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Edgar Crow Baker : an entrepreneur in early British Columbia Brooks, George Waite Stirling 1976

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EDGAR CROW BAKER AN ENTREPRENEUR IN EARLY BRITISH COLUMBIA by GEORGE WAITE STIRLING BROOKS B.A., University of Victoria, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES in the Department of Histcry We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF-BRITISH COLUMBIA Apri l , 1976 (E) George Waite Stirling Brooks, 19 7 6 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is for f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date ) D ABSTRACT The subject of t h i s thesis i s the nature of entre-preneurism i n B r i t i s h Columbia from 187"+ u n t i l about 1905. The business a f f a i r s of one V i c t o r i a entrepreneur, Edgar Crow Baker, are used to examine the character of these men, t h e i r business endeavours and the society that they l i v e d i n . The era of the entrepreneur i n B r i t i s h Columbia began with the Fraser River gold rush i n 1858. I t con-tinued u n t i l about the turn of the century, when the era of the corporate entrepreneur was ushered i n with the a r r i v a l of large corporations from outside the province that began to buy up the smaller l o c a l companies. V i c t o r i a was the p r i n c i p a l headquarters for these entrepreneurs from 1858 u n t i l about the end of the 1880 ' s.i During the 1890*s, control of the province's business a f f a i r s passed from V i c t o r i a to Vancouver and by the end of that decade, V i c t o r i a was no longer a creative business force i n the province. The change from an economy that was oriented on maritime l i n e s , l a r g e l y through the port of V i c t o r i a , to a continental system i n which V i c t o r i a did not occupy a strategic l o c a t i o n , was the event that destroyed V i c t o r i a ' s business position. I t was the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway that brought about t h i s change and Van-couver Island's i s o l a t i o n from i t that caused the decline of V i c t o r i a as a business centre. Before the coming of the railway, B r i t i s h Columbia had no d i r e c t o r rapid means of' communication with the p r i n c i p a l areas of population and business i n the western world, and t h i s i s o l a t i o n was an important factor i n determining the character of the province's early society. The long and dangerous sea or land t r i p required to reach the region acted as a deferent to the normal pattern of immigration, a screen that kept out less venturesome s e t t l e r s . This was also true of C a l i f o r n i a before 1869 and i t was from t h i s area that B r i t i s h Columbia drew the majority of i t s immigrants in the gold rush of 1858. These prospectors, entrepreneurs and confidence men had been attracted to C a l i f o r n i a by the same force that now drew them to B r i t i s h Columbia. In every society there are a number of bolder and more m a t e r i a l i s t i c individuals,- who respond to the oppor-tunity presented by a gold rush; B r i t i s h Columbia i n 185 8, and for several decades thereafter, found i t s e l f inhabited to a great extent by persons of t h i s type. It was t h i s s i t u a t i o n that gave the province's early society such a large proportion of entrepreneurs and created an atmosphere conducive to entrepreneurism. The business and communications l i n k that was thus forged with C a l i f o r n i a gave B r i t i s h Columbia's society a second d i s t i n c t i v e feature. This was i t s strong - i v -i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with C a l i f o r n i a and p a r t i c u l a r l y , V i c t o r i a ' s rel a t i o n s h i p to San Francisco. It i s un l i k e l y that the majority of B r i t i s h Columbia's immigrants from C a l i f o r n i a were true Americans ( l i k e the government o f f i c i a l s , many were B r i t i s h ) , but nevertheless, they brought to the province a strong b e l i e f i n the American i d e a l . This i d e a l i s perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t factor i n understanding this early era of entrepreneurism. I t cast the entre-preneur i n the role of a hero i n the national epic: the opening of the f r o n t i e r ; the developing of resources and industry; the providing of urban services. Society honoured the successful entrepreneur by s o c i a l recog-n i t i o n and the approval of his ri g h t to economic reward. The presence of an Anglo-American society in V i c t o r i a can be traced to the foregoing factors. The upper ranks of t h i s society were more B r i t i s h than American or Canadian in composition and followed the s o c i a l customs of the English gentry. But in commerce, i t was the American t r a d i t i o n of entrepreneurism that governed the conduct of business, and equally as important, society's approach to these a c t i v i t i e s . Edgar Crow Baker arrived i n V i c t o r i a from Halifax in 1874, a time when V i c t o r i a was well established i n her r o l e as the business, as well as p o l i t i c a l , centre of the province. With considerable determination and I - V -s k i l l , he quickly became an accepted member of the upper ranks of the c i t y ' s society, and a f t e r a short period of business setbacks, he began steadily to increase his involvement and influence i n business. By these two means, he became either the fr i e n d or the partner of the majority of the province's most prominent p o l i -t i c i a n s and businessmen; although, these men were v i r -t u a l l y one close knit group. Baker, then, l i v e d and worked with the leading entrepreneurs of the province. His l i f e i s the case study that reveals some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of these men, i l l u s t r a t e s the variety of t h e i r business interests and gives some ind i c a t i o n of the nature of the society that supported them. Baker l e f t a set of annual journals for the period 1874 to 1920, i n which he describes his d a i l y business a f f a i r s . I t i s these records that provide the p r i n c i p a l means of analyzing the nature of entre-preneur ism i n early B r i t i s h Columbia. - v i -T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S C H A P T E R P A G E I . I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 I I . T H E B A C K G R O U N D Y E A R S 1 2 I I I . E N T E R I N G T H E C O M M U N I T Y 3 5 I V . E A R L Y B U S I N E S S A F F A I R S 7 6 V . P O L I T I C S 1 4 1 V I . T H E M A T U R E E N T R E P R E N E U R 2 2 3 V I I . C O N C L U S I O N 3 0 5 B I B L I O G R A P H Y 3 2 1 - v i i . -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The question of thanking a l l those who have assisted me in the preparation of this paper is somewhat compli-cated by the length of time I have taken to complete i t , and consequently, the number of people I have questioned on the subject. First, however, I must thank Dr. Margaret Ormsby for suggesting that I read the Baker Journals and pointing me in the direction of this thesis. The co-operation of the Provincial Archives was, of course, c r i t i c a l to the success of my work and to the staff there, I express my .appreciation for their help. Many others have offered advice and assistance in various forms and to them, also, my sincere thanks. I must also mention the many hours of typing and of patient listening that my late wife, Norah, endured as her share of helping me through the i n i t i a l years of this project. Finally, my appreciation to Mrs. Geri O'Hara for her long hours of precision typing that transformed my rather unclear draft and notes into neatly typed pages. - 1 -CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The f i r s t question to be answered i s , "Who was Edgar Crow Baker?" And the second is just as important, "What is there of interest about him?" Edgar Crow Baker was an English naval officer who came to Canada onithalf pay in 1872. Two years later, he moved from Halifax to Victoria where he lived u n t i l his death in 1920. The strange fact i s , that Baker was as well known f i f t y six years ago as he i s unknown today. On the 4 th November, 1920, the day following his death, The Daily  Colonist printed a large, two column wide picture of Baker in the top centre of i t s front page. His obituary hailed him as an "honoured citizen", a man "who for nearly f i f t y years has occupied an eminent place in the community as businessman, City Councillor, Provincial [sic] and Dominion member of Parliament, and, last but not least, a citizen of the highest type." 1 The eulogy occupied a f u l l column on the front page and a column and a half inside the paper. By comparison, a business and p o l i t i c a l giant such as the Honourable James Dunsmuir had received no greater recog-nition from The Daily Colonist when he died just five months 2 earlier. The Daily Colonist, 4 November, 1920, p. 1. Ibid., 8 June, 19 20, p. 1. - 2 -The thing of interest about Baker i s what his l i f e reveals about Victoria's business community in the period from 187M- to about 1910. Entrepreneurism was the hallmark of the age and, up until the 1890's, the majority of this entrepreneurial activity was directed from Victoria; the business, as well as the p o l i t i c a l , centre of the province. Baker, in partnership with many of the province's leading businessmen, was in the forefront of this activity through-out most of the period mentioned. His involvement with business, p o l i t i c s and society provides an informative insight into the nature of this entrepreneurism and the society associated with i t . Baker's business interests included almost every major economic activity in the province. He was also involved in one or two business ventures that were unique to him and a few of his associates. He speculated in land in Victoria and elsewhere in the province. In particular, as a member of parliament during the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Baker worked his way into an inside group who were able to exploit the Coal Harbour and False Creek lands of Vancouver. He joined others in forming railway, water, light and telephone companies. He set up land development syndicates and lumber mills in the Kootenays to take advan-tage of the mining boom in the 189O's. He bought and sold ships, tugs and barges and used them for a variety of - 3 -enterprises from running a 4th of July excursion to Port Angeles, salvage work, transporting stone for the new 3 legislative buildings, to the export of Chinese "coolies" from Victoria to Mexico. He was a notary, a justice of the peace, a marine surveyor, a commission merchant and secretary of the Victoria Pilotage Commission. Baker held directorships in a shoe factory, a department store, a hotel and the British Columbia Investment and Loan Society. He was the president of several mining companies, the f i r s t president of the Victoria Stock Exchange of British Colum-bia, had an interest in several sealing schooners and was the organizer of a scheme to link the Hawaiian Islands together by cable. In short, Edgar Crow Baker was an entrepreneur. Baker was active in federal and provincial p o l i t i c s and played the game for himself, his friends and consti-tuents, in that order. He was an alderman in the Victoria City Council andra member of parliament from 18 82 until 1889, when he resigned for business reasons. In 1894, Baker was president of the Victoria Liberal-Conservative Association. Later, Premier Dunsmuir offered him a seat as Minister of Finance in his government, but Baker declined. Baker s t i l l had p o l i t i c a l ambitions, however, and tried Daily British Colonist, 31 March, 1886, p. 4. unsuccessfully for many years to win an appointment as a senator. As elsewhere, business and politics blended in the social l i f e of Victoria. Here, Baker was on intimate terms with the majority of the leading businessmen and virtually every member of the Executive Council from 1874 to 1915: His f i r s t position, business agent for the Hastings Saw M i l l Company in Victoria, brought him into contact with a wide selection of the business community. His wife's uncle, Captain James Arnold Raymur, was manager of the mill and as such was one of the most influential businessmen in the province. The social events at the latter's home in Victoria were a great source of useful introductions for Baker. Freemasonry also provided Baker with a means ofnmeeting many prominent Victorians. It was a powerful organization in the province in this era. Many leading businessmen and politicians were Masons as was Baker, who held the position of Grand Master for British Columbia for two years. Baker was a naval officer (on half pay) and this gave him an entree into one of the most influential groups in Victoria society, as well as a useful business connection. He was a director of the Royal Hospital, president of the British Columbia Rifle Association, secretary of the Board of Trade for many years and later, a vice president of that organization. Baker was also a member of the Victoria Cricket Club at - 5 -a time when i t s president was Lieutenant Governor Trutch and vice-president, Chief Justice Begbie. This thesis is concerned with the nature of entre-preneurism in British Columbia as seen through the business l i f e of Edgar Crow Baker from the time of his arrival in Victoria in 1874, until the end of his active business career in about 1910. Entrepreneurism is a subject that has received relatively l i t t l e attention from Canadian historians. The role of a number of eastern Canadian entrepreneurs has been examined, but their careers are seldom analyzed to reveal the nature of entrepreneurism in their time and locality. Similarly, British Columbia's entrepreneurs have received some individual attention, but more often, they have been considered in general terms. Some work has been done on the acti v i t i e s of particular business communities, such as Professor Careless' article on "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia", but most of these studies do not examine the actions of the individual entrepreneur in detail. The purpose of this paper is to try and provide a detailed J.M.S. Careless, "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia", Canadian  Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971, David S. Macmillan, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1972, pp. 104-123. - 6 -study of one representative entrepreneur and through his affairs, a better understanding of the nature of entre-preneurism in early British Columbia. Baker's business l i f e provides a useful case study of the business community for several reasons. F i r s t , his home and business headquarters were in Victoria, where, for at least half of the period under study, the majority of the province's leading businessmen also lived, and worked. Also, as indicated earlier in this introduction, his business interests were varied and included virtually every type of economic endeavour in British Columbia. Coupled to this aspect of his business l i f e is the fact that in these activities he was associated with a wide cross section of the business community. Finally, Baker l e f t a complete set of business journals for the period under examination.^ They are a valuable record of many business and p o l i t i c a l events of the era. It i s Baker's business journals that form the prin-cipal primary material from which the nature of entrepre-neurism in British Columbia is viewed. In these annual Note: In a l l there are fifty-nine volumes of E. C. Baker's diaries and a few other papers held by the Provincial Archives of British Columbia. His diaries are annual records and the volumes used in preparing this paper are identified by their year., These records w i l l be referred to hereafter by the notation "Baker" and the date of the entry. - 7 -journals, he neatly and pr e c i s e l y set down the d e t a i l s of each day's business. The information and impressions that he noted i n his meticulous d a i l y entries were private and to that extent should honestly r e f l e c t his inte r e s t s and f e e l i n g s . Baker's journals c l e a r l y portray a society that was dominated by in t e r e s t i n commercial enterprise. Mining ventures, land development and a variety of other a c t i -v i t i e s occupied the minds of these men as much i n t h e i r l e i s u r e hours as i n t h e i r business hours. I t was a society geared to aggressive and freewheeling enterprise. Its entrepreneurs were constantly probing for and planning new deals. Their overriding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c was t h e i r materialism, t h e i r eagerness to make a d o l l a r . In common with other s o c i e t i e s , they helped to shape the society that they l i v e d i n and were in turn an outgrowth of that society. There were several factors present i n the early development of thi s society that helped to create the entrepreneurial s p i r i t that was so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of i t . The f i r s t and most important of these was the highly sele c t i v e pattern of settlement. Leaving out the somewhat William M i l l e r , ed., Men i n Business, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1952, p. 1. - 8 -dormant Hudson's Bay Company years, the f i r s t real settlement was brought about by the Fraser River gold rush in 18 58 and i t s complementary gold rush in the Cariboo some four years later. British Columbia was isolated from the major centres of population throughout this period and remained so until the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. The nearest area containing a white population of some concentration was California. This latter settlement in turn was isolated at the end of a three to four week stage coach t r i p from the American Midwest, a condition that did not change until the completion of a r a i l link to San Francisco in 1869. In these early years of settlement, distance, danger, inconvenience and fear of the unknown acted as a strong deterent to the normal pattern of immigration to both California and British Columbia. The result in both cases was a society that consisted mainly of those who were attracted by the prospect of wealth and adventure and were not afraid of danger and hardship. These were societies in which materialism, i n i t i a t i v e and boldness were the chief business characteristics. S. W. Jackman in his Portraits of the Premiers repeatedly mentions the lure of gold as the force that brought most of the men who were the premiers between 1871 and 19 00 to British - 9 -Columbia. Even government appointees had l i t t l e to attract them to British Columbia other than that strong entrepreneurial characteristic, a s p i r i t of adventure. In the f i r s t wave of immigration (the prospectors and those who would support or fleece them) British Columbia drew heavily upon the population of California. Out of this came another important factor influencing this nascent society. This was the implanting of the American ideal - the belief that the entrepreneur was. a 8 national hero,/ - in British Columbia and the creation of an Anglo-American society there. Victoria in particular identified strongly with San Francisco, not so much in S. W. Jackman, Portraits of the Premiers, Sidney, Gray's, 1969. Notel In stating why these men came to British Columbia, Jackman wrote in part: J. F. McCreight and A. C. E l l i o t t , "...to Vancouver Island as a result of gold fever." p. 43. Amor de Cosmos, "News of gold mining...." p. 19. Robert Beaven, "Enraptured by the prospect of rapid and easy riches...." p. 54. William Smithe, "The gold rush and promise of a fortune...." p. 63. John Robson, "... a greater fortune could be made in a day in British Columbia than in a whole lifetime in Bayfield." p. 78. Theodore Davie, "...Cassiar...involved with a l l the activities of the gold rush." p. 91. John Turner, "The news of riches to be gained in British Columbia caused him to s e l l his business, pack up and move west." p. 100. C. A. Semlin, "The disease of gold fever....decided to leave Barrie and make his fortune out west." p. 111. Miller, Men in Business, p. 22. - 10 -a general pro-American sentiment, for Victoria prided i t s e l f in being British, but in i t s attitude towards business. Victoria's businessmen obviously admired and f e l t akin to the pace and s p i r i t of l i f e in the glittering seaport to the south. The language of Baker's journals makes this quite clear and in speaking to parliament on one occasion, he gave an excellent example of this g western society's attitude towards money. Consciously or unconsciously and notwithstanding the fact that many of British Columbia's early immigrants were British (via the California gold f i e l d s , from Canada or elsewhere), the population embraced the American philosophy of the relationship of business to the national good. This was a concept free of the negative attitudes toward business so often held by European societies. It approved of the economic rewards and social recognition that accompanied success in business. Further, the American ideal allowed the entrepreneur to identify Note; In the immigration debates in the Canadian House of Commons in March 1883, on page 326 of the O f f i c i a l Report of Debates, Baker is reported to have said: "We are led to believe that during the present Session of Parliament a large sumoof money - large in the opinidn.of persons in this part of the country, but not considered large in the gold mining country from where I come - w i l l be voted for the purpose of . promoting immigration to our shores...." - 11 -himself as "a leader i n the national epic" a man with a mission. It i s the contention of t h i s thesis that Baker and B r i t i s h Columbian society f i t t h i s description remarkably well. M i l l e r , Men i n Business, p. 22. - 12 -CHAPTER II THE BACKGROUND YEARS When Baker set out for Victoria in March, 1874, he was already 2 8 years of age and his character had been molded by a variety of experiences. He had been brought up in Victorian England, had spent his most impressionable years in the Royal Navy, had married into a Nova Scotian family, and had been introduced to Canadian l i f e in Halifax. In the mid-nineteenth century, Great Britain was s t i l l a land where opportunity was largely decided by birth. Reformers were only beginning to attack the gates of privilege, and class prejudice had a tendency to harden under attack. Popular education, the opening of the c i v i l service and universities to free competition, and reform in the navy and army, particularly in the selection and promotion of officers, were a l l some twenty years in the future. The age saw a renewed interest in the Empire brought about as much by social conditions as nationalistic jingoism. To those who lived in depressed circumstances, the Empire offered an escape from misery and the chance of a better l i f e . To a wide range of others, whose ambitions to a degree were thwarted by an accident of birth, the Empire was a land of opportunity, free from the restraints of class privilege. It was into this - 13 -society that Edgar Crow Baker was born on 16 September, 1845, at Lambeth, Surrey, England. 1 Like so many families of the Victoria period, the Baker family was a large one consisting of seven.children. Edgar was the third son and child; he had one sister. His father, Edward William Whitley Baker, Esquire, Royal Navy, was a marine engineer in a navy that acquired i t s f i r s t steam driven ship in 1822, and would not build a ship-of-the-line with steam engines until 1852. His . father completed his service in the Royal Navy as chief engineer of H.M.S. Donegal at Liverpool, early in the 1870's. Edgar was never very close to his father, but had a deep affection for his mother, Elizabeth W. Baker. . Her death on 30 September, 1866, while he was serving in H.M.S. Duncan at Halifax, was a great blow to him. He never fu l l y forgave his father for the indifferent inscription on the headstone of her grave (a matter that he rectified on his return to England the following year). His alienation from his father was increased when he dis-covered that within a year of his mother's death his father was contemplating marriage again. There were three young children s t i l l at home, however, and they 1Note_: A l l of the biographical information in this chapter is taken from Baker's diaries, unless otherwise noted. - 14 -required attention that i t was d i f f i c u l t for a sailor to give. On 3 December, 1867, his father married Maria Eliza Lumb Wheelwright. For the last 2 5 years of his father's l i f e , the family home was at Bedford Place, Rock Ferry, near Liverpool. Here on 7 October, 1889, E. W. Baker died at the age of 73. During Edgar's pre-school years, the family lived in the vicinity of the Portsmouth and Chatham naval dockyards, where his father was serving. Shortly before his tenth birthday, Edgar was sent to the Royal Hospital Schools, Greenwich, to receive his formal education. With a large family and only the meagre resources that a naval career provided, the amount of assistance that his father could give each child was small. He gave them a home and the opportunity for a basic education. The rest was up to the individual's a b i l i t y and deter-mination. Young Baker had the w i l l ; the Royal Navy seemed to offer the opportunity. In maritime Britain the c a l l of the sea was strong and three of the Baker brothers answered i t . Baker was a diligent student and demonstrated a f a c i l i t y with figures that was to be an important and useful characteristic in later l i f e . Before his fifteenth birthday, he applied for entry to the Royal Navy from the Royal Hospital Schools. In the ensuing - 15 -competition, he won nomination and several prizes for his s k i l l in mathematics and navigation. On 11 September, 1860, his name was entered on the books of H.M.S. Victory as a master's assistant, a position later to be known as navigating midshipman. A week later he was transferred to the ten gun sailing brig Rolla. It was an exacting profession for a boy of fifteen, with no quarter asked and seldom any given. For two centuries prior to the 1850's there had been virtually no evolution in naval ships, guns, or the science of 2 naval warfare. The annihilation of the Turkish fleet by the Russians at Sinope in 1853, conclusively and abruptly brought the old order to a close. One' demon-stration of the changes in the offing (shellfire on wooden hulls) had given devastating proof of the revolution in naval warfare that technology was about to unleash. Technical change was thrust upon a reluctant Royal Navy, but, the Admiralty did not interpret i t as a sign for reform in a way of l i f e that had produced a breed of sailor without peer for several centuries. Until the close of the nineteenth century, "spit and polish" was the order of the day and s a i l d r i l l ran a close second, for ships were judged by their smartness aloft. Arthur J. Marder, The Anatomy of British Sea Power: A  History of British Naval Policy in the Pre-Dread  Nought Era, 1880-190 5, New York, Knopf, 1940, p. 3. - 16 -The f i r s t British "battleship" without sails was not completed until 1873. The discipline was harsh, often brutal, and flogging was common; peace time flogging not being abolished until 1871. There were no f r i l l s or comforts. Washing was principally confined to cold salt water on deck. In the 1870's, the First Sea Lord was scandalized at the introduction of bathrooms into the fleet. But his concern for the moral fibre of the navy suffered an even greater blow, when this was followed by the innovation of French polished, instead of holystoned, 3 water closet seats. The drinking water was turgid, the food was frequently inadequate and often bad. Rum was the universal pain k i l l e r in the struggle to keep iron men in the disappearing wooden ships. In the navy, comradeship was close, but marks of respect, privilege and social standing were clearly drawn, and were to be meticulously, i f apparently casually, observed. Unlike so many officers who gained nomination to the navy through family connections, Baker achieved his nomination and subsequent commission primarily through his own efforts. Life in a wardroom provided him with an equivalent Arthur J. Marder, Fear God and Dread Nought: The Cor-respondence of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of  Kilverstone, London, Cape, 19 52 , vol. 1, p. 2~0T - 17 -experience of membership in a gentlemen's club. As an ambitious subordinate officer with a tendency to over reach himself, however, Baker found naval l i f e d i f f i c u l t . It brought forth a number of reprimands and ended in a departure mutually agreeable to himself and the navy. But he had gained an entree into one of the more exclusive circles of society through his service in the navy. It was to prove a valuable connection. On 10 May, 1861, Baker joined H.M.S. Cygnet at Portsmouth. She was being readied for service on the North America and West Indies station. On 13 June, she sailed from Spithead bound for the New World. For the next forty months, he served in Cygnet while she carried out anti-slavery patrols in the West Indies and fisheries protection duties off the Atlantic colonies of British North America. On 18 October, 1864, Cygnet Note: In a small ship, a l l officers, other than the captain, messed together in the Wardroom (liv i n g , eating and perhaps sleeping). In a larger ship there might be as many as three messes for these officers: a Wardroom for the commissioned officers, a Gunroom for the non-commissioned (junior) officers and a mess for the warrant officers. The captain slept, took his meals and conducted his paper work quite apart from the other officers. It was as a guest that he was invited to v i s i t the officers' messes. - 18 -was "paid off"^ in,the Halifax Dockyard. The crew sailed for England and Baker shifted his sea chest across the harbour to Duncan. H.M.S. Duncan was an eighty-one gun ship-of-the-line and the flagship of Vice Admiral Sir James Hope, Commander in Chief, North America and West Indies Station. Service in this ship took Baker to Jamaica, following i t s rebellion in 1865, and to St. Andrews and Quebec City to land troops in response to the Fenian invasion threats the following year. In Sep-tember, 1865, he obtained a second class standing in his seamanship examination and on the 11th was pro-moted to acting second master. H.M.S. Duncan spent most of 1865 in Halifax and Baker had an opportunity to meet and extend his circ l e of friends ashore. Nearly a l l of the married officers had their wives out from England and the evenings aboard ship were as quiet as those ashore were socially active. For the sailors in harbour, strolling on deck in the mild summer evenings provided a pleasant r e l i e f from the shipboard labours of the day. Many of the towns-people enjoyed the evening air from small row boats ^Note: The term "paying off" is used to denote a ship that is being taken out of service. Hence the crew are given their last money - "paid off" - before being struck from the ship's books and moving on to their next ship. - 19 -which they guided through the ships at anchor and the singing of the g i r l s in them floated softly across the water. With the siren c a l l sounding so clearly in his ears, i t was not surprising that Baker f e l l rapidly in love with Miss Frances Mary Jones after their f i r s t meeting towards the end of August. . He found her younger sister Agnes very attractive too, an attraction that did not fade as the years passed. But the af f a i r with Fanny grew, and on the evening of 1 October, he received his f i r s t kiss from her, an occasion that coincided with the f i r s t evening service in Saint George's Church, made possible by the ins t a l l a -tion of gas lighting. It was a week later, when the brig Frank returned to Halifax from Demerara, that Captain Richard Jones was introduced to the young officer who was interested in his eldest daughter. H.M.S. Duncan was absent from Halifax for much of 1866, but i t did hot "dampen Baker's romance with Fanny. By the spring of 1867, when Baker sailed for England in the Duncan, Edgar and Frances had decided to marry. H.M.S. Duncan was relieved by the Royal Alfred in May, 1867, and sailed for England to "pay off". Baker spent the summer in Portsmouth and London studying and writing his navigating lieutenant's and Trinity House examinations. He was successful in both and received his - 20 -commission as a navigating sub-lieutenant and his Ordinary Master's Certificate before joining H.M.S. Fox the end of September. Baker arrived onboard Fox at a somewhat inauspicious time: one officer was under arrest and a seaman had just committed suicide by jumping overboard with a 32 pound shot fastened to his neck. Fox was employed in transporting heavy machinery and materials between the dockyard; ports and shipyards with naval contracts. Baker remained in her for just under three years. It was while he was serving in Fox and some•eighteen months after his departure from Halifax that Baker sent for Fanny and she rejoined him in England. Frances arrived at Liverpool in January, 1869 and went to Baker's father's home at Rock Ferry, where she stayed while plans were being made for their wedding. On 17 March, Frances Mary Jones and Navigating Sub-Lieutenant Edgar Crow Baker were married at St. Andrew's Church, in the parish of Bebington. It was a small wedding with no naval friends and only two guests outside of the family present. After a short honeymoon, the young couple set up house in a f l a t in London and Baker rejoined his ship, H.M.S. Fox, at Woolwich. The following year, Baker was appointed to the gun-boat Cockatrice serving on the Danube River under the - 21 -Danube European Commission. In June, 1870, the Baker's l e f t for Rock Ferry, where Fanny was again to stay at her father-in-law's home while her husband was on the Danube. This appointment out of England and particularly the separation that i t entailed, did not suit the Bakers. Nevertheless, Baker l e f t for the Danube and his new ship via the Mediterranean. On 9 August, shortly after joining Cockatrice, he was promoted to navigating l i e u -tenant. But, Baker had apparently applied to be placed on half pay and his appointment to Cockatrice was termi-nated the end of September. Two weeks later, after a train ride that took him through Germany where the railway sidings were jammed with cars f i l l e d with wounded soldiers from the bloody battles of the Franco Prussian War, he was in England. Thus, in October, 1870, Baker was on half-pay and looking for a job in Portsmouth. The prospects for wine sales in the area caught his attention. In this capacity, he was hired by the wine merchants, Stokes and Company, at a ten per cent commission. He hoped to use his friends in the navy as contacts to obtain orders for wines for the various wardrooms in the fleet. His career as a wine salesman was not a success, however. The following summer, 1871» he and Fanny agreed that she should return to Halifax and that he would join her there. His total - 22 -income for that year, half-pay and commissions, was the equivalent of some $820. It was much better than many people could expect, but not enough to 'satisfy Baker. The decision regarding Fanny's return to Halifax was brought about by an examination of the young couple's situation in England. Baker had to face up to the reality of two facts. In the f i r s t place, an officer in his branch and with his background could not expect any great success in the navy. His branch was limited as to the scope of i t s activities and the normal range of promotion. Also, promotion was more often than not the result of knowing the right people, something he could not muster on his behalf. If a satisfactory career in the navy seemed out of reach, so did a c i v i l i a n one. Baker did not have the training nor the social connections to ensure a successful business career. On the other hand, Fanny's family offered an entree into a new society in a country that, in comparison to the limited opportunities that he was faced with, appeared to offer almost unlimited opportunity. Baker had l i t t l e trouble in arranging a passage for his wife. This was an era when Great Britain was Baker, 16 November, 1871. - 23 -disengaging herself from North American affairs. British troops were being withdrawn from most of Canada and there was considerable activity in the movement of troopships. In October, 1871, the troopship H.M.S. Orontes sailed from Portsmouth bound for Halifax with Fanny as a passenger. Baker had organized an inexpensive passage for his wife. He had now to arrange for his own trans-portation. Baker's attitude toward the navy in the months ahead suggest that he was more concerned with looking after his own interests than in seriously resuming active service. The Orontes had only just arrived in Halifax, after nearly being lost in a hurricane in mid-Atlantic, when Baker wrote to the Admiralty asking for employment on the North America and West Indies Station. In January, 1872, while s t i l l on half-pay, he commenced a surveying course. Two months later, he was appointed to the Royal Alfred on the North America and,7West Indies Station. On arrival in Halifax, he succeeded in a somewhat brash request for leave, which resulted in his joining the Royal Alfred in Bermuda a month late. On his arrival in Bermuda and at his request, this appointment was almost immediately changed to the Niobe, which was shortly to leave Bermuda and spend the summer working out of Halifax and adjacent ports on fisheries protection duties. Here, his relations with his captain - 2 4 -rapidly deteriorated. The discipline of shipboard l i f e grated on his nerves. Before the summer was out, he had lost the confidence of his new captain and he was informed 7 "not to promenade Bridge when Captain was on i t . " Baker made l i t t l e or no effort to improve the situation. g He was removed from his duties as navigating officer. Under the circumstances, he applied to be placed on half-pay; his captain was glad to recommend his request. Baker noted sourly "...last time I shall follow in the Grand g Rounds of Sir Lambton Loraine Bart." On 2 5 September, 1872, Baker again was on half pay and his active service in the Royal Navy was at an end. The next morning, he l e f t his ship at anchor in a small cove on the coast of Nova Scotia, took the mail coach to Halifax and commenced his l i f e as a c i v i l i a n . If -his diaries can be trusted, he never again seriously contemplated going on active service in the Navy. As Baker stepped down from the mail coach in Halifax and proceeded through the dusty streets to the Jones family's home, he entered a new Maritime society. Despite her small size, Nova Scotia was at the end of an era when 7Baker, 20 July, 1872. 8Baker, 30 July, 1872. 9Baker, 22 September, 1872. - 25 -she had been one of the foremost seafaring lands in the world. It was a position she had attained partly through her involvement in maritime trade, but principally because of her leadership in the building and sailing of ships. Baker had married into a family that were typical members of this seafaring society, but by the time he came ashore, the cohesion of the family had been sadly disrupted. Baker's father-in-law, Captain Richard Jones, had married Cecelia Isabel Raymur of Halifax. Her sister, Kate Raymur, had married Captain Marshall Wallace, who was associated with Captain Jones in his maritime enter-prises. Cecelia also had a brother, Captain James Arnold Raymur, who, like Captain Jones, had been in the West Indies trade. Later, Captain Raymur entered the service of the London firm of Anderson, Anderson and Company. As an employee of this firm, he commanded the f i r s t China tea clipper to enter Halifax."^ In 1864, Anderson and Anderson sent Captain Raymur to Vancouver Island to look after their timber interests on the Alberni Inlet. In the summer of 1868, Captain Jones and Captain Wallace were lost at sea, apparently in the same marine disaster. Mrs. Jones was l e f t with one son, Richard, Daily British Colonist, M- January, 1869 , p. 2. - 26 -age 17, and three daughters, Frances Mary, age 21, Agnes Seawell, age 19, and Kate Wallace, age 11. Mrs. Wallace had two daughters, E l l a and Cecelia. The two fatherless families in Halifax had a d i f f i c u l t time in the following months. In A p r i l , 18159, Captain Raymur, who was now the manager of the Hastings Saw M i l l Company in Burrard Inlet, sent for his sister Kate. The Wallace family departed for Victoria where Captain Raymur made his home. Thus i t was that in September, 1872, when Baker arrived in Halifax seeking employment, the Jones family was.less influential than i t had been when Captain Jones was alive and when his brother-in-law, Captain Raymur, was in Halifax. During his month's leave that spring, Baker had renewed many old friendships in Halifax, particularly with Frederick W. Blaiklock, who was engaged to Fanny's sister Agnes. In June, Fred and Agnes were married and i t was to Fred that Baker turned for assis-tance in finding employment in October. Fred worked for his father, who was a well known Halifax contractor. They had good business connections in the city. Baker hoped with his naval experience to secure a secretarial position with the Halifax Pilotage Commission. Fred and his family helped with an introduction to Senator Jeremiah - 27 -Northup and a private letter to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Dr. Charles Tupper. 1 1 But, Baker was unable to outmanoeuvre a local p o l i t i c a l appointee. In December, some other friends, the Fishwicks, arranged an opening for him as purser on a merchant ship at $50 per month, but Fanny was against his going to sea. And, whatever Mrs. Jones' feelings about the sea before her husband and brother-in-law were lost, she had a deep aversion to i t thereafter. He was next offered the position of bookkeeper to a merchant in Dartmouth, but this was not in keeping with his ambitions. It might have been a lean Christmas for the Joneses and their boarders, the Bakers, had not a cheque for $100 12 arrived from Uncle Jim in Victoria. Not until the end of January did Baker accept the fact that he had insufficient influence to break into the organized business society of Halifax, except in a junior position. Finally, on the 30th, he went to work for the Intercolonial Railway as an accountant in their stores department at a salary of $400 per annum. His naval half-pay at this time was some $39 per month. Baker, 14 October, 1872. Baker, 19 December, 1872. - 28 -Money was scarce, but in A p r i l , the Bakers rented a home of their own on North Street, just a few houses away from Mrs. Jones, for $36 per month. The lack of money did not dampen Baker's enthusiasm for l i f e , but the absence of opportunity did. He remained frustrated and restless in his new l i f e . His situation in Halifax was l i t t l e improved over his struggle in Portsmouth. Although, Halifax was not an old city, i t s society had taken on quite definite forms and i t had lost much of the social mobility that might be expected in a young society. This can be seen partly in the lack of any record of the Jones, Wallace, or Raymur families in the Provincial Archives of Nova Scotia. Captains Jones and Wallace may have been just two more captains in a land crowded with such men, but Captain Raymur appears to have been a more prominent seafaring figure. S t i l l , the records of this relatively closed society contain no mention of him or of his relatives. In contrast to this situation, Raymur^  as the manager of a sawmill on the West Coasts was one of that community's more prominent men. As Baker pondered how to free himself from the restraints that seemed to thwart his ambition, his thoughts kept turning to the more open society of the West and the opportunities offered in the Gold Colony. - 29 -During 1873, a steady correspondence was kept up between the Raymur family in Victoria and the Jones and Baker families in Halifax. The attraction of the West Coast even affected Fred and Agnes Blaiklock. On 1 Sep-tember, Dick Jones received a letter from his uncle offering him employment at $75 per month. It was an exciting prospect for a young man, 22 years of age; a chance to go west and work at a wage considerably in excess of what a trained and experienced man could expect "Down East". The high wages in the West were in keeping with what the Easterners expected of l i f e on the frontier. A l l three of the Halifax families were caught up in a feeling of excitement and adventure. Young Jim Raymur's Halifax relatives were a l l gathered on Cunard's wharf to greet him when he arrived from Vancouver Island on a cool, clear November day. For the next ten days, prospects in the West were eagerly discussed by the hopeful emigrants and their British Columbia relative. Early on the morning of 24 November, as Jim and his cousin Dick were departing for Victoria, Fred Blaiklock ran across North Street to help load Dick's baggage into the wagon being driven by Jim. In his rush he unfortunately f e l l , hit his head on the cobblestones, fractured his skull and died the next day. The death of Agnes' husband again tragically dislocated - 30 -the Jones family. Mrs. Jones moved out of her house and with Kate went to live with Agnes. She gave a l l of her furniture, except a few personal items, to the Bakers. Fred had some $2,000 in l i f e insurance and this was shortly to prove a boon to Baker in helping 13 him to re-establish himself. In November, the Intercolonial Railway increased Baker's salary to $600 per annum, but his desire to try his luck in the West was not abated. The correspondence with Vancouver Island bore f r u i t in February, 1874. A telegram was received from Captain Raymur offering Baker a position as his agent in Victoria at a salary of $10 0 per month (twice the amount of- his newly achieved 14 salary with the Intercolonial Railway). Captain Raymur had never met Baker, but his actions clearly demonstrate that he was a generous and considerate man, who was obviously very fond of his sisters. His decision to move his relatives west and to employ Baker, must have been influenced by the recent loss of Agnes' husband and his desire to have his sister and her family where he could see to their needs. The planned, move to Victoria was to include a l l the remaining Jones family. Baker, 26 November, 1873. Baker, 11 February, 18 74. - 31 -The news was received in the Baker and Jones house-holds with great excitement. In the somewhat impecunious Baker.'family, $3 was scraped together to send a telegram of acceptance. Plans were immediately put in motion for the transcontinental trek. Boxes were packed and Shand, the Halifax auctioneer, was engaged to s e l l the Baker furniture. The heavy baggage was sent to Boston from where i t was to be shipped via Cape Horn to San Francisco. On 20 March, the Bakers' furniture was auctioned off for $376 in a somewhat drawn out six hour aff a i r ! Baker complained of the low prices bid, which was not surprising considering the travelling expenses faced by the group and the money they would need to re-establish themselves in Victoria. Early on the morning of 2 3 March, Navigation Lieutenant and Mrs. Baker, Mrs. Jones, Miss Kate Jones and Mrs. Agnes Blaiklock l e f t Halifax by r a i l for San Francisco. The twelve day tr i p west wound i t s way from Halifax to Portland, north to Montreal, across Ontario to Sarnia, thence to Chicago and across the Great Plains. At last, on the evening of 4 A p r i l , a telegram was despatched to Dick: " A l l hands just arrived, t e l l your 15 Uncle." And the grateful travellers relaxed in the Baker, 4 April, 1874. - 32 -luxury of their rooms at the Russell House in San „ . 16 Francisco. The next morning, the holiday atmosphere of San Francisco on a Sunday was a great revelation to the visitors from Halifax. Eastern Canadian society held Sundays in great reverence at this time and churchgoing, up to three services on a Sunday, was almost the only form of activity tolerated. The tempo of affairs was convenient, however, allowing them to collect the family baggage and book their passage to Victoria for the following day. It was a beautiful spring morning as the Prince Alfred stood out to sea from San Francisco. The weather remained f a i r for the voyage and early Friday morning, she rounded Cape Flattery. By noon, the ship was secured alongside the Hudson's Bay Company wharf in Victoria harbour. It had been a safe passage, but i t was something the Prince' Alfred would enjoy for only another two months before being lost on a reef off San Francisco. Note: The t r i p was accomplished without incident, but the railway engaged in an unusual practice as the train neared the Coast. At Cape Horn, on the Pacific side of the Truckee Pass, the engine was uncoupled from the train, which, was then allowed to proceed down the grade under the influence of gravity, the speed being controlled by a brakeman. - 33 -Captain James Raymur and Dick Jones were on the wharf to greet their relatives from Halifax and escort them back to .the Raymur house. There a "grand family 17 meeting" took place over lunch. Captain Raymur's business headquarters was at the Hastings Saw M i l l on Burrard Inlet, but his wife, Mary, did not like the rough l i f e of the Inlet and his family and home remained in Victoria. The three older families from Halifax and the Bakers were thus able to enjoy a close social relationship. Mrs. Jones and Kate stayed with the Raymurs and Agnes stayed with her aunt, Mrs. Wallace. The Bakers boarded with Mrs. E l l a at her large home on Fort Street H i l l . She was a friend of the Raymurs, who had been widowed the year before when her husband, Captain Henry Baily E l l a of the Hudson's Bay Company, was drowned at Burrard Inlet. Baker had reached his goal, but what was i t that had attracted him to this frontier community? His background was not particularly appropriate for such a l i f e . He was a city dweller and even his few years at sea had not been so onerous, or of such a nature, as to prepare him for l i f e in a small frontier town. Yet, Baker, 10 Ap r i l , 1874. he not only purposely, but eagerly, set out. to establish himself in this tiny community located on the edge of a vast wilderness and isolated from the rest of the world except by sea. Nor was i t a case of chance, an unexpected offer of employment from an indulgent uncle by marriage. If anything, the latter can soon be seen to have been a stepping stone in Baker's efforts to move into a society and region that offered the opportunities he was seeking. Undoubtedly, as the Prince Alfred rounded Race Rocks and Baker stood on her deck gazing at Victoria basking in the spring sunshine, he could not have known the extent to which he would find the region and i t s society compatible with his own aspirations. S t i l l , Baker's trek to Victoria is a good example of the attraction that the frontier setting has for a certain type of person. Rightly or wrongly, he understood British Columbia to be a land where fortunes were to be made and where society openly accepted a l l those who wished to try their luck in the game of making money. The success and recognition that came with making money, not working for a salary, was what Baker was seeking. He would find that a great number of the businessmen and politicians who inhabited Victoria shared his views. It was a society that attracted entrepreneurs and in turn, drew many of i t s characteristics from them. Baker was in the setting he sought; he had now to transform his ambitions into reality. CHAPTER III ENTERING THE COMMUNITY A l l of British Columbia was the f i e l d upon which the entrepreneurs that Baker was so eager to join exer-cised their business instincts. But, while their endeavours were province wide, as of 1874, one business centre dominated their a c t i v i t i e s , Victoria. This newly established town owed i t s place in the business l i f e of the province to the position i t had held in the fur trade and i t s geographical location. Victoria had sprung from the Hudson's Bay Company fort built and occupied in the summer of 1843, some 31 years before Baker arrived. In 1842, Chief Factor Douglas had been sent from Fort Vancouver, Western Headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company, to find a site for a new fort that would be suitable as a replacement for Fort Vancouver should that be necessary. Fort Vancouver's position on the Columbia River, well south «ih the Oregon Territory and in an area where American settlers were beginning to arrive in numbers, made i t s future as a British possession somewhat uncertain. Victoria's harbour, strategic location and mild climate had done much to con-vince Douglas that i t should be the site of the new fort. The question of the boundary between British North America and the United States in the Oregon Territory, - 36 -was settled in 1846, and Fort Vancouver, now in American territory, was closed out three years later. With the closing of Fort Vancouver, Victoria became Western Head-quarters for the Hudson's Bay Company, her f i r s t step to a place of prominence in the area west of the Rockies. The same year, 1849, Vancouver Island became a Crown Colony and Victoria received a further advance in impor-tance as capital of the colony. Although the Hudson's Bay Company was responsible for the development and settling of the new colony, under i t s monopolistic rule l i t t l e progress took place in the next nine years. By 1858, the white population of Vancouver Island totalled no more than 1000 persons: men, women and children. Of these, some 400 lived in the village of Victoria, whose minute population f a i t h f u l l y reflected the lack of business enterprise and the restraint on development that marked the Company era. A l l this was abruptly changed when the Fraser River gold rush swept over the colony. Victoria rapidly became a metropolitan centre and New Caledonia became the Crown Colony of British Columbia. The news of gold discoveries on the Fraser River and i t s tributaries spread to the outside world in 1858. The resulting rush of miners to the Fraser River that summer -some 2 5,000 pf them - brought wealth and a great increase in population to Victoria and a requirement for government on the mainland. In response to the need to assert - 37 -sovereignty over the gold rush area, and to save New Caledonia from an "Oregon type" takeover, the British Government organized the territory as a crown colony in the f a l l of 1858. Queen Victoria chose the name "British Columbia" for the new colony and the British  Columbia Act brought government to the gold fields and a huge potential market to the rapidly expanding merchant community of Victoria. James Douglas was commissioned as Governor of British Columbia, in addition to Vancouver Island, and the capital of the Mainland Colony was established at New Westminster.1 In exploiting the opportunities for gold rush busi-ness, Victoria had two distinct advantages which she owed to the Hudson's Bay Company. To begin with, though the town had l i t t l e business diversity and was small in population, the Company storehouses made her a better equipped supply centre than many larger towns - apart from the fact that there were few towns north of San Francisco that were appreciably larger than Victoria. Also, as the Company's western headquarters, she had established lines of communication to the wilderness that Note: Victoria lost her position as a centre of government when the two colonies were united in November, 1866. In May, 1868, however, the con-troversy between Victoria and New Westminster, as to which was to be the united colony's capital, was resolved in Victoria's favour. - 38 -was the scene of the gold rush. For the same reason, she had the f i n e s t developed harbour north of San Francisco and seaborne communications with the outside world. Her second advantage was the colony's governor and senior Hudson's Bay Company o f f i c i a l i n the region, James Douglas. When the f i r s t wave of gold seekers struck the coast, Douglas acted to protect the Company's trading monopoly by prohibiting any traders other than the Company's from going into the gold f i e l d s to supply the miners. This r e s t r i c t i o n was short l i v e d , but of necessity, i t increased the trade carried on i n V i c t o r i a and helped to make that c i t y the gateway to the gold f i e l d s . This action also boosted V i c t o r i a from a"modest . position of prominence i n the fur trade, to the forefront of a much wider sphere of business a c t i v i t y . A further advantage that V i c t o r i a had was her position as the only port of entry for the Fraser River. This, plus the strat e g i c location of the harbour, caused an important commercial l i n k to be forged between her and San Francisco. V i c t o r i a was the communications f o c a l point for the new colony, which was by a wide margin the largest of the B r i t i s h North American colonies. B r i t i s h Columbia was a colo s s a l land mass containing an enormous wealth of natural resources, but i t had no road, nor r a i l - 39 -communications with the rest of the continent. It was a colony whose economic l i f e was totally dependent upon sea communications. Its premier port was the small village of Victoria. Victoria was situated at the southern tip of Van-couver Island some sixty miles by sea from the mouth of the Fraser River. Its position was a strategic one, however, located at the inland end of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the most convenient, as well as the largest and safest, sea route to the Mainland. As the gateway to the colony and later, province, Victoria ushered in the men and materials for new business ventures. In 2 1862, some 1160 ships entered the port of Victoria. In New Westminster's best year, in the decade following the gold rush, only just over 330 ships entered that port. Nanaimo and Burrard Inlet in their best years during the same period had less than 40 ships each. Equally as important, Victoria assumed the role of clearing house for the financial transactions that controlled the business l i f e of the province. As long as shipping remained the sole communications link to the outside world, Victoria remained the most important W. George Shelton, ed., British Columbia and Confederation, Victoria, Morriss, 1967, p. 64. 3 l b i d . HIbid. - 40 -business centre in British Columbia. When overland lines of communication were established, Victoria's role went into decline. In the years immediately following the 1858 gold rush, the scope and nature of Victoria's business l i f e was drastically altered and expanded. Hitherto, imports into Vancouver Island and New Caledonia consisted prin-cipally of British goods brought in by the Hudson's Bay Company. In the f a l l of 1858, the Company's trading monopoly was modified by the British government, when they overruled Douglas' edict that a l l trade with the mainland must be through the. Company. The disruption of the old trading pattern brought about by this decision and the introduction of a ready source of goods from the United States, did not mean a lessening of Victoria's business ties with Great Britain, however. The new diversity of demand for goods and in business oppor-tunities resulted in a great increase in the volume and variety of business with that country. For the f i r s t time, British business, other than the Hudson's Bay Company, took an active interest in Van-couver Island and British Columbia. But, interest in this frontier came direct rather than through the estab-lished business network with British North America. For some seventy five years, the main thrust of British - 41 -business enterprise in British North America had been channelled through Montreal. These regional business offices in turn played a leading role in directing the opening and the development of the frontier. As the frontier was pushed back, control over the newly organized areas was extended through an expanding c i r c l e of branch offices. This domination of the West by the older eastern business centres followed a different pattern in British Columbia - until the coming of the railroad. With no overland communications to eastern British North America, Victoria was outside that area's sphere of business influence. She became an independent centre through which British capital and goods could be directed to another part of the British North American frontier. The frontier was now being opened from two directions at once: westward from the St. Lawrence region and eastward from the Fraser River. Victoria found herself being established as a direct business sa t e l l i t e of London, in addition to her growing commercial ties with San Francisco. In 1859, The British Colonist advertised the opening of a branch of the Bank of British North America in 5 Victoria. This large British bank already had offices The British Colonist, 1 July, 1859, p. 2. - 42 -in Montreal and other centres in the eastern colonies, but Victoria was the only branch west of London, Canada. The newly aroused British interest in the Gold Colony became apparent as agencies for British firms were established and a wide variety of British manufactured goods began to appear in many of the newly opened stores. Early in 1859, the successful firm of Robert C. Janion, commission merchant, whose business connections were." in Honolulu and Liverpool, was advertising many items g of English clothing, food and hardware for sale. Of the some 1386 ships that entered the port of Victoria 7 in 186 5, over 900 were ships of British registry. In 1862, London financiers, looking for new outlets for their capital, obtained a charter to establish the Bank of British Columbia. The bank's head office in North America was in Victoria. Other branches were opened in San Francisco and Portland, and later, in other parts of British Columbia and the United States. The gold rush created a new bond with the United States as well as with Great Britain. San Francisco was the nearest major city to the Fraser River gold fields The British Colonist, 23 Ap r i l , 1859, p. 3. Shelton, British Columbia and Confederation, p. 64. - 43 -and V i c t o r i a . She was the P a c i f i c terminus for an established overland route to the eastern United States. Her harbour, which was the f i n e s t south of V i c t o r i a , was an important shipping centre. V i c t o r i a and San Francisco formed a natural communications l i n e between the industry and people of eastern North America and the resources of B r i t i s h Columbia. Not only were Victoria: and San Francisco brought together as part of a natural communications system, but San Francisco and the country surrounding i t held a population whose inte r e s t s coincided with the opportunities being opened up i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The boom years of the C a l i f o r n i a gold rush were only some four years i n the past when news of the gold s t r i k e on the Fraser f i l t e r e d through to that state. The area s t i l l contained a vast horde of prospectors vainly searching f o r wealth. The Fraser rekindled t h e i r s p i r i t . Great numbers of them l e f t f o r the gold f i e l d s from San Francisco and with them came an almost equally large assortment of businessmen and speculators of every kind. V i c t o r i a quickly acquired a wide range of business enterprises that had t h e i r roots i n San Francisco. The old shipping route from Great B r i t a i n to V i c t o r i a v i a Cape Horn was s t i l l used by many ships. Goods and - u n -people also found their way from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Isthmus of Panama and i t s railway. But, San Francisco became an important centre in the movement of people, mail and light freight, in spite of the d i f f i -culties of the continental journey. In December, 18 58, the overland mail was 2 3 days and 14 hours from St. Louis to San Francisco. This was rapid transportation, however, when compared to the some 10 3 days taken by the Overlanders to cross the unorganized Canadian West in 1862. Communications were greatly improved in 1861, with the completion of a telegraph line from the East to San Francisco. The city's importance to the transportation and communications system between British Columbia and Canada, the United States and Great Britain was consoli-dated in 1869 , with the completion<:of the f i r s t trans-continental railway, which had i t s terminus in San Francisco. The close business ties that were created between Victoria and San Francisco, in 1858, lasted as long as San Francisco remained the primary link between the West Coast and eastern North America. With the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad, San Francisco reached a peak in i t s importance to British Columbia. It became The British Colonist, 18 December, 1858, p. 3. - 45 -the focal point for British Columbia's contacts with the Atlantic oriented metropolitan centres. But, as this route lost i t s importance, the bond between the two citi e s dwindled. It is important to point out, however, that Victoria's reliance on San Francisco, for her communications did not indicate, nor mean, American domination of her business. It provided a highly convenient and relatively rapid means of travel and of conducting business with the major centres of finance, principally London. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, British Columbia and California both had strong and independent commercial 9 ties with Great Britain. Victoria and San Francisco, Note: In his journals, Baker refers to businessmen going to and from London far more frequently than to any other city. Some of those mentioned are leading wholesale, shipping and commission merchants: R. C. Janion, J. H. Turner, T. L. Stahlschmidt and Robert Ward. Also,. William Charles, Chief Factor in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's Western Department; Henry Rhodes, G. M. Sproat and Henry Saunders, mer-chants; and Joseph Boscowitz, fur dealer. The banking in British Columbia was dominated by the two large British banks, Bank of British North America and Bank of British Columbia, until the f i r s t Canadian banks made their appearance on the Pacific in the 1890's. Apart from business trips, the majority of Victorians in a position to take an extended holiday tr i p seemed to prefer to go to London. It i s interesting to note, that generally speaking this same group showed l i t t l e or no interest in Canada (the old colony of Canada). Many of them appear never to have been there. - 46 -as the metropolitan centres of these two frontiers, had their own set of business connections.1^1 The business connection between these two c i t i e s was important. But, the speed with which much of the business in the province was reoriented from North-South to East-West after the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, suggests that i t was not too deeply rooted. Through these business connections, Victoria was rapidly given the banks, general merchants, insurance firms, light industry, investment outlets, real estate companies and transportation lines that equipped her to control her own developing hinterland. The economic power she thus gained gave her a considerable business advantage in directing the development of resources, communications, townsites, u t i l i t i e s and industry wherever a business opportunity appeared in the province. Business opportunities in the province varied con-siderably over the years, however, and in 1874, world economic conditions were depressed. In British Columbia, the slow pace of business reflected this condition and was compounded by the fact that the province was between Keith Ralston, "Patterns of Trade and Investment on the Pacific Coast, 1867-1892: The Case of the British Columbia Salmon Canning Industry," B. C. Studies, no. 1 (Winter 1968-69), p. 40. - 47 -booms. The Cariboo gold rush was over, and the railway that had been promised in the Terms of Union and was to have been started by 1873, was the victim of a change in federal government policy and the general economic depres-sion. Victoria was similarly affected by the slow down in business. Her population, which had fluctuated as wildly as her fortunes over the past 16 years, numbered 11 probably no more than 5000. As the capital and principal city in the province, l i f e in the streets of Victoria was a barometer of the business, tempo in the province. When business activity in the province quickened, Victoria boomed. When the frontier f e l l quiet, the city lost much of i t s metropolitan atmosphere. But, the rather insignificant size of Victoria's population is misleading when assessing her role in the l i f e of the province. Victoria was firmly established as the financial and business centre of British Columbia by 1874. Gold had brought the f i r s t real immigration to British Columbia, and by 1874, about half of those who remained were in Victoria, albeit in some occupation other than prospecting for gold. These were the people R. E. Gosnell, The Year Book of British Columbia, 189 7, Victoria, n.n. , 1897, p. 424. - 48 -who came i n d i r e c t response to one of the several gold rushes, or simply because of the reputation they gave the province as a place where fortunes could be made. Some were men prospecting f o r gold, others were men looking for t h e i r fortunes i n s a t i s f y i n g the needs of the prospectors, and s t i l l others were men who involved themselves i n the hunt for gold by administering the colony created by the prospectors. From i t s b i r t h u n t i l at l e a s t the turn of the century, B r i t i s h Columbia's business pulse was frequently quickened by reports of r i c h mineral discoveries. A great number of people were i n the province because they believed "there was more to come.." The b e l i e f i n this expectation kept a gold rush atmosphere l i n g e r i n g i n the province for many decades. It was one of the more s t r i k i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of business l i f e i n V i c t o r i a . A s u r p r i s i n g l y large number of the people d i r e c t i n g the a f f a i r s of B r i t i s h Columbia f i t t e d the general 12 description of the entrepreneur. They were highly i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ' and did not l i k e constraints on t h e i r business a f f a i r s . They were energetic, ambitious and, as t h e i r trek to the West Coast i l l u s t r a t e d , men with the M i l l e r , Men i n Business, p. 5 . - 49 -w i l l to act. They were m a t e r i a l i s t i c and t h e i r society was quick to recognize business success. Breeding played i t s part i n the s o c i a l structure, but money assured s o c i a l mobility. Gambling appealed to t h e i r nature, but, as the more successful members of t h i s society, they were shrewd • gamblers. Their entrepreneurial i n s t i n c t s were dominant and they were quick to exploit a business opportunity. Companies were formed r a p i d l y , i n great numbers and over a wide range of business endeavours. It was one thing for Baker to have recognized B r i t i s h Columbia as a land f o r the entrepreneur and V i c t o r i a as i t s business centre. But, i t was quite another thing f o r him to break into the upper l e v e l s of the b u s i -ness community i n the province. The businessmen he would meet were highly independent men, whose success or f a i l u r e was l a r g e l y of t h e i r own making. Introductions and business t i p s might be the r e s u l t of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but the conduct of business was not. Whatever his s o c i a l connections, Baker had to use his own business i n s t i n c t s to become a member of t h i s group. When he arrived i n V i c t o r i a , Baker found that he had a strong kinship with many of the businessmen and govern-ment o f f i c i a l s present i n the c i t y . He was an Englishman, new to Canada - having worked i n the country for only some eighteen months - and had never been west of Quebec - 50 -c i t y b e f o r e . He was 2 8 y e a r s o f age , had t r i e d h i s hand a t a number o f o t h e r j o b s , but found them n e i t h e r p a r t i -c u l a r l y s u i t e d to h i s n a t u r e , nor to h i s a m b i t i o n . A good number o f young men i n t h i s e r a were a t t r a c t e d by the r e p u t a t i o n o f w e a l t h t h a t surrounded the f r o n t i e r i n B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ; Baker was one o f them. H i s back-ground and a m b i t i o n s gave him much i n common w i t h many o f the young men t h e r e . U n l i k e many newcomers to the a r e a , however, he had an e x c e l l e n t b u s i n e s s c o n n e c t i o n i n h i s w i f e ' s u n c l e , C a p t a i n J . A . Raymur, who had t o a l a r g e measure made h i s move from H a l i f a x p o s s i b l e . In Baker , C a p t a i n Raymur had s e l e c t e d a complex and somewhat e c c e n t r i c young man t o r e p r e s e n t h i m . He was s m a l l , compact , had a haughty b e a r i n g and a r a t h e r a r r o g a n t manner. H i s u n i m p r e s s i v e s t a t u r e was o f f s e t by the s t r e n g t h o f h i s f a c e , w i t h i t s d e e p ' s e t p i e r c i n g b l u e e y e s , f i r m mouth and prominent a q u i l i n e nose . He was m e t i c u l o u s i n h i s d re s s and f a s t i d i o u s about h i s p e r s o n a l h a b i t s . He had a q u i c k and v i o l e n t temper , which f r e q u e n t l y got him i n t o t r o u b l e and caused him a g r e a t d e a l o f i n n e r s u f f e r i n g . T h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c was aggravated by a l a c k o f t o l e r a n c e and an extreme s e n s i -t i v i t y t o any suspec ted s l i g h t . He en joyed a good p a r t y and e n t e r t a i n i n g , but had a s t r o n g p u r i t a n i c a l s t r e a k - 51 -which occasionally forced him into a sanctimonious attitude for weeks on end. He understood the value of social contacts, however, and was careful not to miss a useful dinner party or a good poker game! When in a lighter mood, he was fond of b i l l i a r d s , good cigars, oysters, champagne and the theatre. But most of a l l , he was motivated by the desire to make money. Churchgoing was a r i t u a l with Baker that occasionally amounted to three or four services a Sunday. But, as his business interests increased and came to be a seven day a week a f f a i r , church suffered accordingly. Christmas Day nearly always saw him at his office, sometimes for as much as an hour or two before church and several hours before dinner. It was business as usual, as when his Chinese cook offended him as he was preparing to leave for the Christmas service at the Cathedral. He fired him 13 on the spot and put him out of the house! For a l l his concern with religion, his Christianity seemed to be something to be practised inside of Church, but not outside of i t . He was as demanding in his home as he was in his office, a characteristic that made him anything but easy to live with. He tried to dominate his wife and her family and in the process caused an almost endless Baker, 2 5 December, 1880. - 52 -succession of domestic rows and',{upheavals. He helped his widowed in-laws financially, but his manner of doing so often detracted from his good intentions. Yet, under-neath a hard exterior he had a genuine concern for the less fortunate. After a long and busy day, he often visited sick friends and on occasion went to the Royal Hospital to cheer up the patients. His wife, Frances Mary Baker, and her sisters soon became popular members of Victoria's society. Frances was a somewhat plump, motherly young lady with a pretty face and a considerate manner. She made friends easily and with her light hearted and kind nature led a busy social l i f e . Guests regarded her as a charming hostess and invitations to the Baker house were gladly accepted. Frances, i t seems,1 was a decided asset to an aspiring young businessman. Baker's marriage to her was much more of a help to his career in the West than i t had been in the East. It was Frances' family connections that had given him a responsible position in an important company and an entree into society's leading element. The Hastings sawmill was one of the largest business operations in British Columbia and as i t s manager, Captain J. A. Raymur was an influential member of the business community. Although his business headquarters was at the mill on Burrard Inlet, his wife preferred to live in - 53 -V i c t o r i a . The Captain b u i l t a b e a u t i f u l home for his family i n V i c t o r i a and named i t Point Pleasant, a f t e r the large park i n his native c i t y of Halifax. With the a r r i v a l of Captain Raymur's s i s t e r , Mrs. Cecelia Isabel Jones, and her family there was an increase i n the number of s o c i a l events at Point Pleasant. Within a few months of t h e i r a r r i v a l , the Bakers met most of the leading members of the small community either at the Raymurs' house, or at one of the many parties given by the Raymurs' friends to welcome t h e i r r e l a t i v e s to the c i t y . For example, shortly a f t e r t h e i r a r r i v a l the Bakers were in v i t e d to a dinner party at the home of Judge J . Hamilton Gray. As spring gave way to summer, William Charles, chief factor of the Western Department of the Hudson's Bay Company, and his wife gave a croquet party i n honour of the newcomers. A garden party, which Baker referred to as a strawberry feast, was held at the home of J. H. Turner, a successful wholesale, shipping and commission merchant. The Bakers also attended the Trutches' At Home 14 at Government House. The Bakers had an immediate entree into V i c t o r i a ' s more exclusive s o c i a l group through the Raymurs. But, i n addition, Baker had other connections that he could Baker, 10 July, 1874. - 54 -draw upon to widen his circle of friends and associates. His naval training had taught him the value of making social calls and to do them carefully and promptly. Service in the navy also gave him an introduction into the social l i f e of the Esquimalt naval base. Further, a number of important people were either involved with, or interested i n , organizations with a military connection, such as the City of Victoria Rifle Association and the British Columbia Provincial Rifle Association. In 1874, the latter association included in i t s council such people as Judge Hamilton Gray, Senator Hugh Nelson, C. F. Houghton, James Roscoe, M.P., J. Roland Hett and C. E. Pooley. 1^ Baker's naval experience gave hinu.some-thing in common with these people. Some years later, in the spring of 1887, he was elected president of the British Columbia Provincial Rifle Association. Baker played cricket and although his a b i l i t y was not great, this was another useful social attribute. He was a Mason as were many leading members of the community. The Note: Houghton was an energetic young businessman and soldier, who had been the M.P. for Yale from 1871-72. Hett and Pooley were both lawyers with a yearning for p o l i t i c s . Hett was the provincial Attorney General in 1882 and Pooley was an M.L.A. in 1882 and President of the Council in 18 89. - 55 -Masonic Order was a powerful association i n the province. F i n a l l y , Baker's business position not only brought him into contact with a l l segments of the business community, but on terms where he represented a large firm with whom many of them wished to do business. Baker began h i s round of c a l l s on members of the government, j u d i c i a r y , church and m i l i t a r y within four days of his a r r i v a l , when he signed the guest book at Government House. Shortly a f t e r , he met Bishop H i l l s and by early summer, he was seeing a good deal of Judge Gray s o c i a l l y . In July, the Bakers were i n v i t e d to a dinner party at Government House. It was a l i v e l y a f f a i r at which the dancing went on u n t i l three i n the morning. By August, Baker knew Lieutenant Governor Trutch well enough to stop and have a ta l k with him when they met on the street. The bond between V i c t o r i a and England was unusually : strong f o r a Canadian c i t y . This was the r e s u l t of a number of factors chief of which were, the large number of people present i n the c i t y who had been born i n the B r i t i s h I s l e s , the di r e c t economic t i e s with Great B r i t a i n and the presence of the naval squadron i n Esquimalt. This l a t t e r factor gave the inhabitants a strong sense of Empire and exercised a considerable influence over the s o c i a l l i f e of the community. The ships in Esquimalt were a visible barometer of the climate of Empire. Through the actions of these "grey diplomats" Victoria was immediately aware of international events. Unrest in South America meant the dispatch of a ship or two for the South Pacific. Trouble in the Orient could result in the reca l l of officers and men and the departure of a ship for Asian waters. A Russian scare brought ships to the alert and altered their dispositions. Empire events for the interior c i t i e s in Canada were more remote and usually did not transmit the same sense of immediacy. In Victoria, the sight of warships raising steam in response to the affairs of Empire gave the city a strong sense of kinship with Great Britain. This strong sense of kinship was reflected in the place accorded the officers of the Royal Navy in the social l i f e of Victoria. Connections with the navy could be a useful social asset and Baker had cultivated his connection with the navy from the time of his arrival on the West Coast. When the Prince Alfred sailed from San Francisco carrying the Bakers on the last leg of their journey to Victoria, Baker found that Rear Admiral Van-sit t a r t was also a passenger. The tri p afforded Baker an opportunity to meet and become acquainted with the admiral. After attending the morning service at Christ - 57 -Church, two days after his arrival in Victoria, Baker was off to v i s i t Admiral Vansittart in Esquimalt, who, was himself vis i t i n g friends there. Over the next two decades, old naval friends occasionally turned up in the ships stationed in Esquimalt, and these kept the bond between Baker and the navy alive. Baker soon was invited to join the Navy Club in Esquimalt. Many prominent Victorians, among them Chief Justice Begbie, were honourary members of this club. Baker often joined Judge Gray at the club for an evening of b i l l i a r d s and yarning. He went there frequently and found i t a useful place to meet people and to discuss local events. The Union Club was s t i l l some five years in the future and this was the only thing Victoria had in the way of a gentlemen's club. There was an active social l i f e between the larger homes ashore and the ships in Esquimalt. In gaining a place on the navy invitation l i s t , Baker found himself included in many of these affairs. The naval social events included a variety of shipboard parties. On one occasion, Baker and Judge Gray joined the gun vessel HMS Rocket as the guests of the captain for a week of duck shooting in local waters. Before long, Baker's naval and dockyard friends provided him with a number of interesting business - 58 -opportunities. A few officers gave him leads or access to second hand navigational instruments. The sale of these chronometers and sextants was the beginning of a highly varied sideline that might best be placed under the heading of what was soon to become his commission merchant ac t i v i t i e s . There were other occasions when, through his naval friends, sizeable boxes of tobacco and cigars were delivered to him from the dockyard, apparently without reference to the customs. One of these dockyard friends was James Henry Innes, employee of the C i v i l Department of the Royal Navy and accountant in charge of the Esquimalt Naval Yard. Innes called for tenders on a wide variety of supplies for the naval squadron and awarded the contracts. He controlled the expenditure of large sums of money and as such, was a man in a position to render a favour. Baker's naval connections were a valuable asset, but an even wider group of influential men were involved in the Masonic Order. Baker had become a Mason while serving in the Royal Navy. H.M.S. Fox had been a frequent vis i t o r to the Clydeside during the years that Baker had served in her. He had made many friends in the Port Glasgow area and there, on Boxing Day, 1868, he had been introduced into the mysteries of Freemasonry at the - 59 -Cumberland Kilwinning Lodge Number 217. Baker was a diligent student of Freemasonry and spent a good deal of his spare time in studying i t s orders. In Victoria, he quickly established contact with his fellow Masons and on 7 January, 1875, he was installed in Victoria Lodge. Freemasonry in British Columbia had i t s origin in the gold rush. On 10 July, 1858, the Victoria Gazette carried an advertisement inviting a l l Freemasons interested in forming a Lodge to meet in Southgate and Mitchell's new store. Efforts to form a local Lodge took some time to complete and i t was not until some two years later that the charter arrived from the Grand Lodge of England. Victoria Lodge Number 10 85, British Columbia's f i r s t . Masonic Lodge, was formed at the end of August, 1860. Some two years later, a Lodge was formed in New Westminster and, in 1867, a Lodge was formed at Nanaimo. As the 1860's drew to a close and the question of British Columbia's entry into Confederation became a matter of heated p o l i t i c a l discussion, a number of Vic-toria Masons proposed forming a Lodge under an American charter. This move was strongly opposed by the members of Victoria Lodge. In addition, many Masons signed the Annexation Petition presented to President Grant on 11 January, 1870. The supplementary l i s t , sent to the - 60 -President in September of the same year, was forwarded under a covering letter written by H. F. Heisterman, a leading Mason. The controversy over the formation of a second Lodge was resolved in January, 1871, when Quadra 16 Lodge was formed under a Scottish charter. In an effort to reduce the danger of f r i c t i o n between the English and Scottish Lddges, the Grand Lodge of British Columbia was formed the same year under Grand Master I. W. Powell; H. F. Heisterman was the Grand Secretary. Membership in the Masonic Order grew rapidly and by the end of the 1870's and throughout the 1880*s i t s nominal r o l l was virtually a Who's Who in British Columbia. Four of the premiers during this period were Masons as well as such men as J. H. Turner, E. G. Prior, D. W. Higgins, F. S. Barnard, J. A. Mara, R. H. Alexander and 17 the Oppenheimer brothers: David, Isaac and Godfrey. 16 Note: One aspect of the Anglo-American nature of Victoria's society can be seen in this Masonic conflict. It also illustrates how as a colony British Columbia's p o l i t i c a l future was open to speculation, something that, inspite of the r a i l -way dispute, disappeared after union with Canada. 17 Note: Some other important Masons were: M.W.T. Drake C. F. Houghton Joseph Spratt Henry Croft Henry Rhodes John Irving Simeon Duck Mark Bate H. J. Cambie A. R. Robertson - 61 -The close knit character of the Order in early British Columbia is illustrated by the response of Baker and other Masons to a request for help by one of their Masonic brothers. In the f a l l of 1879, R. B. McMicking, a Mason and General Superintendent Dominion Government Telegraphs in British Columbia, was in financial trouble with the government. McMicking came to Baker for assis-tance. The next day, Baker "went round the Masonic 18 Circle on McMicking business a l l the forenoon...." R. P.f.Rithet, F. J. Barnard and A. W. Vowell were, with McMicking, some of the founding members of the Quadra Lodge. McMicking's l i a b i l i t i e s were just over $4,540. Twenty four hours later, Baker met F. N. Gisbourne, Superintendent of the Dominion Government Telegraph and Signals Service, and B. W. Pearse, public works engineer in British Columbia for the?<Dominion Government, at John Wilson's Garrick's Head for lunch. Here, he gave them a cheque to cover part of the advances made to McMicking. Premier G. A. Walkem was a good Mason, but Minister of Finance Robert Beaven was a less sympathetic one. Beaven's failure to help McMicking angered Baker and he nicknamed the minister "a halo Mason". Baker, 15 October, 1879. Baker recognized the importance of the associations made through the Masonic Order and devoted a great deal of time and energy to i t s study. In February, 1876, the f i r s t reunion of the Grand Lodges of Oregon, Idaho and Washington Territory was held at Olympia. British Columbia was invited to attend and Baker was among the Canadian Masons who went to Olympia for the reunion. The fraternal aspect of the gathering was given an additional boost when the Canadians invited the Americans to conclude their reunion with a v i s i t to Victoria. The invitation was accepted and resulted in a fresh round of f e s t i v i t i e s and introductions in Victoria in which Baker participated f u l l y . The cornerstone of the Temple for the Victoria Masons was lai d on 22 Ap r i l , 187 8, and that December, four years after his arrival on the coast, Baker was elected Master of the Victoria Lodge. His new position required him to v i s i t a number of other Lodges in British Columbia. On these v i s i t s , he met many of the local businessmen and saw at f i r s t hand some of the economic developments taking place in the province. In June of the following year, he was elected Grand Secretary and appointed Warden of the newly completed Temple. This was a paid position, at a salary of $150 per year, that involved a considerable amount of correspondence with - 63 -other Lodges in Canada and the United States and gave him new contacts in many parts of these two countries. After holding the position of Grand Secretary for four years, Baker was elected Grand Master for the pro-vince in June, 188 3. Both as Grand Secretary and as Grand Master,, (he held the latter position for two years), Baker travelled.considerably and made many new contacts in the province. Baker was reaching a peak of business activity, i f not prosperity, toward the end of the 1880's, however, and while he remained an active Mason, he assumed no more offices in the Order after he was succeeded as Grand Master. Less close knit than the Masonic Order, but s t i l l influential in the l i f e of the city, was the Victoria Cricket Club, which Baker joined shortly after his arriv a l . Sports were a popular form of entertainment in Victoria and Beacon H i l l Park was the scene of many a cricket match between such teams as The Married Men versus The Single Men, The Professionals versus The Duffers, or Victoria versus The Fleet. Lieutenant Governor J. W. Trutch was the president of the Victoria Cricket Club from 1871 to 1876. The Chief Justice of the province, Sir Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie, was the vice president during the same period and followed Trutch as president. J. E. Curtis, who had married - 64 -Frances Baker's cousin, E l l a Wallace, was the secretary of the club. He was a young Englishman of good family, who had come to the colony in search of wealth and adventure. Later, when he inherited the family t i t l e , he returned to England. Curtis quickly involved Baker in the activities of the Cricket Club. A month after his ar r i v a l , Baker found himself alongside Sir James Douglas* son-in-law, Charles Good, M.T.W. Drake and others, facing a formidable single men's team composed in part of Chief Justice Begbie, C. F. Houghton, Henry 19 Rhodes and F. G. Vernon. Membership in the Cricket Club required a letter of nomination from a member of the club and the approval of the club committee. In 1876, Premier A. C. E l l i o t was nominated for membership in the cricket club and Baker 20 was elected a member of the club's five man committee. Baker involved himself in a number of other social activities that increased his standing in the local community. In October, 1875, Victoria planned a b a l l in honour of the naval squadron. Baker was anxious to be a member of the organizing committee. With his background Daily British •Colonist, 22 May, 1874, p. 3. Baker, 10 May, 1876. - 65 -and connections in Esquimalt, he had no trouble in gaining the desired position. Another opportunity presented i t s e l f in the regatta that normally took place in May and was one of the most popular and colourful affairs in Victoria's annual round of social events. There was a certain amount of prestige attached to membership on the Regatta Committee and in the spring of 1876, Baker let i t be known that he would like to be on the committee. His efforts were successful and in June, his name appeared in the paper as a member of the 21 committee. Baker was fu l l y aware of the value of the connections that these activities opened to him" and a few weeks after the regatta came to a successful con-clusion, he approached G. M. Sproat about a place on the Dufferin Reception Committee. In 1876, British Columbia was in a secessionist mood because of the failure of the federal government to commence construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in accordance with the Terms of Union. Lord Dufferin, Governor General of Canada, planned to v i s i t Victoria late that summer to find out the exact nature of the province's discontent. The Governor General seemed to feel that i t was his duty to act as a mediator between the two governments, although the federal government was Baker, 13 June, 1876. - 66 -adamant that he should understand that he had no consti-tutional right to intervene in what they considered to be a purely domestic dispute. A committee to plan the details of the Governor General's v i s i t was organized under the chairmanship of Sir Matthew Begbie. G. M. Sproat, a successful commission merchant who had only recently returned from an appointment in London as British Columbia's f i r s t agent general in that city, was a member of the committee and spoke to Sir Matthew' on behalf of Baker. Chief Justice Begbie gave his approval and Baker was once again in a position of prominence. On the 17 July, Begbie gave a dinner for the committee, which was.followed by a business session. H.M.S. Amethyst had been selected to transport the Governor General and his party from San Francisco to Victoria and to return them to the same city after their British Columbia v i s i t . Three days after the Chief Justice's dinner party, he, Baker and Dr. I. W. Powell, superintendent pf the Indian Department in British Columbia, dined onboard the Amethyst in the dockyard to discuss their part in the Governor General's v i s i t . Other planning sessions brought meetings with G. A. Walkam and at Government House, where Baker met the newly installed Lieutenant Governor, A. N. Richards. There were no means of communicating with ships at sea and at 2100 on 15 August, the Amethyst unexpectedly arrived with the Governor General and his party; the committee met hurriedly and remained in conference until three the next morning. Victoria was in a festive . mood and in the morning, the Governor General drove through streets lined with enthusiastic people and decorated with a profusion of flags, flowers and slogans. Lord Dufferin was well aware of the p o l i t i c a l l y sensitive nature of his v i s i t and an arch, advocating the "Carnarvon Terms or Separation", caused some embarrassment. Sproat, Drake and Baker were despatched to Fort Street to deal with the offending motto. The Governor General's v i s i t quickened the pace of Victoria's social l i f e and Baker used his position as a member of the committee to good advantage. He and John Goodfellow, manager of the Bank of British North America, called on Lord and Lady Dufferin at Government House. A few days later, he went to the reception for the Governor General with a group of his naval friends. This was followed by an invitation for the Bakers to attend Lady Dufferin's At Home. When the Governor General returned to Victoria in the middle of September, after his tour of the province, Baker went to the r i f l e range with Premier and Mrs. A. C. E l l i o t t and Miss Marion Dunsmuir to attend the Governor General's inspection of the local - 68 -r i f l e association. This was followed by a b a l l at Government House to which the Bakers were invited. Frances Baker drove to Esquimalt with Premier and Mrs. E l l i o t t , on 19 September, to witness the driving of the f i r s t pile for the coffer dam of the dry-dock by His Excellency. Baker concluded his part in the f i r s t vice-regal v i s i t to British Columbia by joining H.M.S. Amethyst on the morning of the 21st for her tr i p to San Francisco with the Governor General and his party. At noon that day, the Amethyst let go her lines and moved slowly out of harbour into the Sundance covered waters of the straits. Accommodation was somewhat scarce, but the weather remained f a i r and Baker was comfortable in his hammock slung out-side of the gunroom. On Sunday 24, Amethyst sailed into San Francisco Harbour and at 1130, the Governor General and his party disembarked to begin a three day round of o f f i c i a l calls and receptions with American dignitaries. Baker and the ship's officers were included in a number of these aff a i r s , at one of which, Baker met General Sherman and Mr. Secretary Cameron. At 1700, on 30 September, Amethyst weighed anchor, proceeded out of San Francisco harbour and headed north under steam. Five days later, she anchored in Esquimalt harbour. Baker bid his naval friends goodbye and returned - 69 -to his home in Victoria. The Governor General's v i s i t was over, but i t had been a very worthwhile two months for Baker. Membership on the Dufferin Reception Committee had given him additional social contacts and a certain amount of local prestige. Also, his a b i l i t y to s a i l with the Governor General's party in the' Amethyst had added a certain extra dash to his reputation. Family, clubs and fraternal organizations were an excellent source of introductions, but i t was business that turned an informal friendship into an important relationship. The Hastings Saw M i l l Company was one of the largest industries in the province and as such was important not only for i t s export trade, but as a customer for a wide variety of supplies and equipment from local businesses. Nearly a l l of the major business firms in Victoria had dealings with the company and as i t s agent in Victoria, Baker conducted this business. Baker took up his position as Raymur's agent in Victoria a few days after his arrival in the city. Vic-toria and the mainland were connected by telegraph and this was the principal means by which business was con-ducted between the mill's headquarters on Burrard Inlet and Baker's office in Victoria. He received and sent information regarding supplies, spare parts, the arrival - 70 -and departure of ships, their cargoes and other company business. The many functions that the Victoria office had to perform placed Baker in the middle of the business l i f e of the city. He placed orders locally for food and equipment for the mill and i t s small settlement. It was only a matter of days before he met such merchants and wholesalers as R. P. Rithet, Robert Ward, J. H. Turner, T. L. Stahlschmidt, R. C. Janion, Henry Rhodes and the Oppenheimer brothers. A local requirement for pilings brought him into.contact with W. P. Sayward of the Rock Bay Saw M i l l Company and the need for heavy bolts to secure the piles, took him to see Joseph Spratt of the 22 Albion Iron Works. Meeting ships and attending to their various require-ments was another important aspect of Baker's job. Vic-toria was by a wide margin the most active shipping centre in the province. A south east gale early in November, 1874, held 60 ships weather bound in the straits off the city. Many of the ships entering Victoria were destined for the Hastings sawmill, or the Moodyville sawmill, which was also on Burrard Inlet. Baker carried out the shipping duties for both of these mills. He met this shipping on arrival in port, cleared inward and outward bound ships with the customs and arranged for tugs and pilots i f they Baker, 26 June, 1874. - 71 -were required. He was also in charge of the company's bonded warehouse which was used by a number of other firms. Baker worked long hours at this job and in so doing, he met most of the captains entering the port and almost a l l of the members of the local shipping companies. Captain Rudlin, who managed the East Coast Line of Steamers for Joseph Spratt, was an early acquaintance of Baker's. The two men met frequently to discuss the subject of the tow boat business. Henry Saunders was also interested in this subject and often joined them for these discussions. Baker was a seaman in a seaman's town. He knew and understood the problems of shipping and got on well with these men. Such business introductions also led into social a c t i v i t i e s . Before the summer was out, Baker was spending / a number of evenings a week playing whist with such companions as R. P. Rithet, Robert Ward, Charles Good, C. F. Houghton, John Goodfellow and A. W. Vowell. The "Batchelors Hall" was a favourite place to hold these evening games. Leopold Lowenberg was also fond of giving whist parties for his business friends. "Besides Baker, other guests at these parties often included W. C. Ward, - 72 -D. M. Eberts, C. T. Dupont, D. W. Higgins and Barry Moody. Poker was another popular evening pastime and a game could be found at some friend's house almost any night of the week. The stakes were not high, but the players were enthusiastic. Baker seldom passed up an opportunity for a good poker game, which could be expected to last from eight in the evening until three in the morning. On one occasion, he had to excuse himself from the poker table, dash to the harbour and pull out in his dinghy to meet a ship entering the harbour at daybreak. Lunch at John Wilson's Garrick's Head was popular with many members of the business community. Here on occasion Baker would lunch with such business friends as Charles Hayward, A. J. Langley, F. J. Roscoe, Henry Nathan, Roderick Finlayson, Joshua Davies, James F e l l and B. W. Pearse. R. H. Alexander, a fellow employee of the Hastings Saw M i l l Company in Burrard Inlet, was a close friend. He introduced Baker to H. J. Cambie of the Canadian Pacific Railway project, an introduction that was to prove very useful in later years. Business matters brought Baker into contact with most of the local lawyers of whom men like M.W.T. Drake, R. E. Jackson, A.E.B. Davie, J. R. Hett and C. E. Pooley soon became good friends of his. - 73 -In a short time, business affairs had resulted in Baker's meeting virtually a l l of the leading members of the business community. In most case's, these business meetings led to social a c t i v i t i e s , which helped to strengthen the relationship. An important part of Baker's social l i f e was having adequate accommodation to recip-rocate in the round of invitations. A month after his sister's a r r i v a l , Captain Raymur approached R. P. Rithet about the sale of his cottage on Bird Cage Walk as a home for her and her family. A price of $2500 was agreed upon and Mrs. Jones moved into her new home. On 4 May, the Bakers dined at Mrs. Ella's for the last time, paid her $15 for their board and lodging and moved intooMrs. Jones' newly acquired cottage. In July, Baker saw Leopold Lowenberg about renting a cottage for six months at $15 per month. Three weeks later, the Bakers moved into their own house. Captain Tom Pamphlet was a close friend of Baker's and the owner of a small, but pleasant house on the harbour waterfront at Laurel Point. Early in December, Baker and Captain Raymur inspected Tom's house with the object of buying i t . In February, 1875, Baker met Pamphlet at Peter McQuades ship chandlery store and bought his house for $2250. A $1500 down payment was agreed upon and of - 74 -this amount, Baker drew $1000 from the bank and borrowed $500 from Peter McQuade. Baker gave Pamphlet a note, which was backed by Joseph Boscowitz, for the remaining 2 3 $750 at 9% interest. Jack Curtis came down from the law firm of Drake and Jackson to draw up the papers. With the purchase of a house, Baker was moving ahead. He con-solidated his feeling of accomplishment by hiring his f i r s t Chinese servant and gave the entire af f a i r a seagoing twist by naming his residence the "Crowsnest". Baker had been able to enter the social l i f e of Victoria quickly and with relative ease. Undoubtedly, his greatest asset in this regard was his marriage. This not only gave him employment, but made i t possible for him to meet the city's business leaders. His connection with the Raymur family also meant a more rapid acceptance by society than would normally have followed an introduc-tion unsupported by a prominent citizen, or without the benefit of a mutual friend. Baker's naval connection was useful, particularly in establishing his background as being acceptable; an important feature even in the materialistic society of Victoria. The Masonic Order Baker, 3 February, 1875. - 75 -brought him into contact with many prominent c i t i z e n s i n a strong f r a t e r n a l association. He also c l e a r l y recognized the value of committee work i n gaining recog-n i t i o n by the community and as a means of obtaining a better understanding of the community through i t s a f f a i r s . There was nothing haphazard about Baker's entry into t h i s society. Apart from h i s understanding of ships and navigation, naval l i f e had made him pe r f e c t l y aware of the value of "knowing the r i g h t people". And, as a product of mid-nineteenth century English society, as were so many of the people he was dealing with, he had no doubts about the importance of t h i s part of s o c i a l behaviour. Baker exploited his s o c i a l connections i n a planned and methodical manner. Before two years were out, he was associating f r e e l y , s o c i a l l y and to a lesser extent i n business, with the leading members of society. He had successfully entered the community. CHAPTER IV EARLY BUSINESS AFFAIRS Edgar Crow Baker's early business years span the period from 1874 to 1882. In them,>he passed from employee to employer and was launched on his career 'as an entrepreneur. His actions in these years show the latent entrepreneur's struggle to achieve independence in business and then, his instinct for business oppor-tunities. Baker's relations with Captain J. A. Raymur illustra t e the former point and also show the strength of his entrepreneurial s p i r i t , which drove him on inspite of the financial hardship and possible social condemnation that he faced. Baker's instinct for business opportunities moved from the f i e l d of ideas to actual operations in the latter part of this period. His affairs in these years provide several examples of the type of entrepreneurial activity that he and his partners engaged in. The Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company i s , perhaps, one of the best examples of this activity. Baker was a well-established member of Victoria's society by the summer of 1876. His business success, however, was somewhat slower to develop. For the f i r s t almost two and one half years that he was in Victoria, he was an employee of the Hastings Saw M i l l Company. But, working for someone other than himself produced - 77 -considerable frustration and l i t t l e progress in his personal business plans. When he did break, in part, with this situation, he went through two very lean years before he regained some business momentum. Then followed four years in which he diversified and increased his business interests, a l l with success. Baker's f i r s t business experience in British Columbia was as an employee in the lumber trade. On 14 Ap r i l , 1874, the following notice appeared in the Daily British Colo-nist : "Notice: - From and after this date Mr. E. C. Baker has power to act for me during my absence from Victoria -J. A. Raymur".1 Dickson, Campbell and Company had been the Hastings Saw M i l l Company's agent in Victoria. Baker now f i l l e d this role and had the additional responsibility of attending to the requirements of ships heading for the Moodyville sawmill. This latter duty was the result of an agreement between Captain Raymur and the manager of the Moodyville sawmill, Sewell Moody (Moody's two local partners were Hugh Nelson, later a senator and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, and William Dietz, who had "struck i t rich" in the Cariboo gold rush). The forest industry in British Columbia had a relatively short history when Baker entered the business. Daily British Colonist, 14 Apr i l , 1874, p. 2. - 78 -It had not been the province's f i r s t industry, nor i t s most important, but i t had great potential. Primarily, i t had been slow to develop for want of reliable markets. Several of the industry's pioneers were men who would become business associates of Baker's. As the industry developed, many of them used the wealth they had created through lumbering to promote other business ventures. Baker, himself, eventually became involved in the lumber industry as an employer rather than an employee. The f i r s t change in the tempo of lumbering operations came with the Fraser River gold rush, an event that brought about considerable development in the lumber industry. In 1858, W. P. Sayward, a lumberman from Maine, came north from the California gold fields to try his luck on the Fraser River. When he saw the vast tent city surrounding Victoria, he realized that the need for lumber offered an opportunity as great as the gold fields. He established a sawmill a few miles north of Victoria and a lumber yard in the city. By the time Baker arrived in Victoria, Sayward was a prosperous businessman whose Rock Bay sawmill could cut some 30,000 board feet of 2 lumber in an 11 hour working day. British Columbia Directory, 18 82-83, Victoria, Williams, 1882, p. 20. - 79 -A year before Sayward established his m i l l , the looming threat of an American c i v i l war directed the attention of the London timber merchants, Anderson, Anderson and Company, toward the need for the estab-lishment of an alternative source to their American timber supplies. Accordingly, they instructed their employee, Captain Edward Stamp, who was proceeding to the Puget Sound area for a cargo of lumber, to report on the timber potential in the British colony to the north. Stamp inspected the Alberni Inlet region and on his return, rendered a favourable report on the 3 forest resources of the area. In 1860, as c i v i l war broke out in the United States, the company decided to establish a sawmill on the inlet. Captain Stamp was engaged to head the enterprise and that summer, Captain Tom Pamphlet arrived in the Inlet in the schooner Meg Merrilies with the advance party. The bark Woodpecker arrived later with the machinery and another senior representative of the company, Gilbert M. Sproat. The mill had been operating only some eighteen months when Captain Stamp had a f a l l i n g out with Anderson and J. C. Lawrence, "Markets and Capital: A History of the Lumber Industry of British Columbia, (1778-1952)", Vancouver, B. C., University of British Columbia, unpublished M. A. Thesis, 1957, p. 20. - 80 -Anderson, and l e f t the Alberni m i l l . In 1864, Anderson and Anderson sent Captain Raymur from Halifax to their mill on Alberni Inlet. The mill did l i t t l e business after 1865. Sproat, who was in charge of the mill after Stamp l e f t , considered there were insufficient logs in the area and in addition, the end of the American C i v i l War brought about a loss of markets.4 In 1869, the mill was destroyed by f i r e . Some time before that date, Captain Raymur was transferred to a new sawmill on Burrard Inlet that Anderson and Anderson were associated with. Gilbert M. Sproat went to Victoria, formed a company and became the agent for Anderson and Anderson in that city. When Captain Stamp l e f t Alberni Inlet, he went to Burrard Inlet and, with money supplied principally by two London firms, established the British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Spar, Lumber and Saw M i l l Company on 5 the south side of the inlet opposite Moody's m i l l . Lumbering on Burrard Inlet had been opened by the Pioneer M i l l in 186 3, shortly before Captain Stamp arrived. This Lawrence, "Lumber Industry of British Columbia", p. 23. 5Ibid., p. 25. - 81 -mil l passed through a number of hands in the next eighteen months until i t came under the successful management of Sewell Prescott Moody, after whom i t was now named. Moody, like Sayward (in Victoria), was a lumberman from Maine. In contrast to the Alberni mill's misfortunes, ships loaded cargoes from the two mills on Burrard Inlet for a number of countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean as well as Great Britain. The success of the B. C. and V. I., Spar, Lumber and Saw M i l l Company attracted the attention of Anderson and Anderson and, as the Alberni mill was running down, they bought an interest in Stamp's m i l l . At about the same time, they transferred Captain Raymur from their Alberni m i l l to the B. C. and V. I., Spar, Lumber and Saw M i l l Company as assistant manager to Captain Stamp. In 186 8, Captain Stamp broke up the syndicate he had formed and the mill was sold to Dickson, De Wolf and Company of San Francisco. Andrew Welch, Moody's agent in San Francisco, had invested $100,000 in Moody's mill with excellent results and his success had directed the attention of Dickson, De Wolf and Company to Burrard Lawrence, "Lumber Industry of British Columbia", p. 26. - 82 -Inlet. Early in January;,, 1869 , Captain Stamp retired as the manager of the B. C. and V. I., Spar, Lumber and Saw M i l l Company and Captain Raymur succeeded him. Later in the month, the name of the company was changed to the 7 Hastings Saw M i l l Company. As agent for the Hastings Saw M i l l Company, Baker sold the company's products locally. Contractors, such as Charles Hayward and the firm of Smith and Clark, con-sulted him on lumber prices, as did Jacob Sehl, who owned a furniture manufacturing company. Individuals were also interested in the availability and price of lumber. Dr. W. F. Tolmie, an early Hudson's Bay Company employee and M.P. for Victoria D i s t r i c t , called at Baker's office to order lumber for his farm. Baker's naval contacts with such men as J. H. Innes, accountant in charge of the Royal Naval Dockyard, were useful in gaining contracts to supply the many needs for masts, spars, lumber and pilings required by the naval squadron and i t s dockyard f a c i l i -t ies. The larger wholesale and shipping merchants were given orders for supplies and equipment for the mill and it s small community. They in turn were canvassed for their timber requirements. Lawrence, "Lumber Industry of British Columbia", p. 29. - 83 -Selling timber and ordering supplies and spare parts for the mill were important aspects of Baker's job, but his shipping duties formed the greatest part of his work. A large number of ships were involved in the timber trade and virtually a l l of them entered and cleared British Columbia waters through Victoria. Baker met them a l l and took care of their requirements for customs, towage, pilots and frequently, items of supply and repair. His work involved him with most of the local shipping com-panies and captains. Apart from the marine duties required by his job, Baker had a Master's certificate and the seagoing experi-ence to meet both local and vi s i t i n g captains on common ground. Locally, he was on close terms with men like Captain Nat Child of the Grappler and Captain Palmer of the Enterprise. Captain Tom Pamphlet, of the old Alberni m i l l , was a great friend who liked to stop for a yarn, as did Captain Brown of the Beaver and Captain Morrison of the lighthouse tender Sir James Douglas. The Rover Note: Henry Saunders was the agent for the Grappler and Beaver, which were two of some half dozen steamships used both in carrying coastal freight and in towing sailing ships. The majority of this towage work originated and ended in the Straits off Victoria. The' Enterprise was one of the Hudson's Bay Company's ships used, on a regular run for freight and passengers between Victoria and New Westminster. - 84 -of the Seas had forty tons of gunpowder in her hold when she arrived in Victoria, but this did not deter Baker from having lunch aboard with another good friend, Captain Gandin. The shipping activity in the harbour was brisk. Baker was supervising the loading of a large cargo of provisions for the Hastings sawmill, when the Camelot arrived at Sproat's wharf, 200 days out from England, with a cargo of 536 tons of water pipe for the 10 Victoria Waterworks Company. Goods required by the Hastings Saw M i l l Company that were not available locally were shipped to Victoria by way of the Puget Sound steamers or the regular mail ships from San Francisco. The Company's bonded warehouse was often required in these business transactions. The mail ships Los Angeles and California connected the principal ports from San Francisco to Victoria and their arrival and departure invariably involved a t r i p to the quayside for Baker. The North Pacific and Favourite provided communication with the Puget Sound ports and had to be similarly waited upon. On occasion, Baker assisted a ship's captain to obtain supplies or repairs and this unofficial service Baker, 4 March, 1879. 0Baker, 22 January, 1875. - 85 -rendered by him, opened up a pr o f i t a b l e s i d e l i n e to his job. Through naval fri e n d s , Baker heard of navigational instruments no longer serviceable, or declared surplus by the Navy. He had l i t t l e trouble in acquiring these sextants, chronometers and other instruments at a very reasonable price. He cleaned and polished them u n t i l they had much of t h e i r o r i g i n a l f i n i s h . I f they were damaged, C. E. Redfern, a jeweller and fr i e n d of h i s , usually made the repairs necessary to make them service-able again. The fini s h e d products were then displayed in Baker's o f f i c e , where so many of the shipping f r a t e r -n i t y appeared at one time or another. The trade i n navigational instruments was brisk and Baker sold what he had e a s i l y and usually at a good p r o f i t . In addition, the sight of these instruments for sale prompted some captains to o f f e r s l i g h t l y damaged, or what they con-sidered to be worn instruments, to Baker. Often these were given i n the form of a g i f t in return for some l o c a l arrangement made by Baker. 1 1 Another aspect of the maritime l i f e of V i c t o r i a was the marine towing business. Steam tugs, such as the Baker, 2 8 July, 187 5. Grappler and Beaver, and pilots were available at Vic-toria to tow the large sailing ships from the Straits of Juan de Fuca through the tide-swept waters of the Gulf Islands to their destinations at Nanaimo, Burrard Inlet, or New Westminster. When they had loaded their coal, timber, or canned salmon (salmon canning was 12 introduced to the Pacific Coast in 1864), they were even more in need of a tug to assist them to the open sea. The towage charges from Victoria to Burrard Inlet and return were some $4 00 and the demand for 13 tugs far exceeded the number available. The business potential in the tug towage trade was almost immediately apparent to Baker. Within a month of his ar r i v a l , he was trying to interest Captain Raymur in this business. Raymur did not have the entrepre-neurial instincts of his clerk, however, and refused to consider the proposal. He was a conservative Nova Scotian sea captain, not a venturer. He squashed his eager employee's suggestion. Baker could do without any handicaps in establishing himself in his new sur-roundings, but his temper got thelbest of him. In June, 12 H. K. Ralston, "British Columbian Salmon Canning Industry," BY C. Studies, no. 1 (Winter 1968-69), p. 45. 13 J. H. Hamilton, Western Shores, Vancouver, Progress, 1932, p. 187. - 87 -he complained that, "Raymur arrived in a typhoon... 14 and humbugged me like the devil." A l i t t l e later he 15 "exchanged strongly worded notes with J A R" and by the end of July, i t was "...another row with J A R (the old blackguard)." 1 6 Baker squirmed under the Captain's exasperating lack of interest, but this did not prevent him from looking elsewhere for a way to implement his idea. The East Coast Line of steamers, which handled passengers, mail and freight in the Straits of Georgia area, was owned and operated by the enterprising Joe Spratt of the Albion Iron Works in Victoria. Captain George Rudlin managed the line for him. Baker found a sympa-thetic ear to his towboat proposition in Rudlin. Through-out the summer, they met periodically to discuss the matter. By August, Henry Saunders had joined them in their discussions and the partners were considering buying the old Beaver, the f i r s t steamship on the West 17 Coast. Various plans were discussed, but the would be partners never came to any agreement. Baker's plans at this stage were severely limited by his lack of capital. 1 4Baker, 3 June, 1874. 1 5Baker, 15 June, 1874. 1 6Baker, 31 July, 1874. 1 7Baker, 20 August, 1874. - 88 -Despite Baker's strained relations with the Raymurs (he appears to have offended Mrs. Raymur within a few 18 months of his arr i v a l ) , he managed to finish his f i r s t year without any further problems at the office. During the following year, however, he seems to have made up his mind that he would have to leave the Hastings Saw M i l l Company as soon as he could find another job. But, i f Baker struggled in the employment of the Hastings Saw M i l l Company, Captain Raymur was not entirely satis-fied with his Victoria agent either. In the latter's case, however, the issue was complicated by a sense of family responsibility. The disagreement between the two men had nothing to do with Baker's a b i l i t y at his job, but rather stemmed from their different temperaments. Baker wanted to diversify the company's operations and thereby advance himself. The Captain wanted an obedient 19 agent who would not upset the status quo. Baker's Note: Baker noted the beginning of a disagreement with Mrs. Raymur on 2 August, 1874. Exactly a year later, in reference to her, he remarked, "Whist at Dupont's -'had i t out with the old man about his beautiful wife'." Note: By the spring of 1876, Baker had taken on commit-ments outside his duties as Raymur's agent. He was secretary to the Pilotage Commission and had embarked on a tug towing scheme with Henry Saunders and R. C. Janion as partners. The latter move had followed a meeting on 14 August, 187 5, with Raymur, at which the Captain again refused to become involved in any towing business: "Talked over towing business with J A R -no go." On the same subject, two days later, Baker remarked, "...probability of going on my own hook!" It was not until 3 March, 1876, however, that he drew up the charter agreement between Janion, Saunders and himself. - 89 -ideas and organizing a b i l i t y were large l y blocked; i t was obvious to him that he would not be able to s a t i s f y his ambitions under the Captain's sober leadership. He preferred the l i v e l i e r group that gathered at the Garrick's Head and cut cards to see who would pay for 20 the drinks and lunch. The problem came to a head i n July, 1876, and on the 1 August, Baker received a month's notice of dismissal from the Hastings Saw M i l l Company. Later that month, R. H. Alexander came over from the m i l l to inform him that his brother, J. J . Alexander, would take over from 21 Baker i n September. Baker had made many useful f r i e n d s , Note: Baker frequently mentions lunch at the Garrick's Head and indicates that some form of gambling was often used to decide who would pay for the drinks and, or, lunch: On 18 March, 1875, he won the draw over William Ward (Manager of the Bank of B r i t i s h Columbia); -in Novem-ber, i t was the l a t t e r ' s brother, Bob Ward (a successful commission merchant and insurance agent) , who l o s t the toss; in January, 1876, aft e r lunch with William Ward and J . Brodie (another successful shipping and commission merchant), he joined A. C. E l l i o t t (who became premier on 1 February) and fur^dealer Joseph Boscowitz, as they were leaving the Garrick's Head. Note: R. H. Alexander had immigrated to (Upper) Canada From Scotland as a young boy. He and his brother were members of the 1862 overland trek from the Canadas to the Cariboo gold f i e l d s . Later, he was employed by the Has-tings Saw M i l l Company, where he became the manager on Raymur's death i n 18 82. He was a close f r i e n d of Baker's from the time of t h e i r f i r s t meeting. The two families exchanged many v i s i t s and the singing that seems usually to have followed t h e i r dinner p a r t i e s , resulted i n Baker r e f e r r i n g to Alexander as the "Bellocking B u l l " ! - 90 -22 but, in Captain Raymur, he had made a powerful adversary. After his dismissal from the Hastings Saw Mi l l Company, he broke completely with the Raymur family. His wife continued to see her uncle and aunt, but he had nothing further €0 do with the Captain and did not speak to Mrs. Raymur for many years. Notwithstanding his business and fraternal connections, in September, 1876, Baker began what was to be the most trying period of his business l i f e . Not only was he short of money, but the employment he obtained was either temporary and poorly paid, or beset by problems. It was a period that he would not break clear of until the spring of 187 8. Note: Baker was not ostracized in any way, however. On 1 September, 1876, Judge H.P.P. Crease of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, gave him a brace of grouse. On the 7th, he attended C. T.:Dupont's party; on the 8th, he dined with Judge J. H. Gray; and on the 9th, he spent the evening at T. L. Stahlschmidt's home. This was also a time when he became close friends with James and Alex Dunsmuir, W. N. Diggle and E. G. Prior. The reason for this i s not clear, other than a certain common interest in partying. Baker had met these people at least a year earlier, but on 12 September, 1876, after having Alex Dunsmuir to dinner, he went to Nanaimo with him. Here, Baker, Prior, Diggle and the two Duns-muirs did a considerable amount of socializing in the three days before Baker, Prior and Diggle brought Mrs. James Dunsmuir and Miss Marion Dunsmuir down to Victoria on the Cariboo-Fly. More partying between these friends followed their arrival in Victoria. i - 91 -His f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n during most of t h i s time was precarious. His sister-in-law, Agnes, had received $1,185 of her late husband's insurance money i n January, '1874,. 2 3 and another $500 a year l a t e r . She gave a l l but a small amount of t h i s money to her brother-in-law to manage fo r her (which gave Baker a modest amount of c a p i t a l ) . In addition to t h i s , he had his naval h a l f pay of $132 per quarter, a small amount of money from various part time jobs and l a t e r , a modest salary from two f u l l time positions. In the summer of 1876, just before Baker was dismissed from the Hastings Saw M i l l Company, A. N. Richards was appointed Lieutenant Governor of B r i t i s h Columbia to succeed J . W. Trutch. Through his work on the Dufferin Reception Committee, Baker met the new Lieutenant Governor just a f t e r he took o f f i c e . Baker's f i r s t e f f o r t to regain employment was to follow up t h i s introduction with an endeavour to obtain the position of secretary to Lieute-nant Governor Richards. During the early f a l l , Baker spoke to Premier A. C. E l l i o t t about the position on a 2 4 number of occasions. His e f f o r t s f a i l e d , however, in spite of the help and encouragement of Premier E l l i o t t and an apparently s a t i s f a c t o r y interview with the Lieutenant Governor. 2 3 Baker, 7 January, 1875. 24 Baker, 2 8 August, 187 6. - 92 -Baker continued to badger his government friends i n his quest for work. Judson Young was the P r o v i n c i a l Treasurer and a fr i e n d of Baker's. After a number of meetings, Young managed to secure a temporary b i l l e t f o r Baker i n the audit department, as assistant auditor. Baker commenced these duties the end of November at a salary of $4 per day. A few weeks l a t e r , he took on the job of keeping Pilotage Commissioner W. R. Clarke's coal accounts. This chore netted him $1 per day: "flunky's" 2 5 work as Baker described i t . In January, H.B.W. Aikman, a Mason and the Registrar General, gave Baker a number of days temporary work i n his o f f i c e , again at $4 per day. It was not u n t i l May, that, through the help of Premier E l l i o t t and with the concurrence of Finance Minister William Smithe, Baker was given a permanent position i n 2 6 the Treasury Department. He held t h i s job u n t i l June of the following year. A more promising break for Baker came with the r a t i f i c a t i o n of the B r i t i s h Columbia Pilotage By-Laws by Ottawa i n March, 1877. The B r i t i s h Columbia P i l o t Board had been established on 2 A p r i l , 1867, to regulate and insure the safe passage November, 1876. May, 1877. ^°Baker, 2 2^Baker, 1 - 93 -of marine t r a f f i c in and out of the province's ports and coastal waters. After B r i t i s h Columbia joined Confedera-t i o n , Ottawa amended the o r i g i n a l ordinance setting up.the Board to include additional duties. The P i l o t Board objected to the form of these r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and the lack of federal f i n a n c i a l assistance to carry them out. On 21 December, 18 74, the Board, under the chairmanship 2 7 of Captain Raymur, resigned. Baker had e a r l i e r been interested i n reviving the Board and had discussed the matter on a number of occasions with Captain Raymur. Raymur had no objection to Baker's plan to revise the by-laws. T. L. Stahlschmidt was the acting chairman of the P i l o t Board and he and Baker met frequently during 1875 to consider the changes that might be made i n the by-laws. That September, Baker applied for and was appointed secretary treasurer to the V i c t o r i a Pilotage Commission. There was l i t t l e business to conduct, as the pilotage system was i n abeyance, and Baker began the r e v i s i o n of the by-laws i n earnest. As Baker's revised by-laws began to take form so the opposition against them took shape. By the following summer, Baker's employer, Captain Raymur, had made his objections to the proposed by-laws known. He was joined by Hugh Nelson, 2 7 B r i t i s h Columbia, L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly, Gazette (hereafter c i t e d as BCG) , 26 December, 1874, p. WT~. - 94 -a partner in the Moodyville sawmill, and R. P. Rithet, who had considerable shipping interests in the province and had been a pilotage commissioner on the recently 2 8 disbanded Board. Baker countered by enlisting the help of Senator W. J. Macdonald to promote the case for the 2 9 revised by-laws in Ottawa. Inspite of the disfavour with the proposed by-laws by those local businessmen who knew of them,the news from Ottawa was encouraging. The firm of Drake and Jackson were the solicitors to the Pilotage Commission and in January, 187 7, Baker arranged with M.T.W. Drake to have 3 0 Theodore Davie's old room in their.office for his pilotage papers. The new Pilot Commissioners were to be W. R. Clarke, C. M. Chambers, J. M. Devereux and T. L. Stahlschmidt, chairman. Baker hung the Pilot Board's shingle outside his small, one room office in anticipation of permission to commence business. The r a t i f i e d by-laws arrived from Ottawa the middle of March and Baker set Baker, 14 January, 1876. Baker, 31 May, 1876. Note: Theodore Davie was a young lawyer with a strong p o l i t i c a l sense. His lawyer brother, A.E.B. Davie, was attorney general and later, from 18 87 to 1889, premier of the province. Theo Davie followed in his brother's footsteps as attorney general and, from 1892 to 1895, as premier. Baker was a close friend of both of these men. - 95 -about organizing the administration of the Pilot Office, which opened a week later. On the 24th of that month, Baker collected the f i r s t pilotage dues, $40 from Welch, Rithet and Company. The money was deposited with the Dominion Savings Bank (where C. M. Chambers was the 31 accountant). Shortly after, the Pilot Board met to "divide plunder". 3 2 Baker's salary as f u l l time secretary to the Pilot Board was set at $10 0 per month, while the pilotage commissioners received $75 per month. S t i l l not f u l l y satisfied with his success to this point, he approached Clarke and Devereux on the subject of payment, at $12 per month, for the months he had worked as secretary while the pilotage system was in abeyance. The Board gave i t s approval and awarded themselves $2 0 per month 33 ' for the same period. Stahlschmidt returned to London in May and, as Roderick Finlayson succeeded him as chairman of the Pilot Board, the storm clouds that had been on the horizon the year before began to gather. The province's principal shipping men1 were unhappy with what they considered to 1877 . 1877. 1877. 3 1Baker, 2 9 March, 3 2Baker, 14 Ap r i l , 3 3Baker, 16 A p r i l , - 96 -be the high pilotage rates under the new by-laws. Two of the more powerful businessmen in the province, Captain 34 3 5 Raymur and R. P. Rithet, led the attack. By August, most of the merchants and coal dealers had joined the fight because of the additional costs the pilotage rates added to their products. Steamship agent and coal dealer J. Engelhardt was joined by ship chandler Peter McQuade as he stopped Baker on the street to complain of the 3 6 effect on business caused by the new pilotage rates. In the same month, the Daily Colonist and Standard joined the fray in a series of articles: "A newspaper war 37 commenced re Pilotage Affairs," Baker noted. In November, the same newspapers published a number of anonymous letters, some of which were written by 3 8 Raymur, c r i t i c i z i n g the new pilotage system. Baker stuck i t out, however, and fought back as best he could. M.T.W. Drake, as Mayor of Victoria and soli c i t o r to the 3 4Baker, 2 Ap r i l , 1877. 3 5Baker, 22 June and 11 August, 1877. 3 6Baker, 22 August, 1877. 3 7Baker, 20 August, 1877. 3 8Baker, 16 November, 1877. - 97 -P i l o t B o a r d , e x e r c i s e d what i n f l u e n c e he c o u l d i n f avour o f the Board . D r . W. F . T o l m i e , M.P.P. f o r V i c t o r i a D i s t r i c t (and a b r o t h e r - i n - l a w and o l d Hudson ' s Bay Company crony o f P i l o t Board Chairman F i n l a y s o n ) , came t o the o f f i c e t o d i s c u s s the p r o b l e m ; so d i d the young lawyer Theodore Dav ie and o t h e r s . B u t , the d i s c u s s i o n s d i d n o t h i n g to l e s s e n the o p p o s i t i o n . By A u g u s t , Baker had h i t the low p o i n t i n h i s e i g h t e e n months o r d e a l . Many o f h i s b u s i n e s s f r i e n d s seemed to have 39 d e s e r t e d him and he had domest ic prob lems . A t h r e a t t o p r o f i t s had t u r n e d former f r i e n d s i n t o opponents . Con-s i d e r i n g the g e n e r a l l y depres sed s t a t e o f b u s i n e s s i n the middle 1870 's, and V i c t o r i a ' s b i t t e r d i s appo in tment over the d e l a y i n the b u i l d i n g o f the Canadian P a c i f i c R a i l w a y , Note : A year e a r l i e r , J . E n g e l h a r d t had o f f e r e d Baker a p a r t n e r s h i p i n h i s b u s i n e s s . Now, he compla ined t h a t B a k e r ' s p i l o t a g e system was r u i n i n g h i s b u s i n e s s . S i x months b e f o r e the p i l o t a g e t r o u b l e began , Baker had danced u n t i l t h r e e i n the morning a t R i t h e t ' s wedding. Now each t ime he saw R i t h e t , he was i n s u l t e d by h im. A n d , a p a r t from h i s s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n s w i t h many o f h i s b u s i n e s s f r i e n d s , Baker a l l o w e d h i m s e l f t o become i n v o l v e d i n a number o f more p e r s o n a l a f f a i r s . He got caught up i n a squabble s u r r o u n d i n g C . F . Houghton and Jack and E l l a C u r t i s , to h i s d e t r i m e n t . I . W. P o w e l l was i n t e r e s t e d i n h i s s i s ter--i n - l a w , Agnes B l a i k l o c k . Baker was a l s o ve ry fond o f Agnes ( throwing pebb le s at h e r window a t n i g h t ) and i n t e r f e r e d i n t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . H i s youngest s i s t e r -i n - l a w , Kate J o n e s , was s ee ing a g r e a t d e a l o f Andrew Rome and i n the f a l l , became engaged to h im. Baker was m i f f e d at not b e i n g accorded the r o l e o f head o f the f a m i l y i n g i v i n g h i s consent and c r e a t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e unp lea santnes s by h i s a t t i t u d e ( " revenge i s sweet and I ' l l have i t " ) . - 98 -i t was a bad time to upset the business community. What ever the reasons, Baker was disgusted with the situation he found himself in. He resolved to return to England and placed an advertisement in the Daily Colonist announcing that his furniture was to be auctioned by Captain W. R. Clarke, who was an auctioneer as well, as a coal merchant and pilotage commissioner, at some date in the future. The auction never took place. Inspite of the clamour on the Coast, Ottawa was in no mood to change the pilotage by-laws so recently approved. Further, the Mackenzie government had l i t t l e reason to show any sympathy towards British Columbia's leaders, p o l i t i c a l or business. And so, the pilotage business thrived despite the mounting opposition. When the British Columbia pilots presented Baker with a gold watch on 31 December, 1877, the corner had been turned. The pilotage receipts for 1878 totalled $28,457.44 and the average annual earnings of the pilots was $1899.98. But, the pilotage system was not as sound as i t s receipts suggested. Roderick Finlayson had followed Drake as mayor of Victoria and was in a position to help the Board. But, the battle against the pilotage system had been carried to 1 + 0Daily Colonist, 23 August, 1877 , p. 2. l | 1Daily Standard, 6 March, 1879 , p. 3. - 99 -Ottawa, in 1878, by Captain Raymur. Here, a change in p o l i t i c a l attitudes was underway. A new Conservative government under Sir John A. Macdonald, who had been elected by acclamation in Victoria, took office in the f a l l . As the year drew to a close, unpleasant letters from Ottawa were being received by the Pilot Board. Senator Macdonald called on Baker to discuss pilotage 42 matters. In February, the newspapers rejoined the attack. The matter came to a head in March when the San Francisco steamship Baring Brothers, for which Welch, Rithet and Company were agents, contravened a pilotage regulation. After a great deal of discussion, the Pilot Board ordered their s o l i c i t o r s , Drake and Jackson, to issue a summons to the master of the ship. R. P. Rithet increased his efforts in opposition to the Board. The Pilot Board did what i t could to counter the attack, but i t s arguments were swept aside. In May, Senator Macdonald wrote from Ottawa to inform the Board that the future of 43 the pilotage system was in jeopardy. Two weeks later, Ottawa curtailed i t s authority to the point where i t was Baker, 16 January, 1879. 4 3Baker, 1 May, 1879. - 100 -44 no longer effective. The Board concluded its. affairs on 31 May, 1879. After that date, each pilot was free to tender his services independently to ships in the di s t r i c t . Baker was given unti l the end of June to complete the pilotage reports and accounts. Despite their pilotage differences, Rithet and Baker had been friends since Baker's arrival in Victoria. In addition, Rithet recognized Baker's experience in maritime affairs and respected his knowledge as a seaman. In March, 18 80, he informed Baker that a new Pilot Board was being formed and invited him to be the secretary. Baker accepted and began to revise the by-laws. His salary under the new by-laws was set at $600 per annum, but the principal change in the new by-laws would appear to have been the pilotage rates. The by-laws were confirmed by Ottawa early in June and the Pilot Board, under the chairmanship of Finlayson and containing Rithet as a member, was again in operation. Baker's association with the British Columbia Pilotage Commission spanned not only his early years in business, but went well into his mature years, when he was a highly successful member of the business community. For almost thirty years, he was a prominent figure in the pilotage Baker, 14 May, 1879. - 101 -system and then, strangely, when he was a relatively wealthy man, he was dismissed from the Board under the suspicion of financial wrong doing. In the interests of continuity, therefore, an examination of Baker's association with the Pilotage Commission w i l l continue at this point. In Ap r i l , 1892, Baker was made a commissioner of the Pilot Board in addition to his position as secretary to the Board. This dual role led to his undoing. In 189 3 and 1894, there was a surplus of receipts over expen-4 6 ditures totalling $1016.50. In accordance with the by-laws (clause 26), this surplus (or Puget Sound money) was to be divided among the pilots. Baker considered his secretary's salary of $50 per month to be inadequate and so informed the chief p i l o t , adding, that he thought the 47 surplus should be given to him. Chief Pilot John Thompson discussed the matter with the other pilots and told them that in view of Baker's powerful position in the organization, they had l i t t l e choice but to agree to 4 8 . his demand. The pilots reluctantly agreed with him and 4 5Baker, 16 Apr i l , 1892. ^ V i c t o r i a Daily Times, 20 February, 19 0 5, p. 1. 47T 7.' Loc. c i t . 48T . .". " Loc. c i t . - 102 -Baker prepared a document f o r the p i l o t s to sign, i n which they would formally state that i t was t h e i r wish that the surplus be given to him as a bonus to his salary. With t h i s part of his plan organized, Baker went to the Board as a commissioner and proposed that the Board give i t s approval for disposing of the surplus fund. This the Board did at a meeting on 5 November, 189 5, i n a resolution which stated: "The commissioners decided, at the insistence of the secretary, to divide the surplus (or Puget Sound money) at c r e d i t of pilotage authority to 31st Decem-ber, 1894, amounting to $1016.50, under clause 26 of the by-laws, and the secretary was authorized and directed to make the customary division. " 4 9 Having coerced the p i l o t s into l e t t i n g him have the money, Baker ignored by-law 2 6 and pocketed the $1016.50. Baker had set the stage for an operation that he carried out with s l i g h t variations up to and including 1899. He considered that the p i l o t s had given him power of attorney i n the matter of t h e i r Puget Sound money and that the procedure was therefore l e g a l , i f u n o f f i c i a l l y 50 done. In August, 190 0, i n an t i c i p a t i o n of an audit of his accounts, Baker had a l l four p i l o t s give him V i c t o r i a Daily Times, 20 February, 1905, p. 1. 50 Ibid., pp. 1 and 8. - 103 -receipts covering a l l the Puget Sound money to which.they 51 would have been entitled in the years 1893 to 1899. Not a l l the pilots were prepared to accept this high-handed treatment, however. Pilot Samuel W. Buckman made out an affidavit charging Baker with misusing pilotage funds .* In November, 19 00, W. W. Stumbles, of the Federal Department of Marine and Fisheries, arrived in Victoria and carried out the expected audit of the Pilotage Commis-sion's books. A further audit was to follow as a result. Baker had not seen a copy of Stumbles' report, nor Buck-man's affidavit. He needed to know the contents of both to prepare his defence for the forthcoming audit and whatever might arise from i t . Baker had several influential friends in Ottawa, dating from the 1880's when he was a member of parliament. One of them, Sir Joseph Pope, who had been Sir John A. MacDonald's secretary, was well placed to answer Baker's c a l l for help. Pope's reply to 52 Baker's letter for assistance was: "nothing to i t " . And copies of the report and affidavit were enclosed. In September, 1904, a commissioner was appointed by Ottawa to investigate and report on the state and management Victoria Daily Times, 20 February, 190 5, p. 8. Baker, 20 October, 19 04. - 104 -of the V i c t o r i a and Esquimalt Pilotage D i s t r i c t . Com-missioner R. T. E l l i o t t declared that Baker's assumed power of attorney over the p i l o t ' s Puget Sound money could only be lawful i f i t was i n accordance with the pilotage by-laws. As i t was not, Baker was c l e a r l y i n the wrong. On 1 May, 190 5, Baker's appointment as a member of the P i l o t Board was cancelled and his long term as secretary to the Board came to an end. Baker blamed Li b e r a l animosity to his work as a Conservative as the cause of his trouble. But, by t h i s date he was a wealthy and successful businessman and apart from the unwelcome p u b l i c i t y that he received, nothing more was hurt than h i s pride. The reasons f o r Baker's i n d i s c r e t i o n and the r e l a t i v e l y mild reaction to i t from the community are d i f f i c u l t to i s o l a t e , but i n general, they are i n keeping with the f r o n t i e r idea of the entrepreneur. One aspect of t h i s seems to have been an acceptance of a kind of survival of the f i t t e s t , i n a business sense. I f others bowed to the i n i t i a t i v e and energy of a businessman, i t was because he was better f i t t e d to lead. This philosophy did not condone dishonesty, but i t was apparently quite tolerant of what might be described as "sharp" business practice, - 105 -a corruption or expansion of the l e g a l concept of caveat 5 3 emptor. The nature of business and p o l i t i c s i n t h i s era makes i t f a i r l y clear that the leaders i n both of these f i e l d s held to t h i s view. Baker's f u l l time employment with the Pilotage Com-mission had commenced in the spring of 1877, but the previous winter, which had followed his dismissal from the Hastings Saw M i l l Company, had been a f i n a n c i a l l y troubled one. As the year 1877 progressed, he resolved to do something to strengthen his f i n a n c i a l p o s i tion. By the f a l l , he had f u l l time employment with the pro-v i n c i a l Treasury Department, as well as the P i l o t Board. His pilotage position was insecure, however, because of the business community's opposition to the pilotage system. Baker spoke to a number of h i s l e g a l friends on the subject of the commutation of his naval half pay. Doctor J. B. Matthews was his doctor, as well as being a personal friend and Baker questioned him on the p o s s i b i l i t y of obtaining medical, c e r t i f i c a t e s to substantiate the pre-sence of a physical d i s a b i l i t y that would prevent him Note: Caveat emptor, "Let the buyer beware" ( i . e . one buys at his own r i s k ) . - 10 6 -54 from performing any further active service. Baker's object was to commute his half pay to a lump sum settle-ment. Doctor Matthews readily agreed to supply him with medical documents stating that the condition of his heart and lungs rendered him unfit for further active service. Baker's plans with regard to the commutation of his naval half pay did not involve any false representation. It was simply the only solution to his quest for business capital that he could think of and he intended to give i t a try. Besides which, the Admiralty had the responsibility of verifying the accuracy of his claim of being medically unfit for further naval service. By Christmas Baker's plans were formulated and on 10 January, 1878, he l e f t for England via San Francisco and New York. In New York, he changed his $20 gold pieces for sovereigns (at a rate of $4.87 to the sovereign) before boarding the Germania for the. Atlantic crossing. The Germania steamed out of New York harbour and then "made a l l s a i l " . She crossed the Atlantic under steam and s a i l in nine days and anchored off Liverpool. Baker, 8 January, 187 8. - 107 -After a short v i s i t with his father, Baker l e f t Liverpool for London. On his a r r i v a l i n London, he made his o f f i c i a l application to the Admiralty to appear before a Board of Commutation. On 2 6 February, he was given a medical examination required by the Board, which handed down~ i t s decision four days l a t e r . His request to have his half pay commuted was approved: the Board f 5 5 awarded him JL 1495-16-6 (some $7,285). Baker, according to h i s plan, had gained a sizeable block of c a p i t a l . While he was i n London waiting for his Board, Baker exchanged v i s i t s with many of the large number of Vic-torians i n the c i t y . He had t r a v e l l e d from V i c t o r i a to San Francisco with shipping and commission merchant R. C. Janion and his wife, who were also on t h e i r way to , England. In London, he saw Stahlschmidt frequently, as well as Durham and Brodie of the V i c t o r i a firm, Findlay, Durham and Brodie. He also dined with Joseph Boscowitz, a V i c t o r i a fur dealer, who had been i n London since the f a l l . Jack and E l l a Curtis came up to London to see him. He met J. W. Trutch and went out on a number of occasions with A. W. Vowell and Henry Nathan. 5 5Baker, 2 March, 1878. - 108 -While Baker does not s p e c i f i c a l l y say so i n his journals, business i n V i c t o r i a must have been the subject of many of these conversations, p a r t i c u l a r l y a f t e r he had received his commuted ha l f pay from the Admiralty. For instance, Stahlschmidt was interested in the Howe Mine and on his return to V i c t o r i a , Baker invested i n t h i s mine. Later, as the secretary of this mine, he arranged for Stahlschmidt to be the company's agent i n London in a bid to s e l l i t there. Baker also saw a great deal of A. W.'Vowell, the gold commissioner for the Cassiar region and i t was speculation i n mining that f i l l e d Baker's mind when he returned to V i c t o r i a . Almost immediately after acquiring his new wealth, Baker.outfitted himself with a complete set of Masonic r e g a l i a . He then set o f f f o r a Masonic meeting, but was stopped at the door. No less a person than the E a r l of 5 6 Carnarvon gave permission f o r him to be admitted. As March drew to a close, Baker completed his shopping and f r a t e r n i z i n g . His purchases were taken to the Hudson's Bay Company o f f i c e s on Lime Street for shipment to V i c t o r i a v i a Cape Horn. On 21 March, he booked his passage from Liverpool to San Francisco (for ^  46-10-0) and s a i l e d . 5 6Baker, 5 March, 187 8. - 109 -On 8 A p r i l , as Baker's t r a i n r a t t l e d down the mountains into C a l i f o r n i a , he exclaimed i n h i s diary, " i n the land 57 of cheap meals and drinks again"! He relaxed i n San Francisco for two days with his friends Alex Dunsmuir and W. N. Diggle before leaving for V i c t o r i a . On 14 A p r i l , the mailship, City of Panama, berthed in Esquimalt and Baker returned to his family. The next day, he enjoyed the company of many of h i s business associates over a long lunch at the Garrick's Head. A few months e a r l i e r , Baker had had to s i t on the sid e l i n e s as he r u e f u l l y commented, "everyone gone mad 5 8 about Cariboo Quartz reports". But, now he was i n a position to partake i n the speculating; he went on a buying spree i n mining stocks. Prospects of s t r i k i n g i t r i c h so f i l l e d hisrmind that within three days of his return to V i c t o r i a , he and W. R. Clarke took out Free Miner's C e r t i f i c a t e s . This c e r t i f i c a t e not only permitted the holder to prospect f o r vein, or lode mining and placer mining, but was obligatory for those intending to be owners, or hold an inte r e s t i n a mine, other than as a shareholder. Towards the end of A p r i l , A. J . Smith, a dire c t o r of the newly formed Howe Copper Mining Company, sold him 5 7Baker, 8 A p r i l , 1878. 5 8Baker, 22 December, 1877. - 110 -5 9 a quarter interest in the Company for $500. Some of the other directors were W. P. Sayward, B. W. Pearse, Charles Hayward, H. L. Jones, A. B. Gray and the pros-pector, Josiah Jaques. He bought 100 shares in the British Columbia Milling and Mining Company, which had 6 0 been incorporated in January, 1878. In July, C. F. Houghton bought him an additional 200 shares. Some of it s directors were Judge J. Hamilton Gray, J. H. Turner, C. T. Dupont, F. S. Barnard, C. E. Redfern and J. H. Todd, a l l prominent Victoria businessmen. He gave Thomas Shotbolt $50 for a one fortieth interest in a prospecting party headed for the Big Bend region of the 61 Columbia River and a claim called the "Big Bend." R. E. Green sold him forty shares in the Hope Mine for 6 2 $75, and he purchased 500 shares in the Cinnabar Mine 6 3 from C. M.' Chambers. J. W. McKay, C. F. Houghton and C. P. Dupont talked him into an undisclosed share in the 64 Hebrew Mining Company. The Hebrew claim was abandoned in June and i t s equipment auctioned off in July. But, 5 9Baker, 29 Apr i l , 1878 6 0Baker, 4 May, 1878. 6 1Baker, 8 May, 1878. 6 2Baker, 13 May, 1878. 6 3Baker, 20 May, 1878. 6 4Baker, 7 May, 1878. - I l l -interest in the mine continued. In the f a l l , the original partners, now with the Oppenheimer brothers, A. R. :Green, H. E. Croasdaile and Judson Young, were trying to breathe some l i f e back into the operation. The mine fizzled. But four years later, McKay applied for a Crown grant to regain the claim. During the summer, the pilotage system was under attack, but Baker's mind was chiefly occupied with mining rumours, reports and arranging assays. Business was so brisk, that in June, he l e f t his small room in Drake and Jackson's office complex for a new office on Langley Street. Bags of ore were shipped to his office. Meetings were held where eager partners examined the "rocks" and privileged prospective partners were allowed to view the goods. Other bags of ore were shipped to San Francisco for inspection. In May, Baker supervised the loading of seven sacks of ore samples from the Hebrew claim onto the City of Panama bound for San Francisco and the Nevada 6 5 Metallurgical Works. E. G. Prior and F. J. Roscoe urged Baker to buy another quarter share in the Howe Mine in August. However, the Enterprise Gold and Silver.Mining Company had caught his" eye. Its' directors included R. P. Rithet, James Baker, 29 May, 1878. - 112 -Burns and Theodore Lubbe. He bought a number of shares 6 6 in i t . The mining business was hectic and for some i t proved too heady an occupation. In December, F. J. Roscoe, an associate of Baker's in a number of mining ventures and until the August general election, M. P. 6 7 for Victoria, shot and k i l l e d himself. Two months later another business friend and fellow Mason, Felix 6 8 Neufelder, also committed suicide for business reasons. Masons J. H. Todd, A. R. Robertson, A. A. Green, C. F. Houghton, A.E.B. Davie, R. P. Rithet, C. E. Dawson and E. C. Baker were the pallbearers at his funeral. In March, 1879, Baker was offered and accepted the secretaryship of the Howe Copper Mining Company. This mine was a steady i f modest source of revenue for i t s shareholders. Most of the money i t earned came from leasing the property to other syndicates who wished to work the claim. Local interest in the mine continued over the years and others who became shareholders included A. A. Green, James Burns, Peter O'Reilly, B. W. Pearse, A. J. Langley, C. E. Pooley, I. W. Powell and Joseph Spratt. Efforts, such as the February, 18 81, endeavour 6Baker, 25 October, 1878. 7 Baker, 20 December, 1878. o Baker, 22 February, 1879. - 113 -to s e l l the mine in London through Stahlschmidt for an asking price of $135,000, produced moments of excitement. When that fai l e d , a move was made to interest the "Cana-dians" in Ottawa. Baker forwarded specimens of ore to Sir Charles Tupper. F. N. Gisborne, Superintendent of the Canadian Government Telegraph and Signal Service, made frequent business trips to Victoria. He often called on Baker to enquire for himself and others in Ottawa, on the prospects of the Howe Mine and other mining claims. A l l of this mining activity was directed from Victoria, where these companies had their head offices. World economic conditions had improved by the end of the 1870's and there was a general upswing in business activity in the province. The commencement of construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia was imminent and this also created an air of business optimism in the province. But, the excitement was in British Columbia's f i r s t love, mining, which s t i l l exercised a somewhat magic force over the imagination of a l l ranks of the community. Baker's interest in mining continued throughout his business career. But never again did he enter into a period of such intense speculation in mining stocks as in 187 8. How he fared, as far as profits were concerned that year, is d i f f i c u l t to ascertain. He seemed reasonably - 114 -satisfied with his success, however. More importantly, he was out of the 1876-77 doldrums and his business relationships had moved from that of customer to the more intimate category of partner. His progress in the business community now became swifter. He had gained that essential prerequisite of being on the inside, the favoured position from which to hear of opportunities and act on them. Another activity that brought Baker into closer touch with the business l i f e of the province in these early years, was his association with the British Columbia Board of Trade. The British Columbia Board of Trade was incorporated on 28 October, 1878, largely through the 69 efforts of R. P. Rithet. In a matter of a few years, i t included virtually a l l the businessmen of note in the province. In June, 1879, M.W.T. Drake, a prominent lawyer, suggested to Baker that he should apply for the position of secretary and offered his support. At that moment, however, relations between the Board's president, R. P. Rithet, and Baker were somewhat strained over the "Robert Patterson Rithet, Esq.," The Resources of British Columbia, vol. 1, no. 5 (July 1883), p. 11. - 115 -pilotage dispute. Finlayson tried unsuccessfully to intercede on Baker's behalf with Rithet, as did one of 7 0 his fellow Masons, McMicking. Rithet would not support Baker's nomination for secretary, but, inspite 71 of his stand, Baker was voted in. Rithet relented after Baker's election, shook hands and the two renewed their friendship. Baker held the paid office of sec-retary until 188 5, when he was elected Vice-President for the following year. His experience with the Board of Trade increased his awareness of the business activities in the province and the aspirations of the business community. The Board of Trade Fourth Annual Report, 1882-83, prepared by Baker, was virtually a blueprint of the business interests he supported in Ottawa, while he was a member of the House of Commons. The most prosperous business venture that Baker became involved in during this early period was the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company. In 1879, Baker, 27 June, 1879. Baker, 2 July, 1879. - 116 -his friend and fellow Mason, R. B. McMicking, was the General Superintendent Dominion Government Tele-graphs in British Columbia. McMicking was interested Note: R. B. McMicking was a native of (Upper) Canada who came west with the Overlanders in 1862; he had been employed by the Montreal Telegraph Company at Queenstown. After a short f l i n g at mining in the Cariboo, he secured employment with the Collins Overland Telegraph Extension Company at i t s New Westminster office in 1865. This company had emerged as the result of the failure of the attempt to lay a trans-Atlantic cable in 18 58. The object of the company was to link New York to Paris by telegraph by way of the western United States, British Columbia, Alaska, the Bering Straits, Russia and thence through Europe to France. Construc-tion commenced in 1862, and two years later, the tele-graph line entered British Columbia, passed through New Westminster and proceeded north following the Fraser River and the Cariboo Wagon Road. In 1865, the main line reached Quesnel. In the same year, a branch line was constructed from Victoria to the San Juan Islands and thence to the main line at Swinomish, Washington. The main line had reached the Nass River (Fort Stager on the Skeena River was the last station) when, on 28 July, 1866, the second attempt to lay a trans-Atlantic cable was successfully completed. The success of the trans-Atlantic cable removed the purpose behind the Collins Overland Telegraph Extension Company and i t s construction programme came to an abrupt stop. At the time, McMicking was the company's operator at Yale and he sent through the news that halted construction of the gigantic enterprise in British Columbia. The Collins Company subsequently became part of the Western Union Telegraph Company, which maintained i t s lines in British Columbia north to Quesnel u n t i l they were purchased by the British Columbia Government in 1870. McMicking, who was in charge of the Western Union Telegraph office in Yale, was transferred to Victoria. A year later, on entering confederation, British Colum-bia transferred the telegraph system to the Dominion Government. In 1878, McMicking was General Superintendent Dominion Government Telegraphs in British Columbia. - 117 -in introducing the telephone to British Columbia. In 1878 and 1879, he apparently made a number of purchases of telephone equipment for the purpose of experimentation and study. The method he used to finance these purchases, however, was not approved of by his seniors. F. N. Gisborne, Superintendent of the Canadian Government Telegraph and Signal Service, had called on Baker on Howe Copper Mine matters in September, but, in October, he and B. W. Pearse, Dominion Government Engineer of Public Works in British Columbia, were back to see him with a request to audit the telegraph accounts. At the same time, McMicking came to Baker seeking assis-tance for his financial troubles. As Master of the Vic-toria Columbia Masonic Lodge, Baker canvassed the city's Masons on behalf of McMicking. The Masonic bond was strong and McMicking was successfully "bailed out", although his job was in jeopardy. C. M. Chambers and Baker carried out the requested audit. Despite the pleas entered on McMicking's behalf, the Minister of Public Works insisted on his dismissal. In February, 188 0, he received notice that his employment would be terminated effective 31 March. Baker was f u l l y conversant with McMicking's plans and ideas regarding the telephone and he quickly recognized the business oppor-tunity i t presented. Even before notice of McMicking's - 118 -dismissal from the telegraph service had been received, plans for a local telephone company, with McMicking as it s manager, had been drawn up. Baker played what was now becoming his usual and highly effective role of organizer for the project: co-ordinating the development schedules bringing the partners together and drawing up the terms of their agreement. In 188 0, the mayor of Victoria was J. H. Turner, a Mason and close friend of Baker's. Two of the city's councillors were A. J. Smith, a mining associate of Baker's and Andrew Rome, his brother-in-law. Baker needed their assistance in overcoming objections to the right of way and unsightliness of the proposed telephone 73 poles. On 10 March, he explained the situation to Rome. The council's approval was obtained with no apparent d i f f i c u l t y , and in Ap r i l , a contract to supply and erect the telephone poles (at a cost of $2.05 per pole) was awarded to Gray Brothers Contractors. In March, Baker and McMicking prepared a l i s t of the equipment needed for the telephone system and, on the 30th, Baker ordered i t from the California Electrical Works in San Francisco. A. A. Green was a partner in the proposed 7 3Baker, 10 March, 1880. - 119 -telephone company and his firm, Garesche, Green and Com-pany, were the local agents for Wells, Fargo and Company's Express. Baker arranged with Green to rent the old Western Union Telegraph Office, which was in the Wells Fargo Office, for the telephone company at $15 per month commencing 1 May. The Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company B i l l received f i r s t reading in the legislature on 12 Apr i l ; 74 the Company was incorporated on 3 May, 1880. On 6 May, the telephone lines between Victoria and Esquimalt were in working order. In addition to providing telephone service to Victoria and Esquimalt, the company had obtained a special license from the Bell Telephone Com-pany of Canada establishing i t as the sole agent for Bell Telephone and Blake Transmitters in British Columbia. At the beginning of the year, there had been two syndicates working towards the setting up of a telephone 7 5 company. The two groups met for a discussion of their 7 6 plans. They agreed to amalgamate, and at a later British Columbia Directory, 18 8 2-8 3, Victoria, Williams, 1882, p. 102. 5BCG, 21 February, 1880, p. 116. 6Baker, 4 May, 1880. - 120 -meeting, they organized the company with James H. Innes, accountant in charge of the Royal Naval Yard, as president, McMicking as manager, Baker as secretary and R. P. Rithet, A. A. Green, James D. Warren, Edward A. McQuade and 77 James H. Innes as directors. The company's bankers were Garesche and Green and Company. The local entrepreneurs may have thought that Victoria was ready for a telephone system, but the community s t i l l had to be convinced of the practicality of the new device. The naval dockyard, various government agencies and local businessmen were a l l approached. By July, there was a brisk demand for telephones and the Bakers enjoyed the luxury of shopping by telephone. Out of town businessmen were interested as well. Early in July, Baker visited Yale to see the railway construction that had been started there in May, and to talk to the engineers and businessmen assembled at the town. Several of these men, such as H. J. Cambie, engineer in charge of construction from Emory Bar to Boston Bar, the Oppenheimer Brothers, com-mission merchants in Victoria and Yale, and J. A. Mara, M.P.P. for Yale, were Masons and personal friends of Baker's. Baker drew their attention to the value of the British Columbia Directory, 18 82-8 3, Victoria, Williams, 1882, p. 102. - 121 -telephone to them in their work. A month later, McMicking was at Yale putting in a telephone service for Andrew Onderdonk. By September, Mrs. Cambie had been so impressed by the telephone that she bought $200 worth of shares from Baker. In January, 18 81, some nine months after i t s incor-poration, the telephone company declared a ten percent dividend. A year later, the telephone profits were 7 9 $1,018.22. It was a modest beginning, but the business was growing. Baker held 2 6 out of 5 5 telephone company shares at the shareholders annual meeting in December, 1883. Only 51 shares were represented at the meeting and Baker was able to dictate company policy, over which there was a difference of opinion. Baker compelled the company to s e l l stock against the wishes of R. P. Rithet, A. A. Green and J. H. Innes, who, under the circumstances, 8 0 declined to continue as directors. J. D. Warren, E. A. McQuade, J. Davies, H. L. Jones and W. T. Livock formed the new directorate. Baker had become a principal shareholder in the telephone company by the end of his early business years. Baker, 6 September, 188 0. Baker, 30 January, 1882. Baker, 21 December, 188 3. - 122 -It was a position that he continued to hold throughout his active years in federal p o l i t i c s and well into the era of his mature business operations. Interest in the telephone company and demand for i t s shares remained at a high level un t i l the company was sold in 1899. Baker increased his percentage of shares and eventually held some seventy per cent of the company's stock. J. W. Trutch and H. D. Harris bought large blocks of shares in 18 88. Peter O'Reilly and A. C. Flumerfelt were also 81 shareholders. In 1892, the telephone company was re-organized and expanded. In a petition to the legislature, signed by J. W. Trutch as president and E. C. Baker as secretary, the company sought permission to extend i t s service to the dis t r i c t s of Victoria and Esquimalt, have its'power and privileges extended for a period of f i f t y years, and Note: Flumerfelt was one of British Columbia's more energetic and successful entrepreneurs. He was associated with Baker in a number of business ven-tures and became a millionaire largely through his work in mining. Peter O'Reilly came to British Columbia at the time of the Fraser River gold rush (1858). He was a gold commissioner and stipendiary magistrate. In 1864, he was appointed chief gold commissioner and later, Indian reserve commissioner. He was one of Victoria's better known and more colourful figures. authority to increase their capital stock. 0 L The petition was immediately attacked through a counter petition put forward by Robert Beaven, mayor of the city of Victoria. The mayor contended that the regulation of the streets was a city matter and therefore, that any additional telephone poles erected in the city of Victoria should be subject to the approval of council. More disastrously, the mayor also asked that the government include a proviso in the B i l l of Incorporation enabling the city to acquire the property of the company whenever i t was deemed in the 8 3 public interest to do so. The government, in amending the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company Act, ignored this last request by the ci t y , but made the erection of telephone poles subject to council's approval and limited the time extension of the company's privileges to twenty five years.^ A l l looked well for the expansion of the company's operations, when, in October, 18 92, Amor de Cosmos applied British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Journals (here-after cited as BCJ), Victoria, Government Printing Office, 1892, p. x x x i i i . BCJ, p. xxxv. British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Statutes, (here-after cited as BCS), Victoria, Government Printing Office, 1892, pp. 427-429. - 124 -for an injunction to stop the erection of telephone poles, de Cosmos objected to the physical, or visual, intrusion of telephone poles and their wires near his property. The case went before Judge M.W.T. Drake of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Baker and Drake had been close personal friends for many years, but in this case friend-ship was of l i t t l e use. Amor de Cosmos was a "hard nut" to crack. The case dragged on until A p r i l , 1895, when E. Mi Bodwell, Baker's lawyer, managed to bring the case to a successful conclusion for his client. The long delayed telephone construction was at last resumed. On 22 June, 1899, William E a r r e l l , the manager of the Bank of Hamilton in Vancouver, made an offer for the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company. Negotiations went on into August, when Flumerfelt returned to Victoria with a firm offer of $100,000, plus a $5,500 refund (of some unspecified money) and a $5 ,000 bonus for Baker.. The deal was closed and Baker reckoned his share of the "plunder" at $70,000.85 On 1 October, 1899, William Farrell became president of the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company and McMicking was retained as i t s manager. Baker, 15 September, 1899. (The word "plunder" seems to have been Baker's favourite synonym for the word "profit".) - 125 -The sale of the telephone company to Eastern interests at this time points to the arrival of large corporations from outside the province. These organizations with their larger amounts of capital were moving into British Columbia and the small locally or provincially established com-panies were in the process of being bought out to form 8 6 part of much larger corporations. Another business enterprise that Baker was associated with shortly after the founding of the telephone company, provides the same example of local entrepreneurship and i t s eventual absorption by a much larger corporation. In 1878, the Victoria city council and the Victoria Gas Company, which provided street lighting for the city, clashed on the question of gas rates. Victorians had seen a demonstration of electric light in H.M.S. Triumph that spring, and the newspapers supported a change to 8 7 electric street lighting. After some 3 years of inde-cision, the problem of providing economic street lighting was referred to the citizens of Victoria. In November, 1881, the city's ratepayers voted to allow the city to 8 8 introduce electric street lighting. 8 6Colonist, 30 September, 1899 , p. 2. 8 7 B r i t i s h Colonist, 1 June, 187 8, p. 3. 8 8Baker, 2 November, 1881. - 126 -Baker and McMicking had been preparing a tender for the city council on the provision of electric street lighting since August. They hoped to incorporate i t with their existing telephone system. There were two bids to provide the street lighting, one from Reginald Nuttall, representing the Brush Light Company, and the other from McMicking and Baker. Nuttall was successful with a bid 89 of $12,500, but he was unable to implement his plan. Baker and McMicking persisted. In 1883, McMicking approached the city council with an offer to build three huge lighting towers at his own expense. If the city was satisfied with the efficiency of the system, they could have the option of buying i t . The ratepayers and city council approved the proposal in T i 90 July. 91 Baker was again the organizer behind the scheme. He originally arranged for $5,000 in financing from A. A. 92 Green. Green, however, decided not to participate in the venture and Baker had to look elsewhere for financing. 8 9Baker, 10 November, 1881. 9 0Baker, 25 July, 1883. 9 1Baker, 14 July, 1883. 9 2Baker, 21 August, 188 3. - 127 -W. P. Sayward agreed to provide the financing required 93 to carry out the contract. In September, Baker made arrangements with R. H. Alexander of the Hastings Saw M i l l Company to supply a number of prime logs, suitable to be part of the 150 foot lighting towers. Joseph Spratt's steamer Maude made two trips in October to bring the spars to Victoria and Baker contacted his friends in the naval dockyard for assistance in raising the towers. The masts were raised without incident. The electric light plant was installed in the city pound and Baker insured i t for $6000. On 8 December, 1883, after waiting for the moon to go down, the electric light was displayed. Mayor C. E. Redfern and the council unanimously agreed to sign an agreement with McMicking. Two years later, the city bought out McMicking (and his partners) and the following year, they decided to extend the electric light system. In response to this proposal, the Sperry Company demonstrated the use of incandescent light. The demon-stration prompted interest in i t s use for indoor lighting and in the f a l l of 1886, a private company, the Victoria Baker, 24 October, 18 83. - 128 -Electric Illuminating Company, was formed. Rithet and 9 4 McMicking were two of i t s principal shareholders. The company installed an electrical generating plant with a capacity of four hundred "lights". On 29 Jaunary, 1887, the lights were turned on: the f i r s t incandescent electric 9 5 light station in Canada. Baker had been in the background of these negotia-tions and in the spring of 1887, he interviewed Rithet with regard to the secretaryship of the electric light company. Rithet was agreeable and Baker assumed this office in the summer after his return from Parliament. In July, he bought 30 shares of electric light stock for $750.9 6 Competition for the newly formed electric light company came from an unexpected quarter. In September, 1888, the National Electric Tramway and Lighting Company was formed by J. D. Warren, Andrew Gray, D. W. Higgins, 97 Joseph Hunter and Thomas Shotbolt. It began regular street railway service in February, 189 0. In the f a l l , 94 Patricia E. Roy, "The British Columbia Electric Railway Company, 1897-1928: A British Company in British Columbia", Vancouver, B. C , University of British Columbia, unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, 1970, p. 9. 9 5 Colonist, 30 January, 1887, p. 4. 9 6Baker, 25 July, 1887. 9 7 Colonist, 1 November, 1888, p. 4. - 129 -the company announced plans to enter the commercial and residential incandescent lighting market. To meet this competition, the Victoria Electric Illuminating Company was re-organized the same year. Louis Redon, the owner of the Driard Hotel, in whose basement the electric plant was located, was made president. Baker became the managing director. The company's organization was changed again a few years later. Rithet became president at Baker's request and Baker resumed the t i t l e of secretary-treasurer. William Farrell made an offer for the electric company shortly after he bought the telephone company, but nothing came of i t . In the f a l l of 1905, J. A. Sayward offered to buy the company's franchise, but was unsuccessful. In 1907, A. T. Goward, on behalf of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company, commenced negotiations with Baker 99 for the sale of the electric company. On 6 August, Baker was in Vancouver to complete the details of the sale with another of the company's representatives, Francis Hope. Hope joined Goward in Victoria on the 16th, a cheque for $19,607 was passed to Baker and the Victoria Electric Illuminating Company became the property of the 9 8Baker, 17 March, 189«. 9 9Baker, 27 March, 1907. - 130 -London based British Columbia Electric Railway Company.100 Another enterprise founded and developed by individual entrepreneurs passed into the hands of a large corporation from outside the province. There were other aspects of Baker's entrepreneurial ambitions that were beginning to show in his early business years. One of these was real estate, an activity that had fluctuated wildly in Victoria's past, but held great promise as construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway came ever closer to becoming a reality. In 1878, with the return of a Conservative government in Ottawa under Sir John A. Macdonald (member of parliament for Victoria), British Columbia expected f u l l scale construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway to begin without delay and Victoria s t i l l clung to the hope that Esquimalt would be the railway's terminus. Railway construction and land speculation seemed to go hand in hand and in addition, the added business activity that this work would generate in Victoria was expected to produce a strong demand for real estate there. To f a c i l i t a t e his work in real estate, Baker applied to the provincial government to be a notary public in the 0 0Baker, 16 August, 1907. - 131 -summer of 1879. Early in September, he and A. C. E l l i o t t were gazetted to be notaries public in the province of British Columbia.1^11 Baker had shown an interest in real estate since the beginning of the year. It was the next quick-moving business enterprise that caught his attention after his 187 8 spree in mining stocks. In May, 1879, Baker joined with T. H. Williams i n 102 what he termed his " f i r s t real estate venture." This concerned speculation in Salt Spring Island property. In July, Baker attended a land sale at which he and H. L. 10 3 Jones jointly bought a lot for $550. The tempo of Baker's interest in real estate increased in the new year. 104 He and H. F. Heisterman discussed the sale of city lots. M.W.T. Drake saw Baker on the subject of a five year lease 10 5 of Sidney Island at $10 per month. The same day, T. H. Williams called,this time with plans of the property on James Island and North Pender Island. A few days later, the McKenzie brothers approached him "re Swan Lake purchase 106 scheme". Then came Joshua Davies, a local businessman 1 0 1BCG, 6 September, 1879, p. 305. 1 0 2Baker, 19 May, 1879. 1 0 3Baker, 31 July, 1879. 1 0 4Baker, 14 January, 1880. 1 0 5Baker, 30 January, 188 0. 1 0 6Baker, 2 February, 1880. - 132 -whose entrepreneurial instincts were as highly honed as Baker's and who was destined to become Baker's principal partner in real estate a c t i v i t i e s . He l e f t a property plan of Emory's Bar and returned the next day to discuss 107 speculating in these lots. But, the most promising suggestion was the purchase of Kenneth McKenzie * s Lake H i l l Farm on the edge of Victoria. Baker organized a group of interested specu-lators and in February, the syndicate signed an agreement 10 8 to purchase the farm; the actual members are not revealed in Baker's journals at this point. The syndicate was slow in executing their agreement, however, and i t was not un t i l December, 188 3, that the Lake H i l l Farm was bought by the company of that name for $18,330.87.109 At this time, the syndicate was composed of Leopold Lowenberg, J. R. Hett, R. E. Jackson, Joshua Davies, C. E. Pooley, E. C. Baker and Robert and Kenneth McKenzie. Baker and his associates had l i t t l e interest in buying and selling developed real estate. Their interest was in undeveloped land that would show the maximum profit 1 0 7Baker, 4 February, 18 80. 1 0 8Baker, 13 February, 1880. 109 Baker, 22 December, 1883. in the shortest time. Railway construction, mineral discoveries or some other type of development could usually be counted on to bring this about. To be successful in this enterprise required inside information. Well placed friends were the best answer to that problem, and these Baker had acquired assiduously. In November, 188 0, lots at Port Moody, the designated Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, were selling for from $40 to $50. Baker purchased several lots. A few months later, when he was in New Westminster, he instructed Reginald Nuttall to s e l l his Port Moody lots for $100 each. 1 1 0 It was a strange thing to do in view of the increase in value that could be expected with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, unless, even at this early date, some of his railway friends had informed him that the railway would never stop t h e r e . 1 1 1 In A p r i l , 1882, Joshua Davies called on Baker to inform him of a possible gold strike in the Barclay Dis-112 t r i c t and that a "land grab" was on. Baker l e f t his 1 1 0Baker, 17 February, 1881. 1 1 "Slote: Baker and H. J. Cambie had been close personal friends since the two of them arrived in Victoria in 1874. 112 -""^Baker, 29 Ap r i l , 1882, - 134 -office immediately with Davies and made his application to pre-empt a quarter section of land in the Bamfield and Grappler Creeks area of Barclay Sound. "Great excite-113 ment about Bamfxeld HBr", he noted in his journal; he , 114 was in good company. Baker also bought land in Sooke and in Saanich. Later, Joshua Davies told him of "another land grabbing business" at Shawnigan Lake and Baker bought land there. On the same day that Josh Davies directed his attention to Shawnigan Lake, H.B.W. Aikman phoned him about 143 choice 116 acres in Saanich that were to be sold for taxes. But, the real estate business was proving to be exhausting as well as exciting. By November, Baker was complaining, "Josh Davies with [another of] his infernal land grabbing 117 schemes." 114 •LXHBCG, 21 October, 1882 , p. 394 and BCG, 22 March, 1883 , p. 94. (Some of the applicants for pre-emption of this land were: J. C. Prevost, A. A. Green, Joshua Davies, Charles Todd, D. W. Higgins, H.B.W. Aikman, H. S. Roebuck, John Kurtz, Isaac and David Oppen-heimer, James Dunsmuir, E. V. Bodwell, W. P. Sayward, W. J. Macdonald, E. G. Prior, Roderick Finlayson, C. T. Dupont and C. M. Chambers.) 1 1 5Baker, 16 October, 1883. 116 Baker, 16 October, 1883. (H.B.W. Aikman was the registrar general of t i t l e s in the Land Registry Office.) 117 Baker, 28 November, 1883. - 135 -Although, Baker's business sense proved to be as sound in real estate as in other matters, i t was good training for the big opportunities -that would present themselves before the decade was out. Another facet of Baker's diverse business activity, in these same early years, was his work as a marine surveyor and as a commission merchant. These two a c t i -vities were often quite complementary and demonstrate further, his alertness to every type of business oppor-tunity. Baker f i r s t became involved in the commission mer-chant business because of his connection with the shipping trade and the buying and selling of navigational instruments. He also sold a multitude of miscellaneous commodities, usually acquired at bargain prices, ranging from tobacco, obtained in 40 pound boxes from his naval friends, to o i l that had been consigned, but was unwanted. In Ap r i l , 187 5, he took out a liquor license and imported ale and porter 118 from Dickson, DeWolf and Company of San Francisco. Captain Raymur authorized him to survey damaged cargoes and this was often an excellent source of material for resale. In June, 187 6, he surveyed part of a cargo Baker, 10 A p r i l , 1875. - 136 -of sugar that had been spoiled in transit. He condemned 16 casks and having set a value on them, bought them 119 himself for resale. In December, 1879, he and William Spofford bought 8 tons 9 00 pounds of damaged wheat from the sloop L e t i t i a . They stored i t in the Masonic Temple (Baker was Grand Secretary and Warden) and disposed of i t over the next few months at a good profit. The following February, Captain R. C. Tatlow, a young army officer Baker had met the previous f a l l , spoke to him about the purchase and resale of a quantity of powder and r i f l e s 12 0 that Tatlow had access to. The two entered into an agreement and Baker did the rounds of Store Street looking for customers for r i f l e s and powder. In the spring of 1879, Baker approached the Pilotage Commissioners with a request that he be appointed an o f f i c i a l marine surveyor; they agreed. It was a profession that, quite apart from i t s direct benefits, provided considerable indirect benefits in the form of useful infor-mation and business contacts in the shipping world. In August, William Charles, Inspecting Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, engaged Baker to survey the x Baker, 2 June, 187 6. 2 0Baker, 26 February, 1880. - 137 -sloop Mystery that the company was contemplating buying. In October, Charles asked Baker to complete a section of the plans of a paddle wheel steamer that the company was going to have built. Baker also continued to survey damaged cargoes. Just before Christmas, 1880, a ship arrived with a cargo of canned salmon, damaged in a winter storm while in transit to V i c t o r i a from one of H. E. Croasdaile's up-coast canneries. He also surveyed a shipment of hardware goods bound for the firm of Fellows and Prior. The sloop Atlanta was surveyed in January and arrangements made to repair her. In June, 1881, Baker was called as a nautical expert to attend the supreme court case concerning the grounding of the Thrasher. He continued actively as a marine surveyor for many years. As he entered the year 1882, Baker reached a turning point in his career that marked the end of his early business years. He could look back on almost eight years of l i f e in Victoria in which he had become known in the community and had established himself in business. They had been perhaps the most gruelling years in his l i f e and at the same time, the most successful. He had achieved a modest, but noteworthy, place of prominence in the Baker, 6 August, 1879. - 138 -community and his business progress was equally s a t i s -factory. Throughout these years, Baker was driven by an imagi-native and r e s t l e s s business s p i r i t . He was never happy in the r e s t r i c t i v e r o l e as Raymur's agent. The c o n f l i c t that arose between the two men within a few months of Baker's a r r i v a l was, predictably, the outcome of a difference in character that made i t impossible for them to work together i n business. The loss of his job with the Hastings Saw M i l l Company was a severe blow to Baker, but i n overcoming t h i s l o s s , he showed the v e r s a t i l i t y and determination with which he pursued h i s business i n t e r e s t s . From t h i s point on, his entrepreneurial drive was the most obvious feature of his business l i f e . And, no less s t r i k i n g was the extent to which his associates were a l l urged on by the same s p i r i t . The essentials of t h i s entrepreneurial s p i r i t were an imaginative business mind and the w i l l to act. Baker and his partners recognized the business potentials being opened by telephonic and e l e c t r i c a l technology. They were also quick to transform these ideas into r e a l i t y . Both of these q u a l i t i e s can be seen i n the formation of the V i c t o r i a and Esquimalt Telephone Company and i n Baker and - 139 -McMicking's attempts to form an electrical company in 1881. Further proof of Baker's energy and business in i t i a t i v e can be seen in the number of other activities he was involved in at this time: responsible positions with the Board of Trade, Pilotage Commission and Masonic Order, as well as being active in mining work, the for-mation of a major real estate syndicate, and work as a marine surveyor and commission merchant. These were a l l small enterprises, but this was another characteristic of the era. The corporate entre-preneur had not yet arrived in British Columbia. This l e f t the individual local entrepreneur, with his relatively small amount of capital, free to develop his business interests without being overwhelmed by larger blocks of capital. It was a situation that showed l i t t l e change unt i l the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the direct linking of the West to the centres of business in the East. By 190 0, the transfer of business control from local hands to business headquarters outside of the province was rapidly taking place. The telephone company and the electric company were two good examples of business ventures established by local entrepreneurs that passed into the control of large corporations from outside the province. - m o -In 1882, this latter step was s t i l l sometime in the future and not necessarily foreseen by the confident businessmen of Victoria. Baker had established himself as a member of this group. It was an opportune time, for the city was in her prime years as the business centre of the province. - 141 -CHAPTER V  POLITICS The beginning of a new period in Baker's l i f e came quite naturally at the opening of 1882, as he stood for election, f i r s t as a city councillor and then as a member of parliament. He had gained acceptance by a select section of the community. He was now ready to put his influence and reputation to the test in the community at large. Baker was a member of parliament from 18 82 until his resignation from the House in 1889. It i s these years in federal politics that form the major part of this chapter, with only a minor concluding reference to Baker's involvement in provincial p o l i t i c s . In these affairs can be seen his interest in forwarding his own business ambitions, followed by those of his business friends and la s t l y , the welfare of his constituents. The interest of the entrepreneur in poli t i c s as a means of creating and expediting business opportunities i s apparent. Another characteristic that the p o l i t i c a l affairs of the era show i s the close relationship of business and poli t i c s in the province. The government is as favourably disposed towards entrepreneurial activity as the business community i t s e l f , which is hardly - 142 -surprising, as the government throughout this era can be seen to have been formed almost entirely of members of the business community. Politics were a normal complement to entrepreneurial activities and an obvious next step for Baker. He seldom did anything without a reason and here, the opportunities that presented themselves were well worth the effort required to exploit them. Baker had come to Victoria with a clear understanding of the value of well placed connections. English society and l i f e in the Royal Navy had taught him that at an early age. Achieving important connections had been a notable characteristic of his early years in the community. Politics would place him alongside the people directing the nation's business at a c r i t i c a l time in Canada's history. The building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a national undertaking of tremendous proportions and for British Columbia, i t was the newest and greatest "gold rush" since 18 58. Baker's place in the community at this time was well illustrated in the funeral that followed the sudden and tragic death of the Honourable Mr. Justice A. R. Robertson in December, 18 81. He, in company with Chief Justice Begbie, the Honourable Mr. Justice Crease, the Honourable J. W. Trutch, the Honourable Peter O'Reilly, the Honourable Roderick Finlayson, the Honourable Robert - 143 -Beaven and W. C. Ward, was one of the pall bearers."*" The people, who were prepared to support Baker in po l i t i c s , were from the same leading section of society. Later that month, Baker held a meeting in his office to plan his election strategy in the forthcoming city elections. On several occasions in the past, he had called on friends on the city council for help in busi-ness matters. Now, he planned to play a more direct role in municipal government. On nomination day, 9 January, his name was proposed for election as a councillor by J. H. Turner, Mayor of Victoria for the preceding three years, and seconded by A. A. Green. On the 12th, Baker was elected as a councillor for the Yates Street Ward, while J. D. Warren, a director in the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company, was elected as a councillor for the Johnson Street Ward. Immediately, an objection was raised at the election of two members of the telephone company to the city council 2 on the grounds of a conflict of interest. On 17 January, the case went before Chief Justice Begbie: M.W.T. Drake was Baker's counsel. Baker and Warren transferred their "Colonist, 6 December, 1881, p. 3. !Baker, 12 January, 1882. - 144 -telephone shares to their wives; the Chief Justice thought on the matter for the weekend. On Monday the 23rd, he confirmed the election of Baker and Warren and they were sworn in by him. After his election, Baker was made a member of the city's Water Works Committee. This work quickly gave rise to ideas on the possibilities for a private business venture in this f i e l d . Here again, Baker's alertness to any possible business opportunity can be seen. He not only familiarized himself with the organization and operating expenses of the Victoria Water Works, but quietly sized up the situation for further exploitation. Three years later, he transferred his idea into reality. Baker's municipal government work was conducted on a relatively low key, but this was not the case in his discussions of provincial and federal matters. Throughout the spring, he met frequently with a number of important p o l i t i c a l and business figures to discuss dominion-provincial relations; Walkem, Trutch, Rithet, Pooley, Drake, Higgins, T. Davie and others were involved in these discussions. On 25 February, he and Trutch talked about Walkem and the problems of the drydock. A month later, he noted that the Walkem government was " a l l but - 145 -bust", because of the Drydock Committee's report. 0 Politics was in the a i r . Walkem's government was saved from almost certain defeat by his resignation to f i l l an unexpected appointment to the Bench of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, arranged by Prime Minister Macdonald. A provincial election was called which put Bob Beaven in as the new premier. In Ottawa, parliament was dissolved by Proclamation 18 May, 1882. Nevertheless, i t was a pleasant spring in Victoria. Railway construction was proceeding briskly and prosperity had returned to the city. Baker had been on the fringe of the railway construction business for some years. He had 5 known H. J. Cambie, a Mason and one of the senior Canadian Baker, 28 March, 1882. Note: The financing of the dry-dock had been so inept and i t s progress so slow that a select Committee had been established to look into the matter. In March, 18 82, they confirmed the extent of the drydock's mismanagement when they reported that the government estimates had made no provision for cement, an item costing some $250,000. (Margaret A. Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, Vancouver, Macmillan, 1958, p. 284.) Margaret A. Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, Vancouver, Macmillan, 1958, pp. 284-285. Note: Henry J. Cambie l e f t his home in Ireland and' came to Canada at the age of fifteen. He worked, in Canada West on the Grand Trunk Railway for a number of years before qualifying as a land surveyor in July, 1861. In 186 3, he was hired to survey and explore the route of the Intercolonial Railway and, from 1870-73, he was actively engaged in i t s construction. By 1874, when Prime Mini-ster Mackenzie selected him to supervise construction of the proposed Esquimalt and Nanaimo railway, he was an experienced railway engineer with an excellent repu-tation. Cambie was convinced that the railway to Nanaimo would eventually proceed via Bute Inlet to become part of the transcontinental railway using the Yellow head Pass. (Daily Colonist, 12 October, 1914, p. 10.) - 146 -Pacific Railway engineers in British Columbia, since May, 1874. At that time, R. H. Alexander had brought Cambie over from Burrard Inlet and had introduced him to Baker. Cambie had arrived in Victoria earlier that spring with James Edgar and was expecting to start construction of the Esquimalt to Nanaimo railway. James Edgar had been sent to Victoria by Prime Minister Mackenzie to negotiate a settlement of the railway dispute. Part of the solution to the problem was to be the immediate construction of the Esquimalt to Nanaimo railway. So sure was Mackenzie that Walkem would accept his proposal that he had sent Cambie with Edgar so that work on the railway could begin without delay. Premier Walkem, however, after a number of preliminary discussions, refused to negotiate further with Edgar, who returned to Ottawa. Cambie was instructed by the federal government to explore and survey possible railway routes in the province. In 1876, Marcus Smith, the senior Canadian Pacific Railway engineer in British Columbia, replaced Sandford Fleming, who went on leave of absence, as chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway project. Cambie in turn took over Smith's position and remained in charge of railway work in the province unti l 1880. Before and - 147 -during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Cambie was a frequent visitor to Victoria. On his v i s i t s , he and Baker were often together. Baker was kept f u l l y informed of the plans of the railway and the opportunities these presented. Another local figure involved in the inner workings of the railway project was J. W. Trutch, who, in 18 79, was appointed the Dominion Government's Agent for" the province. In this capacity, he supervised the construction of the Esquimalt Drydock, the Onderdonk sections of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway. On 2 A p r i l , 1880, Trutch, Cambie and the young Victoria lawyer, D. M. Eberts, arrived in Esquimalt from San Francisco onboard the mail ship Dakota. David Oppenheimer and Baker drove out to meet them and brought them back to town, where Trutch set up his office in B. W. Pearse's Dominion Public Works Department. At the same time, Pearse informed Baker that he had been appointed as accountant to the Public Works Department, a result of Baker's auditing of McMicking's telegraph accounts. In July, the drydock contractors arrived in Victoria and Trutch's office became more active. Baker, who was working in the same department, suggested to - 148 -Trutch that he assume the task of keeping his records. Trutch agreed and in September, Baker began working two hours a day on Trutch's books. Baker had tapped another source of useful information. Baker remained in this dual position u n t i l the newly appointed o f f i c i a l accountant to the Dominion Government Agency in British Columbia, E. V. Bodwell, arrived the following spring. On 5 May, 1881, he transferred Trutch's books to Bodwell. By the spring of 1882, Baker had become a well-informed businessman, who was familiar with most of the principal matters affecting British Columbia. He was in a good position to take advantage of the p o l i t i c a l opportunity presented by the calling of a federal election for that summer. Following parliament's dissolution in the middle of May, Baker held a number of meetings with close and influential friends. Trutch, Drake, Pooley and Joshua Davies pledged him financial support. D. W. Higgins, the owner of the Daily Colonist, gave his blessing to Baker's plans. Senator Macdonald, A.E.B. Davie, R. E. Jackson and D. M. Eberts also assisted and advised him. William Charles lent his support by signing Baker's nomination papers. On 7 June, Baker placed an advertisement in a l l three local papers announcing that he was running for one of - 149 -the two federal seats for Victoria. Sir John A. Macdonald did not intend to stand for election in Victoria in July and on hearing this, Noah Shakespeare, the recently elected Mayor of Victoria, also announced his candidacy. By the end of June Baker was campaigning actively. g On 24 June, the Daily Colonist reported an address by Baker in which he outlined what he considered to be the key issues in the election. He was against Chinese immigration and wished government help in promoting white immigration. He favoured the immediate construction of a railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo and the completion of the-.'drydock as a federal, or imperial, project. He also wanted the maximum compensation from the federal government for the delay in railway construction. The mail and cable service, he contended, should be improved and a better ferry service provided. In July, the Daily Colonist covered what was described 7 as "A Great Public Meeting." The candidates a l l addressed the crowd, including Baker's opponent, Amor de Cosmos. Shakespeare delivered a violently anti-Chinese address, which was greeted with loud cheers by the crowd. Baker 6Daily Colonist, 24 June, 1882, p. 2. 7Daily Colonist, 1 July, 1882, p. 3. - 150 -joined him stating they should be expelled from the province. He wanted reciprocity in trade with the Sandwich Islands and again spoke of increased communi-cations services for the Island. Baker then assailed de Cosmos for his alleged stand on Canadian indepen-dence, which was made out to be an attack on Empire solidarity, de Cosmos defended himself by saying that he had not voted for independence, but for a resolution put forward in parliament by Blake asserting that Canada should have the right to make her own treaties. But, Baker sensed the mood of the crowd and to "uproarious cheers" and "tumultuous applause," he cried that he had been "born under the British flag," "bled under i t " (somewhat falsely) and "expected to die under i t " ! Other meetings followed and Baker continued with his well-received theme, de Cosmos spent his time trying to r i d himself of the anti-British label his independence vote had given him. His efforts were in vain. The Daily Colonist, in i t s "Our Ottawa Letter" column, reported de Cosmos as being strongly in favour of independence from Great Britain. On 21 July, Baker was elected at the head of the poll with Hkl votes. Shakespeare was elected as the other member of parliament Daily Colonist, 15 July, 1882, p. 2. - 151 -for Victoria District and de Cosmos, with 308 votes, 9 was defeated. After his election, Baker wasted no time in plunging into his new p o l i t i c a l role. At the end of the month, he was in Yale, the head of navigation on the Fraser River and the site of the general offices, repair and construc-tion shops, hospital and an explosives factory for the Onderdonk section of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Andrew Onderdonk held the contract to build the r a i l link connecting Savona's Ferry with Port Moody, some 212.5 miles,at an estimated cost of $9,578 ,000.00.10 Baker discussed the progress of railway construction with Cambie and others, and was given a train ride over part of the some 30 miles of finished line; the f i r s t loco-motive had arrived at Yale in May, 1881. In August, he accompanied Trutch, Rithet, Thomas Earle and Doctors J. S. Helmcken and J. B. Matthews to view the site for a Quarantine Hospital. At the beginning of September, he was busy with arrangements for the v i s i t of the Governor General, the Marquess of Lorne, and Her Royal Highness Princess Louise. On 19 September, H.M.S. Comus arrived in Esquimalt with Daily Colonist, 22 July, 1882, p. 3. •°British Columbia Directory, 1882-83, p. 373. - 152 -the Governor General and his party. Baker was introduced to the Governor General at a civ i c reception the following day and later, in company with Roderick Finlayson and Leopold Lowenberg, he called on the Marquess of Lorne. The; 'Governor General and his party toured British Columbia for a month and then returned to Victoria. Baker was included with the guests dining with His Excellency at Government House after his return. The following day, Premier Robert Beaven, Shakespeare and Baker had a long interview with the Governor General on the subject of Chinese immigration and railway construction. 1 1 The three British Columbians urged that Chinese immigration be restricted. The Governor General stressed the need for Canadian actions not to embarrass the British Govern-ment in their relations with China. In January, 1883, Baker attended his last meeting of the city council and prepared to leave Victoria for Ottawa, where the First Session of the Fifth Parliament was due to open 8 February. It was a busy time as a swarm of business friends descended on him to make their needs known. Issac Oppenheimer wanted the contract to 12 remove Beaver Rock from Victoria harbour. Wymond 1 : L B r i t i s h Columbia Directory, 1882-83 , p. 373 . 12 Baker, 6 January, 18 83. - 153 -13 Hamley, collector of customs, had staffing problems. Richard Wolfenden and C. T. Dupont had requests with 14 regard to their service in the m i l i t i a . J. A. Mara, R. E. Jackson and Robert Beaven wanted information from Ottawa regarding railways and land that they were interested i n . 1 ^ R. P. Rithet offered him the secretary-ship of the Albion Iron Works and more importantly, discussed the formation of a steamship company to 16 operate between Victoria and New Westminster. Donald Urquhart was also a promoter of the latter idea, which seemed to hinge on Baker's a b i l i t y to obtain a mail 17 subsidy for the prospective company from Ottawa. Chief Justice Begbie and Senator Hugh Nelson also stopped at Baker's office. Judge Gray, on a more useful mission, called and gave him a letter of intro-18 duction to Sir John A. Macdonald. On 24 January, Baker crossed to Port Townsend and proceeded to San Francisco via Tacoma and Portland. In Portland, he had an interview with C. H. Prescott, 13 Baker, 13 January, 188 3. 1 4Baker, 16 and 22 January, 1883. 1 5Baker, 16, 17 and 20 January, 1883. 16 Baker, 6 January, 18 83. 1 7Baker, 16 January, 1883. 1 8Baker, 14 January, 1883. - 154 -of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, on the subject of an improved mail service for Victoria by way of Puget Sound. The company's railway line from the East was to be completed in September, 18 83, and i t was actively planning to include Victoria in i t s railway and steam-ship network. A subsidy of $15,000 for a Puget Sound 19 daily mail service was discussed by the two men. With his Portland business concluded, Baker went on to San Francisco by ship. Here, before he l e f t for Ottawa, he met with another of the Oppenheimer brothers, David, who also spoke to him about the contract for removing Beaver Rock. After almost twelve years of Confederation, British Columbia was becoming more Ottawa oriented. The province had been somewhat of a reluctant bride at the Union, but c i v i l service jobs and the expenditure of federal funds were powerful levers in convincing the local business and p o l i t i c a l leaders that success lay in cultivating the politicians in Ottawa. M. A. Ormsby in writing on Canadian influence on British Columbia stated: "By that time [1878], the same standard of p o l i t i c a l ethics prevailed at Ottawa and Baker, 26 January, 18 83. - 155 -Victoria. Patronage was expected to be the reward for 2 0 loyalty...." But, to suggest that this similarity in p o l i t i c a l ethics was an indication of the Canadiani-zation of British Columbia does not appear to be correct. The province's leaders had simply learned that i t was more profitable to be a party to federal policy than to fight i t . The assertion, "By the time of the completion of the trans-continental railroad, British Columbia was 21 manifestly Canadian in s p i r i t and custom", also is open to question. At this time, Canadians (from east of the Rockies) formed a minority of the p o l i t i c a l and business leaders in the province. The majority were British with a strong dash of western American s p i r i t . As J.M.S. Careless has argued, "The commercial community that took shape in Victoria was more Anglo-American in 2 2 i t s upper ranks...." This majority ignored central Canada as much as possible (which was d i f f i c u l t ) , or held i t somewhat in contempt. In his journals, when Baker M. A. Ormsby, "Canada and the New British Columbia", Canadian Historical Association Annual' Report, 1918, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1948, p. 83. Ibid., p. 85. J.M.S. Careless, "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia", Canadian  Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971, David S. Macmillan, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1972, p. 108. - 156 -referred to an individual by the term Canadian, rather than by his name, the inference was derogatory. He continued to use this term off and on until perhaps 190 0. The discontinuation of this type of comment after that time, however, did not necessarily indicate a change in attitude, but more l i k e l y a capitulation to the dominance of the East: "...well into the 18 80's, and perhaps even to the nineties, the patterns of Victorian commercial society set between 18 58 and 2 3 1864 continued...." According to M. A. Ormsby, another aspect of the Canadianization of the province could be seen in the f i e l d of religion: "...a strong Methodist thread ran through the fabric of early British Columbia history. Methodism, with i t s emphasis on temperance and honesty in business, was a reforming influence on the frontier...." It is d i f f i c u l t to f i t the s p i r i t and materialism of nineteenth century Victoria's society into this descrip-tion, however. And, apart from Victoria, i t appears that the British Columbia frontier was anything but Careless, "The Business Community of Victoria", p. 112. Ormsby, "New British Columbia", p. 84. - 157 -temperate. During a tour of the Kootenay towns in the summer of 1893, Baker described Kaslo as a "typical 2 5 Yankee boom town or gambling h e l l . " Like a number of British Columbians of the era, Baker did not share many of central Canada's views on national affairs. But, unlike many British Columbians, he had no intention of fighting Ottawa. He had no d i f f i c u l t y in subordinating his provincial feelings to his real interest in p o l i t i c s , which was to achieve the greatest success possible in his personal ambitions. He arrived in the capital dedicated to this purpose. Baker moved into Ottawa's p o l i t i c a l and non-p o l i t i c a l society with the same determination and energy that he had shown on his arrival in Victoria. But there was one important difference, he was now a man of some stature in the community and consequently more confident and polished in his approach. Within a few weeks, he was well on his way toward meeting a l l the "right" people. Shortly after his arrival in Ottawa, Baker called on Alex. J. Cambie, brother of H. J. Cambie and a senior c i v i l servant. From this f i r s t meeting a close friend-ship developed rapidly, similar to the intimate 2 5Baker, 29 July, 1893. - 158 -relationship Baker enjoyed with Cambie's brother. The Cambies were active members of Ottawa society and through them, Baker expanded his social contacts in the 2 6 capital. He joined Sandford Fleming, G. M. Dawson and others at a dinner party given by the Cambies. Sir Charles Tupper introduced Baker to his son, C. H. Tupper and later, invited him to dinner in company with Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant Governor of the North West Terri-tories, and F. J. Barnard. The latter had taken Dewdney's seat in the constituency of Yale, when Dewdney resigned to become Indian Commissioner in June, 1879. On another occasion, Baker dined with Sir John A. Macdonald and afterwards, he and fellow guest, Edgar Dewdney, retired to the latter's residence for a "nightcap" (which one wouldn't have thought was neces-27 sary'). Other early introductions included, the Honourable John Carling, Postmaster-General, and the Honourable John H. Pope, Minister of Agriculture. Note: G. M. Dawson, a senior federal government geo-logist, had carried out a number of geological surveys in British Columbia. In 1876, while on one of these expeditions, H. J. Cambie had joined him and the party had surveyed Alexander Mackenzie's route through British Columbia to the Pacific. Immediately after their f i r s t meeting, Baker began referring to him as "geological" Dawson. Baker, 3 March, 1883. - 159 -A few days after meeting "geological" Dawson at the Cambies, Baker called on him and requested copies of a l l the geological reports and maps of British Columbia that were available. It was the beginning of another close and, for Baker, practical relationship. Dawson delivered the materials requested and Baker mailed them to his 2 8 mining partners in Victoria. Baker was concerned with matters inside parliament as well as outside i t . In March, the House of Commons was considering a B i l l on immigration. Shakespeare spoke out strongly and at length, urging that restrictions 29 be placed on Chinese immigration. Baker made his maiden speech in seconding Shakespeare's resolution: "...I thoroughly endorse the major part of his speech, and think a restrictive B i l l should be introduced, which w i l l not only lessen the number of Chinese coming into Victoria, but prevent their coming into any part of 30 British Columbia." Baker questioned Shakespeare's contention that the Chinese male immigrants were "sold". Shakespeare replied, that as he had been Chinese tax collector for the Baker, 2, 3 March, 1883. Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, O f f i c i a l Report  of Debates (hereafter cited as Commons Debates), 29 March, 1883, pp. 324, 325. Ibid. , p. 326. - 160 -government of British Columbia, he knew the procedure followed on the arrival of immigrants and their sub-sequent hiring. They were, he said, taken in hand by Chinese firms on their a r r i v a l , their names entered in a muster book and "provision made for them in every way." White employers then went to these firms and bid on the available labour. On payday, a member of the Chinese firm that "sold" the immigrant was there to 31 collect his wages. Both members of parliament for Victoria District stressed that the Chinese were undesirable immigrants, Shakespeare completely so, Baker with the reservation that a few should be allowed into the province to the extent required by the market for domestic servants. As Baker put i t , "I find them very useful in certain positions... i t is somewhat disagreeable to have to get up early in the morning and light the f i r e and black 32 one's own boots." The chief concern of the two members from Victoria was that white settlement was held back by the presence of the Chinese. The Chinese were willing to work for Commons Debates, 29 March, 1883, p. 326. Ibid. - 161 -wages unacceptable to white workers and as a result, l e f t few jobs available to prospective white immigrants. This situation was not an example of Chinese diligence, in their opinion, but rather, was due in part to the lower standard of living that they would accept, and in part to the fact that they did not bring women with them and therefore had no families to care for. This latter fact greatly scandalized Baker who said, "There is no doubt that their morals are very loose. That may be inferred from the fact that out of 450 Chinamen who arrived [in one ship] ...there were only two or three females with them. I would leave the House to draw their own conclusions as to the consequences of so great 3 3 a disparity between the sexes." As far as Baker was concerned, the heart of the debate on immigration, which included the voting of money to encourage immigration, was Shakespeare's resolution to rest r i c t Chinese immigration to British Columbia. The means of doing this, recommended by the two members from Victoria, was to adopt the Australian system of limiting the number of Chinese per ship to a proportion of one Chinese immigrant to every 10 0 tons 34 of tonnage. Commons Debates, 3 4 I b i d . , p. 325. 29 March, 1883, p. 326. - 162 -The House had listened politely enough to Victoria's position, but had l i t t l e intention of implementing the restriction asked for. A month later, Baker offered them an alternative to the proposed shipping restriction: "...these restrictive measures can be secured to the Province by having the Chinamen land at Halifax, Quebec and other ports, and f i l t e r through the other Provinces 3 5 in order to get to British Columbia." British Columbia's views on Chinese immigration were in direct conflict with the plans of the railway builders, however. And, as far as the Prime Minister was concerned, completion of the railway overrode a l l other considerations. One way to insure i t s success 3 6 was to maintain an ample source of cheap labour. Sir John A. Macdonald dismissed the question of competition between Chinese and white labourers for railway work, with the statement that the white labourers needed no 37 protection. Sir Hector Langevin, Minister of Public Commons Debates, 30 Ap r i l , 18 83, p. 906. Note: At this time, Andrew Onderdonk was advertising for labourers. The terms of employment were a 10 hour working day and a pay scale of from 15 cents to 17 1/2 cents per hour. (British Colonist, 8 January, 188 3, p. 1.) The work was hard and dangerous, although, working conditions were described as admirably safe; only 32 men having been k i l l e d in building 30 miles of railway! (British Columbia Directory, 1882-83, p. 376.) Commons Debates, 30 A p r i l , 1883, p. 906. - 163 -Works, moved the adjournment of the debate. Shakespeare's motion was not voted on. The railway men had succeeded: Baker and Shakespeare had failed. Baker and Shakespeare's failure to have parliament legislate a restriction on Chinese immigration to British Columbia was a setback to an election .promise. Judging from the reactions of the crowds, both men had drawn strength from their stand against Chinese immigration in their pre-election campaigning. As one member of parliament remarked: "The hon. mover of the resolution [Shakespeare] had stated that no candidate need present himself in a constituency in British Columbia who was 3 8 not opposed to the free importation of Chinese." Baker and Shakespeare had good p o l i t i c a l reasons to appear concerned about the issue. There does not seem to be any reason to doubt the sincerity of Shakespeare's resolution on the matter. His language and attitude seem to confirm this. Further, he had no interest in Chinese labour; he was. not a businessman, nor an entrepreneur. But, Baker's overall performance was somewhat less convincing. Commons Debates, 29 March, 1883 , p. 326. - 164 -To begin with, Baker had a different point of view. This was partly revealed in his statement that there was a place in the labour force for Chinese workers (albeit as domestic help). This was almost a fundamental break with Shakespeare's ironclad stand against the presence of Chinese in the province. Baker went no further than this in parliament, but considering his electorate's attitude on the subject, anything more would have been p o l i t i c a l suicide. Similarly, i f he had made any less of an effort on behalf of restrictions, his p o l i t i c a l reputation would have been damaged. Baker spoke out forcefully for restrictions in these debates and those that were to come. Yet, in a l l his energetic lobbying outside parliament, he never appears to have bothered about this subject. The pragmatic side of his nature seems to be revealed here: his and his associates interests versus the interests of his constituents at large. It was not good business to antagonize his p o l i t i c a l seniors in Ottawa when there were important personal concessions to be won. There was also the question of his own interest in employing non-white workers. Baker does not mention whether or not any Chinese workers were employed in the businesses that he was connected with at this time. But, other than in his home, i t i s doubtful i f any were, - 165 -because of the adverse business and p o l i t i c a l e f f e c t i t would have caused. He was, however, on close terms with many men who did employ Chinese workers, p a r t i c u l a r l y the r a i l r o a d builders. As a businessman, he viewed the matter i n a much more detached l i g h t than the white labourer. This attitude was more obvious i n his l a t e r ventures; on one occasion he broke a white workers' s t r i k e with Japanese workers. Baker continued his e f f o r t s i n parliament on matters of general inte r e s t to his constituents. This work was important and provided public recognition of his presence i n Ottawa, but h i s a c t i v i t i e s outside of parliament demanded at least as much of his time and attention. It was t h i s behind the scenes work that was so essential to the plans of him and his friends. Baker was quite e f f e c t i v e i n these personal negotiations for information and favours. As an aid to t h i s work, he joined the Rideau Club. It was the scene of many introductions and informal business discussions. Trutch was i n Ottawa along with a number of other B r i t i s h Columbians that spring. Baker joined Trutch and the Minister of Public Works i n discussions concerning the Beaver Rock contract, the quarantine hospital and other matters. Baker supported the Oppenheimers' - 166 -3 9 interest in obtaining the Beaver Rock contract. John Irving arrived with the plans for his stern wheel steamer, which was to provide a fast ferry service between Victoria and the mainland. He needed government approval for his scheme. Baker and Senators W. J. Mac-donald and Hugh Nelson met to draft a memorandum in 40 support of I r v i n g 1 s stern wheeler. A few days l a t e r , Baker, Nelson and Irving were joined by Dewdney and Barnard for lunch at the Rideau Club and a discussion of the steamer plans. In March, the British Colonist reported that Captain John Irving, Manager of the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, had returned from Ottawa after successfully having the absurd restriction 41 on stern wheel steamers removed. Baker used every opportunity to forward his business interests. Lieutenant Colonel C. F. Houghton, Yale's f i r s t member of parliament, and his wife Marion (nee Dunsmuir) were enjoying the Ottawa social season. Baker attended the M i l i t i a Ball with the Houghton's and used the occasion to discuss Captain Richard Wolfenden's and Captain C. T. Dupont's requests with 3 9Baker, 15 May, 1883. 4 0Baker, 17 February, 1883. British Colonist, 14 March, 1883, p. 3. - 167 -regard to t h e i r m i l i t i a service; l a t e r he went to the M i l i t i a Department on t h e i r behalf. In A p r i l , Baker was introduced to G. P. Lowrey of the Edison Light Company of New York. The following day, he again met Lowrey at a dinner party given by the Houghtons. Baker spent two hours ta l k i n g to Lowrey about the operation o f the E d i s o n L i g h t Company. He then a p p r i s e d Lowrey of the progress that had been made i n t h i s f i e l d i n B r i t i s h Columbia and of the opportunities that i t offered. He suggested to Lowrey that he might consider 42 making McMicking the Edison agent f o r the province. Lowrey was interested and Baker took him to lunch at the Rideau Club the next day. Baker also spent considerable time with Nicol Kingsmill, a Toronto businessman, who was i n Ottawa i n connection with the Commercial Cable B i l l . Kingsmill and his cable partners took Baker to lunch frequently and br i e f e d him thoroughly on t h e i r project, which he supported i n parliament. Baker also saw the Hawaiian Consul General for discussions on trade, Chinese immi-gration and possible, cable connections with the Sandwich Islands. Baker, 10 A p r i l , 1883. - 168 -In A p r i l , Baker took a break from parliamentary affairs and went to Montreal on Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company business. The telephone company wanted the royalty rates i t paid to the Bell system reduced. Baker met with C. F. Sise, vice-president of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada, explained his company's case and was successful in having the royalty rates reduced. On his return, Baker spent considerable time in the Minister of the Interior's office trying to have an offer of $60,000 for the Songhees Indian Reserve by P. C. Dunlevy accepted. Baker met with l i t t l e success. He increased his efforts and spoke to Sir John A. Macdonald about the matter. The Prime Minister, however, was not particularly interested in helping Baker's land hungry friends. Baker's endeavours were eventually turned aside when he was informed that Dunlevy's offer 43 of $60,000 was "hopelessly low." Baker appeared to be making better headway in his negotiations with Post-master General Carling to have his brother-in-law, Dick Jones, appointed as postmaster in Victoria. He also had a favourable interview with the Minister of Justice °Baker, 14 May, 1883. - 169 -regarding appointments for his Victoria lawyer friends Drake and Jackson. Nor did he neglect to c a l l at the customs department to discuss Collector of Customs Wymond Hamley's staffing problems. Another important item on Baker's Ottawa agenda was railway information for a number of his British Columbian business friends. Alex Cambie was well placed to provide the railway introductions that Baker needed, and Baker used this opportunity to good advantage. He saw Sandford Fleming on a number of occasions, sometimes at Cambie's and other times at the Rideau Club. Baker's business friend C. G. Major was present at several of 44 these meetings. Before he l e f t Ottawa, Baker asked for and was given a detailed report on the Canadian Pacific Railway. He also discussed the question of the Island railway privately with the Prime Minister and apparently expressed misgivings about the contract being 45 negotiated with Robert Dunsmuir. 44 Note: Charles George Major was a resident of New Westminster. He listed his occupation as merchant, but, as with so many of these businessmen, i t was just the business base from which he engaged in a variety of entrepreneurial ac t i v i t i e s . Amongst other things, Major was interested in: the Fraser River Railway Company, the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway Company, and the Nakusp and Slocan Railway Company. He was also connected with several u t i l i t y companies on which matters he frequently consulted with Baker. 4 5Baker, 19 May, 1883. - 170 -hg Premier Smithe and C. T. Dupont were both interested in Ottawa's attitude toward the Island railway. Smithe was concerned because his government had passed the necessary legislation for an Island railway to be built by Dunsmuir and were awaiting Ottawa's implementation of the project. Dupont wanted the information because he appears to have had some interest in involving himself with the Northern Pacific Railway in British Columbia. But, Smithe was in d i f f i c u l t y with Ottawa for attempting to link the Island railway with the Terms of Union and Macdonald refused to move on the matter. Baker saw Macdonald again privately and enlisted the help of Cambie, 47 but to no avail. He telegraphed Smithe accordingly. Dupont's request (the exact nature of which Baker did not record) was no more successful in winning government favour. Nevertheless, Baker was able to gather other railway information for Joshua Davies, Theodore Lubbe, J. A. Mara and C. T. Dupont before he l e f t Ottawa. It had been a busy opening session of parliament for Baker and the rest of the year promised to be just 46 Note: Dupont was an inspector in the Inland Revenue Department, whose business interests far exceeded the bounds of his government job. He was involved in railroads (Nelson and Fort Sheppard), land specula-tion, mining and a variety of other enterprises. 4 7Baker, 22, 24 and 25 May, 1883. - 171 -as active for him. On 6 June, he returned to Victoria with a new air of confidence. His satisfaction with himself showed in a biographical sketch that appeared that summer in the magazine, The Resources of British  Columbia, under the heading, "...Prominent Self-Made Men of British Columbia." The other prominent men repor-ted on were: R. P. Rithet, J. A. Mara and C. E. Redfern. The art i c l e gave the appearance of having been written and published by the magazine for the interest of i t s readers. There is l i t t l e doubt, however, that the sketch, which claimed: "Being...in the prime and vigor of l i f e , energetic and industrious, with large and varied experience of the world, a ready writer and fluent speaker, Mr. Baker's future career in British Columbia, can scarcely f a i l to be one of great usefulness and 48 signal advancement," was written by him. The paragraphs on his naval career were somewhat inaccurately embellished as well. In July, Baker enthusiastically mailed some 2 5 copies of the magazine to his friends in Ottawa and a lesser number to his friends in England. It was some-what of an announcement that Baker had "struck i t rich" "Pointed Pen Pictures", The Resources of British  Columbia, Vol. 1, No. 5 (July, 1883), pp. 9-10. - 172 -in British Columbia and the sort of advertisement that might help an entrepreneur to hear of new opportunities. Before the month was out, he had another set of i n i t i a l s to put after his name: he was appointed a Justice of 49 the Peace. Immediately on his return from Ottawa, Baker spoke to Dick Jones about the latter's possible appointment as postmaster. Following this, Baker entered into a long conversation with Joshua Davies and Theodore Lubbe on railway matters, in particular, the Northern Pacific 5 0 Railway. Later in the month, Dupont called at Baker's office for discussions on the same subject. Their work was in preparation for the arrival of the Vice-President of the United States, Senator George F. Edmunds, who was due in Victoria the following day and the vice-presidential party, which included several senior executives of the Northern Pacific Railway. The Northern Pacific, specially chartered for the Vice-President's t r i p , secured alongside the Hudson's Bay Company wharf early on the morning of 16 June, after 51 her voyage from Portland. It was a beautiful Saturday 49BCG, Vol. XXIII, 1883, p. 225. 50 Baker, 6 June, 18 83. 51 British Colonist, 17 June, 1883, p. 3. morning and Baker hurried down to the jetty to greet the guests. He was particularly anxious to see C. H. Prescott and Mr. Oakes, vice-president of the Northern Pacific Railway. While on his way to Ottawa in January, Baker had stopped in Portland to discuss with Prescott the details of a subsidy to provide a mail service for Victoria. Baker accompanied the party to Government House and in the afternoon, took them to the Dockyard where they were received by Rear Admiral Lyons onboard his flagship, H.M.S. Swiftsure. The visitors remained in Victoria for only a day, but i t was long enough for Baker to have some time with C. H. Prescott. The day before Senator Edmunds' v i s i t , the British Colonist published an a r t i c l e outlining the Northern Pacific Railway's objectives in the Puget Sound and 52 British Columbia area as given by Mr. Oakes. The paper announced that the railway, running from St. Paul to Portland, was expected to be completed that September. Feeder lines to the Puget Sound area were operating and a steamship for a freight service between Victoria and the railhead in Seattle was at that moment under con-struction. A separate art i c l e on the same page noted British Colonist, 16 June, 18 83, p. 2. - 174 -that Customs House records indicated that nine tenths 5 of British Columbia's trade was cleared through Victoria. Oakes stated that the railway, through an efficient system of r a i l and ship feeder lines and by offering favourable rates, expected to move the freight passing through Vic-toria over i t s lines. The paper, with a somewhat indif-ferent reference to the Canadian Pacific Railway and Island railway, added that the coming of the Northern Pacific Railway held great promise for the development of Victoria and Vancouver Island. Baker, Dupont, Lubbe, Davies and possibly others were working on a plan that concerned the Northern Pacific Railway. The precise details of their scheme are missing, but i t appears that the plan was to organize a company that would form part of the Northern Pacific Railway feeder system. Baker continued to confer with these railway schemers, wrote and received letters from Sir John A. and had a number of meetings with Trutch. But their plans were not in accord with Ottawa's plans. In August, Sir Alexander Campbell, the Minister of Justice, arrived in Victoria to complete the federal government's negotiations with Victoria on.a settlement 'British Colonist, 16 June, 188 3, p. 2. - 175 -to the grievances between the two governments. Baker went to him immediately on the subject of the Island railway. Baker gained no concessions, but he had "tipped his hand." A short time later, he was snubbed by Bob Dunsmuir, who particularly feared an encroachment into the area of his proposed Island railway by the Northern Pacific Railway. J J On 22 August, the British Colonist reported that Dunsmuir had deposited $2 50,000 with the Dominion govern-ment as security for the fulfillment by. him of the contract to build the Island railway. The following day, the same paper reported that Sir Alexander Campbell had announced that a l l negotiations between the two govern-57 ments were complete. Only the consent of the local and Dominion parliaments remained to be obtained, which, he said, was a mere formality. The Dominion government would build the Island railway, take over the drydock, open the railway lands to settlement and build a quaran-tine hospital. It was the precursor of the Settlement Act. 5 4Baker, 19 August, 1883. 5 5 • Ormsby, British Columbia: a History, p. 289. 5 6 B r i t i s h Colonist, 22 August, 1883, p. 3. 5 7 I b i d . , 23 August, 1883, p. 2. - 176 -Campbell and his party, accompanied by Robert Dunsmuir, sailed for San Francisco as the people of Victoria were reading about the success of his mission in the British Colonist. It had been a week of impor-tant announcements and i t was brought to a close on Friday, 24 August, when Premier Smithe formally turned the drydock over to Trutch, who received i t for the 5 8 Dominion government. On 4 September, Victorians received additional welcome news: Robert Dunsmuir reported from San Francisco that survey work on the 59 Island railway would begin immediately. Dunsmuir's success in the Island railway contract brought a temporary halt to the local railway schemes, but land deals, mining and company matters, as well as p o l i t i c s , kepi* Baker busy for the rest of the year. Nor was his f a l l i n g out with Dunsmuir a serious matter. Before long, he was calling on Dunsmuir in his Victoria office and on Boxing Day, he was invited to a party given by Dunsmuir. During October and November, Baker spent much of his time in meetings, principally with Premier Smithe 'British Colonist, 2 6 August, 188 3, p. 3. 'ibid., 4 September, 1883, p. 3. - 177 -and Trutch, on the subject of the Settlement Act. Con-struction of the Canadian Pacific Railway was s t i l l the biggest single business activity in the province and Baker watched i t carefully for an opportunity to parti-cipate in i t s success. H. J. Cambie kept him informed of the latest developments and plans for the railway. In October, he was in Victoria to see Baker, who was buying him a house in the James Bay region of the city. Cambie briefed Baker on developments concerning Dunsmuir, 6 0 Trutch and Van Horne. In December, Cambie again 61 discussed railway matters with Baker, who then called on the Onderdonks; they were staying at the Driard Hotel for Christmas. The beginning of the new year brought a rush of business associates to Baker's office as he prepared to leave for Ottawa. With these meetings behind him, he l e f t for Ottawa via San Francisco and arrived in the capital on 17 January, the opening day of parliament. For British Columbia, the most important piece of legislation before parliament was the Settlement Act. It was, as the Prime Minister had stated the year before, 22 30 October, 1883. December, 188 3. - 178 -t o be "a s e t t l e m e n t o f a l l m a t t e r s between B r i t i s h 6 2 Columbia and C a n a d a . " The A c t might have been passed i n 1883, had not. B r i t i s h Columbia u p s e t the Dominion government by changing two o f the agreed upon terms when i t passed the l e g i s l a t i o n t h a t f u l f i l l e d i t s p a r t o f the s e t t l e m e n t . These were, making t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the I s l a n d r a i l w a y a Dominion government r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , r a t h e r than, a p r o j e c t under t h e i r s u p e r v i s i o n , and a c l a u s e s t a t i n g t h a t " a l l the l a n d s which had been a p p r o p r i a t e d i n a i d of the b u i l d i n g o f the I s l a n d r a i l w a y , except c o a l and m i n e r a l l a n d s , shou ld f o r the next f o u r 6 3 y e a r s be s o l d a t the p r i c e o f $1 an a c r e . " S i r A l e x a n d e r C a m p b e l l , i n h i s m i s s i o n o f the p r e v i o u s summer, had persuaded the p r o v i n c i a l government t o reword t h e i r A c t t o remove t h e s e two o f f e n d i n g c l a u s e s . The S e t t l e m e n t A c t proposed f o r B r i t i s h Co lumbia : " . . . i n r e g a r d t o the i n j u r y which t h a t P r o v i n c e had s u f f e r e d f rom the d e l a y i n c a r r y i n g out the terms o f u n i o n , i t was d e c i d e d to. o f f e r t h a t P r o -v i n c e the sum o f $750,000 towards the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the r a i l w a y from Nanaimo t o E s q u i m a l t , t o take o v e r the g r a v i n g dock , p a y i n g the e x p e n d i t u r e o f $2 50,000 t h a t had been made by the Government o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , and r e c e i v i n g f rom t h a t P r o v i n c e a g r a n t o f 3 ,500,000 a c r e s o f l and l y i n g i n the Peace R i v e r D i s t r i c t , on the e a s t e r n s i d e o f the Rocky M o u n t a i n s . " g ^ 6 2 Commons D e b a t e s , 25 May, 1883, p. 1392. 6 3 I b i d . , p. 1393. 6 4 I b i d . , 1884, V o l . 2, p. 1025. - 179 -In considering t h i s r e s o l u t i o n put before the House, Baker c r i t i c i z e d i t by examining i t from a national rather than p r o v i n c i a l point of view: "I think the p r i n c i p a l matter that we have to consider, as a Dominion House of Commons, i s whether we are g making a good bargain with B r i t i s h Columbia or not." He spoke f i r s t of the monetary compensation offered the province, $750,000 as opposed to other figures that had been suggested. "Mr. de Cosmos estimated some three or four years ago, that the Dominion of Canada was indebted to B r i t i s h Columbia i n a sum cer-t a i n l y not less than $2,250,000, as compensation f o r the delays i n railway construction. Now, i n t h i s Settlement B i l l , we are getting r i d of that amount, with accrued i n t e r e s t , and possibly an accumulation of testimony, as to whether that amount should be R R augmented or not." As to the 3,500,00 0 acres of land i n the Peace River country, when i t s value was considered, the government was getting f a r more than 6 7 i t was giving, he remarked. He also injected a note of doubt about the l o c a t i o n of t h i s land, by Commons Debates, 1881, Vol. 2, p. 1031. 66Loc. c i t . 67T . . . Loc. c i t . - 180 -asking the Minister of Railways and Canals, Sir Charles Tupper, where within the Peace River country this rec-tangular block of land would be situated: "There i s a contention also, and, I believe, a very just one, that the eastern boundary of the Province i s , or ought to be, 6 8 the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains." There was another matter that Baker was even more concerned about. This was the question of the Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was not a part of the Settlement Act, but the subject could be revived through questioning the relationship of the Island railway to the mainland railway. Victoria had never given up the hope that in some way i t would be included as part of the transcontinental railway system. Its businessmen realized that this matter was paramount to the city's continuation as the business headquarters of the province. Victoria's interest in the Northern Pacific Railway was a manifestation of this ambition. In this latter case, the city hoped to substitute being the Canadian terminus of the Northern Pacific Railway for the dead, but not easily given up, hope of being the Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Commons Debates, 188H, Vol. 2, p. 1936. - 181 -,,69 Baker, like most of his counterparts in Victoria, was dedicated to maintaining and expanding Victoria's business role. His next remarks were related to this issue. Baker spoke at length on the question of the Island railway, in an attempt to document the fact "...that the Island railway referred to i s a portion (or should be) of the Canadian Pacific Railway, more generally spoken of as the Trans-Continental Railway. He mentioned a March, 1875, House appropriation of "$6,250,000 for the Pacific Railway, part of which appropriation was expended in the purchase of steel r a i l s for the railway between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, and the r a i l s were accordingly pur-chased and conveyed to Esquimalt and Nanaimo, ready for use. I ask i f anything could be plainer...money belonging to the Dominion... expended for the purchase of steel r a i l s . . . landed at Esquimalt and Nanaimo, I believe, with every intention of constructing that section of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Esquimalt and Nanaimo."yQ Baker also referred to the construction surveys of the line between Esquimalt and Nanaimo that were made in the years 1874-7 5, as further proof of the Dominion govern-71 ment's intention to build the line. 69 Commons Debates, 1884, Vol. 2, p. 1035, 70T Loc. ext. 7 1 I b i d . , p. 1036. - 182 -Baker's efforts in parliament to make a legal case for the inclusion of the Island railway as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway, were a desperate last minute attempt to salvage Victoria's position. Without a change in railway policy, Victoria was doomed to be isolated from the new pattern of commerce that would develop about.', the transcontinental railway. But, his attempt to arouse some interest in the subject f e l l on deaf ears. Baker's assessment of the Settlement Act was that the federal government had got the better of British Columbia on a l l the important issues. He concluded his remarks by answering the question he had posed in the opening of his address: "...unquestionably the Dominion government has (as i t usually does) made a good bargain 7 2 with British Columbia." The Settlement Act was passed. The House also resumed the adjourned debate on Shakespeare's proposed motion, of the previous year's session, to enact a law prohibiting the immigration of Chinese to British Columbia. Baker was better prepared for the debate than he had been in the last session. He delivered a long and detailed account of Chinese immigration into British Columbia, their mode of l i f e Commons Debates, 1884, Vol. 2, p. 1034. - 183 -there and of restrictive legislation enacted by the State of California and the Australian colonies of 7 3 Victoria and Queensland. Referring to this address, Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty in Canada and Its Provinces commented, "Students of this question w i l l find in Baker's speech, reported in Hansard of the session of 1884, one of the best resumes of the case against oriental labour as far as the facts in relation 74 thereto had at that time developed." L i t t l e new ground was covered in the debate. Sir John A. was in a conciliatory mood and did not wish to disturb the good relations so recently established with British Columbia. He agreed that the Chinese would work for less wages than white workers, but he said, "...I do not think the Government could have made such satis-factory contracts i f i t had been supposed that they [the Canadian Pacific Railway] could not get Chinese 7 5 labour." Shakespeare's reply to this was "...that not one Chinaman has been employed on the road this side Commons Debates, 1884, Vol. 2, pp. 1282-1285. Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty, eds., Canada and Its  Provinces: A History of the Canadian People and  Their Institutions By One Hundred Associates, Vol. 21, Toronto, Edinburgh University Press, 1914, p. 260. 'Commons Debates, 1884, Vol. 2, p. 1287. - 181 -of the Rocky Mountains, and the Chinese question only affects the road on the western side of the mountains." In reply, Sir John pointed out that there was also the question of trade with the Orient, which depended in part on Canada's relations with China: "We are just finishing the Pacific Railway, and one of the objects of that enterprise is to enable Canada to compete with 7 the United States for the Chinese and Japanese trade." The government, however, agreed that some restriction, not prohibition, of Chinese immigration was desirable. The method and degree of such a measure was to be decided by a commission. Sir John summed up the government's position with the words: "Government w i l l pledge themselves to issue a Com-mission to look into the whole subject during the present summer...and we w i l l be prepared to come down with the conclusions thus arrived at, at the next Session. ...I am satisfied, also, that the legislation which w i l l be the result of such Com-mission w i l l be in the nature of a restrictive regulation of Chinese immigrants." 7 g Out of parliament, Baker continued his behind the scenes work. He had a successful interview with the Commons Debates, 1884, Vol. 2, p. 1287. Loc. c i t . Loc. c i t . - 185 -Minister of Justice on the subject of a judgeship for A. C. E l l i o t t and an appointment as a Queen's Counsellor 79 for C. E. Pooley. He also spoke to Sir Hector Langevin on a number o f occasions with regard to the public works 8 0 contracts pending for Victoria District. He continued to be very intimate with Nicol Kingsmill and his Com-mercial Cable Company friends. The Commercial Cable B i l l f i n a l l y was passed by the Senate in March, but before Kingsmill l e f t Ottawa, he introduced Baker to A. W. Ross, a member of parliament from Winnipeg. It proved to be a very significant introduction. A. W. Ross had made and lost a fortune in the Cana-dian Pacific Railway inspired land boom in Winnipeg. He was out to remake his fortune and he was in an admirable position to do so. He was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as their real estate 81 agent and advisor in the Burrard Inlet region, an area that was just about to have i t s own railway inspired 8 2 land boom. Ross was "in on the ground floor." Baker and Ross moved from their introduction to an intimate business relationship in a few short months and soon, Baker was also in on the ground floor. 79 Baker, 22 January, 1884. 8 0Baker, 13 February, 1884. 81 Pierre Berton, The Last Spike, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1971, p. 409. 82T Loc. c i t . - 186 -Parliament prorogued on 19 Ap r i l , and Baker was back in Victoria on 1 May. He had barely had time to attend to a few local business matters before A. W. Ross appeared at his office door. Cambie was also in Victoria and the g same day, he brought Baker up to date on railway matters. A few days later, the Bakers invited the Rosses and Cambies to dinner. It was the f i r s t of many social engagements between the Bakers and Rosses. It was also the beginning of Baker and Ross' busi-ness association. Their business discussions concerned the buying of land in the v i c i n i t y of Coal Harbour, False Creek and English Bay. As far as Baker and Ross were concerned, the question of the location of the Pacific terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway was already decided. Baker appears to have had an inkling of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's doubts about Port Moody as a terminus as early as 1881, when he sold his Port Moody lots.. Considering the nature of Baker and Cambie's many railway talks, i t would have been most unnatural for Cambie not to have informed Baker that the railway had sent John Ross to survey Burrard Inlet for a port site 3Baker, 8 May, 1884. - 187 -in 18 81. Baker must also have been aware, through Cambie, that Ross' report, submitted in 18 82, ruled out 84 Port Moody as a suitable terminus. Although no o f f i c i a l statement on a terminus followed John Ross' report, a careful examination of the area in the vici n i t y of the western end of the railway could leave l i t t l e doubt that the most suitable site for a terminus would be in the region of Coal Harbour and the Hastings sawmill. Here, the inlet was sheltered and had the depth of water and size to be a f i r s t class port; English Bay was too exposed; the Fraser River was too restricted. The area also had ample land that was suitable for railway f a c i l i t i e s and a townsite; Port 8 5 Moody did not. And, as far as the north shore of the inlet was concerned, i t presented more obstacles to railway construction than the south. Although some two years had expired between John Ross1 report on a site for the Pacific terminus and A. W. Ross' appearance in Victoria (1884), there had been no o f f i c i a l rejection of Port Moody as the terminus by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Nor had there 84 Alan Morley, Vancouver: From Milltown to Metropolis, Vancouver, Mitchell Press, 1961, p. 64. 8 5 Berton, The Last Spike, p. 304. - 188 -been any o f f i c i a l announcement of the Company's plans to extend the railway to the western end of Burrard Inlet. Van Horne would not arrive in Victoria to open negotiations with Premier Smithe on that matter until August. But, Ross was f u l l y aware of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company's plans and he convinced Baker that there was a great opportunity for land speculation in the Inlet. The two men met frequently to discuss real estate matters and in July, Ross arrived at Baker's office with a concrete proposal: Was he interested in 8 6 a one quarter share in an English Bay "land grab"? 8 7 Joshua Davies, Theodore Lubbe and Baker a l l bought in. Almost immediately, Ross proposed a second land buying partnership. W. T. Livock was invited to join the same group in this second scheme. The rush was on, but i t was an inside rush. Those in the know were in a position to act on their informa-tion, others could only guess at what was going on. It was a case of who would be invited to join the "club." But, not a l l investors wanted to be; i t was a finely 8 6Baker, 5 July, 1884. 8 7 Note: Baker does not specify how much money was involved, but i t would appear that i t was $6,000. A. W. Ross bought his shares on account to the partnership for $1,500. - 189 -balanced a f f a i r . The Canadian Pacific Railway Company had made no commitment to extend the railway to Coal Harbour. Therefore, there was no rush to buy land in the area that in turn would create a boom. The land was being bought and sold within a select group of insiders, a l l trying to get in on the ground floor, to buy at cost price. There was riot much profit in that and there wouldn't be un t i l the railway came through and the rush to buy land became general and frantic. It was a dangerous game for many of these men. They had limited capital and in their greed to get as much plunder as possible, some over-extended themselves. They gambled on the length of time they would have to carry their investments before the boom materialized and the profits rolled in. A few of them lost. For the rest of the year, Baker was completely absorbed in Burrard Inlet land speculation. In his book, The Last Spike, Pierre Berton mentions David Oppenheimer, John Robson, Marcus Smith and A. W. Ross as being some of the early land speculators in the 8 8 western end of Burrard Inlet. He goes on to say: Berton, The Last Spike, p. 408. - 190 -"The Fraser Valley and New Westminster real estate interests saw what, in hindsight, seems obvious; but in Victoria, the land speculators continued to believe 89 that Port Moody would be the terminus." Berton is well off the mark in this last statement. Baker and a sizeable selection of the Victoria business community were involved in the f i r s t flurry of land deals in the 9 0 Coal Harbour, English Bay and False Creek areas. A. W. Ross and David Oppenheimer made their f i r s t invest-ments in land in the area at the same time and in partnership with these men. Baker's attention was momentarily diverted from Burrard Inlet, when in July, W. R. Clarke came to him looking for some help in financing a quick profit deal. Clarke had an option on a 20,000 acre timber lease, which could be secured for $1 per acre. He also had a lead for disposing of i t in England at one hundred per Berton, The Last Spike, p. 409. Note: From July to December, 1884, some of the Vic-toria businessmen that Baker and Ross dealt with in connection with Burrard Inlet lands were: C. T. Dupont, W. P. Say ward, I>. W. Powell, Edwin Renouf, E. G. Prior, C. S. Jones, F. S. Barnard, J. R. Hett, E. V. Bodwell, H. E. Croasdaile, D. M. Eberts, J. J. Russell, J. C. Prevost, R. P. Rithet, R. E. Jackson, J. H. Innes, H. V. Edmunds and H. S. Mason (also: H. J. Cambie, David Oppenheimer and R. H. Alexander). - 191 -cent profit. Conveniently, W. S. Gore, surveyor general of the provincial Lands and Works Department, was in on the deal. It was an attractive proposition, but Baker was heavily involved in land speculation. He joined in 91 for one twentieth of the profits; Gore got the same. It was a quick and easy bit of profit sandwiched in between meetings on Coal Harbour and False Creek lands with Rithet, Dupont, Joshua Davies, David Oppenheimer and Ross. These men knew that the tempo of affairs on Burrard Inlet would soon ris e . The question of a Pacific terminus for the railway could not be ignored much longer and Van Horne planned to v i s i t Victoria that summer to discuss the matter with Premier Smithe. Ross stimulated his business partners' interest by keeping 9 2 them informed of Van Home's movements. It was a time when the opportunities for investment in land seemed almost unlimited, the lure of which proved too great for Ross. At the end of July, Ross came to Baker with a new and much grander scheme. He proposed that they form a syndicate to buy the Hastings Saw M i l l Company site, Baker, 13 July, 1884. Baker, 14 July, 1884. which they could do for $275,000.3d It was a big deal, but i t was tantalizing. To urge on the faint hearted, Ross i n i t i a l l y intimated that Van Home would be a member of the syndicate. A few days later, he was forced to admit that Van Home would not be a party gn to the deal. Baker, David Oppenheimer, Powell and Dupont a l l bought in with Ross. They apparently had a one f i f t h interest each, which they in turn s p l i t among other partners. Ross had run aground financially, however, and the operation was hardly underway, when he was arrested by 9 5 the sheriff. It was the day Van Home arrived in Victoria to begin negotiations with Premier Smithe on the location of the Pacific terminus. The syndicate could not afford to break up at such a time. David Oppenheimer, Dupont and Baker posted bail for Ross and he was released from custody. The syndicate needed shoring up, however, and more partners were brought in . Baker joined with R. H. Alexander to take an additional one twentieth interest. Inspite of his Baker, 24 July, 18 84. Berton, The Last Spike, p. 314. Baker, 4 August, 1884. - 193 -brush with the sheriff, Ross was s t i l l trying, unsuc-cessfully, to carry a one f i f t h interest in the syndi-cate. Powell, Dupont, David Oppenheimer and Baker backed a number of notes for Ross and eventually, Baker 96 took part of Ross' one f i f t h interest to cover them. Cambie was now a member of the syndicate and he gave Baker power of attorney to look after his share. Sayward also had invested in this scheme to purchase the Hastings Saw M i l l Company site and in September, he came to Baker to find out just where the operation 9 7 stood. Earlier in the summer, Dupont had been in a financial squeeze and he had talked Sayward into taking one half of his one f i f t h interest in the m i l l . In consideration of this favour to Sayward, he had also managed to persuade Sayward to lend him the money to keep making his own payments. The months went by and Dupont was unable to repay Sayward. In August, 1885, Sayward brought an action against Dupont to recover $6000. Dupont lodged a counter claim for $50,000 in damages, which he said he had lost because of Sayward, breaking their agreement. The case was heard in the 9 6Baker, 4 September, 1884. 9 7Baker, 27 September, 1884. - 194 -Supreme Court before Chief Justice Begbie, who dismissed the claim for $50,0 00 for damages and found the p l a i n t i f f 9 8 at liberty to move for a $3000 judgment. The fortunes of the various partners rose and f e l l , but i t did l i t t l e to dampen their ardour for speculation in land. They continued to buy land, although a number of them were having problems keeping their finances in step with their ambitions. By November, there was "great pinching and scheming to meet mi l l payment of $21,991" and David Oppenheimer, Ross, Dupont, D. E. Campbell and Baker spent much of one day organizing the necessary financing with W. C. Ward, the manager of the Bank of 9 9 British Columbia. Earlier, Ward had arranged a $2,000 overdraft for Baker. It was a combination of the amount of land they tried to buy and the slow pace of land sales on the Inlet, that kept many of the early speculators on the brink of insolvency. The f i r s t step in the land boom would not come before the railway's decision to make the western end of Burrard Inlet the Pacific terminus was publicly announced. The second step would follow the completion of the railway to that point. 9 8 Br i t j sh Colon i st, 18 August, 1885 , p. 3. 9 9Baker, 20 November, 1884. - 195 -Throughout the summer and f a l l of 1884, the Coal Harbour - English Bay land speculators operated on inside information only. Up to that time, there had been no o f f i c i a l announcement that the railway terminus would be established there. In August, Van Home arrived in Victoria and negotiations with the provincial government over what concessions the Canadian Pacific Railway could expect in return for extending the railway to English Bay or Coal Harbour, began. After discussing the question of the terminus with Premier Smithe, Van Home returned to Montreal and reported the results of his meeting to the railway's Board of Directors. His method of negotiating when there were two parties to play off against each other, as he once told Cambie, was to be governed by the l i b e r a l i t y of the different parties." 1" 0 0 The Board directed Van Home to inform Premier Smithe that the railway expected 11,0 00 acres of land adjoining Burrard Inlet. Specifically, i t was to include a tract of land on Coal Harbour and English Bay that included the Granville townsite and the north half of the Hastings Reserve. 1 0 1 The provincial government refused to meet the company's demands, even 1 0 0Berton, The Last Spike, p. 407. 1 0 1 B r i t i s h Colonist, 14 January, 1885, p. 1. - 196 -after several pressing telegrams from Van Home. But, for a l l that, their offer constituted a remarkable "land grab" for the railway. In a letter to the company, dated 6 October, 1881, Premier Smithe, as Commissioner of Crown Lands, countered the railway's demand with an offer of 6,000 acres of land that included a l l unalienated lots in the Granville 102 townsite. To provide the railway right-of-way, the government had induced the Hastings Saw M i l l Company to give up a one mile wide tract of land lying along the shore of False Creek and English Bay. In addition to this 4,000 acre tract of land, the sawmill was to return to the Crown 1,000 acres of i t s leased land annually. In return for these concessions, the Hastings Saw M i l l Company had i t s lease, which had over two years to run, extended for five years. Smithe also requested that the railway company make public their decision with regard to the Pacific terminus of the railway: "In order that the vexed question of the Pacific terminus may be 10 3 f u l l y settled, and public confidence established...." British Colonist, 14 January, 1885, p. 1. 1 0 3 L o c . c i t . - 197 -On 2 5 November, 18 84, the railway company sent a despatch to Premier Smithe accepting his government's 104 offer. Four days earlier, Baker had spent some time with Smithe trying to unravel the proposed deal. It was information that was v i t a l to his speculation in Burrard Inlet land. His concern was put to rest on the 2 5th. He got the news and details of the terminus from Ross 105 as fast as the premier got i t from Montreal. Major Rogers and Cambie began the survey of the railway right-106 of-way from Port Moody to Granville that f a l l . 10 7 108 Both Berton and Morley, in almost identical sentences, intimate that the Victoria British Colonist opposed the move of the terminus from Port Moody to a spot on the inlet to be known as Vancouver; the name selected for the terminus by Van Home. Berton suggests that this was done to protect real estate holdings in Port Moody held by Victorians. A reporter from the Colonist was stationed in Port Moody, they both report, to convince newcomers that there was no such place as 104 British Colonist, 14 January, 1885, p. 1. i n R Baker, 2 5 November, 1884. 106 Morley, Vancouver, pp. 68-69. 107 . Berton, The Last Spike, p. 409. 10 8 Morley, Vancouver, p. 68. - 198 -Vancouver. Yet, in the opening paragraph of the news-paper's article in which the correspondence on the selection of a terminus was published, the newspaper gives the impression of being pleased that: "The effect of this grant w i l l be to bring the terminus of the trans-it) 9 continental railway 22 miles nearer Victoria...." As to. the name Vancouver, a mild note from the editor a week later suggested that the name was a poor choice because of possible confusion between the railway terminus and the Island. 1 1 1^ Victoria's chagrin at not being the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway was real. The contention that she was not aware of the developments on the mainland, or failed to partake in them, is a myth. With the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, her days as the business centre of the province were numbered, but she would con-tinue to hold that position for at least another decade. Baker had gambled on the site of the railway ter-minus and won. Before the year was out (1.884), he had added to his Hastings M i l l site acquisitions by buying land in District Lots 18 5 (the Brickmakers' Claim in i nq British Colonist, 14 January, 1885, p. 1. 1 1 0 I b i d . , 21 January, 188 5, p. 2 - 199 -Coal Harbour), 182 (in the vi c i n i t y of "Gastown"), 264A (at the eastern end of False Creek), and 196 (in English Bay). These were a l l inside deals, most of which were brought to Baker by Ross, or mutual friends. One such deal, proposed to Baker by Ross in December, concerned forming a syndicate to buy the Brighouse and Hailstone property in District Lot 18 5 for some $100,000.Another had occurred a few days earlier, when Baker joined David Oppenheimer and Dupont in the latter's office and the three of them spent the evening drawing lots for the lots in Sections A, H and K of "119 District Lot 182. Land prices in the Vancouver area varied from perhaps a cost price of a few dollars per acre to a selling price of $200 per acre. H. S. Mason offered 113 Baker $150 per acre for his 73 acres of m i l l property. No sale was made. Later, Baker informed E. V. Bodwell that he could have one half of the same property for 114 $8,000. Bodwell wasn't interested and Baker followed i t up with an offer of 36 acres in District Lot 2 64A for $200 per acre. l i : LBaker, 1 December, 1884. 1 1 2Baker, 28 November, 1884. 1 1 3Baker, 2 6 November, 18 84. 1 1 4Baker, 11 December, 1884. - 200 -In the financial over extending that was common, however, the selling price was often the cost price, or less when the speculators were forced to s e l l to remain solvent. Baker's journals reveal that he had to do some rather astute juggling between his business ventures from time to time: "Saw Dunsmuir re taking over elec. It. for $11,000 - to lighten my financial l o a d . " 1 1 5 But, he avoided any major financial problems. There was no let up in the tempo of buying in 188 5. The original land speculators were joined by a fresh wave of eager buyers. Everyone was looking for an "inside" deal. Canadian Pacific Railway land maps were studied fervently and "secret" information passed from meeting to meeting. Confidential information, whether real or manufactured, was an important ingredient to the speculation in land and in this milieu, Baker was com-fortably at home. Apart from Cambie and Ross, Baker gained much of his inside information in Ottawa. Here, he had a number of talks with several senior executives of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in the spring of 188 5. Henry Beatty and Baker were discussing Coal Harbour business Baker, 3 November, 18 84. - 201 -in the latter's office in the House of Commons, when they were joined by Senator Hugh Nelson and D. W. Gordon, Member of Parliament for Burrard Inlet. Baker complained that their presence prevented the talk from being con-1 1 C f i d e n t i a l . The next day, he had a "long chat" on Canadian Pacific Railway affairs when he and Alex Cambie met the railway company's president, George Stephen, 117 and i t s secretary, C. Drinkwater, at the Rideau Club. The following month, he returned to Ottawa from Montreal with George Stephen, in.'the latter's private car, after attending the founding meeting of the Canadian branch of the Imperial Federation League. In June, Baker was again in Montreal, this time for an interview with Van Home. On his return from Ottawa in August, Baker resumed his buying and selling of Vancouver lots. In particular, his attention was on District Lot 2 00A and a plan to purchase part of this property. This large tract of choice land on the south side of False Creek, was also on the mind of a number of Baker's colleagues: Ross, Davies, Croasdaile, J. H. Smith and David Oppenheimer. 6Baker, 8 A p r i l , 1885. 7Baker, 9 A p r i l , 18 85. - 202 -The deal was stalled, however, when Baker became annoyed with Oppenheimer for badgering him to turn over one third of his Coal Harbour (D.L. 185) lots to the Canadian Pacific Railway. This was part of Van Home's land grabbing plans, which simply involved intimidating landholders into giving the Canadian Pacific Railway one third of the 118 privately owned lands that the railway wished to acquire. L. A. Hamilton, who had been sent to survey the townsite of Vancouver by Van Horne, was causing Baker some trouble over a property map of Coal Harbour and the ownership of certain lots there. But, Baker was not easily intimi-dated: With Hamilton "nearly 3 hours in debating" 119 changes in the Coal Harbour map, "but stood my ground." In November, Baker had a more favourable oppor-tunity to keep,himself in touch with the railway's executives and their plans. The railway was o f f i c i a l l y completed with the driving of the last spike at Craigel-lachie on 7 November and the next day, Van Horne and his party relaxed at the Driard Hotel in Victoria. Baker, who had prepared the Board of Trade address for the vis i t i n g directors, went to the hotel with Cambie and 1 1 8Berton, The Last Spike, p. 108, 119 Baker, 18 December, 1885. - 203 -spent the evening talking to Van Horne and Sandford Fleming. The following evening, Cambie called at Baker's house and elaborated on the previous night's talks: " A l l evening with Cambie discussing Coal Hbr and CPR matters." 1 2^ The proposal to purchase land in D.L. 20OA was revived in December, when Oppenheimer dropped the subject of Baker's giving land to the Canadian Pacific Railway and brought him a map of the area showing the division of the lots. Baker refused to agree to i t , however. The partners then agreed to resolve their differences in a somewhat unique way, although i t was familiar at least to Oppenheimer and Baker. A few days later, they met in Oppenheimer's office and drew lots for the lots in D.L. 200A. 1 2 1 In January, they were ready to put their property on the market. What the partners paid for this land is not revealed, but that spring, the Victoria real estate firm of Croasdaile and Jones was advertising 12 2 Vancouver property for sale in Portland, and H. E. Croasdaile offered Baker $300 for one lot. 1 2 0Baker, 10 November, 1885. 1 2 1Baker, 12 December, 1885. 1 2 2 B r i t i s h Colonist, 25 March, 1886 , p. 3. - 204 -Baker continued to speculate in Vancouver property, in 1886, but i t was neither on the same scale, nor at the hectic pace that i t had been in the previous eighteen months. By the end of that year, his activity in this f i e l d had definitely tapered off. He owned considerable property in the area by this time and other business interests were beginning to require more of his attention. The profit from his speculation was somewhat slow in developing, however. In November, 18 86, he was endea-vouring to s e l l some of his property in England through H. S. Mason, without much success. Finally, in 1890, Vancouver real estate boomed. In January, he began negotiations that resulted in twenty-one of his Coal Harbour lots being sold for $10,500. In February, he noted, "My property in Van-12 3 couver rapidly disappearing," and the next day, he increased the price of his remaining lots. In March, he sold some English Bay property for $2,0 00 that had 124 cost him $66. The following month, he gleefully remarked, "real estate s t i l l l i v e l y - better than p o l i -12 5 t i c s . " The boom was s t i l l going strong in July, Baker, 4 February, 1890. 1 2 4Baker, 22 March, 1890. 1 2 5Baker, 2 A p r i l , 18 90. - 205 -when he sold some more English Bay property at a profit of $800. Baker s t i l l had property to s e l l , but i t had been quite an exciting episode since that day in July, 1884, when A. W. Ross started the "Vancouver land grab." Baker had been attending the parliamentary sessions throughout the intense period of his Vancouver land deals. In January, 1885, his Ottawa duties required him to leave Victoria and the excitement of the Burrard Inlet land speculation, for the third session of parliament. It was a long session. On 23 March, "news of an Indian uprising in N.W." reached parliament. The Northwest Rebellion occupied much of parliament's time thereafter. The unfortunate struggle was over in July and between the 6th and 9th, parliament debated the matter. The House was f i n a l l y prorogued on 20 July. Baker, as usual, was more active out of the House than in i t . As mentioned before, his interest in the railway's Pacific terminus prompted him to seek out a selection of Canadian Pacific Railway o f f i c i a l s for a variety of talks, some confidential, others apparently of a more general nature. He also continued his pat-ronage work and the collection of geological information, 12 6 which he mailed to his Victoria mining associates'. 6Baker, 6 A p r i l , 188 5. - 206 -The question of a new lieutenant governor for British Columbia was becoming a topic of discussion among the British Columbia members. Senator Macdonald from Victoria had helped Baker in*.a number of ways over the years, and Baker supported his candidacy. Hugh Nelson, the other 127 candidate, was supported by the "mainland schemers." Just before he l e f t Ottawa, Baker saw Sir John A. on the subject and came away satisfied that the Prime Minister 128 looked favourably on his candidate. It was late summer when Baker returned to Victoria. He was immediately engulfed by his many business interests which more and more were supplanting his interest in p o l i t i c s . It was d i f f i c u l t for him to leave his winter's work, and he returned to Ottawa late for the opening of the fourth session of parliament in February, 1886. Once there, he played an unusually minor role in affairs in and out of the House. His mind was pre-occupied with his own business matters. He did not overlook the social engagements that made and kept worthwhile business connections alive, however: Mara's poker party; champagne supper and whist at the Onder-donks'; an evening with fellow dinner guest Van Horne. 1 2 7Baker, 18 July, 1885. 1 2 8Baker, 18 July, 1885. - 207 -The question of a new lieutenant governor for British Columbia was not being actively discussed, but Baker's past efforts on behalf of Senator Macdonald earned him 129 a " f r i g i d " greeting from the Nelsons. Baker's main p o l i t i c a l concern in Ottawa at this juncture was the seizure of Victoria based sealing schooners by the Americans, some of which were owned by his business associate Theodore Lubbe. Baker saw the Secretary of State in response to telegrams from Lubbe, but then business matters in Mexico took him away from Ottawa. He did not return u n t i l the following year and un t i l after another federal election. The summer of 1886, marked the climax of a momentous period in British Columbia's history. On 4 July, a large crowd l e f t Victoria for Port Moody to welcome the f i r s t passenger train from Montreal. Later that month, the Prime Minister and a group of government o f f i c i a l s arrived in Victoria. They were followed closely by Sir George Stephen and a number of Canadian Pacific Railway o f f i c i a l s . Despite his inactivity in the House during the past session, Baker was probably at the peak of his q Baker, 10 A p r i l , 1886. - 208 -p o l i t i c a l career that summer as he entertained Sir John A. Macdonald and a party of 14 to dinner. Later, the Prime Minister and his entourage l e f t Victoria to drive the last spike of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway at Shawnigan Lake. The last session of the Fifth Parliament had been prorogued on 2 June and parliament in turn was dissolved by Proclamation on 15 January, 1887. Robert Dunsmuir called Baker to his office that day and showed him a confidential letter from Sir John, stating that an 13 0 election must be held at once. Baker's interest in p o l i t i c s was waning, but the influence politics wielded over business was a powerful attraction. Perhaps even more attractive was the possibility that further service in the House would open the way to a more advantageous p o l i t i c a l position. Baker was very interested in the prestige, salary and p o l i t i c a l power that a seat in the Senate would give him. It was also common knowledge that one of British Columbia's senators would shortly be appointed as the new lieutenant governor for the province, which would leave a vacancy in the.Senate. A few weeks after Dunsmuir showed Baker Sir John's election letter, Trutch Baker, 15 January, 18 87. - 209 -informed him that Hugh Nelson had been appointed as lieutenant governor. Baker had backed the wrong can-didate for the appointment, but any p o l i t i c a l r i f t , i f such there was, was not deep. Trutch successfully persuaded Baker to drop any feelings of animosity about Nelson's appointment. Trutch was pleased enough with events, that some weeks later, he gave Baker a new hat ^ 131 as a present. Shortly after parliament was dissolved, Baker conferred with Trutch and Premier Smithe about the forthcoming election. They supported his candidacy and that evening, Baker attended the Conservative con-132 vention where he was again nominated as a candidate. Harry D. Helmcken was Baker's agent for the election and Judge J. H. Gray, D. W. Higgins, William Charles, D. M. Eberts, Theodore Davie and others a l l lent their support. The Victoria District election took place 7 March and Baker was again elected at the head of the p o l l . The f i r s t session of the new parliament opened in April and Baker lost l i t t l e time on his arrival in Ottawa before sounding out his friends on the prospects of a March, 18 87. January, 18 87. 1 3 1Baker, 19 i J ZBaker, 21 - 210 -seat in the Senate. Apparently, F. J. Barnard was being considered for the seat also. He was a Canadian, who had come to British Columbia in 1859 in response to the gold rush, and had been prominent in the fight for the province's entry into Confederation. The latter fact made him, like Hugh Nelson and other British Columbians who had done the same, somewhat of a favoured son in Ottawa. Barnard had been the member of parliament for Yale from 1879 until 18 86. He did not stand for re-election in 18 87 because of i l l health. F. J. Barnard's son, F. S. Barnard, and his son-in-law, J. A. Mara, who succeeded him as the member of parliament for Yale in the 18 87 election, supported the proposal that F. J. Barnard should be appointed to the Senate. Baker was aware of this, because F. S. Barnard had come to him, before Baker had l e f t for Ottawa, to ask for his support 13 3 in having his father appointed a senator. F. J. Barnard and Baker had been associated in a number of business deals and socially, but they were not especially close friends. Baker did not feel obliged to set aside his plans in deference to Barnard and his friends. Baker set about his own campaign to win the seat in the Senate. In May, he had a "long chat with 1 3 3Baker, 10 March, 1887. - 211 -Mackenzie Bowell," Minister of Customs, "re senatorship 134 arid p o l i t i c a l prospects." That evening, he had dinner with Sir John A. and afterwards drove home with Joseph Pope. Alex Cambie had died in A p r i l , and Baker began the same close relationship with Pope that he had had with Cambie. Baker went with Trutch to see the Prime Minister and a few days later, he was again in Sir John's office asking questions "re senatorship and 13 5 p o l i t i c a l matters." Baker continued his senate campaign on his return to Victoria. He spoke to Trutch about the matter and when Senator Shultz visited Victoria, he had a "long 136 talk on plan of action re vacant senatorship" with him. He also tried to enlist Robert Beaven's support. Dr. G. M. Dawson was a frequent v i s i t o r of Baker's when he was in Victoria. In October, Dawson was with Baker: 13 7 "...to dinner long pow wow re senatorship." He approached C. E. Pooley, who had been made a Queen's Counsellor that June partly as a result of Baker's 138 efforts, and Robert Dunsmuir for help in his efforts 1 3 4Baker, 21 May, 1887. 1 3 5Baker, 18 June, 1887. 1 3 6Baker, 29 August, 1887. 1 3 7Baker, 24 October, 1887 1 3 8Baker, 14 Ap r i l , 1887. - 212 -13 9 to gain a seat in the senate. The Minister of M i l i t i a and Defence, Adolphe Caron, arrived in Victoria in November to inspect the site for a barracks. In between talks on the barracks, Baker asked him for advice on forwarding his candidacy for the Senate. 1 4 0 In the second session of the Sixth Parliament (1888), Baker again devoted the majority of his time to his own interests. The business of the House concerned him even less than i t had in the past. F. J. Barnard had been offered British Columbia's vacant seat in the Senate, but had declined the appointment because of i l l health. Baker was as determined as ever to have this appointment to the Senate. Finally, after a long interview, Sir John A. promised, "ECB Senate." 1 4 1 Baker l e f t for Victoria. His mood was as sunny as the June weather he found in Victoria on his return. But, before June was out, and after much p o l i t i c a l talk with Premier A.E.B. Davie, Robert Dunsmuir, Trutch, Macdonald, Beaven and others, storm clouds began to gather on Baker's p o l i t i c a l horizon. A new p o l i t i c a l alignment was being evolved; 1 3 9Baker, 15 and 18 November, 18 87. 140 Baker, 2 December, 1887. 1 4 1Baker, 21 May, 18 88. 142 Baker sensed " p o l i t i c a l treachery." The support he had been able to organize among the senior local p o l i t i -cians in the f i r s t part of June, apparently was being revised without his direct knowledge. Rithet, a busi-ness associate in so many of his a c t i v i t i e s , was sup-pected of being one of the persons behind this shift in alliance. Prior eventually came to him with the news that there had been a change in the support for his 14 3 programme. Baker responded with a flurry of letters to Ottawa in an attempt to save his candidacy for the Senate. Caron, Thompson, Joseph Pope, also Van Horne and others were a l l written to. Early in July came a 144 letter from Sir John with "astonishing news." 142 Baker, 27 June, 188 8. Note: An appointment to the Senate for Baker would have required the approval of those whom the Prime Minister considered to be his most influential supporters in Victoria. I n i t i a l l y , Baker thought he had this consent, particularly after his June talks with the local leaders in pol i t i c s and business. But someone, or something, apparently put a doubt in their mind as to whether they wanted such a forceful and uncompromising businessman as Baker given the addi-tional permanent advantage of a powerful p o l i t i c a l position. As their support faded so did Baker's acceptability in Ottawa. 14 3 Note: Baker's efforts to have his brother-in-law, Dick Jones, appointed as postmaster of Victoria had failed. Shakespeare had outmanoeuvred him and got the position for himself. Prior was elected by acclamation on 16 January, 1888, to succeed Shake-speare as one of Victoria District's two members of the House of Commons. 1 1 + 4Baker, 9 July, 1888. - 214 -Baker's senatorial campaign lost momentum. For the rest of the year, visitors from Ottawa were questioned on matters concerning the Senate without much enthusiasm being generated. Baker clung to the hope that once back in Ottawa, he could rekindle the--.support for an appoint-ment to the Senate that he apparently had the previous spring. Parliament opened 21 January, 18 89; Baker did not arrive u n t i l the 4 February. He immediately called on a number of cabinet ministers, but much as he wanted a seat in the Senate, his heart was not in his p o l i t i c a l work. His time was taken up with personal affa i r s ; cable business in Ottawa and Montreal; and more geolo-gical information from Dawson. On 16 February, he l e f t for Victoria. He never again returned to Ottawa as a polit i c i a n . By 1889, the magnitude of Baker's business ventures was growing and he had less time and apparently less interest in p o l i t i c s . Baker had been content with his position as a member of the House of Commons in his early p o l i t i c a l years, but once he had set his mind on becoming a senator a l l else seemed irrelevant. With the shattering of his hopes for a seat in the Senate, there was no real return of interest in the affairs of the House. He might note, as he did following some bad news concerning a - 215; -business matter, "...more worried than a l l about my 14 5 p o l i t i c a l position." But, i f he was worried about his p o l i t i c a l future, he did l i t t l e to try and improve the situation. In May, Prior called on Baker to discuss the local situation with regard to federal p o l i t i c s and presumably, the growing lack of support for Baker. As far as Baker's journal entry i s concerned, the lack of comment suggests that Prior's v i s i t was of l i t t l e con-sequence. Baker seemed to have become resigned to his fading position in p o l i t i c s . In September, a large meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prior to found the Liberal-Conservative Association. A constitution for the association was drawn up and adopted. It was a sign that the p o l i t i c a l 146 scene was changing. Edgar Dewdney, Minister of the Interior, arrived later the same month. He and Baker discussed Baker's future in p o l i t i c s . The details of their discussion are missing, but the outcome was that 147 Baker should resign. Baker and Prior met to make plans for the selection of a successor for Baker's seat 148 in the House; Thomas Earle was decided upon. On 1 4 5Baker,. 2 March, 1889. British Colonist, 6 September, 1889. 1 4 7Baker, 14 September, 1889. Note: The p o l i t i c a l machine was s t i l l effective; Earle was elected by acclamation to succeed Baker in the House of Commons. - 216 -24 September, Baker drew up his resignation and for-warded i t to the Speaker of the House. Active po l i t i c s were over for Baker, but he was not out of the p o l i t i c a l scene. In December, 18 94, he was elected president of the Liberal-Conservative Association. He held this position for one year and 149 then noted,."retired from p o l i t i c s . " But s t i l l i t was not the end of his involvement in p o l i t i c s . In February, 19 02, Premier James Dunsmuir, a business associate and friend of long standing, offered Baker, J. H. Turner's seat as Minister of Finance in his government.1^0 Baker declined and supported E. V. Bodwell as a candidate for the seat, apparently with the approval of the other p o l i t i c a l figures involved. At the last moment, however, E. G. Prior, with the support of Martin and Dunsmuir, ran against Bodwell. Baker countered by calling and chairing a meeting to gain support for Bodwell. It was a close contest. Just over 3,000 votes were cast; Prior won by 54 votes. Baker was furious at what he considered to be the double dealing of his friends. His friendship with Prior, which dated Baker, 31 December, 1895. Baker, 21 February, 19 02. - 217 -from his arrival in Victoria, was broken off. He put the "squeeze" on him to repay a personal loan of $20 ,000. 1 5 1 Baker had, for reasons of his own, not accepted Dunsmuir's offer of a cabinet post. It may have been that he had lost some of his liking for p o l i t i c a l work, but i t was not for lack of interest in the prestige that went with p o l i t i c s . He s t i l l yearned to be a senator.: In the years of the Laurier government, there was no hope. But, in September, 1911, he noted enthusi-astically that the Conservatives were back in power. It was, however, two years before he wrote from London to Chief Justice Barker in Ottawa on the subject of an appointment to the Senate. In the spring of 1914, he was again in London and wondering about his Senate prospects and whether he should settle in England or return to Victoria. Some encouragement on his prospects for the Senate would have settled the question for him, but the outbreak of war resolved the matter. He returned to Canada in August and shortly after, was in Ottawa searching out old friends to enlist their support for a Senate appointment. Sir Richard McBride, a close friend for many years, Baker, 12 March, 19 02. - 218 -arrived i n the c a p i t a l . Baker approached him f o r assistance and S i r Richard promised to do what he could. Baker was out of the p o l i t i c a l arena, however, and t h i s soon became clear to him. He l e f t Ottawa fo r the l a s t time and returned to V i c t o r i a . This time Baker did not say so, but he had r e t i r e d from p o l i t i c s . Baker's p o l i t i c a l career had been a success when judged by h i s p o l i t i c a l objectives. This i s not to say, however^,',that he achieved a l l that he set out to do, but only that to a large measure, he got out of p o l i t i c s what he had hoped to. His actions indicate that his p r i n c i p a l inte r e s t was i n establishing useful p o l i t i c a l and business connections that would enhance and expedite his business a f f a i r s . Baker had no intention of making p o l i t i c s a career. As a B r i t i s h Columbian, Baker could hardly have entered federal p o l i t i c s at a more auspicious time. It was a period when important negotiations were taking place between the province's government and the federal government, and when the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway was being b u i l t . Through p o l i t i c s , he became well acquainted with the nation's p o l i t i c a l leaders and most of the senior c i v i l servants i n Ottawa. He also met many businessmen (railway, telephone and e l e c t r i c company - 219 -executives; cable company lawyers; mining and railway engineers; consuls and land developers) that he might not otherwise have met. A l l of this latter group stimulated his interest either in their f i e l d of business, or in new business ideas. Being at the centre of the Vancouver "land grab" was one of the more obvious successes Baker achieved through p o l i t i c s . Baker's p o l i t i c a l success cannot be measured by considering his advancement along a p o l i t i c a l scale. He never had any ambition for such a career. This can be seen in his lack of interest in the affairs of the House of Commons after only a few years there. He made no effort to make a career out of the House that might have led to a cabinet post, or opened the door to a senior federal position in the province. Unlike Shakespeare or Hamley, Baker would never have been content with the posi-tion of postmaster or collector of customs. Even his efforts to be appointed a senator confirm this. Here, his interest was in the secure p o l i t i c a l connections and the power of p o l i t i c a l patronage that the position would give him. It was in the business lever that a senatorship offered, that the attraction lay, not in the prospect of a career as a senator. Baker was disappointed at not being able to secure this valuable asset to business af f a i r s , - 2.20 -but i t was his pride, not his career aspirations, that was hurt. And, while i t i s pure assumption, the oppo-sition that developed to his appointment as a senator among his business friends in Victoria, may have stemmed from this very point. They were apprehensive, or unwilling, to see one of the more energetic members of their entrepreneurial group armed with this extra advantage in his work. Perhaps even more conclusive evidence of Baker's lack of interest in a p o l i t i c a l career is apparent in his refusal to accept Dunsmuir's offer of a cabinet post. If Baker had wished for a career in p o l i t i c s , here was an ideal opportunity. But, Baker was not interested. Politics were to expedite business, not to absorb valuable time that was required to generate and conduct business. There seems l i t t l e doubt that Baker's main purpose in entering p o l i t i c s was to enhance his business position. Politics in British Columbia were tightly bound up with business, ,and success in business, i f not in p o l i t i c s , required an intimate relationship-between the two. Until about 190 0, the majority of the members of the provincial parliament were important businessmen. They moved; from their business offices to the legislature - 221 -and back to business again with hardly any change in the conduct of their affairs. They helped their busi-ness associates when they were in office and were:in turn helped when they were out of office. Baker worked to get J. H. Turner's Shuswap and Okanagan Railway b i l l through the House of Commons and later, Premier Turner reduced Baker's timber assessment for taxes by 50 percent. The railway boom in British Columbia in the 1890's provides an even better example of businessmen in the legislature passing one railway act after another, in most cases complete with large land subsidies, for their business friends. Timber leases and land sales provide other examples of the extent of this working relationship between politics and business. Business and poli t i c s working together may be a feature of poli t i c s in most places, most of the time. But, the extreme nature of i t , in this early period in British Columbia, makes i t an outstanding characteristic of the po l i t i c s of the era. It is also a direct reflec-tion of"the intense s p i r i t of entrepreneurism that f i l l e d the whole community. If i t had not been for the latter condition, the close relationship between business and polit i c s could not have existed for as long and in such - 222 -depth as i t did. The government was the offspring of t h i s entrepreneurism and as the nature of entrepre-neurism i n the province changed, so did the nature of government. - 223 -CHAPTER VI  THE MATURE ENTREPRENEUR Baker's entry into federal po l i t i c s in 1882, brought about a change in the momentum of his business affairs. Just prior to this time, his involvement in business had been increasing and his entrepreneurial a b i l i t y was becoming more apparent. But immediately following his election to the House of Commons, he began a three year period in which he neither formed, nor joined a single company other than a number of Burrard Inlet land specu-lating syndicates. It was a break with the business trend that he had developed by the end of the 1870's and was the only period throughout his active business career when his entrepreneurship was seemingly so dormant. In the latter half of the decade, Baker resumed a more energetic entrepreneurial role. Baker was a member of parliament for just over seven years and i n i t i a l l y , he gave a great deal of his time and attention to p o l i t i c s . This appears to explain why he lost some of his earlier business i n i t i a t i v e . During the last half of his time in parliament, he took a pro-gressively less active part in the affairs of the House and a correspondingly greater interest in his business matters. This is not to say,i.however, that pol i t i c s was - 224 -not compatible with his entrepreneurial ambitions; i t was. Throughout his years i n parliament, Baker was exceedingly busy meeting and talking with people having a wide var i e t y of business in t e r e s t s and professional backgrounds. He was not forming companies f o r part of th i s time, but he was a c t i v e l y searching f o r new ideas and business opportunities. His entrepreneurship was only seemingly dormant. In many cases, the ideas that were suggested to him i n conversation, or by the example of other businessmen, were taken to the House, where he was able to develop and analyze them further with i n f o r -mation he c a l l e d f o r i n parliament. The Hawaiian . P a c i f i c Cable Company that he helped to organize during his parliamentary years was a good example of t h i s . 1 Baker's mature years as an entrepreneur form two r e l a t i v e l y d i s t i n c t parts, the f i r s t of which corresponds to his years i n the House of Commons (1882-1889). At the beginning of t h i s period, he was an established member of the business community, even i f s t i l l i n a r e l a t i v e l y Note: Before forming t h i s company, Baker had many con-versations i n Ottawa with Nicol Kingsmill and h i s Commercial Cable Company associates, Sandford Fleming and the Hawaiian Consul. In parliament, he asked f o r the complete d e t a i l s involved i n the laying of the cable from V i c t o r i a to a point near Dungeness, W. T.: cost of materials and labour, time taken, materials used, method of laying the cable, etc. (Commons Debates, 1885, Vol. 2, p. 1443.) - 2 25 -small way. Then, as he progressed in p o l i t i c s , he expanded his business enterprises. Not a l l of these business endeavours were successful, but generally, the 1880's were good business years for him. Most important of a l l , these years closed leaving him with considerably more experience and capital with which to exploit the great business opportunities about to open in the Kootenay region. It was this latter occurrence that brought to an end the f i r s t period of Baker's mature business acti v i t i e s and ushered in an era of much more intense entrepreneurship. The opening section of this chapter i s an examination of Baker's business career in the 1880's. These affairs i l l u s t r a t e the surprising range of interest, the sense of opportunity and the unhesitating i n i t i a t i v e of Victoria's early entrepreneurs. They also show the close relationship between government and business. One example of these business characteristics was made possible when, in 1882, he was elected to the Victoria City Council and subsequently appointed a member of the Water Works Committee. Through his work on this committee, he became thoroughly familiar with a l l that was required by way of equipment and organization in a water company. He was also aware of the opportunities l e f t untapped by the operation of the Victoria Water Works. - 226 -Baker, Theodore Lubbe and J. H. Turner, who had been mayor of the city of Victoria during the years 1879 to 1882, apparently examined the prospects for another water works company in the years that followed. By September, 18 84, their ideas were beginning to take 2 shape. At the beginning of the new year, Theodore Lubbe, W. P. Sayward, Joshua Davies, W. S. Chambers and E. C. Baker petitioned the provincial government for authority to incorporate the Esquimalt Water Works Company. There was no objection raised by the city; R. P. Rithet had just been elected mayor. The government, under Premier Smithe and containing many business 3 friends, put up no opposition to the petition. On 9 March, 18 85, an Act to Incorporate the Esquimalt 4 Water Works Company was passed by the Legislature. The company was authorized to have a capital stock of $15 0,000. Its water distribution was limited to the Baker, 1 September, 1884. 3 Note: Some business friends in the government were: Attorney General A.E.B. Davie, Robert Dunsmuir, C. E. Pooley, Theodore Davie, M.T.W. Drake, J. A. Mara and C. A. Semlin. 4BCJ, 1885, p. 157. - 227 -town of Esquimalt and the adjacent peninsula bounded by Victoria Harbour, the Straits of Juan de Fuca and Esquimalt Harbour. Under the favourable circumstances of 1885, the entrepreneurs behind the Esquimalt Water Works Company had faced l i t t l e opposition to their petition. This was not the case in 1892, when the company petitioned the government for permission to expand i t s operation. On this occasion, Mayor Robert Beaven submitted a counter petition claiming that the additional powers requested by the Esquimalt Water Works Company would infringe on the rights granted the city under the Cor-poration of Victoria Water Works Act, 187 3.5 The shareholders of the Esquimalt Water Works s t i l l had many friends in the Legislature, and the Executive Council, with the exception of Premier Robson, a l l were business associates (J. H. Turner, F. G. Vernon, C. E. Pooley and Theodore Davie). But this time, inspite of the bond with the government, Beaven's arguments pre-vailed and the Esquimalt Water Works Company's petition was not granted. In the years that followed, "the two water dispensers waged continual war." Eventually, in 5BCJ_, 1892 , p. i i i . 6Daily Colonist, 11 July, 1965, p. 14. - 228 -19 25, V i c t o r i a purchased the Esquimalt Water Works. The water company posed many new problems, technical and otherwise, f o r Baker and his partners, but at least i t had some s i m i l a r i t y with past business endeavours. Like the telephone company and the p a r t i a l l y successful e l e c t r i c a l company, i t was a u t i l i t y and i t required negotiations with various l e v e l s of government and the public. Baker's next venture was i n an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t f i e l d and c a l l e d f o r more complex negotiations and business arrangements than i n the past. This new business was shipping, but i t was of: such an unusual nature that i t appears that i t was the only operation of i t s kind to ever be conducted i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The enterprise i s of in t e r e s t both because of t h i s unique quality and also as a prime example of the d i v e r s i t y of intere s t and the s p i r i t of these entrepreneurs. In the same year that the Esquimalt Water Works Com-pany was incorporated, Baker and Henry Saunders joined together i n the f i r s t of Baker's marine enterprises. E a r l i e r , Saunders, who was i n the grocery importing and r e t a i l i n g business, as well as being the agent for a number of ships engaged i n the coastal trade and towing, had discussed marine business prospects with Baker. He and Baker had t r i e d to form a towing company, shortly - 229 -after the latter*s arrival in Victoria. But, in those days, Baker had not advanced far enough in his business career to be able to take advantage of this opportunity. One of the ships for which Henry Saunders was the agent, was the Sardonyx. She was a 178 foot propellor driven steamship that had been built in Greenock in 1869 and had arrived in Victoria, 8 0 days out of London, in May, 18 82. A local syndicate under Captain J. D. Warren had purchased the ship and placed her in the Northern trade. In November, 1885, while Baker was busy with Van Home and his party at the Driard Hotel, Saunders approached him with a proposal that they buy the Sar-doriyx for $70,000. She was a relatively new and powerful steamship and the opportunities for chartering appeared 8 to be good. Baker was interested. Saunders was to hold 22 shares in the ship and Baker 10 shares. A month later, Baker called on J. D. Pemberton to discuss the Baker, 9 November, 18 85. Note: Many companies obtain the marine services they require by chartering a ship. A chartered ship i s hired or leased as a f u l l y operational unit (com-plete with crew) ready to carry out the task specified in the charter for the fee agreed upon. - 230 -possibility of a loan to cover his share of the purchase . 9 price. There i s no mention of a possible charter for the Sardonyx at this time in Baker's business journals, but the unfolding of future events makes i t quite obvious that he and Saunders already had a strong lead as to what they believed would be a very lucrative charter. The papers completing the purchase and transfer of the ship to her new owners had hardly been completed, when Saunders telephoned Baker to t e l l him that they had a charter agreement with the Mexican government.10 In fact, Baker and Saunders had reached only a tentative agreement with the Mexicans, who were to charter the Sardonyx. Negotiations with them went on until almost the end of February before they were settled. During this time, the two partners anxiously awaited the arrival from Mexico of the instructions that would get the operation underway. Baker was late for the opening of parliament, but he would not leave Victoria unt i l the important document arrived. At last, on 18 February, Note: Pemberton was an early inhabitant of Victoria where he served as a member of the Colonial Legis-lative Assembly and as Colonial surveyor. He offered Baker $25,000 for 6 months at 1 1/4% interest per month. Baker, 24 January, 1886. - 231 -the long awaited instructions reached the partners. The same day, the mail steamer from San Francisco arrived, but without the expected key figure for the proposed charter, "...no 'Boss Chinaman'" was onboard. 1 1 Baker could not delay his departure for Ottawa any longer; Saunders would have to get the operation underway. According to an advertisement that appeared in a local newspaper early in March, the owners of the Sardonyx had a contract with the Mexican government under which the ship was chartered to "The Compania Mexicana de 12 Navegacion del Pacifico." Her ports of c a l l were listed as Victoria, San Francisco, Todos Santos, Mazatlan, San Plas and Manzanillo, and her agents as J. Gutte in San Francisco, Jesus Escovar in Mazatlan and Van der Linden, Vogel and Company in Manzanillo. The ship would be carrying Wells, Fargo and Company's express as well as general freight and passengers. There was more to this charter than the newspaper advertisement suggested, however. The contract that Baker and Saunders had so enthusiastically entered into, was in fact with a number of Mexican capitalists, 13 apparently including President Diaz. These men had i : LBaker, 18 February, 1886 . 1 2 B r i t i s h Colonist, 6 March, 1886, p. 1. 1 3 I b i d . , 31 March, 1886, p. H. - 232 -decided to bring in Chinese "coolies" from the United States and British Columbia to work in-the Mexican mines 14 and on the plantations. Their interest in this venture was to secure a source of cheap labour that outclassed 15 the "lazy and undependable" local Indians and Peons. This was the real purpose of the charter. The Sardonyx was chartered to carry the Chinese from Victoria and San Francisco to Mexico. Inspite of the advertised schedule of ports of c a l l , Mazatlan was the key port because i t had been selected as the principal point of disembarkation for the Chinese labourers. A l l other stated business was secondary to the transportation of Chinese workers. Baker had known this since the beginning of February, when he went to the dockyard to see his naval friends about charts for Mazatlan and 16 general information regarding navigation in the area. Most of the outstanding matters regarding the charter were resolved by the end of February. In Ottawa, Baker was determined to go to Mexico to complete the details of the contract, while in Victoria, Saunders 1 4 B r i t i s h Colonist, 31 March, 1886 , p. 4. l oLoc. c i t . 1 6Baker, 5 February, 18 86. prepared the Sardonyx for her f i r s t voyage under the new charter. At the beginning of March, the Sardonyx was in Nanaimo loading 200 tons of coal for the Mazatlan gas works. A few days later, she was secured alongside Janion's wharf in Victoria, where carpenters were busy making arrangements for her Chinese passengers and preparing the ship for sea. She sailed for San Francisco 17 on the 13th, with 125 Chinese passengers on board. She was to embark another 100 Chinese passengers in San Francisco. On 1 April, the Sardonyx entered the port of Mazatlan intending to land her Chinese passengers. An anti-Chinese r i o t ensued and the ship was prevented 18 from carrying out her mission. At his Ottawa desk, Baker fretted over the news of the breakdown in his latest business enterprise. In May, the Sardonyx made another t r i p , this time leaving Victoria 19 with some 150 Chinese passengers. There was too much at stake in this venture for Baker to s i t in Ottawa, while the Sardonyx sailed off to meet possible further riots and the disruption of his and Saunders' carefully laid plans. He abandoned his parliamentary duties and 1 7 B r i t i s h Colonist, 11 March, 1886, p. 3. 18 Ibid., 7 A p r i l , 1886, p. 3. (The eventual fate of the Chinese passengers is not mentioned in Baker's Journal, nor the newspaper account. It appears, however, that they were landed in Mexico as they did not return to Victoria.) 1 9 I b i d . , 16 May, 1886, p. 3. set off by train for Mexico City. Baker was not a man to be easily deterred. After < week's travel his train f i n a l l y rattled into Albuquerqin New Mexico, where he found that the Rio Grande was in flood and the railway bridge was washed out. Baker waited impatiently while efforts were made to get a temporary bridge over the river. On his third day in Alburquerque, he was, "up at 4:30 a.m. arid went down to the Bridge (about 11 miles) on the Engine...three spans of Bridge gone, and crossed a roaring current on a single plank - very nearly came to grief but saved myself at the Expense of my clothes...no chance of 21 getting on." He had to return to the town. The next day, the temporary bridge was completed, although i t was a rickety a f f a i r . The female passengers got across with some d i f f i c u l t y and the heavy baggage had to be l e f t behind. The train to El Paso had to be rerouted to avoid further washouts. Once in Mexico, Baker completed his t r i p in a train with few f a c i l i t i e s i t stopped periodically to allow the passengers short rest periods, and for meals, the passengers l e f t the °Baker, 21 May, 1886. 1Baker, 30 May, 1886. - 2 35 -train to eat in old railway coaches pulled off to the side of the line. On 5 June, a somewhat dusty and tired Baker arrived in Mexico City, where he was met by E. G. Vogel of the Compania Mexicana de Navegacion del Pacifico, the com-pany chartering the Sardonyx. Baker remained in Mexico City for a week. During this time, he held daily meetings with members of the company, at some of which, the British Consul and the United States Consul General were present. Baker's main purpose in these negotiations appears to have been to obtain a guaranteed charter fee for the voyages made by the Sardonyx, regardless of how successful they were to the main purpose of the contract. He l e f t the city apparently pleased with the result of his work: "Offer from Malo - Larraza - Vogel raised them from $50,000 Mexican to $55,000 Gold and got the same in writing - 7:15 p.m. l e f t Mexico C i t y . " 2 2 * In making the arrangements to obtain the Chinese labourers that the Sardonyx was chartered to transport, the Mexicans had enlisted the help of influential Chinese merchants in Victoria and San Francisco. The Chinese Consulate in San Francisco was also aware of the project Baker, 11 June, 188 6. - 236 -and held i t to be "altogether benevolent in i t s character 23 and aims." According to the Consulate, the wealthier Chinese of Victoria were "touched by the situation of 24 their poverty-stricken countrymen." These half starved unemployed Chinese numbered between 5000 and 6000. The affluent Chinese had been providing them with free soup houses for some months. The only wish of the well-to-do Chinese, said Colonel Bee of the Chinese Consulate, was to help their less fortunate countrymen go where they 2 5 could find a means of making a li v i n g . Hence these merchants were willing to advance $12 to each coolie to pay for his passage to Mexico. This sum would be recovered in easy payments of $1 per month from the 2 6 coolie's wages of $14 per month. Colonel Bee made no mention of living conditions on the Sardonyx, where the Chinese were to be crowded aboard far in excess of the ship's normal passenger carrying capacity, nor of the working conditions the Chinese would find in the Mexican mines and plantations. No one suggested that the main interest in this venture of the wealthy Chinese in 2 - 3 B r i t i s h Colonist, 31 March, 1886 , p. 4. ' L O G ' . ' c i t ' L O ' C ' . ' c i t Loc. c i t - 2 37 -Victoria and San Francisco was to be r i d of the burden of their less fortunate countrymen. The shipping agents' main interest in the scheme was the money to be made in jamming the ship with passengers far in excess of her normal load. The man in the street was interested because public opinion favoured not only stopping Chinese immigration, but deporting those already in the country. As agent J. Gutte told a reporter, "The arrangement w i l l result 2 7 in diminishing the number of Chinese in California." Baker and Saunders, as agents and owners and with the prospect of transporting thousands of coolies, expected to reap a handsome profit from the venture. Baker could also claim that he was doing something tangible about the number of Chinese in British Columbia besides making speeches in parliament on the subject. This business scheme was also highly in accord with the provincial government's mood towards the Chinese in the province. Appearing on the same page of the British  Colonist as one of Baker and Saunders' advertisements for the Sardonyx, was a report of legislation being prepared by the attorney general to prohibit companies British Colonist, 31 March, 1886, p. 4. - 238 -2 8 from employing Chinese, a step that was designed to discourage Chinese immigration and force many of those present in the province to emigrate. In June, 1886, Baker had returned from Mexico City with a feeling.of confidence in his charter business, but the Sardonyx's problems were not over. In July, she ran aground on the Sleeper Rocks. The damage was not great, but she was out of action for several weeks. Two months later,she struck Gabriola Reef and when she was refloated, the partners paid her off u n t i l the beginning of October. She was not the only ship to come to grief in the dangerous coastal waters of British Columbia, however. A few weeks before the Sardonyx's second grounding, the Rosenfeld struck a rock just north of East Point (which is now known by her name). The Sardonyx redeemed herself by partaking in salvaging the ship and her cargo. The shipping business was a risky trade and the partners were having their problems in keeping the venture solvent. In between her marine mishaps, the Sardonyx trans-ported more iron ore and coal than Chinese. The anti-Chinese riots in Mexico had been severe enough that the British Colonist, 6 March, 1886, p. 3. - 23 9 -project to bring Chinese labourers to that country never seems to have amounted to much. In February, 1887, Baker noted, "last of the Chinese contract 29 settled." During the winter of 1886-87, the Sardonyx towed barges of iron ore at $1.50 per ton from Texada to Port Townsend for the nearby Irondale smelter. When she wasn't moving iron ore for the Puget Sound Iron Company's somewhat unsuccessful blast furnace operation at Irondale, she was transporting coal at $1.2 5 per ton from Nanaimo to Vancouver for Robert Dunsmuir. But, this was hardly what the eager partners had had in mind when they purchased the ship a year earlier. In February, 1887, Baker spoke to Robert Dunsmuir on the subject of the possible purchase of the Sardonyx 30 by the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company. Dunsmuir was a director of this important shipping company that had been incorporated some four years earlier, when British Columbia had experienced a remarkable increase in shipping activity brought about by the approaching 31 completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This company was basically an amalgamation of Captain John 29 Baker, 14 February, 1887. 3 0Baker, 10 February, 1887. 31 E. W. Wright, ed., Lewis and Dryden's Marine History  of the Pacific Northwest, New York, Antiquarian Press, 1961, p. 303. - 2 40 -Irving's Pioneer Line and the Hudson's Bay Company Line and operated some ten steamships. Baker wished to dispose of the matter of the sale of the Sardonyx before he l e f t for Ottawa. He met with Dunsmuir and Captain John Irving towards the end of February and some three weeks later, the details of the sale were completed. The Canadian Pacific Naviga-32 tion Company bought the Sardonyx for $46,250. After Baker had settled up with Pemberton, he reckoned his 3 3 share of the profit from the sale to be $1,500. Baker's profit hardly seemed worth the considerable effort and work that had gone into the Sardonyx under-taking. But, his disappointment in the Sardonyx affa i r did not lessen his interest in another f i e l d of marine business that came to his attention. He plunged into i t as though nothing untoward had happened in his f i r s t venture. In this can be seen one of the more striking characteristics of these entrepreneurs; their highly developed sense of business opportunity and the speed and confidence with which they exploited these oppor-tunities. Every business opportunity was a challenge. 3 2Baker, 18 March, 1887. 33 Baker, 19 March, 18 87. (The only purchase price quoted for the Sardonyx in Baker's Journal is Saunders' figure of $70,000. This was obviously not the pur-chase price when the selling price is considered and Baker's remark regarding his profit.) - 2 i i -They planned to be successful in their work, but when they were not, this, short of bankruptcy, did nothing to dampen their s p i r i t or interest in business. Shortly after Baker and Saunders purchased the Sardonyx, Baker became involved in sealing matters and eventually in the business i t s e l f . In A p r i l , 1886, while attending the House of Commons, he received a letter from a business associate of his, Theodore Lubbe, requesting cl a r i f i c a t i o n of the rights of the British Columbia sealing fleet in view of the American claim that the eastern half of the Bering Sea formed part of American t e r r i t o r i a l 311 waters. Baker forwarded Lubbe's letter to the Sec-retary of State asking that the c l a r i f i c a t i o n sought be given without delay as Canadian sealing schooners planned to be in the Bering Sea about 20 May. The matter was referred to the Minister of Justice, who eventually, when the schooners were due in the Bering Sea, gave an 3 5 opinion against the American contention. The Canadian government communicated their position to the British government and urged their support in the dispute. In the summer of 188 6, three sealing schooners 34 Canadian Blue Book Fishery Question: 18 8 5-87, Corres-gondence on the Seizure of British American Vessels  ehrings Sea, pp. 15, 16. 3 5 Commons Debates, 1888, p. 9 75. - 242 -from Victoria were seized by the Americans in the Bering Sea. The controversy over jurisdiction of the Bering Sea, and hence sealing in the area, was no longer a theore-t i c a l argument. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, Victoria was the centre for the north Paeific seal fishery. Every year about 100 small schooners set s a i l from Canadian and American ports to hunt seals. About 3 6 eighty percent of them sailed from Victoria. American efforts to control sealing in the Bering Sea, which involved claiming the eastern half of the Bering Sea as American t e r r i t o r i a l waters and, in 1870, the granting of a charter to the Alaska Commercial Company for the exclusive right to sealing on the islands of St. George and St. Paul, had greatly reduced the participation of San Francisco in the industry. Americans (and others) were warned through newspaper notices not to engage in sealing in the Bering Sea without the permission of the 3 7 United States Treasury Department. S t i l l , some American money found i t s way north and was invested in conjunction 3 8 with Victoria money in the sealing fishery. Lewis and Dryden's Marine History, p. 425.. Canadian Blue Book FisheryQuestion: 1885-7, pp. 15-16. Baker, 27 February, 1889. - 243 -Many members of Victoria's business community had an interest in the sealing fleet. Captain J. D. Warren, a business associate of Baker's, operated the largest sealing fleet. Captain William Spring, the f i r s t man 39 to engage successfully in the sealing business, and Theodore Lubbe, a business associate of Baker's, had sizeable fleets. The greater number of businessmen bought shares in one or two schooners, however. As with so many of these early business ventures, the risks were great, but i f the schooner returned safe from navigational, weather and personnel problems, the returns were also great. The value of the Victoria sealing fleet's catch in 1889 was $247,170.40 Baker was obviously aware of the seal fishery before 1886, but his work in the House of Commons on behalf of the businessmen behind i t , gave him a new insight into the business and i t s financial structure: investment in ships and equipment; wages; catch potential and market conditions. Some time later, he gave parliament a detailed account of the operation of a sealing schooner and the financing involved. 4 1 39 Lewis and Dryden's Marine History, p. 426. 40 . Victoria Daily Colonist, 1 January, 1890, p. 3 41 Commons Debates, 11 October, 1886. - 244 -. Baker may have thought that his earlier entrepre-neurial act i v i t i e s offered a chance of greater return than sealing, but by the f a l l of 1886, he was in a stronger financial position and able to expand his interests into an enterprise that he now understood 4 2 very well. He interviewed two experienced and successful sealing captains, Alex. McLean and Daniel McLean, on the prospects of entering into a business 4 3 agreement. Both captains commanded schooners owned by a partnership established by Captain William Spring and now managed by his son, Charles Spring. Later, with W. T. Livock, Lubbe and Charles Spring, he discussed the possibility of transferring Spring's schooner the Mary Ellen to Daniel McLean. The f a l l passed without any decision on the matter being taken. Between the flurry of election activity that started off the new year and attending parliament, i t was not until a year later that Baker resumed nego-tiations on the subject of entering the sealing business. Captain Warren had suffered heavy financial losses as a result of American seizures of his sealing schooners in those two years, but Baker persisted in his newly aroused interest in sealing. 42 Note: That September, the Sardonyx made a very good profit for her owners in salvage work with the Rosenfeld. Baker was also making money in real estate. 4 3 Commons Debates, 11 October, 1886. - 245 -In October, 1887, he met with the McLean brothers, who proposed that he join them in obtaining a new schooner for the seal fishery. Both of these men were natives of Cape Breton, who had come west at the beginning of the decade. They had been on the West Coast only some three years before they recognized the potential in sealing and entered that trade. In 1883, Captain Daniel McLean took command of the San Francisco schooner' City of San Diego. He had a successful season, at the end of which, he sold his seal skins in Victoria. The following year, he and his brother were in command of the Victoria schooners Mary Ellen and Favorite. Dan McLean's success grew with each year and, in 18 86, he brought the Mary Ellen into Victoria with the record catch of 4286 seal skins. Another Maritimer, Captain William Munsie from Nova Scotia, operated a sealing fleet but of Victoria and had pioneered a new idea for obtaining schooners for the seal fishery. In 1885, he brought the f i r s t schooner, the Pathfinder, from Halifax to Victoria for sealing. Dan McLean suggested to Baker that instead of building a schooner, they should follow Munsie's example Lewis and Dryden's Marine History, p. 427. - 246 -and buy a Nova Scotian schooner. Baker concurred. He drew up an agreement for a $6,0 00 investment; divided into three equal shares between himself, Dan McLean 4 5 and Victoria businessman, W. E. Blackett. McLean l e f t for the East and early in December, he sailed from Halifax in the newly purchased schooner Triumph. Most schooners made the passage from Halifax to Victoria via Cape Horn in 110 to 14 0 days. The Triumph was at the latter end of the scale arriving in Victoria towards the end of Ap r i l . Inspite of the dispute over sealing rights in the Bering Sea, Baker considered sealing offered good pros-pects for profit and expanded his investment accordingly. In January, 1888, he bought a one-third interest in the schooner Teresa for some $23 00. A week later, he and Charles Spring discussed a redistribution of the shares held on the schooners Favorite and Kate. Shortly afterwards, he bought a number of shares in the' Favorite. Later that year, he bought a major interest in the Mary Ellen. In February, 1888, as Baker prepared to leave for Ottawa and the House of Commons, the schooners finished 1887. 1888. Baker, 26 October, Baker, 24 January, - 24/7 -r e f i t t i n g in preparation of the opening of the sealing season. In September, the Triumph returned with 24 80 seal skins and was paid off. Baker had other plans for her. She was followed into port by the Mary Ellen with 4 7 19 04 seal skins, which were sold for $5.75 per skin. The Mary Ellen was then outfitted for a black cod expe-dition to the Queen Charlotte Islands. She returned just before Christmas and Baker tried to dispose of her cargo of.cod at $18 per barrel. The potential in the cod market did not impress him and in January, he again readied the Mary Ellen for the seal fishery. American seizure of Canadian schooners in the Bering Sea continued and made sealing in that prime hunting area an uncertain business. So far, however, the schooners Baker had an interest in were a l l doing well and, as the figures in the previous paragraph indicate, were making a good profit for their shareholders. At this point in time, Baker was established in the sealing fishery and had reached what may be .considered the end of the f i r s t phase in his sealing business. He was now about to expand his marine interests further using some of the resources the sealing business had placed * in his hands. Baker, 2 5 September, 1888. - 248 -Baker's other plans for the Triumph involved one of his most ambitious schemes. It was not the most costly of his enterprises, nor did i t promise the greatest profit, but i t brought together in a single endeavour much of the expertise that he had accummulated over the past decade and in i t s scope and daring, was a good example of his, and several of his associates', entre-preneurial s p i r i t . It was also his only business venture pf a truly international nature. In the 1870's, the Hawaiian government became interested in connecting the principal islands of the Kingdom by land and submarine cables. To this end in 1874, they authorized the Minister of the Interior to permit any incorporated company to lay telegraph lines and in return to extend certain concessions to them. 4 8 At the same time, the United States was concerned with laying a cable across the Pacific Ocean to further i t s interests and influence in the area. In 1874, i t ordered the U.S.S. Tuscarora to survey a cable route from Monterey to Honolulu. The Tuscarora successfully completed the task that year. Two years later, American ambition was W. D. Alexander, "The Story of the Trans-Pacific Cable," Eighteenth Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical  Society, Honolulu, Paradise of the Pacific, 1911, p. 50. - 249 -put in a more tangible form when the Congress passed "An Act'- to Encourage the Promotion of Telegraphic Com-49 munication between America and Asia." In the same year, 1876, the bond between the United States and Hawaii was greatly strengthened by the signing of the reciprocity treaty, 5^ 1 under the impetus of which, 51 sugar became the mainstay of the Hawaiian economy. Through this development, Hawaii's economic well-being became increasingly dependent on the American market and she was drawn closer into the United States sphere of business and p o l i t i c a l influence. Notwithstanding Hawaii's interest in a cable and the United States' interest in Hawaii, l i t t l e action in telegraphic communications followed these preliminary moves by the two governments. In August, 1884, the Hawaiian government amended i t s Act of 1874, to authorize the Minister of the Interior to pay an annual subsidy of $20,000 for 15 years to the company that would establish and maintain telegraphic communications with San 52 Francisco. The United States government was interested 4 9Alexander, "Trans-Pacific Cable," p. 51. 5 0R. S. Kuykendall, The Hawaiian Kingdom, Vol. 3, 1874-1893, Honolulu, University of Hawaii, 1967, p. 35. 5 1 I b i d . , p. 47. 5 2Alexander, "Trans-Pacific Cable," p. 53. - 250 -in the projected cable, but not to the extent of authori-53 zing a subsidy to support i t . In 1886, the Hawaiian government made a further effort to induce action on the project by amending the wording of their Act of 1884, to read* "between Honolulu and San Francisco or any other port or place on the North American Continent, connecting 54 with the American telegraph system." They were apparently influenced by reports from Canada concerning the activities of Sandford Fleming and his projected British Pacific cable. Also, relations between Hawaii and the United States were somewhat strained at the time over the renegotiating of the reciprocity treaty and i t s Pearl 5 5 Harbour amendment. The Hawaiian government's action, in 1884, was f o l -lowed by efforts on the part of two companies to reach some agreement with them on the terms under which a cable company would operate on the Islands. The f i r s t of these companies was the Hawaiian Cable Company, which was incor-porated in January, 1884, and drew i t s strength from 'Alexander, "Trans-Pacific Cable," p. 53. Ibid., p. 54. 'Kuykeridall, Hawaiian Kingdom, p. 39 3. American capital. 56 Considering the extent of American p o l i t i c a l and business interest in the Islands, i t would have been strange i f the f i r s t company to try .to organize the long desired telegraph link had not originated in the United States. The second company to enter the f i e l d was the Pacific Cable Company. It was formed a few years after the Hawaiian Cable Company was incorporated and was 57 backed by British capital. Neither company managed to progress beyond the planning stage in their cable nego-tiations. The frequent changes of government that the Islands were experiencing at this time kept cable policy in a state of flux. Finally, in July, 188 8, James Sherman Bartholomew, an American electrical engineer living in Honolulu, completed negotiations with the Hawaiian government to construct the cable. He signed a contract with the government granting him "the sole and exclusive right and privilege" for the construction, laying and maintaining of a sub-marine telegraph cable to connect Hawaii to Maui, Maui to Oahu, with a landing on Molokai and from Oahu to 5 8 Kauai. The project required some 4 00 miles of submarine 5 6Anne Hamilton Stites, "The Attempt to Lay a Cable between the Hawaiian Islands", Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 2 , 19 68, Honolulu, Hawaiian Historical Society, 1968, p. 57. 57 Ibid p. 60. 58 Loc. c i t . - 2 52 -and land cable to be la i d . The government agreed to pay Bartholomew $8,000 when the cable between Oahu and Maui was working, another $8,000 when the cable between Oahu and Hawaii was working and a f i n a l $9,000 when the cable 59 between Oahu and Kauai was working. Inspite of the rapidly increasing American influence and economic domination of the Hawaiian Islands, Bartholo-mew turned not to the United States for support to launch his project, but to Canada. And in Canada, the entre-preneur that caught his attention was Baker. In view of American agressiveness and tenacity in the fields of business and po l i t i c s in this era, the selection of Baker was a striking tribute to the a b i l i t y , courage and energy 6 0 of British Columbia's entrepreneurs. As with other business ventures, i t also showed how they combined 5 9 S t i t e s , "Cable", p. 61. 6 0Anne Stites in, "The Attempt to Lay a Cable between the Hawaiian Islands" (and apparently looking at Baker from Bartholomew's point of view), states, "Baker was a well established businessman who could get the ven-ture started" (p. 61). So he was, but she (or Bar-tholomew) might have been surprised to know that this energetic and confident entrepreneur had been a some-what impecunious mi l l agent 14 years earlier. This would seem to be particularly so since she (or again i t may have been Bartholomew) was sufficiently impressed with Baker's position in the community to credit him, incorrectly, with having been influential in gaining British Columbia's admission into the Canadian Dominion (p. 61). - 2 5 3?'-imagination with their characteristic w i l l to act to capitalize on new inventions. Baker f i r s t mentioned Bartholomew in his Journals when the latter arrived in his office in Victoria on a dull day in October, 1888. McMicking joined them and the three men spent the morning discussing the "Sandwich C -I Island Cable Connection". A few days after their meeting, Baker drew up a contract for the Hawaiian cable. McMicking was not a partner, but Baker was apparently drawing on his technical knowledge. The partners held last minute discussions and Bartholomew l e f t for the East to place the orders for the equipment required by the enterprise. The Hawaiian Pacific Cable Company was granted i t s charter around 31 December, 1889. Its ;officers were • J. S. Bartholomew, president, E. C. Baker, vice-president, 6 2 E. 0. White, secretary and W. W. Hall, auditor. Its capital stock was $100,000, made up of 1,000 shares of $100 each. Baker and Bartholomew had done a great deal of planning and had ordered a considerable amount of equipment before the charter, for their cable company was D XBaker, 16 October, 1888. 6 2 S t i t e s , "Cable", p. 63. - 254 -granted. When the company was chartered, Baker and Bartholomew were given a combined total of 6 01 shares in return for the transfer to the company of a l l cable equipment and property owned by them. The Honourable Jonathan Austin, until recently Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was given 7 0 shares by the partners as a retainer fee (to protect their interests) and a further 6 3 30 shares in payment of debts owed him. The disposition of the remaining shares was not specified. Bartholomew, who had gone to New York after his meeting in Victoria with Baker, telegraphed the details of the submarine cable to Baker. On receipt of this information, Baker boarded the sealing schooner Triumph, in which he had a share, measured and examined her as to her suitability as a cable-laying ship. He considered she was able to do the job. In December, he placed her in dry-dock to have her bottom coppered. Again, J. H. Innes, superintendent of the naval dockyard, and other naval friends were of great assistance in advising and helping in the steps to be taken in making the schooner ready for her new role. Another matter to be taken care of was .arranging for telegraph poles. Baker ordered some 6 3 S t i t e s , "Cable", pp. 63-64. - 2 55 -18 carloads of cedar poles for this purpose from T. D. Conway's mil l at Chemainus. In January, 18 89, when Baker le f t for Ottawa and what turned out to be his last session of parliament, the carpenters were just finishing their conversion work on the Triumph. Bartholomew was waiting for Baker in Ottawa. The two partners immediately began an all-day planning session, which at times included G. M. Dawson and others interested in the project. At this juncture in his career, Baker's business ventures were becoming so demanding in their time and energy that he had l i t t l e time for p o l i t i c s . When their plans were agreed upon, he went to Montreal to arrange for the transporting of the submarine cable to Vancouver. Here, he called on George Olds, a Canadian Pacific Railway Company acquaintance. The meeting was satisfactory and Baker l e f t for Ottawa with a promise from Olds of a special freight rate for the cable. On his return to the capital, he remained only long enough to clear up his papers before leaving for Victoria. He had been in Ottawa, ostensibly attending parliament, for less than two weeks. In the meantime, Bartholomew, the engineer, had made an unfortunate mistake in assessing the relative a b i l i t y of the available cable manufacturers and the quality of - 256 -t h e i r product. He had placed the order for the submarine cable with the Bishop Gutta Percha Company of New York. This company not only f a i l e d on three occasions to meet delivery dates, thus wrecking the Triumph's s a i l i n g schedule, but imperfectly manufactured the cable, which lead to numerous breaks when i t was l a i d . This one mistake, i n an otherwise well organized and executed business venture, brought about i t s ultimate f a i l u r e . Spring arrived i n V i c t o r i a , but the awaited cable did not. Baker could not afford to keep the Triumph inactive any longer and he was forced to return her to sealing.- He sent Captain Dan McLean to San Francisco by mail boat, to use his contacts to organize hunters and a market f o r seal skins. McLean returned with a contract f o r $6.25 per skin and Baker ordered him to make the Triumph ready f o r sea. Like many a man raised i n a cold and rugged climate, not to mention trade, Dan McLean r e l i e d on alcohol to ease the more strenuous moments of his existence. It was not surpri s i n g , therefore, that the Triumph needed a l i t t l e d i r e c t assistance from Baker to get to sea. Baker wrote i n his journal: "E.C.B. l e f t i n Triumph fo r SF with a drunken crew - a l l s a i l set - a t e r r i b l e 6 4 S t i t e s , "Cable", p. 61. - 257 -s t ench from the b i l g e - a few mugs o n l y 2 k n i v e s and f o r k s and 1 t ea spoon ! a f i n e o l d p i c n i c on the h i g h seas . Ga le f o r c e wind s a i l s t r i p l e r e e f e d - then becalmed - 3 A p r . a r r ' d S F . " 6 5 Baker o u t f i t t e d the schooner w i t h h e r s e a l i n g g e a r , h i r e d s i x h u n t e r s , sent her on her way and r e t u r n e d t o V i c t o r i a . The Tr iumph was back i n J u l y , h a v i n g had p a r t o f h e r c a t c h c o n f i s c a t e d by the A m e r i c a n s . More problems a rose w i t h the customs when i t came to d i s p o s i n g o f the remainder o f the s k i n s to the San F r a n c i s c o f i r m o f 6 6 H . L i e b e and Company. I t was two months b e f o r e the mat te r was r e s o l v e d . Dan McLean was a good s e a l i n g cap-t a i n , but Baker had had enough o f the T r i u m p h . In O c t o b e r , he c o n s u l t e d w i t h h i s o t h e r p a r t n e r s i n t h e s h i p , who agreed t o h e r b e i n g s o l d . C a p t a i n Cox bought her f o r $9000. Baker made out a c l a i m f o r damages to 6 7 cover the l o s t s e a l s k i n s and sent i t t o Ottawa. In the p a s t , he had p re sen ted c l a i m s f o r o t h e r s who had l o s t t h e i r s h i p s o r s e a l s k i n s . Now, he was d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d and soon he would become the major spokesman f o r the V i c t o r i a s e a l i n g f l e e t . 6 5 B a k e r , 24 M a r c h , 1889. 6 6 B a k e r , 1 A u g u s t , 1889. 6 7 B a k e r , 2 November, 1889. - 25 8 -On Sunday, 2 3 June, a Canadian Pacific freight train arrived in Vancouver with forty miles of submarine cable 6 8 from the Bishop Gutta Percha Company of New York. Earlier in the month, Baker had chartered the schooner C. H. Tupper, which had just arrived from Halifax under the command of Captain C. J. Kelly. The necessary alter-ations to enable the schooner to take the cable and other telegraph gear had been made and she now sailed to Van-couver to embark the cable. Bartholomew supervised the loading of the cable and returned to Victoria in the schooner, where telegraph poles and other equipment were loaded aboard. On 12 July, the C. H. Tupper was stored and ready for sea. The partners were determined to avoid any further delays or risks. A tug was chartered and towed the schooner out of the Straits and well off Cape Flattery before letting go the tow. There were a number of delays in unloading the equipment in the Hawaiian Islands, but in the end i t was safely accomplished. The C. H. Tupper returned to Victoria the end of September and Captain Kelly gave Baker the bad news of the defects in the cable. In January, 1890, Baker was busy ordering and des-patching telegraph poles to Honolulu. But, the venture Victoria Daily Colonist, 26 June, 1889, p. 4. - 259 -was in trouble. The problem with the defective cable threatened to bring the entire enterprise to a halt. Baker began trying, without much success, to dispose of some of his cable stock through Francis Bouchier, a real estate agent with whom he was engaged in land speculation. Baker could sense the coming failure of the enterprise: "Honolulu matters haunt me - cogitating and formulating 69 cable scheme." Then in May came the bad news: "rec'd 7 0 telegram from J.S.B. 'Cable broken' my $15,000 gone...." It was a serious financial loss, but i t was offset by the 71 success of his concurrent land speculations. In July, the Honourable Jonathan Austin arrived from Honolulu to discuss the affairs of the Hawaiian Pacific 72 Cable Company with Baker. The two men conferred for several days; i t looked as though the project might be saved. The cable from Molokai to Maui had been la i d , only 10 miles of the land line on Molokai remained to be erected and a l l of the land line on Maui was complete. It was the cable from Oahu to Molokai that had broken 6 9Baker, 2 0 February, 1890. 7 0Baker, 12 May, 1890. 71 Note: A l l during the spring and summer of 1890, Baker noted that land sales in Coal Harbour, English Bay, Lake H i l l , Port Angeles, Port Crescent and Nelson City were booming. 7 2Baker, 12 July, 1890. - 260 -in May. Unfortunately, since part of the cable was defective, the partners were ineligible for any of the progressive payments that they had expected. In Hawaii, the matter had been turned over, on 26 May, to the Committee on Commerce, Agriculture and Manufacture for a report. The government in i t s deliberations had stated that i t was not interested in subsidizing a "rotten cable." But, the Committee recommended that Bartholomew be given the second chance, which he had requested,.to complete 73 the cable. Baker concluded his series of meetings with Austin by having financial and legal consultations with W. C. Ward and R. E. Jackson. It appears that there were s t i l l considerable company funds in Victoria, which were under Baker's control. Up to that time, he had made expendi-74 tures totalling $16,380.38 on behalf of the company. Some $25,000 remained in the fund. If the question dis-cussed with Austin was the company's chances of surviving, the question to be decided with Ward and Jackson appears to have been the company's obligation to continue in business. The company was to continue; Baker authorized the transmission of $2 5,000 to the Honolulu bank of 3 S t i t e s , "Cable", p. 64. 4Baker, 17 July, 1890. - 261 -7 5 Bishop and Company. At the same time, he gave power of attorney for his cable company affairs to the Honourable S. M. Damon, Hawaiian Minister of Finance and a partner of Charles R. Bishop of the Bishop and Company bank. Baker probably had l i t t l e option other than to release the company funds under his control to meet the company expenses run up by his other partners. But in any event, they were insufficient to meet the company's financial obligations, let alone repair or replace the defective cable. Nothing further in the way of construc-tion was ever done by the company. Bartholomew threatened Baker with a law suit and the Bishop Gutta Percha Company continued to try and collect a b i l l of some $1,700 for a 76 number of years. It was not until January, 18 97, that 7 Baker remarked in his journal, "H.P. Cable Co. 'gone i n ' . " One of the boldest of his business endeavours and certainly his most costly failure, was at an end. The demise of the cable company brought an end to Baker's conversion of sealing schooners to cable ships. It did not lessen his interest in schooners for the seal fishery, however. His involvement in sealing continued throughout the 1890's u n t i l the hearings of the Sealing 7 5Baker, 14 July, 1890. 7 6Baker, 26 Ap r i l , 19OH. 7 7Baker, 2 7 January, 1897. - 262 V-Claims Court in 1897. Apart from his own claim for damages, for the seal skins seized by the Americans from the Triumph in 1889 (just before he sold her), he did considerable work in preparing and presenting the cases of other owners and seamen who had suffered losses through American seizures of their ships, equipment and seal skins. At the f i n a l session of the Court, he "presented and read 7 8 'Sealers Address' to Brit. Consul." In October of the following year, he received a sealing claim cheque for $14,500 for the Triumph. Whether there were any partners to share in this compensation is not revealed in his journals. Concurrent with Baker's activities so far discussed, in the summer of 1888, some six months .after he had entered the sealing business, he "investigated into real 79 estate speculation at Port Angeles." A few days later, R. T. Williams produced several maps of Port Angeles and briefed Baker, in company with Colonel Stevens, the United States consul in Victoria, on real estate matters in the area. Thomas Allsop, Henry S. Mason, Francis Bouchier, Joshua Davies and several others were also 3 February, 18 97. 17 July, 1888. 7 8Baker, 79 3Baker, - 26 3 -interested in land speculation in Port Angeles. The tempo of the investigation grew and early in August, Baker, Williams and Colonel Stevens used the t r i a l run of a new public works steamer as a means of getting to Port Angeles to inspect the real estate p o s s i b i l i t i e s . On his return, Baker bought $500 worth of property through a syndicate of Victorians speculating in Port Angeles 8 0 land. A few days later, he invested another $600 in the same venture. The following month, as he was busy executing the Hawaiian cable contract, the f i r s t of his Port Angeles lots was sold. Baker's two new business ventures had nothing in common. Yet, as noted before, i t was fortunate for him that as he began his disastrous Hawaiian project, he also began a number of highly successful land speculation schemes on the shores of the Juan de Fuca Strait. In his Port Angeles land a c t i v i t i e s , Baker became particularly involved with C. E. Mallette and Francis Bouchier. In January, they "succeeded in floating 38 acre scheme Pt. 81 A $5,000." When Baker returned from .Ottawa, he put another $4,000 into Port Angeles land. The summer was quiet, but in November, he recorded in his journal: Baker, 21 September, 1888. Baker, 12 January, 1889. - 264 -8 2 "Port Angeles real estate boom." The f i r s t rush to buy land lasted only a month. The somewhat old plan of linking Victoria to the American railway system by way of a train ferry across the Juan de Fuca Strait, had never died. Each time a fresh syndicate examined the possibilities of such a transportation system, i t touched off a flurry of land speculation on both sides of the Strait. Land speculators, like Baker and his associates, could never be sure that the expected development would take place. But, by buying on the f i r s t , and usually private, indication that i t was to take place and selling on the f i r s t scramble that followed the general announcement, they were seldom hurt financially. In January, 1890, Baker and Mallette launched another land deal in Port Angeles. Partners for the land syndi-cates were not d i f f i c u l t to find. Baker's real estate activities during 189 0 provide a good ill u s t r a t i o n of the i n i t i a t i v e and enterprise of Victoria's business community. They also give an indication of the size and success of these schemes. Baker declared the sixth dividend for one syndicate in February, while Mallette was proposing that they raise "Baker, 8 November, 1889. \ 8 3 $10,0 00 to buy another 4 5 acres. By March, the action had spread further down the Strait to Crescent Bay. Joshua Davies arrived with a plan to buy $52,500 worth 84 of land there. N. P. Snowden and Theodore Lubbe were interested in this deal. They were also considering buying land at Beecher Bay, a possible site for a r a i l and ferry terminal outside of Victoria. A l l of Baker's real estate was moving fast. He "sold some Pt. A. property 8 5 and made a clear $3120.-"; "sold some English Bay land for $2 ,000 .- that cost $66.-";86 "commenced Port Beecher spec, with $1500.-*'87 R. H. Alexander was in Victoria and Baker convinced him to invest $1,475 in Crescent Bay property. A few days later, Baker bought 20 acres in the same area for $750. On 14 May, 1890, the news that the Victoria, Port Crescent and Chehalis Railway had been incorporated pro-vided fresh fuel for the land speculators. Baker sent his employee, John Dean, to Crescent Bay to buy more acreage. Within a few weeks, Baker had sold part of his acreage at a profit of $2,651. With this success, he was February, 1890. March, 1890. March, 1890. March, 1890. March, 1890. l 8Baker, 15 l 4Baker, 13 l 5Baker, 20 1 6Baker, 22 17 Baker, 29 - 26 6 -determined to put an even bigger scheme together. In July, he completed forming a syndicate, the Port Crescent Improvement Company, which bought $24,000 worth of land at Port Crescent. He followed this with the purchase of 19 6 lots at Port Angeles and another 100 acres at Port Crescent. But, then he noted wryly, "nothing definite 8 8 yet re Rwy. Constr. Pt. Crescent." Baker had an inkling a l l was not well. Before the month was out, he was reducing his investment by selling shares in the Port Crescent Improvement Company, and at a profit. The railway was the ingredient needed to make land sales boom and a number of Victoria businessmen were determined that they would have their boom. In January, 1891, C. T. Dupont, W. P. Sayward, T. B. Hall, C. G. Ballentyne and Baker petitioned the provincial government for an Act to incorporate the Victoria and Beecher Bay 8 9 Railway Company. Their plan was unsuccessful, however; the Legislature did not grant the petition. In March, another attempt to link Victoria to Beecher Bay by r a i l was launched. This time, W. P. Sayward, Theodore Lubbe, T. B. Hall, Robert Ward and Paul Schulze successfully petitioned the government for an Act t6 Baker, H August, 189 0. BCJ, 1891, p. xxix. V - 2 67 -incorporate the Victoria and North America Railway Company. The stated purpose of the company was to connect Victoria to the American railway system through a short railway to Beecher Bay and a train ferry across the Straits at this i t s narrowest point. The company intended that no business opportunity should go unmissed. Nor did they want any competition to their operation. Their petition asked for authority to construct wharves, ele-vators, depots, docks, dockyards, ships and piers at their terminal. It gave every indication of being a serious major business proposal. An Act to incorporate the com-9 0 pany was passed, but unfortunately l i t t l e or no boom took place. Neither did any work on the grand scheme take place. The company was dissolved some 3 5 years later. There seems to be l i t t l e doubt that the main purpose behind both of these railway proposals was land specula-tion. The business that might have been expected from carrying the operation through was a genuine consideration, but would appear to have been of secondary importance. The fact that no effort was made to undertake the short and relatively easy railway construction from Victoria 9 0BCS, 1891, pp. 505-509. - 26? -to Beecher Bay supports the l a t t e r contention. Another factor which makes t h i s l a s t assumption d i f f i c u l t to assess, however, was the e f f e c t on t h i s scheme of the Dominion government's obvious determination that nothing should compete or i n t e r f e r e with the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway. There i s no i n d i c a t i o n why one p e t i t i o n was turned down and the other was granted. In December, 1892, Baker was delighted to read a report i n the Seattle Daily Telegraph that the necessary c a p i t a l had been raised i n London to build a railway from Puget Sound to Port Crescent and thence connect to 91 V i c t o r i a by f e r r y . I t was hxs l a s t entry on the sub-j e c t . But, i f the Juan de Fuca land boom was over, Baker had a novel idea f o r bringing his remaining land on the south side of the S t r a i t to the attention of Victorians. The following summer, he and R. T. Williams chartered the Islander to f e r r y Victorians to Port Angeles for the 4 July holiday. Over 3,000 Victorians were transported to Port Angeles and Baker and Williams made a "handsome p r o f i t " doing i t . But, whether they sold any land because of i t , was not disclosed. In the same year that Baker became involved i n Port Angeles r e a l estate, other land speculation deals were Baker, 10 December, 18 92. - 269 -gaining momentum. In Victoria, a group of local business-men were putting together a land holding company in the Matsqui Dis t r i c t . It is an indication of the respect for Baker's business a b i l i t y that, in February, 1888, R. E. Jackson asked Baker i f he would consent to be a director in the scheme. Baker agreed and a few days later, he noted: "attend 1st mtg. of Directors Matsqui Land Go. 92 -Ltd." H. E. Croasdaile, E. G. Prior, H. V. Edmonds and four others made up the syndicate of nine. In December, 93 they executed a $45,000 bond to develop their land and in February, they met to consider the requirement for an additional $14,000. The operations of this company are not too clearly set out in Baker's Journals, but i t involved dyking and developing a large tract of land that included the present 94 day townsite of Abbotsford. G. A. Keefer was the con-9 5 suiting engineer for the dyking operations. N. P. Snowden, who had married Robert Dunsmuir's daughter, Emily, invested in the company and was possibly a director. There were a number of planning meetings in the early years of the company, but 189 5 saw the greatest activity. q? Baker, 15 February, 1888. q 3 Baker, 24 December, 1888. Baker, 18 June, 189 2. q 5 Colonist, 29 May, 1891, p. 6 - 270 -In January, Baker met with the Matsqui Dyke Com-mission to exchange views on the future of the area. Following t h i s , he had a long discussion on the develop-ment of the area with Premier J. H. Turner and Attorney General D. M. Eberts. In May, the Matsqui P r a i r i e Landowners held a meeting to hear views on the development of the region. Baker attended t h i s meeting as the repre-sentative of the Matsqui Land Company. Plans were apparently l a i d f o r an elaborate dyking system. Baker placed the matter before a meeting of the company's di r e c t o r s , who decided to proceed with the plan. Baker next approached the Bank of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r a loan to carry out the work. The bank was reluctant; the country was i n an economic depression. A month e a r l i e r , Baker had noted i n his journal: "Business and f i n a n c i a l matters 9 6 about down to bedrock." A fellow entrepreneur might prove more accommodating than the banks and Baker went to "James Dunsmuir re 9 7" Dyking loan $110,000." Dunsmuir's exact response i s not recorded, but i t must have been encouraging f o r the syndicate proceeded confidently with t h e i r plans. Some Baker, 29 A p r i l , 1895. Baker, 12 August, 1895. - 271 -months later, they expanded their operation with the pur-chase of 5,524.77 acres of Matsqui property for $22,099.08. Despite his i n i t i a l optimism, however, the company's business was not too brisk as far as Baker was concerned. Much later, in 1911, C. A. Holland of the British Columbia Land and Investment Agency Limited, which had been created 99 out of Allsop and Mason's real estate firm, spoke to Baker about buying a l l or part of the company. But, whether the company was dissolved or sold before Baker's death i s unclear. It would appear that more fortunes were made in land speculation than in mining, yet mining never lost i t s appeal to the gambling instincts of the early entrepreneur. In the late 1880's, Baker included new mining ventures along with his other business a c t i v i t i e s . In January, 1886, he joined with A. A. Green, David Oppenheimer and Henry Nathan in buying shares in the Nicola Valley Mining Company. His involvement with this mine continued for a number of years, but he never invested heavily in i t . The Rock Creek Mining Company proved to be a more substantial venture. This mine was located in the Boundary Mining D i s t r i c t , where a strike at Rock Creek, Baker, 11 February, 1896. Colonist, 5 July, 1889, p. 1. - 272 -in 1861, had caused a short-lived rush to the d i s t r i c t . Mining in the area became active again when Al McKinney and his partners brought in the Cariboo and Amelia mine in May, 18 87. A few months later, Henry Nicholson and J. McB. Smith offered to s e l l shares in the Rock Creek Mining Company to Baker. By the time the f i r s t directors' meeting was held, W. T. Livock and Joshua Davies were also members of the company. Baker made an i n i t i a l investment of $1,000. 1 0 0 This appears to have been a successful mine that provided him with a good return on his money. Some nine years later, he was s t i l l investing money in i t . On this latter occasion, he bought $500 worth of shares for his w i f e . 1 0 1 The Boundary Mining District was attractive enough that Baker invested in another successful mine in the area. Again, the originators of the company appear to have been Nicholson and Smith. In November, 1887, the Alice and Emma Consolidated Gold Quartz Mining Company, Limited, was incorporated with a capital stock of $300,000. Baker, W. H. E l l i s , J. McB. Smith, Henry Nicholson and 10 2 John Grant were i t s directors. Baker was associated , 1 0 0Baker, 11 November, 18 87. 1 0 1Baker, 2 5 September, 1896. 1 0 2BCG, 3 November, 1887, p. 567 - 273 -with this mine for almost ten years. During this time, he increased his investment in the company and became i t s president. In June, 1896, there was some outside interest in buying the mine; Baker and Smith discussed the terms of the sale. The following February, the mine was sold 10 3 to G. B. Macaulay of Spokane for $10,000. How much of the money went to Baker is unspecified. He had 3,000 shares in the mine, however, which at the time of incor-poration were worth $2 each. Mixed in with Baker's more specific land and sea business acti v i t i e s in these years, was a small operation that again showed his ve r s a t i l i t y in business and provided him with a steady return on his investment for some nine years. In December, 1889, Baker and two other partners bought the propellor driven steam tug Alert for $8,000. She was at that time commanded by "a man called 'shoe f l y 104 B i l l ' . " The Alert was a small, but seaworthy ship of 4 5 tons that had been built and launched in Victoria that year. Between towing, chartering and salvage work there were plenty of opportunities for an enterprising owner with a dependable ship. Few people understood this better than Baker. The Alert had hardly completed her maiden voyage for her new owners, when Baker dispatched her to 10 3 Baker, 19 February, 18 97. 104,, Baker, 7 December, 18 89. - 274 -Race Rocks to salvage whatever she could from the wreck of the Idaho. In the new year, the Alert was on charter to the River's Inlet Cannery. At the end of A p r i l , she began a long period of towing coal barges. Some two years later (1892), Baker decided there would be more profit in the coal operation i f he were a coal dealer. Accordingly, he "took out a r e t a i l licence 10 5 as coal dealer." Baker developed this into a profitable business, which was particularly useful in the years 189 3 to 189 5, when British Columbia was in a severe economic depression. He hauled coal under contract to Dunsmuir. In addition, he sold the coal to the electric light com-10 6 pany, of which he was the managing director. He also 107 had a contract to supply coal to the naval dockyard. He managed to obtain the latter contract before his close friend J. H. Innes* superintendant of the dockyard, returned to Great Britain to retire. In February, 1893» the Alert picked up the derelict steamer J. R. Macdonald. This was to prove a particular boon to Baker's maritime operations. The ship and her gear were sold at a public auction, Baker himself purchasing 28 March, 1892. 7 October, 1893. 22 November, 18 93. - 275 -the hull for $1,600 in the name of his old friend William Redmond, a naval surgeon. The same year, Premier Davie, announced the start of construction of a new provincial legislature. A large quantity of stone, to be quarried at different locations remote from Victoria, was required in the construction of the building. At f i r s t the coal business looked too profitable to be disturbed in the interest of hauling stone, but after inspecting the foun-10 8 dation of the new building, Baker decided to tender for one of the contracts. Premier Theodore Davie had been a long time friend of Baker's; there was l i t t l e problem in obtaining a contract. Baker had the J. R. Macdonald converted to a scow. In February, the Alert with the J. R. Macdonald in tow was off to Haddington Island under 109 contract to haul stone at $2.25 per cubic yard. The Alert continued doing this work into the following year. At this time, the J. R. Macdonald was chartered as a stone barge at $100 per t r i p . 1 1 0 It was a very useful source of income considering the depressed state of business. By 1896, business was improving and the Alert was given another job in the 23 22 29 September, 1893. June, 1894. March, 189 5. towing business where she hauled coal to the naval dock-yard until Baker sold her in March, 1898, for $3,400. The 1880's had been generally profitable business years for Baker. His activities had been extremely varied in their nature and success. But, he had increased his business experience and managed to expand his capital. At the end of the decade, he reckoned his assets to be worth just over $100,000 on paper. 1 1 1 It was a useful block of capital which would enable him to exploit the opportunities just about to unfold. Baker's new business ventures would be varied, but far less so than in the past. Nothing had produced such great returns in such a short time as his speculation in land. This would also seem to hold true for many of his business associates. Given this past experience, i t is not surprising that i t was basically land development schemes that held his attention in the forthcoming decade. The opening years of the 1890's were boom years in British Columbia, particularly in the mining country of the Kootenays. Land speculation and railways followed the mining discoveries. A rich new region was being opened Note: In computing this figure, Baker took his busi-ness shares and, to arrive at a f a i r market value, assessed them as he knew, or expected, he could use them as collateral at a bank. Other assets were added and his l i a b i l i t i e s deducted. - 277 -with i t s attendant opportunities in communications, town-sites, millsites and u t i l i t i e s . Baker's entrepreneurship reached i t s peak in the Kootenay boom that occurred in the f i r s t three years of the 1890's. During this period, his business activities may not have been quite as varied as in the past, but the tempo of his business affairs was never greater. In rapid succession, he and his business partners formed nine com-112 panies, eight of which were incorporated. In addition, he was associated with a number of other newly formed companies. These activities provide a number of i l l u s -trations of an assured entrepreneur and his associates working with what they quickly refined into an efficient plan for land assembly and development. The events in the Kootenays in this decade have an additional interest as i t was here that the last great effort by Victoria's entrepreneurs was made. The 18 90's were also the end of an era in British Columbia's development. It was the end of the age of the old style entrepreneur; the end of the individual with ideas and the w i l l to act on them. The large cor-porations were beginning to move into British Columbia Note: The Victoria and Beecher Bay Railway Company, which petitioned the provincial legislature for incorporation in 18 91, was never incorporated. - 278 -and the i n d i v i d u a l developer was being bought out and would have fewer opportunities i n the future. As the age passed, so did Baker and many of his fellow entre-preneurs. However, even i f they had remained, V i c t o r i a would no longer have been a suitable location f o r the head o f f i c e s of the companies they would have formed. The transcontinental railway was making i t s presence f e l t ; V i c t o r i a ' s day as the f i n a n c i a l and business centre of the province had also passed. In the spring of 1890, R. E. Jackson came to Baker and outlined a scheme to form a loan and investment com-113 pany. Business was " b u l l i s h " and Baker agreed to j o i n the' syndicate. On 30 A p r i l , 1890 , the B r i t i s h Columbia Investment and Loan Society Limited was formed. Baker was elected chairman. J. W. Trutch and Robert Beaven were both interested i n the company as was J . K. Wilson. At a meeting of the shareholders i n August, Trutch was elected a dire c t o r of the company and the name of the company was changed to the B r i t i s h Columbia Deposit and Loan Company, Limited. Shortly afterwards, Baker was made the managing 114 dire c t o r . The company, formed i n an atmosphere of optimism, was destined to have a short l i f e , however. March, 1890. September, 1890. 1 1 3 B a k e r , 29 114 x x Baker, 12 - 279 -The company appears to have had as one of i t s prin-cipal aims, the financing of u t i l i t i e s in the towns that were being established in the Kootenays. It had only a few years to establish i t s e l f before the down turn of business in 1893. As the economic depression set in, Baker noted, "financing at Banks getting more and more 115 'rookie'." In November, he recorded that he had gone 116 to "J. Keith Wilson re winding up Deposit and Loan Co." 117 The company was in liquidation by the new year and Baker remarked in his journal, "Much Poverty in city 118 owing to lack of work." The British Columbia Deposit and Loan Company was not the only victim of the severe economic decline. In March, 1894, the Victoria banking 119 firm of Green, Warlock and Company was declared bankrupt. Early in 1890, while Baker was s t i l l examining R. E. Jackson's investment company scheme, Joshua Davies brought him a fresh business proposition to think about. These two men were already heavily involved in land deals in 1 1 5Baker, 9 October, 1893. 1 1 6Baker, 8 November, 189 3. 1 1 7BCG, 25 January, 1894, p. 100, 1 1 8Baker, 2 6 January, 1894. 1 1 9Baker, 3 March, 1894. - 280 -Matsqui, English Bay, Port Angeles and Crescent Bay. Between plans for these operations, Davies now proposed that Baker join a syndicate developing land at the Nelson townsite. Baker made a modest investment of $420. It was the beginning of his involvement in Kootenay land 12 0 deals. A series of meetings followed in which the syndicate mapped out their plans for the area and Joshua Davies was despatched to the Kootenays to bring back firsthand information on the opportunities there. By the following year, the partners had decided on the scope and method of their operation in the region. The Nelson City Land and Improvement Company, Limited 121 was incorporated in March, 1891. Its head office was in Victoria and the original trustees were W. P. Sayward, C. T. Dupont, Joshua Davies, Edward Mahon and Baker. The capital stock of the company was $150,000 divided into 15,000 shares of $10 each. Its business, in part, was to buy, work, or s e l l mines and mineral property; to construct or acquire tramways, telegraph and telephone lines, gas works, water works, hotels, factories, steam-boats, docks, piers, etc.; to lend or invest money and to 1 2 0Baker, 4 March, 1890. 1 2 1BCG, 12 March, 1891, pp. 187-188. - 281 -deal i n r e a l estate. These entrepreneurs made sure that they had access to every possible business opportunity that the venture could o f f e r . There was nothing the land speculators could do about the location of a mineral s t r i k e , but once that had occurred, they could endeavour to control the develop-ment of the region adjacent to i t . Control of the trans-portation system was the key to success. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c pattern of townsite development began by acquiring control of a large t r a c t of land in the v i c i n i t y of the mines that was suitable as a transportation centre and townsite. This land was bought, or frequently obtained through a railway charter. The townsite and mine were then linked by railway to the most convenient outside railway system. The location of the railway dictated the location of the townsite and the developers were thus able to assure themselves of a market for t h e i r land. In many cases, they leased the nearby timber lands and set up a lumber m i l l . The town l o t s were t h e i r s , the timber lands and m i l l for building materials were t h e i r s and they frequently formed the u t i l i t y companies that serviced the towns so developed. If they were successful, each business aspect of t h e i r enterprise would complement another. - 282 -The Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway, with i t s head office in Victoria, can be seen therefore as one of the keys to success of the Nelson City venture. It was 122 incorporated in A p r i l , 1891. The promoters of this railway, C. T. Dupont, P. C. Dunlevy, G. B. Wright, C. G. Major and H..S. Mason, were a l l business associates of the Nelson City Land and Improvement Company trustees. Dupont was president of the railway company as well as being a trustee of the Nelson City company. In the same month that the Nelson City Land and Improvement Company was incorporated, Baker was con-sidering moving into another area of the Kootenays. John C. Ainsworth and George J. Ainsworth, American mining, land and railway promoters, had been working in the Kootenay region since at least the beginning of the 1880's. In A p r i l , 1891, Baker joined the Ainsworth brothers and several other men in forming a company to develop the Ainsworth townsite. He was a director and later, the secretary as well, of the Ainsworth Land and Improvement Company. The establishment of u t i l i t i e s was an important part of the land development that these men were involved 2 2BCS, 1891, p. 467. - 283 -in. In November, 1891, with this in mind, Baker had lunch with F. S. Barnard, M. P. and Senator James Reid. Much of their luncheon conversation was on the subject 12 3 of "shares in the 'Kootenay Lake Telephone Co."1 Baker also had an interest in the telephone company in Kamloops. A. A. Green and J. A. Mara were shareholders in the latter company as well. Baker also was a member of another company operating in the Kootenay Lake region. In January, 1892, the Galena Trading Company, Limited, was incorporated to carry on a general commission, mercantile, shipping, mining, trading and insurance business in the Kootenay Lake 124 d i s t r i c t . The capital stock of the company was $50,000 and i t s trustees were R. P. Rithet, W. P. Sayward, Joshua Davies, W. A. Hendryx and Hamilton Byers. Baker was a director in this company, which operated successfully for many years. The construction of business premises, and homes in the new towns created a great demand for building materials. Once Baker's land development schemes were launched, he turned his attention to the opportunities in the lumber industry. In December, 1891, Baker attended a meeting 1 2 3Baker, 11 November, 1891. 1 2 4BCG, 14 January, 1892, p. 63. - 284 -called to examine a proposal to purchase the logging and lumber manufacturing f a c i l i t i e s in the West Kootenay Dis t r i c t , known as the Davies-Sayward M i l l and Land Company. Inspite of his close business relations with the two owners, no agreement on the purchase of the company was reached at this meeting. The terms of this business deal were resolved over the next few months, however, and in August, 1892, the Davies-Sayward M i l l . 12 5 and Land Company was incorporated. The company's head office was in Victoria and i t s trustees were G. A. McTavish, J. F. F e l l , James Hutcheson . and Baker. Joshua Davies and W. P. Sayward retained an interest in the company, but in 1896, Sayward retired from active business and moved to San Francisco. His son, J. A. Sayward, continued his father's business relationship with Baker. The company's capital stock was $300,000 divided into 3,000 shares of $100 each. Its scene of operations was Pilot Bay and the West Kootenay Dist r i c t . Its business included mining, logging, lumber manufacturing, land and water transportation, u t i l i t i e s and the development of townsites and farm lands. This was a profitable company and Baker steadily increased his investment in i t . In 1911, J. B. Winlaw 5BCG, 25 August, 1892, pp. 861-862. - 28 5 -offered to buy the Davies-Sayward Company for $250,000. Sayward and Baker accepted the o f f e r and the purchase price was divided s i x t y percent to Sayward and f o r t y 12 6 percent to Baker. After more than three years of boom conditions, the pace of business development i n the Kootenays might have been expected to ease up i n 189 3. But, Van Horne v i s i t e d V i c t o r i a and the Kootenay region early that summer and his statements and the in d i c a t i o n of Canadian P a c i f i c Railway Company intere s t kept the tempo a l i v e . While i n V i c t o r i a , Van Horne was quoted as saying, "Nel-son w i l l be the r a i l r o a d centre of t h i s part of the w o r l d . " 1 2 7 Baker attended a dinner at Government House i n honour of Van Horne and the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway o f f i c i a l s accompanying him on his tour of the Kootenay region. For the l o c a l entrepreneurs, the evening's conversation must have been the source of many new ideas regarding develop-ment i n the area. Van Home's v i s i t reinforced an e a r l i e r decision taken by Baker and h i s business friends to expand t h e i r operations i n the Kootenay d i s t r i c t . 1 2 6 B a k e r , 20 July, 1911. 1 2 7 C o l o n i s t , 10 June, 1893, p. 1. - 286 -In A p r i l , 1893, D. C. Corbin, W. P. Sayward, Thornton F e l l , Joshua Davies and Baker formed the West Kootenay 128 Land Company, Limited. The company's head office was again in Victoria and i t s capital stock was $100,000, divided into 1,000 shares of $100 each. As with most of these land companies, i t s proposed scope of operations was vast and included mining, transportation, manufacturing: real estate, u t i l i t i e s and townsite development. The company was apparently successful as i t was s t i l l in operation when Baker died. For this particular combination of partners, i t was the f i r s t time an American, D. C. Corbin, had been included in their schemes. Corbin had considerable railway interests and this undoubtedly had much to do with his inclusion in the land company. At about this time, Corbin became president of the Nelson and Fort 12 9 Sheppard Railway Company. The year 189 3 was one of almost railway madness in British Columbia and the action was centred in the Kootenays. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company's interest in the region reflected the general high level 1 2 8BCG, 6 A p r i l , 1893, p. 249. •ton British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Sessional Papers, 1898, p. 922. - 2 87 -of business activity already concentrated in the area. Mining created the opportunities and railroads controlled the development. Many of Baker's business associates were caught up in this railroad fever. In a short interval, they formed five provisional railway companies 130 of which four were incorporated. Some of these men may have had serious intentions of undertaking railway construction, but for most of them i t appears that setting up these companies was just another form of speculation. Generally, they had l i t t l e investment in these companies, but the land grant with i t s mineral rights made the Kootenay railway com-panies in many respects simply a way of staking a vast mineral claim. The speculation lay in what sort of prospective buyer the mineral potential of the area would attract. The timber and land values were important, but varied in significance with the region. Note: Red Mountain Railway Company: C. T. Dupont and F. B. Pemberton. Osoyoos and Okanagan Railway Company: Andrew. Holman, E. E. Wootton and P. C. Dunlevy. Nakusp and Slocan Railway Company: Charles G. Major, A. W. Jones and Johann Wulffsohn. Lardeau and Kootenay Railway Company: P. C. Dunlevy, W. H. E l l i s and Robert Irving. Kootenay Central Railway Company (never incor-porated): C. T. Dupont, P. C. Dunlevy, C. A. Holland, H. S. Mason and F. B. Pemberton. - 288 -Baker may not have been directly caught up in the Kootenay railway spree, but he was a partner in an earlier and more ambitious railway plan. As with the proposed r a i l and train ferry connection between Victoria and the United States, this scheme was designed to main-tain Victoria's position as the business centre of the province. In the optimistic years of the early 1890's, a group of businessmen organized a company that was to construct a railway from Vancouver Island to the eastern boundary of British Columbia. Their petition was granted in A p r i l , 1892, when the Canadian Northern Railway Company was incorporated by an Act of the provincial legislature. The men associated with the company at the time of i t s incorporation were, W. B. Allen, W. H. Fife, Henry Drum, J. D. Caughran, P. A. Paulson, L. H. Northey, W. P. Sayward, P. C. Dunlevy and Baker. The authorized capital stock of the railway was $25,0 00,000. The railway was to proceed from the northern terminus of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway to the Cariboo country, using Alfred Waddington's Bute Inlet route, thence to the Yellowhead Pass and the eastern boundary of the province. As with the railway companies in the Kootenays, i t is d i f f i c u l t to know how serious these men were in - 289 -pursuing t h e i r stated objective. In t h i s case, however, V i c t o r i a ' s future as a business centre gave them a more urgent and personal reason to get railway construction under way. But, although the company was given the usual a t t r a c t i v e land grant, construction was never started. Some t h i r t y - f o u r years l a t e r , the Canadian Northern Railway Company was declared dissolved. At the end of 1893, Baker could look back on three generally successful business years. In December, he took an inventory of his assets and placed t h e i r value 131 at just over $178,000. But, he would need a l l of hi s f i n a n c i a l strength to weather the severe economic depression that was setting i n and would remain i n B r i t i s h Columbia almost u n t i l the beginning of the Klondike gold rush. As early as August, 189 3, Baker 13 2 remarked, "Business matters very depressed." The depression deepened the following year. It was the f i r s t year i n the past nine that Baker had not formed a new company. The i n i t i a t i v e of these entrepreneurs i s apparent, however, from the f a c t that even at the height of the depression, they began examining another ambitious business plan. 1 3 1 B a k e r , 31 December, 1893. 1 3 2 B a k e r , 14 August, 189 3. - 280 -In September, 1894, Baker attended a meeting to discuss the formation of the Victoria Stock Exchange. The following A p r i l , Baker noted, "business and finan-c i a l matters about down to bedrock." Yet, the partners went ahead and in October, 1895, the Victoria Stock Exchange of British Columbia, Limited, was incorporated. 1' The company was formed by R. P. Rithet, E. G. Prior, T. B. Hall, A. C. Flumerfelt, and Baker. Its head office was in Victoria and i t s capital stock was $250,000. Baker was elected president of the company at the begin-ning of the new year. In May, 1896, the Victoria Stock Exchange opened for business. The company was backed by some of the most influen-t i a l businessmen in the province, but i t was in a city that was rapidly being displaced as the business centre of the province.. Baker did not state specifically what he and his friends hoped to achieve through the stock exchange, but there seems l i t t l e doubt that i t was another move by the Victoria business community to counteract the decline in Victoria's position as a business centre. Towards the end of the 1890's, the shift of business activity and financial power from Victoria to Vancouver 33 °BCG, 31 October, 1895, p. 997. - 29! -was clearly under way. In 1897, the Klondike gold rush brought a fresh impetus to business in both c i t i e s , but i t did nothing to avert the decline of Victoria's business role. In July, 1898, Baker ruefully noted, "Everything 134 going on in Vancouver and nothing in Victoria!" His words heralded the end of the Stock Exchange. As the Victoria stock exchange was closing i t s doors, Baker became involved in another enterprise in the city. It was the death of a business partner that was respon-sible for directing his attention to this new f i e l d of business. As with several other business ventures, this one also shows the ver s a t i l i t y of Baker and his partners. James Hutcheson, chairman of three companies in which Baker held directorships, died early in 189 8. A. C. Flumerfelt, an entrepreneur like Baker, was a partner in several of these companies. After their partner's death, the two men set about re-organizing some of their joint holdings. A year later, they formed the Hutcheson Company. The company had a capital stock of $100,000; and i t s object was to purchase the dry goods business known as J. Hutcheson and Company, which 135 operated the Westside department store. The partners 1 3 4Baker, 1 July, 1898. 1 3 5BCG, 9 March, 1899, p. 358. had their problems with Westside, but inspite of them, they, operated the store successfully for a number of years. Flumerfelt also introduced Baker to a number of other new business a c t i v i t i e s . He was the principal shareholder of the Paterson Shoe Company in Victoria, in which J. A. Mara was a director. Through Flumerfelt, Baker became a director also. Flumerfelt had many mining interests in the Kootenays. In 1900, he was business manager of the Granby Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. Three years later, he organized the International Coal and Coke Company of Spokane. Flumerfelt kept Baker informed of the business plans of these two companies and Baker invested heavily in them. In one day, he made over $3,000 trading in International 136 Coal and Coke Company shares. But, Flumerfelt, whom Baker referred to as "...the Mining Magnate - Coal 137 Prince - soon to be Copper King," was even more successful. He had l e f t Winnipeg to join Victoria's entrepreneurs when they were the business leaders of the province, but when he sensed that Vancouver was 1 3 6Baker, 7 July, 1906. 1 3 7Baker, 23 August, 1906. - 293 -becoming the centre of power, he moved his business headquarters to the mainland and continued to prosper. Baker, however, does not appear to have ever seriously considered moving to the mainland. He was only 55 years old at the turn of the century, yet he seems to have resigned himself to a less aggressive style and pace of business. His mood reflected the loss in opportunities for Victoria's entrepreneurs. They increasingly found themselves removed from the centre of the province's business l i f e and therefore, became less and less able to capitalize on new develop-ments. The shift in Baker's l i f e from an intense business career to other aff a i r s , i s partly illustrated by his purchase, in 1899, of "Ashnola", the former home of N. P. Snowden. Baker renamed his beautiful new home "Sissinghurst" and began to live more like a country gentleman. He rented his former home, "Crowsnest", for the next twelve years and then sold i t for $15,000. Apart from the luxury of his new home, for which he paid only $20,0 00, Baker also began to indulge himself in longer and more frequent vacation trips. The turn of the century did not quite mark the end of Baker's interest in new business ventures, however. - 294 -In 1900, he and a few friends incorporated the Shawnigan Lake Hotel Company, Limited, with a capital stock of $20,000. A more ambitious scheme was a company known 138 as Kitimat Limited. Activity in the northern part of the province was growing in anticipation of increased mining and railway construction in the area. Baker was one of many shareholders in this company, which was formed to purchase the property and rights of the Kitimat Coal and Railway Syndicate. This latter syndicate held extensive coal mining licences in the Cassiar and Coast Districts. It also controlled the Pacific, Northern and Omineca Railway Company. Some of the other principal shareholders in Kitimat Limited, were John Irving, F. S. Barnard, E. V. Bodwell and J. A. Mara. The Flathead Valley O i l Lands Development Company, Limited, appears to be the last company that Baker had a part in forming. It was incorporated in 1904, with a 139 capital stock of $250,000. Its business was oriented towards mining, but i t was typical of the other Kootenay land development companies in the number of business acti v i t i e s open to i t . Some of Baker's other partners 1 3 8BCG, 7 November, 1901, pp. 1871-1872. 1 3 9BCG, 14 July, 1904, pp. 1351-1352. - 29:5 -in this company were Peter O'Reilly, D. M. Bogle and A. C. Flumerfelt. Five years later, D. C. Corbin and two other partners incorporated the Flathead Valley Railway Company to connect the area to the American railway system. The most interesting aspect of Baker's business affairs after 1900, was the relatively sudden let up in his entrepreneurial activity. This was not a voluntary withdrawal by him, but a question of circumstances and therefore, must have applied to the business community in general. Victoria's place in the commercial l i f e of the province was rapidly becoming less important as is evident from an entry that Baker made in his journal in May, 190 3: "worried about future of Victoria from a 140 business standpoint." Another noteworthy feature of business affairs in the latter part of the 1890's and early 1900's, was the interrelationship of government and business. In the early 1890's, Baker invested in land at Fort Simpson. Again, i t was Joshua Davies who came to him with the proposal that they buy land in the area. Baker's f i r s t purchase was of 1028 acres at $1 per a c r e . 1 ^ 1 4 0Baker, 2 May, 1903. 1 4 1Baker, 29 January, 18 92. In the spring of 1907, John Arbuthnot, a wealthy businessman from Winnipeg who had moved to Victoria the previous year, was trying unsuccessfully to obtain a licence to develop a coal deposit on Malcolm Island. He came to Baker to discuss the matter and Baker agreed to assist him to secure a licence. Baker called on R. G. Tatlow, Minister of Finance and a close friend 142 for many years, on Arbuthnot's behalf. The next day Arbuthnot had his licence. Three days after that, Baker sold 9 69 acres of his Rupert District holdings to the Arbuthnot syndicate for $4 per acre. Other occasions when Baker's friends in government assisted with business matters occurred in his lumbering ventures. The Davies-Sayward Company had large timber holdings in the West Kootenay Di s t r i c t . Early in 1897, Baker was concerned about the high assessment rate the company was to be charged for one of i t s timber leases. He called on Premier J. H. Turner and explained his company's problem. The Premier was a friend of long standing and a man with business interests in the Kootenay region through his association with the Shuswap and 143 Okanagan Railway Company. Baker had helped get the 1 4 2Baker, 27 May, 1907. 1 4 3Canada, Acts, Vol. II, 1886, p. 82. - 297 -p e t i t i o n to incorporate t h i s railway through the federal parliament. It took a few months before the assessment was o f f i c i a l l y changed, but i n July, Turner informed Baker that the assessment would be reduced by f i f t y ^ 144 percent. Another example of p r e f e r e n t i a l treatment f o r the same company occurred a few years l a t e r . Baker knew most of Premier Richard McBride's cabinet and the premier often gave Baker a l i f t into town i n his new automobile as he drove to the l e g i s l a t i v e buildings. In 1909, the Davies-Sayward Company was having trouble getting per-mission to extend i t s timber l i m i t s i n the Creston area. A c a l l on Premier McBride set t l e d the matter i n the 14 5 company's favour. The timber question had been an easier matter to solve than an e a r l i e r problem Baker had presented to the Premier, however. In addition to the Davies-Sayward m i l l , Baker was a partner in a shingle m i l l at Salmo which he, Joshua Davies, James Hutcheson and J . A. Sayward established i n 189 7. This m i l l presented i t s owners with a variety of problems, the worst of which were vio l e n t labour troubles. 4Baker, 31 July, 1897. 5Baker, 28 September, 1909. - 298 -In A p r i l , 1905, Baker t r i e d to solve his labour troubles by h i r i n g Japanese and Chinese labourers to operate the m i l l . These workers were recruited i n Van-couver and sent to Salmo by t r a i n . On t h e i r a r r i v a l , an angry mob gathered at the station to prevent them 14-6 from leaving the t r a i n . A r i o t followed. The m i l l was threatened and Baker c a l l e d on Premier McBride to ask for police protection f o r the m i l l . McBride agreed, but he was reluctant to involve his government too 147 c l o s e l y because of labour union repercussions. Baker's action here i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n l i g h t of his e a r l i e r stand on the Oriental question. His views on the presence of Orientals i n the province was obviously purely p r a c t i c a l i n nature. As a p o l i t i c i a n , l i k e McBride, he opposed i t ; as a businessman, he exploited the s i t u a t i o n . By 1910, Baker's career as an entrepreneur was over. His assets, however, increased r a p i d l y over the next f i v e years. He was spending progressively less time on business matters, but most of his companies were mature operations now and producing a r e l a t i v e l y steady 1 4 6 B a k e r , 10 A p r i l , 1905. 147 x Baker, 20 A p r i l , 1905. - 299 -income for him. In 1911, he reckoned his earnings at $32,500. 1 4 8 The sale of the Davies-Sayward M i l l and Land Company boosted his earnings the following year to between $123,000 and $130,000. At the same time, he noted that Sayward, Rithet and Flumerfelt were a l l m i l l i o n a i r e s . These were a l l p r o f i t a b l e business years. In 1911, he remarked, "Banking business easy i n these 149 prosperous times." The following year, the Howe Mining Company paid him a 9 percent dividend and the 150 Hutcheson Company paid a dividend of $6,543. Baker received his dividends and l e f t for an extended t r i p to Europe. The outbreak of war brought him back to Canada and to V i c t o r i a i n the f a l l of 1914. His investments had worked well for him. B r i t i s h Columbia was i n the grip of another economic depression, but i n s p i t e of his observation, i n 1916, that the 151 "Commercial Depression was at Zero," his assets were calculated at some $534 ,000. 1 5 2 When he died i n 1920, the net value of his estate, sworn to i n the probating of his w i l l , was $297,554.36. 1 4 8 B a k e r , 1 January, 1912. 1 4 9 B a k e r , 27 May, 1911. 1 5 0 B a k e r , 4 October, 1912. 1 5 1 B a k e r , 31 January, 1916. 1 5 2 B a k e r , 17 February, 1916. - 300 -Baker continued to par t i c i p a t e i n business a f f a i r s u n t i l his death, but h i s era had ended at the turn of the century. It was V i c t o r i a ' s decline as the province's business headquarters that had brought an end to the era and prompted his early retirement from active business. The years of V i c t o r i a ' s leadership i n the business l i f e of B r i t i s h Columbia sta r t with the Fraser River gold rush i n 18 58 and end i n a much less spectacular fashion in the late 1890's. The f i r s t six years of t h i s era were a time of active business enterprise, but then the economic l i f e of the province slumped. Union with Canada, in 1871, did not bring the expected economic boom and business remained depressed u n t i l the l a s t few years of the 1870's. Up to the outbreak of World War I, the longest period of business expansion and prosperity was probably that which existed from approximately 1878 to 1893. These years correspond quite c l o s e l y to Baker's career as a mature entrepreneur and from his a c t i v i t i e s as such can be seen several s i g n i f i c a n t aspects of l i f e i n B r i t i s h Columbia at t h i s time. Two of these aspects stand out i n p a r t i c u l a r . The f i r s t i s the importance of shipping and of V i c t o r i a ' s strategic maritime position - 301 -in building and maintaining her commanding role in trade and commerce. The other aspect is the character of Victoria's businessmen, the unusually high level of entrepreneurial activity found among them, their i n i t i a -tive and the variety of their business interests. Baker's affairs touch rather lightl y on the subject of shipping. But, his work with the Sardonyx, the Alert, the sealing fleet and the Hawaiian Cable a l l point up the strong connection between Victoria and maritime a c t i v i t i e s . Baker was not directly involved in the export-import trade, but several of his associates were and the capital they had available for investment in different business ventures came largely from this trade. Victoria's strategic location was perhaps the fore-most reason for her becoming a metropolitan centre. Her position on the sea lanes, virtually the only means of communication with the outside world for British Columbia until the coming of the railway in 1885, allowed her to exploit a maritime oriented economy. The pro-vince's short land and coastal communication lines terminated in Victoria, which was the link with world trade and commerce. During the 1880's, Victoria ceased to be the pro-vince's principal link with the outside world. She lost - 302 -her strategic position in the province's commercial system. Such activities as trying to establish railway connections between Victoria and the United States, show the concern of Baker and his associates for the danger that the new continental system posed for Vic-toria. They were unsuccessful in their many efforts to change the situation or compensate for i t and by the mid 1890's, a new pattern of commerce had emerged. Baker's Journals chronicle this change in Victoria's fate. His business affairs as a mature entrepreneur show f i r s t of a l l , the energy and pace of business in Victoria, then i t s decline in the latter part of the 1890's and f i n a l l y , by the early 19 00's, the fact that Victoria had ceased to be a creative business centre. The nature of entrepreneurism as i t existed in Victoria's business community between 1880 and 1900, is also well illustrated by Baker's Journals for this period. In numbers, these entrepreneurs were a relatively small group, yet they comprised a surprisingly large percentage of the business community. And apart from the entrepreneurs themselves, the entire community appears to have supported, or at least been sympathetic to,, entrepreneurism. Baker's journals suggest that the entrepreneurs were generally helped by a l l levels of - 303 -government and only occasionally had any d i f f i c u l t y with the l o c a l c i t i z e n s . For much of t h i s period, most members of society, p a r t i c u l a r l y in i t s upper ranks, saw business, progress and the public good as one and the same thing. The most outstanding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of these entre-preneurs were t h e i r energy, imagination and s p i r i t . The number and extraordinary v a r i e t y of endeavours that Baker and his associates were involved i n c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e s a l l three of the foregoing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and was a c r i t i c a l f actor i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to dominate the com-mercial l i f e of the province f o r such a long period. Land speculation, whether i n Vancouver, Port Angeles, the Kootenays, or elsewhere, can hardly be c l a s s i f i e d as an extraordinary venture for an entrepreneur, but the "export" of Chinese labourers and marine cable laying are somewhat rare a c t i v i t i e s . The journals of Baker's mature years, present a picture of the part played by V i c t o r i a ' s entrepreneurs i n the development of B r i t i s h Columbia at one of the most momentous periods i n the province's h i s t o r y : the coming of the railway; the growth i n population from a few small f r o n t i e r settlements to a more organized - 304 -s o c i a l f a b r i c ; the opening of new regions; the establishing of new l i n e s of communication and the founding of new industries. V i c t o r i a ' s entrepreneurs had played a part in a cross section of a l l of these events. They had contributed to the success of many of them through c a p i t a l investment and the aggressive and astute business sense they brought to many of these a c t i v i t i e s . I f the experience had enriched some of these men, the province was also a benefactor from the s p i r i t , imagination and hard work of these pioneer entrepreneurs. - 305 -CHAPTER VII CONCLUSION Baker's l i f e is a good example of the type of entre-preneurship that existed in British Columbia in the closing decades of the nineteenth century and of that society's attitude towards this activity. In addition, his business affairs during the same period provide an informative insight into the economic development that took place in an important era in the early history of British Columbia. As an entrepreneur, Baker seems to f i t the general description of this class of businessman quite well. In temperament, he was shrewd, but quick to act, was innova-tive, had an instinct for gambling and was strong willed. Marriage, or family connections, were often a key factor for these men in gaining an entree into society and busi-ness. Few of them f i t the traditional concept of the poor immigrant who made good.1 The importance of the family background i s very apparent in Baker's case. In England, his family connections were weak and could do l i t t l e in the way of ^-helping him to establish himself in business. In Halifax, his marriage was of rather insig-nificant consequences and again, this could open no doors "'"William Miller, "American Historians and the Business E l i t e " , Journal of Economic History, IX (1949), p. 187. - 306 -for him. But in Victoria, his marriage was of great significance, not only in providing him with his f i r s t employnlent, which eased the economic problems in moving West, but in giving him an easy entree into society on the West Coast. The question of education i s another part of the background to entrepreneurism. Baker's educational pre-paration for business was modest, but i t so happened that in Victoria i t suited his requirements very well. The society that he found himself in on his arrival in Vic-toria, was completely maritime oriented. Baker's formal education was sound, but of a quite elementary nature. His professional education was as a seaman and in Victoria, this gave him an excellent knowledge of one of the main business concerns of the city. The commerce of British Columbia came and l e f t the province by way of the sea and would continue to do so u n t i l this pattern was changed by the completion of the transcontinental railway in 1885. Victoria was the port of entry and departure for virtually a l l of this trade. It was the sea and Victoria's location on the sea lanes, that allowed the city to domi-nate the business of the province. J.M.S. Careless, in "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia", states - 307 -that the upper ranks of Victoria society were Anglo-American. 9 in their composition. Baker's Journals help to sharpen the focus on this community and reveal that the British element in this group was greatly in the majority. This is not to say, however, that the American influence was weak; i t was not. Victoria f e l t a strong kinship for San Francisco, which was based on more than the business connection between the two c i t i e s . One of this attraction's most significant aspects was the considerable a f f i n i t y these British Columbians had for the American (Californian) way of l i f e . Garden parties, o f f i c i a l c a l l s , cricket, teas and regattas a l l gave Victoria society a pronounced English flavour, but the conduct of business was very much of the American form. There were no taboos on making money or the type of business in which one might engage; the society was materialistic and admired the entrepreneur and his ac t i v i t i e s . Through his naval experience, Baker was familiar with the social behaviour of the English gentry and in Victoria, he found a society that patterned i t s e l f on the l i f e styles of that social group. It required no real 2 J.M.S. Careless, "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia," Canadian  Business History: Selected Studies, 1 4 9 7 - 1 9 7 i , David S. Macmillan, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1 9 7 2 , p. 1 0 8 . - 3 0 8 -adjustment on his part to become a member of the upper ranks of V i c t o r i a ' s society. In a society such as t h i s , s o c i a l acceptance was an important feature of successful l i f e i n the community and through his wife's family con-nection, he had no trouble i n achieving t h i s . In addi-t i o n , the Esquimalt naval element was an i n f l u e n t i a l s.egment of society and Baker's naval connections were, therefore, of considerable help to him i n gaining accep-tance by the c i t y ' s society. The Masonic Order was important for the widespread introductions i t made possible, as well as i t s f r a t e r n a l aspect. Almost a l l of the successful businessmen and p o l i t i c i a n s belonged to t h i s order. Baker was quick to recognize t h i s f a c t and the advantage that membership i n the order gave to business a f f a i r s . The Masonic Order apparently had no significance to the business l i f e of Halifax and Baker paid no attention to i t while he was there. But i n V i c t o r i a , the si t u a t i o n was d i f f e r e n t and Baker involved himself i n the a f f a i r s of the order soon a f t e r his a r r i v a l i n the c i t y and used i t with great effectiveness. As well as using the Masonic Order, Baker made him-s e l f better known i n the community by committee work, such as that connected with Lord Dufferin's v i s i t and - 309 -the annual regatta. Clubs and business meetings completed the process whereby he became an influential member of society in a relatively short time. The fact that eight years after his arrival in Victoria, he could stand for election successfully, both as a city councillor and as a member of parliament, illustrates the mastery of his entry into the community. The f i r s t substantial example of Baker's entrepreneur-ship was probably his organizing of the Victoria and Esquimalt Telephone Company. Before this, events such as his interest in a tug towing business and the variety of occupations that he undertook, indicate that he was con-stantly looking for new business possibilities and point up his eagerness to be involved in business of almost any type. The money Baker managed to acquire through the commuting of his naval half pay, was of c r i t i c a l importance in his struggle for independence in business. This accomplishment allowed him to advance from the position of a planner to one of action. He had very nearly given up his business career before he thought of this means of acquiring some capital. His seeming lack of success had dispirited him and he was seriously considering returning to England. The money he got from the Admiralty was a turning point i n his career. He never looked back af t e r that. As a p o l i t i c i a n , Baker seems to have been dedicated to his work, i n i t i a l l y i f not i n l a t e r years, but on closer examination one sees that t h i s was not the case. The successful p o l i t i c i a n must bring a single minded determination to his r o l e ; Baker never did t h i s . P o l i t i c s for Baker was a stepping stone for other things and for him, these other things were business. In t h i s , h i s a c t i v i t i e s were i n keeping with what appears to be the entrepreneur's normal objective i n p o l i t i c s ; to use p o l i t i c s to advance business i n t e r e s t s . P o l i t i c s opened up valuable introductions and avenues of influence that were a l l useful i n business. I t was to th i s end that Baker made his greatest e f f o r t while he was i n p o l i t i c s . His actions i n Ottawa provide many examples of t h i s : searching out government information on mineral deposits; discussing Canadian P a c i f i c Railway plans and r e a l estate opportunities i n Vancouver; acquiring information on marine cables and e l e c t r i c power; furthering his telephone business, and other negotiations on railways and land deals. Not only was t h i s the pattern i n federal p o l i t i c s , but i n p r o v i n c i a l p o l i t i c s . The l a t t e r sphere was d i f -ferent, however, i n that there was very l i t t l e d i s t i n c t i o n - 3 1 1 -between the leaders i n p o l i t i c s and the leaders i n business. They were v i r t u a l l y one group and f o r govern-ment to work on behalf of the business community seemed quite natural. There are no comments i n Baker's Journals that deal d i r e c t l y with the r e l a t i o n s h i p of business and p o l i t i c s i n the province, but more often than not, his actions show that he took i t f o r granted that the two would work together as partners. This i s apparent i n several of the companies i n which he was associated and in such favours as the reduction of his timber lease assessment, but nowhere i s i t more obvious than i n the formation of railway companies. Here, the willingness of the government to meet the business community's wishes and t h e i r generosity i n land grants i s most s t r i k i n g . Nor did society at large i n t h i s period appear to object to t h i s . Most men aspired to be entrepreneurs; they were society's heroes. Baker's p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s i n Ottawa and V i c t o r i a also provide some insight into V i c t o r i a ' s attitude towards the federal government and central Canada. Victorians were well aware of the power of the federal government i n matters such as c i v i l service employment and public works contracts. The c i t y ' s co-operation with Ottawa was more a recognition of t h i s fact than that the - 312 -provincial capital was in accord with federal policies. In addition to this, Victoria, i f not the province, was not particularly Canadianized at this time. The former attitude was reflected in Baker's work in Ottawa to gain federal appointments or contracts for his friends and the latter condition, in his often expressed disdain for "Canadians". In Victoria, union with Canada was accompanied by expectations of prosperity, but in the continental system that came with union, and was proclaimed later in the National Policy, there was a potential threat to the city's commercial and p o l i t i c a l position. This threat, which was always a possibility under Ottawa's railway policy, became a reality when that policy was in disagreement with Victoria's ambitions. Ottawa's design for British Columbia would create a r i v a l business centre and in turn, out of this would come a change in the balance of p o l i t i c a l power. Victoria's struggle with Ottawa over the trans-continental railway and the location of i t s terminus dominated relations between the two governments from the early 1870's un t i l the Settlement Act of 1884. Victoria's p o l i t i c a l leaders fought with Ottawa f i r s t on the subject of the location of the railway terminus, but the lib e r a l government of the day was unyielding. - 313 -The liberals were removed from office in 187 8, however, and Victoria waited optimistically as their new member, Sir John A. Macdonald, formed his government. The city's hopes were short lived; the conservative government named Burrard Inlet as the terminus of the railway. Victoria's i n i t i a l efforts to preserve her business position had been to have Esquimalt designated as the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway. When that failed, the struggle to have the Island railway included as part of the transcontinental system, through an unbroken railway connection to the mainland via Bute Inlet, again shows the city's realization of the necessity to be part of the new communications system. Baker urged this in his remarks to the House of Commons on the Settle-ment Act, but to no avail. When the p o l i t i c a l battle over the railway issue was at an end, the threat that Victoria had fought against unsuccessfully, was apparent to a l l ; she no longer spoke for the province, nor could she resist the national 3 design for an east-west continental commercial system. From a personal business point of view, however, Baker's years in politics could not be considered unsuc-cessful. They did not culminate in the senatorship that Careless, "The Business Community in Victoria", p. 120. - 314 -he so eagerly sought, but they put him on the ground floor of the great Vancouver "land grab" and gave him much other worthwhile information, as well as valuable business introductions. In the 1880»s and 1890's, Baker's business affairs increased greatly in number and variety. They offered many examples of the type of enterprise that the local entrepreneurs were engaging in and in some cases, show the method whereby these businesses were brought into operation. Also, his two business ventures regarding the transporting of Chinese from British Columbia (and Cal i -fornia) to Mexico and the connecting of the Hawaiian Islands together by cable, are British Columbian endeavours that appear not to have been recounted in the existing historical literature of the province. In addition, his journals present a new perspective on the nature and extent of the land speculation surrounding the Canadian Pacific Railway's arrival in Burrard Inlet (Vancouver). But, interesting as these aspects of his entrepreneurism are, perhaps the most significant feature of these years is the manner in which they document the decline of Victoria as the province's principal business centre. At the beginning of the 1880's, Victoria was s t i l l enjoying a position of prominence in the business l i f e - 315 -of the province that had started with the gold rush in 18 58. She was the centre of a maritime commerce that a l l realized was soon to change. The coastal oriented popu-lation of British Columbia was awaiting the railway which would drastically alter that system and introduce a transcontinental dimension to commerce and business affairs. If Victoria was to maintain her position in the commerce of the province, she had to be part of the new system of communications. For almost three decades after the province's union with Canada, f i r s t her p o l i t i -cians and then her businessmen did their utmost to solve this problem. As mentioned earlier in this chapter, Victoria's politicians tried to preserve the city's strategic busi-ness location by having Esquimalt named as the terminus for the transcontinental railway. Esquimalt lost out to Burrard Inlet and Victoria now tried to persuade the federal government to include the Island railway as part of the transcontinental system. Victoria was not any more successful with this latter proposal than with the f i r s t , but where her politicians l e f t off, her entrepreneurs took over the task. If the politicians could not change the situation, the entrepreneurs would try to compensate for i t . Their f i r s t endeavours took the form of several attempts to connect the city by r a i l and r a i l ferry to the American - 316 -railway system. Their interest in accomplishing this objective was real and went beyond the promotion of land sales in the v i c i n i t y of proposed railway construction. When the Canadian Pacific Railway was eventually completed and running to Vancouver, the province's economy began i t s re-orientation from purely maritime lines to a transcontinental system. It took perhaps ten years before the effects of this change became apparent, but an entry in Baker's journal makes the change obvious. He was neither the most powerful, nor the most in f l u -ential businessman in Victoria, but i t is clear that l i t t l e i f anything went on in the way of business in the city that he did not know about. Therefore, his state-ment, in 189 8, that "everything [was] going on in Vancouver u. and nothing in Victoria" i s a highly significant one. It documents the point at which the shift in business from Victoria to Vancouver had reached a c r i t i c a l point for the former. The city's entrepreneurs, dominant as they had been and aggressive and imaginative as they were, could not change or lessen the economic impact brought about by the railway. They could, however, make another effort to compensate for the change in the pattern of commerce. 4Baker, 1 July, 1898. - 317 -The founding of the Victoria stock exchange might be considered the f i n a l desperate action in the struggle by Victoria's entrepreneurs to offset the blow to the city's business l i f e dealt by the railway. A successful stock exchange would have allowed them to monitor the province's business l i f e and retain an influential role in capitalizing various business ventures. But increasingly, the province's business was being directed from offices in Vancouver. Victoria's stock exchange could do nothing to compensate for Vancouver's rapidly growing dominance of business and i t closed. By 19 03, control of the province's business affairs had passed from Victoria to Vancouver and business activity in Victoria was seriously declining. In a less forceful, but s t i l l important journal entry, Baker wrote that he "was worried about [the] future of Victoria from a busi-ness standpoint." 5 It was the end of an era; an era that had seen the small hamlet of Victoria rise to dominate the business l i f e of the province and some forty years later, fade from the mainstream of the province's commerce. The era encompassed by Victoria's rise and decline can also be seen as the period of the local entrepreneur. 5Baker, 2 May, 190 3. - 318 -The gold rush had attracted the f i r s t of these men and the opportunities offered by the resource r i c h province brought others. Baker had been a leading entrepreneur in t h i s society f o r some two decades before i t went into decline. For him and many of his partners, t h i s was the point at which t h e i r creative business years came to an end. The railway had introduced the corporate entrepreneur to British.Columbia and by the turn of the century, these men were appearing on the Coast i n growing numbers. Events such as the sale of the V i c t o r i a and Esquimalt Telephone Company (1899) and of the Vic-t o r i a E l e c t r i c Illuminating Company (1907) i l l u s t r a t e the a r r i v a l i n the province of large corporations from outside the area with t h e i r greater f i n a n c i a l resources. Baker also mentions eastern American timber men moving into the area to buy sawmills (19 03) and timber leases (1904). The amount of c a p i t a l required to finance these business transactions was much greater than that invested by the l o c a l entrepreneurs i n the o r i g i n a l companies. The asking price f o r one of Baker's timber leases was $100,000. Under the new pace of business, an entre-preneur l i k e Baker might have been able to finance three 6Baker, 25 July, 1904. - 31? -or four companies, rather than the four or five times that number that he was involved with at the beginning of the 1890's. Victoria's entrepreneurs could look back on an era in which they had directed much of the province's develop-ment. They could rightfully claim a large share of the credit for the jobs that had been created and for the services that promoted and assisted settlement to take place. Without the general approval of society, however, they could not have operated as freely, nor in the numbers that they did. Thus, their activities not only reveal several characteristics of themselves, but also of the society they were part of. The upper ranks of this society followed English social customs, while at the same time, they adopted American business practice without any apparent conflict in ethics. This adoption of the American attitude towards business was the most significant characteristic of the group. It was reflected in the materialism of society at large and in the business community's enterprise and feeling of kinship for San Francisco; something that Baker makes quite obvious. It was also because of the business community's attraction to San Francisco that the rest of the city's inhabitants f e l t a similar a f f i l i a t i o n with - 320 -the American city. As the business community became Canadianized, the bond with San Francisco became less significant. The f i n a l and perhaps most important aspect of this American influence is in explaining what created and motivated the s p i r i t of entrepreneurism in the province. For, materialistic as this society was, i t was not a simple race for financial gain that urged on these entre-preneurs. F i r s t , . i t would seem that the most compelling force was the. knowledge that society, in the American tradition, approved of the economic rewards and accorded social recognition to those who succeeded in business. Finally, the entrepreneur saw himself as a hero in the national epic, the conquering of the frontier. These two ideas taken together were the American ideal and more than anything else, this ideal seems to have been what inspired and made possible the entrepreneurism of Baker and his contemporaries. - 321 -BIBLIOGRAPHY I. MANUSCRIPT SOURCES A. O f f i c i a l Reports British Columbia, Attorney General, Companies Office. Company Registration Files. British Columbia, Attorney General, Victoria Law Courts Registry. Probate Court Files [Will of Edgar Crow Baker]. British Columbia Board of Trade. Fourth Annual Report. Victoria, Miller, 1883. B. Diaries Baker, E. C. Diaries. Victoria, Provincial Archives of British Columbia. 59 vols. C. Theses Lawrence, Joseph Collins. "Markets and Capital: A History of the Lumber Industry of British Columbia, (1778-1952)." Vancouver, B. C , University of British Columbia, unpublished M.A. Thesis, 19 57. Ralston, Harry Keith. "The 19 0 0 Strike of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fishermen." Vancouver, B. C., Univer-sity of British Columbia, unpublished M.A. Thesis, 1965. Roy, Patricia E. "The British Columbia Electric Railway Company, 1897-19 28: A British Company in British Columbia". Vancouver, B. C , University of British Columbia, unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, 1970. - 322 -II. PRINTED SOURCES A. Government Publications British Columbia, Legislative Assembly. Gazettes. Victoria, Government Printing Office, 1874-1904. British Columbia, Legislative. Assembly. Journals. Victoria, Government Printing Office, 1891-1892. British Columbia, Legislative Assembly. Sessional Papers. Victoria, Government Printing Office, 189 8. British ColumbiaLegislative Assembly. Statutes. Victoria, Government Printing Office, 18 8 3-1892. Canada, Department of Transport. A Statutory History of the Steam and Electric Railways of Canada, 18 3 6-19 37. Ottawa, King's Printer, 19 38. Canada, Parliament, House of Commons. O f f i c i a l Report of Debates. Ottawa, Roger, 1883-88. vols. 14-26. Ottawa, Chamberlin, 1889. vols. 27-28. Great Britain, Colonial Office. "Report by the Right Hon. The Earl of Jersey, G.C.M.G., on The Colonial Con-ference at Ottawa (1894), with the Proceedings of the Conference and Certain Correspondence." Imperial Blue  Books on Affairs Relating to Canada, 189 2-9 7. London, P. S. King and Son, n.d., vol. 50 White, Derek A. Business Cycles in Canada. Ottawa, Queen's Printer, 1970. (Revised edition - April 1970) Staff Study no. 17 - prepared for Economic Council of Canada, November, 19 67. - 323 -B. Year Books British Columbia Directory, 1882-83. Victoria, Williams, 1882. Gosnell, R. E. The Year Book of British Columbia, 1.897. Victoria, n.n., 1897. C. Books Babson, Roger W. Business Barometers used in the Manage-ment of Business arid Investment' of Money. Babson Park, Babson's Reports, 19 37. Baltzell, E. Digby. Philadelphia Gentlemen: The Making  of a National Upper Class. Glencoe, 111., Free Press, 1958. . The Protestant Establishment. New York, Random House, 19 64. Bancroft, H. H. History of British Columbia 1792-18 87. San Francisco, History Company, 1887. Berton, Pierre. The Last Spike. Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 19 71. Careless, J.M.S. "The Business Community in the Early Development of Victoria, British Columbia." Canadian Business History: Selected Studies, 1497-1971, David S. Macmillan, Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 19 72, pp. 104-123. Clark, Norman H. M i l l Town. Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1970. - 32H -Clowes, W. L., ed. The Royal Navy: A History from the  Earliest Times to the Present. London, Marston, 1897-1903, 7 vols. Cochran, Thomas C. and Miller, William. The Age of Enter-prise: A Social History of Industrial America. New York, Macmillan, 19 58. Dumke, Glenn S. The Boom of the Eighties in Southern California. San Marino, Huntington Library, 19 66. Fawcett, Edgar. Some Reminiscences of old Victoria. Toronto, William Briggs, 1912. Gosnell, R. E. British Columbia. A Digest of Reliable  Information Regarding the Natural Resources and  Industrial Po s s i b i l i t i e s . Vancouver, News Adver-t i s e r , 1890. Gregson, Harry. A History of Victoria, 1842-19 70. Victoria, Victoria Observer, 1970. Hamilton, J. H. Western Shores. Vancouver, Progress, 1932. Hodger, L. K., ed. Mining in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Post-Intelligencer, 1897. Howay, F. W., Sage, W. N. and Angus, H. F. British Columbia and the United States. Toronto, Ryerson, 1942. Jackman, S. W. Portraits of the Premiers. Sidney, Gray's, 19 69. - 32S -Johnson, George, ed. The All, Red Line: The Annals and  Aims of the Pacific Cable Project. Ottawa, Hope, 1903. Kuykendall, Ralph S. The Hawaiian Kingdom, 1874-189 3. Vol. Three. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1967. Lipset, Seymour Martin and Hofstadter, Richard, eds. Turner and the Sociology of the Frontier. New York, Basic Books, 19 68. Marder, Arthur J. Fear God and Dread Nought: The Cor-respondence of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of  Kilverston. Vol. One. London, Jonathan Cape, 19 52. . The Anatomy of British Sea Power: A History of British Naval Policy in the Pre-Dreadnaught Era, 18 80-19 05. New York, Knopf, 1940. McNaughton, Margaret. Overland to Cariboo. Toronto, Briggs, 1896. M i l l , C. Wright, Power E l i t e . New York, Oxford University Press, 1956. Miller, William, ed. Men in Business. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 19 52. Morrell, W. P. The Gold Rushes. London, Adam and Charles Black, 1940. Morley, Alan. Vancouver: From Mi l i t own to" Metropolis. Vancouver, .Macmillan, 19 58. Ormsby, M. A. B r i t i s h Columbia: a History. Vancouver, Macmillan, 1958. - 32 6 -Paul, Rodman Wilson. Mining Frontiers of the Far West, 1848-1880. New York, Winston, 1963. Porter, John A. The Vertical Mosaic. Toronto, University of Toronto, 19 65. Reid, Robie L. Grand Lodge of British Columbia, A. F. and A. M. Historical Notes and Biographical Sketches, 1848-1935. n.p. , Chapman and Warwick, n.d. Robin, Martin. The Rush for Spoils, Vol. One: The Com-pany Province, 1871-19 33. Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 19 72. Ross, Victor. A History of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. Vol. Two. Toronto, Oxford University, 192 2. Scholefield, E.O.S., and Howay, F. W. British Columbia from the Earliest Times to the Present. Vancouver, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914. 4 vols. Shelton, W. George. British Columbia and Confederation. Victoria, Morriss, 1967. Shortt, Adam and Doughty, Arthur G., eds. Canada and Its Provinces: A History of the Canadian People and Their  Institutions By One Hundred Associates. Vol. 21. Toronto, Edinburgh University Press, 1914. Trevelyan, G. M. British History in the Nineteenth Cen-tury and After: ,178 2-1919. London, Longmans, 1922. Wade, M. S. The Overlanders of 1862. Victoria, King's Printer, 19 31. - 327, -D. Periodicals Alexander, W. D. "The Story of the Trans-Pacific Cable." Eighteenth Annual Report of the Hawaiian Historical  Society. Honolulu, Paradise of the Pacific Print, 1911. Careless, J.M.S., "Frontierism, Metropolitanism, and Canadian History." Canadian Historical Review, vol. XXXV no. 1 (March 1954), pp. 1-21. "The Lowe Brothers, 1852-70: A Study in Business Relations on the North Pacific Coast." B. C. Studies, no. 2 (Summer 1969), pp. 1-18. Green, George. "Some Pioneers of Light and Power." The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, vol. II no. 3 (July 1938), pp. 145-162. Lamb, W. Kaye. "Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island." (In Two Parts: 1844-1855 and 1855-1866.) The British Columbia Historical Quarterly, vol. II (Part I - January 1938), pp. 31-53 and (Part II -April 1938), pp. 95-121. MacDonald, Norbert. "Seattle, Vancouver, and the Klondike." Canadian Historical Review, XLIX, No. 3 (September 1968) , pp. 234-246. Miller, William "American Historians and the Business E l i t e . " Journal of Economic History, IX (1949), pp. 184-208. - 321 -Ormsby, Margaret A. "Canada and the New British Columbia." Canadian Historical Association Annual Report, (1948) , pp. 74-85. "Pointed Pen Pictures." The Resources of British Columbia. vol. 1 no. 5 (July 1883), pp. 9-11. Ralston, Harry Keith. "Patterns of Trade and Investment on the Pacific Coast, 1867-1892: The Case of the British Columbia Salmon Canning Industry." B. C. Studies, no. 1 (Winter 1968-69), pp. 37-45. Stites, Anne Hamilton. "The Attempt to Lay a Cable between the Hawaiian Islands." The Hawaiian Journal of History, vol. 2 (1968), pp. 55-68. E. Newspapers Daily Colonist. Victoria, B. C. F. Biographies Kerr, J. B. Biographical Dictionary of Well-known British 'Columbians. Vancouver, Kerr and Begg, 1890. Wallace, W. S. Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Toronto, Macmillan, 1945. 

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