other miners complained that natives spat in their beans.’’ Miners usually treated theseactions as merely annoying and fitted them within their understanding of natives as“uncivilized” and naturally bad people.Another reaction to native annoyances or belligerence was to blame it on alcohol.“Dr. Spearm says the Indians at New York Bar were all drunk, and had driven the fewwhites on the Bar into one tent, where the latter were determined to make a stand, and ifworse came to worst, for all to die fighting like 12 And, “all the Indian troublescome of selling them liquor, by unprincipled white men, which if not prohibited will lead toa horrible war - one that must end in the extermination of the redskins from this region ofthe country.” But the belief that the natives only stole to get alcohol and only attackedwhites because they were drunk implies that attacks were irrational. In this way miners122EdeIblute, p. 41, “i had bot hudsonbay ditchsonary at fort yail that had the indian andinglish language in it cam in youse.”‘23Stout, p.2124Holloway, p.8125Victoria Gazette, “Letter from Fort Yale” July 30, 1858.75avoided understanding natives’ attacks as retalitations for miners’ attempts to take charge ofthe region.’26According to James Moore such ideas had been present since the beginning of thegold rush. He and his partners had been tipped off by an employee of the San Franciscomint and they were, he thought, the first miners up the Fraser Canyon where theydiscovered Hills Bar.127 As soon as they began washing gold there, a large group ofnatives moved across the river from Yale to mine along side them. The white minerstolerated their presence as long as they were not disruptive and even shared someimplements with them, acting as congenial hosts to their native guests. At one point aliquor merchant came up the river and traded gold for alcohol. Apparently the nativesstayed up all night and “howled,” which disturbed the sleep of the miners who only hadtents to sleep in. “Detennined to put an end to this drunken brawl,”128 the white minerssmashed the merchant’s kegs and ordered him off the bar. The natives resented the minersinterference in their lives, and the attempts to impose their jurisdiction over the bar. One inparticular, White Cap, refused to give back a pick he had boffowed, and in response aminer hit him over the head with a shovel. ‘ [f]his of course precipitated a row in camp theIndians congregating by themselves and the little party of whites in their camp all ready forthe worst that might happen the Chief of the tribe got on a stump to make a speach to hisbraves.” The miners were saved by the chance appearance of a naval vessel and Douglaswho escorted the natives off the bar and back across the river to Yale, in protection of thewhite miners ‘rights.’ This had been a routine operation for Douglas, barely warranting126Mayne, p.248. See also the Daily Victoria Gazette.July 30, 1858 on the first nativedisturbances at Hill’s Bar: “Several instances have occurred of whites being murdered byIndians in different parts of the colony, but I fear these murders have been the result ofintroducing fire-water, or taking liberties with the females of the tribe...”127James Moore, to Mr. Harding, August 30, 1919. Reminiscences. BCARS.76mention, but the miners saw it as an early legitimation of their superiority: “we never hadany trouble with the Indians after that.”29-Indian WarsAfter several weeks of the gold rush the newspapers began to report increasinglyserious native attacks on whites. By August 1858 natives’ hostility towards miners’impositions, and miners’ frustration at natives’ refusal to submit, culminated in what havebeen called the Indian Wars. This native-white conflict is the most elaborately describedevent in miners’ reminiscences. Their descriptions are generally similar, but details andinterpretations vary. Prior to the incident, Lual described a typical set of relations withsome natives in the Lytton area. They stole some of his “soak,” but traded his grub forsalmon, to their mutual satisfaction. He seemed fairly unperturbed when two of hispartners drowned after a native offered to take them up river to show them richer diggings.But, “then the toughs came from frisco...”30The incident started when, for once, the Fraser fulfilled expectations as an artery ofcommunication: according to the Victoria Gazette miners working on the bars saw severalwhite, mutilated and headless bodies float by them. Lual’s reminiscence was skeptical:“Then all kinds of stories was then told About men floating down the river. With theirheads cut off. these fellows got in so thick on us and trouble commenced. Every tale thatwas told got bigger. And till there got to be about 100 men at Chatmans bar and thatvicinity.” Holloway was not there, but afterwards he too heard of the bodies:“I did not come up to yale after the indian row. I was working down at Hudsonbar. I did not see any bodies floating down past Hudson bar but I understood theypicked up five or six white men at Yale who were supposed to have been murderedat Boston bar or China Bar just below North bend.”Ballou was more certain the rumours were true:The Indians became very troublesome from Yale up to Lytton City at the mouth ofThompson R. Under the leadership of Spinkulim, the head chief of all those130Lual, p.3.77Indians there, they were led on to kill the whites & Chinese, & it was nouncommon occurance to find a white man, or a Chinaman, or even four or five ofthem a day, to be seen floating down the river with their heads off.’31A wave of hysteria hit the miners, those working on the bars of the Lower Frasercongregated in Yale and around 200 men organized themselves into groups. Accordingsome, Captain Snyders’ group intended to make a treaty with the natives, while CaptainGraham’s group wanted to subdue the natives and exterminate them if necessary. Thosewho disagreed to this strategy were not listened to:One of our party Mr Chatman spoke up and said it was not necessary to make atreaty with them as they was not hostile and said we have lived here with them for amonth and we never had the least trouble with them. There was only ten or twelveof the Indians about as many of them as white men A fellow by the name of BrickTop spoke up and said that he had bought [fought?] Indians in Florida and said theonly way to do was to clean them out as we went along and destroy what they hadand make them aply for a treaty with them they did destroy every thing they had.What few of us there were we could not stop them.132Miners further upstream heard the news and came down:“As soon as the Klootchman told us about the massacre we gathered our blanketsand a little grub and started down for China Bar. We had to fight our way throughand we burned every rancherie and every salmon box we could get hold of. Theyshot at us whenever they got a chance and we did the same. They did their best tocut us off and we had a very hard trip as we had to keep clear of the river as muchas possible.”133Ed Stout may have settled down into a rhythm of trade with the natives at the Forks, but assoon as there was news of trouble he had no difficulty shooting natives: “On the way downwe came across an indian who stood on a rock and waved defiance at us. He was shot byone of our men.th134 His party met up with Snyder at China Bar, where the problems hadsupposedly originated. Snyder’s group made a treaty with that group of natives, and gavethem a white flag. He then moved on up river. When Graham’s group got there he readthe treaty, and decided to camp for the night before following Snyder. That night,131 William Ballou, “Adventures of William Ballou,” Seattle, 1878, p.12, BancroftLibrary.132Lual, p.5.‘33Stout, p.2‘34Ibid.78someone in Snyder’s group panicked, and thinking they were being attacked by natives,fired some shots. Struck with terror, the miners all started shooting at each other. Twomanaged to “escape.” They fled to Yale and spread the news that the natives had attackedagain and had slaughtered 49 miners. This story was contradicted several days later,when, according to the newpaper, practically the whole group filed back into Yale. Lualagreed with the paper’s version,Now all this I saw with my own eyes and was witness to it. now then they formeda party of about twenty. And went up into the Canyon. And while they werecamping at nights they built a big fire and had two men on watch. And while theywere walking around the fire, one man waked up and thinking them to be Indians,and the result was firing comenced. And two of there own men killed. One of themen ran away from the party and got down to Fort yale and raised the excitement.Now every body up with arm and the excitement was 135Yates had been sent along from Yale as an interpreter, and he too thought the massacre wasa hoax: “We found one or two dead bodies in the morning. We thought it was not indiansbut that it was their own party that got in a panic way and started in the night. Some of themen were drowned in the river and some were shot and killed or wounded by dragoonpistols and five shooters- not by indian guns at all.”For several days after that reports came in of further native attacks. “About 36whites were killed during the indian trouble, to my recollection, but of course bodies mayhave drifted down the river unobserved. A great many indians were killed.”36Eventually, according to Yates, Lual, and Stout the incident fizzeled out around BostonBar, as miners convinced themselves that the original attacks had been made by theChinese: “But those party that was supposed to be murdered at China bar With their headscut of[fj This Brick Top the Florida fighte[r] Said That is not Indian style of fighting.Cutting off heads. They scalp. The Chinamen got them in to that way to save their ownnecks.”37 They decided not to persecute the Chinese though because they had no135Lual, p.12-13.136Stout p.9.137Lual, p.6.79proof.138 Lual himself was skeptical, and went to China Bar. He found no Chineseminers nor any signs of mining or fighting. Stout did not believe the rumours either “Myown conviction is that the indians were not put up to this.” And according to Ballou thefighting did not stop until the miners won:They had a fight at Boston Bar, & killed 18 Indians. They then succeeded indriving the Indians up to Lytton, & from Lytton to Nicola, & from Nicola toBonaparte river, & there the Indians got away from them, & they did not chasethem any further. That is the only Indian war they ever had there to amount toanything.”’39It is impossible to know quite what happened during the Indian War. Some bodiesprobably did float down the river, and maybe they had been murdered (but by whom?), butmaybe they had drowned. Clearly, miners were frightened of natives, and after severalmonths of living among them were easily spooked. In addition, the miners diversebackgrounds show in this incident through their different responses to (real or imagined)attacks, which take up more space in the narratives than the reasons for the natives’ attacksor the resolution of the dispute. Stout thought that it was “the nature of the Red man, thatis all.” But he also commented, that “they thought we was come to take their country.”Like Ballou, Stout thought whites won: “After peace was made with the indians everysiwash, passing the bars, waved a white flag. Before this the indians called the white menKlootchmen [women] and used to help themselves from our packs and things of that kind.But after the trouble they had more respect for us.”’4° The Victoria Gazette’s editorialdecided it stemmed from poor policy:“Whether from the prestige given the red man, by inaccurate representation made bynewspaper correspondents, of their numerical strength and superiority over themore Southern Aboriginees, and the general distribution among them of fire-arms,the whites have been more forbearing and lenient than was to be expected. ..“141‘38Stout, p.9139Ballou, p.12-13.‘40Stout, p.3141 Victoria Gazette, “Letter to the Governor”Aug. 24, 1858.80The Gazette concluded that the Indian Wars left the miners no other course, “than toabandon the scene of operations until a more enlightened and Christian policy prevails.”42Unless, that is, the “H.B.Co. authorities at once take those measures which should havebeen taken long ago...” Partially abandoning the high value placed on strong independentmen taking control of the wilderness, they concluded that “all the gallant men who areperilling their lives on that river now, need, are arms and a leader- means to fight with anda man to fight under.”From the sound of the stories, the Indian Wars themselves were less about nativesthan about whites finally responding to natives’ attacks that had been happening all along.Whites’ insecurity in a still largely unknown region and fear of natives culminated in panic,as native attacks during the Indian wars and the number of white casualties wereoverestimated. For one week natives’ resistances were being read and responded to by thewhite population. The hysteria that perhaps blew the incident out of proportion was theresult of a slow build up of natives’ refusal to submit to miners’ attacks on women,encroachment on property, and control of trade relations. Perhaps the gold rush nearlycame to an abrupt end because the native population refused to submit. But shortly afterthe disputes the region became part of the new colony, and a government, ironicallyholding much the same values as the miners, came in with the intention of establishing lawand order.ConclusionDoubtless, miners and miners’ values were many and varied. As Trimble warns“In trying to find out the characteristics of the population, at whoseamusements we have glanced, two extremes are to be avoided: The one is the viewof those superficial writers who, seizing on the unusual, unconventional, orabnormal features of the life of the mining communities, and especially regardingthe exploits of desperadoes, conclude that ruffianism and violence were the normalqualities of these communities; the other (and the more forgiveable) is that of someof the pioneers who, looking back through mellowing years, and remembering the‘42Victoria Gazette, August 25, 1858.81good and true men who formed the majority of the mining populace, forget some ofthe undeniably bad blots upon the society of the time.”43But the point is not whether miners were good or bad, but whether such a large andinternally diverse group of people could find enough common ground - that is define theiridentities sufficiently- to be able to pull together in the face of opposition and impose theirideas of a “gold rush.” They defined their identites based on common experiences and“manly” attributes (by excluding women and using outsiders’ criticism to their advantage),and in opposition to natives. In their eyes, white men worked, and hence ruled, in theisolation of the Fraser canyon. This explains, in part, why, the new administration foundsupport among a group generally opposed to authority. They shared importantcommonalities, they were white men.‘43Trimble, p. 151-152.82CHAPTER 4GOVERNING FROM LONDON TO LYTTON“...it should be borne in mind that from the moment the cry of gold was raised, andthe word of the colonial minister went forth giving name and title to the newcolony, a population of some sort was already formed. The straggling andsomewhat disorderly elements wanted only bringing properly together to make outof it what was required. Consequently, unlike a poor settlement just fixed upon byone or two individuals, here was abundant material to work upon: and governor,secretaries, magistrates, lawyers, and all the paraphernalia of a local governmenthad but to be appointed and sent to establish a political rule nearly equal to that ofmany years’ standing.”William Parker Snow, 18581During the summer of 1858, while the Hudson’s Bay Company tried to maintaincontrol of miners, the British parliament debated transforming the region into a formalcolony. By August 2, parliament had decided to revoke the Hudson’s Bay Company’strade license on the mainland and establish a colony there. The formalities were completedin mid-November when Judge Begbie arrived on Vancouver Island with proclamationsannouncing both the foundation of the new colony and the appointment of its newgovernor, James Douglas. British Columbia became a colony, at least in name, but thetask of the new government was to transform the region into a settler society. Miners weregiven little credit for their internal social organization, and the gold rush was not consideredan end in itself. Instead the new government was expected to use the miners’ manpower totame the wilderness they considered British Columbia to be, along with its originalinhabitants. W. Parker Snow’s writings reflect something of the excitement associatedwith the transformation:“It is a land where the wild Indian is as yet almost in his savage state! it is a landwhere nature reigns in wonderful majesty! it is a land where a suddentransformation is about to take place! and it is a land whither thousands of the‘W. Parker Snow, British Columbia, Emigration. and our Colonies, consideredPractically, Socially, and Politically. (London: Piper, Stephenson, and Spence, 1858), pp66-67.83civilized inhabitants of the globe are rushing in hot haste to gather of the new foundspoil!”2Unless managed carefully, however, miners were considered threats to the new colony,particularly those coming from California who were thought to be far too independent toreadily accept authority. During this transitional phase then, it was of the utmostimportance that the colonial government control miners and organize them into a settledsociety.With the shift in his position on the mainland from Hudson’s Bay Company factorto colonial governor, Douglas found himself in charge of a new type of organization, andrepositioned in a new chain of command. Instead of controlling natives and managing theHudson’s Bay Company’s trade, he had to protect and control natives and miners, byreorganizing both groups upon the land, and regulating miners’ access to resources. Ideasfor colonizing British Columbia were worked out at various levels. Parliament discussedgeneral outlines for the new government, including the types of enforcement at its disposal.The Secretary of State for the Colonies, E.B.Lytton, passed these ideas on to Douglas withcommentary. Because those in England knew little of the region (Figure 10) and there wasa considerable lag in communication (it took 3 months for a despatch from London to reachVictoria), Douglas was left considerable freedom to formulate policies. Douglas in turnrelied on his field-officers, the gold commissioners, to implement his policies.London’s ColonyFor all the recent argument that by the middle of the nineteenth century Great Britainwas scarcely interested in establishing new colonies, the formal founding of BritishColumbia came about surprisingly quickly, with little opposition from parliament. WhenE.B.Lytton, presented Parliament with a bill to provide for the government of “NewCaledonia” and “the maintenance of law and the preservation of life in the district,” on July1, 1858, it went through several rounds of debates. All members agreed - albeit for2Snow, p.1843‘3Ui(I)Cl)CIDzCCfDI—/Source: Great Britain, Parliament, Papers Relative to the Affairs of British Columbia,1858.85different reasons - to establish the colony, but debated the form it should take, how itshould be run, and by whom.The colony was primarily founded to protect British interests on the Pacific fromAmerican encroachment, given the arrival of thousands of American miners. Britain hadlost control of Oregon in 1846, and members sought to avoid losing more territory to theUnited States. They saw Vancouver Island as “a kind of England attached to the continentof America... “3, and bringing that piece of mainland adjacent to it under British rule wastaken seriously. The mainland would be particularly important when “one direct line ofrailway communication will unite the Pacific to the Atlantic.”4 In addition, Lyttonpromised the house, that there were special resources “which have so strangely beenconcealed for ages, which are now so suddenly brought to light, and which may bedestined to effect, at no very distant period, a marked and permanent change in thecommerce and navigation of the known world.”5 Discoveries of gold, along with coal onVancouver Island, implied that other resources would be found in abundance, thusensuring a prosperous future. Financial hesitations were quelled by the prospect of gold,as it was assumed that rich natural resources would allow the colony to pay its own wayand, in the long run, prosper.Some members were hostile toward the Hudson’s Bay Company and its license,and one in particular found that the “Bill, indeed was a conclusive commentary on theimpolicy [sic] of granting such a monopoly, and he believed they might thank the golddiscoveries for having interposed and brought this important territory under the directauthority of the Crown.”6 Founding the colony was a convenient way to revoke a3Friend of Lytton’s, Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates: Third Series, Vol. 151, 1857-58,(London: Corneilius Buck, 1858), column 1097. Lowe, col. 1119, also emphasized theimportance of Vancouver Island.4Lytton, Hansard, col. 1106.5E.B. Lytton, to Gov. Douglas. British Parliamentary Papers, Papers relating to BritishColumbia. No. 8, Downing Street, August 14, 1858. (p. 65). (hereafterE)6Christy, Hansard. col. 111586monopoly license a year ahead of schedule. But these objections to Hudson’s BayCompany rule on the mainland were directed at the company rather than at Douglas, whowas put forward as the obvious candidate for the governorship. Objections over hisposition in the Company were pushed aside because there was hardly an alternative andrationalized by the requirement that he relinquish all attachments to the Hudson’s BayCompany and the Puget Sound Company. What remained, then, was to decide the type ofgovernment Douglas should head, what the future of the colony should look like, and whatkind of powers he should wield. These issues provoked more discussion than any othertopic, a discussion that expressed generally held opinions concerning the process andproject of colonization.Parliament discussed the implications of a local government led by an ex-fur-trader:the talent which made him the obvious governor - ‘Indian expertise’ - brought his colony-building qualities into question. “His sole power,” over the mainland while working forthe Hudson’s Bay Company had “been the moral power of energy, talents, andextraordinary influence over the natives.”7 In the mid-nineteenth century, the era ofmissionary societies, native issues were taken seriously. Most members felt that in someway natives had to be protected, although some disagreed. One member:“Knew something of Canada, and he could state from personal knowledgethat in that country the Indians were like wandering gypsies of othercountries. They were disapearing fast from the face of nature. One mightoccasionally see a poor wretched being, clothed in a dilapidated blanketcreeping along, degraded and miserable, and that was the Indian of Canada.That was what we were going to do in New Caledonia. We were about tointroduce civilization there. Before that civilization the Indians mustdisappear, and the more rapidly the better. This might seem like harsh andcruel language; but it was the language of truth.”8The opposition, in turn, argued:“it would be one of the first duties of the Government to intervene for theprotection of these aborigines. He did not mean to sentimentalize on amatter of this kind. Wherever the white man and civilization extended the7Lytton, Hansard, col. 1100.8Roebuck, Hansard, col. 1111.87red man fled before them and eventually perished from the face of thecountry. This appeared to be one of the laws of God which the efforts ofcivilization and humanity could not prevent; and it was one of the paramountduties of a good government, in carrying out colonization, to interfere as faras possible to prevent those cruelties and horrors that had been perpetratedin the early days of our Colonies . .. “These two opinions reveal much of current thought about colonies and their founding. Bothmembers stressed their own rationality (one was not sentimental, the other possessedspecial knowledge) and they both agreed that “the Indian” was not viable in ‘civilized’society. For the first, the inevitable disappearance of natives was an integral part of theintroduction of civilization, for the other, it was the will of God. But as far as the latter wasconcerned, the true project of British colonization could accept no constraints- not evendivine inspiration. Colonization meant civilization and, in turn, the taming of ‘wild nature.’Creating a colony entailed taking charge not only of boundaries, as Douglas had done, butof its contents. Rising popular concern for the welfare of natives would require Douglasto regulate this part of nature and its (not their) destiny.Nature itself was multifaceted, and controlling it would be too. By extension then(although the commentary was not nearly as elaborate and perhaps taken for granted),Douglas was to take charge of other facets of nature: the wilds would require infrastructure,resources would need rules of access, and the population a government. People in Londonknew little of the colony, and as a result, they focussed on legislating the appropriate typeof government. If this could be established, then specific rules and regulations could beworked out locally. British Columbia provided space for progress and the future. Theonly requirement for its smooth operation was a local government, with local knowledge,to guide the colonial process.Parliament felt that it could quite safely leave the details of governing natives toDouglas - after all, this was his reputed expertise. Controlling miners and managing asettler colony was another matter. After all:9Duke of Newcastle, Hansard, col. 2102.88“[Douglas] had never been accustomed to deal with white men; all hisdealings were with Indians, and his idea of law was that might was right.Now that would not do in a new colony. It would not do with Englishmen,far less with many of the men whom they might expect from the westernStates of America, because they had made the western States too hot to holdthem. These men must be treated gently; their hair must not be stroked thewrong way, or else they would give a new reading of the maxim that mightwas right, for they would certainly show that their power was stronger thanany which the Governor might immediately bring to bear against them.”10A government based on such principles, some members argued, was acceptable in theconvict colonies of Australia (convicts and Indians both being wild men) but not suitablefor British subjects or Americans used to self government, because “the longer you applieda government of that sort to a society of free men the more you unfitted them forfreedom.”1’Although the proponent of a strong government, Lytton placated dissentingcolleagues by implying that even a government without a representative component neednot rule by force. In fact he considered that impossible in this case:“I would submit that the larger proportion of the immigrants attracted to thegold fields will probably be Americans, accustomed to self-government;that, if you desire to keep them loyal and contented, you should give themthe prospect, at the earliest possible period, of that representative form ofgovernment to which, in their native country they have been accustomed;and that if you desire strong Government for the preservation of internalorder, no government we can make, without the aid of armies, is so strongas that where the whole society is enlisted in securing respect to the lawswhich it has the privilege to enact, and has no motive to rebel against theauthority in which it participates.”’2In the end, it was decided (as Lytton had proposed all along) that Douglas have fullgoverning powers for 5 years. After that representative institutions would be organized,thus transforming the gold colony into a settled society.Few comments were made in Parliament about the specific ways of operationalizingthis particular vision of a colony structured around power without force, in part because ofthe geographical distance, but also because members of Parliament were not interested inthe present: for them this colony was in a temporary state between savagery and‘°C.W.Fitzwilliam, Hansard, col. 1121.11Gjadstone, Hansard, col. 1763.12Lytton, Hansard, col. 1103.89civilization. On the whole, Lytton was free to translate his colleagues’ ideas incorrespondence and instructions to Douglas. He was particularly intent upon temperingDouglas’s absolute powers with unambiguous instructions about how to control “rowdy”miners. As early as April 1856, the Secretary of State for the colonies had warned Douglas“that it would be abortive to attempt to raise revenue from licenses to dig for gold in thatregion in the absence of effective machinery of government, and left to the Governor’sdiscretion the means of preserving order.”3 Lytton concurred and warned Douglas withan example from the gold rush, in Victoria (Australia) where “a general antipathy to thelicense system”4resulted in the Ballarat riots. The lesson Lytton drew was to be aware of“Discontent with its attendant dangers.”A Governor’s ColonyWhen it came to miners Douglas himself was convinced that, indeed, might wasright. For him, the miners posed such an immediate threat that it would not have been outof proportion had the entire Pacific fleet gathered at the mouth of the Fraser. On numerousoccasions he wrote to Lytton and others requesting military back up. “1 ... much regret thatI have not a permanent force under my control, for the protection of the Revenue laws ofthe country, as they would in that case produce a return far exceeding the expense ofmaintaining such a force, besides upholding the moral influence of Her Majesty’sGovernment.”15 In correspondence with the Captain of H.M.S. Satellite, he remarked thateven if not enough vessels were available in the Pacific at the moment, the presence and“imposing display of force at that point will have a powerful moral effect, and preventmuch future evil,”16 much as he thought it had during the fur trade.13Lytton, Hansard, col. 1100.14Sir Charles Hatham, Nov. 21, 1855, to Sir William Molesworth, cited in: Lytton toDouglas, Oct. 14, 1858, PP. No. 29, p. 86.15Doug1as, to Lord Stanley, M.P., Victoria, July 26, 1858. PP. No. 7 (P.40)16 Copy of letter from James C. Prevost, Captain H.M.S. Satellite,” to Douglas,Esquimalt, May 18, 1858. No. 12, p.15.90Lytton was adamant that force would not maintain control: “they [Her Majesty’sGovernment] rely upon your forebearance, judgement, and concilliation to avoid all resortto military or naval force which may lead to conflict and loss of life, except under pressureof extreme necessity.”7 Indeed even the display of force could backfire:“This force [Royal Engineers] is sent for practical purposes, and not solelyfor military objects. As little display as possible should, therefore, be madeof it. Its mere appearance, if prominently obtruded, might serve to irritaterather than appease, the mixed population which will be collected in BritishColumbia. It should be remembered that your real strength lies in theconviction of the emigrants that their interests are identical with those of theGovernment, which should be carried on in harmony with and by means ofthe people of the country.”8Douglas was to conciliate the miners by acting “for their interests in a manner which shallbe popular, conformable with their general sentiments.”19and by adapting “the scale ofthese fees to the general acquiescence of adventurers... “20Douglas, however, did not agree with Lytton’s subtle strategies, did not complycompletely, and in the end felt that during that raucous summer the gunboats at the mouthof the Fraser had been necessary:“The rights of the Crown, as well as the trading rights secured by statute toHudson’s Bay Company, have been broadly asserted in my severalproclamations with the object of maintaining British supremacy, byestablishing a moral control over the masses of foreigners, who, under thefalse impression that the country was free, and open to all nations, and thatwe had no military force at our disposal, were rushing defiantly and withoutceremony into Her Majesty’s Possessions; and we succeeded by that meansin securing respect and obediance to the law, at a time when a policy ofconcession would have been mistaken for weakness, and have provedinjurious to British interests.”21Lytton’s and Douglas’s different views on controlling miners stemmed from their differentbackgrounds and locations. Because of his previous experience in the fur trade, his17Lytton to Douglas, July 1, 1858. PP No.1, p.5918Lytton, to Douglas, July 31, 1858. PP. No.6, p.62.‘9lbid.20Lytton to Douglas, Aug. 14, 1858. PP No.8, p. 65.21Douglas, to E.B. Lytton, Fort Hope, Fraser’s River, September 9 1858. , No. 11,p. 51.91proximity to the gold rush and his day-to-day involvement with miners, Douglasemphasized tangible and forceful actions aimed directly at the miners. Based on hisdistance and long-term vision, Lytton was more interested in the survival of the physicalcolony than in its current social situation. As a result, Lytton encouraged Douglas torethink his actions. During the course of 1858, then, Douglas’s methods of control shiftedfrom the overt use of force to its mere display; as he enacted his own policies he movedtoward using land and resources to regulate the population.Without recourse to force, or even its display, Douglas was left to translate thegeneral directives of the Colonial Office (as recommended by parliament) in ways whichwould placate the population and protect life and property, while still raising a revenue.Closing the boundaries to the region and regulating access to it were no longer options;instead he installed administrators to organize small sections of the territoiy and uphold hisvarious proclamations from within. The need for proclamations was inspired by Lytton:“From such intelligence as has reached me of the state of things in California, I have beenled to believe that it would be of great service if the rights of miners could be brieflyestablished and defined beforehand by law, instead of being left to grow up by merecustom or accident” but their contents were left to Douglas.22 Douglas issued a series ofproclamations covering the taxation of merchants, liquor licensing, and mining regulations.The latter were formulated using Australian laws as guides.23For their enforcement, Douglas envisaged a large force of officials. Already in Julyof 1858, he wrote provisional regulations for the first assistant gold commissioners. Theywere instructed to collect license fees and keep Douglas informed of the numbers of miners22Lytton to Douglas, Sept. 2 1858. PP no. 22, p.79.23”In the summer [of 1859] Douglas reorganized gold fields administration on Australianlines, replacing the system of monthly licenses, which had never been more than partiallyeffective, by an annual licence at £1 or $5, and instituting gold commissioners to administerthe the gold laws, settle mining disputes, and exercise the authority and jurisdiction ofjustices of the peace.” W.P.Morrell, The Gold Rushes, (London: Adam & Charles Black,1940), p. 127.92in their districts. In addition, they were told: “as soon as practicable, you will divide yourDistrict into seperate beats assigning to each man a particular locality - By this means hewill soon become acquainted with every person on his beat and more readily detectunlicenced diggers.”24 In September, he noted in his journal that the foliwing wouldsuffice “for the establishment of public Government and order: Fort Hope; 1 Justice of thePeace, 2 constables, 10 special constables. Fort Yale; 1 sub commissioner, 10 troopers,10 special constables. Forks [Lytton]; 1 sub commissioner, 10 troopers; Warden of theriver, 1 officer, 20 men.”25 The gold commissioner system was based on Australianprecedent, and put into practice quite rapidly, but never reached the numbers Douglas hadoriginally intended, presumably due to expense. By the end of the year, Douglas hadappointed one assistant gold commissioner with at most two constables to each of Hope,Yale, Hill’s Bar (briefly), Lytton, and Lillooet.A Gold Commissioner’s Beat: H.M. Ball at LyttonGold Commissioners were the senior government representatives in each loosely-defined disctrict, and were stationed in areas of high traffic to watch miners’ movementsand activities and to enforce Douglas’s rules and regulations among the population miningin, or moving through, their districts. In 1858 they visited mining bars and issuedlicenses, in later years they worked primarily from their offices, where they also recordedmining claims and water rights. They also resolved disputes related to mining, in whichcase they were called Justices of the Peace, and were supervised by Judge Begbie whosecourt of Assize would come to town at least once a year to hear capital cases and appeals(see chapter 5). In all other matters they reported to the Governor (via the ColonialSecretary of British Columbia) on miners’ and natives’ activities in each region. They alsosupplied him with detailed information (including prevailing wind direction) about the24James Douglas, Instructions to Assistant Gold Commissioners, July 1, 1858.25James Douglas, Diary of Gold Discovery on Fraser’s River in 1858, Private Papers,September 6, 1858.93region to inform plans for further development of the Colony as a whole (Table 1). Likethe officers and men in a Hudson Bay Company’s fort, Gold Commissioners’ officeswere stationary and stable presences in their regions, and served as points of collection ofrevenue, but they had little staff. Instead of force, gold commissioners relied on detailedinformation gathering and record keeping to create their kind of order, because miners andtheir activities had to be understood before they could be controlled.In the first place, organizing the gold rush required that property be regulated.Miners demanded security of their persons, but also of their access to gold-bearing dirt.All miners were to purchase and possess free miner’s certificates: mining licences whichsecured the right to work in British Columbia. This was one major way in which thecolonial apparatus was funded. Miners were initially reluctant to pay the $5 fee and wentout of their ways to avoid the gun boats anchored in the lower Fraser or officials stationedalong the way. The regulation became easier to enforce once miners realized that if theywanted to register their claims and receive protection of them, they would have to producetheir licenses. From the government’s point of view, registering miners was a way to keeptrack of them, and registering claims, they thought, encouraged stability.As far as mining itself was concerned, gold commissioners’s activities fell intoseveral categories, particularly as miners were not all treated in the same ways, as can beseen in Henry Maynard Ball’s records. Ball was the gold commissioner at Lytton from1859 to 1865. He arrived in the colony, applied to Douglas, and on June 8 1859, took anoath of allegiance to Queen Victoria and was sworn in as Justice of the Peace of the Colonyof British Columbia.26 Although new to this colony, he had had 10 years of previouscolonial experience in New South Wales where he had served as an officer and as amagistrate in the gold fields.27 According to his commanding officer, these duties were26”Oath taken by Ball before J. Douglas.” British Columbia, Colonial Correspondence(Hereafter CC), June 8, 1859, File 94.27K.Bloomfield (Col.), Gloucestershire, Feb. 18th 1859. Testimonial letter for H.M.Ball.BCARS.Table1:GoldCommissionerBall’sQuarterlyReportsfortheLyttonDistrict,October1859toJune1860.*Year18591860MonthOct.Nov.Dec.Jan.Feb.MarchAprilMayJuneRevenue()(f)(i)()()(f)()(f)()Licenses:Mining138642183684148179105Licenses:Trading8397-31181120Licenses:Liquor74-2010-31403020SaleofLands523-222154--GroundRents10261037151011Miscl.622311------Fines&Cost1341411-76-23Tolls&Ferries---315-31621GeneralMiningReturns---61723736695Total310118486772229357311295Expenditure42i2_S21421S2Net2456413191529268165109No.PoliceConstables211112222No.PoliceCases4112-62-4No.Imprisonments-----AverageNo.Miners200--100250400400620850AvgNo.BarsWorked20---1030303542AvgWageperDiem(f)111111111AvgPriceProvisions/100lbs.666876666No.ofPublicHouses678111112131516No.ofStores8910101012141517No.ofCattleImported--------PrevailingWindsSouthNorthSouthNorthNorthSWSWSouthSouthAverageTemperature(°F)5427.427.62836.848.559.3563.1467.4FallofSnow/Rain(inches)-36---1.251.51*HMBallLytton,toColonialSecretary,B.C.,January2,1860,“Quarterly OutlineReportfortheLyttonDistrictforDecemberQuarter,ColonialCorrespondence,F95/2; dittoforMarch:April6,1860,CCf95/7,andJune:July4,1860,CCF95/18.95conducted with “intelligence, zeal, judgement, and discretion.” He was complimented onthe discipline of his detachment, and on the whole, his commander “entertained the highestpossible opinion of him both as an Officer and as a Gentleman.” His correspondence andrecord books illustrate his duties at Lytton and his ideas concerning mining and theformation of a colonial society.-Management of People: the institutionalization of raceOne of Ball’s main tasks was to administer the population in accordance withDouglas’s instructions and his own insights. He identified several main population groupsalong racial lines and, as far as white miners were concerned, focussed on regulating theirmining activities by registering their partnerships, claims, and leases.The miners’ narratives considered in chapter 3 suggest that most miners worked inpartnership with several people. Frequently based upon friendships and common interests,some of these partnerships were more formal than others. Companies leased sections ofland in common, otherwise miners registered their claims individually, but together workedwhatever claim seemed most profitable. It is likely they owned their mining implements incommon. In gold commissioners’ records, partners’ licenses were cross-referenced aswere their claims, and listed alphabetically in ledgers.Methods of mining evolved rapidly in the Fraser Canyon. As the river bars aroundYale were worked out, miners were forced to move northward and prospect new regions orinvest more time and capital in their operations. Mining on the high bench diggings or reworking river bars required more efficient and more expensive sluices instead of rockers.One traveller saw sluices all along his 1859 journey up the canyon. One at Fargo’s Barused a 30 foot diameter handwheel to raise water. At Hudson’s Bar, 6 miles below Hopehe noted: “a ditch one mile in length conducting to a flume 1000 yards long furnishingwater for 3 companies of 3 each to each sluice- 30 men on the bar with rockers.“28John Damon, Diary, April 9 1859. BCARS.96Gold Commisioners too noted the sluices. O.T. Travaillot, prepared the followinglist. Perhaps he asked to see only two licenses per sluice, or perhaps he completed it inhaste - not all sluices can have employed exactly two men.Table 2: Travaillot’s “List of the different places where water’s priviledges have beenrecorded, and number of mining licenses to be monthly collected therein,” April, 1859.29Places Sluices LicensesItalian Bar 1 2Canaka Bar 4 8New-Brunswick 5 10Fort Dallas and Neighbourhood 16 32Last Chance Creek 8 16Mormon’s and neighbourhood 3 6Cameron’s and neighbourhood 14 28Foster’s and neighbourhood 16 32Texas and Long Bar 9 18French Bar and neighbourhood 8 16Fountain and neighbourhood 6 12Thompson’s River 2 4Bridge’s River 3 6Palmer’s Bar 2 4Total 97 194Ball prepared an apparently more comprehensive list of miners when he took over thedistrict in 1860 (Table 3).30 Both lists probably served as guides for the GoldCommissioners’ revenue collection. Travaillot’s may have been intended to illustrate amore lasting pattern as water rights seem to indicate a more through and lasting engagementwith the land, but his numbers are hard to interpret. Ball’s miners were cross-referencedwith the revenue of each bar, implying that once this changed the pattern of miners wouldtoo. While gold commissioners were responsible for licensing the miners in their29 Travaillot to Brew, April 18, 1859. “List of the different places where water’spriviledges have been recorded, and number of mining licenses to be monthly collectedtherein.” CC F301-ienry M.Ball, Lytton, to Colonial Secretary. May 12 1860. CC F95/12.97Table 3: Gold Commisisoner Ball’s List of Mining Bars, Lytton District, May 1860.*Name of Bar Average No. Average RateMiners of Yeild Per Day ($)Fraser River:Boston Bar & neighbourhood 20 6Italian Bar, East Bank 10 6Rough’s Flat, East Bank 30 10Yankee Flat, West Bank 80 8Ranchene Flat, West Bank 10 6Enesley Flat, East Bank 16 5Walker’s Flat, East Bank 4 5Amador Flat, West Bank 5 4Fays Flat, East Bank 6 4Ranch Flat, East Bank 16 621 Mile Rat, East Bank 10 4Revolution Flat, West Bank 4 5Mamkum Flat, East Bank 6 4Yad Fou Flat, East Bank 4 4Austrian Flat, West Bank 4 4Wall Flat, West Bank 10 8Assin Flat, East Bank 10 4Siwash Flat, East Bank 7 5Canaka Flat, East Bank 4 4Akkum Flat, EastBank 10 6Spinlum Flat, West Bank 15 4Fountain Flat, West Bank 4 6Siskee Flat, West Bank 4 5Miners Flat, East Bank 7 10Edinburgh Flat, West Bank 5 8New Brunswick Flat, West Bank 8 6Rancherie Bar, East Bank 10 4Spring Bar, West Bank 20 8Fort Dallas Bar, West Bank 10 6Junction Bar, East Bank 4 8Mormon Bar, East Bank 3 4Spinklum Flat, East Bank 18 4Hydraulie Flat, East Bank 4 4The Guffie’s Dry Diggings, East Bank 15 5Foster’s Bar, East Bank 6 6Browning’s Flat, West Bank 4 4Cameron’s Bar, West Bank 11 8Byron’s Flat, West Bank 12 6Last Chance Flat, West Bank 8 8Maryborough Flat, West Bank 60 8Rip V.W. Bar, West Bank 10 8Thompson River:Lowan Flat, 6 6Butler’s Flat, 3 6Free Miner’s Flat 4 6Barr’s Flat 5 6* H.M. Ball, Lytton to Colonial Secretary of British Columbia, May 12, 1860, ColonialCorrespondence, F951 1298district, they also issued licenses to miners travelling through them. Lytton was animportant node during the gold rush as miners heading north along the Thompson, as wellas those arriving from the Dalles along the Okanagan brigade trail, would pass through it.During his tenure in Lytton, most of Ball’s revenue came from selling mimng licenses(Table 1).In his monthly and quarterly reports, Ball discussed the numbers of miners in hisdistrict. This district itself was never clearly defined - it had to be flexible in response tominers’ movements. During the winter months activity was slow due to cold, frozenground, and shortages of water. Provisions were scarce during winter as the Fraser andThompson rivers froze, and snowed-in trails prevented supplies from reaching Lytton. InMarch, 1862, there was still 2 feet of snow in Lytton and several feet of ice in the rivers,and Ball reported dying livestock, expensive provisions, and halted mining. In addition,Ball feared the trails would be thmaged during the snow melt and that the “BoatingSeason” would be short.31In addition, miners responded to (their understanding of) gold distributions andbureaucratic conditions for its removal. In May 1860 Ball reported “but few miners [onThompson River], although in spots some good claims might be found, but the security ofwater priviledges for ditches is a great drawback to the mines, on this river at present beingmuch worked.”32 In December 1860 he reported that numbers had increased during thepast season “in consequence of the discovery of “pay dirt” on the benches above high watermark, and although many of these are worked out, still there are many remaining.”33 Bywatching miners closely, and noting their responses to the climate, gold deposits, changingtechnology, and availability of provisions, Ball was able to find logic behind theirmovements, and thus, he hoped, to predict or even channel them. Such reports came31Ball, to 1.1. Young (actg private secretary), March 11862. F96126.32Ball, to Col. Secr., May 12 1860, CC F 95/11.33Ball, to Col. Seer., December31 1860, F95/31.99together in Victoria with those of other gold commissioners, information for Douglas’s useas he adjusted his policies and devised new ones.In addition to individual miners and partnerships, some groups of miners worked informal companies. Leverett Estabrooks & Co. consisted of Estabrooks himself whocorresponded with Ball, and four others. In March 1860, they requested to lease a sevenand a half acre tract of “auriferous land (dry diggings)” for 10 years.34 They enclosed botha verbal description of their tract as well as a map (Figure 11), which shows their claim inreference to the river, and the mule trail, but shows no other land marks; perhaps theyrecognized none. It was not related in any way to a native geography. They did not namethe creek from which they drew their water. Instead of landmarks, they enclosed a verbaldescription of the claim, which measured 120 “rods” along the margin of the east bank andextended eastward for 10 rods, to the base of the rising ground. It was located in referenceto a gold commissioner: six miles south of Lytton. Integral to their request for land was therequest for rights to the adjacent stream - for the latter they were willing to pay $50 rent peryear. They explained their claim as follows:[We] propose to work the ground in a regular miner-like manner with sluices.There are no individual miners working on the spot, nor is it a locality whereindividual claims can be taken up, on account of the supply of water, the abovementioned stream affording a supply only of 2 sluice heads of water, and that onlyfor 3 months of the year. The short season for mining this tract of land, and thedepth of the soil above the pay dirt has guided us in our offer of the yearly rent, tothe government.”35Their application was forwarded to Douglas who approved of the scheme in principal, butnot of the rent:34Leverett Estabrooks & Co. [John Pessin, Joseph Oulton, Joseph Dohane, and CharlesHendnk] to Assistant Gold Commissioner of Lytton District, Lytton, March 27 1960. CCF95.35Leverett Estabrooks & Co., Lytton, to Assistant Gold Commissioner of Lytton district,March 27, 1860. F96/6.100Figure 11: Leverett Estabrooks and Companys ClaimSource: H.M. Ball to Colonial Secretary, April 24, 1860, Colonial Correspondence F9516.101“Clause VIII of rules & regulations provides that unless specially arranged the rentto be paid for any water pnviledge shall be in each month one average dig receiptsfrom sale thereof aca. one days work for a company of five averaging $8.00 to thehand would amount to $4000 this for three months in the year the time duringwhich there is a supply of water according to.?. would amount to $12,000 I do notthink that $8.00 to the hand in sluicing is on this part of the river too high anestimate.”36In the end, Estabrooks & Co. stood their ground and, perhaps due to lack of competition,received the tract at their asking price.37 Although a firm proclamation had been issued, theprocess of land leasing was still being worked out and was flexible to miners’ demands andDouglas’s inspiration.In May of that same year, 1860, Robert Kirkpatrick & Co. put forward a similarproposal.38 They were interested in Cameron’s Flat, situated 20 miles north of Lytton onthe west bank of the Fraser. Their claim was 20 acres, which they wanted for £10 per yearfor four years (Figure 12). Again Ball forwarded this request to Douglas, who again foundthe rent too low because renting to individual miners would yield more. This time,however, he approved the application immediately because they would be bringing in aditch and a flume and “it is desireable to encourage the introduction of capital in miningenterprises and therefore the present application has my approval though respects theamount of rent it should not be considered a precedent.”39 Not all such formal applicationscame from groups. In 1863, Ball handled a request by an individual, TheophileMallard,who applied to lease three and three quarters acres on Fort Dallas Flat (3 milesbelow Lytton) for four years at $30 per year.4° He too submitted a map. His applicationwas approved because he had already constructed a three mile ditch to the flat.36margin in ibid.37Bail, to Col. Secr., April 24 1860. CC F95/9.38Robert Kirkpatrick & Co., Lytton to Gold Comm. Lytton Distr. May 21 1860. CCF95/15. Company included T. Spence, I. Darling, J. Lunney, J. Maxwell, L. Strandhan,H. Phair, T. Cameron, J. Haller, ? Helly.39Ball, to Col. Secr.,May 211860. CC F 95/14.40Ball, to Col. Secr., June 13, 1860, CC f 95/14.Cl)0 CD C-) 0 0 Cl) CD CD 00 C C-) 0 C-) 0 CDcm I.I.C103The advantages of renting to companies were that they contributed a fixed incomeover several years and made capital improvements to the land, thus setting an example forother miners (by showing that more intense mining would yield more gold). Furthermore,ditches and flumes could be adapted to agriculture (although placer mining would havewashed away the topsoil). More importantly, it was difficult for formal companies to fadeaway, particularly as they were sponsored by “respectable merchants of Lytton” such asCook and Kimbal (in the case of Estabrooks and Kirkpartick), and Hautier and Chapperon(in the case of Mallard). These leases indicate the formulation of particular social networksduring the gold rush. Not only were mining companies formed, but they alignedthemselves with local merchants along ethnic lines, and the administration favoured thesecompanies’ interests over those of individual miners. Natives are conspicuous by theirexclusion from this land system by both miners and officials who considered themirrelevant to this facet of social (re)organization. During the early years, while regulationswere still being worked out, the system was flexible to the demands of favoured groups,defined by the Colonial Office, governor, and gold commissioner as white men.The first Chinese miners arrived during the summer of 1858 from California, wherethey were subject to the same pressures as the white miners and, in addition, toincreasingly racist legislation (following the decline of the gold fields there leading toattempts to shut them out). Later arrivals came directly from Canton. They were definedas a group because they eluded other categories. London had not explicitly anticipated thisgroup, and no colonial precedent or policy existed for the administration of resident alienpopulations. White miners’ narratives rarely mentioned them, but during the 1860s,Chinese miners formed close to a majority in the Lytton district. Ball needed to find waysto fit them into colonial schemes. Despite the numbers of Chinese miners, regulations hadbeen devised for white miners, and the Chinese were not considered the same. They werenot considered integral to the future of the colony - as most whites expected they wouldleave- and therefore were subject to only cursory regulation during the early years.104Most of Ball’s few comments about the Chinese reflect attempts to find some wayof understanding them. His lack of prior experience with the Chinese gave them a degreeof liberty, in some respects. For example, their hesitance to take out licenses was notviewed as an immediate problem, despite the loss to revenue.“Great numbers of Chinamen are continually arriving in the District, but as yet onlythose holding sluicing claims take out their mining licenses, though perhapstowards the Fall of the Year, as the river bank diggings become richer, more will beinduced to take out their Licenses to prevent any Trespass on their claims. Thebench diggings still continue to pay good wages, and most of the best claims areworked by Chinamen.”41By 1861 and 1862, Ball concluded that most of the miners working in his district wereChinese, most of whom were on the Thompson and Tranquille rivers.42 The benches were“yielding tolerable wages” and would continue to, he thought, for some years. At thispoint their evasion of the rules was taken more seriously:“Many Chinamen are on their way to the Upper Country, and a considerablenumber are locating themselves on Thompson river during the low stage of thewater. As most of these Chinamen have only claims which they work withrockers, and travel from point to point they consequently did not take out miffinglicenses and as there is no clause in the Act compelling them to do so a great loss tothe revenue is occasioned.”43Unlike natives, the Chinese were allowed and encouraged to take out claims, perhapsbecause, like white miners, this encouraged them to pay for licenses:“The miners who have claims on the different flats have commenced operationssome weeks back [ie since the winter], and are actively at work. The claims areprincipally owned by Chinese who have opened some new flats on the right bankof Fraser River above Cameron’s bar.”By 1863, Ball estimated that 300 Chinese men were working the bars between Lytton andLillooet.41Ball, Lytton, to Col. Secr., July 4 1860, CC F95/17.42Ball, Lytton, to C. Good, acting private secretary to his Excellency, July 3 1861.F96/13. and Ball to Col. Seer., May 3 1862, F96/27.43Ball, to Col. Seer., March 1, 1861. F9513.44Ball, to Col. Seer., April 7, 1863. F97!2.105Despite the large numbers of Chinese miners in the Fraser canyon, they receivedlittle attention in whites’ personal and official accounts. Like white miners, Chinese minershad come from abroad (often California) and moved about in search of gold, but theadministration regulated them differently, because mining regulations had been designed toregulate white rather than Chinese miners. Unlike white miners, Chinese miners posed nothreat to British sovereignty on the Pacific, because their roots were considered to lie on theother side of the ocean in a non-expansionist China. In addition, government (at all levels)knew little about Chinese miners, and did not know how to fit them into the future ofBritish Columbia.Among the few comments Douglas made to Lytton about his plans for natives, hewrote in 1858 that he would “render them as comfortable as in their natural state,”45implying his intentions to integrate them into the new society. But, during the early yearsof the gold rush, Douglas had yet to formulate such policies. As gold commissioner, Ballreported the actions of natives living at Tlicumcheen, the large village near the Forks,(which he called the Ranchene) and paid some attention to those in other parts of hisdistrict, but he was not an Indian Agent. Most of his comments referred to theirparticipation in the gold economy, usually mining or packing. He also kept Douglas up todate on his impressions of their health and well-being. But unless approached by natives,he did not, as gold commisisoner, interfere directly in their lives, so long as they did notaffect mining or colonial interests.Natives had been the first miners in the gold regions, particularly in the area whichbecame the Lytton District, when they had traded gold to the Hudson’s Bay Company.When white and Chinese miners arrived and mining regulations were issued, nativescontinued to mine.“The Indians however during the low stages of the river, in many parts have beenworking and making average daily wages: on the Fraser also the Indians were very45[ref?]106diligently working during the low water and many were enabled to supportthemselves & families through the latter part of the winter, from the gold theywashed out.”Along the Thompson too, natives were active miners and were getting a “good deal of Goldby washing with a pan only, and many of the most industrious gain sufficient to keepthemselves & families during the greater portion of the season.”47 Initially, native miningwas considered only supplementary to other subsistence activities. Native miners were notrequired to take out mining licenses, but nor were they allowed to register claims. Thiswas not an acknowledgement of natives’ prior right to the soil, but a disparagement of theirposition as (even) miners.Whites gradually came to see gold mining and participation in the gold rusheconomy as integral to native well-being. Ball and other gold commissioners, for example,often reported on native famines, for which they saw potential each winter. Elwyn, hiscolleague at Lillooet, thought that one cause could be fishing further down the river, andsaw it as his duty to report the problems:“I have the honour to report that during the last week the salmon haveentirely stopped running; the Indians at present are not able to catch half-a-dozen aweek among them all. The supposed reason of this is, that a fishing company atLangley have placed a net across the river. I have no means of knowing if this isreally the case, but such is the general belief. The Indians in this vicinity will sufferfearfully this winter & a great majority starve to death.”48Ball too, often noted the great potential for famines among natives around Lytton. In 1859,he thought they were saved from famine by learning how to lead a settled life style fromwhites (and ironically miners, whose mobility he viewed with suspicion): “The Indians areespecially quiet and are beginning to appreciate the advent of white people amongst them,adopting their habits and costume, and in many parts cultivating the ground for gardens.”49A year later he reported that they were saved by the income they had earned by working for6Ball, to Col Secr., May 12 1860. F95/1 1.47Ball, to Col. Seer., Dec. 311860. F93131.Thomas Elwyn, Cayoosh, to W.A.C. Young, Aug. 13 1859. F52415.49Ball, to Col. Seer. July 4 1860. F95117.107whites: “The Indians have not suffered so much as expected from the scarcity of their usualwinter stock of food, as most of them have been able to obtain employment & to supportthemselves.“Ball may have thought that natives were starving because he did not understandnative subsistence rounds. But it is also possible that famine did strike natives around theFraser Canyon during the early gold rush years. The salmon runs themselves may havebeen affected by placer mining, although the effects may not have shown up before the1860s.51 Alternatively, natives could have been distracted from their usual subsistenceactivities. Or miners may have taken over fishing sites for mining. Temporary famineswould not have been uncommon, according to Romanoff: “even in a normal year, springwas a season of hunger.”52 Prior to the arrival of the miners, poor runs would not havebeen uncommon, but would have followed a four year cycle.53 However, the frequencywith which Ball noted famine points to recent interference; at some level the gold rushadversly affected the native subsistent economy. According to Ball and his colleagues,however, the gold rush improved natives’ lives. In this way, Ball’s reports to Douglasfitted the present to colonial preconceptions. White intervention in the Fraser canyon, Ballthought, did not cause problems among natives- it solved them.By the 1860s introduced diseases were widely understood to affect nativesdifferently, and more harshly, than whites. But here too Ball managed to focus on his rolein their prevention.“A serious and infectious epidemic of “Diptheria and Diarrhoea” combined, spreadamongst the Indian children of this tribe, which daily carried off two or three. TheChief of the Tribe “Sassirton” applied to me for some medical assistance &medicines, as the Indians found their own treatment was ineffectual, and as there50Ball, to Col. Secr., Jan. 31 1861. F96/1.MBrian Hayden, A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau: TraditionalStl’cItl’imx Resource Use, (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1992), p. 29.52Steven Romanoff, “The Cultural Ecology of Hunting and Potlatches among the LillooetIndians,” in Brian Hayden ed., A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau:Traditional Stl’dtl’imx Resource Use, p. 483.53Romanoff, p. 481-482.108was a medical practitioner in Lytton, I directed him to attend at the differentranchenes of those affected with the epidemic, and I am happy to say that manylives were thereby saved, which would otherwise have succumbed to the diseases.Common humanity, as well as a sense of duty dictated to me to undertake uponmyself the responsibility of the expense, as in such a case there was no time tomake application for its authorization.The attendence was required for 24 days at the rate of twelve shillings perday.”54It is hard to know what disease he was refering to. The doctor may have limited thedamage, or the disease may have run its course. In Ball’s mind there was no doubt of theformer. He emphasized that his assistance had been asked for and that, in conjunction withwhite skills, it provided the cure. “Common humanity,” as provided by a representative ofHer Majesty’s Government, he thought, provided a solution to natives’ problems.During the 1862 smallpox epidemic, concerns were more widespread and calledupon close interaction of a variety of government employees. The first to attempt toprevent the epidemic from spreading to the mainland was made by J.V. Seddall, aphysician at New Westminster. He reported smallpox among natives near NewWestminster to Moody, in June of 1862. In his opinion, natives from Burrard Inlet shouldbe barred from the city, and all natives moved to the mouth of the river. He vaccinated allwhites and natives of New Westminster. And “Besides the Indians vaccinated by monsr.Fouquet, the Roman Catholic missionary, 302 have been vaccinated at the Camp” mainlyby corpl. Smith R.E., “the hospital orderly who has shown much zeal and attention incarrying out my directions relative to the vaccination of the Indian population.”55Motivated by similar concerns, Douglas instructed the Colonial Secretary to send Ball asupply of vaccine and to instruct him to vaccinate all natives and whites.56 Ball dutifully“engaged the Resident Medical Practitioner to travel to all the different Rancheries in theDistrict, extending from Boston Bar to Foster’s Bar on the Fraser, and to Nicola River, tovaccinate every Indian. This has been done to the number of 1790. As yet the disease has54Ball, Lytton, to 1.1. Young, (Acting private Seer.), March 1 1862, F96/26.55J.V. Seddall, New Westminster, to R.C. Moody, 20 June 1862, F1583.56Douglas in margin of Ball to Col. Secr. May 3 1862. F96/27.109not spread into the interior of British Columbia.”57 Unfortunately his ministrations werenot completely successful, as one month later he was forced to admit: “I am sorry to reportthat the small-pox has broken out amongst the Indians, at the mouth of the NicolaRiver... “58 Again however he possessed the ability to curtail the disaster: “I am using everyprecaution to prevent those tribes having any communication with others, so that I hope itwill shortly disappear.”59 This was his final communication concerning the epidemic.His focus was again positive, colonial administrators not only identified the epidemic, theyanticipated it, and as a result, whites were able to save native lives, and demonstrate that thenatives’ physical survival was important to the administration.This was reflected in the laying out of Indian Reserves. In 1864 Sergeant McCollof the Royal Engineers, was sent to the villages in the lower Fraser to survey reserveswhich were to include all lands claimed by natives, with no single reserve smaller than 100acres.6° In the canyon earlier reserves were surveyed in 1860, at the same time as nearbywhite settlements. Beyond these reserves, summary comments about natives in general,and the occasional mention of a chief, gold commissioners largely ignored natives, as longas they did not interfere with the development of the colony. White miners remained thegold commissioners’ immediate concern. Their main task was to prevent natives fromdying and, until natives’ place in British Columbia’s future could be worked out, reservesand some directed intervention would suffice. Ball’s casual commentary about activities ofnatives in his district were part of a process of learning how to fit natives into his, and thecolony’s, framework of understanding. Neither cultural survival nor native prosperitywere the government’s concerns.57Ball, to Col. Secr., July 6 1862. F96131.58Ball, to Col. Secr., September 8 1862. F96135.59Ball, to Col. Secr., September 8 1862. F96135.60According to verbal instructions from Douglas, see: William McColl, New Westminster,to Surveyor General, May 16, 1864. CC F1030121.110-Managing Land: the creation of town and countryWhile approximately 2,000 natives were left aside, plans were in hand for the fewsettlers and town folk: the real business of the colony. During these early years of thecolony, plans for its future included rationalizing the landscape in conjunction with newrules and regulations. Existing settlements had to be formalized through town surveys andlinked together with roads. Amble land had to be identified and demarcated. Moststrikingly, the land had to be given a European flavour, as Moody, the man in charge ofthis huge project, commented:“The entrance to Frazer is very striking - Extending miles to the right & left are lowmarsh lands (apparently of very rich qualities) & yet fr. the Background of SuperbMountains - Swiss in outline, dark in woods, grandly towering into the Cloudsthere is a sublimity that deeply impresses you. Everything is large and worthy ofthe entrance to the Queen of England’s dominions on the Pacific Mainland. Iscarcely enjoyed a scene so much in my life. My imagination converted the silentmarshes into [Albert] Cuyp-like pictures of horses and cattle iazily fattening in richmeadows in a glowing sunset.”61While revelling in the sublime, Moody was quick to focus his imagination on the future:“All delightful to look at, but those half drowned woods promise hard work for the settlerand possibly fever & ague in the autumn.”62 Fulfilling his ideals required coordinating thelarge scale mobilization of labour and funds with the small scale activities of settlers andplaced considerable demands on the administrative capacity of the colony.1860 was a boom year for Lytton. Not only were increasing numbers of minersworking claims in the district, great numbers were also travelling through it. As a result thetown itself began to draw outsiders. According to Ball: “During the Boating season trade is61Moody, Letter to Friend, In Willard Ireland, “First Impressions: Letter of ColonelRichard Clement Moody, R.E., to Arthur Blackwood, Febraury 1, 1859.” BritishColumbia Historical Quarterly, (Vol. XV, No. 1 and 2, Jan.-April), p. 92.62Ibid. Moody used the term “fever & ague” interchangably with “malaria.” Whatever hewas refering to, he indeed noted the disease among settlers three years later in the lowermainland, see, R.C.Moody, New Westminster, to the Governor, Sept. 18, 1862, CCF1156. Although not usually associated with British Columbia, Robert Boyd argued thatmalaria caused many deaths among whites, and particularly natives, in Oregon in the1830s. See Robert Boyd, “The Introduction of Infectious Disease among the Indians ofthe Pacific Northwest, 1774-1874.” (PhD. Thesis, Univeristy of Washington, 1985), pp.112-144.111very brisk. The town of Lytton is increasing in size and importance, many influentialstorekeepers from Hope & Yale being about to locate at Lytton & establish wholesalestores.”63 (Table 1, p. ) As a result, in June of that year a group of engineers, underguidance of Sergeant McColl of the Royal Engineers, surveyed the Lytton town sites atconsiderable cost.M Ball considered the survey integral to the development of the town.65At Moody’s advice, the town lots were sold at auction on December 1, 1860.66 Ballconducted the auction, and although he sold 14 lots (50x100 feet each), competition wasnot brisk as they all sold at their “upset price” of £ 20.67 Most of these lots were sold totraders (Figure 13).68 Ball concluded, in his annual report that the auction had been asuccess: “The sale of the Town Lots of Lytton will tend to increase the importance andprosperity of the Town; many purchasers having erected new & substantial Buildings ontheir lots. Twenty Four of the Town Lots have already been sold, and property isincreasing in value.”69 While the forks of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers had figuredprominently on maps as an identifiable node in a little known territory and as the site of alarge native population, the survey transformed it from a straggly collection of shacks into asemblance town, however small (Figure 14). The survey map was no more than acollection of lines on paper representing the application of outsiders’ technology and worldview, until it was made concrete by the auction. The boundaries of the Indian Reserve(probably surveyed at the same time as the town) were drawn around the existing nativesettlement to the north east of the town, but they too began to gain meaning as thesurrounding space was pre-empted by outsiders.63Ball, to Col. Secr., May 12 1860, CC F95/1 1.64Ball, to Col. Moody, Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works, Aug. 26, 1860. CCF95124a.65Ball, to Col. Secr., July 4 1860. CC F95117.66Ball, to Moody, Oct. 13 1860. CC F9567Ball, to Moody, Dec. 2 1860. CC F95129b.Bal1, to Col. Secr., Dec. 311860. CC F95131.69Bal1, to Col. Secr., Dec, 31, 1860. CC F95/31.C(J)oCbr 0000Figure 14: Lytton, Ca. 1868.Source: F. Daily, “Lytton, B.C., View of the Town: 1868,” U.B.C. Special Collections,BC 723113114The first pre-emption was filed by John Hill, the constable at Lytton, in November1859. Thinking it the minimum, he initially requested 160 acres, but when he realizedthere was no minimum he reduced his request to 31 acres.71 Miners were not interested inagricultural land, as under the mining regulations they were allowed to grow gardens on upto 5 acres of Crown land. Few miners had the time or need to to cultivate beyond thislimit. According to Ball:“As yet but few miners have taken advantage of the Preemption Law, but under theLaw regarding the occupation of land by Free Miners for Gardens, many haverecorded ground for that purpose, in the neighbourhood of their claims, and theIndians in this locality are following the example of the White population, andplanting potatoes &c for their winter stock of food.”72Other pre-emptions in that year were made by several merchants and by Ball himself3Again, generally pleased with the state of affairs Ball was“happy to be able state that all the small available patches of agricultural land in theneighbourhood of the mines, are eagerly taken up & recorded as Gardens by theMiners, and also that some small farms have been recorded under the PreemptionAct all of which locations tend to form the basis of a settled population.”74Despite the growing physical evidence of a settled population, the demographyremained skewed by age and gender. Ball conducted his only census of Lytton in April1861. He counted only men and found among the “British subjects,” one under 21 yearsof age, and 13 over. He counted 65 “Foreigners” over 21 and none younger. ‘ (In1864, Ball noted the arrival of merchants daughters and wives in Lytton: “Mail arrived &70Ball, to Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands. November 30 1859, CC F95/4.71Ba 1, to Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands, May 11860. CC F95/1O.72Ball, to Col Secr. May 12 1860. CC F95/1 1.73Ba1l, to Col. Moody. December 12 1860. CC F95!29b. Ball to Chief Comm. of Landsand Works, New Westminster, November 5 1869. Ball to Col Seer. April 11861 CCF96/6. Ball to Col Seer. April 30 1861. CC F96/9.74Ball to Col. Seer. December 311860. CC F95/3 1. Natives could well have beengrowing potatoes along the Fraser before the arrival of miners and Gold Commissioners.See Wayne Suttles, “The Early Diffusion of the Potato Among the Coast Salish,”Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 7(3), 1951, pp. 272-288.75Ball to Col. Seer. “Return of Male Inhabitants of the Town of Lytton, April 1st,” April 11861. CC F96/ 6.115Romano’s family. Wife, 2 daughters one married with two children; not pretty either.”76)Otherwise he reported little activity in 1861, but awaited a second boom for Lytton,“There are many however who are only awaiting the commencement of theproposed waggon roads, who intend locating Preemption Claims, and makingpermanent improvements on those already located, with a view to making BritishColumbia their future homes. The rich discoveries from the Canboo District, andthe proposed line of it have established a confidence in the future prospects of theproperty holders of the Lower Fraser, and all are well pleased with the prospect ofthe forth coming season.”77In 1865, Ball’s successor reported 14 settlers who wished to have their land around Lyttonsurveyed.78With the surveys and a tentative settlement pattern emerging in the Canyon andelsewhere it became necessary to find ways of linking the townsites together to create aunified colony. Miners and their suppliers demanded ease of movement, while the colonyneeded to improve its ability to manage the population.-Transportation: connecting the dotsIn 1860 Lytton was at the centre of the mining world. Miners worked both riverbars and benches along the Canyon to the south, north along the Fraser toward Lillooet,and east along the Thompson. Other miners passed through, making their ways northwardto prospect new areas. By 1861, much mining activity had shifted to the Canboo or“Upper Country” as Ball called it, and this changed his duties. Though still in charge ofthe miners, principally Chinese men, he became increasingly involved in organizing thetransportation of people and goods to the Upper Country, as Lytton had become a supplycentre for the Canboo. In June and July of 1861 he noted that between 550 and 600 packanimals carried provisions between Lytton and the forks of the Quesnelle River.79 In July76H.M.BalI, Journal, Monday August 10, 1864.77Ba1l, to the Private Secr. of his Excellency, Oct. 11861, F96117.78P.H. Nind, to J.W. Trutch, August 30, 1865. CC F1259136. These settlers included: 5French, 5 British subjects, 1 Belgian, 1 Chinese, 1 German, And 1 Italian.79Bal1, Lytton, to C. Good, Col. Secr. July 3 1861, CC F96113.1161862, he counted 64 trains of about 30 animals each.80 Not all miners travelled throughLytton on their ways to the Cariboo. Once the Canyon was no longer a destination initself, many preferred to take the Harrison-Lillooet route, much to the chagrin of themerchants of Hope and Yale. They petitioned the governor to improve the Fraser Rivertrail and, perhaps because his regulatory apparatus was also focussed on the river, heagreed.Transportation, then, was seen to be integral to the development of the Lyttondistrict and the colony as a whole and was one of the main responsibilities of a GoldCommissioner. Ball had always been in charge of maintaining the trails through his districtas much as possible, but by 1861, he was informed that experts would soon take over hisrole: “I shall await the arrival of the non-commissioned officer of Engineers before I makeany additional repairs on the trail up Thompson River, in order that they may besuperintended by him..i’81 But, when the Royal Engineers were placed in charge ofconstructing the new waggon road along the Fraser River under the command of R.C.Moody, Ball continued to take an active interest in its construction, and informed Douglasof its progress directly (bypassing Moody to whom the constructing engineers reported).The road along the Thompson, Ball thought, would be a steep, but “good durable road.”By June 1862, the road from Yale and the road along the Thompson were completed as faras seven miles, and the road from Lytton to Kanaka was to be finished shortly.82 He wasalso aware of the state of the road from his own travels and those of miners who oftenlodged their complaints with him. He passed such information on to Douglas. Because ofhis position in the town life of Lytton, Ball arranged the leasing of various toll bridges andferries in his district. Leases of simple log bridges over creeks along the Canyon had beenheld by Chinese men. Larger leases were granted merchants of Lytton as they had both the80Ball, to Col. Secr., July 6, 1862, CC F96/31 and Ball to Col Secr., June 14, 1862, CCF96/30.81Ball, Lytton, to Chief Comm. Lands and Works, April 25, 1861. CC F96/8a.82Ball, to Col. Secr., June 14, 1862.CC F 96/30.117capital necessary for administering the engineered ferries and bridges and the financialinterest in the smooth operation of the transportation network.The first step in the construction of the road entailed extensive surveys of the FraserCanyon and Thompson River (Figures 15, 16, 17).83 Miners were generally absent fromthis survey, and entire native territories were represented by a few small dots denotinghabitation sites (the only native spaces whites recognized). The only barriers to the roadwere either natural obstacles or parts of the landscape of particular colonial interest.According to the survey map, the road would bypass, where possible, whites’ propertyand settlements, as can be seen from the identification of Boothroyd’s property on the map.Native villages were scarcely considered to be real property, let alone the rest of thecanyon, and as a result the road did not have to take their presence into account. Instead,the survey maps included an inventoiy of soil types, useful both for road construction andas an indication of agricultural potential.An added benefit of the road was that it provided employment for hard-up miners:“There is no scarcity of labour as many of the immigrants who went into the UpperCountry at the commencement of the Spring have been obliged to return for want of means.Many of them turning back ere they had proceeded half-way.”84 On the section of roadfrom Boston Bar to Kanaka Bar, Ball estimated over 100 men at work, on the road fromLytton to Cook’s Ferry 150.85 Miners were so hard up early in the season that “bothcontractors on each side are only prevented from hiring more men, on account of the wantof means for transporting the necessary tools and provisions.”86 On the whole minerspreferred working for themselves and when mining in the Upper Country improved, mosttook their wages and left: “Chinese labour is now generally employed in consequence ofthe other classes of labourers pushing on into the Cariboo District after the expiration of83Ball, to Col Seer., Nov. 13, 1861. CC F96/20.84Ball, to Col Secr., July 6 1862, CC F 96/31.85Ball, to Col Seer., May 3 1862, CC F96127.86IbjdFigure 15: Detail of the Waggon Road Survey through the Fraser Canyon, 1861Source: “Rough Sketch Showing Lines of Waggon Road from Lytton in direction ofBoston Bar,” BCARS, CM/C1003.118•:••••,;;•1I,--6/-\d )- /j•- -• I’••‘-• •— • .-•- .-‘--_•: • -. • I•• v- -- -- ••‘,; I,;’ :;c:. -- -J• j_t_ p- - — --. -7 - .s.__ -;6 ;---.— —--di.,-—•j— • • - •• -.-:.,•,----- ••- .5 -. • ---- :---- S •-• - —- - • --•• --• .,- , ,,_— - -- -• -. • • -•____p.—•_• Zz5, •j-———•—•—•— • -S. - • •. •- —: •• ••— ————-—— .2•_.Z; —-.•._••)• . •. . .5—•5’..”,,•_;-,,_-. . ,.• . ..I • • •. •-, -• -—5---.-- ••• r—s ... — - •. -• • . . •• -5. .• —-.• • ••• -•. •• •• -. .• S--v- ---- ----..!, JLtr’n) q IIFigure 16: Thompson River Survey“Sketch of the casual survey made by Corp. Howell of the river bank of the Thompson,from Lytton to the Ferry, in which he has marked all the principle points which wouldrequre Blasting & Bridging in the construction of a Waggon Road, between these 2points.”119Ii\ ,/ -,- S.— - -,1_._ —-“\_r- —NJ--.. ..j-- / .‘5: .•••—f--;-L--) nai- ) c/3r - F.AL ‘--.S . .• - - - --- - . ?-Source: H.M. BAll, to Colonial Secretary, June 13, 1861, Colonial Correspondence,F 96/1 1.—IFigure 17: A Section of the Waggon RoadSource: [China Bar bluff, Cariboo Road, B.C., F. Daily, 1860sJ U.B.C. SpecialCollections, BC 364.120121their first term.”87 Chinese labour came to be generally preferred, as at $2 per day theChinese earned less than whites: “the former [Sergeant Hawkins] I have placed on thesouthern half of the Boston Bar road to superintend the repairs being made by a gang of 22Chinamen and a few white men. I have been obliged to continue the labour of some of thewhites whom I had previously employed...” There were also 20 Chinese men working onthe northern half of the road, where their superintendent received $80 per month in wages.Ball made no mention of native labour on the roads. The construction of the road provideda small clue to the future integration of Chinese into the larger colonial scheme. “Theexpense of clearing the Road to the ferry would not be very great if Chinese labour wereemployed.”88The wagon road improved the gold commissioner’s ability to keep track ofpopulation movements as, at various stages, travellers paid tolls or fees for ferries, and as,through the Canyon, there were not alternative routes. The tolls also allowed Ball to keepbetter track of natives’ movements. The following quote reveals Ball’s limitedunderstanding of natives and shows how he positioned himself as their advocate:“I have the honor to request that the sanction of His Excellency the governormay be obtained for the exemption of the payment of Road tolls by Indianstravelling over the Lytton & Alexandria Road with their household goods.The Indians in the Thompson River District have no settled habitations andare constantly moving from camp to camp in search of food, on which occasionsthe present exaction of the Road Toll seriously oppresses the poorer classes of theIndians.”89Douglas approved this request, but only for natives carrying household goods: thosecarrying food or other goods for their own use or others’ were to be charged accordingly.Miners were more mobile than government regulation, but the wagon road was anattempt to catch up. The survey map was another way in which the Fraser Canyon couldbe understood.87Ball, to Col Secr., June 14, 1862. CC F96/30.Ball to Col Moody, May 5 1863. CC F97/4a.89Ball, Lytton, to Col. Seer. Feb. 18 1863. CC F97124.122From E.B.Lytton to Lytton, B.C.The influx of miners into the Fraser Canyon brought about immediate and immensechanges. The rules put in place for their regulation tried to channel these changes to fitcolonial designs. Some of the rules, and some of the regulation, transformed elements ofthe landscape. The survey and construction of roads and organization of towns tried toestablish order in what was considered wilderness. Miners were increasingly faced withthe necessity of registering themselves and their land and, along with the towns, thesesmall patches of control began to fulfill the colonial plan. As the spaces of colonial controland of mining began to converge, natives were squeezed in between. But this early systemwas still far from perfect.Despite new rules and improved means of keeping track of miners, the system ofregulation met with considerable resistance from the mining population, as Lytton andDouglas (in their own ways) had feared. One miner remembered:“Old Cap Trevalli was sent up to collect taxes along the river. The miners did notthink it was right and they would not pay. I was mining at Hudson bar. He camealong there. We all played broke and made one excuse and another to put him off.Finally he came down again - thought he was going to make a killing - there wereabout forty miners working there. We palavered with him for awhile. There was ayoung fellow named E.T. Bowen who used to be a wells fargo expressman - wecould not come to terms with Treva Ii and he was going tonarrest us - this youngfellow says “Look here the best thing you can do is to get in your boat and go. Youcan come down next Friday and if we havBut the money we will tell you when tocome again. We never saw him again. Of course a little later on they got themining laws established - made some laws. The miners looked on it as a grab gameany way. Of course when the laws were made the miners were willing tocomply.”9°O.T. Travaillot himself, assistant gold commissioner for Yale district in 1859, reported tohis superior: “I have collected but few licenses (140) as men were not able to pay, but havepromised to pay on my next rnee”9’ Other gold commissioners complained of similar90John S. (Doe Holloway) Holloway, Reminiscences, 1908, p.8. BCARS.91O.T. Travaillot, Fort Yale, to C. Brew, Chief Gold Commissioner & Inspector of thePolice, April 15, 1859. Col.Corr. F1367/1716.123situations, so much that the Chief Gold Commissioner, Chartres Brew requestedreinforcement from Douglas:“Mr. Saunders assistant commissioner has just returned from a visit to some of theBars between Fort Yale and Fort Hope. He was out two nights and only collected$100,- Many of the miners absolutely refused to pay and as they evidently werebanded together to resist he had not a sufficient force with him to adopt coercivemeasures.- He accordingly issued summons against several parties - but it isdoubtful if they will attend. If they don’t attend - warrants will have to be issuedfor their arrest. But as the whole commissioners staff, ten in number, is not asufficient force against a combined and detennined movement, I have to request thata body of troops be placed at the disposal of the assistant commissioner until theLicense System can be completely established.”92Not surprisingly, given his instructions from London, Douglas did not send enforcement,but advised instead that gold commissioners allow miners some leeway. As the minersthemselves had intended, the incident was not thought to reflect their unwillingness somuch as their inability to pay. License fees were slowly reduced and, to lessen monthlyconfrontations, annual licenses replaced the monthly ones.Other difficulties with the system arose from the gold commissioners’ inexperienceand lack of training. They were not always the efficient corps of civil servants they wereintended to be, particularly while they were insecure about their authority. In the incidentknown as Ned McGowan’s war the fledgling system was threatened by one of the firstincidents it had to deal with. The Victoria Gazette reported in January 1859 that a group ofAmerican miners from Hill’s Bar had beaten a Black barber in Yale. The goldcommissioner at Yale issued a summons against the men, but the gold commissioner atHill’s Bar would not honour it, and in turn summoned the gold commissioner of Yale.When he did not appear, the Hill’s Bar constable arrived in Yale to fetch him, but wasincarcerated himself in Yale. A delegation from Hill’s Bar set out to free the constable.Miners from the two rival settlements became involved in the dispute and it quicklyescalated. The case gained particular notoriety because the contingent from Hill’s Bar wasled by a well known character, Ned McGowan, who had been thrown out of California by92C. Brew, Fort Yale, to Col. Secr., 18 May 1858. CC F485.124the Vigilance Committee. In response to this threat to his authority and the near collapse ofhis regulatory apparatus, Douglas sent Colonel Moody up the river along with a detachmentof soldiers and Judge Begbie. Once at Hope, Moody “ left the soldiers, determining toquell it quietly, if it were possible - I had great confidence in myself & always considerSoldiers as the very last dire necessity- Their presence often exasperates,”93and travelledon to Yale with Begbie, where they dismissed the Gold Commissioners.McGowan played an important role in this event: he was the reason for itsescalation, the miners involvement, and the government’s panicked response to “the bandof Yankee Rowdies defying the law!”94 But the initial dispute arose from goldcommissioners’ needs to emphasize their own authority, even at the expense of theircolleagues. Whannel and Perrier were unsure of their jurisdictions and this, combined withthe rivalry between the mining communities of Yale and Hill’s Bar, had exaggerated theresults. McGowan himself had been a celebrity from the moment he arrived on VancouverIsland. Any incident involving him was written about in the papers lending more notorietyto this case than it may have otherwise received.95 In the end, McGowan, one of the chiefagitators, came out the hero. Moody drank a glass of champagne with him on Hill’s Bar,and considered the possibilities of “convert[ing] him into a valuable subject of the Crown”although like other miners, “he needs watching.”96As these few incidents illustrate, gold commissioners required more than commonsense; they somehow had to make themselves part of a larger network of regulation, whilegaining an understanding both of the immediate “gold rush” and of its lasting importance.Ball’s experiences at Lytton, illustrate that such figures of (supposed) authority haddifficulty gaining access to mining society.93Moody letter to a Friend, Victoria, February 1, 1859. In Ireland, p. 96.94 Ibid., p. 95.95Already on July 10, 1858 the Victoria Gazette mentioned McGowan’s involvement in ashooting in San Francisco.96Moody, in Ireland, p.103. (Moody’s emphasis).125Ball fitted uncomfortably into Lytton’s and the government’s society. He chose tolive on his own for the most part: “Commenced housekeeping again quitted Hautier’s“pension” got too much bored with fellows coming down from above & disgusted.”97Ball did not enjoy those “fellows,” and suffered from loneliness because there were fewother people in Lytton he would or could talk to: “Awfully lonely evenings I spend all bymyself, there being no one in town to go & yarn with.” During the season Ball entertainedhimself by shooting grouse or by exploring the area with a guide. Relief came during thewinter season when mining activity around Lytton and elsewhere slowed down and goldcommissioners could take leave in Victoria and New Westminster for meetings with thegovernor and catching up with friends. He also attended the occasional ball: “Saunders &Charles & Neeve on board [the steamer from Yale] going to the Ball at govt. House towhich all the world from victoria & New Westr. are invited” including “gov. Kennedy &family, Admiral Denman & Mrs. Denman & several people from Victoria.” The Ball was“a success. The ladies were well dressed & altogether it was a very creditable appearancefor a colony.” Sometimes Ball also “dined at Govt House [with] bishop hills, The Archholbrook, Good [Colonial Secretary], O’reilly [assistant Gold Commissioner] & Gamble.After dinner played poker when the clergy left.” Of his trips to Victoria, Ball wrote: “Mytrips to Victoria are all the enjoyments I look forward to from one year’s end to the other.Ah me, mine is a miserable life & I see no end to it as long as the Mill Stone is around myneck.” With a millstone around his neck (his wife in England) and an “incubus on hisback” (his brother) Ball was trapped in the colonies to avoid them and to pay back hisdebts. Furthermore, he was forced to be grateful: “now I am in comparatively goodcircumstances & hope to remain so for some time at least having a good apointt. & intolerably good favor at Head Quarters, where I think I have a friend in GovernorSeymour.”98 So Ball had to make the best of his life, and when Victoria’s social97H.M. Ball, Journal, Oct. 14th, 1864.98Ball, Journal, Nov. 16th 1864.126constraints became stifling he changed his mind about Lytton and “skedadled & went offon my Arab steed rejoicing towards Lytton. stopped at Boston Bar & first met Romano,then old spence and we had a night of it, the old fellow getting up with a headache.”99After his short absence, Ball was pleased to be back in Lytton where he “met Houghtonand Cudlip, and we all had a drink & a chat at my House. It felt like home getting backagain, although the house is but small. I shall be sorry to leave Lytton.” While ingovernment service, Ball was at home both everywhere and nowhere; several days later heleft for a new post in Lillooet after being “presented with a cup by the people of Lytton withan address read out by Buie [an important merchant].”0°At first glance Ball may have possessed the necessary attributes for managing partof the gold rush. He was an experienced and respected colonial officer: a man, accordingto his peers, fit to rule other men. But while his official writing was confident andsometimes even cocky, his personal journal displays an unhappy and lonely person whofound it difficult to adjust to a society in which miners defined the norm. He may have beenthe right gender, but he was definitely the wrong class, representing as he did agovernment viewed with suspicion. This, perhaps, accounts for his detached views ofmining society.Ideas for colonizing British Columbia, and for managing the diversity of peoplewithin its boundaries, were worked out at various scales. They ranged from the general,distant ideas put forward by the Colonial Office, with input from the British parliament; toGovernor Douglas who tried to put their ideas into practice; through to the localrepresentatives in the field who were in charge of operationalizing these ideas in the day-today administration of the gold rush. This chain of information did not flow in onedirection, and Douglas altered rules and regulations based on recommendations from thefield, while in turn trying to convince the Colonial Office that some of their policy99Ball, Journal, 24th April 1865.100Ball, Journal, April 28th, 1865.127recommendations were inappropriate to the British Columbian context. As thisadministrative system was gradually put in place, those living in the colony were subject toincreasing degrees of surveillance and control.But there were many problems. BalPs precarious position at the centre of a world(but belonging to none), the expanse of the region, the mobility of the miners, and the lackof coherent policy (particularly with regard to natives and Chinese), all served to creategaps between colonial ideas and practice. Particularly during its first few years, Douglas’sadministration was far from perfect: miners were (at best) skeptical, good personnel werescarce, and the ‘rules’ were not quite worked out. Parliament debated the form of localgovernment to be installed, Lytton commented upon the use of force, but little guidancewas offered for the eventual closing of these gaps between London’s theory, and Ball’sreality, of the gold rush. Eliminating such loopholes required the tightening of otherelements of the administration; before regulations could become fully intrusive, theauthority behind them would need to be asserted. Given the limitations on force, thegovernment had to rely on alternative means of establishing authority and of imposingdetails of its plans upon all segments of the population. This role was filled by the law.128CHAPTER 5LAW AND “THE STATE OF THE COUNTRY”“Every wise man and every good man, knows the value of good laws, andevery man who expects to receive their protection when he himself gets intotrouble, must be ready at all times to come out manfully in support of thoselaws.”James Douglas, 18581“I remember when the Governor asked Pemer if he understood law.Perrier said he had read Blackstone. Tut tut said the governor it is notBlackstone you want here but just common Sence.”James Moore, 19182Besides reordering the landscape and, to some extent, the people on it, theadministration interfered even more directly in interpersonal relations through the legalsystem. English Common Law, as practiced in the Fraser Canyon by a combination oflocalized Justices of the Peace (Gold Commissioners) and the mobile Court of Assize(M.B. Begbie), had two related aims. As an important form of communication between theadministration and the population, it set out to bolster the government’s authority, whilereinforcing colonial ideals of a civilized society. This message included the rhetoric that allwere equal before and subject to the law. More subtly, court room proceduresdemonstrated that some were more equal than others. To some degree this differentiationreplicated the miners’ ideas. But, as Douglas’s address above shows, the state had its ownideas about manhood, social organization, and the reciprocal relationships of theseconstructs within the legal system. This system sought to put these ideas in place throughits varied response - both in court and in settlements- to those activities it deemedunlawful.1”Address of his Excellency the Governor to the inhabitants of Fort Yale,” September 12,1858. Colonial Correspondence, File 484A13.2James Moore Reminiscences. BCARS.129Accounts of violence between and among natives, whites, and the Chinese, appearfrequently in most records, including miners’ journals and reminiscences, missionaryaccounts, and officials’ correspondence; but figure most prominently in court records. Thepreoccupation with violence had several causes. Officials worried that the “Americanelement” of the population would try to draw the newly settled boundary North aroundthemselves; that natives’ attacks on miners would draw criticism from the United States;that miners’ attacks on natives would draw criticism from missionary societies; and thataccounts of violence between natives and whites would discourage settlers and retard thedevelopment of the colony. In addition, surveying officers and Gold Commissionersrequired the establishment of law and order to carry out their duties. Integral to theiroperation (authority) was acceptance of the government’s authority by miners and nativesalike. Violence was a threat to civil society and the future of the colony because itundermined principles of the social contract whereby the population signs away its rights,including those to violence, in return for the promise of protection. A social contract hadyet to be “signed” between the government and miners and natives; gaining monopoly overviolence was an early step in establishing/emphasizing such a contract. Private violencewas a crime.The legal system figured prominently in this process because conceptual contracthad to be secured through popular consent rather than coercion. In addition to hiscommunication with Douglas, E.B. Lytton also expressed this unequivocally to, of allpeople, Colonel Moody, the chief of the Royal Engineers and the highest ranking militaryofficer in the colony. In a carefully worded despatch, Moody was instructed that militarypowers were only to be sparingly used and was warned that “nothing can be more likely tosap the Manhood and virtue of any young community than the error of confounding theduties of soldiers with the ordinary functions of a Police.”3 Military force was to hover in3E.B.Lytton, D[owning].S[treet]., to Colonel Moody, October 29, 1858. BritishColumbia, Colonial Secretary, Colonial Correspondence (CC), F130the background of the operation of colonialism and to back up “the authority of the CivilPower.” The most important thing for all to remember, particularly a military man, was the“noble art of conciliating varieties of Humankind with the essential concomitants of dignity,sincerity and firmness.” After all,“This art which is among the rarest and happiest attributes of Statesmen in Oldsocieties is comparatively easy because more vitally necessary to those who arecalled upon to aid in reducing to harmony and order the manifold elements of a newcommunity.”Diplomacy was to take the place of physical force. Behind these comments lies theacknowledgement that military force was not only expensive, but also not quite equal to thechallenge of “men too accustomed to danger to be daunted by the menace of force.” AsLytton put it, “Soldiers will be popular in proportion as the strength which they afford toLaw is tacitly felt rather than obtrusively paraded.”Colonizing British Columbia relied on the subtle use of power, provided for in partby the legal system and the built-in flexibility of its functioning. The law usuallycommunicated with people only after an incident had occurred, and hence was adaptable tomost situations and circumstances. The law’s flexibility was demonstrated by the ability tomake its universalizing content relevant to specific contexts, that is, to the development of avastly different space and population than the one in which it had matured. Of course, themilitary capacity of the Royal Engineers represented force behind the law but it was rarelyput to the test. Instead, the state saw the law’s strength in its ability to be assertive withoutbeing offensive. Justices of the Peace responded to daily infringements of the law. Theyalso identified more important cases to be tried at the next Assize. The information theygathered fed into Begbie’s court room, where both court room process and refinedjudgements sought to fine-tune the message sent to the population. Violence had beendefined as criminal, and justice and order became increasingly intertwined.131Justice or Peace?Justices of the Peace were responsible for resolving mining disputes and most otherlegal cases, except those relating to capital crimes or appeals. They had little training fortheir posts as Gold Commissioners, and few had any legal experience at all. Douglashimself was not entirely confident in his legal knowledge. He wrote to the Governor ofNew South Wales, requesting information on “the recent enactments on your Colony inrelation to the gold mines,” because: “There are at present in this Colony a few regulationswhich have hitherto been sufficient and which proved satisfactory, but it is probable that asour mineral wealth becomes developed, it will be necessary, before long, to make extensivelegislative provisions on this subject...”4 However, Douglas was quick to reassure hisGold Commissioners of their own legal abilities. As James Moore reminisced, thegovernor was not concerned with specific legal expertise: “. .it is not Blackstone you wanthere just common Sence.” This recollection in part belies Douglas’ legal knowledge (if hereally said it) for, theoretically, Blackstone was based on common sense. On the otherhand, it acknowledges that common sense was context-specific and that the type of justiceto be provided in British Columbia was to be less formal than a response to thesurroundings in which Justices of the Peace/Gold Commissioners found themselves.Ball’s County Court records speak mainly of drunkenness, assaults, the selling ofliquor without a license or to natives, and perhaps most tellingly, the beating of the localconstable by natives, whites, and less frequently Chinese miners. These court cases, alongwith his descriptions of violent acts sent to Douglas, are Ball’s only recorded commentsupon the interactions taking place between the different groups in his district. Peacefulrelationships were rarely mentioned, instead the state of social order was defined by thelevel of crime. Perhaps due to fear of native resistance to miners and government, Balldwelt particularly on natives as perpetrators of crimes, and faithfully reported their4James Douglas, Victoria, to William Denison, Governor, New South Wales, January 7,1859. CCF485/1.132behaviour to Douglas, even though most defendants for violent crimes were whites. Atypical comment is: “With the exception of a few Indian cases of crime the District stillcontinues very quiet.”5 Even when all was well in Lytton, he would comment on the stateof civil order: “It is with pleasure I can report to his Excellency, that there is but little crimecommitted in the District, and that with a few trifling exceptions both the white & Indianinhabitants are presently quiet and orderly.”6 On another occasion he wrote:“Within the last month, I am sorry to have report to his Excellency the Governorthat some instances of crime have occurred in and around my District, and thatIndians have been the principle delinquents. The Indians are commencing to stopthe Chinese travelling on the trails, extorting money from them. A few weekssince, a Chinaman was found murdered near Boston Bar, and an Indian, thesupposed murderer, given up by his Chief, to the authorities at Yale.”7In his court record book Ball noted the charge, the verdict, and the penalty for eachcase. Where their names did not make it immediately clear, he would add the race ofdefendants and victims. For example, “R. v. Schrelist Indian Charged with stealing andkilling a horse the property of Inaz Gonzales at Canaka Bar. Charges of stealing dismissedIndian to give a horse in exchange.”8 Another entry reads: “Thomas Cavanagh, confinedfor shooting at indians on the 25th of June at Lillooet B. Columbia also another charge, foran attempt to copulate with the wife of Mr. Chilwhoselts an indian Chief at Lillooet on thenight of the 26th June 1859.” Both these charges were dismissed for lack of evidence.Violent crime was dealt with in a serious but almost routine way; upon conviction thedefendant could choose either to pay a fine or spend a number of weeks in jail with hardlabour.5Ball, Lytton, to C. Good (actg private seer. to the governor), July 311861, CC F96/14.6Ball, to Col. Secr., Jan. 31, 1861. CC F96/17Ball, to Col. Seer., July 1860, CC F95/228British Columbia, Attorney General, County Court, Lytton, Plaint & Procedure Books.Henry M. Ball Magistrate, November 17, 1860. BCARS.9lbid, July 11859.133Curiously, thefts received much harsher convictions. One miner stole a pot ofbeans from another and received a two month jail sentence with hard labour.’° Ball notedanother case of theft as follows:“An Indian, by name Encloha arrested for stealing on the 9th of August from thecabin of a miner on Fraser River about $30, a pr. Blankets, and 2 prs of Trousers -2 shirts - the property of Daniel L. Thompson of Fraser River.Pleaded guilty and sentenced to be imprisoned in Fort Yale Gaol for aperiod of Four Months with Hard Labour.”It is not clear what “hard labour” meant in Lytton. According to a gaoler’s report inVictoria it could have included: cooking, chaingang, shoemaking, stable attending, woodcutting, and washing.12 This form of punishment was entirely new to the Fraser Canyonand represented a particularly great change for natives. The highest sentence Ballpronounced was against a native named Cincilleskot, who received a 7 month jail sentencewith hard labour and periods of solitary confinement for stealing the constable’strousers.13 In case of default of payment for the trousers he was to spend another monthin jail. This seemingly excessive sentence may have been an attempt to improve the imageof the constable and assert his authority; after all, stealing the constable’s trousers impliedlittle respect for him and the law he represented. Through his judgements, Ball asserted theunacceptability of the frequent beatings his constables were subject to by people resistingarrest or “trying to rescue prisoners from custody.”Ball often complained of the lack of enforcement available to him as did theconstables themselves, who also acted as “lock-up keepers.” Prisoners occasionallyescaped from the jail, and once missing were difficult to find - particularly whenrecaptured they were likely to escape again en route tojail. Poor communication andtransportation also made it difficult to identify convicts beyond the scene of the crime. For10Plaint and Procedure Books, July 13, 1862.11Ibid, August19 1859.12 British Columbia, Attorny General, Documents, Box 4, file 1864/35. BCARS.‘3Plaint and Procedure Book, December, 24, 1862.134example, a native man had been sentenced to death in the Cariboo by Judge Begbie, andescaped, only to be recaptured at Lytton. Ball could not execute him because there was noway of positively identifying him. Ball was hesitant to send him with an escort to Cariboolest he escape again, and was equally worried about getting him down to New Westminsterwhere, in addition, no one would be able to identify him. Such incidents were commonenough to prompt the supreme court judge to write the following to the Attorney General in1862:“I have the honor to draw your attention to the extreme inconvenience and probableexpense caused by the want of some provision for the speedy trial of prisoners.The commission for this place was closed and the Jury men formallydischarged this morning. This evening an express arrived from Mr. Ball J.P. atLytton announcing the recapture of two prisoners, one of whom had escaped a fewdays ago from custody here and the other of whom had escaped from the specialconstable charged with the duty of conveying to this place for trial; the escapehaving been effected on the trail between Lytton and this place - Both these men Iam informed are notorious thieves one is an Indian concerning whom I have hadlately many complaints from Indians Chinamen and others. The witnesses are herebut I have now no authority to try these prisoners until the next assizes. Theconsequence is that they will have to remain in custody here to escape againprobably as soon as it shall be known that their trial is approaching - or else theywill have to be sent to New Westminster for safe custody and either brought backhere for trial or the witnesses sent down there - the expense and delay are asnothing compared with the uncertainty in the administration of justice. The peopleare I believe very [?]to place confidence in the English law: but when a few morecases of this sort shall have happened, the mischief and absurdity of which they canfully feel and the reasons for which they cannot appreciate that confidence mayperhaps be shaken.”’4The law relied on other elements of the administration, for without adequate infrastructure,it could not respond to every infraction of its own rules, and for this system of control towork, both ‘criminals’ and ‘citizens’ had to believe it infallible.As a result of natives’ attacks on Chinese and in an attempt to improve efficiencymore generally, Ball suggested increasing the Police force in Lytton and Lillooet Districts,by stationing a constable at Boston Bar to patrol from Yale to Lytton; two “steady men” atKamloops to patrol towards Lillooet, Lytton, and Alexandria by horse; and 2 more‘4M.B. Begbie to Attorny General B.C., Lilloet 24 June 1862. B.C. Attorney General,Documents. Box 2 1862/15. BCARS.135between the Similkameen mines and Kamloops.15 The latter route was important becauseit was“the main route for the Oregon emigrants, and very liable to become the scene ofrobberies and murders, which would be much checked by the presence of amounted patrol frequently passing along the trails. These men would also be ofconsiderable assistance to Mr. Cox in his duties as collector of revenue, by givinghim timely information of trains of merchandize and cattle... I have ventured thesesuggestions for the consideration of His Excellency as the arrival of Chinese isincreasing daily, and as they spread over the District, locating themselves in isolatedplaces along the Rivers, the Indians who are inclined to treat them as inferior beingsto themselves, and all badly disposed white people will have every opportunity ofcommitting outrages on them. I am of opinion that if there was some protectionagainst the depredation of Indians towards the Similkameen and Okanaga Districts,that emigrants might be induced to settle down there as agriculturalists, andeventually those districts would form an important part of the Colony.”16Ball feared violence toward Chinese miners could easily begin to include whites, and thatthere was little point in constructing a transportation network if people would hesitate to useit, however, he did not get his reinforcements. Ensuring order in the gold rush wouldprotect the short term security of the miners; but more importantly, it would encouragesettlers.While Justices of the Peace judged some crimes, their main duties revolved aroundthe practical difficulties of administering an unruly population. After the Court of Assizehad been to town, the Gold Commissioners had to ensure that Begbie’s sentences, evencapital ones, were carried out. Ball reported executing at least two natives between 1859and 1865. Two other executions were carried out in 1865 by his successor, PhilipNind.’7 But it seems the legal system was more intent on demonstrating its authority toconfer such sentences than on carrying them out: several times Ball intervened on behalf ofnatives in the court system, bringing his local experience to bear on Begbie’s legal training.15Ball, Lytton, to Col. Secr. of B.C. July 1860, CC F95/22‘6lbjd‘7Nind to Ball (Actg. Col. Secr.), December 6 1865, CC F1259!53. Moise was convictedby Begbie of murdering two Italians. He was captured at Williams Lake, he subsequentlyescaped, was recaptured, jailed at Lytton (where no one could identify him), sent to NewWestminster, identified, and eventually executed. Nind to Col. Secr. Aug 14 1865, CCF1259/34.136The following examples are among the few instances of Ball’s engagement with natives,and among his few comments about how natives could be induced to recognize thebeneficial effects of colonialism.In 1861, Hoighs K.’s death sentence was reprieved at Ball’s intervention. 18Hoighs had been sentenced to death for murdering a Chinese man, but Ball suggestedDouglas pardon him because a Frenchman had seen him save an American from drowningin the Fraser in 1858, “at which time the Indians were generally very hostile to the whitepopulation.”19 “Should your Excellency be pleased to reprieve this sentence,” he wrote “Ishall take every opportunity of circulating amongst the Indians, that he has been spared, onaccount of his having been the friend of the white man, which may produce a good effect intheir future behaviour towards the white population, and be a stimulus to them to exertthemselves in saving others from a similar accident.”2°Ball rarely exerted himself as anadvocate for native rights, except when he thought a lesson could be drawn from it.Although he represented the authority of a colonial administration responsible forconferring the original death sentence on Hoights, by having it reprieved he sought toconvey the idea that whites solved problems rather than created them. It did not seem totrouble him if, along the way, he suggested that an American life was worth more than aChinese life. More broadly, this case further indicates that the courts were more interestedin their authority to both pronounce and retract a death sentence than in actual executions(this is even more notable at the supreme court level).The intention to use legal proceedings as a form of communication was oftenexplicit. Nind was particularly self-conscious in his lengthy report of a journey toKamloops. He went there to gather information on Shuswap life, but also to explain theworkings of English Law by example of an actual trial and “shew the Indians of this18Hoighs K. (or Hongst-K), death sentence reprieved, sent to New Westminster jail untilnew sentence. Ball, to Col. Secr. June 12 1861, CC F96/12.19Ball, JP, Lytton to His Excellency James Douglas. Nov. 19, 1860. CC F95/28.137section who are numerous, independent and at present well disposed towards the whites,with whom they are just coming in contact, that the government would protect or punishthem as the case might arise.”2’ Once in Kamloops he“was glad to find a large assemblage of Indians some of whom had come to giveevidence, but most of them to watch proceedings that were entirely novel to them. Iheld a court on the 16th June in the Hudson Bay Company’s hail and convicted onewhite man named Le Veau of selling spirits to Indians, solely by Indian evidence,another white man who did not appear to the summons fled the country some daysprevious.”22After conducting the trial, and demonstrating to his native audience that the law worked forthem, he set out to encourage them to work for the law. He paid a visit to the local chief,Nisquimilth, who “travels about with a body guard of Indians well mounted and equipped,and is much feared by his subjects.” Nind was impressed with Nisquimilth and “desired tostrengthen his position of supremacy, as it is so much easier to deal with Indians throughtheir chief if he is a real one.” After having made some gifts to the tribe, to be distributedthrough Nisquimilth, Nind set out gather information concerning Moyese, who had beensentenced for murder in 1863, but had escaped causing much embarrassment. Severalpeople admitted having seen him, and Nind “told the chief that I would pay him a rewardfor his capture and that I should expect him to be brought to Lytton in ten days time. Tothis he agreed.” In addition, Nind “spoke to the Indians generally about observing the lawsand obtaining redress if injured or oppressed, about the equal justice that was observedtowards white men and indians, and I strongly recommended them to avoid drinkingwhiskey which would be their ruin.” He was particularly interested in demonstrating hisand the government’s authority to these natives as he saw much potential in their territory21P.H. Nind, to A.N. Birch, July 12 1865. CC F1259/27. In a separate letter he reportedmeeting 500 natives “who claimed possession of all the land on the North side between thefoot of the Great Shuswap Lake and the North River” and a smaller group who “claim allthe available land on the North-River, extending Northward many miles above the mouth.”In, Nind, to Col. Secr. July 17, 1865, CC F1259/30.22P.H. Nind, to A.N. Birch, July 12 1865. CC File 1259/27.138for agriculture and settlement, and he noted among them “a jealously about admitting thewhites on to the land...” Nind did what he could, but strongly recommended“the appointment of a constable at Kamloops - the Indians who throng here from allparts require the idea of authority to be kept constantly before their eyes - as long asthere is no constable nearer than Lytton there will always be some few whites andhalf breeds who will supply the Indians with Liquor, and whilst this is the caseneither the lives nor property of settlers can be considered safe.”According to Nind, settlers and Hudson’s Bay Company people of the area found that,“the visit of a magistrate and constable has had a most beneficial effect upon theIndians - shortly after our departure one Indian killed another and was arrested anddelivered up to me at Lytton by other Indians - I am told the first impulse was to killthe culprit particularly as he was much feared and it was known if he escaped hewould try and kill his captors - but on second thoughts they resolved to bring himto Lytton to stand his trial - they are now afraid breaking the law or doing anythingto endanger their liberties and this feeling I have no doubt will last some little time;but impressions soon wear out with Indians and as they act on impulse and quitecontrary to our notions of reason they require to be constantly reminded of acontrolling power acting without fear or favour to anyone.Because no local government was in place to keep the law before their eyes, Nind sought toimpress natives, through their chief, with the law’s authority. With settlement interests inmind, he encouraged natives to take grievances to court (where they could be diffused)instead of resorting to violence. He considered natives irrational and was more paternalthan Ball, but respected the natives’ ability to destabilize an important region.The Law’s DiplomatNind then, like Ball (but more ambitiously) set out to spread the word that the lawaffected everyone everywhere, and although he doubted the efficacy of mere words, hewas confident that once fully in place, his legal duties, along with his regulatory activities,(combined with those of others’ elsewhere) would be effective in creating a settled colony.The Court of Assize had similar aims, but details of the more intricate process (or at leastthe more elaborate records contained in the bench books) contain the finer points of colonialsocial organization. Beyond the summary statements of Ball’s court records, which indicatemore than anything that members of all groups found their ways into both sides of legal139procedure, the record books remain more tantalizing than descriptive. The lack of detailleaves obscure how crimes were defined in the first place or by what processes they werebrought into court. Like other documents, these records illustrate the great diversity of thepopulation of the Fraser Canyon during the gold rush, but unlike many of them it showsthe constant struggle and interaction that took place between groups. The administration ofEnglish Common Law was flexible to these demands, and through it the administrationsought to establish order, rather than pronounce individual justice, and to impress allgroups with the authority behind colonial power. The Justices of the Peace combined,conveyed that message extensively while the Court of Assize worked intensively to refineit.Beyond the Justices of the Peace the law was expressed at higher levels of thecolonial hierarchy. While the law’s strength - in this instance the Royal Engineers - wasinstructed to remain behind and focus on civil duties, the law itself went on display in theform of Judge Begbie and the Court of Assize. This court was “an age-old practice ofEnglish judges founded on the notion that persons accused of crime should be tried by theirpeers in the locality where the crime allegedly occurred.”24 According to David Williams,Begbie’s legal biographer, Begbie “believed it his duty to carry the law to the miners andothers, rather than insist that they come to him in New Westminster or Yale. He alsoconsidered it essential to have an intimate personal knowledge of the Colony, its citizensand their habits...”25 Much of this information came from personal observation, but alsofrom the local Justices of the Peace. The Assize also met some of the difficulties of gettingthe accused down to New Westminster and had the extra benefit of making another elementof the law visible in practically every community, no matter how small or remote. Inaddition it allowed Begbie to gather information for the Governor on “the state of the24 R. Williams, “... The Man for a New Country..” Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie,(Sidney, B.C.: Gray’s Publishing Ltd., 1977), p.45.25 Begbie correspondence. F142- B, Begbie to Young, Sept. 1859, cited in Williams, p.56.140country.”26 In this way, Begbie’s mobility over a large territory complemented the relativestability of the Justices of the Peace in each district (Figure 18).Begbie left on his first round in March 1859, and thereafter spent spring andsummer completing his circuit through the Interior. He spent the rest of the year in NewWestminster and in Victoria in order to be near the Governor. On circuit, he wasaccompanied by a court registrar, Bushby, and several guides, translators and packers(often Native or Metis). Before leaving England he had outfitted himself with the“appropriate” robes and whigs, even though he was often forced to hold court while sittingon a stump.27More importantly, the implementation of the formal court process was affected bythe lack of British subjects to sit on juries and British trained jurists to provide counsel.The former problem was addressed rapidly as it drew much complaint from the Americanminers, and as a result Begbie saw fit to allow Americans to sit on juries. The secondproblem was somewhat more difficult. An act passed on Vancouver Island in 1849 statedthat only those lawyers who were qualified in Britain were allowed to work on VancouverIsland (and by extension, British Columbia). But Begbie found no such persons on themainland and that, as a result, counsel was absent from the court room. This, he argued,was particularly troublesome because the informal provision of counsel outside the courtroom by unqualified, but not always unknowledgeable persons, reduced his control overeach particular case and the provision of justice as whole. Better, he argued, to allow aliensinto the court room where he could control them, and thus the application of the lawthroughout the colony.28 In parallel to Nind’s efforts at keeping law before native eyes,Begbie sought to keep the population before his eyes.26Williams, p. 45.27Williams, p.34.28”They avoid much of the responsibility w[ijch wo[ul]d attach to their conduct if theywere rendered officers of the court, under the summery control of the judge.” Begbie toDouglas, Dec. 15,1858, CC F142aJ4.141‘sTravelsFigure 18: Judge Begbie-•U /\\\\4fl- 4:“‘‘—---------ç-\I). . S5 J. .••. .,. ,,S:,.• SI’’/“‘0,:-‘Al-“I-,1It \\H/.I,../Source: M. CARS CM/A 137.B Begbie, “Sketch of trails, B142As the only qualified judge in British Columbia, Begbie had a power beyond hisoffice, as his judgements were not subject to approval or reinterpretation by other trainedjurists. This left Begbie free to play to his most critical audience, the population. Alreadyin 1858 Begbie too saw the need to allow for a certain amount of flexibility in the provisionof justice. Indirectly following up on Lytton’s attitudes he wrote:“To render a court of justice useful it is more important that the suitorssho[ul]d be satisfied than that substantial justice sho[ul]d be done. Substantialjustice might be, and often is, done, by a strong despotism: it might be and wo[ul]dbe just as often as not, the result, if the decision were left to chance. But neither adespotism nor the hazard of dice wo[ul]d be a satisfactory tribunal at the presentday.”29Again despotism was not considered an option, perhaps because it could not be imposed,but neither could justice be left to chance. Law had to be omnipresent, but it could notafford to offend. Instead the focus was to be on catering, as much as possible, to thepopulation. Part of the intent was to establish the general authority of the legal processfirst, along with a general vision of civilization, before worrying too much about legaldetails. This is not to say that the legal system was completely arbitrary, but that it wasadaptable to, and in some cases willing to reinforce, dominant groups, in the provision ofpeace, rather than formal justice.As noted in Begbie’s benchbooks, the cases arising from the Court of Assizecontain many illustrations of flexibility in the application, if not content, of the law. Thestate of the country, rather than some rigid notion of justice was at stake. These cases weredirected much more carefully at particular segments of the population and particularincidents, than Douglas’s address at Yale, or even Nind’s or Ball’s visits to natives.Case StudiesOne of the first cases to come before the Court of Assize involved a disputebetween two miners.30 Matthias Neil was accused of killing Thomas Hartwell in a30R. V. Neil, British Columbia, Supreme Court, Notes on Proceedings, March 10, 1859- May 8, 1861, pp 1-7. BCARS.143shooting in a bar room in Lytton. During the hearing several witnesses were calledforward including Hartwell’s partner. Begbie jotted down some of his instructions to thegrand and petty juries and emphasized for them the need to take the “state of the country”into account in their deliberations, and “what that state is is known to you better than me. Itis part of your business indeed if you know of any great [struck out] crime or nuisance topresent it now to the court in order that the crown dff [defender] now present may takesteps.” He further emphasized that unless Neil could show due provocation and lack ofmalice in his actions then this would be a case of murder rather than manslaughter. Thecase itself attempted to unravel the reasons for the dispute and how it had escalated. Allwitnesses agreed that Neil and Hartwell had not known each other before that evening,which ruled out forethought and the malice referred to by Begbie. Instead they werefighting about gambling - but no one could be more precise than that. The witnesses alladmitted that people (other than themselves of course) had been playing rondeau formoney. One person thought that perhaps Neil had intervened on someone else’s behalf,another thought that he had disagreed with the size of the stakes. The bartender testified tobreaking up the argument. Hartwell’s partner said Hartwell had then crossed the bar, tocome over to him and borrow his pistol, “and asked me if I wo[uljd see him insulted when[the] other man was armed and he was not.” The deceased recrossed the room, and theshooting began. All witnesses were asked questions as to who had drawn first, who hadfired first, how many times, and in what direction. Regrettably no single witness couldanswer all these questions. In order to unravel these problems, Begbie drew a small mapof the bar room, including two bars, the rondeau table, and approximate distances, basedon the testimony. Hartwell’s partner lent his pistol so that Hartwell could protect hishonour (“1 could have prevented the dec[eas]ed from taking my pistol”), but by thisadmission in court he showed that Hartwell had gone out of his way (according to Begbie’ssketch map) to aim himself before any shooting began. In the end his testimony was144disallowed because it favoured the defendant. In ensuing testimony the picture becamemore complicated. Neil may have provoked the argument, but Hartwell shot first.Begbie was interested in this incident because such unfettered violence produced abad “state of the countly” which had been shown to be harmful to colonization.Consideration of this state made this case particularly important, and would perhaps modifyits outcome. Neil killed Hartwell, but it became clear that Hartwell could just as easily havekilled Neil. The “state of the country” was an oblique reference to mining society, itsvalues, and men’s relationship to the state, all understood differently by miners and thecourt. To the jury, the state of the country rationalized the use of force, in concert with theirvalues of self-reliant manhood. But Begbie’s use of the phrase seems to imply an attempt tocommunicate the need to refrain from violence out of respect and support of the law, asincorporated in Douglas’ image of a strong male citizenry in his address at Yale. If Begbiefelt he had to roll dice to decide such cases, the miners felt they wagered their lives withsuch simple actions as walking into a saloon. The two different views of the relationshipbetween men and the state did agree that life in early British Columbia was a game ofchance, and that any measures perceived as capable of improving the odds were welcome.The miners were concerned with their safety and their rights to protect themselves; thecourts were concerned with establishing the state’s ability and right to protect them.Other cases attempted to demonstrate the authority of the court over natives, forwithout their acceptance of such authority they could not be fitted into other parts of theadministration. Miners had some basic understanding of the courts and “justice,” but whenthe legal system came into contact with native groups it had more problems to deal with.One of the first concerned the structural difficulties of native evidence in the court room.Natives in the Canyon were generally not Christians in the early years and even if theyprofessed to be, they were considered to be only nominally so after summary RomanCatholic baptisms. Anglicans required deeper understanding of the scriptures along withlifestyle changes associated with English culture, neither of which natives in the canyon145were considered to have in the early 1860s.31 Questioning the sincerity of their faithallowed the courts to call into question the validity of their oaths to tell the truth. Begbieavoided these problems by according natives the same exceptional status granted those whorefused to pledge allegiance to the Crown, that is by modifying the oath procedure.Natives were frequently merely asked (often through interpreters) if they knew what truthwas, and if they meant to tell it. This is but one illustration of the ways native evidence wasmade less valid than white evidence. Moreoever, natives further often requiredinterpreters, were unfamiliar with the British legal system, and were not considered to havetheir own mechanisms for solving disputes.These pitfalls did not however indicate that natives did not belong in court. Inseveral cases they were required to testify against whites; and, more importantly, therewere several instances where “justice” reached into native reserves.In Regina versus Nickashan a young native man was found dead on an Indianreserve beside his sleeping cousin (or brother), Nickashan. The body was buried and thematter presumably dealt with in native ways. About a week later, however, ConstableWilliam Evans came up from Yale, disintered the body, took it into the coroner at Yale, andapprehended Nickashan. The depositions charging him with murder were made before theJustice of the Peace for Yale, E.H. Sauders.32 The first person heard from was theconstable himself. He declared that he had heard of the murder, had ridden up to BostonBar, disintered the body and examined the two mortal wounds. He was told by twonatives, Jiminse and Zenemetko, that31-The methodist missionary expresses some of the attitudes of his day toward Catholicismand its mission strategies: “The Roman priests have been all through this country and havesucceeded in teaching almost all the natives how to make the sign of a cross which appearsto be about sum total of their religious knowledge. What better than pagans are Romanindians? Nothing. They have been baptized and taught to make the sign of the cross buthave not abandonned their pagan customs or superstitions.” E.B. Robson, Diary, April 7,1859. BCARS. Not all Roman Catholics worked this way.32 Depositions made before E.H. Saunders. British Columbia, Attorney General,Documents, F1864/7. BCARS.146“the prisoner and the murdered man had been out together, that they had got drunkand that the prisoner had stabbed his tillicum- Jiminse also told em that he was thefirst who discovered the body - nickoshan was found laying about five paces fromthe murdered mans body in a drunken state and pretended he knows nothing aboutthe matter.”Evans was not present when the body was found, instead he paraphrased the informationhe was given (hearsay?), even though Jiminse and Zenemtko themselves were present andwere to be heard from shortly. This part of the account was followed seamlessly by theparts that did involve Evans:“- shortly after leaving Boston Bar an Indian came galloping after me and told methey had found Nickoschan and begged me to take him in charge - I returned withthe Indian and found the prisoner at China bluff a few hundred yards on this side ofRyan’s “Mount Pleasure House” - the prisoner on seeing me said he saw mepassing up the day before and intended giving himself up to me - he told me that themurdered man was his brother and that he did not kill him - that he got liquor atRyan’s for a salmon and a dollar and that after he drank the liquor he knew nothingmore till he was sober.”It is not clear how Evans found out about the murder - he did not elaborate - but he didmake clear that he was asked to take the accused into custody. After Evans had laid out thebasics of the case, people from the reserve were called in to fill in the details. Toqueskat,the chief, was the first to speak“I was sitting outside my Camp at Quaiome when an Indian - several Indians cameto me and informed me that a man had been killed - this was on tuesday morning - Iwent out and saw the body it was laying about a mile from my Camp on the groundturned on its back - jiminse was with me - the body was nearly naked - the coat,trousers & cap were under one of the arms of the body there were two wounds oneonthe breast and the other onthe back - they had been made by aknife - the bodylaying in plenty of blood - there was no appearance of a struggle where the bodywas found - the body must have been dragged a good distance, from the Road tothe bank of the River where it was found- I could trace blood all the way up to theRoad - Nickaschan was laying about four yards from the body - he was asleep - Iawoke him and told him he had killed his brother and he gave no answer - he wasquite sensible and expressed no sorrow- he had blood all over his hands - he hadno clothes on - there was blood on his legs- I waited till other Indians came - [t]henwe took the body and buried it in the village cemetary- I do not know that therewas any misunderstanding or emnity between the prisoner & the murdered man - Ishould have known if there had been - the prisoner never mentioned the murder tome -“147Clearly Toqueskat’s status as chief was taken seriously by the Justice of the Peace. Hewas the first person called in by those who found the body and the first native to be listenedto in court. The way his words are represented in his deposition show that he was avaluable resource to the court. “I should have known,” he said, “if there had been.” Heprovided many details about the location of the body and Nickaschan which could perhapsbe pieced together to give some idea of the way the incident unravelled. Toqueskat’stestimony was followed by those of several other natives whose comments echoed his,only they were written in a much abbreviated form and used only to back up his version.According to Jiminse, “when the prisoner awoke ‘Hallo he said, am I here?’ there wasblood on the prisoners hands & legs... I did not see a knife . . .when he awoke he seemedsober.” Zenemelko, the murdered man’s sister and the prisoner’s cousin testified as to thenature of the relations between the two men; according to her they never quarreled, and hadleft the reserve amicably together that night with a salmon to trade for a drink. She did addthat Nickaschan “drank a great deal, my brother was never drunk before.” She added toothat “the prisoner never mentioned the murder to me.”Following this Nickaschan was charged with stabbing and murdering Towachsa.Not till then was he asked, with warning that it could be used against him, if he hadanything to say. Nickaschan was then allowed to give his version of the events:“On Monday night I left the Ranch with the deceased, the deceased had threesalmon, he sold all three to Thomas Ryan - Tom gave him one dollar and one drinkeach for the salmon- I got drunk and my cousin too and I do not recollect anythingmore until I was awakened by the Chief - we neither of us had knives about us- Ido not know whether I killed my cousin or not, that is all I have to say.”Even when poured into the mould of official court language and through severalstages of interpretation, Nickaschan’s comments are poignant. Evans, the constable gave atidy synopsis of the events at the outset, and further witnesses’ accounts were used tofollow them through, creating the impression that the case was fairly straight forward. Theonly hint of doubt comes at the end when Nickaschan neither admits to killing his cousin,nor denies it. His uncertainty points to the problems that no motive or weapon had been148found. The hierarchically structured evidence created an aura of certainty not born out byits circumstantial nature.33 When the case was tried, the jury acquitted Nickashan afterfour and half hours of deliberation.Perhaps the law had made a point about its jurisdiction and authority by showingitself as “just” (through acquittal) but capable of seeing all. Native voices in this case weregrudgingly allowed but only within a narrow framework, and where underwritten by thoseof whites. The murder took place on a reserve, was committed by natives living on thereserve and the body buried by them, but somehow, several miles away a constable heardof the incident and even went so far as to enter the reserve and dig up the body. Noquestions were asked about how natives had dealt with the crime. Including natives in theBritish legal system stemmed from the rhetoric of British justice being available to all without prejudice, but the way the agents of law enforcement went out of their way to uncoverthis incident show that they were also concerned to prove their might, power, and authorityover every corner of Her Majesty’s domain. Giving natives a voice in court was ademonstration of their right to have a say, but ordering their evidence curtailed this in aquiet way and made their evidence serve the larger purpose of the court: to make Britishpower felt throughout the region.From the moment of the existence of British Columbia as a formal colony, purelynative matters officially ceased to exist, and the state set about demonstrating this throughthe court’s intervention in relations between natives (even on reserves of its own creation).33Favouring white evidence was also noted unintentionally by outsiders: Robson, Diary,July 6, 1859: “The body of a white man was discovered early this morning lying on a trailbetween the town and the second Rancherie up the river. He had received 3 or 4 very deepwounds with a knife The officers succeeded in arresting several Indians supposed to beconcerned in the murder. The afternoon was spent hearing the circumstantial evidence ofseveral white men.July 7: The trial or rather inquest upon the death of the murdered man Franidin Bliss wascontinued during the whole day. The evidence of several Indians was taken. In all Ishould think there have been near twenty witnesses sworn. The jury returned thefollowing verdict. That the deceased Franklin Bliss came to his death by wounds inflictedby a knife in the hands of an indian called Moosens 3 other Indians viz Cutscus, Ilial, &George being accesory to it.” Robson, Diary.149Initially, in an earlier case, Ra. v. Kesshua, the court had acted with more circumspectionthan it did in Ra. v. Nickashan.34 In Ra. v. Kesshua, a native man killed his nativefiancee, because her family had decided against the marriage. He had paid a bride price,but the family did not repay it when they broke the contract.The girl, Skocenecenux, was stabbed in daylight in front of several witnesses anddied from the wounds several days later. The first witness heard the girl’s scream, saw theprisoner running away, and saw her wounds. The first requirement was establishing thecause of her death and for precision the court wanted to know her age; a seemingly easyquestion which turned out to be complicated. To this end her parents were called in totestify. According to her father, called first,“she died from the knife wounds in breast & back they were very deep - if a knifehad been put into each wound the knives would not have passed eachother he saidthe girl had been promised to the prisoner two years ago. She was not living himand he could not say whether it would have been right for pris[one]r to have takenher or not - she was about so high (qu 11 or 12 years old).35According to the mother her daughter was not “of an age to go with any man.” She couldnot tell the court precisely how old her daughter was, merely that she stood as high as herown ear. After this imprecise testimony a white man was sworn in. He was not a witnessto the stabbing but had seen the results: “They told me she had been stabbed the daybefore. I saw the wounds 1 behind and 1 in front. I thought them very serious - they werewide and apparently very deep. They gave her some tea in my presence & it came runningout of the wound in her back.” Having heard the details of her wounds and that she wastoo young to be married, the court focussed on the marriage contract. To this end the fatherwas recalled first. He knew little: “When the deceased was first betrothed I know nothingabout what was given. My wife had the whole management of the affair.” So the courtmoved on to question the mother, who knew more about the agreement:34Ra. v. Kesshua, British Columbia, Supreme Court, Notes on Proceedings, May 1,1863, BCARS.35Begbie’s brackets150“the pris[one]r gave money at the time of the betrothal - my brother rec[eive]d theprop[e]r[ty]- I never did- I considered the agreement binding - any of the girl’srelations receiving money made it binding, the pris[one]r afterwards said if theywo[ul]d return the money he wo[ul]d give up his claim. They never did return it.”The English legal system could understand contract negotiations and was no stranger towomen being regarded as property, but here it seems at a loss. It called in a “culturalinterpreter,” the chiefs brother to “show the customs of the savages.” He explained that“In such a case, the pri[one]r’s life might be taken or not at the option of the girl’s friends.If they choose, they might take no notice of it. But if they took his life it wo[ul]d beconsidered justifiable.”After initially being interested in the girl’s age and dwelling on the horror of herdeath, the court became intrigued with the nature of the contract concerning her. First avictim of senseless violence, she was then viewed as property. The court again involveditself in a matter which took place on a reserve, between natives, and allowed whites totestify even though they had had little to do with the incident. The judges verdict, “guiltyof murder, recommend to mercy” was an attempt to acknowledge both sides of the issue,while illustrating the authority of the court to preside over both life and death, throughpronouncing and commuting death sentences.Disputes over women were not rare in the Fraser Canyon. Most newcomers weremale (and all the administrators were). As in the above case, women were often consideredcommodities and scarce ones at that. William Boothroyd accused three native men ofassaulting him in his own house while they were trying to remove a native woman from thepremises.36 Boothroyd struck at Kamous first because he “thought by the look in his eyeshe was going to strike me with it [a knife] & in self defense I struck him first with my fist.”After that, two other natives, Squascot and Chimpult, jumped on him with their knives.He then drew his gun, and apparently drove them away. He was briefly questioned abouthis knowledge and beliefs concerning natives: “I know indians about - always get on well36”Ra. v. Squascot accessory, Ra. v. Chinipult do., Ra. v. Kamous principle,” BritishColumbia, Supreme Court, Notes on Proceedings, May 1863. BCARS.151with them - did not know these very much I don’t think a man has a right to kick an Indianwithout he has good cause - I am not in the habit of ill proving their respect.” The courtasked him briefly about the terms under which the woman worked for him. He told themthat “white men who have squaws living with them generully make arrangements with theparents...” He would not allow the men to remove her from his house because he “did notknow that her relatives were unwilling that she should remain until 10 minutes before the“mess.” Apparently the court found both his philosophy concerning natives and hisactions in protecting his property just; Kamous was sentenced to 3 months for simpleassault. Squascot and Chinipult each received 6 weeks as accessories to the crime. Thecentre of the dispute, a nameless woman, does not appear in the court transcripts, the courtwas not interested in the decisions other people made over her. Instead, three men were ontrial for threatening another man, a white man, in his own house, and although he struckfirst (in response to a threatening “look in his eyes”), he was not on trial.A case concerning the Chinese community of Lillooet, tried at Lytton, is perhapsthe most obvious example of the court’s efforts to assert its own authority and its ideals ofan ordered mining society. Two Chinese men, Ah Foi and Ah Chue were accused ofmurdering their partner Ah Ling.37 The constable, Thomas Sharwood heard, somehow,that Ling had disappeared. He paid a visit to the house Foi, Chue and Ling shared. Whenhe asked the two where Ling was, one said he “had gone Down” but the other said he hadgone up to Bridge river. Sharwood immediately arrested them, and began searching theirhouse and plot. He found a bloody knife and bloody clothes hidden in the house andcellar. Outside “in the middle of the field in an old Indian hole 1 1/2 ft under gro[un]d [he]found a box in w{hi]ch was the corpse” with upwards of twenty wounds, including threebullet wounds. He did not recognize the clothes nor did he have any witnesses who couldidentify them, as “they are slop clothes not made measurement - much the same size and.?.37”Ra. v. Ah Foi, Ra. v. Ah Chew,” British Columbia, Supreme Court, Notes onProceedings, Lytton, November 6, 1865. BCARS.152as most Chinamen wo[ul]d wear.” Other witnesses were called in. One store keeper,Augustus Franke, said Ah Foi had tried to buy a pistol from him the week before themurder, but he had refused him. Thomas Dunn gave a lengthier testimony. He said Foiand Ling often came to his shop. Foi frequently said not to trust Ling as he was a “badChinaman- all the time fighting.” Dunn “told Ling that he sho[ul}d not quarrel - he s[ai]dFoi very lazy & some day he would kill him I s[aiJd he w[oul]d get put in jail - he s[ai]dthat was alright.” Dunn said he had been concerned and a few days before he “had advisedFoi to go Mr. Elliot [Justice of the Peace at Lillooet] to keep Ling quiet.” Foi apparentlydid not think this a good idea, instead he asked Dunn “to remember what he said in theevent of anything happening.” Then Foi brought a pistol into Dunn to be repaired. Dunndeclined to fix it, as did the gunsmith.After these witnesses Foi himself was asked what had happened. He said they hadargued and that Ling had stabbed Chue in the knee (which corresponded with the slash in apair of trousers produced by the constable). Then“Ling attempted to attack Chue again Foi tried to seize Ling around the arms butling moved & having knife in his hand cut Foi on wrist Foi called out Chue turnedback Ling tried again to get at Chue - Chue had a butcher knife & stabbed Ling agood many times. Then Foi and Chue both ran away Ling pursued them with aknife in his hand Foi seized Ling & Chew [sic] disarmed him. Chew asked Foiwhat he sho[ul]d do he had cut Ling so badly & what was Foi going to do.”They considered going to Lilloet to tell Elliott, but other members of the Chinesecommunity, including the well known merchant Kwong Li advised against it. Begbienoted this and that “all the chinamen up there know all about it.”In the end, Ah Foi and Ah Chue were convicted of murder and sentenced to death.But the good character references Foi had received from Dunn and the bad ones Ling hadreceived (posthumously) convinced Begbie to recommend mercy, both at the time of thetrial and some time later after having mulled it over. On the one hand their statement wascredible, that is that Ling was a violent and perhaps murderous person and that the two hadacted in self defense, but on the other hand they had tried for weeks to purchase a gun and153had even confided that something would happen. The court struggled with reconcilingthese two views. In the end they were convicted of murder, but because they were “goodchinamen” and had received support from the white community, mercy was recommended.The court had an additional motive. The accused had considered at different stagesconsulting the local authority, but had hesitated, which it turned out reflected the opinionsof the Chinese community as a whole. By pulling this case into court and by both givingthem a harsh sentence and a pardon the court was trying to assert its ability to judge fairlyand establish its authority over another important group of miners.ConclusionWilliams makes much of Begbie’s personality in bringing “justice” to early B.C.,The central tenet of his book is “Begbie, the symbol of law and order.”38 But Begbie’sideas were not different from those of other colonial figures, and the law left him plenty ofspace for adaptation. The power of the law in early British Columbia lay precisely in thisflexibility. Legal procedure had to be flexible in order that a system created in another timeand place be able to work in early colonial British Columbia, particularly as it had little timeto develop in context. Without the established backup of force, in British Columbia, thelaw had to assert its own authority, as well as that of a colonial administration. Rexibilityallowed the legal system to pursue its aims of enabling ‘civilization’ where manhooddefined the norm.At one level the law remained rigid - murder is murder - but by taking local contextsinto account, by taking liberties with sentencing, and by adjusting the court roomprocedures, it was able to operate in a way which coincided with its philosophicalfoundations, that is its right, through social contract, to a monopoly on violence. This righthad to be asserted firmly because, by its own logic, acceptance of it by the populationentailed acceptance of all other laws and, by extension, the colonial presence itself. The38Williams, p.104fact that legal and regulatory functions were situated in the same persons, in thecombination of Gold Commissioners as Justices of the Peace, indicates not so much thatthese were the same thing (in fact they worked quite differently), but that their functionswere intricately interwoven.154155POSTSCRIPTIn 1868 a young woman moved from Victoria to Yale to teach at the local one-roomschool house. As one of the few white woman in Yale, and the only single one, SusanNagle’s journal offers a distinctive perspective on life in the Canyon.’ She commentedlittle on her work at the school except to mention that, within days of her appointment, thenumber of pupils dropped from twenty to ten. Beyond work, she spent much of her timegoing on chaperoned walks with members of the town’s white male elite, and was active atthe local church, where frequently she was the only woman present. Much of her time wasspent at home with her aunt, where she played an out-of-tune harmonium, composedpoetry about lost loves and idealized pastoral landscapes, and wrote in her journal about herdreams, difficult marriage decisions, and helplessness.Nagle’s journal is an anomaly. Compared to the other journals reported in thisthesis, Nagle’s seems completely unconnected to the Fraser Canyon. On the one hand, shecould have been writing from anywhere in the settled white world, as she makes nomention of natives living around the town, miners, or the Canyon itself. On the other hand,her very disconnection seems symbolic of the town of Yale at the crossroads between aminer’s town and a settlers’ town. As a single white woman, a young lady, she waslimited to particular social spheres and spaces, which barely existed in Yale in 1868. SusanNagle lived in a place designed by and for white men.The spaces in which Nagle found herself were radically different from those shewould have found had she travelled to the Canyon a decade earlier. Miners coming into theregion had brought a mining culture with them founded on the common experience of theirrace, gender, and occupation. Their identities as white mining men were reinforced inresponse to the difficulties presented by unknown rugged terrain; large, often hostile,native populations; and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s and British government’s attempts1Susan Abercrombie Nagle (Holmes), “Diary,” Jan. 11867 - 1871, BCARS.156to control their livelihoods and lives. This group of miners had virtually excluded womenfrom the gold rush at their points of departure, had marginalized the activities of Chineseminers, and had included natives only as providers of services. Due to the size, internalcohesion, and experience of this group of miners, they were largely able to take care ofthemselves and saw little need for government intervention. On their own, they werecapable of making male spaces on the mining bars of the Fraser Canyon.To the government, American miners posed a threat to British sovereignty on thePacific, yet, if managed properly, the gold rush provided opportunities to further Britishinterests. In its efforts to impose its concepts of order on the Fraser Canyon gold rush,government employed administrators in strategic places. These men were links in a chain ofcommand, extending from London to Lytton, for the transmission of ideas and informationnecessary to transform the Fraser Canyon into a British space. In order to find supportamong a powerful segment of the population, and in keeping with their own ideas of thesuperiority of white men, the government favoured the needs of miners, as well as settlers,as it regulated land and constructed towns and transportation networks. Its authority to doso was reinforced by a legal system, which also favoured white men. Flexible courtroomprocedures and local interpretations of the law allowed the courts to establish the right ofBritish men to introduce colonial order to the Fraser Canyon (and by extension BritishColumbia as a whole). The legal system introduced concepts of miners, natives, andChinese as colonial subjects, while obscuring the fact that white men judged other whitemen differently from women, natives, and Chinese.Through the interactions of miners, colonial administration, and the legal system, aparticular British Columbia was negotiated and put in place. The Fraser Canyon gold rushset precedents for the ensuing development of the colony as a resource economy organizedaround the productive capacities of white men. Although contested throughout its history,institutionalized racism and masculinity remain legible in British Columbian spaces (Figure19) and society to the present.157Susan Nagle’s story begins to make more sense when viewed in this way and, Ithink, illustrates the rationale for my approach to this thesis. The only way for her toconnect with the Fraser Canyon, was as a school teacher in Yale, instructing the children oflocal administrators and merchants, or through her own marriage and reproduction. As asingle woman, unwilling to marry the local parson, and unsuccessful at her job, she did notfit into Yale. She was not meant to. In a sense, this thesis could be summarized as anattempt to untangle the roots of Nagle’s situation, by seeking out the ways in which theFraser Canyon was matched to the ideas brought by thousands of miners andadministrators, and the social hierarchies contained within the law. My response toNagle’s isolation was to write about white men. And indeed, Susan Nagle’s response wasto marry the parson.bU!u,unL-A5—JiA,,00NJ\‘\CLa)Li)Oc©00Cci)i.—C.)4Il9:,ci)CUo-CLa)ONCDiI-CONONCUci)IID1-513’IVA(VA//5—.--.5-/5-zL-—5--!ID.0sO0riZJ\I!159BIBLIOGRAPHYPUBLISHEDAnderson, A.C. Handbook and map to the gold region of Frazer’s and Thompson rivers,with a table of distances. With Chinook Jargon. San Francisco: J.J. Le Count,1858.Aylmer, Captain Fenton. A Cruise in the Pacific from the Log of a Naval Officer.London: Hurst and Blackett, 1860.Baker, S.F. Mine?s Map to Frazer River and its Tributaries with the Gold BearingCountry. engr. San Francisco: Whitton, Towne & Co., 1858. U.B.C. SpecialCollections.Barrett-Lennard, Captain C.E. Travels in British Columbia with the Narrative of a YachtVoyage Round Vancouver’s Island. London: Hurst and Blackett, 1862.Brown, Judge William “Old Fort Okanogan and the Okanogan Trail.” The Quarterly ofthe Oregon Historical Society, 15 (1), 1914, pp. 1-38.Conway, Alan. “Welsh Gold-Miners in British Columbia during the 1860’s.” BritishColumbia Historical Quarterly, 21(1-4), 1957-1958, pp. 51-75.Fisher, Robin. Contact and Conflict: Indian-European Relations in British Columbia,1774-1890. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1977.Forbes, Charles. Prize Essay: Vancouver Island, its resources and capabilities as a newcolony. Victoria: The Colonial Government, 1862.Friesach, Dr. Carl. An Excursion through British Columbia in the Year 1858. Reprintedfrom the Communications of the Philosophhical Society, Graz, 1875. Translatedfrom German by E.E. Delavault; Revised by Isabel Maclnnes, 1941.Gough, Barry M. ““Turbulent frontiers” and British Expansion: Governor JamesDouglas, the Royal Engineers, and the British Columbia Gold Rushes.” PacificHistorical Review, 41, 1972, pp. 15-32.Great Britiain. Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates: Third Series, commencing with theaccession of William the IV. Vol. CLI, June 18, 1858-August 2 1858. London:Cornelius Buck, 1858.Great Britain. Parliament. Papers Relative to the Affairs of British Columbia. London:Printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswood... for Her Majesty’sStationary Office. 1858 and 1859.Hams, R.Cole. “The Fraser Canyon Encountered.” B.C. Studies 94, Summer 1992, pp5-28.Hayden, Brian. Ed. A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau: TraditionalStl’dtl’imx Resource Use. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1992.160Hazlitt, William Carew. British Columbia and Vancouver Island; comprising a historicalsketch of the British settlements in the north-west coast of America and a surveyof the physical character, capabilities, climate, topography, natural history,geology and ethnology of that region. London: G.Routledge & Co., 1858.Henderson, Sarah Fisher et al. ed.s. “Correspondence of Reverend Ezra Fisher.” ThQuarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, 20, 1919.Ireland, Willard E. “First Impressions: Letter of Col. Moody to Arthur Blackwood, 1859.”British Columbia Historical Quarterly, 15, 1951, pp 85-107.The Leisure Hour: a family journal of instruction and recreation.Lyman, Horace S. History of Oregon: The growth of an American State. Vol. 4. NewYork: The North Pacific Publishing Society, 1903.MacDonald, D.G.F. Lecture on British Columbia and Vancouver’s Island Delivered at theRoyal united Service Institution on March 27, 1863. 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Facts and Figures Relating to Vancouver Island and BritshColumbia with Illustrative Maps, (London: Longman, Green, Longman, andRoberts, 1860).Rickard, T.A. “Indian Participation in the Gold Discoveries.” British Columbia Historicalquarterly, 2(1), January 1938, pp. 3-18.Romanoff, Steven. “The Cultural Ecology of Hunting and Potlaches among the LillooetIndians.” In Hayden, Brian ed., A Complex Culture of the British ColumbiaPlateau: Traditional Stl’átl’imx Resource Use. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1992.Sage, Walter N. “The Gold Colony of British Columbia.” The Canadian HistoricalReview, 2 (4), 1921, pp. 340-359.Scott, Leslie. M. “The Pioneer Stimulus of Gold.” The quarterly of the Oregon HistoricalSociety, 18 (3), 1917, pp. 147-166.Shinn, Charles Howard. Mining Camps: A study in American Frontier Government.Rodman, Paul ed. Gloucester Mass: Peter Smith, 1970 [1877].161Smith, Dorothy Blakey, ed. Lady Franklin visits the Pacific Northwest: being extractsfrom the letters of Miss Sophia Cracroft, Sir John Franklin’s niece, February toApril, 1861 and April to July, 1870. Provincial Archives of British Columbia,Memoir, no. 11. Victoria: Provincial Archives of British Columbia, 1974.Spry, Irene. The Pallister Expedition: An Account of John Pallister’s British NorthAmerican Expedition 1857-1860. Toronto: The MacMillan Company, 1963.Suttles, Wayne. “The Early Diffusion of the Potato Among the Coast Salish.”Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, 7(3), 1951, pp. 272-288.Snow, W. Parker. British Columbia, Emigration, and our Colonies, ConsideredPractically, Socially, and Politically. 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