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Negro settlement in British Columbia, 1858-1871 Pilton, James William 1951

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i <r\~i % fW Mi NEGRO SETTLEMENT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA  1858 - 1871 by . JAMES WILLIAM PILTON A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of History We accept this thesis as conforming "to. the standard required from candidates for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS Members of the Department of History THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1951 NEGRO SETTLEMENT IN BRITISH COLUMBIA 1858 - 1871 by . JAMES WILLIAM PILTON ABSTRACT This i s a study of the negro migration to British Columbia in the mid-19th century. It i s the story of the early coloured pioneers who came to the colony from California to escape oppression. Here i s a glance at the early history of the Canadian west coast from the stand-point of one of the many minority groups who once settled there. The f i r s t of the negro immigrants arrived i n Victoria, Vancouver Island i n April of 1858, when the gold rush to the Fraser River was just beginning. While many preferred to try their luck at the dig-gings, others remained in the town where they prospered as merchants, barbers, restaurant and saloon keepers and ordinary labourers. Not wishing to li v e i n segregation as they had been forced to do i n C a l i -fornia, they f i t t e d themselves into the l i f e of the settlement to a remarkable degree. The coloured townspeople were particularly active i n colonial p o l i t i c s , and when they voted en bloc» they could, and sometimes did control the outcome of elections, a situation which aroused antagonism toward them;. Several negroes ran as candidates i n colonial and muni-cipal elections and one of them, M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs was not only-elected to the City Council, but later on leaving the colony became the f i r s t negro Judge i n the United States and was eventually appointed United States Consul to Madagascar. The f i r s t volunteer military unit on Vancouver Island, the Victoria Pioneer E i f l e Corps was composed entirely of coloured men. After much discouragement at the hands of the whites, the negro soldiers disbanded, but at least they deserve the credit for being the f i r s t to volunteer and to prepare themselves for the defence of the colony© i Other important centers of negro settlement were on Salt Spring Island, where they established themselves as farmers and ranchers, and in the gold fields where they panned the bars of the Fraser River and the creeks of the Cariboo country. While i t is doubtful i f many became wealthy as miners, some became prosperous business men supplying the economic needs of the pioneer settlements. The coloured people had not entirely escaped prejudice by their northward migration however, for i t followed them from California on v every gold rush steamer, and even the Br i t i s h settlers were not entirely blameless. Attempts were made in Victoria to segregate them i n the churches and theatres, and to exclude them from the public bars. On Salt Spring Island the situation appears to have been somewhat different, for on the fringe of settlement, any neighbour, regardless of his colour, was a decided asset, and in the mining country men were generally judged by the amount of money in their pockets rather than by the colour of their skin. 28 By the mid-18601 s the gold excitement had almost died away bringing a period of depression to Vancouver Island* In the United States the C i v i l War had come to an end and slavery had been abolished. Now i t was no longer necessary for the coloured people to continue their s e l f -imposed exile and many decided to return to the United States. As this movement progressed, the race problem i n the colony diminished, and i n time the fact that there had ever been an extensive settlement of negroes i n B r i t i s h Columbia was forgotten. i C O N T E N T S CHAPTER I; THE BACKGROUND OF SLAVERY ... . . . . 1 The beginnings of modern slavery - 1, Negro slavery in America - 3» Opposition to the system -5, Effect of the Industrial Revolution - 6, Beginnings of emancipation - 6, Sectionalism and slavery - 7, Compromise of 1850 - 8, Prelude to the Civil War - 8, The War -9, Emancipation Proclamation - 10, End of the War and period of reconstruction -11. CHAPTER II: THE MIGRATION 12 Gold in California - 12, The trek west - 13, Hostility towards negroes - Li, Pro-slavery movement - 16, California's "black laws" - 18, The fight for equality - 19, The Poll Tax - 20, The case of Archy Lee - 21, Exclusion from the public schools - 26, Meetings of the coloured people - 28, Decision to leave Cali-fornia - 32, Departure for Vancouver Island - 32. CHAPTER H i t VICTORIA'S NEGRO COLONY 38 Arrival of the Commodore - 39, The gold rush town - 40, Negroes invest in real estate - 42, Types and classes of coloured im-migrants - 43, Morality - 44, Intermarriage - 45» Occupations - 47, Religious l i f e - 52, Social l i f e - 53, The arrival of a fugitive - 57, Biographical sketches - 60. CHAPTER IV i MIFFLIN WISTAR GIBBS 72 Childhood in Philadelphia - 73, As an abolitionist - 76, Arrival > in San Francisco - 79, On to Victoria - 80, The Gibbs family -81, Victoria House - 82, Queen Charlotte Coal Mining Company -83, Departure from the colony - 85, His legal career - 87, Appoint-ment as United States Consul - 88. CHAPTER V: THE POLITICAL IMPACT 8g Government of the Island - 89, The gold discovery - 90, The mainland colony - 90, The disputed election of i860 - 92, Negroes removed from the voters' lists - 96, A coloured candidate - 98, Political power of the negro community - 101, The election of I864 - 103, Municipal politics - 108, The Yale Convention - 109. I i CHAPTER VI; VICTORIA PIONEER RIFLE CORPS I l l The Rifle Movement in England - 111, Coloured men form the . fi r s t volunteer corps on the Island - 112, Description of the unit - 112, Attitude of Governor Douglas - 113, Formation of a white unit - 114 » Request for financial aid - 115, Formation of a brass band - 116, Anticipated arrival of Governor Kennedy -117, Presentation of colours to the Corps - 120, Address by the Pioneer Rifles to Governor Kennedy - 121, Last days of the V.P.R.C. - 123. CHAPTER VII; SALT SPRING ISLAND 127 Colonial lands policy - 127, Land reform meeting - 128, Application for lands on Salt Spring Island - 130, Description of the Island - 132, Rev. Ebenezer Robson meets the negro settlers - 134, Edu-cation - 135, Religion - 136, Communications - 136, Indian troubles - 139, Louis and Sylvia Stark - 142. CHAPTER VIII; IN THE GOLDFIELDS 148 The gold discovery -148, Beginnings of the rush - 149, The gold-fields - 151, Occupations of the negroes - 153, A legal dispute -154» Barkerville - 160, Crime and criminals - 162, Two barbers of Barkerville - 162, The Blessing murder - 166, Barkerville burns - 168, The Leech River excitement - 171. CHAPTER IX; THE PROBLEM OF RACE . . . . . . 176 Hostility towards negro police - 177, Prejudice in the church -178, Negroes partially responsible for racial antagonism - 181, Politics and prejudice - 184, Exclusion from public bars -184., The Jacob Francis case - 186, The theatre incidents - 187, Other examples of discrimination - 201, The problem on Salt Spring Island - 204, The problem in the goldfields - 204. A P P E N D I C E S "A" - Partial l i s t of coloured immigrants to British Columbia * 1858-1871 ;207 "B" - Laws of the State of California, Third Session, Chapter XXXIII, "Respecting Fugitives from Labor, and Slaves brought to this State prior to her admission into the Union . . 21J "C" - Extracts from the diary of the Reverend Edward Cridge having reference to the arrival of the negroes • ... 215 i i i "D" - Some punishable offences committed by negroes in Victoria, 1858—18V1 • • • • • • • a o o 218 "E" - Letters from M.W. Gibbs to the San Francisco Elevator . 222 "F" - Resolutions published in the Pacific Appeal after the election of January I864 « . . « • » 228 "G" - Memorial and Financial Statement from the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps 230 "H" - Resolutions and Petition passed at the Land Reform Meeting, July 2, 1859 0 • • « • . « • • 232 "I" - Isaac Dickson's Letters to the Cariboo Sentinel • * 234 "J" - Population statistics © « » • « . . 237 BIBLIOGRAPHY 0 • 238 I L L U S T R A T I O N S 1. The Commodore • • » » • < > * • . 3_8 2. Victoria, July 1858 . e » o . » . « 41 3» Peter Lester and his wife . . « « . . . . 61 4« Charles and Nancy Alexander » • • . . . . 66 5. James and Mary Barnswell . o . . « < > « 69 6. Robert Clanton and his wife • - • . * * « 70 7. Mrs. John Thomas Pierre, Richard Stokes » » . © 71 8» Mifflin Wistar Gibbs • 7J 9» Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps - Presentation of the colours . 124 10« Sylvia Stark and her son Willis • • • . « . I45 l l o Barkerville before the fire • • 0 . « <, 169 12o Barkerville after the fire « 9 . * . e • 170 13« Samuel Booth 9 « • . • «. » « . » . 172 14. The "Industry" Claim • • 173 iv M A P S 1. Sectionalism and slavery in the United States » « 9 10 2*, Islands in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia • o 13J. 3« British Columbia, 1871 , . ' o . « Back Cover V PREFACE This i s the story of a people, who because of persecution i n the United States, decided to establish new homes under the British f l a g . It i s the story of their migration from California and of their l i f e i n the colonies of Vancouver Island and Br i t i s h Columbia. The tale of the coloured migration i s a very human one, and an attempt has been made to treat the subject not only i n terms of cold facts and figures, but to recreate character and personality and to place them i n their authentic setting* For their assistance i n the writing of this thesis, the author i s indebted to the many coloured persons who gave him such a friendly re-ception and to the staffs of the Bancroft Library and of the Provincial Archives of Bri t i s h Columbia* Because of the constant interest of Miss Madge Wolfenden, Assistant Provincial Archivist, much material was made available which might otherwise have been neglected, and as the result of her welcome criticism and advice, many p i t f a l l s were avoided. Thanks i s also due to Dr. Walter N. Sage, Head of the Department of History, for reading and c r i t i c i z i n g the manuscript, and to Dr. Gilbert Tucker for his valuable suggestions. r August 30, 1951. J.W.P. v i And the Lord said, I have surely seen the a f f l i c t i o n of my people which are i n Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows| And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians> and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honeyj »o» Exodus 3:7,8 1 CHAPTER I THE BACKGROUND OF SLAVERY The migration of coloured people to British Columbia in the mid-19th century was only one small movement among many in the attempts of the American negroes to escape oppression and to improve their economic status. Almost a l l such schemes were destined to f a i l , as was the immigration to the British colony in many respects, for the opposing factors which had evolved over the centuries were much too powerful to be overcome in a few short years. It is only by making a comparison with their past and by having some under-standing of their problems however, that one can evaluate what the negro pioneers actually did achieve by coming to Vancouver Island. Only by a study of negro history does one find possible answers to such questions as: "How had their social and cultural level reached such a high state of de-velopment by the time of the northward migration?" "Why were they divided among themselves despite their common slave ancestry and their common purpose in coming to the Island?" "Why did they react as they did to their new environment?" Their background of slavery was ever present in British Columbia; they could not escape i t . Not only was i t responsible for their coming to the colony in the first place, but i t was even to determine the duration of their stay, for after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War there was no longer any need to continue their self-imposed exile 0 The history of modern slavery begins with the breakdown of feudalism and the rise of the towns. The accompanying commercial revolution placed trade and commerce in a leading position as the means by which a state could gain wealth and power. By the end of the 15th century, the Portuguese had discovered how important the trade 2 i n African negroes could be as a means to this end, and soon the buying and selling of slaves became a part of the commerce of Europe* But the European economy was such that i t could not absorb large numbers of negroes for white labour was plentiful and cheap and there was l i t t l e place for black slaves i n the merchant and banking houses that had recently become established. The discovery of America was the solution to the problem, for i n the new world resources were great and labour was scarce. Although the early Spanish, Portuguese and French explorers had brought negroes with them to America, the slave trade i t s e l f did not for-mally begin u n t i l 1517 when Bishop Las Casas permitted each Spanish colonist to import twelve negro slaves. Las Casas, who became known as the "Apostle of the Indians", was convinced of the e v i l of using Indians as slave labour, so much so. that i n 1815 he returned to Spain to plead their cause. A.commission was soon sent to Hispahiola to investigate conditions, but i t proceeded, too slowly and with too much caution for.the Bishop'8 l i k i n g , so he returned once again to Spain i n 1517 with his plan for colonizing the Indians and replacing them as labourers with negro slaves. His: scheme never succeeded and he lived to regret having instituted i t . ? o l c 'iy.^Y^As the plantations grew, so did the need for labour, and the Dutch, French:and English took up the trade on a large scale. They transported the blacks under terrible conditions, for the more they carried oh their smalliships the greater were;the prof i t s . Death from disease and suicide was commonplace among the human cargo. d . -aAr.nc';,, j By the 17th century, Spain had lost her dominant position in the islands of the Caribbean, and Denmark, Holland, France and England having now acquired possessions there, attempted to get the greatest possible re-turns from them by large scale agricultural developments. They used slaves 3 extensively on the tobacco plantations, and when tobacco dropped in value because of over-production, sugar cane was substituted and even more negroes were required to cultivate i t . This condition existed until the early years of the 18th century when crops were becoming more expensive to produce because of soil exhaustion. But by this time attention was being directed to the North American colonies which were rapidly becoming of greater economic importance than the West Indies. Here was a new market for slaves, and in response to the demand, many were exported from the Caribbean islands. In 1619 the first group of slaves on the mainland was landed at Jamestown, Virginia by a Dutch frigate, but i t was many years before the white colonists were to realize the obvious advantages of negro slaves over Indian slaves or white labour. Indentured servants sometimes ran away and were difficult to recover; negroes on the other hand could a l -ways be recognized as slaves and were readily returned to their masters. Another advantage was that the use of negro slaves assured a permanent labour supply while the whites could leave their masters at the end of their period of indenture. In any case as time went on and the tobacco, rice and indigo plantations increased in size and numbers, there were not enough whites to f i l l the increased demand for labour; then negro slaves became a necessity. In 1661 Virginia passed a law recognizing slavery and from then on the black population rose with astonishing rapidity, especially after England secured the monopoly of the slave trade by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. So many negroes were now introduced into the colony that they became a menace to the whites whom they frequently plotted to massacre. This fear of the negroes resulted in the infamous "Black Codes", the extreme forms of punishment used against them for even minor offences. Maryland soon followed Virginia in adopting slavery, then North and South Carolina did likewise, although the Quakers in North Carolina tried to discourage i t . Finally, after frequent agitations by the colonists, Georgia l i f t e d i t s restrictions against slavery i n 1750. In the southern colonies, slaves were needed on the plantations; . i n the middle colonies the economic situation was quite different for i n New York and New Jersey the farms were small and the Dutch, Swedes and Germans were not interested i n negro labour, slaves were more important here for their commercial value; i n the New England colonies they were also of greatest importance as a commodity of trade, and the Puritans entered extensively into the business. Whether they actually believed i t or not, the Puritan traders jus t i f i e d their actions by claiming that they were bringing a cursed people within God's grace. Conditions in the New England colonies improved considerably when the Quakers arrived early in the 18th century, for these people frequently educated negro children along with their own, and encouraged the coloured people to attend church and become converted. L i f e was easiest here for the negro for care was taken not to import too many slaves, and without the constant fear of insurrection there was l i t t l e necessity for the whites to pass harsh "black" laws. With the coming of the American Revolution many colonists began to oppose slavery actively, aware no doubt that while condemning England for her oppression, they too were oppressors. Some even blamed George III for the existence of the institution in America, and when Thomas Jefferson f i r s t submitted a draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental 1 Congress, i t contained a section reprobating slavery. This had to be removed on the insistence of the southern delegates to the Congress how-ever, for they realized that i f i t remained, once the colonies gained their independence there would no longer be any excuse for the continuance 2 of the system. In the Revolutionary War negroes fought on both sides, although at f i r s t George Washington and his War Council decided to ex-clude them. This decision was reversed after Lord Dunmore, governor of Virginia, invited the slaves to join the B r i t i s h forces. Then Washington enlisted negroes, and many a l l black units were organized to serve in the Revolutionary armies. After the war, perhaps because of the prevailing philosophy of free-dom, laws were passed in some states liberating a l l negroes who had served i n the army. The manumission of slaves now began on a large scale partly because so many owners no longer believed in the system. Societies were formed both during and after the Revolution to fight slavery, and some states now prohibited the trade entirely, while others erected high import duties against them. This movement was naturally strongest i n the north and the most powerful resistance to i t came from the south where the economy seemed to demand slave labour. At the Constitutional Con-vention of 1787, the fear of sectional s t r i f e which seemed to be rapidly developing resulted i n the extension of the slave trade for another twenty years, although by the Northwest Ordinance slavery wasto be prohibited in the lands to the northwest of the Ohio River.' 1 Carl Becker, The Declaration of Independence, a study in the history  of p o l i t i c a l ideas. N.I., Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922, p. 167. 2 Notes of Thomas Jefferson, cited i n Becker, op. c i t . , p. 171. 6 The Industrial Revolution brought new prosperity to the southern states, for with the new methods of producing cotton textiles, agriculture shifted from the raising of r i c e , indigo and tobacco, to the more pr o f i t -able crop of cotton. It was now cultivated so extensively that even more slaves were required, and the trade continued to flourish at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. i. In the meantime the slaves i n the Caribbean were r i s i n g in revolt. Insurrections broke out on the Island of San Domingo i n 1791, and i n 1794- Toussaint L'Cuverture led a negro uprising in H a i t i . Such incidents had a great effect upon American slavery, for although the southern planters wanted more negroes, they were afraid to import them for fear of similar outbreaks. Movements for abolition now became more assertive and the numbers of slaves.who attempted and succeeded in escaping rapidly increased* The Fugitive Slave Law passed in 1793 was an ineffectual remedy. By L December 1805, anti-slavery;groups had brought so much pressure,to bear that a : b i l l was introduced into the government prohibiting the trade" after January 1, 1808. It became law on March 2, 1807, shortly: after England had,passed similar legislation, but i t was never really enforced and the trade continued on just as large a scale i f not quite so openly. ' i s After the Revolutionary War, the coloured people, with the assistance of manumission and abolition societies i n the New England and Middle;; Atlantic states, began to raise their own status in society. More were becoming educated i n the north in contrast to the south where the education of negroes was discouraged. It was i n their religious l i f e that they gained their greatest independence and i n 1794 they were able to organize their own Bethel African Methodist Church i n Philadelphia, followed two 7 years later by the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. A l l negro fraternal organizations were also coming into existence, the most important being the negro Freemasons. Fifteen negroes had been initia t e d into a Bri t i s h army lodge stationed near Boston in 1775, and although they were rejected by the American Masons, they were accepted by the Grand Lodge of England i n 178*4. During the f i r s t half of the 19th century large numbers of American negroes gained their freedom. Some were voluntarily released by their masters; others were able to purchase their liberty by doing extra work, and many of these eventually bought their parents, wives and children from slavery. The free mulatto population was also growing very rapidly and by 1850 i t i s estimated that there were 159,000 of them i n the United S 3 : ; ^Higher institutions of learning such as Franklin, Rutland and Oberlin colleges opened; their doors to the coloured people, and'many educatediand intelligent negroes began to make their appearance and to take their places as leaders of their race. There were negro as well as white abolitionists, and of:these Frederick Douglass i s regarded as being the most outstanding. During the ten years preceding/ the C i v i l War, the coloured people became more determined i n their struggle, and to give force to their protests, i n 1853 they formed their National Council of Colored People i n Rochester, New York. N^-^'' -.-i >^ mvp ' The division between north and south which had been apparent from the earliest years of the Unionj became even more so as the 19th century progressed. The question of slavery was one of the major i r r i t a n t s , for so many northerners were giving shelter and assistance to escaped negroes, 8 that a great financial loss was being sustained by the southern planters. Hatred for the northern abolitionists was the logical outcome. By 1850 the intersectional conflict had become serious and i t was realized that something had to be done immediately about the unsettled condition of the nation. The Compromise of 1850, an attempted solution, provided for the admission of California as a free state; New Mexico and Utah were to be-come territories without mention of slavery; a fugitive slave law was enacted; slavery was to be abolished i n the Dis t r i c t of Columbia; and Texas was to cede certain lands to New Mexico for which i t would be com-pensated. Neither the abolitionists nor the slave owners: were really satisfied however, and the anti-slavery people continued to help runaways, whose owners> with the assistance of the new Fugitive Slave Law were more determined than ever to get them back. The Compromise brought only a temporary l u l l , for i n 1854 the conflict was brought into the open by the Kansas-Nebraska B i l l , which organized the two territories of Kansas and Nebraska, allowing the settlers there to decide for themselves whether they would enter the union as free or slave. In Kansas the battle between the slaveholders and the anti-slavery faction was merely a prelude to a greater one, for the nation was marching steadily towards war. The Dred Scott decision of 1857, a victory for the south, was a step even closer. Scott, a Missouri slave had been taken by his master to l i v e in free I l l i n o i s , but later when returned to Missouri, he sued for his free-dom, claiming that residence on free s o i l had given him his liberty. The verdict of the court was that as the negro was not considered an American citizen he could not bring suit, but what disturbed the northern states was the decision of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney that Congress could not exclude slavery from the territories and that masters were quite at liberty to take their slaves anywhere i n the territories and s t i l l retain them i n servitude. One of the last events leading to open conflict was John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Violently opposed to slave-holding, he had the hopeless dream of attacking the slave owners in Virginia i n an attempt to liberate their negroes, and to obtain arms and ammunition for this purpose, he and a few followers attacked the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry on October 16, 1859* After his execution for this rash act, John Brown was regarded as a martyr by the northern abolitionists, and the familiar "John Brown's body..." became their battle hymn. The south was frightened. In the election of I860, Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the presidency was known to be opposed to the slave system, and when he was elected, the south regarded his party as being revolutionary and destructive. Lincoln had no intention of immediately abolishing slavery i n the south however, i n fact he could not have done so even i f i t had been his wish for i t could only have been accomplished by an amendment of the constitution, an impossibility at that time. But by now the breach had become too wide and seven of the cotton states decided to secede from the Union. In February of 1861 they formed the Confederate States of America and elected Jefferson Davis as their provisional President. Four other states soon joined them and on April 12, 1861, Confederate guns opened f i r e on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour. The "Brothers' War" had begun. With the advent of war many slaves escaped to freedom behind the Union lines, while others were taken as contraband by northern forces. Although these "contrabands" were given their freedom, no preparations had been made to care for them, and frequently they were forced to l i v e 10 Tinder far worse conditions than they had ever known in slavery. They were often so hungry and badly treated that private organizations such as the National Freedmen's Relief Association i n Cincinnati, were established to care for them. (Reproduced from Allan Nevins and Henry Steele Commager, The Pocket  History of the United States. N.Y., Pocket Books, Inc., 1943.) In the meantime Lincoln's movement towards emancipation was rapidly progressing. In 1861 he had believed that owners of emancipated slaves should be compensated by the government, and this was done in the D i s t r i c t of Columbia in 1862 despite the opposition of the abolitionists. In June of the same year slavery was abolished completely i n the terri t o r i e s , and i n July i t was proclaimed that a l l slaves should be free who were owned by disloyal masters behind the Union lines. Finally on January 1, 1863 came the great Emancipation Proclamation freeing a l l slaves held i n any state i n rebellion against the Union. 11 When Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox and victory was con-ceded to the north on April 9th, 1865, the United States entered upon their period of reconstruction. In the south, the program instituted by the Republican party was humiliating to the whites who found i t d i f -f i c u l t to think of the slaves as being free. By the L4th and 15th amend-ments, the negroes were placed on an equal footing with them, and even the most i l l i t e r a t e were given the vote. For a time many of the state legis-latures were controlled by the negro electors and large numbers of coloured men even occupied minor o f f i c i a l positions. While the majority were quite unfitted for such appointments, there were a few such as Jonathan Gibbs of Florida who were highly competent men. The white population would not long endure this power held by the negroes however, and the Ku Klux Klan was employed to t e r r i f y the coloured people to keep them away from the p o l l s . Finally by 1877 the Democratic party had gained control of every southern state, bringing to an end the period of Re-publican reconstruction and i t s policy of negro rule. 12 CHAPTER II  THE MIGRATION The simple heading "GOLD MINE FOUND", over a short paragraph in the San Francisco Califomian announced to the world on March 15, I 8 4 8 that gold had been discovered i n California. But scant attention was paid to the find at Sutter's m i l l on the American Fork, in fact a few weeks later, the r i v a l California Star maintained that the whole a f f a i r was a 1 hoax, a "supurb take-in as was ever got up to guzzle the gullible.? 1 But Sam Brannan, owner of the Star was to regret this rash accusation published by his editor, for within a few hours, i t was Brannan himself (May 29, I 8 4 8 ) who, waving a bottle, shouted at the top of his voice that i t was "Goldt Goldl from the American R i v e r t i l " The rush had begun. The news spread rapidly up and down the Pacific coast and as far as the Sandwich Islands, but the. Atlantic seaboard was slow to become excited and refused to take the discovery seriously u n t i l December 7th, when Lieutenant Loeser of the Third A r t i l l e r y arrived in Washington with his famous tea caddy. The 230 ounces of gold i t contained was enough to i n -fect the eastern states with gold fever, but as i t was too late i n the year to make the western trek, thousands passed the winter months in pre-paration for the journey to California in the spring and summer of tU9» The route chosen by these forty-niners was generally dependent upon their point of departure. Those who lived i n the Atlantic states and were accustomed to sea voyages frequently sailed around South America 1 Milo Milton Quaife, ed., Pictures of Gold Rush California. Chicago. The Lakeside Press, 1949, p. xv. 13 and up the west coast to California, but this way was long and expensive; / a shorter and cheaper one was the Chagres River route across the Isthmus of Panama; some even combined the sea and land routes, voyaging as far as Texas or Mexico and journeying overland from there. Of the overland t r a i l s , the famous Oregon-California Road was the most heavily travelled, and those who used i t reported that they were seldom out of sight of a wagon and that frequently the trains extended as far as the eye could see. The heavy t r a f f i c was the cause of many of the hardships that plagued these pioneers, for the dust raised was almost beyond endurance for animals and humans alike, and i t was not long before large numbers of cattle died of starvation after the pasturage along the roadside had become exhausted. Almost the entire length of the 2,000 mile t r a i l to California from In-dependence, St. Joseph, Council Bluffs and other starting points, was marked by a tragic debris -skeletons of animals, graves of humans,-broken wagons and furniture and baggage jetissoned to lighten the load. A l l were mute reminders of the price that,must be paid. i d It was no uncommon sight to see individual negroes or even•entire f a m i l i e s o f free coloured people travelling to California:by a l l these routes• Many free- mulattoes, excited by dreams of wealth,had sold;out small'businesses i n the east, and had invested their capital i n covered wagons, supplies and mining equipment. :Manyrof the negroes walking be-side the wagons on the Oregon t r a i l or travelling on the coastal steamers to San Francisco were being brought to the coast as slaves, or since California had by this time adopted a free state constitution, they were referred to as "indentured servants". The difference between the two was negligible. Few i f any refugees from the slave states ever made their 14 way to the P a c i f i c coas t ; i t was too f a r from the southern p l a n t a t i o n s and the t r i p too arduous and dangerous. The "underground r a i l w a y " l e a d -i n g to Canada was a much e a s i e r road to freedom. The f ree min ing p o p u l a t i o n o f C a l i f o r n i a was opposed to s l a v e r y i n any form and i n s i s t e d on the cont inuance o f an unrepealed Mexican l a w o f 1829 by t & i c h s l a v e r y was fo rb idden i n the t e r r i t o r y . Some i n d i c a t i o n o f p u b l i c o p i n i o n towards s l a v e l a b o u r , and i n f a c t towards the co lou red people i n g e n e r a l , was expressed i n the p ress as e a r l y as March, 1848: Not a s i n g l e i n s t a n c e o f precedence e x i s t s i n the shape o f p h y s i c a l bondage o f our f e l l o w men. . . .We d e s i r e o n l y a wh i t e p o p u l a t i o n i n C a l i f o r n i a ; even the Ind i ans among us , as f a r as we have seen, are more o f a nu isance than a b e n e f i t to the count ry ; we would l i k e to get r i d o f t h e m . . . . i n c o n c l u s i o n we d e a r l y l o v e the U n i o n , bu t d e c l a r e our p o s i t i v e preference f o r an independent c o n d i t i o n o f C a l i f o r n i a to the es tabl i shment o f any degree o f s l a v e r y , o r even the i m p o r t a t i o n o f f r ee b l a c k s . 2 With so much o p p o s i t i o n to h a v i n g any co lou red element i n the pop-u l a t i o n , i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t ha t when the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l convent ion sat i n C o l t o n H a l l i n Monterey i n September and October o f 1849, i t adopted a f ree s t a t e c o n s t i t u t i o n . The f ree mine r s , who had formed t h e i r own t r ade u n i o n , d i s c u s s e d a t t h e i r meet ings how the mines should be opera ted , and e s t a b l i s h e d c e r t a i n r e g u l a t i o n s to which the e n t i r e min ing community must adhere- T h i s was the group tha t brought the s t ronges t p res su re to bea r aga ins t any at tempts at l e g i s l a t i o n favourable to negro 3 s l a v e r y . I t was c l a imed tha t the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f co lou red people i n t o the s t a t e , whether s l a v e o r f r e e , would degrade l a b o u r ; furthermore they tsould be i m p o s s i b l e to a s s i m i l a t e and would prove a v i c i o u s and 2 ' ^ x e C a l i f o r a i a n , March 15 , 1848, c i t e d i n L u c i l e Eaves , A H i s t o r y  o f C a l i f o r n i a Labor L e g i s l a t i o n w i t h an I n t r o d u c t o r y Sketch o f the  San F r a n c i s c o Labor Movement, B e r k e l e y , The U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1910, p . 8 2 . 3 Eaves , 0 £ . c i t . t p . 8 . 15 disorderly element in society which would almost certainly become a financial burden on the white community. To prevent such a condition, an amendment was suggested providing that "The Legislature shall, at i t s f i r s t session, pass such laws as w i l l effectually prohibit free persons of color from immigrating to and settling i n this State, and to effectually prevent the owners of slaves from bringing them into this 4 State for the purpose of setting them free. 1' After much debate, this amendment was lost by a vote of 9 to 33, the f i n a l blow against i t be-ing the announcement of a San Francisco delegate that his constituents 5 were unanimously opposed. . This was not the end of the movement to exclude a l l persons of colour from the state, for the f i r s t governor of California, Peter H. Burnett was well-known for his hostile feelings towards negroes. When he served as a member of the Oregon legislative committee, he had intro-duced a b i l l intended to r i d the state of free negroes and mulattoes by advocating that i f they had not departed within a certain limited period, they should be flogged every six months thereafter u n t i l they did so* This act was never enforced, and later an amendment was intro-duced by Burnett providing that such coloured people should be hired out to persons who would guarantee to remove them from the state after 6 , the shortest period of service. This law was repealed however, in 1845. 4 J* Ross Brown, Report of the Debates in the Convention of C a l i -fornia on the Formation of the State Constitution i n September and October, 1849, Washington, 1850, pp. 43-44, cited i n Eaves, op. c i t . . p. 82. 5 Eaves, op. c i t . , p. 88. 6 Charles H. Carey, A General History of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Press, 1932, v o l . 1, p. 342. 16 i Burnett's attempts to introduce similar legislation into California 7 8 i n his inaugural address of 1849 and again in 1851, proved just as un-successful. The fears of the California miners and of the legislators who re-presented them were well-founded, as contemporary newspaper reports clearly indicate. Most of the southerners appear to have brought their slaves into the state as indentured servants who would not be entirely free u n t i l they had purchased their liberty with either money or labour. Naturally, not wishing to lose control of their slaves at the end of this period, masters began more openly to advocate that California become a slave state. Various arguments were put forward in favour of slavery, among which was the claim that negro labour was important to the economy of the state both i n agriculture and mining. This was especially true i n agriculture for i t was said that white labourers could not stand the poison oak which was so prevalent there. This pro-slavery group of southerners made l i t t l e progress with their schemes, although their representatives in the legislature did succeed in passing i n 1852 "An Act respecting fugitives from labor 9 and slaves brought to this State prior to her admission into the Union." This law was almost identical to the one already passed by the federal government i n 1850 when California had entered the Union as a free state. 7 Journals of the California Legislature, 1850, pp. 38-9, cited i n Eaves, op. c i t . , p. 89. 8 Ibid., 1851, pp. 19-29, cited i n Eaves, OP. c l t . . p. 89. 9 See appendix "B". Statutes of California, 1852, "An Act respect-ing fugitives from labor and slaves brought to this State prior to her admission into the, Union." 17 It provided that any owner or agent could recover a fugitive slave and that the negro could not give testimony in his own behalf. Anyone try-ing to protect the runaway was to be subject to a fine and imprison-ment and i f the fugitive were to escape from custody, the officer responsible must pay his value to the owner. The purpose behind this law was not to return refugees from the slave states, since they seldom i f ever made their way to California, but to assist masters i n removing their negro «servants" from the state. According to the interpretation previously given by the courts of California to the federal Fugitive Slave Law, such indentured servants could not be removed by force to another state. Section four of the California law of 1852 was an effective remedy: Any person or persons held to labor or service i n any State or Territory of the United States of America, and who shall re-fuse to return to the State or Territory where he or they owed such labor or service, upon the demand of the person or persons, his or their agent, or attorney, to whom such service or labor was due, such person or persons so refusing to return, shall be held and deemed fugitives from labor within the meaning of this Act, and a l l the remedies, rights, and provisions herein given claimants of fugitives who escape from any other State' into this State are hereby given and conferred upon claimants of fugitives from labor within the meaning of this section. 10 In an amendment, the time limit set for the recovery of fugitive slaves was one year, but this was later extended to 1855, at which time the law lapsed. Since the constitution of California provided that there should be no involuntary servitude within the state, masters could only reclaim "fugitives" to remove them from the state. Now indentured servants, who may have earned their freedom honestly enough, could be legally returned to their masters. The constitutionality of the law was tested i n the well-known Perkins case. Perkins had brought three 1G See appendix "B", op., c i t . 18 negro slaves to California i n 1849 under the agreement that they were to work for their freedom. This they did, and were so successful that when they were arrested i n 1852, they had saved four hundred dollars, and had a span of mules and a wagon. Now i n conformity with the new legislation, they were returned once more to slavery i n Georgia. After the passage of this law i n 1852 u n t i l i t s expiration by limitation i n 1855, and with the Perkins case as a precedent, there was not a negro who was brought to California as a "servant" who was not s t i l l a slave. Most of the anti-negro laws in California were not unique to that state, but were merely copies of the "black laws" already enacted i n the older states. One such law passed i n 1850 provided that no black or mulatto person or Indian should be permitted to give evidence i n a court 11 of law against a white man. In 1852 an unsuccessful attempt was made to repeal this and i n the following year a memorial from the coloured people was presented to the legislature praying that the C i v i l Practice Act be amended to allow them to t e s t i f y . When i t was presented i n the Assembly, one of the members suggested that i t be rejected by throwing 12 i t out of the window. The rejection was carried by an unanimous vote. Under such a law, the negro had l i t t l e protection for his l i f e , liberty or property, for almost Invariably any injustice to which he might be subjected would be at the hands of white men and not men of his own race. In his autobiography, Shadow and Light. M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs, one of the leading coloured merchants of San Francisco at this period, gives a striking example of the legal position of the negroes, and what could 11 T.H. H i t t e l l , History of California. San Francisco, N.J. Stone & Co., 1897, v o l . II, pp. 806-7. 12 Ibid*, v o l . IV, p. 111. 19 and did happen because of i t . An incident which Gibbs claims i s typical once occurred when a well-known customer came into his store on Clay Street and asked to have a pair of boots put aside, saying that while he did not need them at the moment, nevertheless he would think about buying them later. A few minutes after his departure, his friend arrived and insisted on buying the same pair of boots. Although Gibbs, and his partner Peter Lester tried to discourage him, the white man refused to remove the boots, assuring them that he would explain the situation to his friend and that a l l would be well. The coloured men forgot the i n -cident u n t i l a few minutes later when both the purchaser and would-be purchaser returned. With the foulest of language, the f i r s t customer assaulted Peter Lester. The proprietors of the store were helpless, for i f either had puttp any show of resistance, they could have been shot and there would have been no redress. Even i f Lester had been murdered, Gibbs, an eye-witness, could have given no evidence i n a court of law. 13 There was no alternative to submission. Naturally the feeling of injustice ran high among the coloured people for they owned and paid taxes on projgrty valued at $5,000,000 yet did not have the legal protection that the whites took for granted. Some of the better educated were stubborn and would not meekly submit to oppression. As early as 1851, M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs, Jonas P. Town-send, W.H. Newby and others published i n the Alta California, a l i s t of resolutions protesting against their treatment and attempting to get 14 f u l l rights of citizenship. In this same year some of the leading 13 M.W. Gibbs, Shadow and Light, Washington, D.G., n.p., 1902, p. 4 6 . 14 Ibid., p. 49. 20 coloured men in San Francisco commenced publication of the Mirror of 15 the Times, a .journal dedicated to obtaining equal rights for a l l . Negro conventions were continually being held at Sacramento where me-morials were drawn up to be presented to the legislature by white friends, but such complaints were generally completely ignored. Another of the many grievances of the coloured people was the com-pulsory payment of the PoLLJTax, the voter's tax i n California. They did not object as long as they were to have the franchise, but when-ever they t r i e d to exercise that right they were driven away from the pol l s . By their refusal to pay this tax because they were disfranchised and denied the right of oath, Lester and Gibbs made a test case of the matter. The state retaliated by seizing enough of their goods to pay the tax and costs, but when the boots were put up for auction, there were no bidders and they were f i n a l l y returned to the owners. When the sale was f i r s t advertised, Gibbs published a notice stating that even i f their goods were taken every year, they would never pay the tax. This card had the desired effect, for as the coloured men later learned, a pro-negro southerner mingled with the crowd at the sale, t e l l i n g them i t s purpose and advising them to give the goods a "terrible l e t t i n g alone"• The auctioneer, also friendly to the cause, offered the shoes, winked at the customers, and said "no bidders". This stand taken by Lester and Gibbs was one more step towards the emancipation of the coloured residents of California, for although the law regarding the Poll Tax was never repealed, they were seldom i f ever again forced to 16 pay i t . ! _ o\\-..'.3;' 15 Gibbs, og. c i t . , p. 49. 16 Ibid., p. 50. 21 The early months of 1858 brought a series of events hostile to the interests of California's negro population, such as the case of the escaped slave boy Archy Lee, the exclusion of negro children from the public schools and the attempt to pass legislation prohibiting negro immigration entirely. These incidents culminated in the decision of several hundred coloured people to emigrate to the B r i t i s h colony of Vancouver's Island. The case of Archy Lee, the last and most widely discussed of the California fugitive slave cases, aroused a great deal of controversy between the pro and anti-slavery groups. Archy, a nineteen year old slave, described as"a tolerable specimen of a young negro whose blood 17 i s not debased by an admixture of Anglo-Saxon stock," was brought to California i n the spring of 1857 by his master Charles A. Stavail* Stoyall claimed.that he had come to California because of his. delicate health,and had not intended remaining, i n the state for more than 18,,;..:\ months, but he;, was prevented from leaving because his oxen were mot;., i n condition to cross, the mountains again. He settled temporarily i n the Carson Valley, but around October 2, 1857, he had taken Archy to Sacra-mento -where the slave boy had been hired out while Stovall himself*had opened and taught a private school. After two months the school fa i l e d , and Archy being taken i l l was no longer able to work. Dogged by such misfortunes, Stovall decided to return to Mississippi and with this i n mind the negro was placed on board a river steamer at Sacramento bound for San Francisco where he was to be placed i n charge of an agent-to--be returned home* Before the steamer l e f t however, the boy made his escape and hid i n a negro boarding house. Stovall swore out a warrant"for the 17 Eaves, op. c i t . . p. 99* 22 arrest of his slave, and a short time later Archy was captured and placed i n the city prison u n t i l released on a writ of Habeas Corpus which a coloured friend, Charles W. Parker, the proprietor of the Hacket House 18 had wasted no time in procuring* The case now passed from the jurisdiction of the State Court into the hands of tbe United States Commissioner, George Pen Johnston, who was i n Sacramento at the time, but who refused to give any decision u n t i l he had conferred with Judge McAllister of the U.S. Circuit Court i n San Francisco. According to the interpretation of the federal Fugitive Slave Law i n California, I f a slave should escape from his master while they were merely travelling through the state and without any intention of taking up permanent residence there, then that slave must be returned to the master; i f on the other hand the owner of the slave should take up permanent residence i n California where slavery was forbidden, then the slave must be freed. Was Stovall merely passing through the state or was he a permanent resident? That was the question before the court. Judge Robinson's decision was that as the boy had not escaped into the state but had rather been brought there voluntarily and had then escaped, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 did not apply to him. By now the California law by which Archy could have been quite legally returned to his owner, had lapsed, and i t was decided that Archy could not be taken out of the state by force. Unhappily for the negro boy, the Judge had made public what his decision would be, an hour before actually giving i t , which was ample time for Stovall to obtain another warrant for the re-arrest of his slave on the very moment of the negro's release. Archy was promptly marched back to j a i l , and a writ produced which had 18 Daily Evening Bulletin. Jan. 11, 1858. 23 been issued by Justice Bidleman, bringing him to t r i a l before the Supreme Court of California. Judges Terry and Burnett now tr i e d the case, and by ignoring the existing laws, decided i n favour of the master, Stovall. It was already anticipated what the decision of ex-governor Burnett would be. He was a southerner and advocated slavery on every occasion, but his reasoning i n this case was rather startling. As Stovall was i n poor health and i n poor financial circumstances, he said, and as this was the f i r s t case of i t s kind, the law would not be enforced this time. Judge C.J. Terry agreed, but both declared quite emphatically that this case was not to 19 form a precedent. Needless to say the decision was ridiculed, and with much sarcasm i t was suggested that i n future when a law was broken for the f i r s t time, the defendant could not be punished i f he were i n poor health or bankrupt. Stovall now concealed Archy, and i t was some time before i t was discovered that the boy was being held under lock and key in the San Joaquin County j a i l . The coloured people once again applied for a writ of Habeas Corpus, but before i t could be served, the negro had been secreted elsewhere u n t i l March 4th when an attempt was made to take him on board the Orizaba bound for Panama. In the meantime a warrant had been made out against Stovall for kidnapping the negro, and armed with this as well as a warrant for the arrest of the slave, the deputy sheriff and two policemen from San Francisco sailed with the Orizaba u n t i l the ship was opposite Angel Island whence master and slave, ac-companied by four companions set out i n a small boat. When they boarded 19. Ex Parte Archy, 9, California Reports, p.. 147. 24 the steamer they were taken into custody, but not before they had drawn pistols and had attempted some show of resistance. The return of the party to San Francisco stirred up considerable excitement i n the ci t y and the coloured population turned out en masse as a welcoming committee. Archy was the celebrity of the moment and the center of a l l attention while on his way once again to the city j a i l . James Riker, the coloured man who had f i l e d the writ of Habeas  Corpus by which the boy had been arrested, had also l a i d the charge of kidnapping against Stovall, who he said had refused Archy his liberty. The coloured boy was a free man and not a slave, he claimed, and the 20 white man had broken the laws of the state by keeping him imprisoned. The day following the rescue, notices were posted throughout the cit y where a l l the negro residents would be sure to see them: NOTICE There w i l l be a public meeting of the coloured citizens of San Francisco this (Friday) evening March 5th, at Zion M.E. Church, Pacific, above Stockton St., to commence at 8 o'clock. Signed by a Committee. 21 Long before the appointed hour the church was f i l l e d , and the gathering was not entirely negro for there were many ardent abolitionists i n the city who were always ready to champion the cause of the coloured people. The meeting was called to order, and the chairman advised his audience not to l e t the excitement of the moment lead to any rash measures which might eventually make their cause appear ridiculous. After several leading negro citizens had taken the platform and urged their fellows to 20 Daily Evening Bulletin. March 6, 1858. 21 Loc. c i t . 25 do nothing that might lose rather than add to the growing public sym-pathy towards Archy, an appeal was made for funds with which to carry on the fight for the coloured boy. $150.00 was collected from the gather? ing, and at the same time a committee of seven men and seven women was appointed to canvass for further funds. In mid-March the case continued, and although Judge Freelon dis-charged Archy from arrest, he was immediately re-arrested by United States Marshal Solomon. With this turn of events, the court was f i l l e d with confusion, and as the boy was led away followed by an excited mob, several negroes were arrested for assault and battery, although no attempts were made to effect a rescue. Through his attorneys, Crosby and Tomkins, Archy now started a counter suit against Stovall, claiming $2,500 damages for assault and battery and false imprisonment. In the meantime the case dragged wearily on and new evidence was introduced by Stovall 1s brother, who swore out an affidavit stating that Archy had attacked a white man i n Mississippi, and had then escaped only to be recaptured i n the Territory of Nebraska. When examined on the witness stand however, he changed his mind saying that he did not know whether ApChy had run away from Mississippi or not, as possibly he had l e f t with the consent of his 22 master. Was the boy a fugitive slave or was he not, continued to be the question u n t i l United States Commissioner, George Pen Johnston handed down the f i n a l decision on Ap r i l 6, 1853. According to Johnston the case against the negro was not covered by either the letter or the s p i r i t 23 of the Fugitive Slave Law, for the evidence clearly indicated that Archy had voluntarily come to California with his master, who having 22 Daily Evening Bulletin. March 30, 1858. 23 Ibid.. April 6, 1858. 26 then gone into business proved that he was not merely passing through the state, but had taken up permanent residence there, and by hiring out the boy and collecting his wages, was practising slavery i n the state of California. Archy went free and the case was concluded on April 14th, 1858. The coloured people had at last won a victory i n the courts of law, but there were other complaints for which there seemed to be no remedy. In February 1858, the Board of Education i n San Francisco held meetings at which i t was decided that no negro children should be permitted to attend the same public schools as white children, and those already i n 24 attendance were to be removed to a special school set aside for them. It was even suggested that the ruling should apply to those who were as l i t t l e as one-eighth coloured. The Board was by no means unanimous i n i t s decision however, for several members did not wish to exclude the 25 daughter of Peter Lester who had been admitted to the High School by the examining committee. It was argued unsuccessfully that exceptions should be made i n cases such as hers where coloured students were no darker i n complexion than many of their white classmates. The worst insult of a l l was Assembly B i l l 339 which was introduced in March of 1858 by Assemblyman Warfield i n an effort to drive a l l mu-lattoes and negroes from the state of California. Entitled "An Act to Restrict and Prevent the Immigration to and Residence i n this State of Negroes and Mulattoes" i t proposed to transport out of the state a l l such persons who did not leave at once. The sheriff was to be author-ized to hire them out "for such reasonable time as shall be necessary to pay the costs of the conviction and transportation from this State, 24 Daily Evening Bulletin. February 10, 18, 1858. 25 See page 61 for photographs of Peter Lester and his wife. 27 26 before sending such negro or mulatto therefrom." Furthermore, a l l coloured people were to be forced to register and those who did not do so were guilty of a misdemeanor as were also a l l white persons found guilty of bringing negroes into the state with the intention of free-ing them. Fortunately the b i l l was contested, and one assemblyman, Charles £. De Long, rose and stated that the b i l l "...has become a stink-ing thing....I do not want to vote against a b i l l of this naturej but I cannot tolerate this proposition at a l l * I believe that a negro i s a human being; I believe that, under the operations of this b i l l , negroes coming into this State may be made slaves for l i f e . I am i n favor of the passage of a b i l l which w i l l properly restr i c t the immigration of negroes into this State, giving them due notice of i t s existence. If they come i n after the passage of such a law, we may hang, or do any other reasonable thing with them (laughter); but I am most decidedly opposed to making slaves of them in this way. I consider this b i l l one of the most outrageous tyrranical propositions I ever heard of i n my 27 l i f e . " The b i l l f i n a l l y passed both houses in spite of long and 28 bitter opposition, but not being pressed, i t did not become law. Such legislation would have prevented the coloured people of the state from purchasing members of their families s t i l l i n slavery and bringing them to their new homes. In any case this law was f e l t to be quite un-26 Carl I. Wheat, ed., "California's Bantam Cock - The Journals of Charles E. DeLong, 1854-1863," Quarterly of the California Historical  Society, v o l . IX, no. 2, June 1930, pp. 281-2, footnote 87. 27 Loc. c i t . 28 Assembly Journal 1858, 408, 462, cited i n T.H. H i t t e l l , og. c i t . , vol. IV, p. 244. 28 necessary for during the previous year hardly twenty-four negroes had 29 arrived i n California from the free states, and these were among the most t h r i f t y and industrious i n the country, for only a select few could bear the expense or had the i n i t i a t i v e to make the long and dangerous journey. At a meeting held i n Zion Church on the day of Archy 1s release, i t was declared that "...they [would] not be degraded by the enactment of such an unjust and unnecessary law against them by their own (American) 30 countrymen," and the suggestion was put forth that they emigrate to Vancouver's Island or to Sonora i n Mexico, for the purpose of founding a permanent home for themselves on the Pacific coast. The following evening a second meeting was held at which Archy was presented, amid much cheering and speech-making, to an audience of five hundred people, and after i t was announced that there was s t i l l a $400.00 d e f i c i t i n the "Archy Fund," and that contributions would be i n order, a hymn was sung especially for the occasion: THE YEAR OF ARCHY LEE Blow ye the trumpet! BlowI The gladly solemn sound, Let a l l the nations know To earth's remotest bound The year of Archy Lee i s come, Return, ye ransomed Stovall, home. Exalt the Lamb of GodI The sin-atoning Lamb; Redemption for His blood Through a l l the land proclaim. The year of Archy Lee i s come, Return, ye ransomed Stovall, home. Ye slaves of sin and h e l l , Your liberty receive; And safe i n Jesus dwell, And blest i n Jesus l i v e , The year of Archy Lee i s come Return, ye ransomed Stovall, home. 29 Daily Evening Bulletin. April 15, 1858. 30 Loc. c i t . 29 The gospel trumpet hear The news of pardoning grace; Ye happy should draw near Behold your Saviour's face. The year of Archy Lee i s come, r Return, ye ransomed Stovall, home. Ik The money flowed i n during the singing, and when contributions began to abate another song encouraged further donations: A SONG OF PRAISE For the Benefit of Those Named Therein Sound the glad tidings o'er land and o'er sea -Our people have triumphed and Archy i s free! Sing, for the pride of the tyrant i s broken. The decision of Burnett and Terry reversed. How vain was their boasting! Their plans so soon broken; Archy's free and Stovall i s brought to the dust. Praise to the Judges and praise to the lawyers1 Freedom was their object arid that they obtained. Stovall was shown i t was time to be moving; He l e f t on the steamer to lay deeper plans. But there was a Baker, a Crosby, and Tompkins, Before Pen Johnston and did plead for the man. While the negroes were having their problems i n California, James Douglas, the governor of the British colony of Vancouver's Island was also faced with a d i f f i c u l t situation, for he had been instructed to provide accommodation for seven officers and thir t y N.C^O.'s and men who were coming to join a similar party from the United States for the purpose of laying out a boundary line between the two countries. Un-fortunately the Governor was forced to report to the Colonial Office that there were no labourers available to construct a barracks: i / " I have moreover to communicate for your information that the floating population of this Colony have, with very few ex-^ceptions, wandered off to the newly discovered gold diggings at Thompson's River, and there w i l l therefore be great d i f -31 Daily Evening Bulletin. April 16, 1858. 32 L b c ^ c i t . 30 f i c u l t y , unless the mines prove a failure, i n engaging local white labor. Indian labourers can however be engaged i n any number required though i t would not be advisable to employ a large proportion of that class of labourers, as they are a rather unruly force, requiring very close and constant super-intendence* Douglas would undoubtedly receive the California newspapers and would be quite aware of the discontent among the negro population there* Here was a labour force available for the asking* Why not contact Captain Jeremiah Nagle, master of the ship Commodore, and ask him to extend an invitation to the coloured people to come to Victoria to establish their homes? Jeremiah Nagle, a frequent v i s i t o r to Victoria and well-known to Governor Douglas, was i n San Francisco at the time, so i t comes as no surprise to find him at Zion Church when the coloured people assembled i-" for their third meeting. Sitting on the platform with his maps and charts of Vancouver's Island, he was prepared to answer any questions that the would-be colonists might care to ask. The questions followed i n rapid succession. What i s the climate like? What degree of latitude i s the Island? By whom i s i t governed locally? The captain had a ready answer for everyone, as he had recently received a letter from Victoria from a "gentleman i n the service of the Hudson (sic) Bay Company of 34 undoubted veracity" giving a l l the latest details. The gentleman was 35 probably the Governor of the colony himself. 33 James Douglas to Benjamin Hawes, Esqr., 7th April, 1858, i n Vancouver Island Miscellaneous Letters, June 22, 1850 to March 5. 1859. 31 Daily Alta California. April 15. 1858. 35 References mentioning the fact that i t was Governor Douglas who sent Captain Nagle to invite the negroes to come to Victoria are to be found i n the Victoria Baily Press. Nov. 19. 1861: Letter signed "Monitor," and in Delilah H. Beasley, The Negro T r a i l Blazers of California. Los Angeles, California, 1919, p. 263. 31 Only one man had any objection to the choice of the Island as a future home. He did not think the climate would suit the physical constitutions of the coloured people; neither did he quite understand the methods em-ployed by the Hudson's Bay Company nor whether their rule extended over the entire Island. He feared that the coloured people would not li k e the Company, and i f the founding of a settlement was to become a necessity, he favoured Sonora in Mexico* If the object i n going north was to hunt for gold rather than to found a permanent settlement, then he would have 36 nothing to say i n opposition. In reply, the chairman of the meeting said that they would discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the B r i t i s h possession f i r s t , and that they would consider the possibility of going to Sonora some other time* As pointed out i n the Daily Alta California. Sonora would have been a very poor choice, for eventually i t was almost certain to become an integral part of the United States and the pioneers who would go there f i r s t would be the same type as were 37 already found i n California. This being the case, the negroes would s t i l l have the same problems with which to contend. The possibility of going to Central America had also been discussed, and a letter had been sent to General Bosques, the coloured president of the Senate of Panama, enquiring as to how the coloured people would be received there. His very favourable reply did not arrive u n t i l mid-38 July however, and by that time the decision had been made in favour of Vancouver Island, and i n fact the f i r s t group of negro colonists had already arrived in Victoria. 36 Daily Evening Bulletin. April 17, 1858. 37 Daily Alta California. April 16, 1858. 38 Ibid*, July 23, 1858. 32 Although the Dally Evening Bulletin predicted that nothing would come of these meetings held in the l i t t l e church on Stockton Street, nevertheless on April 19th, the coloured citizens gathered once again to make further plans for the mass exodus, and to say good-bye to the advance 39 party of sixty-five who had registered to leave the following afternoon on board the Commodore for the northern colony. It was not only this handful of negroes who were to s a i l on the Commodore on April 20th, for such extravagant claims had been made i n the press regarding the gold discoveries on the Eraser River, that the rush to the diggings was about to begin in earnest. Captain Nagle had U given such exciting accounts of the wealth to be had that his vessel was overloaded with passengers bound for the mines. By four o'clock i n the afternoon on the day the steamer was to leave for Puget Sound and Victoria, Montgomery Street i n San Francisco was as deserted as on a Sunday afternoon. The curious had been attracted to the Pacific and Folsom Street wharves where the ships Golden Age. Commodore and Columbia were a l l embarking passengers for the north. Representatives from the competing companies had stationed themselves at the heads of the wharves proclaiming the advantages of their own vessel and the disadvantages of the others. Orange and apple vendors, newsboys and book-sellers mingled with the crowd. Excitement increased as 5.30, the hour of departure approached. During the afternoon pas-sengers had been squeezing their way on board the Commodore, dressed i n the usual rough miner's garb and loaded with blankets, canteens, t i n pots, 39 Although this may have been the number who registered, as reported i n the Daily Evening Bulletin. April 21, 1858, probably only thirty-five actually sailed on the Commodore. This i s the figure recorded i n the diary of the Rev. Edward Cridge shortly after he visited the new arrivals i n Victoria. The Daily Alta California. April 20, 1858 gives the highly exaggerated figure of 150. 33 miner's wash-pans, picks, spades, firearms, and some who had formed companies had even purchased whale boats which were stowed on the decks. A considerable crowd had been attracted a l l day by a map of the Fraser River posted on the starboard side of the after cabin. At 5s30 the gangplanks were hauled i n , and as friends on the wharf shouted to those on board to "write sure," the Commodore drew away from the wharf and headed out to sea, carrying the f i r s t load of adventurers to the new E l Dorado, and the f i r s t party of negro immigrants to Vancouver 40 Island. The San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin carried a very touching and f i t t i n g editorial comment on the negro exodus: A l l this puts one i n mind of the Pilgrims, and the address of pastor Robinson, when those adventurers embarked for their new homes across the seas. When the colored people get their "poet", he w i l l no doubt sing of these scenes which are passing around us almost unheeded, and the day when colored people f l e d persecution in California, may yet be celebrated i n story. This i s an impor-tant epoch for this class of our inhabitants. The sixty-five yesterday went off i n the Commodore and are now pushing up towards the north, bearing their lares and penates to found new homes. It i s said that i f the attempt to make a settlement on Vancouver's Island should prove abortive, a number who favour P. Anderson's proposition for a settlement in Sonora, Mexico, w i l l make an attempt in that direction. Whatever may be their destiny, we hope the colored people may do well. With this advance party of negroes were Mercier, Richard and Moses, who had been appointed as a delegation to interview the Governor. Within two weeks after their arrival i n Victoria, Mercier had returned to San Francisco, and at another meeting at Zion Church, read his report along with letters from the other members of the committee, to the ex-cited gathering of three hundred and f i f t y persons. The report was more 40 Daily Alta California. April 21, 1858. 41 Daily Evening Bulletin. April 21, 1858 than merely favourable, i t was almost more than the coloured people could believe, for their persecuted race had been welcomed heartily to the land of "freedom and humanity" and their representatives had found themselves quite at ease in the presence of Governor Douglas, whose grace and dig-^ nity made the interview very cheerful and agreeable. The delegates reported that they cbuld purchase land in the colony at the rate of twenty shillings per acre (actually this was an exorbitant price at that period), but that the down payment was only one fourth, and that the balance was to be paid i n four annual instalments. Interest of 5% must be paid on the amount owing, but there was no tax on the land. They understood that anyone holding land after nine months had the right to vote, to s i t on juries, and to be protected by a l l the laws; but be-fore they could claim a l l the rights of B r i t i s h subjects, they must l i v e i n the colony for seven years and take the oath of allegiance. A letter was also read at this meeting from Wellington Delaney Moses, one of the Pioneer Committee, describing his adopted country i n a highly com-mendatory manner: To describe the beauty of the country my pen cannot do i t . It i s one of the most beautifully level towns that I was ever i n . . . . I consider Victoria to be one of the garden spots of this world.... The climate i s most beautiful? the strawberry vines and peach trees are in f u l l blow. ...there are two churches and two schools. The Protestant school i s taught by an educated Indian. A l l the colored man wants here J i s a b i l i t y and money....it i s a God-sent land for the colored people. / The negroes, excited over the prospect of their new home, held another meeting the following week, at which i t was proposed to form a company of one hundred persons from among themselves, from which they 42 43 42 Daily Evening Bulletin. May 7, 1858. 43 No tax was levied on r e a l estate u n t i l 1860 44 Daily Evening Bulletin. May 7, 1858. 35 would choose nine to act as a Board of Managers, along with a President, , , v Treasurer and Secretary. Members were to pay $25*00 each to the Secretary,, which would be deposited in some bank by the Treasurer, and as soon as $2500.00 had accumulated, a ship was to be chartered, large enough to ^ transport the entire party along with their household possessions and provisions. After their a r r i v a l i n Victoria, the company would be dis-solved and the individual settlers would then be on their own resources. Before the meeting was adjourned, twelve resolutions were read, preceded by the following preamble: Whereas, We are f u l l y convinced that the continued aim of the s p i r i t and policy of our mother country, i s to oppress, degrade and out-rage us. We have therefore determined to seek an asylum i n the land of strangers from the oppression, prejudice and relentless perse-cution that have pursued us for more than two centuries i n this our mother country. Therefore a delegation having been sent to Van-couver's Island, a place which has unfolded to us in our darkest hour, the prospect of a bright future; to this place of Br i t i s h possession, the delegation having ascertained and reported the con-dition, character, and i t s social and p o l i t i c a l privileges and i t s l i v i n g resources. This mission i n the highest degree creditable, they have f u l f i l l e d and rendered the most flatte r i n g accounts to their constituents i n their report; i n view of which i t may be re-solved as follows: ^ The resolutions themselves expressed appreciation for the work of the delegation to Victoria, for the kindness of the Governor, and for the friendly reception accorded them by the Reverend Edward Cridge. Once again any who wished to emigrate were advised to invest i n land. It was also decided that copies of the resolutions should be distributed throughout the state for the signatures of any other negroes outside of San Francisco, who might wish to join the exodus. Upon arr i v a l i n ^ Victoria i t was resolved to avoid a l l social distinctions such as coloured churches, coloured schools and coloured associations such as they had 45 Daily Evening Bulletin. May 12, 1858. 36 been forced to adopt i n the United States because of the prejudice against their race. The day following this meeting, the African Methodist Episcopal ministers of San Francisco held their own convention at which the migration was discussed. They f e l t that just when they were asking themselves "Where shall we go?" God had himself come to their aid and had opened the door for them. It was resolved: That i n the opinion of this convention we deem i t expedient to c a l l upon our people throughout California i n particular, and the Atlantic States in general, to save a l l the money they can and prepare themselves to emigrate to a country where the color of ^/ their skin w i l l not be considered a crime and where they can i n fine, enjoy a l l the rights and privileges which w i l l alone make them a great and mighty people. £6 So began the movement that brought three or four hundred negro ^ 47 families to Vancouver Island. For many i t was to become the scene of tragedy rather than the haven they had been led to expect; others prospered and were better able to establish themselves when they re-turned to the United States after emancipation; s t i l l others found the province entirely to their l i k i n g , and with their families spent the remainder of their lives there. The genuine thankfulness of the coloured people toward their bene-factors i n the B r i t i s h colony was expressed in a poem by P r i s c i l l a Stewart, a California negress who regarded the invitation to Vancouver Island as having been extended by Queen Victoria herself: 46 Daily Evening Bulletin. May 13, 1858. 47 M.W. Gibbs, op. c l t . . p. 63. 37 A Voice From the Oppressed to the Friends of Humanity Composed by one of the suffering class. Mrs. P r i s c i l l a Stewart Look and behold our sad despair Our hopes and prospects fl e d , The tyrant slavery entered here, And l a i d us a l l for dead. Sweet home I When shall we find a home? If the tyrant says that we must go The love of gain the reason, And i f humanity dare say "No". Then they are t r i e d for treason. God bless the Queen's majesty, Her sceptre and her throne, She looked on us with sympathy And offered us a home. 4 8 Far better breathe Canadian a i r Where a l l are free and well, Than l i v e i n slavery's atmosphere And wear the chains of h e l l . Farewell to our native land, We must wave the parting hand, Never to see thee any more, But seek a foreign land. Farewell to our true friends, Who've suffered dungeon and death. Who have a claim upon our gratitude Whilst God shall lend us breath. May God inspire your hearts, A Marion raise your hands; Never desert your principles Until you've redeemed your land. 42 48 The colonies of Vancouver Island and B r i t i s h Columbia were not at this period part of Canada. 49 Delilah Beasley, o£. c i t . , p. 263. 38 CHAPTER III VICTORIA'S NEGRO COLONY After the Commodore had set out from San Francisco on Apr i l 20, 1858, carrying several hundred miners bound for the gold fields as well as the small advance party of negroes on their way to establish new homes on Vancouver Island, i t was discovered that there was a large number of white stowaways and rowdies on board, many of whom had no money and not the slightest intention of paying their passage. Fights were common occurrences among them, and trunks and supplies were frequently broken into. On occasion the trouble-makers made l i f e unpleasant for 1 the coloured passengers by kicking over their pans of food. The Commodore 1 Daily Alta California. May 6, 1858 39 On April 25th, the ship steamed into the harbour at Victoria, and so thankful were some of the negroes for their safe arrival that upon land-2 ing, they f e l l on their knees and asked blessings on this land of freedom. At f i r s t the townspeople were somewhat hostile towards the newcomers, who, armed as they were with revolvers and bowie knives, had the appear-ance of an invading army* Once the miners started spending their money freely however, the permanent residents regarded them with a more kindly eye, immediately raising the price of the foodstuffs stored i n their 3 larders. Almost at once the thirty-five coloured men formed a mess for themselves, settling temporarily at Laing's the carpenter's, where within an hour of their arrival they held a prayer meeting, singing 4 hymns and thanking God for their health and safety. 2 John Sebastion Helmcken, Reminiscences of John Sebastion Helmcken, 1892, v o l . 1, p. 182, B.C. Provincial Archives. (Transcript). ;/ • -3 In his despatch to the Colonial Secretary, Governor Douglas men-tions the arrival of the Commodore, but makes no reference to the negro passengers on board. Douglas to Labouchere, May 8th, 1858, i n Vancouver  Island Letters to the Secretary of State, 10th Dec. 1855 to 6th June 1859: On the 25th of last month the American Steamer "Commodore'' arrived i n this Port, direct from San Francisco, with 450 passengers on board, the chief part of whom are gold miners, for the "Couteau" country. Nearly 400 of those men were landed at this place, and have since l e f t i n boats and canoes for Fraser*s River. I ascertained through inquiries on the subject that those men are a l l well provided with mining tools, and that there was no dearth of capital or intelligence among them. About 60 B r i t i s h subjects, with an equal number of native born Americans, the rest being chiefly Germans, with a smaller proportion of Frenchmen and Italians com-posed this body of adventurers. 4 Daily Alta California. May 6, 1858. 40 The following afternoon the Reverend Edward Cridge and his wife were drinking tea at the home of Mrs. Blinkhorn, and during the course of the conversation their hostess mentioned the arrival of the negroes the previous day, and of hearing them singing hymns and worshipping God. Cridge was naturally impressed, and the next morning paid them a v i s i t . The coloured men were very pleased to receive him and readily told their l i f e stories and spoke of the conditions in California that had forced them to leave. Edward Cridge was most friendly and promised to 5 do everything possible to be of assistance to them. Crowded steamers arrived every few days bringing more negro immigrants and miners from California. Other thousands of adventurers also arrived from Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and Utah* In four months i t i s estimated that 20,000 human beings from every level of society completely overwhelmed the few original inhabitants of the fur trading settlement. At the end of Ap r i l , the town had presented a very picturesque and peaceful appearance, i t s stump studded f i e l d s dotted with simple white-washed cottages with crooked chimneys. Six weeks later the l i t t l e settlement was hardly recognizable. New buildings, some l i t t l e better than shanties, had been erected on the recently surveyed streets; tents of a l l shapes and sizes and of a l l materials were scattered about the outskirts and upon the hi l l s i d e s and i n the evenings the miners gathered 6 before them, s i t t i n g around the campfires to talk and sing and reminisce. Coffee stands were everywhere, and Indians padded through the streets and encampments sel l i n g clams. Trade flourished i n the boom town, and anyone who had brought extra supplies from California could readily 5 See appendix "C n. Complete entries from the Cridge Diaries having reference to the arrival of the negroes. 6 Kinahan Cornwall!s, The New E l Dorado; or British Columbia* London, Thomas Cautley Newby, 1858, pp. 270-273* u s e l l them at many times their original value. The only stabilizing i n -fluence was the Hudson's Bay Company whose prices were generally lower 7 than those of the speculators. In the streets was the almost never ending din of construction work; new buildings appeared daily; the cost of labour mounted, and so did the price of town lo t s . V I K W ~ O F V I C T O R I A , V A N C O U V E R I S L A N D . .11 L Y . " i f Following the advice they had been given before leaving California, many of the negro settlers invested i n real estate with the fortunate result that some became comparatively wealthy when the gold-rush reached i t s peak and property in Victoria sold at a premium. The regulations governing the sale of land on Vancouver Island were explained by Governor Douglas i n one of his despatches: A l l public land in Vancouver's Island i s sold by the Colonial Surveyor in the public offices of the Colony at the fixed Government price of 20 shillings an acre, and no change has up to this day, been made; neither has the Governor any authority to alter that standard price. 7 Cornwallis, op_. c i t . . p. 291. 42 In no Instance have Town or suburban lots been sold by the Colonial Government for the reason that the Colonization law of Vancouver's Island, provides that no grant of land shall contain less than 20 acres. Tracts of different sizes have been offered for sale by individual proprietors of land i n this Colony and the Hudson's Bay Company to meet the public demand, have sold a few subur-ban, and a great number of Town lots near Fort Victoria, where they hold about 1200 acres of land belonging to their Fur Trade concern. The Hudson's Bay Company have always sold suburban lots, consisting of 5 acres of land at the rate of £25 each lo t ; and Town lots measuring 120 x 60 feet, at f i r s t sold for £10-8-4, have now (^October 1858} risen to £20-16-8 a l o t . As the population swelled and choice sites became scarce, speculation was inevitable. Town lots 60 by 120 feet, that had been sold by the Company for f i f t y and seventy-five dollars, were resold a month afterwards at prices varying from fifteen hundred to three thousand dollars, and more. Amongst others, one half of a f i f t y dollar corner l o t , the whole of which had been offered successively for 250, 500, 750, and 1000 dollars, and f i n a l l y sold for 1100 dollars, was resold a fortnight after-wards, that i s to say the half of i t , for 5000 dollars. Old town lots, well situated brought any price, and frontages of 20 and 50 feet, by 60 deep, rented from 250 to 400 dollars per month. 2 When M i f f l i n Gibbs arrived from San Francisco i n June of 1858, he intended to buy two or three lots which he had heard could be purchased for $100 each, but unfortunately that day had already passed. Now the land office was closed, not only because a l l the surveyed lots had already been sold, but because i n the rush of purchasers the building had been so damaged that i t was now in need of extensive repairs. In 8 Governor James Douglas to S i r E. Bulwer Lytton, Oct. 13, 1858, i n Vancouver Island Letters to the Secretary of State, 10 Dec. 1855 to 6 June 1859. ! * 9 Alfred Waddington, The Fraser Mines Vindicated, or The History  of Four Months, Victoria, 1858, p. 19. 43 the meantime the earlier buyers who were the only ones with property to s e l l , began asking highly inflated prices. The day after his a r r i v a l , Gibbs paid $100 on account on a lot and house, the price of which was to be $3,000, with $1,400 to be paid i n two weeks and the remainder within six months. Before buying the property he had carefully c a l -culated the cost of alterations, and the rental value once such changes were carried out. By doing the carpenter work himself, the investment proved a profitable one, for within twenty days he had not only supplied accommodation for the firm of Lester and Gibbs, but had rented the re-10 mainder of the property for $500 monthly. If Gibbs 1 investment proved so profitable, when he was a relatively late comer, how much more so must have been the purchases of the f i r s t negroes who arrived when town lots were sold for $50.00 each, with a ^ maximum of six to a customer. Some of the coloured pioneers had even bui l t houses on their lands and rented them to the late arrivals, i n -11 eluding the Bishop of B r i t i s h Columbia himself. - 0 -THE NEGRO SOCIETY The structure of the negro society i n Victoria was very similar to that of the white society and the one does not appear to have been inferior i n any way to the other. A l l types and classes were represented i n the negro community, ranging from the well-bred mulatto merchants, some of whom had been educated in the north and had never known slavery, to the sometimes crude and i l l i t e r a t e f u l l blooded ex-slaves only re-10 M.W. Gibbs, Shadow and Light. Washington, D.C., 1902, pp. 61-62. 11 Columbia Mission, Occasional Paper, London, Rivington, June I860, p. 13. 44 cently released from servitude. The places of birth of the negro colonists, were as diverse as their shades of colouring, and although the impression i s that the majority were born i n Missouri and Virginia, others came from the northern states, as well as from Scotland, Ireland, Liberia, Trinidad and Jamaica. One who said he was born in England, claimed that his father had fought 12 at Trafalgar. Many who were Bri t i s h subjects by birth considered themselves somewhat superior to the American born negroes, and sometimes resented the attempts of the latter to become naturalized subjects of the Queen. While many of Victoria's coloured colonists were of very limited intelligence, others were on the level of the best thinkers i n the settlement, and on occasion proved themselves so by the eloquent speeches they made from the public platformj too often however their choice of language and subject matter were signs of mere affectation. Generally they were a quiet and reserved people, but perhaps as a reaction to their background of slavery, they could on occasion become overly familiar. A few affected such airs of dignity as to appear ridiculous, always address-ing one another as "Mr." and whenever possible wearing black coats with 13 gold studs and watch chains. A l l degrees of morality were to be found i n the community, for there were negroes who would not even attend the theatres because they were members of a church, and at the other extreme came the frequenters of the squaw brothels on Cormorant Street, who made and sold whiskey to 12 Colonist. Jan. 10, I860. 13 Commander R.C. Mayne, R.N., F.R.G.S., Four Years in Bri t i s h Columbia  and Vancouver Island. London, John Murray, 1862, pp. 351-2. 45 the Indians, and were continually reported i n the newspapers for being drunk and disorderly. As i n any large community, the negro society i n Victoria had i t s share of degenerate and criminal types, yet the crimes for which they appeared in police court during the period under con-sideration were not excessive i n number and many were of a very minor 14 nature. The impression i s that their criminal record was no worse than that of the white population. 15 A large number of the coloured pioneers were mulattoes, and intermarriage between negroes and whites and negroes and Indians, pro-duced an increasing partly coloured population i n the town. Matthew Macfie comments on the various marital combinations to be found there: Among the many remarkable matrimonial alliances to be met with, I have known Europeans married to pure squaws, Indian half-breeds and Mulatto females respectively. One case has come under my observation of a negro married to a white woman. A gentleman of large property, reported to be of Mulatto origin, i s married to a half-breed Indian. From these heterogeneous unions, and from i l l i c i t commerce between the various races just enumerated, i t i s evident that our population cannot escape the infusion of a considerable hybrid offspring. 16 Intermarriage does not appear to have been welcomed socially by either whites or blacks, and problems sometimes arose such as the following, which gives some insight into the character of the lower class negro: A Rumpus Among The Negroes Yesterday morning Timothy Roberts, a negro drayman, appeared i n court to answer a charge of using disgusting language towards a buxom negress, named Elizabeth Leonard. Roberts came into court with his wife, a diminutive Irishwoman, who stood by her husband's . s i d e during the investigation, and prompted him occasionally as he made his defence. 14 See appendix "D". Table of punishable offences committed by negroes i n Victoria, 1858-1871. 15 The term mulatto i s here used to designate a l l persons of negro-white blood. 16 Matthew Macfie, Vancouver Island and Br i t i s h Columbia. London, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green, 1865, pp. 378-9. 46 Mrs. Leonard said that last Sunday morning some of her chickens got over into Roberts 1 yard, and that R. wrung their necks, and used insulting language, calling her a "black ," etc. A witness, called to substantiate Mrs. L., te s t i f i e d that she saw Roberts twist the necks of the chickens, and Mrs. Leonard said to him, "That i s an unliberal, unchristianized act." Roberts said, "Git out, you black -—," and told her to do something vulgar. The Judge asked Roberts what he had to say for himself? Roberts—You see, Judge, this 'ere woman, and a l l the other colored folks, i s down on my wife because she's Irish. I can't help i t be-cause she's I r i s h — ' t a i n t my fault. (Sensation i n court, and slight hissing.) They calls my wife Irish, and keeps a using insulting language torrads tsic] her whenever she goes i n the yard, and says I'm a nadgey-headed nigger. Mrs. Roberts—Your honor. I want pertection; but I suppose I must put up with undecent remarks because I lives i n a low neighborhood. I am rebuked and reviled every time I go into the yard. The Judge—Well. Roberts, you w i l l have to find two sureties i n £20 each to be of good behavior i n future, or in default suffer one month's imprisonment. The negro, closely followed by his white wife, was then led off to prison, grumbling at his hard streak of luck. We learn that he afterwards furnished the bonds and was set at liberty. 12 The coloured pioneers i n Victoria f i t t e d themselves into the l i f e of their adopted community to a remarkable degree. They were particularly active i n colonial p o l i t i c s and some even ran for public o f f i c e . Their children were educated with the white children of the town, and some ^ parents who were financially able, even sent their sons back to Oberlin, Ohio to attend school. An attempt at least was made to start a library, and to raise funds for i t , an exhibition was given by the negro children 18 i n Pioneer Hall. There were even negro Masons in Victoria during the i/ colonial period, and i n 1871, M.A. Phipps was appointed D i s t r i c t Deputy 17 Colonist. Sept. 20, I860. 18 Daily Chronicle. Feb. 26, 1866. 47 19 Grand Master of the coloured Masons of B r i t i s h Columbia. Throughout the period the negro colonists were kept well informed about conditions among their people in the United States by the two negro newspapers, the Elevator and the Pacific Appeal, both from San Francisco. Each had agents and correspondents in Victoria, New Westminster, and i n the Cariboo. - 0 -OCCUPATIONS The negroes who f i r s t arrived i n the colony had no d i f f i c u l t y at a l l in finding employment, and when they v i s i t e d the farms around the settlement, were quite pleased when they were well received and given ^ 20 a l l the milk they could drink to quench their t h i r s t . Farm labour was scarce for the mines were proving too strong a lure for transient workers. Augustus Pemberton recorded i n his diary the work done on his farm by coloured men during the weeks following the arrival of the f i r s t party: April 29 - Three blk men commenced spliti n g (sic) r a i l s |2.50 for 10 f t $3 for 15 f t per 100.... May 1 - Two blacks s p l i t r a i l s today.... May 7 - Another blk man came to work. May 12 - Blk man cleaned sheep fold. May 13 - Two blks grubbed bushes per acre. May 18 - Old black man repaired fence of the lawn. May 19 - Old blk man absent. May 21 - Two blkmen, 3-1/2 Indians, 1 boy, 1 woman shore 103 sheep and attended them. May 22 - Paid the old Blkman $4* May 25 - Sold a black hog to one of the black men for £4«... Lodged the £4 in store and drew $2 to pay black man 5 days work cutting sheep, etc. 21 19 Colonist, August 16, 1871. 20 Daily Evening Bulletin, May 7, 1858. 21 Augustus F. Pemberton, Diary. Copy i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 48 Many who followed the rush northward found their gold not on the bars of the Fraser River, but in the town of Victoria i t s e l f , where they supplied some of the economic needs of the pioneer community. Merchants, artisans and labourers who had goods or services to s e l l found a ready market there, and consequently almost over night some of the negro colonists became established as prosperous business men. The barbering ^ trade was almost monopolized by them, and there were also numerous 22 farmers, draymen, carpenters, bakers, cooks and ordinary labourers. Peter Lester and M i f f l i n Gibbs closed their store i n San Francisco and ^ established themselves as the f i r s t large merchant house in the colony outside of the Hudson's Bay Company. Their advertisements appeared regularly in the newspapers of the day: LESTER & GIBBS, DEALERS IN GROCERIES, PROVISIONS, BOOTS, SHOES, &c, WHOLESALE & RETAIL L. & G. HAVING PERMANENTLY ESTABLISHED themselves in Victoria, would respectfully c a l l the attention of Families, Miners and the public generally to their very superior stock, to which they are receiving additions by every a r r i v a l . N.B.-Consignments solicited, and attended to with promptness and despatch. _23_ Nathan Pointer who had once operated the Philadelphia Store i n San Francisco with Gibbs as his partner, opened one of the largest clothing stores i n Victoria - open 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. w 22 See appendix "A". L i s t of names and occupations. 23 Victoria Gazette. March 22, 1859. 49 The f i r s t Mlawyer n to advertise i n the town was Joshua Howard, a negro from Virginia: JOSHUA HOWARD (Late of Botetourt County, State of Virginia,) Attorney and Counsellor at Law, Copeland's Buildings, Victoria. Advice in Law, to the poor gratis. SL Whether or not Howard had ever had any professional status i n the United States i s unknown, but his legal career i n Victoria was short li v e d . In September 1858, he was himself taken into custody for trying to interfere with the police who were conducting a drunken prisoner to the c e l l s . Joshua, thinking this a valuable opportunity for free publicity, behaved i n such a manner as to attract a crowd, and eventually finding himself i n police court with his would be client, was ordered to pay a 25 fine of £5. During the early summer of 1858, negroes were appointed as p o l i c e ^ " i n Victoria! This was a most surprising occupation, for they were now i n a position of authority over the same white men who only a few weeks before had regarded them as the lowest element of the population of San Francisco. Governor Douglas was quite aware of this race conflict, and It i s d i f f i c u l t to understand his reasons for policing the town 24 Victoria Gazette. July 28, 1858. 25 Ibid.. Sept. 2, 1858. 50 with coloured men. Was he merely trying to show his authority? Was i t his method of impressing upon the Americans that this was a Bri t i s h colony and not part of the United States? Whatever were his motives, the negro police did not long remain, for the white population would 26 / not tolerate them and they had to be withdrawn from service. Wellington Delaney Moses, one of the Pioneer Committee sent with the f i r s t party to interview Governor Douglas, opened a barber shop shortly after his a r r i v a l . He remained in Victoria only u n t i l 1862 however, when he moved on to the Cariboo where he established a shop i n Barkerville* PIONEER SHAVING SALOON AND BATH R00M-TATES STREET. Above Broad, near the American Exchange, Victoria. This establishment, under the management of W.D. Moses, w i l l be opened on Thursday morning, (July 29th). Private Entrance for Ladies. 27 26 The question of who was responsible for the appointment of negro police i s an interesting one. In E.O.S. Scholefield. and F.W. Howay, Br i t i s h Columbia from Earliest Times to the Present* Vancouver. Chicago, (etc.), S.H. Clarke publishing company, 19l4> v o l . IV, p. 97, i t is said that Augustus F. Pemberton appointed them, but he was not made Commissioner of Police u n t i l July of 1858, and the negroes were already policing the town in/June* In Kinahan Cornwallis, op« c i t . . Comwallis mentions seeing the newly appointed negro police, and as he l e f t Victoria during the last week of June, 1858, they must have been appointed prior to that date* Such being the case, who else but Governor Douglas himself would have the authority to give them this position. 27 Victoria Gazette, July 29, 1858. 51 During the mid-1860's Moses1 "Hair Invigorator" became a well-known product i n the colony: - MOSES HAIR INVIGORATOR -To PREVENT BALDNESS, restore hair that has fallen off or be-come thin,, and to cure effectually Scurf or Dandruff. It w i l l also relieve the Headache, and give the hair a darker and glossy color, and the free use of i t w i l l keep both the skin and hair i n a healthy state. Ladies w i l l find the In-vigorator a great addition to t o i l e t , both in consideration of the delicate and agreeable perfume, and the great f a c i l i t y i t affords i n dressing the hair, which when moist with i t , can be dressed i n any required form, so as to preserve i t s place, whether plain or i n curls. When used on children's heads, i t lays the foundation for a good head of hair. Prepared only by W.D. Moses At Randal Caesar',8 Barber Shop Yates Street, next Hibben & Carswell. 28 Another unusual position f i l l e d by a negro in colonial Victoria was that of messenger i n the government offices. Fielding Smithie ^ was a very impudent young coloured man who was never regarded very highly by his fellow negroes. Once when sent with a message from the Governor to the Assembly, he boldly opened the gate and walked i n among the members, something not even permitted white persons. In retaliation for being ordered outside he sent an unpleasant letter to Captain Doggett, 29 the Clerk of the House, for which he later received a public reprimand. Undoubtedly his attitude aroused antagonism among the white citizens, and probably contributed much to the anti-negro feeling so prevalent at the time. 28 Colonist. Feb. 22, 1866. 29 Ibid.. July 26, I860. 52 RELIGIOUS LIFE When the coloured people decided to come to Vancouver Island i t was with the intention of becoming an integral part of the new community. They hoped to avoid a l l distinctions because of complexional differences, and with this in.mind refused to form a separate church of their own. Their insistence on mingling as equals with white congregations caused a s p l i t i n two of the churches where r a c i a l prejudice was so strong L>' 30 that there was a demand for segregation. Edward Cridge, who regarded a l l human beings as being equal in the eyes of God refused to have a negro gallery i n his church however. On their arrival he had assured the coloured people that he would do everything he could to help them and now he would not go back on his word. It is not surprising then to note i n his records the names of negro pioneering families who were pew holders i n his church, as well as records of the baptismal, con-firmation, and marriage ceremonies that he performed for them. ; Many negroes brought, letters of introduction from their pastors i n San Francisco, and when the Reverend J.J. Moore, the negro minister from California visited Victoria i n September 1858, he wrote to Edward Cridge giving a l i s t of some of the coloured persons who wished to attend ^ church in the colony: :% ., Victoria, Sepr. 4, 1858 Rev. & dear friend I hereby furnish you with the names of persons who wish to communicate at the Table of the Lord on To-morrow should they present themselves I think worthy. 30 See below, p.178. 53 Elisabeth Strong Emma Stewart Catharine Gant Mary Stewart Charles B. Smith Malinda Perpeno Henry Perpeno Chas Alexander Thornton Washington Amanda Savage Mary Glasco William Glasco Elizabeth Hudson William Dyer Yours i n Christian friendship John J. Moore. Negro children attended Edward Cridge's Sabbath School, and after v i s i t i n g i t on Sunday, May 11, 1862, Charles Hayward, a citizen of Victoria, made the following entry i n his diary: "Delightful weather -Visited by invitation the Sabbath School of Mr. Cridge - Was appointed teacher of f i r s t class ef having i n i t 6 or 8 very intelligent boys 32 three of them natives of Africa...." - 0 -SOCIAL LIFE While Victoria's coloured pioneers did not wish to segregate them-selves from their fellow citizens, nevertheless there were occasions of special significance to the negro community when they held their own celebrations. August 1st was the anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves i n the B r i t i s h West Indies, and every year on that day (until the anniversary of Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves replaced i t ) negro businesses would be suspended, and sometimes as many as 200 persons would go by horseback or carriage to the beaches at Cadboro Bay or the ^ 31 Reverend J.J. Moore to Reverend Edward Cridge, Sept. 4, 1858. Copy i n Edward Cridge, Record Book (9). p. 60. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 32 Charles Hayward, Diary, p. 49. Transcript i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 54 Willows to spend the afternoon in playing games, dancing, singing and speech making. In the evening after the picnic, the party would return for dancing i n the h a l l of the African Rifles, the all-negro m i l i t i a unit which had been founded i n the colony. Sometimes parties were given to raise funds for philanthropic pur-poses, such as the r e l i e f of the "contrabands" i n the United States during the C i v i l War. Many of these liberated slaves were i n a very pitiable state as l i t t l e was being done to care for them. To try to help i n some small way the coloured ladies of Victoria held a "donation party" on New Year% Eve, 1862-63, the time at which President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was to go into effect. The $150 raised at this party was sent to the Central Committee i n Philadelphia for r e l i e f 33 purposes• In April of the same year further funds were raised at a 34 bazaar, at which music was played by an all-negro brass band. The proceeds were sent to Hannibal Hamlin, Vice-President of the United States, and were accompanied by the following letters Victoria, April 13, 1863 ; Sirs By order of the Committee of Colored Ladies of the B r i t i s h Colony of Victoria (V.I.), please find inclosed a draft for £86 14s 9d, sterling on London, made payable to your order. Please send i t to Beaufort (S.C.) for the benefit of the contrabands. One of the reasons for sending this money to Beau-fort i s , i t s being the f i r s t place a colored regiment was formed, according to law. This money has been raised by and through the colored people of this place, and who are originally from the United States. 33 Daily Chronicle. Jan. 3, 1863 34 Ibid.. April 7, 1863. 55 We have also sent $170 to the City of Philadelphia for the same purpose, to be used there. You w i l l please accept our thanks as a people for the great interest you have taken in the cause of humanity; and though many miles divide us from those who have the burden to bear in this great struggle for human liberty, our hearts are with you even unto death. Please acknowledge the re-ceipt of this money through the New York Tribune. EMILY ALLEN, President Hon. Hannibal Hamlin 31 The following month, Peter Lester and some other coloured men sent another donation amounting to $152.00 to the Social, C i v i l and S t a t i s t i c a l 36 Association of Colored People of Pennsylvania. On January L4th, 1863, i t was decided to hold a celebration i n honour of President Lincoln's recent emancipation of the slaves. Part of the program was to be a salute fired from Beacon H i l l , and to make certain that this would be within the law, the coloured men f i r s t ob-tained permission from the Mayor and the Attorney General. That after-noon two hundred of Victoria's negro citizens assembled and f i r e d f i f t y guns for the president and thirty-three for the Union. While they were marching down the h i l l again to f i n i s h their f e s t i v i t i e s with the usual banquet and b a l l , the navy, aroused by a l l the commotion, was making preparations to set out to sea i n search of a non-existent vessel i n distress. A week later, the three coloured celebrants who had fi r e d the cannon, came before Judge Pemberton charged with disturbing the peace. They were informed that they ought to have known that Beacon H i l l lay outside the city l i m i t s j , and therefore was beyond the jurisdiction of the Mayor. Application should have been made to the Acting Colonial 35 Baily Chronicle. July 10, 1863. 36 Colonist. May 16, 1863. 56 Secretary who i n turn would have notified the navy. The Judge enjoyed the humour of the situation and compared i t to the old story of the hunter, who, not having had much luck, paid a stranger lounging at the gate of a farmyard for permission to shoot some of the duckac inside, only to learn after k i l l i n g several that they had never belonged to the stranger in the f i r s t place. Pemberton released the negroes on payment of costs, ^ saying that he had no desire to punish them as the coloured people were generally so well-behaved. He made i t clear however that such things must be better regulated in the future as i t would never do to have the navy say that when guns were fi r e d after dark i t was only the people 37 of Victoria enjoying themselves. The anniversary of Lincoln's emancipation proclamation was cele-brated in grand style every year. The f i r s t time i n I864, the h a l l of the R i f l e Corps was decorated with evergreens and on either side of the chairman were hung the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack, while behind him was suspended a large banner carrying simply the word "Liberty". Two hundred guests sat down to the dinner, after which toasts were drunk to "West Indian Emancipation", "The Entire Slave Reform in America", "The Day we Celebrate", "John Brown the Hero of Harper's Ferry", and f i n a l l y "The Press", i n honour of the Evening 38 Express which had proclaimed the celebration to be i n bad taste. The following year when another banquet was held for the same purpose, the Express s t i l l maintained that there should be no celebration i n connection with Lincoln's name. It would be more in keeping to celebrate the West Indian emancipation i t said, for the B r i t i s h had made a noble 37 Colonist. Jan. 16, 21, 1863. 38 Evening Express, Jan. 2, I864. 57 sacrifice, while in the United States "There has been a constitution abrogated, a people robbed of their rights and a fiendish war carried on by which every principle of justice and humanity have been outraged. We hope that the coloured population w i l l abandon a celebration i n future 39 i n which they have not the sympathies of their fellow subjects." - 0 -THE ARRIVAL OF A FUGITIVE Although the negro residents of Victoria today t e l l many stories of the arrival of escaped slaves, the case of Charles Mitchell i s the only one for which there i s documentary proof. Charles, the slave boy, arrived as a stowaway aboard the E l i z a Anderson i n September I860, and although the captain t r i e d to keep him prisoner, the coloured people of the town soon heard the news and went immediately to Attorney-General Cary, who i n turn applied to Chief Justice Cameron for a writ of Habeas  Corpus. The sheriff found Charles in the lamp room of the ship, and under protest from the captain brought him back to the court i n Victoria. The negro boy had been l i v i n g with his master, Major J. Tilton, i n Olympia, Washington Territory, when somehow hearing of Vancouver Island and i t s coloured colonists, he had stowed away on the mail ship bound for Victoria. Charles was not discovered u n t i l the vessel was far from port, and as Captain Fleming was not successful i n inducing passing ships to take his unwelcome passenger back to Olympia, there was nothing he could do but carry the slave on to the Br i t i s h colony. When the case came before the Supreme Court, Attorney-General Cary, determined to set the boy free, cited many cases to prove that the j u r i s -diction of the court extended three marine leagues from shore, the sup-posed distance of a cannon shot, and that the E l i z a Anderson, tied to 39 Evening Express, Jan. 3, 1865. 58 the wharf certainly came within that distance. Besides, he added, "there stands the boy on B r i t i s h s o i l and having touched B r i t i s h s o i l 40 he i s entitled to the immunities of that act." Captain Fleming then rose and read the following protest: United States Mail Steamship E l i z a Anderson Victoria September 26th i860 Whereas a Negro boy called "Charles" the property of James Tilt o n Esq of Olympia Washington Territory did on the 24th inst run away from his Master and secrete himself on board this vessel, and upon the fact being made known to the undersigned the said negro was placed i n charge of one of the officers of the ship that he might be returned to his Master and whereas upon the arrival of the Ship at Victoria a writ of "Habeas Corpus" was issued by Chief Justice Cameron and placed i n the hands of the Sheriff of Victoria who demanded of the undersigned the delivery of the said Negro and upon the refusal of the undersigned to de-li v e r the Negro the said sheriff threatened to force open the room in which the Negro was confined on board of said vessel. Whereupon the undersigned to prevent the destruction of property and in a l l probability much bloodshed opened the door of said room and upon doing so the Sheriff took the Negro from on board said vessel. Now therefore the undersigned protests against the whole pro-ceedings as i l l e g a l and a breach of international Law, and demands the immediate delivery of the said Negro Charles that he may be returned to his Master. John R. Fleming Captain of U S M Steamship E l i z a Anderson Sworn to and Subscribed before me this 26th day of September AD i860 George Pearkes Notary Public 41 40 Victoria Weekly Gazette. Sept. 29, i860. The precedent* for this ruling was the case of Somerset v. Stewart,.May 14, 1772, London, England. When Stewart tried to remove his slave, Somerset, from England, to s e l l him i n Jamaica, Lord Mansfield ruled that as slavery did not exist i n England, the negro was free as long as he was on English s o i l , and could not be removed from i t by force. 41 MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 59 Since Captain Fleming's attempt to recover the boy was unsuccessful. Captain James Tilton took the matter to the Acting Governor of Washington Territory: Olympia, Ter. Wash. Sept. 30th, 1860. Hon. H.M. McGill Acting Governor of W.T. S i r : As a citizen of the United States and of Washington Territory, I beg to c a l l your attention to an act or acts of the British authorities of Victoria, Vancouver's Island, by which a slave boy belonging to my relative R.R. Gibson, of Talbot County, Mary-land, and for the last 5 years hired and employed by myself, by arrangement with the owner, was taken from the Mail Steamer, plying between this port and a l l the ports of Pugets (sic) Sound. On the 24th of Sept. the slave secreted himself on board the Mail Steamer "Eliza Anderson" and on the 25th as the steamer touched at port of Victoria, was boarded by the c i v i l authorities there and the slave forcibly taken therefrom. I therefore respectfully request that you bring the case be-fore our Government at Washington City, to the end that the owner or (sic) the slave may have justice and the flag of our country be vindicated and relieved from the assumption of right of search, thus made and enforced i n this case. I am S i r , Very Respectfully, JAMES TILTON. L2 Despite this request, Charles was not recovered, and as far as is known remained i n freedom under Bri t i s h law. 42 "Documents," Washington Historical Quarterly, v o l . 1, no. 1, Oct. 1906, p. 71. 60 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES So far the negro colony i n Victoria has been examined as a group, but certain individuals who rose to positions of prominence i n the com-munity are worthy of a more detailed study. Among these are M i f f l i n Gibbs and Peter Lester, leading merchants i n the town, and W i l l i s Bond the negro orator and house mover. Other families such as the Alexanders, the B a r n 8 w e l l s , and the Spotts are of special interest because many of their descendants are s t i l l l i v i n g i n British Columbia today. M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs was by far the most outstanding of the early coloured pioneers, but as the following chapter i s devoted entirely to his career, he w i l l not be considered here. His partner Peter Lester was by no means as prominent in the community, although he did run as a candidate i n one of the municipal elections, and both he and his wife are mentioned in the press occasionally for their philanthropic works. The Lesters came to Victoria during the summer of 1858, shortly after Gibbs had established the firm of Lester and Gibbs i n the town. It may be remembered that i t was their daughter who was excluded from the High School i n San Francisco even though she could hardly be recognized as being coloured. The Lesters lived in one of the finer homes i n Victoria on Vancouver Street, where Sarah Lester gave piano lessons. - MUSIC -S.A. Lester begs leave to announce that she w i l l give instruction on the Piano. Residence Vancouver street, between Belot (sic) and Belcher. November 4-th 43 Victoria Gazette. Dec. 23, 1859. 61 Peter Lester and his wife* One of the more distinctive personalities i n Victoria during the later colonial period was the negro orator W i l l i s Bond. Bond, who had been born a slave i n Tennessee in 1824, and had come to Victoria in 1858, became well-known in the town as a local p o l i t i c i a n , auctioneer, orator, house-mover, and contractor. There was seldom any p o l i t i c a l question of importance on which he did not lecture, in fact he went so far as to build a lecture h a l l , conveniently located behind a bar of which he was also the proprietor. A huge man with a deep, booming voice, his humour was never f a i l i n g , especially when called upon to defend himself i n police court, as he was on frequent occasions. D.W. Higgins, one-time editor and proprietor of the Colonist and Speaker of the House in 1889, says of him, "He was one of the cleverest men white or black that I have 44 ever met." Higgins had known Bond in San Francisco, where the latter, apparently having been brought into the state as a "servant" had earned 45 enough money to buy his freedom. He followed the gold rush to the 44 D.W. Higgins, The Mystic Spring. Toronto, William Briggs, 1904, p. 121. 45 Ibid., p. 46. 62 Fraser River and i n July of 1858 was working at Yale with a Yorkshireman as a partner. By means of a ditch they were supplying water to the miners 46 for the purpose of washing gold out of the bank in front of the town. By 1861 he had returned to Victoria where his advertisements frequently appeared, announcing himself as a general contractor, engaged in "Raising or Removing buildings, making roads, blasting or quarrying stone, clearing 47 land, etc." During the late 1860's many of the contracts for grading the roads in the town were given to him. Bond, who was not of a ret i r i n g nature was continually becoming involved i n one scrape or another. His appearances in police court 48 were frequent and the charges against him were numerous and varied. He was accused of selling unwholesome food, of fighting and brawling i n the streets, of owing money to his workmen, of obstructing Government Street for two days by leaving a house in the middle of i t , and even of tearing down ex-councillor Copland's fence because of a difference of opinion. The "Bronze Philosopher" was best known for his lectures, generally given i n his Athenaeum Hall, an unplastered room which he had dedicated i ^ - " 49 to the public for "literature, debating, public meetings, etc." He spoke on such topics as "Borrowing money for city purposes", "The advisa-b i l i t y of uniting the offices of Mayor and Magistrate", and "The word 46 Higgins, The Mystic Spring, op. c i t . . p. 46. 47 Daily Press. Nov. 21, 1861. 48 See appendix "Dn. Table of punishable offences committed by negroes i n Victoria, 1858-1871. 49 Daily Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1865• 63 negro and i t s application". Bond always took sides i n any local p o l i t i c a l contest and called public meetings to discuss such important questions in the colony as Free Trade and union with British Columbia. This question of union he debated with Major Downie, Bond taking the negative 50 and Downie the affirmative side i n the argument. The negro orator seldom f a i l e d to entertain his audience, and perhaps that is why so many turned out to hear him. An amusing anecdote, told by one of Victoria's early citizens, would indicate that Bond was not always too certain about the meaning of the words he used. When James Anderson had refused to buy some manure from the would-be orator, saying that he could get a l l he needed from over the way for nothing, Bond replied "You don't get nothing for nothing, Mr. Anderson, depend upon i t the owner of that manure w i l l circumbent (sic) you, and i n the long run you w i l l find yourself defrauded." "You are a pessimist", said Anderson. "No, S i r , I ain't, I ain't", replied Bond. "What was that word Mr. Anderson, I would lik e to use i t i n my next speech?" And 51 apparently he did, but with l i t t l e concern for i t s proper meaning. A very exciting time was had by both lecturer and audience alike when Bond decided to discuss whether or not the Mechanics' Institute should have government aid. Since negroes were excluded from the Institute, the coloured man was opposed to any financial assistance being given, and was determined to l e t the people of Victoria know of his opinion. Needless to say, the opposition was strongly represented among the 100 persons who gathered to hear him speak. Shortly after he started, the 50 Daily Chronicle. Jan. 14, 1865. 51 James Robert Anderson, Notes and Comments on Early Days i n Br i t i s h  Columbia. Washington, and Oregon, Including an Account of Sundry Happenings in San Francisco; Being the Memoirs of James Robert Anderson, p. 250. Transcript i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 64 smell of something burning came from the stove. There was coughing and sneezing from the audience and then came the shout "Pepper on the stove." followed by a rush for the stairs. W i l l i s Bond was soon l e f t alone, and refused to withdraw even when someone threw a package of f i r e crackers at him. After three quarters of an hour some of the audience returned and Bond once again too up his condemnation of the Institute, asking his listeners i f they did not think that when the Governor heard of the commotion, he would be suspicious that something was "Rotten i n Denmark?" "There's something rotten in this room" came a reply, and more f i r e crackers went off. Bond tr i e d to make an exit but was brought back, f i n a l l y leaving when a package of cayenne pepper with f i r e crackers attached, 52 was thrown into the center of the room. In police court the big negro not only appeared as his own counsel, but on two occasions at least defended other coloured persons, one of whom was his own son, John, who had been arrested on a charge of horse stealing. The other negro was a small boy, Rufus Hall, who was accused of stealing a watch and some trinkets from a Chinaman. Pro-ceedings of this case were reported i n the Daily Chronicle: Magistrate - Boy, are you guilty or not guilty? Boy - (emphatically) Not guilty. Policeman - Did you steal the watch? Boy - Yes; I stole 'em (laughter). Bond - I do not appear to defend this lad, but I doubt very much i f he knows the meaning of the word stealin'; I would now ask the Chinaman what reason he has for sup-posin' the boy would steal. Magistrate - He has pleaded guilty and I cannot reopen the case. Bond - In that case I must make a suggestion to your Honor. Magistrate - You made one this morning. 52 Colonist. March 26, 1867. 53 Daily Chronicle. June 23, 1865. 65 Bond - But now, your Worship, I see a thing which is posi-t i v e l y a fact j this lad was brought here by a Southern gentleman who i s now in B r i t i s h Columbiaj now this Southern gentleman would know the boys brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers (great laughter) and I f e e l that i f I could have time for communicatin' with this gentleman that I should fe e l excused for making myself obnoxious by standing up before this 'ere Court (laughter)• Magistrate - What's the meaning of obnoxious? Bond - Offensive. Magistrate - You are not at a l l offensive? you are a micuscuras [amicus curiae]] you made a good suggestion this morning about a convocation (laughter) of the colored people to consider this case. Bond - I shall put forth my best endeavors to establish a Reformatory School. (Laughter). k The accused was remanded and a week later Bond informed the court that a lady had offered to take care of the boy, and that he personally would see that the young negro was removed to Salt Spring Island. Judge Pemberton was not sympathetic and his decision was three months 55 in j a i l or a fine of #10.00. On December 22, 1892, Will i s Bond died i n Victoria, but he had lived such an active l i f e i n the town that his name i s s t i l l remembered and many of the older residents today t e l l anecdotes about the negro orator and house-mover, who once lived at the corner of View and Quadra Streets. Among the more prominent coloured citizens of Victoria today are the numerous descendants of Charles and Nancy Alexander who were married in Springfield, I l l i n o i s , on Christmas Day, 1849. Both were of mixed blood, Nancy's mother having been a negress and her father an Irishman, while Charles' mother was a negress and his father an Indian. Both the Alexanders were free negroes and had never been i n slavery. They settled i n St. Louis, Missouri where Charles operated a grist m i l l for sixteen years u n t i l 1857 when the gold mines of California proved too powerful 5L Daily Chronicle, July 18, 1865. 55 Colonist. July 25, 1865. 66 an attraction. Then Alexander placed his wife and two children in a wagon pulled by a five-yoke bullock-team and along with four friends and a guide headed west by way of the Platte River, Sweet Water River, Pacific Springs, Salt Lake Road and Humboldt River road. The Indians were occasionally a menace, stealing the cattle and other possessions carried by the party* Charles Alexander was not long satisfied in Charles and Nancy Alexander 67 California, arriving as he did when there was so muclr discontent among the coloured people and when rumours of new discoveries were beginning to come down from the north. On July 1, 1858 he arrived at Victoria in the Oregon, and shortly afterward l e f t for the gold country. In 1861 after having some success at the mines, he returned to his wife and children i n Victoria where he worked at his trade as a carpenter at $6.00 per day. Eventually, having a growing family that f i n a l l y numbered twelve children, he moved to Saanich where he remained as a prosperous 56 farmer for thirty-three years. Another familiar name in Victoria i s that of the Spotts family. Fielding Spotts, a cooper by trade arrived i n the town in 1859 and the following year was joined by his wife Julia and their two year old son Fielding William, who came from San Francisco. For a number of years 1 ' the family lived at the north end of Salt Spring Island, but they also stayed for a time i n Saanich, near Victoria, where Fielding constructed a cabin built entirely of hand hewn logsj dove-tailing and wooden 57 plugs alone held the timbers together. Spotts became a school t r u s t e e ^ i n Saanich i n the I860 ls and inspected the school occasionally as i s indicated by an entry i n the South Saanich Public School Visitors Journal, dated as late as November 5, 1877s "Mr. Spotts paid school a v i s i t and 58 expressed himself as pleased with the progress of the pupils." 56 Newspaper clipping (unidentified) based on an interview with Charles and Nancy Alexander i n 1909* In possession of Barton Alexander, Victoria, B.C. 57 The Spotts cabin was given to the Saanich Pioneer Society i n 1936 to be used as a museum, but when an attempt was made to remove i t to the agricultural grounds in Saanichton, i t was found to be in too advanced a a state of decay and was demolished* 58 Visitors Journal* South Saanich Public School. In B.C. Provincial Archives. 68 Another member of the family, Mary Cecelia Spotts, wife of Charles Spotts (probably a son of Fielding and Julia Spotts) was the daughter of one of Victoria's pioneer t a i l o r s , T.W. Pierre, who had brought her to the colony from San Francisco when she was a very young child. According to 59 family tradition she was educated at Angela College i n Victoria. The name of Bamswell i s also a familiar one i n Victoria. James Barnswe11 was bora i n Kingston, Jamaica and came to the colony v i a Cape Horn during the gold rush. Mary Barnswell, his wife was born at San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the estate of a sugar planter. When her father was k i l l e d in the rebellion there, Mary was brought to California, and 60 i n the 1880*s to Victoria by Captain and Mrs. John Devreux. Frank Skelton who was born i n Orange County, Virginia, was brought to California by his parents i n the 1840's. His father must have been prosperous, for Frank received an education from private teachers u n t i l the time when the Rev. J.J. Moore organized his school for coloured children. He followed the rush to B r i t i s h Columbia and after much success i n the mines returned to San Francisco where he prospered as a 61 dealer in new and second-hand furniture. In 1853 two coloured sisters, Mary and Ju l i a Hermandez arrived i n California from Florida. Here they remained u n t i l the migration to British Columbia, when they went to the colony to work as cooks at $100 per week. They had brought with them their young niece, Emma, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Segee who were operating a laundry at 59 Victoria Times. May 12, 1931, p. 1. 60 Colonist. Jan. 5, 1945. 61 Delilah H. Beasley, The Negro T r a i l Blazers of California. Los Angeles, California, 1919, p. 122. " 70 Marysville, California at the time. Emma remained in Victoria u n t i l after the C i v i l War, then returned to Marysville where she became the 62 f i r s t coloured public school teacher i n the town. 62 Beasley, o£. c i t . , p. 122. SOME REPRESENTATIVE COLOURED PIONEERS Robert Clanton and his wife. Richard Stokes 72 CHAPTER IV MIFFLIN WISTAR GIBBS Tamatave, Madagascar, April 3, 1901 - the flags of the French residency and the foreign consulships were flyin g i n honour of the occasion, for after almost four years of service the American consul was leaving for home. Expressions of regret at his departure such as the banquet given the previous evening by the German consul, were not mere empty diplomatic gestures, for this elderly gentleman was well liked and respected on the Island. A group of well-wishers boarded the steamer with the departing American. "Judge," said a friend striving at last minute jo v i a l i t y , "don't be too sure of the meaning of the flags fly i n g at your departure from Tamatave, for we demonstrate here for gladness, as well as for regret.'' "Well," came the reply, " i n either event I am i n unison with the sentiment intended to be expressed: for I have both gladness and regret -gladness with anticipations of home, and with regret that, in a l l human probability, I am taking leave of a community from whom for nearly four years I have been the recipient, o f f i c i a l l y , of the highest respect; 1 and socially of unstinted friendliness." Respect and friendliness had sometimes been little-known i n the l i f e of this man, although frequently his personality and a b i l i t y had won them from even the most reluctant. Here at least i n Madagascar he had not been handicapped by prejudice because of his race, for M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs, the American consul, was a negro. ' 1 M.W. Gibbs, Shadow and Light. Washington, D.C. 1902, p. 312. 73 • M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs. The story of M.W. Gibbs records success seldom paralleled, for although one would not be greatly surprised to read of a white man rising from a very humble environment to the position of Judge and United States consul^ the fact that he was of coloured blood makes his case almost unique. Gibbs was by far the most outstanding of the negro pioneers who settled in B r i t i s h Columbia, and is the only one whose l i f e can be studied i n detail, for one of the last accomplishments in a long and event-f u l career was the writing of his autobiography. Shadow and Light. It was on April 17, 1823 i n Philadelphia that M i f f l i n Wistar was born to Maria and Jonathan Gibbs, a Methodist minister i n that city 74 Until the age of seven, when he was enrolled i n the Free School, the boy's l i f e was quite uneventful, but then his father died and his mother could not afford to give him any further education. Instead, he went to work , y holding and driving a doctor's horse at a wage of $3.00 per month. Similar jobs were to follow, u n t i l he reached sixteen, when his mother insisted that both he and his brother become carpenters. Despite her f a i l i n g health and her financial dependence on her sons, she realized how necessary i t was for them to acquire a trade i f they were ever to rise above the position of poor coloured labourers. It was not unusual in those days for negroes to become sk i l l e d mechanics and tradesmen, for frequently i n the southern states, a master would choose his most intelligent slaves and would teach them carpenter-ing, blacksmi thing, painting, boot and shoe making, coopering, and i n fact any occupation that might make them more valuable i n the event of re-sale, or more useful to himself on the plantation. Many owners would even permit such slaves to hire themselves out and with their earnings to buy their freedom. One such fortunate individual was James Gibbons, a fat;\good-natured carpenter, who after buying his liberty had come north, and at the time when M i f f l i n and Jonathan Gibbs were growing up, was teaching his trade to coloured boys in Philadelphia. The Gibbs brothers became his apprentices and remained with him for a number of years. It was during this time that M i f f l i n became aware of his lack of> formal schooling and i n an attempt to educate himself not only spent long hours in laborious reading, but also joined the Philadelphia Library Company, a group of intelligent coloured men who met to discuss the problems of their race. Jonathan Gibbs was more fortunate than M i f f l i n , for after both boys had been converted at a revival meeting, the Presby-75 terian Assembly sent him to Dartmouth College, and on graduation he became a minister in Philadelphia. Although young M i f f l i n had heard of slavery i n his home, he f i r s t became really aware of the significance of the word i n 1831 when the Nat Turner insurrection aroused excitement in the Philadelphia coloured community. Turner, a labourer in the woods during the week and a Baptist preacher on Sunday, had i n s t i l l e d in his negro followers the urge to revolt, and after arming themselves with stolen weapons they staged their i n -surrection i n South Hampton? Virginia. Soldiers were despatched to put down the r i s i n g and Turner and a few henchmen fle d into the swamp where they remained u n t i l the threat of starvation forced them to surrender. Stories such as this, as well as tales of fugitives and of families separated for ever on the auction block made a lasting impression.on the mind of the boy, but he was twelve years of age before he was.per-sonally confronted-by the fact that many of his race were treated l i t t l e better than animals. His employer, a wealthy Philadelphia lawyer, owned a plantation and slaves south of the slavery l i n e . One day he invited M i f f l i n to accompany him on the thirty mile journey to his farm; i n Maryland. The young coloured boy was excited by the prospect, for never before had he been away from Philadelphia. His pleasure did not last long however, for once across the border into slave country, he saw sights never to be forgotten. Gazing fearfully on gangs of negroes being; lashed by overseers' whips, he turned to the white man: "Who are these people?" "They are slaves." So these were slaves. He understood now the expression on his mother's face when she had talked to her neighbours about Nat Turner. Now he 76 knew the meaning of those guarded whisperings. "M i f f l i n , how would you lik e to be a slave?" said the lawyer. "I would not be a slaveI I would k i l l anybody that would make me a slaveI" 2 "lou must not talk that way down here." It was not long before there were equally frightening scenes i n Philadelphia i t s e l f , where Pennsylvania Hall was razed because i t was the meeting place of the anti-slavery people, and where the negro citizens were kept i n a constant state of terror by the "Moyamensing K i l l e r s " who carried murder and the torch into their homes and churches. For several weeks at a time the coloured people of the c i t y guarded their Bethel Church against hostile mobs, digging up the cobble pavement and taking the stones up to the gallery to be hurled on the attackers i f necessary. And this was in a free state. As a young man, Gibbs became an active agent on the "underground railway" of which Philadelphia, because of i t s position so close to the slave states, was a very important "station". The most interesting case in which he was concerned was that of William and Ellen Craft, whose oft-repeated story has become a tradition in negro history. One day, having been invited to a negro boarding house to meet these new arrivals from the south, Gibbs was surprised at being introduced to a young, fashionably dressed "white" man, accompanied by "his" slave, an equally young and handsome negro. The white man was of course Ellen Craft, and the slave, her husband, William. Having a very ligh t com-plexion, her role had been an easy one, and both she and her husband 2 Gibbs, op. c i t . , p. 18. 77 had travelled f i r s t class throughout the entire journey with no questions being asked. Ellen Craft's i n a b i l i t y to write might have attracted attention, but she hid the fact by carrying her arm in a sling, and the signing of hotel registers was l e f t to her husband. The couple temporarily settled i n Boston, but the passing of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, compelled them to go to England where they were well received. After the C i v i l War they returned to Savannah, Georgia, where i n 1871 Gibbs-renewed acquaintance with them when he found that they were the host and hostess of a hotel at which he was staying. Nightly in the northern border states, meetings were held by the coloured people, at which escaped slaves told their stories. This was part of a propaganda program anticipated to arouse anti-slavery senti-ment, and frequently such eminent coloured men as Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet and Charles L. Remond would address the gather-ings. It was i n I848 that Gibbs made his f i r s t appearance as an orator, and although-his speech was an impromptu one, i t was highly successful. The occasion was the monster meeting i n Philadelphia Square to honour the Hungarian liberator, Louis Kossuth. The Liberty B e l l was garlanded with flowers, and each nationality had erected a platform i n the square provided with i t s own speaker. "Freedom" was the keynote of the meeting at which the negroes were unwelcome guests, for they alone had come uninvited. To them the inscription on the great b e l l , "Proclaim liberty throughout the world and to a l l the Inhabitants thereof" was sheer hypocrisy. Taking advantage of the opportunity to plead their : case, they used a dry-goods box as a platform and installed Gibbs on top of i t . Here he made his debut as a public speaker and attracted a large and surprisingly tolerant and receptive audience. 78 It was the following year in 1849 that he began to speak i n earnest against the institution of slavery, when he toured western New York ^ state, with Frederick Douglass, the great negro emancipator. Gibbs had consented to accompany Douglass with great misgivings, for aside from receiving no payment for his efforts, except for donations received along the way, he was very conscious of his own inadequacy i n the cam-paign. The two advocates for the coloured people frequently met with h o s t i l i t y and often when refused the use of churches and halls were forced to hold their meetings i n stables and blacksmith shops where some listeners did not hesitate to throw eggs at them. The tour over, Gibbs was l e f t penniless and discouraged, but his secret formula when his sp i r i t s were lagging was to say to himself, 3 "What! discouraged? Go do some great thing." New York at the time was being swept by the news of the gold discovery in California, so the "great thing" decided upon was a journey to San Francisco. For-tunately the young negro had a few friends who were able to finance his steerage passage, and so he sailed from New York, crossed the Isthmus of Panama and after several days on board the Golden Gate, arrived i n San Francisco, where for the f i r s t time in his l i f e , he was completely without friends and money. Fortunately, immediately upon arrival he found lodgings at a hotel operated by a negro on Kearny Streetj an unpretentious-looking building on the outside, but inside i t was furnished with a well patronized faro table and bar. Over the bar hung a sign prominently displayed "Board twelve dollars a week i n advance". After paying the drayman to bring his trunk from the ship, Gibbs had only a dime l e f t , and with this he bought a cigar, deciding to l e t the future look after i t s e l f . Should 3 Gibbs, op., c i t . , p. 37. 79 he eat f i r s t and keep the manager in ignorance of his financial state u n t i l after the meal, or should he t e l l now and risk going hungry? The question was answered for him by the sound of the dinner b e l l and a cordial invitation to the table. After dinner the immigrant wandered the streets of the town i n an aimless search for employment. Repeatedly he was turned away and was about to give up when he came upon a house under construction. The contractor considered his request and decided that i f the coloured man would work for $9.00 per day instead of the usual $10.00 paid the white carpenters, he could have a job. Gibbs hastily accepted, but what was a carpenter without tools. This problem was solved by a nearby merchant who offered him a l l he needed on credit. It was not long before the white carpenters discovered that the coloured man was working for a lower wage, and with a strike imminent, the contractor approached Gibbs with a plan: "I expect you w i l l have to stop, for this house must be finished in the time specifiedj but i f you can get six or eight equally good workmen, I w i l l l e t these fellows go. Not that I have any special l i k -ing for your people. I am giving these men a l l the wages they demand, and I am not willing to submit to the tyranny of their dictation i f I 4 can help i t . " Gibbs was unable to find any other negroes to join him, so was soon hunting elsewhere for employment. One menial job after another eventually led to the position of porter and bootblack at the 5 Union Hotel, and soon by careful management he had saved enough money to enter into partnership with another negro, Nathan Pointer, i n a clothing store known as Philadelphia House. About a year later, he l e f t 4 Gibbs, op. c i t . . p. 44» 5 Delilah H. Beasley, The Negro T r a i l Blazers of California. Los Angeles, California, 1919, pp. 110-113. 80 Nathan Pointer and joined Peter Lester to form the firm of Lester and Gibbs, importers of fine shoes. Their shop at 636 Clay Street was well patronized, for they imported only the finest stock from Philadelphia, London and Paris, and as Lester was himself a bootmaker by trade, the business both wholesale and r e t a i l was a profitable one. Throughout the years of his evolution from bootblack to business man, Gibbs continued his struggle to get f u l l rights of citizenship for himself and his fellows. As early as 1851, he and several other coloured men had published i n the Alta California a protest against their disfranchisement and denial of the right of oath. This caused a considerable s t i r among the whites who had assumed that the negroes were contented with their position. This same group of coloured men 6 began publication i n 1855 of a newspaper, the Mirror of the Times, which advocated equality for a l l Americans regardless of colour. Gibbs was also a member at the several conventions held by the negroes at Sacramento during the 1850's, at which resolutions were drawn up to be introduced into the state legislature by white friends. He could never be accused of "Uncle Tomism", for he would not meekly accept white domination and was ever ready to fight whatever he considered to be injustices towards his race. In April of 1858 the f i r s t group of coloured colonists l e f t San Francisco for Victoria and i t was Gibbs who made the farewell speech u at their departure. On June 7th, according to a card published i n the Dally Evening Bulletin, he himself embarked for Victoria, taking a large 6 The only copy of the Mirror of the Times known to exist i s i n the California State Library at Sacramento. 81 stock of miners' outfits consisting of flour, bacon, blankets, picks and shovels and other items required i n the gold f i e l d s . This load of goods he sold immediately on arrival at a handsome profit, and after sending to San Francisco for further supplies he set about finding a location for the Victoria branch of the firm. So well did their business prosper i n Victoria that very shortly Lester and Gibbs closed out their store entirely i n San Francisco. The year following his arrival on Vancouver Island, Gibbs returned to the United States to marry Maria A. Alexander, a coloured g i r l from Kentucky who had been educated at Oberlin College i n Ohio. Their honey-moon was the 4-,000 mile journey back to Victoria where they settled i n the fashionable James Bay d i s t r i c t . Maria for some reason l e f t the colony 7 and returned to Oberlin i n 1867, but her husband remained in B r i t i s h Columbia u n t i l 1870. Speaking of his wife i n later years, Gibbs says, "I have had a model wife i n a l l that the term implies, and she has had 8 a husband migratory and uncertain." Their children, a l l born i n Victoria 9 and baptized i n Christ Church, appear to have succeeded. Donald became a machinist, Horace a printer, Ida graduated from Oberlin College and became a teacher of English i n a Washington, D.C. High School, while Hattie graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin and became a teacher of music at the Eckstein-Norton University at Cave Springs, Kentucky. As one of the wealthiest negroes i n Victoria, and having great 7 Elevator. Sept. 6, 1867. 8 Glbba, op., c i t . , p. 63. 9 Baptismal Rolls, Christ Church. Photostat copies i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 82 natural qualities of leadership, i t was but a short time before Gibbs was accepted by both white? and coloured people alike as one of the leaders of the community, and i n fact was even elected to the city council. He was accepted and respected by a l l except for a few residents who were too blinded by prejudice to be conscious of his a b i l i t i e s . He was sub-jected to several unpleasant rac i a l indignities during his f i r s t years ( / i n the colony, most spectacular being when a container of flour was thrown 10 over him while he was attending a concert at the Victoria Theatre, and the refusal to admit him to the farewell banquet given for the departing ^ 11 Governor in 1864* In his autobiography, Gibbs chose to ignore a l l v / such unpleasant occurrences however, and to refer to the people of Victoria i n only the kindest terms. In November 1868, he commenced construction on his lot at 170 Govern-ment Street of what was to be the most modern and elaborate store in i/ the town. Built to accommodate Victoria House, the dry-goods business operated by Findlay, Durham and Brodle, i t s well-advertised features included large mirrors, chandeliers, and highly polished counters of solid mahogany. The front of the store was very ornate, the woodwork being carved in imitation of bronze, and with display windows that ex-12 tended almost from floor to ceiling. In January 1873, Denny, the manager of the store went into partnership with David Spencer, and they bought the business from i t s previous owners. Not u n t i l 1881 however did Gibbs 13 f i n a l l y s e l l the store to Denny, who i n turn sold out to Spencer. 10 See below, p. 191. 11 Ibid., p.201. 12 Colonist. March 23, 1869. 13 According to the Tax Rolls, City Hall, Victoria, B.C. 83 It was this l i t t l e store, built by M i f f l i n Gibbs, that was to be the f i r s t of the great chain of David Spencer stores which became so well-known 14 i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Another of Gibbs' business ventures was i n the Queen Charlotte  Coal Mining Company, an organization which had originally been formed i n 1865, but which had remained dormant u n t i l 1869 when their engineer assured them that the coal deposits on the Queen Charlotte Islands could become a paying proposition. The mines looked promising at the time, for although there was a large output of bituminous coal at Nanaimo, i t was anthracite coal that the Indians had discovered at Skidegate Bay when they had built a f i r e on a broken seam, and as anthracite burned with l i t t l e flame, i t was especially valuable for smelting purposes. After spending $60,000 to locate the paying deposits which were found on the east side of Seymour Mountain about a mile and a half from the shore at Anchor Cove, the company called for tenders for the construction of a short railway from the mines to the coast, and for a shipping wharf. Gibbs resigned as one of the directors of the company and submitted a bid, and although his tender was not the lowest, the contract was awarded to him. After obtaining a leave of absence from his position as city councillor, he set out for the Islands. v In January 1869, the Queen Charlotte Coal Mining Company chartered the Hudson's Bay Company steamer, Otter, and Gibbs, accompanied by f i f t y men, including labourers, blacksmiths, carpenters and a surveyor, sailed from Victoria for Skidegate harbour. The Queen Charlottes were inhabited by only a few tribes scattered along the coast, and as the Otter sailed up the Skidegate River to the company's quarters, i t was followed by a 14 The David Spencer Company has since been bought out by the-T. Eaton Company, Limited. 84 swarm of canoes', whose occupants quickly climbed on board to welcome the "King George's men". As far as the newcomers were concerned, the Indians were a peaceful people and readily assisted in unloading the vessel. Once settled i n his quarters, the new contractor made an inspection of the company's holdings. Volcanic eruptions had thrust veins of coal above the surface near Mount Seymour, and i t was here, several hundred feet above sea level that the best paying vein was located. The task which Gibbs had undertaken was to build a railway over the most d i f f i c u l t grades to the sea. Three months, the extent of his leave from the City Council, was a l l that he had anticipated requiring to complete the pro-ject, but there were unexpected delays, for not only did i t rain i n -cessantly, but occasionally the Indians went on strike - not for more wages, but for more time. They were paid i n tobacco for each bag of coal delivered to the ship, but they would not be hurried on the job. Fourteen months after Gibbs' a r r i v a l on the Island, the railway was completed. It was built on two grades, the upper one coming about one third of the way from the mines and ending i n a chute down which the coal was dumped to cars on the lower level which carried i t to the loading dock. Throughout the period of construction, four miners had been at work on the coal vein, so as soon as the tracks were l a i d , the Otter was loaded and the f i r s t cargo of anthracite coal ever mined on the Pacific coast was shipped to San Francisco. As the company's superintendent now returned to Victoria, Gibbs assumed that position, but only remained u n t i l May of 1870, when he also l e f t for Vancouver Island, preparatory to his f i n a l departure for the United States. The mine i t s e l f was abandoned in 1872 when the owners became dissatisfied with the returns from their investment. 85 After spending over ten years in Victoria, Gibbs was saddened at the thought of leaving, for the natural charms of the city had capti-vated him, i t s people had graciously accepted him, and his children had been born there. But he f e l t that i t was now time to go home, and home was the United States where his family had already preceded him. The C i v i l War and emancipation made i t no longer necessary to remain in exile, and he undoubtedly f e l t that there was a place for him in the reconstruction of the southern states, where his brother Jonathan had ^ already become an important o f f i c i a l . Gibbs had made many friends during his twenty years on the Pacific coast, and among those he considered the most estimable was Philip A. B e l l , editor of the Elevator i n San Francisco. Bell was responsible for what was probably Gibbs* f i r s t serious attempt at journalism, for i t was while serving on the Victoria City Council, that he was invited by the California editor to become his Victoria correspondent. At this request, Gibbs wrote a series of letters dealing with p o l i t i c a l and economic'conditions in 15 British Columbia, as well as the thorny question of confederation. Among the persons of note that he met while i n Victoria were Lady Franklin, wife of the Arctic explorer, and Schuyler Colfax, Speaker i n the American House of Representatives. Lady Franklin landed at Esquimalt in 1861 s t i l l in search of information that might throw new light on the disappearance of her husband. It would be interesting to know why she took such an interest in the negro colonists, for not only does M i f f l i n Gibbs make special mention of her, but ten years after her v i s i t , W.D. Moses also commented in his diary on the death of his friend Lady Franklin. 15 See appendix n E w . M i f f l i n Gibbs' letters to the Elevator. 86 Schuyler Colfax, a close friend of Lincoln visited Victoria i n the summer of 1865 and was met at the St. Nicholas Hotel by Abner Francis and M i f f l i n Gibbs, representing the coloured community. Colfax said that he f e l t honoured by their v i s i t , and later when interviewed by the Daily Chronicle said that the address presented to him by the coloured committee was among the best that he had received on the coast. Colfax told Gibbs and Francis that he had always used his influence against slavery, but that he could not agree to giving the vote to a l l negroes as was demanded by certain sections of the population. The a b i l i t y to read and write, he said, should be a basic qualification for the 16 franchise. Gibbs was never in accord with this attitude, believing as he did that the vote was the right of every man regardless of his educational qualifications. While s t i l l in Victoria, Gibbs had planned to go to the southern states to practise law, and with this i n mind had read English Common ^ Law under D.6. Ring, a barrister in the town. On his return to the United States he was then prepared to undertake further studies in the law department of an Oberlin, Ohio, business college. It i s remarkable that he should attempt to begin such a career at f i f t y years of age, and even more remarkable that he should prove so successful at i t . No doubt the example set by his brother Jonathan was a great inspiration, for he had become Secretary of the State of Florida during the period of reconstruction. After graduating from the Ohio business college, Gibbs visited his brother i n Tallahassee where having been threatened by the Ku KLux Klan, the latter was l i v i n g i n the atti c of his home surrounded by a small arsenal. Jonathan introduced his brother to Governor Hart, and although both promised their support should he decide 16 Victoria Daily Chronicle. July 29, 1865. 87 to remain in Florida, Gibbs decided not to do so, feeling that he would be profiting by his brother's success. Before leaving Ohio on this tour of the south, he had been appointed a delegate to a convention of negroes being held i n Charleston, South Carolina. Here he met several delegates from Arkansas who painted such an alluring picture of the advantages offered by that state, that he decided to settle there permanently. It was one Sunday morning i n May, 1871 that he arrived, an absolute stranger in L i t t l e Rock, where he entered a law firm to continue his studies preparatory to being admitted to the bar. In 1872, i n partnership with another lawyer, he opened his own office. From now on nothing could stop his progress, for the follow-ing year he was appointed County Attorney of Pulaski County, and shortly after was elected Municipal Judge by the people of L i t t l e Rock. This ^ was a high honour, for the majority of the electors were white and not coloured. The election attracted considerable attention in the United States, for as far as was known, Gibbs was the f i r s t negro to hold such an office. In 1877 came his appointment by the President as Register (sic) of United States Lands in the L i t t l e Rock d i s t r i c t , and f i n a l l y he was made Receiver of Public Moneys. Before deciding to make his home in the south, Gibbs had read widely on the subject of poli t i c s and politicians, and i t is therefore not surprising that he played an active role i n the p o l i t i c a l l i f e of his state. As a supporter of General Grant he was elected at the Arkansas Republican State Convention i n 1880 to be a delegate at the National Convention of that year, and as a souvenir of this occasion was given a bronze medal naming him one of the "historic 306" who tried unsuccessfully to nominate the President for a third term. 88 In October 1897, a telegram from Washington arrived in L i t t l e Rock for Judge Gibbs, bringing the news of his appointment as United States consul for the Island of Madagascar. On Christmas Eve, his friends gave him a farewell party and on January 1, 1898, he set s a i l i n the Champagne on the f i r s t lap of a 10,000 mile journey to his new post. M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs had followed his own advice and "had gone and done great things". At times the obstacles i n his way seemed almost insuperable, but perhaps the very fact that he was of coloured blood increased his determination to rise above his background of slavery. In writing of his l i f e , he says "the portrayal might be of benefit to those who, eager for advancement, are willing to be laborious students 17 to attain worthy ends." If one of the greatest values of h i s t o r i c a l biography i s to give inspiration, then the story of M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs has f u l f i l l e d i t s purpose. 17 Gibbs, og. c i t . , p. i i i . 89 CHAPTER V THE POLITICAL IMPACT The colony of Vancouver Island was s t i l l in i t s infancy at the beginning of the gold rush, for hardly ten years had passed since i t had been ceded by Royal Charter to the Hudson's Bay Company on condition that i t form a colony there. Under the terms of the charter, the Company was to use the money received from the sale of lands and from the mineral deposits, less ten per cent, for improvements and colonization. If these conditions were not f u l f i l l e d , the Crown could demand the return of the land after five years, and when the right of the Company to exclusive trade terminated i n 1859, the Crown could regain control by repaying the 1 Company the t o t a l cost of i t s investment. The government of the colony was to consist of a governor, a nomi-nated council and an elected legislative assembly. While James Douglas, factor at Fort Victoria, was the Company's choice for governor, Richard Blanshard, an English lawyer, was selected by the home offi c e . After a short and unhappy stay i n the colony, Blanshard returned to England, but not before he had established some form of government by appointing James Douglas, John Tod and James Cooper as a provisional council. After Blanshard's retirement, Douglas, the senior man on this council, became governor, but i t was not u n t i l 1856 that he was instructed to form the long awaited assembly. To do this he divided the colony into four 1 Charter of Grant of Vancouver's Island to the Hudson's Bay Company, Dated 13 January 1849, in Miscellaneous Papers Relating to Vancouver  Island. 1848-1863, pp. 13-16. 90 electoral d i s t r i c t s , but there were so few persons outside of Victoria who had the necessary property qualifications for the franchise, that i t was only in Victoria where there was any actual competition. In the other d i s t r i c t s , the candidates merely took their seats upon nomination. This f i r s t legislative assembly of six members met on August 12, 1856, with Dr. J.S. Helmcken as speaker. May 30th, 1859 was the date on which the Hudson's Bay Company monopoly was to expire, but the Company wanted to know i t s fate well i n advance, and in an attempt to answer i t s enquiries, a select committee 2 was set up i n England i n 1857. Twenty-four witnesses were examined to decide whether or not the monopoly should :be continued, but something else had by this timerentered into the question and was to be the de-ciding factor - gold had been discovered. Gold was f i r s t reported i n the Queen Charlotte Islands i n 1851, and in 1855 i t was located on the Columbia River; by the end of 1857 excitement was rapidly growing and by the spring of 1858 the rush was on. The rule of the Company was over, but i t s influence was to be f e l t for many years to come. Up to 1858 James Douglas was governor of the Island colony only, the mainland being outside of his jurisdiction. Now with the rush of miners to the gold f i e l d s , some authority was needed there, and the position of governor was offered to him on condition that he separate" himself from the Company. Douglas accepted, and British Columbia came into being by an Act of Parliament i n August 1858. This colony, which was s t i l l quite separate from Vancouver Island, was to include the territory bounded by the United States on the south, the Rocky Mountains 2 Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company; Together with the Proceedings of the Committee. Minutes of Evidence. Appendix and Index. Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be Printed, 31 July and 11 August 1857. 91 on the east, the Nass River and Finlay branch of the Peace River on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The coastal islands were also to be included with the exception of Vancouver Island i t s e l f . At Fort Langley, on November 19, 1858, the o f f i c i a l ceremony establishing the new colony took place. Douglas swore in Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie as Judge of B r i t i s h Columbia, and himself took oaths of office; then he proclaimed the end of the Hudson's Bay Company trading monopoly in the new colony. Ordinances passed by Douglas and his o f f i c i a l s were now valid, and English law was to be i n force. Until March of I864 James Douglas occupied his position of dual governorship, a situation which aroused much discontent on the mainland for the seat of government remained at Victoria, the capital of the sister colony. Because of complaints, the treasurer and attorney-general moved to New Westminster. Douglas was the sole law making authority however, for although he had a council of sorts there was as yet no elected assembly. Naturally the settlers on the mainland wanted the same representative institutions that existed on Vancouver Island; as i t was, they had no voice in the affairs of government. Petition after petition carried their grievances to the Crown, and eventually in May and June of 1863, Governor Douglas was informed that the mainland colony would be enlarged and would have a separate governor and legislative council. This council would not be entirely representative however, for i t was to consist of one-third government o f f i c i a l s , one-third magistrates from the colony and one-third elected by the colonists themselves. The Duke of Newcastle, who was now Secretary of State for the Colonies, f e l t that i t would be impossible to make i t entirely representative owing to the nature of the population which was continually on the move from mining camp to mining 92 camp. With the end of Douglas' term of office i n I864, thetro colonies were given separate governors u n t i l 1866 when the Island and the main-land were united as B r i t i s h Columbia. It was during the years preceding this union, and i n the Island colony only that the negro settlers were 1 / an important p o l i t i c a l factor. It was i n Victoria alone that a large, / clearly defined negro community existed and there they fought by p o l i t i c a l means to acquire a l l the rights and privileges that they considered to be theirs. On Vancouver Island, the 1856 assembly continued in existence u n t i l 1859, and i n January of i860 a new fifteen-member assembly was elected. This was a turbulent election and i t was the negro voters who made i t < ^ so. There were four candidates competing for the two seats available for Victoria Town. George Hunter Cary, the Attorney-General and Selim Franklin, an auctioneer were supporting Douglas and the government party, while i n opposition were Amor DeCosmos, editor of the Colonist. and Edward E. Langford, a farm b a i l i f f of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. Langford soon withdrew, leaving DeCosmos alone against Cary and Franklin. According to the law of the colony at that time, only B r i t i s h subjects had the right to vote, and since there was no naturalization law on the Island this meant that one could not become a British subject there, but must have been born such or have become naturalized i n Britain or i n one of her colonies other than Vancouver Island. The majority of the coloured people, having been born in the United States, did not have the franchise. Cary and Franklin were quite aware of th i s , but very c r a f t i l y suggested to the negro colonists that since, according to the Dred Scott decision, they were legally citizens of no country, they 93 could vote i n the coming election by merely taking an oath of allegiance. Later Cary insisted that he had merely suggested to M i f f l i n Gibbs that ^ the coloured men put their names on the voters' l i s t s to test the question. The franchise was regarded very highly by the negroes who saw i n i t a symbol of equality, and when i t was offered to them by leading govern-ment o f f i c i a l s , who were they to question i t ? Undoubtedly by getting a l l the coloured men out to vote, Cary hoped to secure the few good votes of those who were already B r i t i s h subjects. DeCosmos understood the strategy of his opponents and published a warning: Our advice to the foreign portion i s not to record a solitary vote....Hereafter when there i s a naturalization law enacted, then w i l l be the time to become Bri t i s h subjects, and t i l l then natural-ization w i l l not be legal. The system of elections i n the colony was very imperfect and for this reason was the source of much discontent. In order to vote, one must f i r s t register as a voter, then, after the period of registration was over, a Court of Revision was held at which time objections could be raised to names on the l i s t . Unqualified voters sometimes remained on the l i s t merely because no one raised any objection to them, while others, who should have been l e f t on, were sometimes struck off when they could not prove themselves to be B r i t i s h subjects. In the case of the negroes, they were assured that i t would be quite legal for them to register, and when they appeared at the Sheriff's Office to do so, their names were taken after they had taken an oath of allegiance, even though the legal period for registration had expired. ^ k 3 Colonist. May 21, 1861. 4 Ibid.. Nov. 21, 1859. 94 Neither the sheriff nor the revisor objected to their registration, for both o f f i c i a l s were friends of Cary. Although DeCosmos could have ob-jected at this time he did not do so, apparently hoping for the negro vote himself. Some time before when there had been attempts to segre-gate the coloured people in one of the churches, he had championed them: now he probably expected the negroes to return the favour. Such was not to be however, for the eighteen negroes who voted, a l l registered for Cary and Franklin, and these were enough to defeat DeCosmos: ^ Cary - 137 Franklin - 106 DeCosmos - 91 On the evening following the election the coloured supporters of the government party held a "grand j o l l i f i c a t i o n " at the Pistol Gallery 6 on Johnson Street to celebrate the successful return of their candidates. Selim Franklin was there with some of his friends and after Peter Lester had made a few introductory remarks, he thanked the negroes for support-ing him. Then M i f f l i n Gibbs expressed the happiness of his people at having been given the p o l i t i c a l rights which had been denied them i n a country calling i t s e l f free. "It is an i l l wind that blows nobody good" he said, for the storm that had sent them from California to Vancouver Island was now enabling them to retaliate against those Americans and sympathizers who had been so ill-favoured towards the coloured people i n the United States. He went on to say that England would find her new coloured colonists among her most loyal and devoted subjects who would , be ever ready to bare their breasts against her enemies. By the next election he hoped 200 negroes would have the franchise instead of only 5 See below, p. 178. 6 Victoria Gazette, Jan. 9, 1860. Colonist, Jan. 10, i860. 95 7 the twenty-five^ who had registered this time. There was further speech-making and then the meeting broke up with much h i l a r i t y after singing "Rule Britannia" and "God Save the Queen". DeCosmos, knowing that he had been defeated by i l l e g a l votes was not going to accept the results of the election. But why, asked the Gazette, had not one of the opposition challenged the right of the coloured men to the franchise at the time of the registration? Had DeCosmos 8 hesitated because he himself hoped for the negro vote? No doubt "Shears",a correspondent to the Colonist, was quite right when he said that the negro voters were not i n the least concerned about who was the best candidate, but merely asked themselves "Who i s most 9 friendly to the 'nigger', or who w i l l promise most to the coloured man?" In reply a negro correspondent countered by saying that his people asked only the p o l i t i c a l and religious equality granted by the B r i t i s h con-stitution. It was their right to decide who was the best candidate. Why should they vote for DeCosmos and his followers, who had referred to them 10 in the press as "niggers" and "slaves"? Immediately after the election, DeCosmos began proceedings to have the election l i s t s investigated, but Governor Douglas refused to per-mit the examination of the p o l l books, and the matter was postponed for six months. When the complaint came before the election committee in 7 Victoria Gazette. Jan. 9, 1860. 8 Ibid.. Jan. 11, i860. 9 Colonist. Jan. 12, I860. 10 Ibid.. Jan. H, i860. 96 July I860, they too refused to open the registration l i s t s since they 11 had been closed by the revising barrister. On hearing this decision, DeCosmos lost his temper and was only quietened by the threat of police action. So many objections continued to be made however, that a Court of Revision was f i n a l l y held in the Police Court rooms on March 11, 1861. Although most ofethe persons there were coloured, DeCosmos was present, determined that no negroes should be i l l e g a l l y registered this time. As had been predicted, the revising barrister found that twenty-four of the twenty-six coloured men who had voted were American negroes and not entitled to the franchise! the remaining two had been naturalized in 12 Canada and had voted legally. The Colonist had the last words We held them to be aliens; treated them as such; warned them of the consequences of being made the tools of Cary & Co.; and / after sixteen months from the time of our f i r s t warning they v are told to their sorrow, by the very same party who deceived them, that their votes are i l l e g a l . 12 The election had at least proven the need of a naturalization law i n the colony, and i n May of 1861 when Attorney-General Cary held a meeting i n the Lyceum to inform the public of his course of action i n the legislature during the preceding months, he announced that i t was his intention to introduce such a b i l l at the next s i t t i n g of the assemblys We want an Alien B i l l here, and to put an end to the miserable, disjointed state of the Colony, I shall introduce one at the next session, giving aliens nearly every privilege. (Applause.) We can't get along prosperously unless we admit to citizenship nearly every foreign resident i n the Colony. 11 Victoria Gazette, July 23, 25, i860. 12 Victoria Daily Press. March 23, 1861. 13 Colonist. March 23, 1861. 14 Ibid.. May 21, 1861. 97 Once again the disputed election was brought up by the opposition i n the audience and Cary was examined on the subject: Mr. Nias - Why did you put 50 or 60 foreigners on the voters' l i s t last year without an Alien B i l l ? Mr. Cary - I told Mr. Gibbs (colored) that he had better put his name on the l i s t and test the question as to whether they were entitled to vote. Mr. Gibbs said Mr. Cary told him that colored people who had no p o l i t i c a l status i n any other country had a perfect right to vote here on taking an oath of allegiance (Sensation.) Mr. Cary - Didn't I t e l l you that you had better put your names on the l i s t to test the question? Mr. Gibbs - You might have done so - I don't remember. (Renewed laughter.) 21 On the following evening the opposition also held a public meeting for the purpose of reviewing the acts of George Hunter Cary as well as to organize a Reform Association. DeCosmos, the principal speaker of the evening, condemned the work of Cary, and when Wellington: D. Moses, the negro barber, mounted the platform presumably in defence of the Attorney-General, the Colonist reported that no one would li s t e n to him and that he was forced to withdraw. Regarding this statement, Moses wrote: Victoria, May 23d, 1861. Editor B r i t i s h Colonist:-I see i n your report of the meeting at the Lyceum on Tuesday night that ,1 am represented as having mounted the stand i n a con-temptuous manner, as "a colored man named Moses and creating confusion." Now, s i r , you know me as well as you do any other man i n the Colony. I was not the cause of the confusion, as you state. I was loudly called for arddid not have the slightest motive i n taking 15 Colonist. May 21, 1861. 98 any part i n the meeting. I was called for at the meeting the night previous and declined speaking. It is not my desire to thrust myself upon any set of men or any society. On election day my vote w i l l t e l l which side I am on. I w i l l exerciseiit as an Englishman* Respectfully, yours, W.D. MOSES. 16 While i t was now admitted that American bora negroes could not have the same rights and privileges as Br i t i s h subjects, how about negroes who were British subjects by birth or naturalization, would they be given the same p o l i t i c a l rights as the whites? They had been permitted to vote; what would happen should one decide to run for office? The case of Jacob Francis was to be the test. In the f a l l of 1861, a vacancy occurred i n the Legislative Assembly and Jacob Francis, a negro born i n England, advertised his intention of running as an independent candidate: INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE TO THE ELECTORS OF THE DISTRICT OF VICTORIA Gentlemen,- Having been solicited by many of the voters of your Dist r i c t to come forward as a candidate for your suffrages, and as a vacancy has recently occurred I now beg to offer myself as a candidate to represent you i n the House of Assembly. Were I a member of the House of Assembly, I should devote a l l my energies i n advocating wholesome laws, a l i b e r a l Incorporation Act, a.Reform i n the Courts of Justice and reduction of exhorbitant fees; a B i l l for the easy and cheap recovery of small debts, repeal of the infamous Registration of Deeds Act and a better lav i n i t s place. In short I should endeavor to have no law on the Statute book that would not conduce to the safety and happiness of the country. I should not do, what we as a people are accused of doing - 7 attending solely to the advancement of our own class - but I should j consult the interests of the country i n general, and those of the / Dis t r i c t in particular. 16 Colonist. May 23, 1861. 99 If you do me the honor to return me you w i l l find me up to my work, I was born i n England, and have spent much time i n the study of colonial p o l i t i c a l economy. I have the honor to be, Your obedient servant JACOB FRANCIS Probably as a joke and with no serious intention of seeing the negro elected, James Thorne mounted the steps of the Victoria School-house and nominated Francis as a candidate in the coming election, with 18 J.D. Carroll, another prominent citizen as seconder. At the same time Joseph Trutch was also nominated, but as he was absent from Victoria at the time he was objected to because he would be unable to take the oath required by law, before the election. The objection was withdrawn be-19 fore the poll however, and the nomination allowed to stand. There were four candidates for the two available seats, and on the following day after the vote was taken, the returns were, Trimble 38, Trutch 36, Francis 11, and Young 4. Trimble and Trutch were the two members to represent Victoria D i s t r i c t . Of the five coloured votes i n the d i s t r i c t , only two had been registered for Francis, and most of the whites who had voted for him admitted having done so for the purpose 20 of "creating a row i n the House of Assembly". But had Joseph Trutch been elected? In denying his right to the seat the Colonist and the Daily Press were for once in agreement. As Trutch was not even i n the colony, he obviously could not have taken the required oath before the election, therefore he could not even be a candidate. While neither paper considered Francis a suitable representative, they upheld his 17 Victoria Daily Press. Nov. 12, 1861. 18 Colonist. Nov. 16, 1861. 19 Ibid.. Nov. 18, 1861. 20 Loc. c i t . 100 legal right to the seat i n the assembly. Apart from the r a c i a l aspects of the case, i t was a matter of principle and precedent. Was the law so arbitrary that i t could be changed to suit the government in power? Could the government absolutely ignore i t s own laws? Francis hired a lawyer and was determined to test the vali d i t y of 21 the election. His petition was drawn up and presented, and i t appeared very much as i f the government was trapped by i t s own Franchise Act. The Daily Press commented: .' It may be objected that he wears his necktie i n a peculiar manner - that he keeps a drinking saloon - or that he did not take his degree at Oxford - but we do not think the members w i l l find such objections valid according to Black-stone or any of the other legal authorities of Great Britain. 22 The controversy created a great deal of excitement In the colony / and rapidly became a race question. It was said that i f Francis were elected, the House would be dissolved as the members were gentlemen and 23 would not s i t with negroes who were only f i t t e d to be bootblacks. They had to admit however that the negro had the necessary qualifications and that he was just as intelligent as many of the white members. Colour was the main objection. The government was determined to reject Francis, and i t was inevitable that some way should be found to do so. Trimble and Trutch were sworn i n and took their seats, and an election committee was appointed to con-sider the petition and to decide whether or not the coloured man was to be substituted for Trutch. They found a loophole and the petition was rejected. The fault lay not in the content of the petition, which could 21 Victoria Daily Press, Nov. 20, 1861. 22 Ibid.. Nov. 21, 1861. 23 Loc« c i t . 101 not be disputed, but in the way the document was drawn up* It was ob-jected to because there were erasures and interlineations, although these had been made before the paper had been signed. In the meantime the time limit for submitting the petition had expired, and Francis was not given 24 an extension i n order to have a new document drawn up* The committee had succeeded in i t s purpose and the case was closed* As long as the negroes voted en bloc as they had i n i860, they were a p o l i t i c a l power in the community and were feared and fawned upon by local politicians. But they also had to accept unfortunate consequences, for by so doing they must always earn the enmity of the party they chose not to support. After the election of i860 most of the negroes had been removed from the election l i s t s , but by 1863 a naturalization law had been passed (Alien Act of 1861), and fifty-two coloured men owned a sufficient amount of property to permit them to vote. Once again Amor DeCosmos was a candidate in the coming election, and undoubtedly fearing a repetition of his previous experience with the negroes, he spent two 2$ hours with M i f f l i n Gibbs, trying unsuccessfully to s o l i c i t his vote. Shortly after, when the coloured people held a public meeting to discuss the coming election, De Cosmos was present to try to make amends for his previous behaviour, but i n spite of this, W i l l i s Bond condemned him for what he had done i n the past, accusing him of driving many coloured people to misery, destitution and death. When .Gibbs took the platform, he was no more charitable towards DeCosmos than Bond had been. DeCosmos should be put on his good behaviour for three' years before the coloured people would vote for him, Gibbs publicly stated. Then, he continued, 24 Colonist. Dec. 10, 1861. 25 Daily Chronicle. July 18, 1863* 102 "If you are elected we w i l l see i f your professions are sincere: i f you are defeated, we w i l l see how you behave yourself under the disappoint-The colored voters w i l l p o l l FIFTY-TWO VOTES. Whichever way their ^ influence i s cast today, so goes the election. The colored man who falters i n the present emergency and votes for his arch-enemy w i l l betray his race. 27 But the negroes p a i d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n , for DeCosmos was elected by a safe margin. Not only did many coloured men f a i l to vote at a l l , but v/ a few even voted for the "arch-enemy" himself. What had happened in the community since 1860? Perhaps some preferred to make a friend of the enemy. Since there was no secret ballot he would know how each had voted by merely consulting the p o l l books. Perhaps there were social or economic reasons why a few negroes gave him their vote. Did some realize the h o s t i l i t y aroused against them by bloc voting? In i860, as far as the negroes were concerned, the main issue was their right to the franchise: but now they had the vote, and the very fact that they had been given this symbol of equality i s a possible reason why some did not vote at a l l . When they did not have the vote, they wanted i t ; when i t was f i n a l l y given to them, they were no longer interested i n making use of i t . Whatever were the reasons why every negro elector did not turn out to the p o l l and vote against DeCosmos, the fact alone proves that the coloured community was no longer a p o l i t i c a l unity: no longer would the negroes blindly follow their leaders. 26 Daily Chronicle. July 18, 1863. 27 Loc. c i t . 26 ment." On election day the Chronicle carried a reminder to the negro voters: 103 In I864 a seat i n the assembly representing Victoria f e l l vacant and as in the other elections, the negro vote was once again something to bargain for. Franklin, Searby and Welch were the candidates this time, and Searby, fearing the popularity of Franklin, decided to try to win the support of the coloured electors. Candidate Searby, following the example already set by De Cosmos the previous year, visited Gibbs to s o l i c i t his vote and that of his followers. Gibbs, who had p o l i t i c a l ambitions himself was annoyed by a law providing that only British subjects by birth and not by naturalization could occupy seats in the House of Assembly. As few except the coloured citizens of Victoria had become naturalized in the colony, this law seemed to be directed against them in particular and was- a source of constant i r r i t a t i o n to them. Naturally since they made up such a large proportion of the population of the colony, and had to abide by i t s laws, they f e l t that they should have some part in making these laws, or at least have the privilege of putting up one of their own people as a candidate for the assembly. At the last session of the legislature, the Honourable Mr. Ridge had introduced an Alien B i l l (not to be confused with the Allen Act of 1861) which would have remedied the situation by giving naturalized subjects a l l the rights of Br i t i s h born subjects, after a residence of five years in the colony and after taking an oath of allegiance. Needless to say, the negroes would support the candidate who would vote for this b i l l . Searby, to win "60 colored votes" gave his promise. This was a most "unholy alliance" for a few years before, because-of his prejudice, Searby had been one of those responsible for driving the coloured people out of the Rev. Matthew Macfie's church; furthermore when Gibbs had been 104 nominated for a seat on the Municipal Council, i t was W.M. Searby who had publicly stated that he would refuse to s i t on any board i f the coloured man should be elected to i t . Selim Franklin, on the other hand, who had won the negro vote i n i860 by assuring them that they had a l l the rights of British subjects, now refused them these rights by his failure to promise support for the Alien B i l l . The question of whether or not he would vote for the B i l l was put to Searby by M i f f l i n Gibbs, and their correspondence was published i n the Colonist: Victoria, V.I. Jan. 18th, I864. Mr. W.M. Searby- S i r : - Would you have supported Mr. Ridge's B i l l for the naturalization of Aliens, as presented this session of the Legislative Assembly? - and w i l l you support such a b i l l at any subsequent period should you be returned? Very respectfully yours, M.W. Gibbs. 28 Victoria, Jan'y 18th, I864. Mr. M.W. Gibbs- S i r - I am i n receipt of your communication of this date asking me whether I should have supported Mr. Ridge's b i l l for the naturalization of aliens had I been in the Legis-lative Assembly, and whether I w i l l support such a b i l l at any subsequent period. In reply I beg to say that I am prepared to vote for such a measure whenever It i s introduced into the House of Assembly should I be elected. I am, S i r yours very truly, W.M. Searby. 22 These letters aroused the supporters of Selim Franklin, and from now on the Evening Express became violently anti-negro. It claimed that the Alien B i l l would only be the means of enabling Lester and Gibbs to 28 Colonist. Jan. 19, I864. 29 Loc. c i t . 105 30 enter the Legislative Assembly of the colony. It was said that a l l the other aliens i n the community remained loyal to their homelands and did not wish to give up their nationalities; most certainly they did not wish to meddle in the p o l i t i c s of a strange country and were quite content to l i v e under the laws of the people among whom they had come to l i v e . The negroes however owed loyalty to no country and for this reason i t was claimed were the only alien group who had any ambitions to enter the parliament of the colony. But Englishmen would not be governed by ^ / negroes, the Express maintained, and furthermore they did not lik e to see one class of men banding together for p o l i t i c a l reasons. We (believe that on calm reflection their modesty w i l l reassert i t s sway over their minds, and that, when this l i t t l e temporary ebullition of ambitious yearnings has passed away, that they w i l l be ready to acknowledge their own interests, and also the interests of the community are best served by leaving the legis-lation of the Colony i n the hands of their English friends. 32 Here is genuine fear that negroes might get into the legislature and i s indicative of the power s t i l l held by the coloured community. For two weeks the Evening Express did everything i t could to discredit the negroes in the eyes of the whites, and to discourage them from voting. A few days before the election, a p o l i t i c a l meeting was held i n the Pioneer Hall where before a gathering of four hundred people of a l l races and p o l i t i c a l leanings, M i f f l i n Gibbs told the story of the "celebrated letters", of how he had told Searby that he would not vote for anyone who would not support the Alien B i l l . Searby, he said, could not make up his mind on the question, but later had come back to say that he had read the b i l l and was willing to support i t ; he would also support common schools where a l l races would be treated as equals. W i l l i s Bond as usual spoke to the gathering and injected a l i t t l e humour when he 30 Evening Express, January 25, 1864» 31 Loc. c i t . ' 106 announced that he would mention the good qualities of Searby and only the bad ones of his opponents. After pledging to support Searby, the 32 meeting broke up. The entire coloured population was by no means unanimous in this decision, for there was a small group of British-born Jamaican negroes who refused to join the American coloured people. Being British-born, they would not benefit by the Alien B i l l and so refused to support i t . One Jamaican wrote to the press giving his point of view, and in so doing aroused the h o s t i l i t y of the American negroes: To the Editor of the Evening Express Sir : - That question, the alien question, what a fearful bug-bear i t must be. I know of no question originated in Victoria, that created such bickerings among politicians of every creed and clergymen of every denomination. But it i s as much a coloured question as an alien. Mr. Searby's friends and voters say, then why do you oppose i t ? your own interest. I am opposed also to the hypocracy Csic}of his supporters. When I glance at their faces to see their boldness, duplicity and legerdemain manner of remonstrating for their pet candidate, I abhor the thing more. Who are these men? the very parties who banded themselves together most strenuously and b i t t e r l y in opposing Mr. Gibbs at the f i r s t Municipal election on no other grounds than being a man of colour. When I look at them coolly and calmly the remembrance of that piece of religious mockeryI they aided a certain clergyman i n carrying out that damnable doctrine of church proscription, which gives the i n f i d e l a chance to say re-ligion i s mere speculation and trade. Every true Christian points to that church with the finger of scorn, for while every other church's congregation i s on the increase, i t i s only with i t s few hearers. My friends among the Aliens consider well, don't be too hasty, don't mistake a p o l i t i c a l and electioneering dodge for a philanthropic measure. I say friends, for I think I have some among you{sic] the Americans are opposed to the B i l l for they are not wishful of seeing any coloured Aliens in the legis-lature. Readers don't misunderstand me, I do not believe the Englishman (sic] are a l l angels, for some of them oppose me as well as you, I say as far as I can see, whether you be a coloured Portuguese or a black Frenchman the same amount of animosity i s advanced against us, i t i s enough to be coloured i n these waters. But I say for a l l that, dare the man black or white to impeach the l i b e r a l i t y of the Br i t i s h Constitution, [sic] The only enemy i s despotism. I fe e l the pangs of the white man's prejudice and for that reason I am diametrically opposed to the Alien B i l l , [sic} 32 Colonist. Jan. 20, I864. 107 My alien friends do you believe the fallacious argument of those two-faced gentlemen? Why those very men after Mr. Searby's re-turn (no danger of that though) w i l l prompt him to vote against any such question. You must pardon me, I cannot help i t , i t appears natural to me (or at any rate i t is not acquired) I am doggedly arrayed against any foreigners assuming the reins of government. I was perfectly cautious on that question, but when I hear and see the h o s t i l i t i e s i t has created among the aliens, and the expressions they have given utterance to against the author of this and others, i t tended to create" an impassable gulf. But the course [sic]minded men I think ought to hide their diminished heads after the election. Yours J. CATHCART alias JAMAICA 3J The election campaign progressed, and the rumour was spread that should Searby be elected, he would try to create a Privy Council with W i l l i s Bond at i t s head as a reward for his assistance. On the day of the election (January 27, I864) there was a large turnout of coloured voters led by Lester, Gibbs and Bond, and by mid-day, i t appeared as i f they would succeed i n putting Searby into the legislature. When the votes were f i n a l l y counted however, the result was Franklin 181, Searby 174 and Welch 3» A l l the alien American negroes except three had voted for Searby, while the Jamaicans had voted for Franklin. It was the Jamaican vote that had given Franklin his majority. Shortly after the election the American negroes held a meeting at Sam Ringo's saloon on Johnson Street; they wanted retribution and were determined to get i t * The Jamaicans and the three American negroes who had voted with them were trait'oss, especially' Cathcart who had damaged their cause by his letter to the press. Lester and Bond headed this meeting, for Gibbs was probably too wise a man to become involved i n anything so radical. He must have been aware that his own people were 33 Evening Express, Jan. 22, I864. 108 trying to deprive others of their freedom, for the purpose of the meeting was to pledge a l l coloured citizens to boycott Cathcart's business, and by so doing to attempt to starve him out of the community. Resolutions were passed against him and the other "traitors" and i n spite of the t feelings of one negro that i t was wrong to condemn any Bri t i s h subject for the way in which he voted, and who opposed the publication of these resolutions, they appeared a few days later i n the negro newspaper of 34 San Francisco, the Pacific Appeal. With the publication of these resolutions, the Evening Express commented that maybe now the people of Victoria would realize that the negroes had been granted too many privileges, and that the only way to put an end to their arrogance was to extend the period of residence required for naturalization. This i t proposed should be the test at the 35 next election. So far the negroes have been considered in relation to colonial p o l i t i c s only, but they also had a part to play i n the municipal po l i t i c s of Victoria town. In 1862, a year i n which r a c i a l prejudice was at i t s height in Victoria, M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs was nominated as a candidate 36 for the town council. It was admitted that he was a man of con-siderable knowledge and experience, and wellcqualified for the position, but he was coloured, and that was the greatest handicap of a l l . Never-theless he had many friends, and when a meeting was held to hear a l l the candidates speak, for the f i r s t time i n Victoria, a negro speaking 37 from the public platform was listened to with respect and applause. 34 See appendix "F". Resolutions published i n the Pacific Appeal. 35 Evening Express, February 25, 1864« 36 Victoria Daily Press. Aug. 11, 1862. 37 Ibid.. Aug. 12, 1862. 1G9 While prejudice no doubt accounts for his defeat i n this election, out of fourteen candidates, of which the top six were to be councillors, Gibbs came seventh at the p o l l and was defeated by only seven votes. In 1868, with the help of Dr. Helmcken, he was elected to the Victoria City Council to represent the James Bay d i s t r i c t , a position which he retained u n t i l his departure from the town. A glance at the minutes of the City Council during those years proves that as chairman of the Finance Committee he was an important personage i n the community, and was loudly acclaimed whenever he made a public appearance. On one such occasion when a meeting was being held i n the theatre to discuss moving the capital back from New Westminster, to Victoria., i t must have been • highly.gratifying to Gibbs when the large and respectable audience loudly demanded a few words from him. He was led to the platform by Dr. Helmcken and after thanking the gathering for paying him such a tribute, he urged 38 them to unite to accomplish their object. . The most important p o l i t i c a l issue i n the colony i n 1868 was the suggested union of Br i t i s h Columbia with the Dominion of Canada, a pro-posal which i n spite of i t s allurements attracted much opposition. .The advocates of union, formed the Confederation League which held i t s f i r s t meeting at Smith's Hall on May ZL, 1868 with the purpose not only of having British Columbia enter the Canadian federation, but to obtain a government representative of the people to replace the one-man govern-ment with his staff of supposedly do-nothing o f f i c i a l s . At this meeting a constitution was adopted and the following officers elected: 38 Colonist, January 8, 1867. 110 James Trimble, Esq., Mayor of Victoria, President5 the Hon. Edward Stamp, pQ W. Powell, M.D., and J.F. McCreight, Esq. Barrister, Vice-Presidents; R. Beaven, Esq., Recording, and Corresponding Secretary, and J.G. Norris, Esq., Financial Secretary; Messrs George Pearkes, R. Wallace, Charles Gowan, v . M.W. Gibbs, Amor De Cosmos, and George Fox, Executive Com-mittee and J.M. Thain, Sergeant-at-Arms. Branches of this League were established throughout the colohy>eand i n August i t was decided to hold a convention. It was to be held on September 14th at Yale, probably because an Agricultural Exhibition was to be held there at the same time and thus the delegates would be able to attend both. Among those elected to represent Victoria was M i f f l i n Gibbs, but as he was subsequently elected to represent Salt Spring Island, he withdrew as a Victoria delegate. After the mid-i860's the coloured people i n Victoria began to lose their identity as a pressure group. No doubt one reason for this was the rapidly diminishing negro population as the result of emigration. Naturally people who no longer intended making Victoria their permanent home would lose Interest i n the government of the colony. Now they were more concerned about conditions i n the United States than i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Although their influence after 1865 was l i t t l e f e l t , their power before this date should not be underestimated. By voting i l l e g a l l y i n i860, they had hastened the passage of a naturalization law. Their frequent p o l i t i c a l meetings and gatherings had stimulated p o l i t i c a l interest i n the colony, and f i n a l l y their leader became one of the major figures i n the municipal government of Victoria. I l l CHAPTER VI THE VICTORIA PIONEER RIFLE CORPS The years 1859 and I860 were ones of growing tension between England and France, and the resulting fear of a French invasion aroused the v English and stimulated the development of a "Rifle Movement" on a nation-1 wide scale« R i f l e corps were organized i n every cit y and town, and i t i s estimated that over a hundred thousand young men became amateur soldiers. So many volunteered i n fact, that at f i r s t there were not enough r i f l e s for a l l , and some units had only broomsticks with which to d r i l l . Even the shopkeepers made the most of the excitement and f i l l e d their win-dows with " r i f l e boots", " r i f l e hats", " r i f l e razors", and even " r i f l e 2 gin". It was not long before news of the movement reached Vancouver Island 3 and was much publicized i n the press of the colony. Concerned over the lack of adequate protection for the l i t t l e settlement, the news-papers suggested that i t was time to follow the example of the motherland. The idea of forming a volunteer military unit was not a new one i n Victoria however, for Sheriff Heaton had already suggested i t to Governor Douglas 4 i n August 1859* Although Douglas was agreeable at that time, nothing was done about the matter immediately, possibly because, as Heaton had pointed out, such a project would need some financial support from the government® 1 "Volunteers," Encyclopaedia Britannica. 11th ed., v o l . XXVIII, pp. 208-209. 2 Victoria Gazette. May 30, I860. 3 Ibid.. June 2»5, i860. 4 G. Heaton to Governor Douglas, August 15, 20, 1859. MSS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 112 Because of the constant danger of f i r e i n the l i t t l e town, a group of settlers organized a volunteer f i r e company patterned after similar companies in the United States, and with equipment purchased in San Francisco. When some of the negroes t r i e d to join the brigade however, they were[/ bluntly refused. In retaliation, the coloured men decided to form a r i f l e corps such as the newspapers had been advocating. They approached the Governor with their plan, but unlike the white citizens of the pre-vious year, asked permission only and no mention was made of financial assistance. Governor Douglas was quite aware of the value of such a unit and readily gave his consent. So many troublesome Indians had moved into the region i n recent months that he was pleased to have the coloured men prepare themselves just In case an emergency should arise i n which their services might be required. Recruiting started immediately, and by April of i860, the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps had become a rea l i t y , although It was over a year 5 later on July 4 , 1861 before i t was o f f i c i a l l y sworn i n by Judge Cameron. 6 At f i r s t the unit was composed of about sixty men, including one captain, two lieutenants, and one sergeant; but during the course of their existence this number diminished and the numbers and ranks of the officers who were elected annually, were never definitely fixed. None had had any previous military experience, but Governor Douglas co-operated i n this respect by procuring a D r i l l Sergeant for them from whichever of Her Majesty's ships happened to be i n port at the time. 6 Victoria Gazette. May 28, i860. The Colonist. Sept. 20, 1861 gives the total number as 45» 113 7 The uniforms of the Pioneers were green with orange facings, and included white belts and shakoes. These outfits were made i n England and as blanket cloth was frequently used for this purpose at that time* the story may be true that they were manufactured from Hudson's Bay, Company blankets. MAlmost immediately after the inception of their corps, the negro soldiers constructed a small d r i l l h a l l at the upper end of Yates Street, which-they later moved one block over to their l o t on View Street. Here even the children played at being soldiers when their elders were not using i t . When the Weather was favourable, the Volunteers d r i l l e d i n the open on a ten acre common on Church H i l l , but Beacon H i l l was their favourite ground for mock skirmishes and manoeuvres. >:•".'•'• The greatest problem with which the coloured men had to contend was their lack of proper armament. As the colony owned no arms or ammunition of any kind, the Corps had to rely on a few old flintlocks loaned by the Hudson's Bay Company, but these, being too outdated and useless were soon discarded. Their appeal for more efficient weapons was relayed to the home office by Governor Douglas, who had already been informed in a despatch from Downing Street dated October 17, I860 that'he should encourage the formation of a volunteer force because of the growing Indian menace. In his reply, Douglas mentioned the existence of the negro unit and that he had given them every encouragement, but because of the smallness of the colonial revenue, had not been able to supply them with arms. He was certain that i f Her Majesty's Government would send 500 stand of arms to the colony he could form a volunteer 7 Victoria Daily Press. Sept. 21, 1861. The Evening Express. March 14» I864, describes, the uniform as being blue with yellow facings. 1U 8 corps that would be no discredit to the Empire. The Governor anticipating that hie request would be granted, assured the negroes that the Bri t i s h government f u l l y appreciated their services and would not f a i l to provide them with proper arms * On the arrival of the Speedy i n the spring of 1862, the colony received 29 cases of r i f l e s and 250 barrels of ammunition and these were soon followed by 500 more r i f l e s of a later design to be used by volunteer forces on Vancouver Island. Although the negro unit made application for some of these, i t i s very doubtful i f they ever received any, for two years later they were s t i l l asking to be equipped with r i f l e s . In the summer of 1861, the negro unit was not the only volunteer corps i n existence i n Victoria, for a white corps, the Vancouver Island Volunteer R i f l e Corps had by now come into being. Naturally the negroes wondered how the two units would combine i n an emergency, and believing that the officer i n command of the whites would also take charge of them, they suggested that they be allowed to take part i n his election. Need-less to say this plan was immediately rejected. The coloured volunteers were highly regarded by many of the white residents of the colony who admired their enthusiasm and their interest i n becoming efficient, or who disliked the white corps and the clique that had formed i t so much that i t gave them pleasure and a sense of revenge to f l a t t e r and praise the negro unit. Some distrusted the Van-couver Island Volunteers because i t was suspected that the true motive behind their formation was a p o l i t i c a l one. 8 governor Douglas to the Duke of Newcastle, Feb. 19, 1861, i n Vancouver Island Despatches to the Secretary of State, 8th June 1859 to 28th December 1861. pp. 251-253. [ 9 Victoria Daily Press. May 2, 1862. 9 115 Although the V.P.R.C. was beginning to find i t s e l f i n financial d i f f i c u l t i e s , nevertheless u n t i l the end of 1861, the negroes refrained from asking aid of the Governor. Funds were raised among themselves by holding small entertainments i n their d r i l l h a l l on View Street, and sometimes donations were received from the coloured ladies of the com-10 munity. Such an uncertain income was hardly enough to be their main support however, and eventually they were forced to approach the govern-ment: To the Colonial Secty. of V. I. Si r hearing that the sum of £250 have been passed i n the estimates for the year for the different Volunteers corps of the coloney -I have the honor to apply to you, i n behalf of the Volunteers Corps of colored men duley sworn-in, and called the Victoria Poeneer (slcj R i f l e corps for such portion of that sum as his excellency snail think f i t to allow us. I may be pardon for observing that this companey has been regular and attentive i n i t s d r i l l and w i l l be found wherever circumstances shall c a l l for i t s employment fulley as ef-ficient in the f i e l d and second to none i n steady loyalty to the flag which i t has adopted as i t s own - trust that you w i l l be so good as to lay this our respectful application be-fore his Excellency and further our request by your favorable interest. I have the honor to be your obediant humble servant. Fortune Richard Capt. of Victoria R i f l e Corps. ^ In reply, on December 9, 1861, Governor Douglas authorized the payment of £4-5 to the Corps. 10 Colonist. Jan. 9, 1862. 11 MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives s 116 In the spring of 1862, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Duke of Newcastle, requested that Douglas make a return of the M i l i t i a and Volunteer Corps then i n existence in the colony. From this return, i t i s evident that the African Rifles were the only organization of this kind i n Victoria, their white counterpart having disbanded after 12 constant quarrelling among themselves. Not only did the negro soldiers give the Governor the information required for this statement, but they also submitted their financial report and asked for a government grant 13 of 1700.00 to be used for improvements to their armory. This latest appeal brought no response and i t was the same the following year when 14 again they asked financial assistance. If Governor Douglas was willing, apparently the Assembly was not. The V.P.R.C. was completely ignored, and while they had been designated the previous year i n the M i l i t i a Return as the only military unit on the Island, i n 1863, according to the Vancouver Island Blue Book, there were "No M i l i t i a forces in the Colony.'' As 1863 was a year of extreme anti-negro feeling i n Victoria, perhaps that was the reason the government would not grant them any money: perhaps by refusing assistance i t was hoped to discourage the negroes from maintaining their own l i t t l e regiment. In January 1863, the Corps acquired eight band instruments, and from among their members, the Victoria City Brass Band was organized. ^ Their leader was a white man as was also their instructor, the bandmaster 15 of the Topaze. 12 Victoria Daily Press. Oct. 9, 1861. 13 See appendix "G". Memorial and financial statement from the V.P.R.C. 14 R.H. Johnson, E.A. Booth to James Douglas, March 3, 1863. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 15 Daily Chronicle. Jan. 28th, 1863. 117 In May the coloured soldiers tried to replenish their funds by holding an entertainment i n their h a l l , but this was not enough, and 16 once again they wrote to the Governor t e l l i n g of their problem. Once again nothing was gained by their letter and being now discouraged the Corps became inactive and according to the Daily Chronicle "went the 17 •way of a l l flesh' and became defunct." This statement was retracted the following day however, when the Chronicle announced that i t had been requested to say that the Corps was s t i l l active. Early i n 1864 a controversy over the negro regiment revived i t temporarily. Governor Kennedy was to arrive i n the colony i n March of that year to replace Governor Douglas who was r e t i r i n g from office. Plans were started i n February for his reception, and a committee was appointed to arrange for a welcoming parade. Lieut. R.H. Johnson, of the negro corps approached i t with the suggestion that his unit should march in the procession, and this was favoured by Lieut. Verney as long 18 as their uniforms and accoutrements could pass inspection. For the moment the coloured men seem to have been accepted, and planned to 19 turn out i n f u l l dress under the command of a white sergeant. As yet however, the managing committee had not decided on what position they were to occupy i n the parade. The question of whether or not they should be in the parade at a l l , seems to have stirred up more excitement and controversy than the arrival 16 Lieut. R.H. Johnson, E.A. Booth to James Douglas, June 19, 1863. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 17 Daily Chronicle. Sept. 11, 1863. 18 Ibid.. Feb. 26, I864. 19 Ibid.. Feb. 28, I864. 118 of the new Governor i t s e l f . A l l those who disapproved were careful not to base their objection on the ground of colour, but camouflaged their prejudice with a variety of excuses. Captain Kennedy, they said, was a military man and to him the negro soldiers were bound to appear r i d i -culous with a l l their military deficiencies. One correspondent to the Daily Chronicle suggested, with much sarcasm, that i t might be a good plan to include the coloured men i n the procession i f only to amuse Kennedy and put him in a good humour on his a r r i v a l . They might also draw up an address asking His Excellency to take command of their corps, which he would undoubtedly do. The writer continued by suggesting that they make some show of military discipline however, and that the famous order given to a Yankee Volunteer Corps should be repeated on this occasion by posting the words '"Umbrellas and cornstalks to the rear" i n front of the Pioneer R i f l e Hall before the Corps turned out. If they r i g i d l y adhered to this rule and showed enough shirt collar in the front 20 ranks they could not f a i l to produce a most imposing effect. In the meantime the negro soldiers went on with their plans, and in preparation for the great day, wrote to the Colonial Secretary asking 21 for r i f l e s with which to d r i l l , and to carry i n the parade. Since they stressed the fact that they were already paying a d r i l l sergeant five dollars a day to train them, the r i f l e s were forthcoming almost 22 immediately. The controversy continued in the newspapers and the rumour spread that even i f they were barred from the procession, the negro regiment 20 Daily Chronicle. March 2, I 8 6 4 . 21 R.H. Johnson, T.P. Freeman, N. Pointer, P. Lester to W.A.G. Young, March 3, I 8 6 4 . MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 22 W.A.G. Young to Messrs. Richard H. Johnson, J.T. Dunlop, March 3, I 8 6 4 , i n Vancouver Island Miscellaneous Letters, March 2 4 , 1863 to Sept. 20, 1864. 119 would persist i n taking part, and would even equip themselves with b a l l 23 cartridges to force the issue i f necessary. This outrageous idea was of course immediately denied by the Pioneer Corps. Actually the feud was being carried on by two opposing white factions, and the negroes had l i t t l e part in i t . The supporters of Governor Douglas had already denied the coloured people the right to attend the farewell banquet being given for the ret i r i n g governor, yet they were doing everything possible to put the negroes i n the procession welcoming Governor Kennedy. Undoubtedly by so doing they hoped to make the committee i n charge appear 24 ridiculous. In rejecting the application of the negro regiment, the committee said that they had not done so because of prejudice. They had made their decision to have no military display, because the twenty-five or thi r t y men of the coloured unit would, according to custom, have taken the leading position in the procession, and i t was feared that i f this 25 happened, the f i r e departments and other societies would withdraw. The V.P.R.C. s t i l l continued to d r i l l , and made a public announce-ment that they would appear at the reception, not as rioters as some had suggested, but as peaceable subjects of Her Majesty. At the proper time they would report to the Marshal of the Day to be assigned their position i n the parade. It was not. u n t i l they had informed the committee of their plan that they were o f f i c i a l l y informed that they were not to participate. A l l this publicity and excitement had at least put new l i f e into the dying Pioneer R i f l e Corps, for now the coloured soldiers began a 23 Daily Chronicle. March 5, I864. 24 Ibid.. March 8, I864. 25 Ibid.. March 6, I864. 120 campaign for public sympathy and support. Their band paraded the streets in the evenings, and on March 14th, I864, at a special ceremony to which the public was invited, the ladies of the negro community presented the Corps with a s i l k Union Jack. The unit was drawn up i n two ranks i n the area adjoining their h a l l , and Sarah Pointer came forward, after laying the handsomely embroidered colours across the drum, and read the follow-ing address: Captain and members of the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Company, in behalf of the Ladies of Victoria, I present to you this f l a g . It affords us much pleasure so to do as we know your loyalty to this govern-ment is proverbial. The fostering care i t has shown to the oppressed of our race, leaves us under many obligations to the sagacity and wisdom of her statesmenI Yet i n this far distant Colony of Her Majesty's dominion we have many causes to complain. True you have not as yet been called on to r a l l y under this flag for i t s protection; yet the war of complexional distinction i s upon us, and i s more ravaging to us as a people than that of Mars. But men, as long as ^ this flag shall wave over you, you may rest assured that no man, or set of men, or nations, can successfully grind you down under the iron heel of oppression. Then soldiers, look up to this insignia of liberty, that has waved a thousand years over the battle and the breeze. In committing this color to your charge, we only hope that you w i l l guard i t well, and yourselves be untarnished as the color. It w i l l inspire you i n the hour of p e r i l ; i t i s a nation's proudest boast; " i t ' s a terror to a foe, and a canopy of peace to a freeman". 26 Captain Johnson, sinking on one knee, received the flag, and after de-livering i t to the colour sergeants, replied that i f i t had not been for the interest always shown by the ladies, the Corps should have died long ago. When his speech was ended, the colours were furled, and led by the band the Corps marched through the main streets of the town. Finally the day arrived when Governor Kennedy landed at Esquimalt (March 25, I864) and was greeted by the welcoming parade at Victoria. Everyone who owned a uniform or could carry a banner seems to have been i n the procession, but where was the most splendid assemblage of a l l , 26 Daily Chronicle. March 15, I864. 121 the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps? Where were the African Rifles after a l l their d r i l l i n g with their new r i f l e s and with their splendidly em-broidered flag? The committee had kept to i t s word, and the negro soldiers, instead of marching in the procession, paraded to the restaurant of one of their fellows on Beacon H i l l where they held their own cele-27 bration. They were not to be outdone however, and a- week later, pre-ceded by their brass band, marched across the wooden bridge to the Legislative Buildings where they presented their own address to the Governor: To His Excellency Arthur Edward Kennedy, C.B. May i t please your Excellency.-We, the members of the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Company, beg leave to express our thankfulness and gratification, at the safe arrival of your Excellency and family* and our unaltered devotion to the person and Government of Her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. Cur only regret i s that i n the general rejoicing over your Excellency's a r r i v a l we were precluded, on account of an anti-English (sicj prejudice against our color, of doing ourselves the honor as . well as pleasure of taking part in the procession as a military company - a company whose highest aim i s to be of service to Her Majesty and whose greatest privilege i s to be her Majesty's most loyal subjects. To your Excellency's predecessor*,. S i r James Douglas, i s due the organization of this Company, which with a l l i t s imperfections, i s at least the only representative of the B r i t i s h volunteer element in the Colony. We hope under your Excellency's administration no occasion may arise requiring our military services; i f , however the time should come when internal or external dangers should threaten the country, we hope to prove by deeds that the arms we carry are i n no unworthy hands, and that the allegiance which we owe to her Majesty we are ready with our lives to pay. It i s to us a source of extreme satisfaction to know that your Excellency's opinions agree with that basis upon which the greatness of the British law i s built - the non-recognition of distinction i n 27 Major J.S. Matthews, "British Columbia's F i r s t Troops were Black," The Army and Navy Veterans in Canada, Convention Numbert September 1934, pp. 39-40. Based in part on an interview with Samuel Booth, a former member of the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps. 122 class, creed, color or nationality - principles that found i n your great Curran so eloquent an expounder in days gone by, and which have placed Great Britain in the van of liberty, Christianity and c i v i l i z a t i o n . We have the honor to be, s i r , Your Excellency's most humble and ob't servants, (signed on behalf of the Company) R.H. JOHNSON, Captain. 28 Governor Kennedy thanked them for their loyalty and said that while he had expected i t from the inhabitants of Vancouver Island, he was glad the coloured residents were no exception. He was quite aware of the race problem which existed between the negroes and whites i n the colony, and would do everything i n his power to heal the breach existing between the two. He was accustomed to coloured people, the Governor continued, for the f i r s t colony to which he had been sent was the Gold Coast where three quarters of the population were negroes, and where his Chief Justice and even his clergyman had been black men. For this reason he could have no sympathy with those who were prejudiced because of colour, and he hoped that the negroes would be long suffering and for-bearing, as he was sure that in time this race consciousness, which he 29 understood had been imported from the United States, would disappear. At this time another white volunteer unit was in the process of formation, but recruiting was lagging and one reason put forward for this was that these alien negroes held the right, since they were the oldest unit i n the colony, to take precedence i n any review and to hold the post of honour in any public demonstration or display i n which military 28 Addresses Presented to His Excellency A.E. Kennedy, C.B., oh  Assuming the Government of Vancouver Island, (Victoria] , n.pub., {I8643, p. 17. 29 Daily Chronicle. March 31, I864. 123 units might take part. The "loyal born British subjects" on the other hand 30 would merely f i l l i n the background. This right of precedence was denied by another, who said that according to custom, i f a white and coloured regiment should be brigaded together, the white regiment always 31 took precedence over the negro one. Probably to encourage the formation of the new white m i l i t i a , the negroes were given no further o f f i c i a l support. • They were not as yet discouraged to the point of disbanding however, for the month following the presentation of their address to Governor 32 Kennedy, they held their fourth annual election of officers. However with the complete abaence of any financial or moral support from the government, i t i s not surprising that attendance became irregular and d r i l l s infrequent. In May of 1865, the editor of the Colonist asked: •..what has become of the Pioneer R i f l e Company, which at one time promised to become a very efficient and soldier-like body? Surely the enthusiasm and military ardor of our colored citizens has not a l l evaporated? The brave & warlike deeds of their countrymen i n the ranks of the Federal armies should incite them to emulate so far as circumstances w i l l permit, the patriotism of their American brethren. 3J The following day a direct reply came from a former captain of the R i f l e Company: Allow me to inform you Mr. Editor, with a l l respect, that their enthusiasm and ardor so far as this colony is concerned has evaporated. The mean and scandalous manner i n which they were treated upon the advent of Governor Kennedy i s s t i l l fresh i n their minds. Having as much human nature under their dark skins as others of a paler hue, they cannot readily forget the snubbing they received on that occasion. Although being the f i r s t (as their name indicates) military organization on the Island, after having gone to great expense i n purchasing land, building a h a l l , paying a d r i l l master, and supplying themselves with uniforms, and a l -30 Daily Chronicle, March 25, I864. 31 Ibid.. March 27, I864. 32 Colonist. April 6, I864. 33 Ibid.. May 8,, 1865* PRESENTATION OF THE COLOURS. MARCH U. 186A. 125 though having taken the oath of allegiance to her Majesty, they were by a direct vote of a Committee (composed of Br i t i s h subjects) for His Excellency's Reception, prohibited from forming part of the procession to receive him. Nor i s this a l l - there has ever been a studied effort to ignore their existence, to dampen that "ardor" and c h i l l that "enthusiasm" for which you enquire. The Volunteer Rifles (Twhite^ though last i n the f i e l d and well able financially to sustain themselves, have had a handsome sum voted them by the House of Assembly, the barracks given them for d r i l l purposes, with every other stimulant necessary to foster ef-ficiency. In a word, Mr. Editor, the authorities seemed ashamed of us, and we were disgusted with them.... It was now taken for granted that the Corps had passed out of existence, and In June 1866 the Colonial Secretary requested the return of the r i f l e s borrowed for the reception of the Governor two years be-35 fore* The r i f l e s were immediately returned, and a caustic letter from Randall Caesar of the V.P.R.C. informed the government that the Corps had not-disbanded, but because of so much discouragement they had L not met for d r i l l ; furthermore their ranks had become depleted because 36 of death and departure of many from the colony. After such a proud beginning, this was a most ignominious ending o-" for the negro unit. Perhaps they did appear awkward and ridiculous i n their i l l - f i t t i n g uniforms, but their enthusiasm and patriotism was worthy of some recognition at least, and confronted with so much discouragement, i t i s surprising that the Corps continued i n existence as long as i t did. The birth of the Pioneer Rifles had come about through the combination of jealousy, patriotism and love of display, but regardless of which 34 Colonist. May 9, 1865* 35. W.A.G. Young to Messrs, Lester, Johnson, Freeman and Pointer, June 11, Vancouver Island. Colonial Secretary's Office, Miscellaneous Letters. 11th Sept. 1865 to 29th Nov. 1866. 36 R. Caesar to W.A.G. Young, June 13, 1866. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. (In R.H. Johnson correspondence f i l e . ) 126 motive was uppermost, Victoria's negro colonists deserve the credit for being the f i r s t to form a volunteer r i f l e company and to prepare themselves for the defence of the colony. 37 Colonist, Sept. 20, 1861, May 9, 1865. 127 CHAPTER VII SALT SPRING ISLAND By 1859 many of the miners who had stampeded to the Fraser River found themselves destitute, for they had gambled everything on the re-mote chance of striking i t r i c h and had l o s t . Some were fortunate enough to make their way back to their homes in California and elsewhere, but others such as the Australians and Canadians had come too far to return so easily, and under no circumstances would the negro miners go back to the United States. Their only alternative was to go on the land, but i n the Island colony, land was expensive and they were too poor to buy. At the time of the gold rush, farm lands sold for £1.0.0 per acre, with a down payment of one quarter of the t o t a l price and the remainder being paid in annual instalments during the following four years. From the time of purchase 5% interest was added to the balance owing, and should the landholder be unable to keep up his payments, his homestead reverted to the Crown, and the money already invested by him was for-feited. These were harsh and unreasonable terms for the pioneers of Vancouver Island to encounter, when one considers that a very short distance away in Washington Territory, surveyed lands could be had at a quarter of the asking price i n the British colony, with the added , attraction that in the American territory the pre-emption law was i n effect and unsurveyed lands could be occupied free of charge u n t i l the time of survey. As a result settlement on Vancouver Island was retarded 128 and many would-be colonists l e f t the Island to take up lands on the American mainland» It was only a matter of time before the discontent of the British colonists manifested i t s e l f and their feelings were voiced i n a meeting held at the Colonial Hotel i n June of 1859. The main arguments put forward by leading citizens was that cheaper lands would attract settlers and would also encourage those already in the country to remain. Other-wise the colony must face the danger of becoming depopulated. A five man committee was elected to draw up resolutions to be presented to the Governor, and these, along with a petition were read before a public meeting a fortnight later, at which f u l l y three hundred residents of 1 Victoria were present. The outcome was that a few days later a small group of land-seekers who wanted to settle In the Cowichan Valley, gathered i n the law chambers of John Copland and drew up a petition to be presented to the Governor t e l l i n g of their desire to settle on the land subject to their occupy-ing and improving i t . A group of three then approached Governor Douglas requesting that the American system of pre-emption be adopted. A few months earlier Douglas had made his feelings quite clear on this subject 2 in a letter to S i r E. Bulwer Lytton, in which he pointed to Oregon as a bad example, for there, he claimed i t was almost impossible to find a clear t i t l e . Unfortunately many American settlers had perjured them-selves by selling their claims after taking an oath to occupy and improve their pre-empted lands. The result was that the courts were overwhelmed 1 See appendix "H*. Petition and resolutions regarding colonial lands policy. 2 Governor James Douglas to Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, Oct. 13, 1858, i n Vancouver Island Letters to the Secretary of State, 10th Dec. 1855 to  6th June 1859* 129 with disputes over land t i t l e s , and the ensuing state of uncertainty and confusion was something that the Governor hoped to avoid on Vancouver Island* The committee appointed to present the petition to Douglas request-ing permission to settle i n Cowichan, were refused lands there because they had already been surveyed and offered for sale. As an alternative the Chemainus lands were offered on very reasonable terms, for the Governor was willing that the settlers pay a down payment of one s h i l l i n g per acre, and another s h i l l i n g per acre every three months u n t i l §1.25 had been paid. The remainder to make up the £1.0.0 per acre demanded by the home government was to be paid by the end of the usual four year 3 period. Apparently this offer was acceptable, for on the morning of July 18th, a group of about thirty farmers set s a i l i n the Hanaimo Packet to i n -vestigate the Chemainus lands, with a view to reporting their findings a week later to a committee of which John Copland was to be chairman. Copland i n turn was to present this information before a public meeting to be held a few days later. A l l went according to plan and when the party returned, their report was made public. But i t was not the Chemainus d i s t r i c t that had interested them, rather i t was a l i t t l e unsurveyed island off the coast, named for obvious reasons, Salt Spring Island. They were so enthusiastic about i t s potentialities that twenty-nine settlers immediately applied through Copland for permission to take up land there, and almost at once this permission was given by the Land Office. Apparently the pressure of public opinion had by now changed the Governor's mind regarding pre-emption of unsurveyed lands, for in 3 Victoria Gazette. July H, 1859. \ 130 the following letter the settlers were invited to take up lands and to pay for them only after a survey of the island had taken place. To John Copland Esq. S i r I acknowledge to have received from you the names of 29 persons, l i s t of whom i s hereto annexed for whom you are agent and who apply through you for permission to settle on the unsur-veyed lands of Tuan or Salt spring Island, their reason being want of funds to settle on surveyed lands elsewhere i n which cases an immediate instalment i s required, the permission asked for I am empowered to give and am further to state d i s t i n c t l y , that after the survey of the lands i n question shall have been made, pre-emptive right i n those of the number stated, who shall have effected most improvement i n the way of Buildings, fencing or cultivation on any Government Section shall be recognised {sic} and that the sections shall be l a i d out continuously with and as portion of the same network which extends over the adjoining country of Cowichan. I am further empowered to delay the survey of that portion of Tuan Island on which these persons shall settle u n t i l the expiration of — years or u n t i l requested at an earlier period to survey and issue T i t l e s by the majority of the holders at the future time alluded to. Provided that as soon as the lands are surveyed, immediate payment at the rate and on the terms that shall then exist or Immediate forfeiture of the same and improvements shall ensue. Provided further that none of these persons shall occupy or allow other persons to occupy lands i n any way improved, fenced or cultivated, or at any time occupied by Indians, which l i k e -wise would entail forfeiture similar to that above stated. Provided l a s t l y that Government w i l l have the right to resume any portion of these lands required s t r i c t l y for a Government purpose, such as Dockyard, Light-house, Church, School, J a i l , &c, pay-ing to the occupiers the actual value of improvements effected thereon. VANCOUVER ISLAND COLONY Land Office Victoria July 26 1859 (Sd) Joseph D. Pemberton List of Settlers for whom Certificate Papers are wanted. James Stephens Edward Mallandaine Thomas Henry Linieker [sic] Edward Henry Linieker William Isaacs George Richardson Arms tad Buckner (sic) E.A. Booth James Chambers James R. Gascoigne George Kirkess R.P. Dombrane 131 P.J. Adams F.V. Gerry Jonathan Begg Joseph Froutin Sam Francis Stephens George Copland Fielding Spott Csic] William ft. Brown George Richardson The prospective settlers wasted no for the following day on July 27th, Charles Rennalls Thomas W. Herron Daniel McLean James Tenny John Tomkins Edward Walker James B. Peterson E. Hammond Ring k time after receiving this notification, seventeen sailed from Victoria for Salt Spring, the second largest of the Gulf Islands. Originally designated on a map published i n 1854 as Chuan (or Tuan) Island, i n 1856 i t appears as Salt Spring, and a few years later when 4 Joseph D. Pemberton to John Copland, Esq., July 26, 1859, i n Vancouver  Island, Lands and Works Department. Survey Branch* Correspondence Book. 20th Oct. 1857 to 29th Sept. 1864. p. 38. Identified as negroes are: Wmiam xsaacs, jrieiding Spotts, Armstead Buckner, and E.A. Booth. 132 i t was surveyed the name became o f f i c i a l l y Admiral Island i n honour of Rear Admiral Baynes, commander of the Pacific Station between 1857 and I860. Regardless of i t s o f f i c i a l name, the settlers always knew i t simply as Salt Spring because of the springs of brine that existed at the northern end. Situated about f i f t y miles by water from Victoria, the island i s about seventeen miles long and roughly nine miles across at i t s widest point. For the most part i t as mountainous, but the valleys covered with leaf mould deposited by the alders and maples provided enough good farming land for the early pioneers. When the f i r s t settlers arrived i n mid-summer, they thought they had found a l i t t l e paradise, for the natural resources of the place seemed to provide such a large portion of their needs. Trees were plentiful for the building of cabins and for fu e l ; wild strawberries, blackberries and cranberries were in abundance; there were many fresh-water springs, and the trout streams and l i t t l e lakes abounded in f i s h . In season there was never a shortage of blue and willow grouse, snipe and various types of water fowl. Black-tailed deer were common, and i t was seldom that the farmers' larders could not be stocked with venison. If one's taste ran to sea food, the coastal waters could supply salmon, rock cod, black cod, and oysters. Clams could be dug almost anywhere along the shore, and more than once they proved the salvation of many settlers. But nature was not entirely kind to the pioneers, for panthers and grey wolves frequently depleted the farmers' flocks and live-stock. During the winter and spring of some of these early years provisions sometimes ran low when stormy weather prevented their transportation from Victoria i n small boats or canoes; then the settlers were forced 133 to turn to clams for subsistence. But excellent crops of vegetables, corn and melons during the summers were some compensation, and eventually the farmers were able to grow their own "wheat. In 1859 no Indians were permanently encamped on the Island, although i t was a regular stopping off place on their way to and from Victoria, as well as being a favourite fishing ground. In season they would come in large numbers to f i s h , scooping the herring out of the water with long paddles studded with nails . The clams were also an attraction, and during the late spring the natives would camp on the shores of Ganges harbour to dig and preserve them. This must have been a favourite spot for centuries, for in some places the clam-shell s o i l was several 5 feet deep. Such was the Island and i t s inhabitants when the f i r s t group of seventeen white and negro settlers began to mark off their claims and construct their cabins. By the end of August 1859, almost a l l of the original twenty-nine applicants had chosen their lands, and thirty-two more had made application through John Copland, who inserted the following advertisement i n the Victoria Gazettet To Salt Spring Island Settlers 'THE TWENTY-NINE PARTIES WHOSE names were on the FIRST LIST, are requested to c a l l on the undersigned, - pay for the survey, -and get their names marked on the Plan, on or before SATURDAY NEXT, as those who have since received permission from the Colonial Surveyor w i l l then proceed to choose their lots, from such as may remain on the Survey. JOHN COPLAND, Sept. 19, 1859. Yates Street. 6 5 Rev. E.F. Wilson, Salt Spring Island B r i t i s h Columbia. Colonist Presses, Victoria, B.C., 1895, p. 21. 6 Victoria Gazette. Sept. 20, 1859. 134 In December there were f i f t y - s i x more applicants, for as favourable reports were brought back, more settlers wanted to take up free lands on Salt Spring. Most of them were recent arrivals from Canada and Australia, but many of Victoria's negro settlers were also l i s t e d among them. Who the f i r s t negro colonists were, i t is impossible to say, for the majority of those who made application never actually went there, and Island tradition does not correspond at a l l with the scanty o f f i c i a l records that do exist. Settlement continued at a very favourable pace despite the con-stant threats of the Penalichar (probably Penalahats, a group of Cowichans) tribe, who did not hesitate to t e l l the new arrivals that the island 7 was theirs and that Governor Douglas had Bcap-swallowed" i t . Most of the industrious settlers were well satisfied with their new surround-ings, and went to work clearing, ploughing and fencing; the indolent few soon l e f t the island and no longer being residents, relinquished their pre-emption rights. As soon as they became established, many of the coloured farmers sent for their wives and children and for this reason, the numbers of negro colonists rapidly increased in proportion to the numbers of whites. Some indication of the large coloured population i s given in the diary of the Reverend Ebenezer Robson, the f i r s t minister to hold services on Salt Spring. Robson visited Ganges Harbour in February 1861, and of i t he says: After breakfasting at Mr. L's I visited a l l the houses i n the settlement save 3 There are i n the settlement 21 houses on the ^ same number of claims 4 of the houses inhabited by white people and the remainder by colored people. I preached i n the house of 7 New Westminster Times, Sept. 24, 1859. 135 a colored man i n the evening to about 20 persons a l l colored except 3 and one of them i s married to a colored man.... 8 Any outward evidence of r a c i a l prejudice was almost non-existent i n the settlement except for the one instance recorded by Robson: Mrs. Lenniker [sic7 says Mr. L. nor herself w i l l come to any meeting when the colored people associate with the white, poor woman she says some people might do i t but she has been brought up so that she cannot - was the daughter of a church of England clergyman. 1 This was a rare case however, for most of the settlers were far too busy working their lands to be concerned about complexional differences. As time went on the differences i n race became less marked, for whites married negroes, negroes married Indians, and several whites kept t/ Indian common law wives. In time their offspring inter-married, and the Island became such a r a c i a l melting pot that discrimination because of colour could hardly flourish. Ebenezer Robson recommended that a school house be built as soon as possible, and shortly a log cabin was constructed by the settlers for this purpose. Here John Jones, an educated coloured man taught for three days each week, the remaining three days he spent with the children 10 at the north end of the Island. As far as i s known, Jones was not paid by the government u n t i l 1869 when the f i r s t government operated school was 8 Reverend Ebenezer Robson, Diary, Feb. 21, 1861. In B.C. Provincial Archives. 9 Ibid., Dec. 21, 1861. 10 Rev. E.F. Wilson, op. c i t . , p. 22. 136 opened i n the settlement. Then the school trustees, one of whom was Abraham Copeland, a coloured man, wrote to the Colonial Secretary, sug-gesting that Jones, who held a f i r s t class teaching certificate from 12 the State of Ohio, should continue i n his role of teacher. His appoint-ment was immediately approved, but he remained on the Island only a few years longer, for during the 1870's he returned to Oberlin, Ohio, taking with him one of^the Harrison brothers, whose parents wished him to be educated there. The religious needs of the early settlers on Salt Spring were adequately cared for, and not only did Ebenezer Robson make periodic v i s i t s , but the Bishop himself would sometimes go to the Island. Other Methodist ministers followed Robson, such as the Reverend Thomas Crosby and the Reverend Edward White, and i n the mid-1860's W.S. Reece, a Church of England minister also began to make monthly trips to minister to the settlers. The problem of communication was one of the greatest complaints of the Islanders who were not always satisfied with the efforts of the government at Victoria to improve the situation. There was no regular boat service with Vancouver Island and the quickest way to send a letter to Victoria was via New Westminster. Then there was the lack of roads on the Island i t s e l f as a further i r r i t a t i o n , for although Governor Douglas had appointed three road commissioners i n i860, by 1862 the roads so desperately needed to connect the isolated communities were sti l l . n o n -existent. Jonathan Begg, one of the road commissioners informed Douglas that the settlers could not build their own roads as they were 12 J.P. Booth, T. Griffeths ( s i c ) , Abraham Copland ( s i c ) , to the Colonial Secretary, Oct. 26, 1869. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 13 Interview with Ernest Harrison, Salt Spring Island, July 1, 1950. 137 too poor and needed every hour of their time to tend their farms in order to raise produce to s e l l at Victoria to pay for their pre-emption claims. Why not l e t the farmers partly pay for their lands by constructing the 14 roads that were so badly needed, he suggested. Throughout the period, the settlers did act as road builders, but whether or not on the above basis i s unknown. This question of roads was one that sometimes caused f r i c t i o n among the early pioneers, for naturally every farmer wanted his home to be located on one. Such an incident occurred when Louis Stark, a negro farmer, requested that the government build a road from the small community in which he lived to the school house and boat dock at Ganges Harbour. He had already by his own efforts cleared one two miles long in that direction, but now found himself blocked by the claims of two other farmers. Could the government do anything to complete the remain-15 ing mile and a half? An agreement was shortly made with Stark to com-plete the road, and from this arose a quarrel that was even carried into the church on a Sunday morning. The details of this unhappy a f f a i r are related i n a letter from Louis Stark to Joseph Trutch: Salt Spring Island 1870 december 22 mr trutch dear S i r I Beg leave to Say to you that I cut the timber on the road that I made agreement with mr titus on Saturday this road lade out by a party of three and also by instrucktions in a letter recived from mr t i t u s , 8 of September and i t was on Satuday when mr titus wish to know i f that road lin e was Settled betwene us I then and t h i r agred to tak i t as i t was the parties Should have objected then and t h i r or hel t h i r peace this agreement and road i s the work of Satuday I had cut the timber the lenth of the line be-fore I recived mr morlyes notice to leave of the work on Sunday morning Sirvis being about to close a party commenct to eleckt over-seers and to go and lay out the road that I had taken I Stated to 14 Jonathan Begg to Governor Douglas, May 5, 1862. MS in B.C. Provincial Archives. 15 Louis Stark to B.W. Pearse, Sept. 15, 1870. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 138 the parties i f tha from that meeting on Sunday appoint men to lay out a road for me to work I would have nothing to do with i t unless i t went on the same lines agreed on the parsson cam down out of the pullpit and beged them do not be holding meetings on goverment Buisness on the lords day the Sunday party lay out on the Sam line part of the way when i n a half mile of the School house and Boat road thay l e f t the road and went to a mans Barn who have a road to his door for ten years loosing a quarter of a mile i n this hort distance this Sunday Binss was a l l don and dated monday and now I am c a l l on to acknolege an agreement that I had nothing to do with or loos the work that i s don this road dont com to the mouth of the Boat road by f i f t y yeards whil the others corns i n rang three or four hundred yeards I Beg leave Sir toc make my gratefull acknolegment to you and mr Pirce for haveing don that which was f a i r and r i t e so f a i r as you knew and i f i loos my labour predgerdis and unfair play i s the caus and that too bad to describe the Sundy party road Is a half moon circl e from Creek to the Bairn that i s the road tha i s the road that I fefuesd to cut i t would be madness i n me to ask goverment to cut Sutch a road as that a Sentrel road i s a l l that we ask for and l e t us make l i t t l e roads and pigtrails to com to i t by our own labour the road on the creek that was com-plaind of I would cut that as Both lay i t out tho I recived no reply to that part I would be glad to no i f mr morleys de-sis t ion i s f i n a l S i r please except my pardon for trespassing on your pations so mutch I hope for the better I remain you obt Servent louis Stark The Islanders were always keenly interested in p o l i t i c s , and com-bined with the settlers of the Chemainus d i s t r i c t were entitled to one member in the assembly. There i s no record of any negro ever hav-ing run for office, although i t was once suggested that John Jones be nominated as a candidate. In 1868 the coloured residents did succeed i n electing M i f f l i n Gibbs as their representative at the Yale Convention however. "There is no law on Saltspring" was a common complaint among the early pioneers, and in the light of the frequent examples of lawlessness this was quite j u s t i f i e d , for because of disinterest on the part of the government, the Island was inadequately policed and in consequence at 16 MS in B.C. Provincial Archives. 139 times became almost uninhabitable. Negroes and whites alike were re-sponsible for many crimes but i t was the Indians who were marked as the greatest offenders. They regarded i t as their privilege to despoil the settlers whenever possible, and too often farmers would awaken to discover that their entire crops of turnips had been stolen and perhaps a few head of cattle missing. If a settler happened to be absent from home when a fleet of Indian canoes landed on their way northward, i t was not unusual for his cabin to be ransacked and a l l his possessions stolen. After such occurrences the guilty parties were seldom i f ever apprehended. On more than one occasion the Indians t e r r i f i e d the pioneers by their inter-tribal wars, for the settlers were never certain that they themselves might not be drawn into the battle. After one such incident in the summer of i860, Thomas Lineker, a white farmer at Admiralty Bay, wrote to the Governor describing the menacing situation: Admiralty Bay, Salt Spring Island, July 9th, 1860. To His Excellency James Douglass (sic] C.B. Governor of Vancouver's Island. &c. &c. &c. Si r At a meeting of the Settlers of this place I was deputed to address Your Excellency on the Subject of the Indians. I beg therefore to acquaint rYour Excellency that ontthe 4th of July last, at noon, a canoe with nine men, two boys and three women of the "Bella Bella" tribe came in here with a person named McCauley who had business With some of the Settlers. While he was talking with me, the Cowichians fsicj numbering some f i f t y , who were encamped here (& who on the arrival of the Bella Bellas manifested an unfriendly s p i r i t , but afterward appeared friendly) commenced f i r i n g , a general fight Ensued which lasted about an hour, and ended in the Cowichians (sic] k i l l i n g eight of the other, and carrying off the women and boys as prisoners, this fight occurred so close to my house, that I sent my wife and family into the woods for safety, during the night one of the Bella Bellas came to me, wounded. I pointed out a t r a i l which would lead him to the Northern part of the Island, hoping he might get away. I f e l t I could not give him shelter without being compromised in this murderous a f f a i r . Two men have just arrived here from the other side of the Island, who inform me that a week since some Northern Indians took two of another tribe out of their boat and cut their heads off. The Indians have a l l l e f t here, probably anticipating an attack in such an event we should be anything but safe, especially should they i n any way molest the Settlers. We number here twenty six men, scattered over about two miles Square, consider-ing their defenceless position the Settlers trust that Your Excellency w i l l deem i t expedient to afford them such protection as you in Your wisdom may think necessary, I have the honor to be Your Excellency's obedient humble Servant Thos H. Liheker. 17 The H.M.S. Satellite was immediately despatched to the Island, but aside from this, l i t t l e further was done during the next decade to pro-tect the lives of the pioneers. Not only were the Indians guilty of thievery and of slaughtering one another, but on two occasions were accused of the murder of coloured settlers. In 1868 William Robinson, a most inoffensive negro farmer was found dead in his windowless log hut. This discovery was made by a v i s i t o r , who receiving no answer to his knock, removed some packing from between the logs, and through the opening saw the coloured man lying dead on the fl o o r . Evidently he had been shot while eating his dinner. The murderer l e f t no clue, but when someone remembered having seen the dead man i n the company of an Indian a few days before, there was no doubt in anyone's mind as to the race of the guilty one. 17 MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 141 A few months later another coloured man, Giles Curtis was also murdered, but in a more gruesome manner. On returning from church one Sunday morning, Howard Estes (some sources say i t was Louis Stark, his son-in-law) found his r i f l e standing outside the door of his cabin, and upon entering came upon the body of Curtis, a gunshot wound i n his temple and his throat gashed with a butcher knife. When an inquest was held, the verdict was that he had been murdered by unknown parties, but as usual the Indians, guilty or not, received the blame. Such incidents following i n rapid succession caused the settlers to become dissatisfied with the lack of o f f i c i a l interest in their well-being. Many became so frightened by the prospect of being murdered that they gave up their claims and returned to more c i v i l i z e d parts of the country; others who were i n need of hired help to develop their farms, found that labourers valued their lives too highly to risk setting foot on the Island. Dissatisfaction f i n a l l y reached a point where i t could no longer be restrained, and the Islanders threatened either to emigrate or to form a vigilance committee i f a resident Justice of the Peace were not appointed to keep law and order. This aroused the authorities i n Victoria and in the belief that Indians were responsible for these Various crimes, H.M.S. Sparrowhawk cruised among the gulf islands i n a vain attempt to locate the criminals. Indians were questioned and were even offered a reward of f 250 i f they would reveal the murderer of the coloured man. While the search for the slayer of Curtis was continuing, an Indian was arrested and charged with the Robinson k i l l i n g . Possibly for some personal motive another native of the same tribe decided to turn informer and told the police how fifteen months before, his fellow Chemainus, 142 Tschuanhuaset, had shot and k i l l e d the negro. The accused was readily-found guilty by a jury too prone to regard every Indian as a potential murderer and despite the efforts of his tribe to establish an a l i b i and of a delegation of Songhees Indians who petitioned to have his sentence commuted, Tschuanhuaset was taken up the coast and was executed. Perhaps he was an innocent man. Some at least thought so, and one person f e l t strongly enough about the subject to condemn the system whereby one Indian had been found guilty merely on the word of another, and where the condemned man was t r i e d before a jury quite ignorant of Indian ways. Perhaps the accuser merely bore a grudge and found this a convenient way of disposing of his enemy. In any case the law was satisfied and the case closed and forgotten. Undoubtedly the Indians were responsible for many of the unsolved crimes on Salt Spring, but the coloured settlers were far from blame-less. They were rough men, they had to be or they would never have come there i n the f i r s t place. Violent hatreds sometimes developed among them, and one coloured farm hand even tr i e d to burn down a fellow negro's barn. Another was imprisoned on a serious morals charge. The Island was a l i t t l e world of i t s own, and the settlers being human, had a l l the normal virtues and f a i l i n g s . The personal histories of most of the early Salt Spring Island coloured pioneers have been lost with the passing of time, except for the story of Louis and Sylvia Stark, which because of the comparatively recent death of Sylvia, can be reconstructed with some accuracy. Aunt Silvy, as she was generally called, lived to the estimated age of 106, and u n t i l the end of her l i f e retained a remarkably clear memory, and was always willing to t e l l of her experiences. She had been born Sylvia Estes, 143 a slave i n Clay County, Missouri, and as a child of nine, her job in the household was to care for her master's baby. She used to t e l l how even when she was "hot and cold and dizzy" with fever, she had to continue looking after the child. "Such things should not be," she is reported 18 to have said, "a l i t t l e sick g i r l to look after a big child l i k e thatI" Generally l i f e i n slavery was not unpleasant for the Estes family for their master was a kind man, but i t was only natural for them to yearn for freedom, for a slave considered himself to be only "half a man". For-tunately they were given this liberty when their master moved to Ca l i -fornia and permitted the slave father to purchase not only his own freedom, but also that of his wife, his son and l i t t l e Sylvia. Soon Estes was able to establish his family on a small ranch where they stayed u n t i l they joined the negro exodus to the north. It was i n California that Sylvia met and married Louis Stark, a mulatto son of a southern slave owner. Stark had worked as a barber 19 on the Mississippi River steamers before going to California. In 1860 with their three year old son W i l l i s and with Sylvia's parents, the Starks boarded the Brother Jonathan and sailed for Vancouver Island. Land, not gold was the attraction here, for Louis came not with mining equipment, but with ten or fifteen head of cattle, the f i r s t to be brought to Salt Spring, according to his wife. The family remained i n Victoria only u n t i l Louis had investigated the Puget Sound area to find the best land for cattle raising. Salt Spring Island seemed to him the most satisfactory place, and after building a cabin there, he loaded his 18 Vancouver Daily Province, January 16, 1941, p. 16. 19 Colonist. March 1, 1895, p.2. 144 family, and possessions on the schooner Black Diamond and sailed to the new homestead. Louis and a partner had already selected a claim on the mountainside overlooking Vesuvius Bay, and i t was on the shores near the bay that the family landed with their goods. While her husband with an Indian helper hired for the purpose, packed their possessions to the cabin, Sylvia remained behind on the beach with her husband's partner and the Indian's squaw. Then occurred an incident which she never forgot. Suddenly out of nowhere came a canoe loaded with Indians, attracted by the p i l e of settler's belongings on phe beach. Without a word the squaw disappeared into the woods, leaving the two coloured people to brave the situation alone. One of the natives made threaten-ing gestures with a knife, but the negro stood without moving, and i t was his brave attitude, according to Sylvia, that saved their l i v e s . As quickly as they had come, the Indians returned to their canoes, and 20 without molesting anyone continued on their way to Victoria. In the autumn of 1861, on one of his v i s i t s to the Island, Ebenezer Kobson visited the Starks, and according to a brief entry i n his diary seems to have been favourably impressed by them: ...came up to Mr. Stark's. He met us at the landing. We found a pleasant and pious person in Mr. Stark's wife. They once were slaves i n the Southern United States, that land of liberty. Mr. Stark bought himself for |1500. Mrs. S's father bought her. They were married i n California. They came up to the Island 2 years ago & now they with their children 3 in number are l i v i n g on their own farm. It is good land & they only pay $1 per acre for i t . Mr. Stark has about 30 head of cattle. He sowed one quart of wheat near his house last winter and reaped 180 qts. i n the summer. One grain of wheat produced 2360 grains on 59 branches. His turnips of which he has a large quantity are beautiful and large - Also cabbage etc. etc. His wife who was converted about 2 months ago f i l l e d my sacks with good things - 4 lbs fine fresh butter, 2 qt bottles new milk. Mr. Stark gave me some of his large turnips. 21 20 F.M. Kelly, "Salt Spring Calling," Colonist. Aug. 19, 1934. Based on an interview with Willis Stark. 21 Ebenezer Robson, Diary, Sunday, Oct. 13, 1861. Sylvia Stark Willi s Stark The photograph of Sylvia Stark was taken by J. Wesley Miller i n 1933* In a letter to the Rev. John Goodfellow, Princeton, B.C. Sept. 21, 1933, Mr. Miller wrote; "I took three snapshots of Mrs. L. Stark, one of which i s developed but not satisfactory. I hope to have something worth while in the other two. Though she is 96 years she had an apron on and was actually hoeing corn in the garden when I arrived. She wanted to be taken with the apron on for she said, "I want them to know I am a working woman." It was a delight to li s t e n to her t e l l of the early days and I was particularly interested in her account of a vivid awakening of her religious f a i t h as she turned to God i n those trying days." 22 22 MS in B.C. Provincial Archives. Salt Spring Island f i l e . 14& & f©w we^ ks later Robson one® again stayed with the Storks* and be and Louis talked about slavery and the slave states. In his diary that night the- minister'made•a further ©bfervation about'his host and hostess. Mrs* Stark is religious but. Mr. -Stark hasn't as mush .-of i t as ho might have and yet there are worse sea than Ma in the church. All seens to have gone very favourably with the family on their farm on the aid© of "Stark Mountain11 until after Giles Curtis was murdered, then they moved across to Ganges Harbour to begin anew* Stark wrote to the land agent Joseph Trutch explaining the situation: Salt Spring Island aovember 3 im Mr trutch land agent dear Sir I Beg leave to inform you that I have ben oblige to move ay famerly from ay claim as the Indians is dalngers I cannot get any wan to live on the place Since clrtiee was kil l d for this cans I have commsncts improving a peace of land ©a the n.e. Side of gaingers harber and Jolnd on the South east ©ad of davl'd overtone claim thir la forty or fifty aeurs of this laud near to other Settlers which I would be veary thankfull i f you will record this to me sad take one hundred acures from w old claim and record to me en® hundred on&ly untill I can get a man on i t Louis Stark i 4 For some reason, the Starks left Salt Spring in 1875 end took up land in the Cranberry district near Nanaiao. Her© occurred a great family tragedy* for in the early spring of 1895 Louis tras found dead at the foot of ia c l i f f . Raaasur had i t that he had been murdered, and the family was always convinced of thisj although from the nature of 25 the wound® on the body i t is possible that be had fallen over the cliff e Shortly afterward Sylvia returned to Ganges Harbour where she became the most celebrated personality;©n the Island - the matriarch of Salt Spring. 23 Ebeneser Robson, Diary.- Sunday!. December 22. 1861.. 24 MS in B .Go Provincial Archives. 25 Colonist. March 1, 1S95» p.2. 147 Anyone arriving at Ganges Harbour on July 1st, a day of celebration i n the community, would probably find a baseball game i n progress i n front of the school, and nearby a refreshment stand surrounded by a crowd of noisy, hungry children who have just taken part i n the games. On looking further one might wonder at the t a l l , slim coloured man i n the sun helmet, faded jacket and impressed trousers, cheering at a home" run. He i s quite old, at least in his eighties, and a l l the children know him. "That's Mr. Harrison, his picture was in the paper last week", they point to him and say. Ernest Harrison i s the celebrity of the moment, for he i s the last of the early negro pioneers. But there are other traces of the Island's unusual history, for under a makeshift awning s i t s a stout coloured woman wearing heavy gold ear-rings and eat-ing ice-cream, and from across the way comes sauntering a negress with her French-Canadian husband, and dark skinned baby. Here one may see the last traces of l i f e on the Island as i t was. 148 CHAPTER VIII IN THE GOLDFIELDS If gold had not been discovered i n B r i t i s h Columbia, i t i s very doubtful i f the negro migration to Vancouver Island would have occurred, for there would have been no labour shortage i n Victoria and Governor Douglas would have had l i t t l e reason other than philanthropic for i n v i t -ing them to come to the colony. It was because of gold and rumours of gold that their attention was directed northward. The beginnings of the Fraser River rush of 1858 may be traced as far back as 1855 when gold was discovered on the Pend Oreille River. As i t was not found there in large quantities, Angus Macdonald of Fort ColvilL^e suggested that the miners might have better luck farther up the Columbia. Many followed his advice and no doubt lured on by the unknown, began to penetrate into the interior of what was to become the colony of British Columbia. On March 1st, 1856, Macdonald wrote to James Douglas t e l l i n g him of the existence of gold on the Columbia River within B r i t i s h territory, which information was relayed to the Secretary of State for'the Colonies, the Right Honourable Henry Labouchere. As yet the mines had yielded very disappointing returns however, and Douglas hesi-tated to make any extravagant claims for them. Despite his caution, during the summer and f a l l of 1857, miners came in increasing numbers from Oregon and Washington Territories, and with them came a few French Canadians formerly employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. A l l made their way to the upper Fraser prospecting the rich bars that had formed at the forks of 149 the river. So well did they succeed in their operations that rumours of their good fortune l a i d the foundation for the excitement that was soon to follow* By March of 1858, the news from the diggings had created much excitement on Puget Sound, so much so that on March 22, the Herald of Steilacoom put out an extra saying that miners on the Fraser and Thompson Rivers were making from $8.00 to $50.00 per day, and that the Indians were friendly. Within a week, mills were forced to shut down: soldiers desertedj sailors l e f t their ships, and a l l the hands at the Bellingham coal mines quit work. By the end of April the rush from San Francisco had begun and a l l classes of society crowded vessels to three times their capacity, paying fares ranging from $60.00 for the "nobs" to $30.00 for the "roughs". During the spring and summer of 1858 i t has been estimated that 23,000 made the t r i p from California to Victoria, while perhaps another 8,000 procededi overland. Victoria was s t i l l far from the diggings however, for the Gulf of Georgia had to be crossed and the Fraser River ascended for a hundred miles and more. In the early stages of the rush there was no adequate transportation to the mines and hundreds made the crossing i n hastily built small boats and canoes. These early arrivals found r i c h and easy diggings at Fargo Bar fifteen miles above Fort Langley and i n the v i c i n i t y of Yale. In spite of the report that the adventurers were the dregs of San Francisco, Governor Douglas commended the f i r s t arrivals for their good behaviour, although he was somewhat doubtful of the results of this i n -discriminate immigration which he f e l t might bring i n a foreign element with anti-British sympathies. In the meantime he took steps to ensure 150 law and order and his regulations regarding the mining of gold were s t r i c t . In December 1857 he had issued a proclamation stating that " a l l mines of gold whether on the lands of the Queen or of any of Her Majesty's Subjects belong to the Crown" and he required that miners take out licences before digging. The fee was to be ten shillings per month with the provision that i t be increased i f the mines proved of sufficient value; within a month this was raised to twenty-one shillings, but Douglas was neveryvery successful i n collecting i t . In the meantime the Indians were becoming more hostile, and i n his despatch of April 6, 1858, the Governor reported that whenever any-one did make a promising discovery "They were quietly hustled and crowded by the natives, who having by that means obtained possession of the spot, 1 then proceeded to reap the fr u i t s of their labours." However, "they have on a l l occasions scrupulously respected the persons and property of their white v i s i t o r s . " In Douglas 1 opinion however, i t was only a matter of time before serious trouble would develop. The Governor had handled a d i f f i c u l t situation remarkably well and was commended for i t by the new Colonial Secretary, S i r E. Bulwer Lytton, who, on July 1, 1858 issued instructions not to exclude Americans or other foreigners from the gold f i e l d s : Under the circumstance of so large an immigration of Americans into English territory, I need hardly impress upon you the im-portance of caution and delicacy i n dealing with those manifold cases of international relationship and feeling which are certain 1 Governor Douglas to Right Hon. H. Labouchere, April 6, 1858, i n Copies or Extracts of Correspondence Relative to the Discovery of Gold  i n the Eraser's River D i s t r i c t , in Br i t i s h North America, presented to  both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty. July 2. 1858, London, George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, 1858, p. 10. 151 to arise, and which but for the exercise of temper and discretion might easily lead to serious complications between two neighbouring and powerful states. 2 Such was the situation when the f i r s t of the gold rush vessels, the Commodore, entered the harbour at Victoria on April 25th, 1858 and discharged i t s passengers, including the advance party of thirty-five*^ negroes from San Francisco. Many of this f i r s t group of coloured men were satisfied to remain in the town, especially the older ones who would undoubtedly be unwilling to make the rigorous crossing to the Fraser River; but some of the younger men did continue on to the gold f i e l d s , and were ^ among those, who during the f i r s t summer volunteered their services to 3 construct a road up the Harrison River valley to the upper Fraser country. As soon as they learned that the government wished to construct a road connecting Harrison's and Anderson's lakes, a distance of eighty miles, many miners volunteered their services on generous terms, for aside from their food and transportation to the beginning of the road, they were to receive no other payment for their efforts. Placer miners were always a very unstable group, packing up and moving overnight at the mere suggestion of better diggings ahead. The men who camped beside the Fraser bars in 1858 were no exception. A mother lode must l i e farther up the river, they were certain of i t , their reasoning being that since the gold found between Hope and Yale was very fine, the coarser particles must have already fallen out upstream. A few hardy individuals pushed on, and although Hope and Yale had been 2 S i r E. Bulwer Lytton to Governor Douglas, July 1, 1858, i n Copies  or Extracts of Correspondence Relative to the Discovery of Gold i n the  Fraser'"s River Dis t r i c t of B r i t i s h Columbia, op. c i t . . p. 10. 3 Governor Douglas to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Aug. 19, 1858, in Vancouver Island Letters to the Secretary of State, 10th Dec. 1855  to 6th June. 1859. / 152 the center of activity i n 1858, by 1859 the miners were above Lytton, probably i n the v i c i n i t y of Lillooetj then on to Soda Creek, to Alexandria and f i n a l l y up the Quesnel River to that fabulous country, the Cariboo. It was not u n t i l I860 that this area was really penetrated and one gold bearing creek after another was discovered. The f i r s t of these was Keithley Creek, then i n the f a l l of I860, Antler Creek. There seemed to be no end of gold-bearing streams and the miners rushed from one to another i n their frantic search. But the Cariboo s t i l l kept hidden i t s treasure u n t i l the spring of 1861 when William Dietz (Dutch B i l l ) and his party crossed Bald Mountain and came upon William's Creek, the richest stream of a l l . The most promising strike here was made on a swampy f l a t which had probably at one time been a lake bottom. Under these new conditions shaft mining was introduced for the f i r s t time i n the colony bringing with i t the need of capital and the formation of min-ing companies. The day of the individual miner had now come to an end for he had either to return to the shallow diggings, or hire himself out as a labourer to one of the companies. As usual one of the greatest problems i n the new fi e l d s was their inaccessibility, and so began one of the greatest engineering feats of that era, the building of the Cariboo road. Completed at a cost of l i t t l e more than a million dollars i t was the pride of the colony, and with i t s wayside houses twelve or thirteen miles apart, one could make the formerly hazardous joijrney i n comparative ease. Cf a l l the thousands of men of every nationality who flocked to the Fraser and Cariboo diggings, the coloured miners represented only \ y a very small' fraction, yet the impression they made was far out of pro-portion to their numbers. It i s doubtful i f many became wealthy by 153 by panning the sands of the Fraser, but as i n Victoria, some prospered supplying the economic needs of the miners as bakers, restaurant keepers, draymen, merchants and barbers. John Emmerson, an early traveller, mentions meeting a coloured baker on his t r i p to Lillooet during the summer of 1862: As already stated, I reached Lillooet i n a miserable predicament. A bread baker (a man of colour) made me a cup of coffee with bread and butter, for a quarter dollar, and gave me a piece of cold mutton into the bargain and allowed me to sleep on his floor. L As already mentioned, Will i s Bond and his partner had constructed a ditch at Yale by which they supplied water to the miners to wash the bank i n front of the town for gold. In the Cariboo one of the better known restaurant keepers was a mulatto known as Nigger Steele, and i n Barker-v i l l e two of the familiar personalities were the negro barbers, Wellington Delaney Moses and Isaac Dickson. Most of the coloured men i n the goldfields spent a l l their time searching for gold however, and i n 1863 of the ten men who were panning on Horse Fly Creek, seven were negroes, and although they were quite inexperienced, they managed to make about three to six dollars each per day. Negro miners were early in the Cariboo, for by 1862 the "colored 6 man's house" on Bald Mountain had become a local landmark. On William's Greek many negroes banded together to form mining companies to raise sufficient capital to sink shafts, and i t was one such company that be-came involved i n the most publicized mining legal battle of the period, a case that made Judge Begbie very unpopular i n the Cariboo. 4 John Emmerson, Br i t i s h Columbia and Vancouver Island, Durham, England, W. Ainsley, 1865, p. 68. . 5 Daily Chronicle. Sept. 19, 1863. 6 E.O.S. Scholefield and F.W. Howay, Bri t i s h Columbia from the  Earliest Times to the Present, Vancouver, S.H. Clarke Publishing Company, .1914, vol. II, p. 121. 154 The dispute began in 1862 when the Aurora Company had staked off a claim on William's Creek with a I4OO foot frontage, but extending back an indefinite distance to the mountainside. It was not u n t i l I864, after the discovery of pay d i r t on their claim that they were ordered to stake i t off, but then, finding that i t was larger than they were permitted by law to hold, a sister company, the Borealis, was formed to claim the excess. Shortly however, due to some disagreement, the Borealis brought action against the Aurora Company and the latter was given six weeks by the court to mark off i t s claim. Since this was neglected before the expiry of the time l i m i t , according to mining law, the land was now open to a l l comers. The neighbouring claim belonged to some negro miners, the Harvey-Dixon Company, who took advantage of this opportunity to extend their holdings and stake off 400 feet of what had been, i n name at least, the property of the Aurora Company. Now the negro Harvey-Dixon Company and the white Dayis Company consolidated their claims, and being determined to retain the disputed land, decided i f necessary to make a test case of the matter. Neither the Aurora nor the Borealis made another move for fourteen months, at which time the Davis Company made a strike. Then the Borealis miners took their claim to Gold Commissioner Cox, who ruled in favour of the coloured miners and their white partners. This was not to be the end of the affair however, for contrary to his ruling the Aurora Company sunk a shaft on what was now legally the Davis claim. With this the "negro-white" company appealed to "Judge" Cox, who once again ruled in their favour. The Aurora Company would not accept this decision however, and were determined much against Cox's wishes to take the case to the highest authority in the colony -155 Judge Matthew B a l l l i e Begbie. It was in May of 1866 that, the Davis Company was informed that the matter was to go before Judge Begbie. The news stirred up considerable excitement on William's Creek, for other miners now began to wonder whether or not their own claims were safe. If they struck i t r i c h , might not a neighbouring company try to take their claim? When Begbie handed down his decision they knew they would have their answer. The Aurora Company sent a messenger to procure an injunction from Judge Begbie requiring the Davis miners to cease working the disputed lands. Begbie, who was located at Bridge Creek at the time, immediately sent an order to "Judge" Cox, t e l l i n g him that as Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court, he was to issue the injunction and to attach the seals of his court as the seals of the Supreme Court were i n Begbie's broken-down wagon several miles beyond Bridge Creek. Cox's reaction to this order was soon made public: I HOLD NO COMMISSION AS DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF THE SUPREME COURT, NOR NEVER DID HOLD ONE; I HAVE ACTED AS SUCH FOR THE ACCOMMODATION OF THE PUBLIC AND THE SUPREME COURT, AND IT IS NOT LATER THAN THE EXPRESS BEFORE LAST I REMARKED WITH REFERENCE TO THE CASES AGAINST THE SHERIFF THAT ALL MY ACTS DONE AS DEPUTY OF THE SUPREME COURT MUST HAVE BEEN ILLEGAL. I ENTERTAIN AS HIGH RESPECT AND ESTEEM FOR MR. BEGBIE AS MR. BBGBIE, [sic] AND ALSO AS SUPREME COURT JUDGE OF THE COLONY, AS ANY MAN IN IT; BUT FINDING NOW THAT IT IS AT-TEMPTED TO DRAG ME INTO THIS DISAGREEABLE QUARREL, AND ACT CON-TRARY TO MY OWN RULING AND CONSCIENCE, I WOULD, IF I ACTUALLY DID HOLD A COMMISSION AS DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF THE SUPREME COURT AT THIS MOMENT, RESIGN THE POST AT ONCE. THERE ARE COURT SEALS IN THE RECORD OFFICE, WHICH ARE AT MR. WALKER'S DISPOSAL, BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ISSUED AS SEALS OUT OF THE SUPREME COURT BY ME AS DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF THE SAME. 1 Shortly after this ultimatum, Begbie arrived i n Richfield, and after a jury had been chosen the case came to t r i a l . The witnesses were questioned, and W.A. Farron, one of the white members of the Davis 7 Cariboo Sentinel. May 31, 1866. 156 Company said that when he had bought his share i n the company in June 1865, he had had no idea that the claim was a disputed one, i n fact he said that Hilton of the Aurora Company, thinking that the ground was 8 worthless, had said "nobody but niggers would look for gold there." After hearing the evidence, the jury returned i t s verdict: 1 The jury are unanimous i n the opinion that the Aurora Company have f a i l e d to prove that the stakes of said Company extended over the 130 feet of ground. 2 The jury agree that the Davis Company did on the 12th of August, 1864, stake out the 130 feet of ground i n question. 3 The jury are of the opinion from the evidence adduced that the Davis Company did not abandon the latter 400 feet, re-corded 12th August, 1864, but that the said company have for-feited their t i t l e to the same by non-representation. 4 Seeing that the Aurora and Davis Companies have expended both time and money on said ground i n dispute, the jury would humbly submit that the said ground be equally divided, giving one-half to each, of said ground unworked. 1 Such an agreement did not satisfy Begbie however, and he offered to act not as a Judge, but as an arbitrator, to come to an agreement satisfactory to both defendent and p l a i n t i f f . Both the Aurora and Davis people agreed, and when the case was once more heard before a crowded courtroom, the Judge gave his surprising decision. There was no evi-dence at a l l he said, to prove that the Aurora Company did not have the claim staked by the 8th of August 1864* the deadline set at that time. To prove this point he went on to say "the stakes are s t i l l standing there. I went on the ground myself and saw them a few days before the case came on i n order to satisfy myself. I have not the 10 slightest doubt that the stakes were put i n by the 8th August." These were the words of a Judge who far from having entered the courtroom 8 Cariboo Sentinel. June 18, 1866. 9 Ibid.. June 21, 1866. 10 I<bc>-.cit. 157 with an open mind ready to hear both sides of the argument impartially, had entered i t with his decision already made. Begbie must have realized the weakness of his statement for even i f the stakes did exist, there was nothing to prove that they had not been put into the ground the day before he had seen them. He went on to argue that i t did not matter anyway, since everyone knew that the h i l l claim belonged to the Aurora Company and even i f the land was hot staked, the Davis Company had no right to claim i t . Judge Begbie was a law unto himself and had to t a l l y disregarded the mining regulations' of the colony. When the Davis Company had made i t s so-called "jump" of the Aurora claim i n August 1864, i t had been an a l l negro company. Shortly after, some of the coloured shareholders sold out their interests to whites> so that at the time of Begbie's decision, of the eight shares i n the company, five and three quarters were owned by whites, and two and one quarter by coloured men. Thus, reasoned Begbie, the negroes as members of the original company had known about the jump, while their white partners had not. On this he based his ruling. He added the 5-3/4 interests held by the whites i n the Davis Company to the fourteen interests of the Aurora Company and divided the disputed ground into 19-3/4 equal sharesj 5-3/4 to go to the Davis Company and 14 to the Aurora. The negro shareholders were to get nothing. v What a commotion this caused in the mining camp. Public.opinion favoured the poor Davis Company and was hostile towards the wealthy Aurora & Borealis Company. In protest against this decision, several hundred miners from the neighbouring creeks collected i n front of the Richfield Courthouse on Saturday evening, June 23, 1866 and held the 158 11 f i r s t public meeting ever to assemble i n the Cariboo. Before the meeting was over, three resolutions were passed: Resolved - "That i n the opinion of this meeting the administration of the Mining Laws by Mr. Justice Begbie i n the Supreme Court i s partial, dictatorial and arbitrary, i n set-ting aside the verdict of juries, and calculated to create a feeling of distrust i n those who have to seek redress through a Court of Justice." Resolved - "That this meeting pledges i t s e l f to support the Govern-ment i n carrying out the Laws in their integrity and beg for an impartial administration of justice. To this end we desire the establishment of a Court of Appeal, or the immediate removal of Mr. Justice Begbie, whose acts i n setting aside the Law has [sic] destroyed confidence and i s driving labor, capital and enterprise out of the colony." Resolved - " That a Committee of two persons be appointed to wait upon His Excellency the Administrator of the Government with the foregoing resolutions, and earnestly impress upon him the immediate necessity of carrying out the wishes of the people." 12 After passing these resolutions, a shout went up from the crowd for Prank Laumeister, a shareholder in the Davis Company: "Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen" he said, "I have actually nothing to say. I am one of the victims and stand victimized. Judge Begbie granted us a jury to try our case, that jury was sworn i n and rendered their verdict and I was satisfied they had done what was right. Judge Begbie however came out two days afterwards with a sort of revelation, he sent the jury's verdict overboard and i n -stead of giving us half the ground as suggested by the jury he gives us just about a quarter. We were advised by our counsel, who i s an honorable gentleman, that the Judge would decide as a friend between the parties, and he certainly gave us a sample of his friendship. He threw out our colored partners from any participation whatever in the ground, but these "darkies" shall ^ not suffer any loss by me, i f there i s only a dollar comes out they shall have their pro-rata share." u After these few words, Laumeister was cheered and was nominated along with another to take the question at the expense of the gathering to 11 Cariboo Sentinel. June 25, 1866. 12 Loc. c i t . 13 Loc. c i t . 159 Arthur N. Birch, the Administrator of the Government at New Westminster. To end the events of the evening, the gathering gave three cheers for nJudge w Cox, the B r i t i s h Colonist, the Chairman, the Secretary, the Cariboo Sentinel, and for Judge Begbie - three groans. Then they moved on the the home of "Judge" Cox,where they presented him with a gold-mounted walking stick. Laumeister and his fellow delegate did actually reach New West-minster with their petition, but under no condition would Administrator Birch consider removing Judge Begbie. He did say however that the setting up of a Court of Appeal was under consideration as soon as the 14 two colonies were united. Was Begbie's justice tinged with r a c i a l prejudice? In his letter to the Sentinel, one of the negro miners concerned, questioned the rights of coloured men in the gold f i e l d s : To the Editor of the "Cariboo Sentinel", S i r , - Permit me to ask the following questions through your valuable paper. Firs t - Have we as colored men the right to pre-empt ground for mining purposes? Second - Have we any rights i n common with white men? Third - Why were our interests taken from us and given to white men? I bought my interest i n the Davis co'y and expended $2,900 before I received one cent out of said claim, and the dividends I have received from said claim have been appropriated to pay my debts in this colony, but just at the time I was about to be rewarded, I have been deprived of that portion of the Davis claim which would pay. I have taken some pains to spread abroad the equality, we as colored men had, in the laws in an English colony, and am proud to say I have found no difference u n t i l now. 14 B r i t i s h Columbian. July 18, 1866. 160 Poor Marshall lost his l i f e coming to Cariboo to look after his small interest i n the Davis co'y, the only pittance he had l e f t after 6 years hard work in this colony, and the only means of support for his family. His wife and four children are more in need of the money than those to whom i t was given. There are about f i f t y colored men in and about Cariboo, the greater portion of whom are miners, and the quicker we know our position i n this colony the better for us. Respectfully yours COLORED MINER. H "Colored Miner's" questions went unanswered, and although the Sentinel was sympathetic towards him, no law was higher than Judge Begbie's, and the case was considered closed. As mentioned in the above letter, most of the negroes i n the Cariboo were miners, and when they were not on the creeks or working their shaft diggings, they could generally be found i n Barkerville, the metropolis of the d i s t r i c t , which also had i t s small colony of permanent negro residents. Of a l l the Cariboo settlements that sprang up during the i860's, Barkerville was by far the most prominent. In 1862 Van Winkle had come into being at the junction of Van Winkle and Lightning Creeks; shortly after i n 1862 and 1863, Richfield assumed the leading position and throughout the entire period remained the administrative center, but by 1865 the wealth of William's Creek had made the name of Barkerville outstanding. By 1863 i t had begun to develop into a town of rough wooden shacks built on posts along both sides of a rutted, muddy t r a i l . Signs overhanging the irregular board sidewalks announced the various business being carried on - hotels, saloons, laundries, barber shops, and almost anything else that might be required i n a primitive community where gold was pl e n t i f u l . It 15 Cariboo Sentinel. June 25, 1866. 161 i s impossible to say how many coloured people lived here permanently besides Wellington Moses and "Dixie" the barbers, and a few others who lost their homes when the town burned in 1868. There was a suf-fi c i e n t number at any rate to make i t worth while for the Elevator of San Francisco to appoint one of them as i t s agent and correspondent, and this coloured newspaper could almost always be found on the table i n the local reading room. There were few coloured women i n the settlement, although the wife of Steele, the restaurant owner, lived there, and Maria Gibbs, the mother of M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs, spent some time in the settlement with another of her sons. As i n Victoria, the coloured men of the Cariboo celebrated their day of emancipation, but at least on one occasion i t was not an unanimous a f f a i r , for the admirers of Lincoln met and had speeches at the Parlor Saloon while those who favoured Jefferson Davis did the same i n front 16 of Isaac Dickson's barber shop. Of the religious l i f e of the negro miners very l i t t l e i s known. Probably i t was almost non-existent as was usually the case i n the mining camps, however one writer gives an indication that at least one unidentified negro tried to "save'' his fellows. Sunday morning was just like any other morning i n Cariboo, "The gold-worshipping miners" continue their search, while "Hard by can be heard a gentleman of African descent exhorting his brethren to turn from the error of their ways and follow meekly in the footsteps of their blessed Lord and Master who made so many generous sacrifices to purchase their redemption." Considering conditions in the gold camps of the Cariboo, there 16 Cariboo Sentinel, Jan. 15, 1867. 17 Ibid.. (Supplement), Aug. 12, 1865. 162 were surprisingly few crimes committed and most of the offences with which negroes were charged were either assault or drunkenness. Knives were sometimes drawn when tempers were aroused however, and even Moses and "Dixie" were known to use theirs on occasion. Judge Begbie made a report of one such cases There has not been a single crime of violence committed in the Cariboo since my arrival in June last - t i l l three days ago, when one nigger was so insulted by an allusion to the fact of his day before yesterday's breakfast being unpaid for, that he drew a knife and made 2 or 3 desperate stabs at the waiter (also a nigger), the p l t f [plaintiffj and deft [jiefendant\ were both among the black-est men you could see. The rascal might have committed murder -manslaughter at least - but luckily the waiter was the stronger of the two, and when the prisoner saw the blood flowing pretty freely he got frightened & tried to escape. It was the only case of stabbing that has occurred. The jury might very well have found a felonous intent which would have given him 10 to 15 years. They took the lighter view of the matter however - so I gave him 3 years.- He is a good cook, I believe, & Brew w i l l find him use-f u l at New Wr. [Westminster] i n that capacity. 18 While this may have been the f i r s t knifing incident, there were more to follow, for "Dixie" the barber also carried a knife and so did his friend Rosario the Spaniard* Rosario wanted some money Isaac Dick-son owed him, and whn i t was not forthcoming the two went up on the h i l l s i d e behind the houses and drew their knives. They were separated by the constable and sent to their homes, but later i n the day Dickson made another attack and this time both he and the Spaniard were arrested and appeared i n the Police Courts Mr. Cox - What have you to say to the charge Dixon? Prisoner - What Mr. Fitzgerald has stated i s nearly correct; when he told me to go home I went off; on my way home I met a carpenter named Bailey, who said to me, "hold on and take a drink;" we were coming up together on the side-walk when this man came behind me, I f e l t a " l i c k " under the arm and then another on the back, and next found my-self down on the road; Moses hauled me i n . 18 Chief Justice M.B. Begbie to W.A.G. Young, Richfield, Sept. 20, 1863* MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. Chartres Brew was Chief Inspector of Police. 163 Mr. Fitzgerald - The prisoner had i t in his power to stay in Moses1 shop, and Moses even tried to keep him i n . Prisoner - I just wanted to look out to see that this man would not .v,. strike me with his knife. Mr. Cox - I w i l l put an end to the drawing of knives on this creek. I fine you $50.00, or in default six months* imprisonment, and you must find b a i l to keep the peace for six months. With respect to the Spaniard he has never been before the Court before. Rosario - He (Dixie) owed me money and put me off from day to day for three weeks and has not paid mej I did not draw the knife, I only used my hands. Mr. Fitzgerald - I am not sure that the prisoner had the knife drawn, I rather think hot. Isaac Dickson was the same coloured barber against whom a drunken miner from H i l l ' s Bar had made an assault at Yale i n 1858, starting the "Ned McGowan War", a well-known incident i n B r i t i s h Columbia 20 history. In Barkerville he regarded himself as a public character, and even appointed himself as the li t e r a r y representative of the coloured population on William's Creek. "Dixie's" contributions to the Cariboo Sentinel, written in the usual phonetic spelling of the almost i l l i t e r a t e negro, give interesting sidelights on l i f e i n Barker-21 v i l l e during the 1860's. Up the street from Isaac Dickson's "Shampooing Establishment" ^ was the barber shop and general store of Wellington Delaney Moses, who was to become one of the better known figures in Cariboo l i f e . Shortly after his a r r i v a l i n Victoria i n 1858, the negro barber had married Sarah Jane Douglas, another coloured immigrant. But apparently 19 Cariboo Sentinel. Oct. L4, 1865. 20 F.W. Howay, Royal Engineers i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Victoria, B.C., 1910, p.4» 21 See appendix "H". Isaac Dickson's letters to the Cariboo Sentinel. 164 their marriage was not a happy one, for in September of 1862, Sarah Moses tried to commit suicide by leaping off the Bath House steps into James Bay. Fortunately her screams attracted attention, and after being rescueddshe was confined i n the debtors 1 prison u n t i l her re-lease a few days later on payment of the cost of her arrest. The reason for this suicide attempt, she claimed, was the elopement of 22 her husband with another woman. Whether or not this was the cause of his departure from the town, Wellington Moses from now on earned his l i v i n g i n the mining camps along the Fraser u n t i l he eventually established himself permanently i n the Cariboo. In Barkerville, Moses1 barber shop was an important part of the community, for not only did he cut hair there, but also sold men's and women's clothes and bought and sold mining shares. His diaries and account books give an interesting picture of Cariboo l i f e , for few 23 persons of importance on the local scene escaped being mentioned. A few entries from these records w i l l suffice to give some impression of the personality and activities of their author, as well as an i n -timate glimpse of l i f e i n the pioneer settlements Saturday. April 24. 1869 Fine weather and verry worm the l a i d a new sideworlk i n front of Bank of B.N. America. Monday. April 26. 1869 Morning cold and cloudy the express with P. Monnetta & J u l l i a arrive at 10 a.m. afternoon fine and worm i n the cold and freese I bought 1-1/4 intres i n Reed Co. for D F for sum of $150.00 22 Colonist. Sept. 23, 1862. - -23 Wellington D. Moses, Diaries and Account Books. B.C. Provincial Archives. 165 Monday. May 24, 1869 Morning cloudy and c h i l l y Mr. Sterling bought out W. Berry i n the Hurdle Saloon Jesse Price l e f t for the lower countrey. Tuesday, June 1, 1869 Fine clear and verry warm day the floor for the New Express l a i d the woods over at Lake was on f i r e Mrs. Tracey bought the House of Paint shop she rened her saloon to Mrs. and Miss Funk. Saturday, June 5, 1869 Fine worm weather the woods s t i l l on f i r e his Hon. Juge Bebee an suit arrive the where 2 fine horses got burn to death by the f i r e up Conklin gulch. Monday. June 21. 1869 Weather Haissey smokey and verry worm and close I was at Richfield to cut Judge Brew hair Mr. J. Teaney arrive on the creek. Wednesday. June 23. 1869 Fine clear and pleasant midday verry worm afternoon cloudy i n the evening light rain. Mr. Sterling oppen a new idea the Hurdles playing cards a pass round Largar and drink to the tables.... Tuesday. June 29. 1869 Weather cloudy and verry dark and smokey the Candan boys brough i n thier long flag pole the Rev. Mr. Derrick had the Jureniem flower buded in his garden at the parsnage the f i r s t flower of the i n this altitude. Mr. Sterling new armerican flag arrive. From his account books, one learns that Moses charged $1.00 for a haircut and had a standard rate of #3*00 per month for shaves. Such prominent names as Pattulo, Tolmie and Dr. Chipp appear i n his records, as well as frequent references to Chartres Brew and Judge Begbie. His shop was a most unusual place for not only did he s e l l newspapers, medicines, collars, valentines, neckties, umbrellas, dolls, watches and his own "Moses Hair Restorer", but customers also deposited money with him for safe-keeping and some exchanged their farm produce for purchases. "Indian Charley" exchanged his labour for merchandise. "Gentle Annie", one of the Hurdies was one of Moses* customers, and the following i s 166 probably her account: 1873 Miss Annie Jones July 15 Under Shirt 8,00 n Hat 5.00 n Lubin Extract 1.50 n Cash Loan 3.00 n 2 Handkerchiefs 1.50 n Stockens 1.00 n coset 3.50 26.50 Ribben 50 27.00 n 25 Stage f a i r to Pearson 6.00 33.00 To Barnard Express 8.00 41.00 Black Shall 11.00 Money Puree 2.00 54.00 Today in Barkerville the old residents s t i l l t e l l of Wellington Moses and the Blessing murder, an incident that occurred almost a century ago, and that resulted i n the f i r s t public execution ever carried out i n the d i s t r i c t of Cariboo. James Barry, the murderer was hanged for the slaying of CM. Blessing, and i t was the evidence given by Moses the barber that pa r t i a l l y led to his conviction. In the f a l l of 1866 word was brought to Judge Cox that the body of a man had been found i n the woods near Beaver Pass, a mile below Edward's ranch. The man had been shot from behind and while the body was too badly decomposed to be recognized, i t was identified as that of CM. Blessing from the clothing and contents of the pockets. No one appeared to know him however, u n t i l the coloured man, Moses, told his 167 story. In May of 1866, Moses and Blessing had l e f t New Westminster on the same steamer and during part of their journey to Quesnelmouth, had been travelling companions. Here Moses decided to remain an extra day, and Blessing, who was impatient to be on his way, continued the journey i n the company of a stranger, James Barry. The arrangement was that Moses would meet his friend once again at Van. Winkle and the two would continue on together from there. Blessing was not at Van Winkle however, when the coloured man arrived, but the barber thought l i t t l e of the matter u n t i l he later met the stranger, Barry, on William's Creek. "What did you do with my 'chummy'?" asked Moses. "Your 'chummy,1 who was he?" replied Barry. "The man you l e f t with that morning from Quesnelmouth." After a moment Barry said, "Oh! that coon, I have not seen him since the morning we l e f t the Mouth, I l e f t him on the road, 24 he could not travel, he had a sore foot.'' Moses did not question him further, and in fact forgot the incident u n t i l he read in the Cariboo Sentinel about the discovery of the body. Then he hurried to the Magistrate, and James Barry just as hurriedly l e f t town. Barry was overtaken however and was brought back to stand t r i a l before Judge Begbie i n the Richfield court house. The evidence against him was 25 entirely circumstantial, such as the fact that he had given a nugget pin, formerly the property of the murdered man, to one of the hurdy g i r l s . This nugget was easily identified by a man who had travelled up from San Francisco with Blessing, for the owner had carefully pointed out to him i t s strange resemblance to a human head. L i t t l e evidence 24 Cariboo Sentinel. Oct. 18, 1866. 25 M.B. Begbie, Notes of Evidence and Memorandum to Accompany notes, Ra» v Barry T r i a l for the murder of Charles Morgan Blessing, at Rich-f i e l d , 1 July 1867. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. 168 was offered i n defence of the accused and he was f i n a l l y condemned to death and was executed. In the meantime Moses had made certain that his friend Blessing would have a proper burial by collecting $94*50 from the miners to have a head board made for the grave and to have a 26 r a i l i n g placed around i t * In 1866, Barkerville experienced i t s greatest tragedy, for i t was almost entirely destroyed by f i r e * John Anderson, the negro Cariboo correspondent for the coloured newspaper, the Elevator* wrote of the f i r e and of some of the negroes who lost their homes i n i t : Barkerville, B.C. Sept. 22, 1868. Mr. Editor:- Since I last wrote you, we have met with a serious calamity - Barkerville has been entirely destroyed by f i r e , and i t has been a ruinous loss to many. It occurred on the 16th inst. The season has been very dry, and the wardens fa i l e d to have the reservoir back of the town finished. It has been long talked about, and i t would have stopped the f i r e ; but as we had no water the flames spread furiously from building to building and many who were near when the f i r e broke out were glad to escape without saving anything. Among the sufferers are our friends W.D. Moses, I.P. Gibbs and Miss Hickman. Mrs. R. Gibbs saved her things, but lost her house. I send by this mail a copy of the Sentinel, containing the particulars of the f i r e . The weather i s now unusually fine, and our enter-prising folks have commenced building rapidly. Lumber has gone up from eight to twelve cents per foot. A l l well here and not discouraged. Yours truly, John Anderson. 27 It was about 2 P.M. on September 16, 1868 that the f i r e was f i r s t discovered i n a saloon. By 5 o'clock almost every building i n the town had been destroyed except for one saloon and Barnard's stables. Dally, a well-known photographer from Victoria had recently set up a 26 Cariboo Sentinel, Dec. 15, 1866. 27 Elevator, Oct. 23, 1868. Barkerville before the f i r e * 171 studio there, and although i t was burned, apparently he saved enough equipment to take a picture of the town immediately after the f i r e . While the Fraser River and the Cariboo are the most prominent names connected with gold in B r i t i s h Columbia, there was another rush, which because of i t s relative insignificance has now been almost forgotten. Yet the discovery at Leech River near Victoria i s of great importance in the history of negro settlement in the province for so many coloured people were directly concerned with i t . Samuel Booth, a negro from Victoria, found the "big nugget" that started the rush; R.H. Johnson, another coloured man built the Mount Ararat Hotel at the diggings to accommodate miners and travellers, and there were several all-negro companies in operation along the banks of the creek. The discovery of gold on the Leech River may be traced back to the exploration project of Vancouver Island, undertaken by Governor Kennedy shortly after his a r r i v a l i n I864. He thought i t disgraceful that no one had any idea about the true mineral, timber, and agricultural re-sources of the Island, for although the subject of exploration had often been discussed in the House of Assembly, nothing had ever been done about i t . For this purpose the Governor suggested that funds be raised by public subscription and that he would contribute from funds at his 28 disposal two dollars for every one collected from the people. In the spring of I864 the exploration party was sent out under Dr. Robert Brown as commander with Peter John Leech as lieutenant and astronomer. In July, Leech, who had l e f t the main party with a few men to explore the Sooke River, reported the discovery of gold i n the river, or rather i n a tributary which was so small that i t sometimes 28 Vancouver Island - Exploration 1864. Printed by authority of the Government, Harries and Company, Victoria, V.I. [I864J, p. i i . 172 29 dried up completely. Although there was much scepticism about this latest discovery, four coloured men, Samuel Booth, George Munro, John T y r i l and William Dyer, joined together to form the Industry Company. They journied up the Sooke River to the Leech River which had by now been named after i t s discoverer, and about half a mile up this smaller stream they began to prospect. Samuel Booth struck his pick into the slate rock on the right bank and found an oval shaped nugget about the size of a hen's egg. The "Industry" men hurriedly cut stakes to mark off their claim, and i t was not long before other claims were staked from the point of their discovery down to the forks. Munro hurried back to the Gold Commissioner at the forks to get miners' licences, then he and Samuel Booth took the nugget and departed for Victoria to get provisions• •>amu e j . p. BALL & son, •.."••bill • SIGN OF THE RED B A L L . • - - , On the evening of August 3, I864, the steamer Alexandria arrived in Victoria from Sooke bringing Samuel Booth and his nugget. The news 29 Colonist, July 25, 29, I864. > The Industry Company Claim - Where the "Big Nugget" was f m m r l . 174 spread rapidly about the town and Booth was besieged by an excited crowd shouting questions. Eventually he reached the Wells, Fargo & Co. express office where the nugget was displayed. Within a few days the streets of Victoria were almost deserted for so many had l e f t for the diggings, and in the windows of some of the houses and shops, the absence of the tenants 30 was explained by the simple note "Gone to Sooke". The excitement was reminiscent of Victoria i n the spring and summer of 1858. Loaded steamers made special trips to Sooke harbour carrying miners and merchants with their goods. R.H. Johnson, one time captain of the Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps saw the possi b i l i t i e s of establish-ing a hotel there, and i n October 1864, wrote to Henry Wakeford the Colonial Secretary, requesting an acre of land to be used for this purpose. The request was granted, and by February of the following year, the Mount Ararat hotel had been completed. It was a twelve room, handsomely fur-nished building which Governor Kennedy described in a highly complimentary fashion when he wrote i n the v i s i t o r s ' book: "A.E. Kennedy dined, slept, and breakfasted; good dinner, wine, coffee, a clean and comfortable sleep-ing room. The whole arrangement of the house i n a l l i t s departments is 32 highly creditable to the proprietors. August 10, 1865••" Beds and meals were 50£ each. Many coloured men from Victoria staked claims on the river, and besides the Industry Company there was also the coloured Pioneer Company. Wi l l i s Bond, the house-mover was on the creek and even M i f f l i n Gibbs visited the diggings. The excitement did not last long however, although 33 i n 1871 two negro miners were s t i l l prospecting on the r i v e r . Shortly 30 Evening Express. August 10, I864. 31 R.H. Johnson to Henry Wakeford, Oct. 3, I864. MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives• 32 Daily Chronicle. May 13, 1865. 33 Colonist. Aug. 30. 1871. 175 none remained to pan the stream save the Chinese. R.H. Johnson died i n the late 1860's and never saw the Leech River become a ghost town and his Mount Ararat f a l l into decay. 176 CHAPTER IX THE PROBLEM OF RACE The major reason for the coming of the coloured people to Vancouver Island was to escape the prejudice and discrimination that was ever--present i n California, but escape was impossible for oppression followed them on every gold-rush steamer that arrived i n Victoria from the south. Like an infectious disease i t spread to such an extent that many of the B r i t i s h residents became more race-conscious than the Americans, and some of the coloured people even claimed that there was more prejudice against them in B r i t i s h Columbia than i n many parts of the United States. In the goldfields and on Salt Spring Island there was seldom any outward manifestation of discrimination or prejudice, and the contrast between the attitude i n these primitive settlements and the relatively well-established town of Victoria presents an interesting study to the student of r a c i a l problems. In the history of early Victoria are to be found examples of a l l the basic reasons for r a c i a l antagonism - group consciousness, conflicting economic interests, the fear of r a c i a l contamination, differences i n customs and tradition, and especially, conflicting p o l i t i c a l interests. A l l were major factors i n the everyday lives of the negro residents i n the colony. When the f i r s t coloured people arrived i n the spring of '58 at the beginning of the Fraser River excitement, they were received, according 1 to M i f f l i n Gibbs, with a "frankness and cordiality so peculiarly B r i t i s h " . , , , , — _ . ..„•,,-1 Victoria Gazette. August 28, 1858. S 177 They were assured that their colour would never debar them from the same rights and privileges that the white colonists enjoyed. Then came the frenzy of the gold rush and the American invasion of the English community, bringing to the people of colour both wealth and isolation. As many of the new arrivals had come from the "cotton states" and had been educated to regard negroes as inferiors, i t i s not surprising that their views should be somewhat antagonistic towards Victoria's coloured colonists who were apparently enjoying the same privileges as everyone else, were the proprietors of flourishing businesses and the owners of a considerable amount of real estate which they sold at highly inflated prices to the newcomers• The problem of race put i n an early appearance i n the town, for Kinahan Cornwallis, a v i s i t o r there during May and June of 1858 writes: I observed that the coloured people i . e . "niggers" collected here, many of whom were "real estate" owners, conducted themselves i n a manner rather bellicose than otherwise which of course excited derision; and one of their number I heard attempted to take his seat with white people at a boarding house table in town, but was expelled i n a manner as prompt and merciless as the style of doing the thing was ludicrous. The newly appointed police of the place were negroes, and consequently heartily despised by the Americans. 2 The h o s t i l i t y towards negro police forced the government to withdraw them after only a few weeks' service. On one occasion i t was only by the action of Judge Pemberton, the Commissioner of Police, that a coloured constable was saved from being thrown into the harbour by a group of 3 riot i n g miners. 2 Kinahan Cornwallis, The New El-Dorado or. British Columbia. London. Thomas Cautley Newby, 1858, p. 283. 3 E.O.S. Scholefield and F.W. Howay, Bri t i s h Columbia from Earliest  Times to the Present. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Vancouver, B.C., 1914, v o l . IV, p. 97. 178 After a short period during which both sides regarded one another with suspicion, the inevitable conflict broke out i n the church. The Reverend Edward Cridge had opened his church to the negroes, but i t was not long before he received complaints from the Americans who resented the speckled appearance of the congregation. In August 1858, the Gazette carried a letter from a church-goer who complained that: Last Sabbath was an unusually warm day. The l i t t l e Chapel was crowded as usual with a "smart sprinkle" of blacks, generously  mixed in with the whites. The Ethiopians perspiredI they always do when out of place. - Several white gentlemen l e f t their seats vacant, and sought the purer atmosphere outside; others moodily endured the aromatic luxury of their positions, in no very pious frame of mind. He went on to suggest that the negroes be given a section by themselves "as i s done i n a l l respectable churches i n the world" and then the American 4 portion of the congregation would be much happier. Edward Cridge refused to segregate the blacks in any way, his only reply being to lecture the congregation for their intolerance. As a result of this imagined insult, many whites now refused to attend his church, and those who did, crowded to the front i n their attempt to separate themselves as much as possible from the negroes. Some tried to justify their action by saying that they considered i t sin f u l to i g -nore the distinction that the Creator had made between the two races, for by mingling the sexes of both peoples promiscuously, they might f a l l i n love, resulting i n marriages which would cause the deterioration of 5 the whites without elevating the negroes. The Rev. W.F. Clarke and the Rev. M. Macfie, who were early in the 4 Victoria Gazette, August 24, 1858. 5 Matthew Macfie, Vancouver Island and British Columbia, London, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, 1886, p. 388. 179 I860 !s sent to the colony by the B r i t i s h Colonial Missionary Society had quite a difference of opinion over the negro question i n their church* So wide did the breach between them become, that Macfie l e f t his colleague^' and held his own services i n the Eldorado Hall. Clarke refused to establish a "negro corner" while Macfie believed i n segregation. The controversy became so heated that Clarke sent out a circular addressed "To a l l Im-partial Men and Lovers of Right" i n which he told of their conflicting 6 ideas and of the stand which he was taking. The following Sunday, two-thirds of his congregation was coloured, the whites having migrated with Macfie. The negroes had found another champion, but they did not long support him, for what they r e a l l y wanted was to mingle with the "superior race" and to attend the more styli s h church of the Rev. Edward Cridge. They considered themselves the "old families" and "monied aristocracy" i n the colony and resented being driven out of their former place of worship by the new arrivals. When they stopped coming to the services held by the Rev. W.F. Clarke, being now deserted by both the oppressors and op-pressed, he was released by the Missionary Society which was backing him. Of this incident the Bishop of Columbia wrote. There has been a sharp contention on the question of colour; the Americans requiring that the coloured people should not be allowed to occupy the same place with them in worship. One Independent Minister Mr. McFye [sicj , favoured their unchristian narrowness; another maintained the English principle, that there should be no  difference i n the house of God. He has,however, been thrown over by the Society in London who maintained him, the "British Colonial Missionary Society." Mr. Clark nobly upheld the Christian and English sentiment; but his patrons have decided against him, and he has to leave the place: he seems a very respectable man, too good for his employers• 7 6 Colonist. Oct. 21, 1859. 7 An Occasional Paper on the Columbia Mission with Letters from the  Bishop. London, Rivingtons, June i860, p. 13. 180 Clarke at least won a moral victory however, for when the Society more closely examined the question of the Vancouver Island "Negro pew", they unanimously adopted the following resolutions: 1. That this Committee never have sanctioned and never w i l l sanction, i n Churches wholly or in part sustained by the funds of the Colonial Missionary Society, the compulsory separation, i n places of worship, of the colored races from the white population. 2. That on the receipt of letters from Vancouver's Island communi-cating the disagreement which had arisen between Messrs. Clarke and Macfie on this and other matters, there were circumstances which led to the desire to avoid, at the time, direct and authoritive (sic] interference on the subjects i n dispute; certain pointed questions, however, were sent to Mr. Macfie under date of June 15 (prior to the agitation of the matter in the public press,) touching the arrange-ments adopted in his place of worship; on the receipt of the reply to which the whole question w i l l be reviewed and definitely settled, i n harmony with the preceding Resolution. The Committee have just received a communication from Mr. Macfie, in reply to the queries above referred to, i n which the following sentence i s found i n respect to the arrangements made i n his place of worship:- "If Negroes were pleased to give their attendance, they would be; expected to take one side of the building, where they would be wel-come to any unoccupied place they might choose, and where they would always find a number of whites sufficiently indifferent to the pre-judice to s i t in proximity to them." From this quotation i t i s evident that there i s a part of the chapel from which the colored population are excluded. To this exclusion the committee object, as utterly at variance with the principles of the Christian religion, as well as contrary to the usages adopted by their agents in every part of the Colonial Empire where a mixture of the races i s found. This committee, therefore, resolves—That the above arrangement must be immediately discontinued, and freedom of access secured to every part of the building to a l l persons, without distinction of color. And that in the event of this requirement not being complied with, the con-nection of the Colonial Missionary Society with this Mission must cease and determine. Signed by order of the Committee, THOS. JAMES, Secretary, Committee Boom, October 24, I860. 8 8 The Patriot, London, England, cited i n the Colonist, Jan. 11, 1861. 181 Half of the church-going colonists were coloured persons, and accord-ing to the Rt. Rev. George H i l l s , Bishop of Columbia, they were steady communicants and always ready to contribute to the church and other worthy 9 causes. Nevertheless they seldom benefitted from the social l i f e of the church, for according to a complaint i n the Colonist t Every Sabbath the Rev. Mr.^So-and-so gives out from his pulpit that the "ladies 1 sewing c i r c l e w i l l meet at the residence of Mrs.—." The male and female members of the circl e attend at the lady's house; but you never see a black face, nor even that of a mulatto, among their number. 10 Undoubtedly the colouredpeople were to blame for much of the an-tagonism aroused against them for they tended to flaunt their newly acquired privileges before the race-conscious Americans. They condemned everything American and hated some Englishmen merely because they had 11 lived.in the United States. Forgetting that several millions of Americans were sympathetic to their cause they alienated many of their l i b e r a l minded neighbours by their indiscriminate denunciation. Perhaps i t would be expecting them to be more than human to react otherwise after being delivered from so much oppression which they associated with every-thing connected with the Republic. One writer says that "As a result of their wealth and new position in society i t was not surprising that some, formerly habituated to servitude or reproached as representatives of a barbarous race, should on being delivered from the yoke of social oppression, f a i l to show much consideration for the prejudices of the whites« Many Bri t i s h subjects sympathized with the ideas prevailing 12 i n the United States respecting the social status." There were also 9 An Occasional Paper on the Columbia Mission, op. c i t . . p. 13. 10 Colonist. Sept. 30, 1861. 11 Ibid.. Jan. 12, i860. 12 Macfie, op., c i t . , p. 388. 182 isolated incidents i n the behaviour of certain of the negro residents which proved very distasteful to the whites, such as the shocking bru-t a l i t y of a coloured drayman, who, after driving his horse into the mud, i s reported to have become so infuriated at being mired that he seized 13 a cart-rung and beat the animal's brains out. While i t i s true that this was the action of but one individual, i t was quite sufficient for some to believe that a l l coloured people were equally brutal, and for anti-negro sentiments to germinate. Throughout most of these early years of negro settlement i n Victoria, the C i v i l War was being waged in the United States, and the sectional conflict i t aroused i n the town added to the problem of race* Both the north and the south were well represented among the white residents, and especially after the beginning of the war, Victoria experienced an influx of southerners who came to the colony either to escape conscription or to use i t as a base of operations i n their plots to overthrow the Republic* These people congregated around the Confederate Saloon on; Yates Street, where a Confederate flag, made by the southern ladies of 14 the community was ceremoniously raised and lowered each day. Their attitude towards the coloured colonists may be readily understood, especially after the negroes became a p o l i t i c a l power i n the community* Then the situation must have closely paralleled that experienced i n the south during the reconstruction period. Undoubtedly the feelings engendered among the whites would be the same. While i t might be expected that the northerners would champion the negro cause, this was not always the case. On one occasion at least the Union sympathisers must have become rather 13 Daily Chronicle, Dec. 31, 1863• 14 D.W. Higgins, The My3tic Spring. Toronto, William Briggs, 1904, P* 150. 183 hostile towards the negroes at Gibbs & Gb.'s boot-black establishment on Government Street after the coloured men employed there rented the shop to a southerner for the purpose of erecting a Confederate flag on 15 i t s roof. The occasion was the celebration of the coming of age of the Prince of Wales. The town was gaily decorated and there were to be horse-racing, parades and other amusements. As soon as the northerners saw the Confederate flag, they lowered a l l the American flags and re-fused to unfurl them again u n t i l the obnoxious Confederate one had been removed. Furthermore the American members of the fire-brigades re-fused to march i n the parade because of the incident. 1 Allen Francis, the American Consul, wrote to the Governor about the matter: Consulate of the United States of America.) Victoria, V.I., Nov. 10, 1862. ) To His Excellency Governor Douglas: S i r : - In order to commemorate the day i n honor of the Prince of Wales arriving at his majority, i t was to be hoped nothing would occur to prevent the loyal citizens of the United States residing here from participating on the occasion: but the display of flags representing States in rebellion against the constituted authorities of the United States of America w i l l deter i t s citizens from par-ticipating i n the ceremonies. With great respect for the day you celebrate, and highest regards for your Excellency, I am,respectfully, your ob't serv rt ALLEN FRANCIS, U.S. Consul. 16 Fortunately before there was any serious disturbance the f l a g i n question was voluntarily lowered and was handed to a policeman who had been de-i. 1 tailed to the spot. Although the boot-blacks were #40 richer, un-15 Victoria Daily Chronicle, Nov. 12, 1862. John Emmerson, British  Columbia and Vancouver Island, Durham, England, W. Ainsley, 1865, p.88. 16 Colonist, Nov. 12, 1862. 184 doubtedly they had done irreparable damage to the cause of the coloured people i n Victoria, for feelings of h o s t i l i t y must now have been aroused among the northerners. Conflicting p o l i t i c a l interests became one of the major causes of anti-negro sentiment i n Victoria, especially after the notorious election of 1860 when the coloured people voted i l l e g a l l y for Cary and Franklin 17 and by so doing defeated the opposition candidate, Amor DeCosmos. Up u n t i l this time DeCosmos had been very tolerant towards the negroes; he had opposed their segregation inithe churches and had spoken of them i n the highest terms. After the election his attitude changed, and letter after letter appeared i n his newspaper, the Colonist, endeavouring to slur their characters. The editorials were equally spiteful and con-tained such epithets' as - Englishmen are slaves to slaves - Negroes are aliens of the lowest type of humanity - a degraded race - ignorant of 18 self-government, of British institutions. Revenge was not slow i n coming after the election, and the veiled threat was a l l too apparent in the question, "What would be the daily receipts of the hundred and f i f t y coloured labourers, restaurant, store and shopkeepers of Victoria, 19 were the patronage of the whites a l l withdrawn from them?"1 In a letter to the Gazette, a coloured man describes the behaviour of DeCosmos's supporters after the elections On Saturday night the defunct candidate's supporters exibited [sic] such hostile demonstrations against us, they are quite at variance since the close of the election, though they they [sic} have never been otherwise; for why? For giving our votes to Cary and Franklin; one of the [sic] Cary's voters was ordered out of Carroll's Saloon on Yates Street, barely for looking i n at a crowd of drinkers -Dr. T— was chieftain of that party. Mr. Bayley has also asserted that not another colored man shall approach his saloon again; 17 See above, p. 92. 18 Colonist. July 26, i860. 19 Ibid.. Jan. 14, I860. 185 (what a petty revenge,) I think he should be Americanized at once, I could have told him that his canvassing would be for nought, for my part I do not use the a r t i c l e he vends there.... 20 On the same day that the negro was ordered out of Carroll's Saloon, Carroll's bookkeeper entered the Mousquetaire Saloon and without pro-vocation struck a coloured man with a1 stick. He claimed that i t was a case of mistaken identity, but the incident was enough to start a 21 brawl. Shortly after, another negro, William Bastion was charged the exorbitant price of f i f t y cents for a glass of beer at Carroll's place, but when he took the matter to court charging extortion, the case was 22 dismissed. When bartenders continued to refuse to serve negroes after the election controversy, a coloured man, Jacob Francis was determined to contest the issue and i n April i860 brought court action against a saloon keeper for refusing to s e l l him two bottles of champagne. The verdict returned by the jury avoided the real question involved however, by ruling that the house was an inn, and as Francis was not a guest, 23 no injury had been sustained by him and no damages could be given. Undoubtedly the saloon keepers were justified i n keeping certain of the coloured men out of their bars, as under the influence of alcohol they were notorious for becoming rowdy and quarrelsome, and at this period there was so much to quarrel about. Their behaviour was certainly ho 20 Victoria Gazette. Jan. 9, i860. 21 Colonist. Jan. 10, i860. 22 Ibid.. Jan. 14, 19, I860. 23 Victoria Gazette. April 23, I860. 186 worse than that of many whites, but while such incidents were forgotten when the latter were responsible, when negroes were to blame, these occurrences became exaggerated in minds searching for an excuse for r a c i a l hatred. In June of 1862 Jacob Francis made another foray into an American owned bar. This time he entered the Bank Exchange Saloon with three white companions and ordered drinks for a l l . The barkeeper served the "gentlemen" but Francis was l e f t thirsty and annoyed. When he complained, he was told that negroes were not served i n that place. A week later, Joe Lovett, proprietor of the saloon, found himself before Judge Pemberton, who ruled that in future no license would be granted to any saloon keeper who refused to serve anyone in the public bars, regardless of colour. He said that there was nothing to prevent proprietors from setting aside 24 a private bar for those who did not wish to associate with the negroes. In their struggle to gain equality i n their p o l i t i c a l l i f e , the negroes were blocked at every turn by the obstacle of prejudice. Eventually i f they had the necessary property qualifications and were naturalized Br i t i s h subjects, or Br i t i s h subjects by birth, they could be placed on the voters 1 l i s t s . But when a coloured man proposed to run as a can-didate for a seat i n the legislature, that was quite another matter. Even though Jacob Francis was a British-born negro and was legally elected to a seat i n 1861, since his opponent, Joseph Trutch should have been disqualified, an excuse was found to prevent him from entering the assembly. Furthermore, the law permitting only B r i t i s h subjects by birth to run as candidates for office was directed against the coloured people, for 24 Colonist, June 26, 28, 1862. 25 See above, p. 98. 187 they were v i r t u a l l y the only ones who were becoming naturalized, and they alone would be affected by such legislation. Regarding this state of affairs , a negro v i s i t o r to Victoria wrote to the Pacific Appeal i n San Francisco that "Prejudice i s too strong in Vancouver Island. We have brighter prospects of p o l i t i c a l elevation under our own govern-26 ment, than i n any British colony on this coast." It comes as no surprise to learn that the theatre was also the scene of r a c i a l f r i c t i o n and the only reason why such was not the case i n 1858 when efforts were made to segregate the coloured people i n the churches, was that theatres had not yet come into vogue i n Victoria. Saturday night was always a time of celebration i n the boom town. Money was plentiful and so was liquor, and whenever the entertainment i n the saloons became d u l l , there was always the Colonial Theatre up the street. If the play was bad the miners threw rotten eggs and onions at the performers, but even when i t was good they generally threw them anyway. That particular Saturday evening i n November i860, rumour had i t that there was to be some additional entertainment besides Miss Lulu 27 Sweet who was to sing the latest popular song during the intermission, for the story was being circulated that the negroes were planning to force their way into the parquette of the theatre. If he were to keep i n business the manager of the Colonial Theatre had to cater to his white patrons and when they had objected to the mixing of negroes and whites, he had issued orders that only gallery seats were to be sold to the coloured folk, with the exception of course of Charlie Chinoople, steward of H.M.S. Topaze, who was a Bengalee and not an African negro. He could s i t downstairs i n the dollar seats i f he wished. From 26 Pacific Appeal, San Francisco, cited i n the Colonist, Feb. 25, I864. 27 Lulu Island was named after Lulu Sweet who was a very popular entertainer on the Pacific coast. 188 then on the cashier carefully scrutinized the hands that came through the opening i n the ticket wicket and those that were too dark i n colour were given a closer examination. Gallery seats they could have, but the parquette was reserved for whites only. Beatty, the assistant manager was determined to keep peace in the house at a l l costs for even the best of theatres did not enjoy a high reputation in those days. He remembered too well that unpleasant i n -cident during the summer when a coloured man had forced his way into 28 the parquette and had been met with a h a i l of rotten eggs from the gallery. As a precaution against further incidents, only a week previously the manager had refused admittance to a negro. When James Stevens was not permitted to s i t wherever he likedmerely because he was coloured, the rowdier element among the negro population became incensed. Was this not the land where regardless of race or creed, every man was equal? They had l e f t California because of i n c i -dents such as this, and were determined to endure such insults no longer. It was nearing 7:30 on that eventful Saturday evening, and the curtain was about to rise on the f i r s t play, Perfection. The theatre was about two-thirds f i l l e d , and there was the usual babble of con-versation. Some looked about uneasily. Would the negroes re a l l y try to take the theatre, or was that merely another wild rumour. So many stories circulated about the coloured people that i t was d i f f i c u l t to know what to believe anymore. At that moment, John Wolfe, who was taking tickets at the entrance off the French Hotel alley, seemed to be having d i f f i c u l t y with one of the customers. Voices were raised i n argument, 28 Colonist, July 31, i860. 189 and a moment later Stephen Anderson, waving a ticket and followed by Adolph Richards, another burly coloured man, forced their way into the parquette and sat down. There were calls to put them out, and one of the actors offered them each a dollar to leave. They refused, and when attempts were made to force the issue, the fight was on. It was a general fre e - f o r - a l l ; actors rushed out from nowhere; balcony customers crowded the stairs to get into the fight; women screamed and ran back-stage, while many of the more timid males found refuge on top of i t . The confusion inside the theatre was the signal for negro reinforcements to push their way i n , as by this time the alley had become crowded with negroes, Indians and whites. Clubs in black hands were swung right and l e f t , while one massive coloured man brandished a chair from the orchestra to clear a path for himself and his fellows. Another threw one of the camphene footlights into the audience whence i t was immediately returned, igniting his hair and clothing. The burning wick of another overturned lamp started a small f i r e on the stage and the cry of " f i r e " was added to the pandemonium. By the time the police arrived, the coloured rowdies were i n possession of the theatre, but when Major De Courcy magistrate of San Juan Island, appeared on the stage and advised them to leave, they obeyed without argument while their leaders were marched off to the police station. Several negroes now bought tickets for the gallery; the audience settled down; the bloodstained curtain rose, and the play began. This was not to be the end of the evening's excitement however, for between acts of the second play, Rob Roy, a negro i n the p i t was attacked with rotten eggs, and three more who were behaving rather suspiciously were chased from the theatre by the police. One ran up Government Street, dropping his revolver on the way, and was f i n a l l y dragged squirming from 190 under one of the old buildings in the Fort yard. Needless to say for the next week the r i o t was one of the major topics of conversation in the town. It was rumoured that the perfor-mance would be repeated the following Saturday with reinforcements from Salt Spring Island, New Westminster and the American side. Strange negroes began arriving in town during the next few days, but by Saturday the tempers of the coloured people had cooled down and there was no further disturbance. Unfortunately this ill-advised demonstration built even higher the wall of r a c i a l prejudice, and the entire negro community suffered from the rash action of these few. Public opinion at the time considered the r i o t unjustified. The coloured men well knew that they would not be per-mitted to purchase tickets for the parquette themselves, and had probably had a white compatriot do i t for them. They were also quite aware of what would happen when they did force an entry, as they had reinforce-ments waiting to come to their assistance. When they were refused ad-mission, the blacks should have appealed to the law, but when heads are hot, actions are seldom rational. The case came before Chief Justice Cameron the following week, and he had no more sympathy for the whites who had thrown missiles at the coloured men than he had for the negroes who had started the r i o t . Since there was not enough evidence to prove pre-meditation, the prisoners 29 were found not guilty and were released. This was not the last incident aroused by the question of where the coloured people should be permitted to s i t in the theatre, for i t occurred 29 Colonist. Nov. 6,7,8,10,13, i860. 191 again i n September of 1861 when a benefit concert i n aid of the Royal Hospital was to be held at the Victoria Theatre. As a l l the most im-portant people in town were to be there, surely i n such a gathering no one would cause a disturbance; at least so though M i f f l i n Gibbs when he purchased tickets for himself, his wife, his friend Nathan Pointer, and Pointer's small daughter. He had heard rumours that an attack would be made on any coloured people who attended, but he was determined not to give way. Gibbs was especially interested in the success of the concert as the hospital was indebted to him to the amount of several hundred dollars. The presence of the coloured party i n the dress c i r c l e started considerable conversation in their v i c i n i t y , and before long they were requested to move to other seats. However, they were quite within their rights when they refused, as they had paid the price for their seatsy.-'and were s i t t i n g i n the ones designated by their tickets. The concert went on as scheduled, but without one of the performers, Emil Sutro, who on hearing that there were negroes in the dress c i r c l e , refused to play u n t i l they were moved elsewhere, and when they declined to do so, he l e f t the theatre and went home. Just as the performance was drawing to a close, a pound of flour wrapped in newspaper burst ^ l i k e a bomb over the coloured people. Nathan Pointer made a motion towards a man named Ryckman who was standing nearby, intimating that he had thrown i t , and Gibbs followed up by striking the man indicated. When reprimanded later i n police court for his violence, Gibbs said that his wife was i n a delicate condition at the time and that when she was covered with flour he had simply lost a l l control* When the case came up i n court the following week, Pointer swore that Ryckman had thrown the flour, but several white witnesses swore 192 that he had not. The whites shielded one another and as i t could not be proven that any one of them was guilty, the only person to be punished was Gibbs, who was fined £5 for assault. The incident stirred up controversy in the town, and many bitter words were said, not only by the negroes, but also by many whites who condemned their fellows for having any part i n such a disgraceful a f f a i r . In an attempt to clear his name, Emil Sutro published a notice i n the press; A CARD EDITOR BRITISH COLONIST:- My name having been mentioned i n con-nection with the "Theatre Fracas" I wish to state what happened between Mr. Maguire, the leader of the orchestra, and myself. When I reached the theatre I learned that several colored people were occupying promi-nent seats i n the dress c i r c l e , which caused considerable dissatisfaction to many English and American residents, preventing numbers from entering. I asked Mr. Maguire to request the colored audience to occupy the back part of the dress c i r c l e , or, i f they refused that, to give them the use of a private seat where they could have amused themselves to their heart's content and given no offence to anybody. Under either of those conditions I was willing to play, and did not absolutely refuse. Mr. Maguire, after an interview with the parties, informed me that they were stubborn and would not budge an inch, to use their own expression. I refused then to play and l e f t the theatre for home. The f i r e alarm called me out, but kept me only a few minutes i n the street, when I re-turned to my rooms. In concluding I would remark that I do not believe in any amalgamation of white and colored people, nor that the latter should socially intermix with the former. No sensible person w i l l ob-ject to the colored population being admitted to any public place of amusement: but l e t one part of the house, no matter which, be reserved for their particular use, - where people w i l l never intrude upon their society. They form a distinct class, and enjoy their f u l l rights as citizensj but l e t these "gentlemen" - i f they claim to be gentlemen -not force themselves upon white society, where they are not desired, and are furthermore offensive to a majority of the residents of Victoria. EMIL SUTRO 30 The following morning Sutro 1s "Card" was attacked by "An Offended Englishwoman" whose attitude towards the coloured people of Victoria 30 Colonist. Sept. 27, 1861. 193 was by no means in accord with his: REPLY TO EMIL SUTRO EDITOR BRITISH COLONIST:- On reading your Colonist of this morning I find a card published by Emil Sutroo Now, Mr. Sutro i n his card puts forth two statements which required contradiction: 1st. That the colored people force themselves upon white society where they are not desired: and 2nd. That they are offensive to a majority of the residents of Victoria. Now as regards the forcing themselves upon the "white society," allow me to say that they are as a class superior to many who composed the audience on the very night in question. Take for instance the unprovoked assault on those unoffending individuals. They have never forced them-selves on society of any kind, and they have as much right, i n a British Colony, to be seen and heard, as persons who are fortunate enough to possess a white skin. To say "They enjoy their f u l l rights as citizens," i s a f l a t contradiction of himself, for he says "they were requested to resign their seats," (although paid for) i n favor of some white society. Which they very sensibly declined. Had they given an inch an e l l might have been taken. As regards their being offensive to a large majority of the residents of Victoria, a very plain proof that they are not so i s seen i n the state of our churches, where nearly one-half of the con- 1/ gregations are colored. And on the night already referred to, I believe not one respectable person took part i n the assault, which was as offensive to Englishmen as unwarrantable i n an English Colony where a l l classes are truly free, and not so i n name only. It would be well i f Mr. Sutro would; remember that he himself belongs to a much persecuted race which in some countries is a proverb and a by-vrord. Remembering thi s , his sympathies should have been with, not against the colored people. A l l foreigners l i v i n g on British s o i l should conform to B r i t i s h laws and customs, and not take upon themselves to dictate, and i f they cannot endure the presence of a colored man or woman, l e t them by a l l means stay at home; they have f u l l permission to do so, and not offend any one's eyes and ears by the disgraceful scenes alluded to. AN OFFENDED ENGLISHWOMAN As was to be expected, the editor of the Colonist had a few remarks to make regarding the "flour incident", however his editorial was tinged with prejudice, for while he admitted that the whites had committed a wrong by throwing the flour, he did not condemn them enough. At least 31 Colonist. Sept. 28, 1861. 1 9 4 so thought M i f f l i n Gibbs, who was s t i l l smarting from the insult when he wrote the Colonist condemning the attitude of i t s editor: EDITOR BRITISH COLONIST:- The disgraceful proceedings of the rowdy-element of the community on Wednesday evening having called forth editorial comments in your paper this morning, and being one of the parties assaulted, and hence immediately interested, I ask that you allow me space for a brief reply. I have resided i n this Colony for the space of three or four years, but never before v i s i t e d a place of public amusement; but being i n -terested in the success of the Hospital fund to the amount of several hundred dollars for provisions furnished the institution for the com-^--fort and sustenance of Americans and others whom misfortune had over-taken; and further, knowing that i t was to be under the patronage of distinguished o f f i c i a l s and the best English society of the Colony, I went with my family, with no feeling than that I would be exempt from the barbarous and insulting behaviour that has characterized such places on former occasions - and for that purpose purchased tickets for the dress-c i r c l e . The public knows the rest; how my friend - against whose re-spectability and standing no exceptions can be taken - with his young daughter, myself and wife were covered with flour, the performers pelted with unsaleable f r u i t , and every effort made by the American rowdies to break up the entertainment. Now,sir, what course have you taken with regard to this outrage? You meet a colored man on the street and denounce i t as outrageous, the thing admits of no defence, the parties should suffer for i t , &c, &c. Often have you repeated that equal intelligence, equal standing, in a B r i t i s h colony secures equal treatment - shame, shame, &c. You hasten to your sanctum (as some poor simple people thought) to indite "words that breathe and thoughts that burn" i n vindication of outraged law. But l o l visions of long advertisements and untold patronage from denizens of Wharf street dance and glisten; the palms of your hands suddenly expand and contract like a sunfish in greedy expectancy of the thirt y pieces of s i l v e r . You have l i t t l e to say condemnatory, notwithstanding a great wrong has been committed calling for the condign punishment, you admit the wrong, and in the next breath paliate the offence and invite repetition by carping about "Caucasian and African," "deeply-rooted prejudice," "social equality," &c. Is not British law and justice superior to the "deeply rooted , prejudices," and Yankee notions that are racking that republic from centre to circumference. Social EqualityI What has v i s i t i n g a theatre ergo - Butts and De Cosmos are on terms of social equality - fudge, the idea i s too ridiculous for comment. The fact i s patent that you, occupying the position of an Editor, and i n the face of your continual clamoring for the f a i t h f u l and im-partial administration of Br i t i s h law as affecting other topics, have to do with social equality. 195 not only shirked your duty and proved yourself a trimmer for loaves and fishes, but have done worse. Instead of calling upon the author-i t i e s to have officers present to protect every man in the peaceful enjoyment"of his rights, you wind up your ar t i c l e by advocating a course that would oppress and degrade a large and growing class of most loyal citizens. I have taken the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty's Government, paid the other day about #400 yearly taxes into the treasury, in return am I to be told by you that I shall be degraded on public occasions and proscribed to the Box, Parquette, or any other place, to please a few renegade Yankees, who, i f they had a spark of patriotism about them, would be fighting their country's battles, and not be laying around here to save their hides and foment s t r i f e . You say in your issue of this morning that i t is your opinion that colored people w i l l never be admitted into places of amusement on terms of equality. Yesterday, i n conversation with a gentleman of my acquain-tance, you offered to bet a thousand dollars that i n two years time such a thing as proscription in a place of amusement on account of color would not be known, and people would laugh at the idea. How these opinions harmonize, I leave the more astute to determine; but in Yankee parlance, I suppose one was for Northern and the other for Southern consumption. M.W.G. 22 In reply, the editor of the Colonist denied the charges directed at him in Gibbs1 l e t t e r . Never had he said one thing on the street and the opposite i n the newspaper, he claimed, and furthermore the idea of hav-33 ing officers to protect the coloured people was ridiculous. The attack had certainly been a premeditated one, as i t had been common talk among the whites that there would be plenty of onions thrown at the negroes that night, and attempts had even been made to bribe the artists not to appear. Felix Leslouls, a singer, admitted that he had been offered $50.00 to say that he could not sing to negroes, but he had refused the offer because he had given his promise to perform and 34 would do so whether negroes were present or not. 32 Colonist, Sept. 28, 1861. 33 Loc. c i t . 34 Victoria Daily Press, Oct. 11, 1861. 196 If Gibbs and his party had done as requested and had moved to other seats, the coloured people would have eventually found themselves i n just as inferior a position as they had i n California. He had fought for the privileges that they were enjoying, and was determined that none should be wrested from them. After this incident, the negro colonists daily endured the silent insult of seeing placards posted on street corners to the effect that . 35 "colored people w i l l not be allowed in any part of the building". Here-after theatre play-bills advertised that they would be permitted to s i t i n the gallery only. The fact that they were being segregated because of their colour was i r r i t a t i n g enough, but to be forced to s i t i n that part of the building where the lowest level of society was to be found was too degrading. They appealed to Governor Douglas. To His Excellency James Douglas C.6. &c &c S i r , We the undersigned committee appointed by the colored people of this Colony, desire to memorialize your Excellency with reference to the gross insult and shameful proscription of places of public amusements by inserting upon hand-bills and posters, "Colored people not admitted to any part of the House except the Gallery." Proscription solely on the ground of color, we believe to be an insufferable wrong, but the outrage i s s t i l l more apparent, when i t i s known that the gallery i s the only sole resort of the lowest order. Coming to this colony to found our homes, and rear our families, we did so advisedly, assured by those in authority that we should meet with no d i s a b i l i t i e s p o l i t i c a l or conventional on the ground of color. Your memorialists would submit that in point of sobriety, i n -telligence, and industry, as well as other requisites for good citizen-ship, they compare favorably with any other class;—they are i n possession of real estate to the amount of £50,000, which awaits taxation for the support of the Government. We are here investing our means, and zealously laboring for the well being of the colony, and are influencing large numbers of our class to do likewise, and desire to have our families un-trammeled by the perpetuation of a mean and senseless prejudice against 35. Victoria Daily Press, Dec. 1, 1861. 197 color - a prejudice having no foundation that is honorable, and alone supported by the ignorance and brutality of the lowest order of society. Earnestly deprecating a l l resorts to violence, desiring to be law-abiding, and feeling that the proscription practices to which we c a l l the attention of your Excellency to be slanderous, and injurious to a large and respectable body of Her Majesty's subjects,—that they are inimical to the genius of British Law and world-renowned B r i t i s h sen-timents. We therefore petition your Excellency to make such recommen-dations that w i l l guarantee the rights of your petitioners i n common , with a l l other men. And we your humble petitioners as in duty bound w i l l ever pray. Signed on behalf of Two Hundred and Sixty colored residents Wellington D. Moses Jacob Francis Committee F. Richard Wm. Brown Richard H. Johnson The Governor received the deputation from the coloured community bearing this petition, and the matter was settled verbally so there i s no record of his decision, however i t would appear that Douglas was unable to remedy the situation as further theatre incidents were to follow. On December 10, 1863, Alexander McCarthy appeared at the entrance to the theatre, and presented a ticket for the dress c i r c l e but was promptly refused admittance because of his colour. He then created such a disturbance that a police officer t r i e d to eject him, and as he con-tinued to make himself objectionable even after the manager had offered to refund the price of his ticket, he was marched off to the police station. When the case came up the next day, the lawyer for the coloured man tried to prove that as no law had ever been passed prohibiting negroes from s i t t i n g anywhere in the theatre, his client had the right to occupy the seat indicated by his ticket. The ticket was a contract he said, and the theatre manager had fai l e d to f u l f i l his part of the agreement. 36 MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. Petitions I864, July to Dec. 198 The Judge dismissed the charge of creating a disturbance, but the coloured 37 man was fined for resisting an officer. This was obviously another test of negro rights, and a few days later was followed by another incident when James Fountain, Fortune Richards, and Adolphus Calamandus Richards were refused admittance to the Colonial Theatre although they presented tickets which had been purchased for them by a white friend. The coloured men took the matter to court, and unsuccessfully began suits against the theatre manager for #500 each, which they claimed were the damages sustained by them 38 when their tickets were refused. A year later the negroes were aroused by a p l a y - b i l l posted by the Victoria Theatre bearing the following: N.B. The Undersigned, without intending the slightest offence to any of Victoria's residents, feels compelled, i n this city of varied nationalities, and as conservator of the peace of his own establishment, to state that colored persons cannot be admitted into the Dress Circle or Or-chestra Seats. Should they feel disposed to v i s i t the Theatre, he w i l l cheerfully f i t up and comfortably fur-nish for them an el i g i b l e portion of the building; but he w i l l not expose his audience to the disturbance and danger too l i k e l y to arise out of disputes about place, position, or precedence. THOMAS WARD. 22 Governor Kennedy had by now succeeded Governor Douglas, and the coloured townspeople sent a deputation to him re-stating their old grievance 40 and asking his help: 37 Daily Chronicle. Dec. 11, 12, 1863. 38 Ibid.. Dec. 19, 1863. 39 P l a y b i l l i n B.C. Provincial Archives. Enclosed with petition, Oct. 5, 1864. 40 Colonist. 0ct» 6, I864. 199 Oct.5/64 Unto His Excellency Arthur Edward Kennedy C B Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of Vancouver Island &c &c &c The petition of the undersigned being colored residents of Victoria Humbly Sheweth That your petitioners emigrated to Vancouver.Island in 1858, under the auspices of the late Governor S i r James Douglas, C.B. That your petitioners have adopted this colony as their home, and have l a i d out their hard won earnings in the purchase of real estate, and settled their families here. That they did so, under the impression that B r i t i s h Law recognized no distinction as to color, and that they would enjoy a l l the privileges incident to B r i t i s h subjects. That your petitioners f e e l aggrieved at the distinction made i n parties permitted to v i s i t the public theatre. Your petitioners therefore pray that your Excellency would take the premises into your consideration and grant such r e l i e f to your petitioners, as in your wisdom may seem most expedient. And your Petitioners w i l l ever pray &c (Committee appointed on behalf of the Colored people) Jacob Francis E.B. Talloch ThosisP. Freeman Wm. Brown Henry Plummer. £L An immediate reply was forthcoming from the Acting Colonial Secretary: Colonial Secretary's Office ) Victoria, 5th October I864.) Gentlemen - I am directed by the Governor to acknowledge the receipt of your petition that he would relieve you from certain d i s a b i l i t i e s imposed upon you on account of your 41 MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives. Petitions I864, July to Dec. 200 colour, and bringing a placard under his notice by the terms of which you are excluded from certain parts of the public theatre, and prescribing the conditions on which alone you w i l l be ad-mitted to any particular part of i t . While his Excellency regrets that he i s unable to remove the invidious distinction thus drawn between classes of Her Majesty's subjects, he desires to assure you that he has no sympathy with those who would make creed or colour a barrier to any of Her Majesty's subjects attaining and occupying any social position to which their character and capacity may entitle them. I have the honor to be, Gentlemen Your obed't serv't HENRY WAKEFORD Acting Colonial Secretary Messrs. Jacob Francis, and others. 1,2 The following year there was one more theatre disturbance when John Dunlop was refused entry to a benefit performance at the Victoria 43 Theatre. After 1865 any outward indications of r a c i a l prejudice a l -most disappeared i n Victoria, for by this time the tide of immigration had been reversed. Many negroes as well as white Americans began to return to the United States. The coloured people had by now been freed from slavery, the C i v i l War had come to an end, and a period of depression had descended on Vancouver Island, for the gold rush was over. For the f i r s t time theatre managers began to complain of having more seats than patrons, and one negro suggested that the reason for the financial failure of many of these race conscious establishments was the boycott supposedly imposed on them by the permanent residents of the town, who, whether they inwardly enjoyed mixing with the negroes or not, were proud of their B r i t i s h traditions and were ashamed of the injustice which had been done 44 the coloured people. 42 Evening Express. Oct. 7, 1864* 43 Colonist, Nov. 23, 1865. 44 Loc. c i t . 201 While the theatres segregated the negroes, at least they were per-mitted to attend i f they so desired. This was not always the case with other social functions. Even when they tried to show their loyalty and appreciation to Governor Douglas i n I864, when he was leaving office, they received the usual rebuff. On March 10th of that year there was to be a grand banquet in the Theatre as a tribute to the re t i r i n g Governor, but when Lester and Gibbs applied for tickets, they were refused. This was a great injustice, and at least one high ranking Englishman publicly announced that i f this was to be the case, he would refuse a ticket him-45 self . There were two hundred persons present at the banquet and the ironic a l part of.the evening was the toast to "The Foreign Residents of Victoria" proposed by D.B. Ring, the, lawyer. "National prejudices were disappearing fast before the progress of c i v i l i z a t i o n " he said, "and the world was rapidly progressing, freed from their retarding i n -46 fluences." Not only were the coloured people refused a share i n the f e s t i v i t i e s bidding farewell to the old governor, but were also discriminated against i n welcoming the new. A procession had been arranged to meet Governor Kennedy, in which the proudest possession of the negro community, the 47 Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps was not permitted to take part. Other examples of discrimination were to follow such as on the 24th of May I864, when there was to be a public subscription banquet to cele-brate the Queen's birthday. Again, even those negroes who were B r i t i s h born were excluded, the weak excuse being that the American element was against i t . Why the Americans should have the right to prevent British 45 Colonist, March 10, 1864* 46 Ibid.. March 11, I864. 47 See above, p. 117 202 subjects from attending a B r i t i s h banquet celebrating the birthday of a B r i t i s h queen, defies an answer. It i s probably closer to the truth to say that a few of the usually liberal-minded Englishmen had become i n -fected with the germ of prejudice and were using the Americans as their excuse. One rejected negro complained, saying that even i n the United States the Americans did not have so much authority, for i n Washington, coloured men frequently attended the President's levees and other great 48 functions. Strange to say, although the negroes found themselves barred from white society, white men frequently attended negro parties and balls, but never with their wives. The white ladies of the colony never mixed 49 socially with their dark sisters. To s i t on a jury was considered by the coloured colonists to be a very great privilege, for l i k e the franchise i t was another step towards their complete emancipation, a symbol of their equality. In Victoria a negro had been called to serve on the jury i n I860, apparently as a re-ward for having voted for Cary and Franklin i n the notorious election of that year. Prejudice prevented any more negroes performing jury service u n t i l 1872, with the exception of the coroner's jury assembled i n connection with the murder of the negro, Anderson. Finally i n 1872, in answer to their petition, Dr. Ash presented a resolution i n the House, asking the Governor to instruct the sheriff to place the names of the negro residents on the jury l i s t s . The resolution did not pass at that time, but attention was at least directed towards the grievance, and eight months later the coloured people found members of their race called to 48 Colonist. May 23, I 8 6 4 . 49 Ibid., March 17, IS64. 203 50 serve as jurors. There were other minor incidents i l l u s t r a t i v e of r a c i a l prejudice almost too numerous to mention, such as the disbandment of a temperance society and! of a li t e r a r y society merely because they had inadvertently 51 accepted the names of negroes on their membership r o l l s . The fact that the coloured Masons never met with their white brothers, and the refusal to permit negroes to join the f i r e brigades, are a l l evidence enough of discrimination. In the matter of education at least there appears to have been no segregation i n the colonial schools. In fact when a mass meeting was held to discuss the opening of a non-sectarian public school i n 1864, the comment of one man that he would like to see his children properly educated, separated from the blacks, was met with 52 hisses, and the chairman warned him to make no further anti-negro comments. Unfortunately the Utopian vision presented to the persecuted negroes in San Francisco had not entirely become a rea l i t y , for although they O found themselves In a society giving them certain privileges they were also i n a society that kept them in a state of isolation. Many of the barber-shops, bar-rooms, restaurants and hotels owned by Americans and some Englishmen were denied them, but i n a l l fairness they had to admit 1 that they were welcomed into some of the finest establishments i n town where these were run by Englishmen, although almost invariably they were met with a certain air of condescension. So far only Victoria's negro colonists have been studied with re-gard to their problem of race, for here was the largest centre of settle-ment and the natural place for racial conflicts to arise. But Salt Spring 50 Colonist. March 7, 21, Nov. 27, 1872. 51 Matthew Macfie, Vancouver Island and British Columbia. London, 1865, pp. 388-391. 52 Colonist. April 11, I864. 204 Island had a large negro population and what of the miners at the Fraser diggings and i n the Cariboo? Evidence of a race problem i n any of these places i s almost non-existent. On Salt Spring Island, the only incident so far encountered was the refusal of a white woman to attend religious meetings with the negroes; i n general, however, there seems to have been an atmosphere of co-operation among the settlers although conflicts did arise of a non-racial nature. On the Island the bulk of the population was agrarian, and since a l l the farmers had a good market for everything they could produce, there was no economic competition. Whether they were black or white, a l l were carrying on the same struggle against nature, and their common fear of the Indians and the need of mutual protection tended to bind them together. A neighbour, regardless of his colour, was a de-cided asset. Along the Fraser and in the Cariboo there i s also l i t t l e evidence of discrimination, and any unpleasant incidents that did occur took place during the very earliest days of the gold rush when the American rowdies f i r s t arrived at the diggings. Then "Dixie" the negro barber was assaulted at Yale merely because of the prejudice of a drunken miner from California, and a similar incident occurred when other Californians forcibly ejected some coloured miners from a squaw dance h a l l , an act for which they were later fined i n court. In general, the words of the negro miner involved i n the Davis-Aurora case in 1866 give an accurate description of conditions: "I have taken some pains to spread abroad the equality, we as colored men had, i n the laws i n an English colony, and am proud to say I have found 53 no difference u n t i l now." Perhaps Judge Begbie Ts ruling i n this case was the result of his own prejudice, but the majority 53 See above, p. 153 205 of the white miners i n the d i s t r i c t were by no means i n accord with him. Few were more highly regarded i n Barkerville than Moses, the barber, and i n his diaries there never occurs even the slightest complaint about his treatment at the hands of the whites in the community. In the Cariboo there was no p o l i t i c a l conflict such as existed i n Victoria, and there was no serious competition between the races i n their economic l i f e . Coloured men worked side by side with white miners; they were i n partner-ship i n mining ventures, and negroes were employed as labourers by white mining companies. In the gold f i e l d s , with the exception of the Chinese, who never became an integral part of society, a man was judged by the amount of money i n his pocket and not by the colour of his skin. After the C i v i l War, r a c i a l conflicts seldom occurred i n even the larger centers, such as Victoria, for by this time the gold-excitement had come to an end and the American adventurers were returning to the United States as were also large numbers of the negro settlers. As the members of neither group considered themselves permanent residents i n the colony, there was no longer any purpose i n carrying on the conflict over equality. Perhaps throughout the early years of settlement, the coloured people had been using the wrong technique to achieve their am-bitions. Their coercive tactics had only made the whites more hostile, and as Sydney Smith once aaid, "We cannot extort friendship from those whose regard we covet with a cocked p i s t o l . " Time alone was to be the solution, for with the departure of the Americans and the shrinkage of the negro population, the h o s t i l i t y between the races gradually diminished and the fact that such a situation had ever existed i n B r i t i s h Columbia was forgotten. 54 Cited i n Macfie, og. c i t . , p. 392. 206 P P E N D I C E S 207 APPENDIX "A" PARTIAL LIST OF COLOURED IMMIGRANTS TO BRITISH COLUMBIA 1858-1871 (This l i s t has been compiled from a l l the sources used in the preparation of this thesis.) (A) Abernethy, Robert - Baker. Adams. Ben • Addison, Patrick Jerome and wife - Farmer • Alexander, Charles and wife (Hancy) - Carpenter and Farmer . Allen, Edward. Allen, Henry - Committed suicide i n Cariboo, April 5, 1868. Allen,,William and wife (Emily). Amby, Henry. Anderson, George Henry - Farmer. Anderson, Stephen - Miner. Antoine, Archer, John - Groceries and provision merchant. Ashbury, Augusta, Frederick Taliafera. (B) Bailey, Madison Fineas. Baker, James. Baldwin, John - Green grocer. Banks, John - Blacksmith. Barnswell, James and wife. Barton, John Wm. Bastion, William. Berry, Hamilton. Bond, Willis. Carroll and wife - Contractor and house mover. Booth, Samuel John - Caulker. Bowen, William - Barber. Bronen, Henry Holly - Cook. Brown, William - Merchant. Buhler, Asbury - Tailor, clothing and variety store. Bulmer, and wife* Bulow, and wife. Burnside, Wm. Butler, Mrs. Sarah J . (C) Caesar, Randall - Barber, proprietor of the Saucelito Baths. Carter, George - Farmer* Carter, Paris and wife - Grocer and debt collector. Cathcart, J. Charity, Cornelius Hamlin - Bootmaker. Christopher, Augustus and wife - Porter. Church, - Drowned in the sinking of the Brother Jonathan. I 208 Clanton, R. and wife - Baker. Cooness, Stacey. Cooper. Ezekieio Copeland,Abraham and wife. Cowen, Charles. Cummings, Isaac. (D) Dandridge, John. Deas, J.S. and wife - Tinsmith. Decosta, John. Dennis, George. Dodd, Charles. Douglas, Sarah Jane - Married Wellington D. Moses. Dowdy, Elison - Painter. Dunlap, S. Dunlop, John Thomas - Livery stable. Dyer, William Henry. (E) Edwards, John E. - Hair dresser. Estes, Howard - Farmer. (F) Farrington, Stephen - Dairyman. Felix, James. Ford, and wife. Forrester, Thomas & wife. Fouchette, Fountain, James. Fox, Archer - Barber Fox, John Edward - Barber. Francis, A.H. and wife - Groceries and provisions. Francis, P.J. Fredison, Daniel and wife - Farmer. Freeman, Thomas Palmer and wife - Storekeeper. (G) Gant, William and wife - Teamster. Gardner, Gibbs, M i f f l i n Wistar and wife - Merchant. Gibbs, I.P. and wife (Mary). Gibbs, Maria. Giscombe, J. (Jiscom ?) Glasco, William and wife - Teamster. Godfrey, Wm. and wife. Gohagen, J. Gohiggan, Isaac - Teamster. 209 Grantom, Henry - Restaurant owner. Died May 13, I864. Grimes, Hall, Rufus. Halley, Robert - Miner. Hamilton, Alexander and wife. - Came from Canada West. Died June 8, 1865. Handy, Joshua - Restaurant owner. Harrison, and wife. Harvey, General. Hawkins, Jack - F e l l off Fideliter and drowned Sept. 19, 1866. Hayes, Miss J. Henderson, John. Henry, John. Hobbs, George Washington, and wife - Teamster. Hoggan, George. Horsley, Z. and wife. Howard, Hudson, and wife (Elizabeth). (I) Isaacs, William - Farmer. (J) Jackson, F. and wife. Jackson, J.S. Jackson, Kirke. Jackson, Richard - Gardener. Jackson, Stonewall. Jackson, Thomas Henry - Drayman. Jasper, John. Jiscom, B.C. Jiscom, John R. Johnson, Isaac, B. Johnson, Richard Henry. Jones, Columbus and wife. (K) Keithley, and wife. Kerr, William F. (L) Lee, Archie - Porter Leonard, Edward and wife. Lester, Peter and wife - Groceries and provisions. Lester, Peter Jr. - Painter. Lester, Sarah. Lewis, John and wife - Porter. Lewis, Joseph. Lomax, and wife. Lowe, Jacob. (M) Mabins, and wife. 210 \ McGee, Mrs. Magee, Mansell, James and wife. Mathews, George Henry - Merchant. Mathews, John Devine. Mathews, T. Devine - Carrier. McCarthy, Alexander. Mercier, Micherson, Miller, William and wife - Saloon-keeper. Milton, Burgess. Mitchell, Charles. Monet, Mathew, Fred. - Fruiterer. Montero, J. and wife. Morris, Moses, Wellington D. and wife (Sarah) - Barber. (N) Newby, Aaron Lewis - Sailor. Newel, R. (0) Ovelten, Jeff. (P) Page, and wife. Perpeno, Henry - Gardener and brick maker. Phelps, E.R. and wife. P h i l l i p s , John. Phipps, M.A. Pierre, Thomas and wife - Tailor. Plummer, Henry. Pointer, Nathan and wife - Merchant, clothing store. Popanice, Henry. (R) Ramsay, Samuel - Waiter. Raymous, Sam - Minstrel. Reed, William and wife. Richard, Fortune - Ship carpenter, Farmer. Richards, Adolphus Calmandus - Plasterer. Riley, G. Roals, Mrs. Roberts, Timothy and wife - Teamster. Robinson, Henry W. - Groceries and provisions, farmer. Robinson, William - brick maker. (S) Sampson, James - Teamster. Savage, and wife. Scott, J.H. and wife. 211 Scott, James C. - Miner* Scott Charles Humphrey - Grocer. Scott, William Alexander - Barber. Senasaul, S. and wife. Sharp, Charles Henry and wife. Shakespeare, Thomas. Simpson, Skank, Smith, C.B. Smith, M.R. and wife - Baker. Smithea (also Smithie), Fielding - Messenger. Soule, Charles. Spotts, Fielding and wife - Copper, farmer. Stepney, D. Stevens, Edward. Stevens, James and wife. Stevens, S* Stewart, and wife (Emma). Stokes, Richard - Carrier. Strong, Arthur and wife (Elizabeth). (T) Talloch, E.V. Taylor, D. Taylor, J.S. - Restaurant and saloon keeper. Templeton, Thomas, John. Thomas, Mary. Thorp, Charles H. 7 Ship carpenter. Tilghman, Robert - Barber. Tolson brothers. Travers, Augustus - Porter. Travis, and wife. Trot, Tulloch, E.V. Tyre l l , John W. (U) Upshur, John. (V) Valentine, John. (W) Waldron, and wife. Warren, J. Washington, George. Washington, Henry and wife. Washington, Thorenton - Carpenter. Watson, Dan - Minstrel. Wellington, J. Weymss, "Snowball1' and wife. Wheeler, W. and wife. White, William and wife. Whitley, Stephen - Laundryman. Wilby, William - Miner. Williams, John. Williamson, Robert H. - Blacksmith. Williams, Samuel. Wilson, Woods, Wyman, 213 APPENDIX »B» LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THIRD SESSION CHAPTER XXXIII. Respecting Fugitives from Labor, and Slaves brought to this State prior  to her admission into the Union. The People of the State of California, represented i n Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows: SEC. 1. When a person held to labor i n any State or Territory of the United States under the laws thereof, shall escape into this State, the person to whom such labor or service may be due, his agent or attorney, i s hereby empowered to seize or arrest such fugitive from labor, or shall have the right to obtain a warrant of arrest for such fugitive, granted by any Judge, Justice, or Magistrate of this State, and directed to any Sheriff or Constable of this State, and when seized or arrested, to take him or her before any Judge or Justice of this State, or before any Magis-trate of a County, City or Town corporate, and upon proof to the satis-faction of such Judge or Magistrate, either by oral testimony or affidavit, taken before and certi f i e d by any Judge or Magistrate i n this State, or of any other State or Territory, that the person so seized or arrested doth, under the laws of the State or Territory from which he or she fled, owe service or labor to the person claiming him or her, i t shall be the duty of such Judge or Magistrate to give a certificate thereof to such claimant, his agent or attorney, which shall be sufficient warrant for removing the said fugitive from labor, to the State or Territory from which he or she fled, and for using such force and restraint as may be necessary, under the circumstances of the case, to take and remove such fugitive person back to the State or Territory whence he or she may have escaped as aforesaid. In no t r i a l or hearing under this Act shall the testimony of such alleged fugitive be admitted i n evidence, and the cer-t i f i c a t e hereinbefore mentioned shall be conclusive of the right of the person or persons i n whose favor granted, to remove such fugitive to the State or Territory from which he escaped, and shall prevent a l l molestation of such person or persons, by any process issued by any Court, Judge, y Justice, or Magistrate, or other person whomsoever. SEC. 2. Any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct, hinder, or prevent such claimant, his agent, or attorney, or any person or persons lawfully assisting him, her or them, from arresting such fugitive from service or labor, either with or without process as aforesaid, or shall rescue or attempt to rescue such fugitive from the custody of such claim-ant, his or her agent or attorney, or other person or persons lawfully assisting as aforesaid, when so arrested pursuant to the authority herein given and declared, or shall aid, abet, or assist such fugitive, directly or indirectly to escape from such claimant, his agent or attorney, or other person or persons legally authorized as aforesaid, or shall harbor or conceql such fugitive, shall for either of said offences, be subject to the fine of not less than five hundred dollars, and imprisonment not less than two months, by indictment and conviction before any Court of 214 Sessions of this State, or before any Court having criminal jurisdiction within this State, and shall moreover f o r f e i t and pay by way of c i v i l damages to the claimant of said fugitive, the sum of one thousand dollars, for each and either of said offences, to be recovered by action in any Di s t r i c t Court of this State. SEC. 3. It shall be the duty of a l l Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs and Constables to obey and execute a l l warrants and precepts issued under the provisions of this Act, when to them directed, and should any Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, or constable refuse to receive such warrant or other process when tendered, or to use a l l proper means, diligently to execute the same, he shall on conviction thereof, by indictment, be fined in the sum of not less than five hundred dollars and not more than two thousand dollars, to the use of the County in which conviction i s had, and removed from office, and shall be liable to the claimant i n such damages as the claimant shall sustain by reason of said misconduct, and after the arrest of such fugitive by such Sheriff, or his Deputy, or Constable, or whilst at any time within his custody, should such fugitive escape by the assent, neglect or contrivance of such officer, such officer shall be l i a b l e , on his o f f i c i a l bond to such claimant, for the f u l l value of said fugitive in the State or Territory from whence he or she came. SEC. 4* Any person or persons held to labor or service i n any State or Territory, and who were brought or introduced within the limits of this State previous to the admission of this State as one of the United States of America and who shall refuse to return to the State or Territory where he, she or they owed such labor or service, upon the demand of the person or persons, his or their agent, or attorney, to whom such labor or service was due, such person or persons so refusing to return, shall be held and deemed fugitives from labor within the meaning of this Act, and a l l the remedies, rights, and provisions herein given to claimants of fugitives who escape from any other State into this State, are hereby given and conferred upon claimants of fugitives from labor within the meaning of this section; Provided, the provisions of this section shall not have force and effect after the period of twelve months from the passage of this Act. SEC. 5. Nothing contained in this Act shall be so construed as to allow the claimant of any slave to hold such slave i n servitude i n this State after his reclamation under the provisions of this Act, except for the purpose of removing such slave from the State. APPROVED, April 15, 1852 215 APPENDIX »C" EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF THE REVEREND EDWARD CRIDGE HAVING REFERENCE TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEGROES Thursday. May 6. 1858 On Sunday Apl 25 the "Commodore" Capt. Nagle, arrived with 400 or 500 Emigrants from San Francisco, chiefly bent for the gold mines as Fort C o l v i l l e . There were also 35 men of colour from the same place of different trades & callings, chiefly intending to settle here. On Monday (Apl. 26) drinking tea at Mrs. Blinkhorn's with my wife she (Mrs. B.) told us that on the precedg evening she was surprised at hearing the sounds of praise. They proceeded from the men of colour who had taken a large room at Laing's the Carpenter; & they spent the Sabbath Evening in worshipping the word of God. On the following morning I called on them. They appeared much gratified i n my v i s i t . I requested permission to ask them a few questions which they decidedly acceded to. I asked them what led them to leave San F. & Come to this place. One of them said "They sought the freedom to which they knew they were entitled i n common with white men. Their evidence was not taken i n a court of justice & they laboured under other forms of oppression. Another of them said the immediate reason was the intention of the Legislature of Cal i -fornia to pass an act by which a l l the people of colour then resident in that state were to be registered descriptively and that they would be permitted to remain. But in case of any other persons of colour come then they were to be employed by the Sheriff i n labour u n t i l they had earned sufficient money to defray the expence of their convey-ance to the state which they were to name. In case of that State refusing to receive them the Sheriff himself was to choose the state "Thus" the speaker added, "If any of us have relatives however near or dear, resident in other states they are forbidden to come to us." They also told me that a deputation of three of their number had waited on the Governor c who had given them a good reception and they were much encouraged by the statement he gave of the privileges they would here enjoy. They also said they did not intend to settle in a d i s t r i c t by but to settle wherever they saw an opening. They belonged to the American Wesleyan Episcopal Church. (One of their no. Handy called on me this morning May 6 handing me a collection book in which several ministers, among the rest Dr. Scott of S.F. signed their names stating he was authorized to make collections for building a Church for coloured people. This man informed me that i t was announced expressly by their minister at S.F. a coloured man, the Rev. Moore that they did not intend to establish a distinct Church organization at Victoria but to join to some Ch. already in existence here.) After talking to them, both on this business & on spiritual subjects they asked me to pray with them which I did after they had sung the doxology, and I came away. On Friday Apl. 30 about a dozen or 15 of them came to the prayer meeting. On Sunday May 2 about the same number came to church. I had previously told them they would be welcomed & accommodated. 216 This morning (as above noted) the man Handy called. He was styled the "Rev." in the book above alluded to. He said he was not ordained. He had exercised the office both of local and itinerant preacher in L California. He was a slave i n one of the eastern states and obtained his freedom when he was 21. He has one daughter, then about 14 old by a f i r s t wife; & 4 children by his present wife, who are now with Mr. Moore waiting to come - Mr. Moore also intends coming. I f e e l this i s a juncture of great importance and needs much wisdom and prayer on my part. May the Lord vouchsafe i t I Tuesday. May 18. 1858 Capt. Doane sent.me the "Bulletin" (S. Francisco, containing the report of the deputation from the Coloured people to this place which was read at a public meeting at S. Fo. They spoke in very enthusiastic terms of their prospects here; they also mentioned in a very gratifying manner the v i s i t I paid them. One of them said "At last I have found a home." One of them today said to Mr. Pemberton that he was 55 years ^ old and this was the f i r s t time he had f e l t himself a man. The report was signed Mercier, Richard, Moses. The latter wrote a letter to Rev. Moore (their coloured minister at S.F., in which he spoke again of my v i s i t . ) Wednesday. May 19. 1858 About 21 present [at prayer meeting] - 3 coloured men - Used the melodeon in the singing - A coloured man by the name of Papino (I think) called i n the morning and shewed me a letter from their minister Mr. Moore from which I perceived that he is very i l l i t e r a t e . The purpose of the letter was to ask him to purchase for him a piece of land - Papino called ostensibly to asking advice respecting an eligible sight. Perhaps he also thought he might enter into my service as he said that his employ-ment had chiefly been service i n gentlemen's families. He was born in Florida - he can hardly read his own name he said. He had got on by " wit" and not by education. He was converted under Mr. Moore's ministry a l i t t l e more than a year ago. He expressed himself delighted by the reception they had met with here. He had joined with some others in forming a company for brick making. Tuesday. May 25. 1858 Visited some of the coloured people 1. On top of the h i l l (1) Cope-land has a wife and several children and grandchildren some in slavery in Virginia & Mississippi. Was born a slave i n Virginia - His master was his father - (2) Richard (about 53 old I should think) has a wife & daughter I4 old whom he wishes to place at school (3) Williams (4) Papino (who called on me the other day) (5) Handy (ditto) (6) Archy, whose case made so much noise i n S. Francisco lately. (7) a grandson of Copeland. 2. House lately occupied by Deans (1) Moses (whose letter to Mr. Moore of S.. Fo. was printed in the Bulletin as above, - had lost his wife and children. (2) Davis, a very man, was married, i s going to work at a new wharf at Esquimalt and to lodge at Parsons - I gave him some advice which he took well i n to the temptations. 217 He said he would for the gold diggings. (3) Trot - unmarried. (4) Soulay a wife (I think i n W. Indies - i s going to the diggings -They a l l appeared much gratified at my v i s i t . Wednesday. May 26. 1858 Prayer meeting - there were 15 present besides our own family -including 2 or 3 men of colour. After prayer Mr. Moses introduced to me. (l) Mr. Clark. Has a wife & 8 children i n Kentucky in slavery. Is going to the gold mines i n hopes of sufficient to purchase their freedom. He said he had never f e l t as he had f e l t since his coming here. He f e l t he was free, but he longed for his wife & children. (2) Abernethy - has a wife and four_children_in_slavery, i s ^ going to the diggings to the same object. (3) Nehemiah - unmarried. Clark said the Lord had brought about his own freedom; He had a strong expectation that he would bring about the freedom of his family. \y I said "I f e l t sure the system would f a l l . " He agreed & said he hoped i f by ho other means the Lord would constrain the enslavers to liberate them as he constrained Pharaoh to liberate the children of Israel and he believed he would hear their groans. 218 APPENDIX "D» SOME PUNISHABLE OFFENCES COMMITTED BY NEGROES IN VICTORIA 1858-1871 SOME PUNISHABLE OFFENCES COMMITTED BY NEGROES IN VICTORIA - 1858-1871 Name Date Offence Charged Punishment Reference A negro and a Kanaka Aug. 1858 Suspected murder of a Chinaman. No record. Weekly Victoria uazette, A u g . a8, 1858. Jacob Low Sept. 1858 Assault. Pine of $5,00 and costs. Weekly Victoria Gazette, Sept. 18, 1858. Henry Johnson Sept. 1858 Stealing a cooking stove from an unoccupied house on Yates Street. One month in j a i l . Weekly Victoria Gazette.Sept. 25. 1858. Joseph Lewis alias Portuguese Joe June 1859 Because of his general bad character he was suspected of murdering a policeman who was on the way to arrest him on a charge of stealing pigs from a farm in the vicinity of Craigflower. Released. Charge not proven. Weekly Victoria Gazette, June 4, 1859. Wyman Sept. 1860 Sold bottle of whiskey to an Indian for a quarter. The Indian then killed a fourteen year old boy.The negro was committed as an accessory before the fact. No record. Victoria Gazette, Sept. 8, 1860. Lowe July 1861 Selling whiskey to Indians. Fine of &20. Daily Press, July 11, 1861. Simpson, De-costa and Wilson July 1861 Selling whiskey to Indians. No record. Dally Press, July 19, 1861. Name Date Offence Charged Punishment Reference Willis Bond Ian. 1859 Selling unwholesome food and counterfeiting flour brands. Not guilty. Weekly Victoria Gazettef Jan.8, 1859. John Weymia Jan. 1862 Vagrancy. Several times convicted of selling whiskey to the Indians. Three months imprisonment with hard labour. Daily Press. Jan. 20, 1862. Willis Bond Apr. 1862 Non payment of wages to a workman. Ordered to pay wages and costs. Colonist. Apr. 3, 1862. Willis Bond March 1863 Fighting In the public streets. No record. Dailv C h r o n i e l e r March 19, 1863. Sarah Jane Moses Sept. 1862 Attempted suicide. Confined two days in Debtors' Prison. Fined cost of arrest. Colonist. SeDt. 23, 24, 25, 1862. Robert: Williamson April 1863 Murder of Stephen Anderson. Not proven. Pound not guilty. Daily Chronicle. Apr. 19, 22, 25, Dec. 18, 1863. Archy Pox July 1863 Assaulted another negro with an axe after a quarrel over an Indian squaw. Ho Record. Dally Chronicle, July 3, 1863. James Baker Feb. 1864 Theft of sliver plate valued at |75.00. Had been convicted In 1859 of gold dust robbery. No Record. Dallv Chronicle, Feb. 12, 1864. Johnson Feb. 1864 Supplied liquor to an Indian woman. His house on Cormorant Street was a resort for low characters and Indian prostitutes. Pine of *50 or in default six months imprisonment. Dally Chronicle, Feb. 18, 1864. Colonist, Feb. 19, 1864. > —i— Name Date Offence Charged Punishment Reference William Burn-side Feb. 1864 Charged with being a rogueand a. vagabond. Lived with the Indians and made his living selling spirits to them. Continually fighting with the Indians and was a nuisance to the residents on Johnson Street. Discharged for want of evidence. Colonist. Feb. 24, 1864. Willis Bond Feb. 1865 Obstructing Government street for two or three days with a frame building he was moving. Fine of #25.00. Colonist, Feb. 18, 1865. Willis Bond March 1864 Wilful damage to fence owned by ex-counclllor Copland, to extent of t5. Admitted to bail in sum of fc30. Given three days in which to restore the fence or be fined $25.00. Dally Chronicle, March 16, 21, 1864. Francis H. Gardiner Aug. 1865 Charged with stealing $2300.00 from Mme. Maitre whose store he was attending in her absence. No Record. Colonist. Aug. 2, 1865. Samuel Wllliami i Aug. 1865 loitering about the streets at un-seemly hours for i l l i c i t purposes. Was overheard attempting to Induce a sailor to desert from H.M.S. Service. Struck policeman on the way to j a i l . Fine.of $25.00 for assault .Colonist, Aug. 12, 1865. John Williams Aug. 1865 Charged with Ah Lee, with being concenned with a number of Chinese and Indiana in creating a distur-bance on Cormorant St. Williams was also charged with assaulting Ah Lee. No Record. Colonist, Aug. 19, 1865. Willis Bond Jan. 1868 Disorderly conduct. Resisting arrest Discharged after apolo-• glzlng to the officer. Colonist, Jan. 7, 1868. 222 APPENDIX "E"' LETTERS FROM M.W. GIBBS TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ELEVATOR VICTORIA, V.I., B.C.,) April 25, 1868, ) Mr. Editor:- I wrote in my last that the people of this colony had reason to believe that the depression which had so long existed was being removed, and that henceforth they expected a steady improvement in their material interest. I feel that a truthful representation (though necessarily brief) of matters here w i l l be acceptable to a number of your readers, many of whom are pecuniarly interested i n i t s prosperity. It is true business is but moderate, but our population has ceased to decrease, and hope and energy taken the place of the despondenoy so universal for some time past. That we have been badly governed and allowed a golden opportunity to f l i t away unappreciated we have been sadly conscious— when the old country, the Canadas and your own State poured their quotas of energy and muscle into this country, the red tape imbecility and , onerous exaction of the government drove them away in disgust; hundreds of agriculturists seeking land to settle were treated with such nonchalence or charged such fabulous prices that they l e f t to find among o f f i c i a l s of more urbanity and attention, and on more l i b e r a l terms, the lands they fain would have settled upon here. Nature has been truly bountiful in giving us a glorious climate, and great sources of wealth in our forests of timber, our fisheries, extensive mines of coal of superior quality, stock ranges, and agricultural lands capable of immense yields. But the pertinent questions seem to be: What process of development is going on? how are these values being converted into cash or other necessaries? and what amount of a b i l i t y , energy and success attend the effort? While the discovery and l i b e r a l product of gold is a great instrumentality for the purpose of suddenly peopleing a country, i t i s not an industry to be relied on for permanent prosperity; and therefore, while our yield of the precious metal for the past year was $250,000 more than any preceding twelve months, i t i s not upon that we base our opinion of the improved condition of the colony; for the f i r s t five years i t was upon this un-certain and fluctuating occupation that the hopes and fears of the country were balanced—lucky strikes, followed by rash speculation with i t s at-tendant reaction; no other industries in opposition; the country was drained of i t s gold product for a l l the necessaries of l i f e ; no labor for the unsuccessful miner, he was compelled to depart. But now we have a different aspect-we have many other productive interests in success-f u l operation. From carefully compiled statistics we learn that the yield of agricultural products of every description the past season ex-ceeded by four fold that of any preceding year; that one coal mine (the Nanaimo) put out and exported $40,000 worth of coal more in 1867 than i t did in 1866. We have also an anthracite mine which w i l l be of great value not only to the owners and to the colony, but to the Pacific coast, i t being the only anthracite mine yet discovered on this side of the con-tinent. The company (of which the writer has been a director) has spent $60,000 already i n i t s development, with a promise of excellent returns. Of coal there i s an abundance, and i t rivals in purity and density the celebrated Lehigh of Pennsylvania. One year ago i t was a d i f f i c u l t matter ) 223 to induce an intelligent shipmaster to load his vessel with lumber or spars at Burrad [ s i c l Inlet j to-day seven large vessels are loading or pre-paring to load at the mills there for foreign markets, and as many more are on their way to take on cargoes—and i t is safe to predict that the shipment of this one product during 1868 w i l l exceed the combined ship-ments since the f i r s t stock of timber was f e l l e d at the Inlet. Our faith, therefore, in the present and future i s , that we are no longer dependant (sic] upon a single industry, and especially one as uncertain as gold mining, for we have now i n successful operation farms, breweries, stock ranges, d i s t i l l e r i e s , coal mines, lumber mills, foundries and factories a l l more or less remunerative. Facts lik e these are of i n f i n i t e advantage i n forming an opinion, and are more to be valued for permanent results than the advent of thousands lured thither by an excitement which i s but temporary. Matters look assuredly more hopeful here; and i f we may judge the future by the cheer-ing results of the last year, we need not hesitate to say that the future looks bright with promise. In my next I shall have something to, say about the p o l i t i c a l situation here - an element that has much to do ..with, our material "make up," of the changes which are now imminent in our history and status. That done, by an easy stage, I can make the p o l i t i c a l situation in America the theme of a subsequent BELL'S LETTER. VICTORIA, V.I., B.C.,) May, 1868. ) MR. EDITOR:- The " p o l i t i c a l situation" here shall be the theme for this letter - for we too have a case for impeachment; but not, thank God. for the purpose of arraigning a recreant "Moses" for usurping power and prostituting the government in the interest of an oligarchy, intent on sustaining the cruel s p i r i t and supreme meanness of negro slavery; for, c r i t i c i s e Old England i f you w i l l - and I own there i s much for unfavorable criticism - but upon the great questions of human rights she is s t i l l head and shoulders above you, proclaiming and maintaining from her flag-staffs planted around the world, "Equality before the Law." - A l l honor to Old England. With us i t is not the head cf the Government, but the system of Government i t s e l f — o n e that s i t s l i k e a nightmare upon the energies of the people, and i s t o t a l l y unfitted for an intelligent community in the nineteenth century. It is governed from Downing street, with a l l the red tape circumlocution, "Tite Barnacle" incapability, o f f i c i a l arrogance, and "How not to do i t " capacity, that attaches to that venerable institution. The Governor is the personification of o f f i c i a l imbecility, entirely secluding himself, and seldom allowing the people to come between "the wind and his nobility." 224 We have a legislature here, pretending to be a representative body, which i s but a sham—two thirds of the members of which are paid o f f i c i a l s , and vote the narrow policy of the Government. The Governor gets #23,000 a year, and a large staff of o f f i c i a l s vote themselves salaries out of a l l proportion to the a b i l i t y of the people to pay. The consequence i s , objects of v i t a l importance, such as education, internal improvements, immigration, and assistance in developing the resources of the country are quite ignored. The popular remedy for this undesirable state of affairs is a cheap and responsible government; to economize, by reducing i t numerically, or by increasing i t s efficiency; to have a responsible government by having a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. During the progress of the discussion which the nature and attitude of the Government has evoked, several modes of r e l i e f and escape from the embarrassments of the "circumlocution office" have been more or less warmly espoused by the people of this colony; among them, none more prominent, two years ago, than annexation to the United States. It was urged with much force that the great wants of the country — immigration, responsible government, and reciprocal trade—would find their fulfillment in such an alliance. A l l that seemed wanting was "the hour and the man;" the man was considered to be present in the lamented Leonard McClure, Esq., who died in your city a year ago, and at the time of his demise was em-ployed on the editorial staff ot the Times. He was a man of rare a b i l i t y , and a terse writer; he labored assiduously to promote annexation, and his articles in the local paper here, of which he was editor, were noted for their force of logic and progressive tendency in the advocacy of i t . But the hour was non est; for while annexation was quite popular with the masses, including a l l nationalities, and was freely and fearlessly disc-cussed upon the forum and on the streets, I do not think that at any time a sufficient number of the wealthy and influential inhabitants of the Colony could have been induced to commit themselves to the scheme, which must have been the primary step before application to the British and United States Governments. Among the elements of opposition to annexation may be ranked the o f f i c i a l staff. This class of gentry, being in no way responsible to the people, and believing that by such an alliance they would find their •occupation gone,, [sic] gave i t no quarter—and the o f f i c i a l element i n a small community i s not without considerable influence. Added to this i s another elass—acclass, too, possessed of the prestige and power that wealth bestows; very conservative and timid, cautious, self satisfied, and dreading innovation of a l l kinds, but especially Republicanism with i t s popular rule. Out of these two classes, and indeed sprinkled among the rank and f i l e , you w i l l have no d i f f i c u l t y in forming s t i l l another d i -vision of the opposition—men intensely British, men who can see l i t t l e worth l i v i n g for outside of the "tight l i t t l e island" called England; who would rather see the country lapse back into a state of primeval simplicity —who would be willi n g to t o i l on through penury and want, with no pro-spect for themselves or education for their children, than that Britain should part (no matter how honorably) with any portion of her extensive domain. They are willing to suffer i f they can add.l dignity and perpetuity 225 to monarchical institutions. When you can't avoid i t , suffering and dying may be the correct thing, but I certainly protest against i t upon a l l other occasions; to do other-wise would exhibit a lack of what Emerson says the world most needs, "common sense." Besides, I have no very decided convictions of the im-propriety of territory changing ownership; for I believe God gave man this beautiful earth to utilize and to be a source of untold blessings, and not to be locked up through the promptings of avarice or the clog of incapacity, and that with a due regard to acquired rights, lands should belong to those who by the accident of locality or superior ability can utilize i t the most efficiently and produce the greatest development. But I fear my views on this matter will be considered rather latitudinarian, i f not visionary, as i t is not usually adopted, except in the case of Indians or other weak people, and then a regard for acquired rights is not always a prominent feature in the process of acquiring territory. Neither would I write slightingly of the feeling of loyalty—that attachment to the land of our birth, to the hearth of our fathers—an impulse that nerves the arm to strike, and inspires the soul to dare, and that brings to our country's altar a l l that we have of l i f e to repel the invader of homes or the usurper of our liberties—that has given the world a Toussaint, a Washington, a Bozzaris, and will ever stand with "cloven helmet and crimson battle axe" in the van of civilization and progress. But this feeling perverted, in some men permeates their every vein of government and finds its ultimatum in the conclusion that i f government is despotic or inefficient i t is something to be endured rather than to be removed. They seem impressed with the idea that the people were created for governments, not governments for the people. It has been said "Cur country's claim is fealty. I grant you so; but then, Before man made us citizens Great nature made us men." Men with essential wants and laudable aspirations, the attainment of which can be accelerated by the fostering care and enlightened zeal of a pro-gressive government. But I commenced this letter by promising to make the political situ-ation the theme, but I fear I have wandered from the direct line I had marked out; so to return and to close I will only add that, admitting that a majority of the people and influence could have been obtained in British Columbia in favor of annexation, the consent of the Imperial Govern-ment could not have been obtained as subseqUentldevelopments in relation to the Dominion of Canada clearly indicate.- Then, to confederation with the Dominion of Canada, I will next ask your attention. It is an Imperial as well as a Colonial measure, and highly popular here, as i t is one upon which loyalty, u t i l i t y and progress can hold sweet converse. I know I have made this letter too long, and trust you will exclaim Multum in parvo at my attempt to put Canada from Atlantic to the Pacific in my next BELL'S LETTER. 226 VICTORIA, V.I., B.C.,) July 10, 1868. ) MR. EDITOR:- The colonization of British America, stipulated for in the charter to the Hudson [sic] Bay Co., two centuries ago, but never f u l f i l l e d , has for several years past occupied the leading minds of Great Britain and Canada, but with no definite policy as to the manner or means of obtaining that end. The vaunted rights of the company ever stood as a great "giant i n the causeway." It was not to the interest of this fur catching monopoly to allow the introduction of an element that would straightway become a competition; and hence the intermediate country between here and Canada has remained in a l l i t s primeval simplicity for the graze of the buffalo and the tread of the hunter. But the great principle of national centralization and fraternity now extant, which Prussia accomplished, and for which Italy yearns,~ the union of people of a common heritage for purposes of progress and security—finds an echo here; and i f i t be true that the triumphs of peace are greater than those of war, we shall have reason to congratulate our-selves that the "change of base" sought for here w i l l be at once bloodless and progressive; for i f B r i t i s h Columbia shall become a portion of the Dominion of Canada, i t w i l l necessitate a great trunk road, a telegraph, and ultimately a railroad—instrumentalities which w i l l solve the problem of colonization with mutual advantage to government and people. The Imperial Government has given the Dominion a charter, entitled the "British North American Act," providing for the union of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at once, and the admission of B r i t i s h Columbia and a l l the intermediate territory when desirable—British Columbia to be admitted up©n joint addresses to the Imperial Parliament from her legislature and the legislature of the Dominion. Over a year ago, our legislature (two thirds of which, as I stated i n a former letter, was composed of appointed o f f i c i a l s ) voted resolutions in favor of immediate admission to the Dominion on "equitable terms." Whether they were impressed with the idea that confederation was so remote that they could safely throw this sop to the popular wish, and defeat i t when i t approached r a t i f i c a t i o n , does not appear; but at the last session, a few months ago, when, in order to conform to the Imperial Act, i t was necessary to confirm their previous vote, and also to stipulate terms and conditions,—we find these gentlemen of the "How not to do i t " school voting against i t , with no conflicting data to urge, but giving the very human reason that they were not fools enough to vote themselves out of office - thus presenting in a nutshell the rottenness of the present system. At the F a l l elections, although the people have but a meagre representation, they intend that confederation "Shall be the trumpet c a l l , If place men stand, or place men f a l l . " Without attempting even a synopsis of the "British North American Act," which would occupy too much of your space, and possibly f a i l to interest many of your readers, I would state that i t differs from the 227 Constitution of the United States i n several important particulars* It grants to the dominional, as well as the provincial legislatures, the "want of confidence" principle, by which an objectionable ministry can be immediately removed,—at the same time centralizing the power of the nation sufficiently to guard against the heresy of "State rights." Among the terms, B r i t i s h Columbia stipulates for the assumption by Canada of the Colonial debt, amounting to £500,000, and the building of a wagon road across the country within two years. But the true and earnest friends of progress look deeper for substantial advantage than the ephemeral assistance of making a road or the assumption of a debt—for with confederation comes the abolishment of the one man system of govern-ment, and in i t s place a responsible one, with freedom of individual action for enterprise, legislation to encourage development and assist budding industries, the permanent establishment and fostering of free schools, and the disbursement of the revenue according to popular w i l l . It has been truly said that "right i s of no sect and truth of no color." The l i b e r a l ideas now struggling for utterance and ascendency under every form of human government, are not the exclusive property of any community or nation, but the heritage of human nature; and i f your readers complain that I have written much that does not concern them, t e l l them that as the traveler occasionally ascends the h i l l to determine his bearings, refresh his vision and invigorate himself for greater endeavors, so may they by sometimes looking beyond the sphere of their own local activities obtain higher views of the breadth and magnitude of the principles they cherish, and learn that freedom's battle i s identical and universal, and whether her sons fight to possess the ballot or abolish the r e l i c s of feudalism, the reflex influence of their example i s mutually beneficial. But to the new nation: Who shall write i t s ri s e , decline and f a l l ? Springing into existence almost in a day, with four million of people, a population larger than the United States possessed when they commenced their great career, who shall correctly predict i t s future? That the banner of the Dominion and the stars and stripes, linked and inter-linked, may go forward in healthful riv a l r y to bless mankind and hasten the day when from pole to zone men may exclaim, "The world i s my country and a l l mankind my countrymen." i s the sincere desire of the writer of BELL'S LETTER. (Mif f l i n Wistar Gibbs* Letters to B e l l : The Elevator, May 8, June 26, July 31, 1868. In Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California.) 228 APPENDIX »F» RESOLUTIONS PUBLISHED IN THE PACIFIC APPEAL  AFTER THE ELECTION OF JAN. 1864, To the Editor Pacific Appeal:- Enclosed find resolutions passed at a public meeting held at Victoria, V.I. to take into consideration the acts of some of our colored brothers and ordered to be published i n the Pacific Appeal. Whereas we view with unfeigned regret and astonishment the course pursued by a certain class of colored men, calling themselves Jamaicans, or natural-born B r i t i s h subjects who banded themselves together, and i n a body, on the 25th day of January I864, (the day for the election of our member of Parliament to f i l l the vacancy made so by the resignation of the Hon. Mr. Ridge) and cast their votes for the i l l i b e r a l candidate, by whose votes he was returned by 8 majority; and whereas by this act, the popular candidate, Mr. Searby, who had pledged himself to support the Alien B i l l now before the House of Assembly, granting to aliens after 5 years residence, on taking the required oath of allegiance, a l l the rights of native Britons; and whereas the English colonists of Vancouver Island, i n utter disregard of English law and English customs are making a vigorous effort to place the badge of complexional distinction upon the subjects of a darker hue, whether aliens or B r i t i s h born, thus pre-venting them, i f possible, from participating either in making or admin-istering the laws to which a l l classes are compelled to yield their passive obedience -Therefore in public meeting assembled, numbering nearly one-quarter of the legal voters i n the ci t y of Victoria, be i t Resolved, That we view with sorrow and indignation any class of colored men that w i l l in any community (particularly where the same di s a b i l i t i e s equally oppress them) cast their suffrages or use their influence to curtail the right of any other portion of their fellow citizens. Resolved, That so long as there can be found a country where party lines are drawn on account of complexion, or prejudice against a colored skin, just insofar must we consider i t impolitic and unwise, and as but con-niving at or helping the production of a cruel prejudice, equally as i n -jurious to themselves as to the race they represent, for any portion cf the colored people to throw their influence on the side of oppression to gratify sinister or other motives. Resolved, That we consider the future well-being of our race i n a great measure depends upon our unanimity and concert of action, considering at a l l time that c i v i l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y the interest of one man is the interest of the whole, whether that colored man was born under an African, English or American sun, he is untrue to himself, to those he represents and to his God, when he refuses to use a l l the means at his command for the elevation of his race. 229 Resolved, That we, the colored voters pledge ourselves not to support any man or set of men who w i l l proscribe us on account of our colour or place of birth. Resolved, That we look upon any set of men who w i l l vote against a measure for their own elevation as unfit for public or private association among men from any country or d i m e . Resolved, That we appreciate our friends who so nobly advocated their rights as men at the polls, and could not be severed from their duty by a pecuniary or social interest. A.H. Francis Saml. Wilcox Samuel Serrington G.P. Riley A.C. Richards Committee ( The Pacific Appeals cited i n the Evening Express, February 24, 1864.) 230 APPENDIX "G" MEMORIAL AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT FROM THE V.P.R.C. This Memorial -from the "Pioneer Rifle Corps" to His Excellency Governor Douglas• Humbly Sheweth. That having been at a great expense, from the commencement of the formation of the Corps, to the present time, they humbly request that His Excellency, w i l l be good enough to grant them, sufficient money from the sum voted in the Estimates, for this year, to carry out, the necessary alterations, and improvements to their Armory. The size of the Building at present, used for a d r i l l room i s 20 x 60 Feet. The Company propose to enlarge It, to 30 x 60 Feet, and to have i t weather boarded, and hard finished. Also putting up a substantial Arm Rack &c &c. The1 cost of these necessary alterations i s estimated to be about Seven Hundred Dollars (#700.) The Company have the honor to enclose, a statement of their affairs, to the 31st July, from the commencement, shewing they have spent them-selves nearly $1400. less the $250 received from His Excellency. They have now the honor to beg His Excellency to be kind enough, to take this into His early consideration, and grant their request. Fortune Richard William Brown Acting Secty. Capt. (MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives.) 231 Statement shewing the Receipts and Expenditures, of the "Pioneer Rifle Corps", since the formation to the 31st July 1862* Receipts. Entrance Fees $175.00 Subscriptions 868.75 Allowance from Government _ 225.00 Loan 90.— $1358.75 Expenditure. Building D r i l l room $395.00 Ground Rent 120.00 Lighting Room 58.75 Stove, Fixtures & Furt 35.00 D r i l l Sargeant Wages &c ___ 285.00 Cost of Lot for the Hall _. 3.65.00 Cost of removing the Building 100.00 $1385.75 Victoria, V. I. 31st July 1862. Fortune Richard William Brown Acting Sectry Capt. (MS i n B.C. Provincial Archives.) 232 APPENDIX "H» RESOLUTIONS AND PETITION PASSED AT THE LAND REFORM MEETING. JULY 2. 1859. RESOLVED: That the history of nations, and the experience of ages, dic-tate a l i b e r a l encouragement of the art of agriculture, as the only sure guarantee of the enduring prosperity and wealth of a country. RESOLVED: That the true policy as well as duty of government i s to en-courage agricultural pursuits above a l l others; to induce immigration to the country: to invite the hardy pioneer to occupy Its territory; to furnish the actual settler cheap access to the s o i l -whereon to permanently invest his labor, and rear his home. RESOLVED: That the practice of making the public lands a source of revenue i s unwise and impolitic; that instead of attracting to, i t repels population from the country; and that the better policy, grounded on the experience of new countries, i s to donate the public domain to bona fide settlers rather than exact a high price with a view to revenue; that the taxable property of a country whose land system i s l i b e r a l , so rapidly increases that i t soon yields a revenue which far exceeds the proceeds of the sale of lands at any price. RESOLVED: That i n the opinion of this meeting, the public lands of this Colony which are held by the Crown, for the benefit of the people, i f sold at a l l , to actual settlers, should not exceed i n price $1.25 per acre, payable i n five years - or such sum as would barely pay the expenses of survey. RESOLVED: That i n the opinion of this meeting, the departure of valuable immigrants from our shores in consequence of not being able to obtain agricultural lands, imperatively demands the adoption of a land system which would enable the pioneer to obtain land at once, on ap-plication i n quantities not exceeding 100 acres. RESOLVED: That a preference should be given to actual settlers i n the choice of the public lands, surveyed or unsurveyed; that a land system should be adopted which should guarantee to them a pre-emptive right; and that they should have ample time to locate lands for permanent homes, by actual residence and progressive improvements, before they are offered i n the market for general competition. RESOLVED: That the petitions to the Governor and Council and to the House of Assembly, which had been read to the meeting be adopted. The following is a copy of the petition to the Governor and Council. That to the Assembly i s in the same tenor. 233 Your Petitioners, the undersigned, actual residents of this Colony, and deeply interested i n i t s . prosperity, having viewed with alarm the departure of many of Her Majesty's loyal subjects and others from this Colony to the neighboring republic; and having learned that their de-parture has been indueed by the d i f f i c u l t y of obtaining agricultural lands at once, on application, and by not being obtainable on such terms as would afford equal encouragement to actual settlers in this Colony, as are offered in the neighboring republic; and believing that we shall lose many more of Her Majesty's loyal subjects and others whom i t i s de-sirable to retain, as well as induce those who are now on the way here or desirous of coming, to turn their attention to countries where greater encouragement i s offered to agriculturalists; and persuaded that except the land system of the colony is materially modified, the prosperity and settlement of the country w i l l be seriously retarded; and believing that the encouragement of agriculture i s the surest way to secure the enduring prosperity of the country; and that a l i b e r a l land system i s best calculated to rapidly populate the colony; and holding that the public lands are the patrimony of the people vested i n the Crown for their benefit,—and presuming that your Excellency and the Honorable Council have at heart the well-being and prosperity of the country, and are desirous of introducing those changes which you may deem necessary to secure so desirable a result;-Therefore, Your Petitioners would respectfully submit to your Excellency and the Honorable Council, that they humbly pray that the Crown lands of this Colony may be opened at once to actual settlers; that a preference may be given to them in the choice of the public lands, surveyed or unsurveyed, over capitalists; that they may be se-cured in a pre-emptive right; that the highest price of land to actual settlers may not exceed one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre or such price as w i l l barely cover the expenses of survey; and that five years may be allowed for i t s payment; a l l of which is most respectfully submitted, hoping that i t may please your Excellency and the Honorable Council to take this humble petition into your favorable consideration, and your petitioners as in duty bound w i l l ever pray. Victoria, July 2, 1859. (Colonist, July 4, 1859.) 234 APPENDIX "I" ISAAC DICKSON'S LETTERS TO THE CARIBOO SENTINEL SHAMPOOIN 'STABLISMEN, Barkerville, June 10th '65. TO DE EDITER OF DE 'CARIBOO SENTAL.' It gibs me much pleasure indee to see genelman ob your cloth on Wiliams Crek dis air season, an' hope, sar, de indefatable entarprice an' de talen I sees 'splayed in de columbs ob yer valable jernal w i l l meet wid i t s juss rewad, dat i s , dat de paper w i l l pay big; for 'low me to t e l l yer, mister editer, i t s de dimes we's a l l arter i n dis' counry, de boys dey says " i t s every man for hisself an' de debil for us a l l " i n dis a i r counry, but I hope, sar, de debil wont get you or de paper eider; but take de culed fren's adwice 'bout looking arter No. 1. I bleave, sar, I wont be disapointed in hopin yer a goin to stick up for wats r i t e an' on de squarr, an' gib eberything an' eberybody a rap on de knuckles dats wrong an' not on de squarr; dont be scared, mister editor, to talk up to de boys, dey l i k e i t a l l de better for dat, juss like wat I sees in de 'Spatch' bout a young geneleman dat walops him wife t i l l she sing 'murder' an' runs 'way, nex day write him lobing 'pistle, 'daring she neber w i l l be happy agin t i l l 'longside ob her own dear Charley. I dont dout, sar, de paper w i l l 'tain heap dat's headifying and instructin to de miners ob dis country but dont f l a t t e r yerself, mister editer, dat de teaching w i l l be a l l on your side ob de kitchin, an 'emneting from yer own valable resaucers 't i r e l y , coss i f yer does yer s l i p up on dat air 'rangment you got darn sight to larn from de poplation ob dis garden ob 'Lestials, Injuns, white men and culed genelmen an darn sight to see dat'11 sprise an' muse yer. Dere's de breed ob dogs dat habits dese regons, dey's a curosity dey is demselves; nobody i n dis worl eber seed sich a lot ob carnines togeder, or eber heerd sich a noise as dey makes; dey's de bery 'centrated ensense ob bliss dey is 'specially when dere's a muss 'mong 'dem, dey seems to l i b on musses, yet dey propgates o f f a l fas. Arter de dogs dere's de udder animal dat puzzles me 'markable, de genelman dat goes round a l l de day wid de nans in de pocket an' puts on de f r i l l s , dont know how him l i b , yet peers to get a l l de fat bones to pick, so, so some folks say him l i b on BOOKS, on DECK, i f dats de case him auful vegtarian, an' grate charity of Capin Cox to change him diet, an'Isennhim below. Dere's de style of pugilistickism i n dis counry, bery headfyin an1 'musin; i f eber you get in a muss, mister editer, neber tink to get out ob i t on de squarr, i f yer do yer gon i n shure, pick up t r i f l e like de axe, crowbar, or anyting ob dat sort dat's not too hard, dat's de style, i f dere's noting ob dat kine round de boot berry good substute, or shub de turn into de corner ob his eye, and be sure de eye cums out 'fore de turn, den when i t s out kick i t i n 'gain wid de boot, dat de style Maris. Dere's de new 'scobery in de surgical 235 'fession dat oughter gain worl wide 'nown for de 'scoberer an' also de leder medal ob de inhumane sciety, de genelman dat vented de "gum boot gout," sar is wastin de valable time in Cariboo, 'fessin what he oughter be larnin in some counery more 'dapted for de study ob de biz; de 'spec-table youth oughter "trow f i s i c k to de dogs," or quit for sum place where he cud larn someting ob de 'fession. Dere's de Dush gals, dey's purty smart gals, mister editer, to hold dere own i n dis counry, poor gals, I hope dey may continy to do so; de stokeepers i s offu l down on 'em, coss dey k r e l l a l l de dimes, bully for de gals, dey's on i t , you bet, on de make I means, sar; de sloon keepers, dere offul down on de gals too, coss day draw de boys, and draw de dollars; but de sloon keepers oughter know dat de dance galls aluss took better dan anyting else i n Californey, de meenus man w i l l spen a dollar for a dance, coss "him dearly lubs de lasses, 0." I hear de boys say dere's to be a 'lection at de Mouth soon, I hope, sar, yer goin to put de bes man i n , de culed genelmen de best, but as de 'jority ob de boys is not culed genelmen, best for de country's good to put in de white man, assiss de subjecs, mister editer, ob dis loyal counry to get good resprentives. Hopin dese few 'marks w i l l fine yer well, an* rum for 'sertion in yer valable columbs, I am yours in bruderly ' f l i c t i o n , DIXIE ' P.S. I'd most forgot to add, on behaf ob-de ' t i l l i g e n t culed population on dis. crek, days 'pointed me de l i t a r y cracker to sen 'butions to yer valable jernel. - 0 -Barkerville, June 24th, 1865. TO DE EDITER OB DE CARIBOO SENTAL. I's bery sorry indee, sar, dat any ob de contens ob my last 'pistle shud hab hurt de feelings ob any genelman whatsever, or gib him 'noyance, an' humly. ax pardon for de 'fence; but yer knows yerself, sar, i t s im-possable for publik carackers lik e us to keep r i t e en' up wid eberybody, i n fac we doesn't 'temp anyting ob de kine, we says wat we tink good for de boys an' i f dey gets dere back up at wat we gibs for adbice we's bery sorry, dey oughter know dat de 'Sental* i s alus 'spected to do him dooty, dat i s keep his weder eye open, and l e t dem know dat wishes to shirk his obseration dat him got weder eye, an' dat i t is alus open; shud de •Sental* make mistake him alus w i l l i n ' to 'polergise an' i f I bluner i n my las an' de genelman's 'feshnal stanin' i s r a i l y exaled 'bove any adbice I offer, why ob cuss I 'polergises for my inserlance. I don't tink Mr. Editer, dere i s a more motly kermoonity i n de worl dan dat ob Cariboo, war so mush ob de genwine dust and black san' i s 'malgmated an 1 passes at de same rate ob curacy, yet in dis same l i t t l e kermoonity war equalty is alus sposed to lay on de same rok, an' war 236 no uppa streek effises, deres some foo bright specimens dat tinks deys from de uppa streek, an' dat de sack in which days 'posited 'tains noting but black san', ob coss alus exceptin' derselves, dey knows eberyting an' is smarter dan de balance. It's to some ob dese bright specimens I's 'bout to say a foo words, an' i f de cap I's 'bout to 'facter f i t s any ob de boys, de bes ting dey can do is to ware i t widout saying a word, and den praps nobody but derselves an' dere culed fren' w i l l be any de wiser; at de same time I kermends to dere notis de f o l l e r i n * words: "0, wad sum power de gify gib us, To see us-selbes as udders see us." De fus ob dese wiseakers is i n de spirtooal line, and oughter be "patching up his owl soul for heben," I mean he 'tend to de spirtooal wants ob dose dat 'dulges i n tangle-leg an rot-gut at two bits de drink, an' neber open him out widout saying someting bery wity—wat him tinks wity, but eberybody else bery dirty. I hab herd ob genelmen being ker-mended to war a mustash for de durty words to wipe dere feet on, but neber herd one dat 'quired one more dan him I's speakin on, an 1 tho' i t ' s i n my lin e ob b i z — i t s rader a delercat order to s l i s i t - - b u t I wud cerenly l i k e to sply de gent wid a gud stout a r t i c l e ob de kine. But dis genel-man, lik e eberybody else, hab him good qualtys, an' deserbes de tanks ob de leddies for his volunery an' gratutus saveses as night watchman durin pas winter; no 'voted luber eber suffed more from cowl wile singeing under winer ob his gal's chamer dan dis venable owl cuss las winter wile watchin like a teef for de hoptunity to p i l f a de f a i r name ob 'specable women. De nex foo 'marks I 'tends to 'dress to a son ob old Mars, but weder a 'gitimate son or not is for dem to juge dats herd him yarn ob "akshun i n de tented f i e l . " I hab red shakspuses yarn ob de culed genel-man ob Veners dat was tried for 'lopeing wid de owl genelman's darter, an' when 'fore his noble massas towl a 'fecting story 'bout ' l i s t i n g for de army when him only seben year owl, but de hero ob my yarn licks dat ob Shakspuses a l l to f i t s for he must hab dun considable f i t e i n 'fore dat age, an* mus hab tuck de f i e l at five at de bery leas calkerlashun, beside fi t e i n g he mus hab undegon a p i l e ob grief from t r i l e s by coat-mashal, wonce for useuping de comman' of a "tashment ob de army 'fore •Bastapool an' puscribing doses to de Rooshans dat 'sisted materily i n de f a l l ob dat fortess an* for which owl Nick, de late Emprer, has long 'count gin him shud dey eber meet on de uder side ob Jordan; as a fren' I adbise my hero not to ware his medals when he croses de stream for fear de owl genelman shud spot him. I had considable more to say, Mr. Editer, but on secon' toat w i l l not trude more on yer valable spas at presen, an' specfuly begs to 'scribe myself, yoars, DIXIE P.S. Exkuse me, sar, but I want to ax you solbe a problem for me. If de tax ob only two hunred dollas de month is lebied on de hard-gudies, as perposed by a loyal member ob de Gran' Jury, what shud be de tax on some uder institootions. (Cariboo Sentinel Supplement, June 12, July 1, 1865*) 237 APPENDIX "J"'  POPULATION STATISTICS' CENSUS OF VICTORIA AND VICINITY - 1868 WHITE COLOURED Males Females Males Ferns . 630 390 26 34 . 44 32 4 3 . I l l 108 2 1 . 9 5 • o • -. 28 8 2 2 . 73 40 6 -. 35 4 7 .6 . 29 14 6 1 . 32 9 1 o • « . 21 14 1 • • « . 182 5 • • • © • 0 Allowance for persons absent from home 300 50 15 10 1494 679 70 57 188 322 • • • • * « • • • 10 0 • • * • • 1682 1011 70 57 Note: These figures do not include childreno (Colonist. Oct. 6, 1868.) COLOURED POPULATION AS OF APRIL 1871 Males Victoria City 128 " District 37 Salt Spring Island Nanaimo town & d i s t r i c t 44 48 New Westminster town & d i s t r i c t 34 3 Lillooet-Clinton 3 Cariboo* 29 3 Columbia & Cootenay • • • • • 2 277 162 (Victoria Directory, 1871.) 238 B I B L I O G R A P H 239 BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY SOURCES Except where otherwise noted, the items l i s t e d below, as well as a l l photographs used as illustrations, are available i n the Br i t i s h Columbia Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C* OFFICIAL MATERIAL: Vancouver Island, Blue Book» 1863* MS Vancouver Island, Despatches to the Secretary of State for the Colonies* (For the entire period*) MS copies of the originals. ' ' '•'•'';'J Vancouver Island, Colonial Secretary, Miscellaneous Letters. (For the entire period.) MS copies of the originals. Vancouver Island, Survey Branch, Correspondence * Oct. 20, 1857 - Sept. 29, I 8 6 4 . MS copies of the originals. Miscellaneous Papers relating to Vancouver Island. 1848-1863. Public General Statutes of the Colony of Vancouver Island, passed i n the years 1859. i860. 1861. 1862 and 1863. Victoria, V.I. B r i t i s h Colonist Office, 1866. Vancouver Island Exploration 1864. Printed by authority of the Government, Victoria, Harries and Company, 1864* Forbes, Charles, M.D., Prize Essay "Vancouver Island Its Resources and  Capabilities as a Colony." published by the Colonial Government, 1862. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company; together  with the proceedings of the Committee. Minutes of Evidence. Appendix  and Index. Ordered by the House of Commons, to be printed 31 July and 11 August 1857. Copies or Extracts of correspondence relative to the discovery of gold  i n the Fraser's River D i s t r i c t , in Br i t i s h North America, presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty, July 2, 1858, London, Printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, Printers to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, 1858. Return of M i l i t i a . Volunteers. Military Police and other forces. (Exclusive  of Regular Troops) i n H.M.'s Colonial Possessions. Dated August 1st. 1862, signed by James Douglas, Governor* MS. Addresses presented to His Excellency A.E* Kennedy. C.B.. on assuming 240 Land Pre-emption Record Books - Salt Spring Island*MS. In Department of Lands, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. City Council of Victoria, Minutes of Meetings. 1867-1869. MS. In City Hall, Victoria, B.C. List of Voters 1862 for Sooke, Saanich, Lake, Esquimalt & Metchosin, Esquimalt Town, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island & Chemaynis, Victoria D i s t r i c t , Victoria Town. Laws of the State of California. Third Session, Chapter XXXIII, "An Act Respecting Fugitives from Labor, and Slaves brought to this State prior to her admission into the Union." In Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. IS Parte Archy 9, California 147. Transcript i n Howay-Reid Collection, University of British Columbia Library. NEWSPAPERSs The f i l e s of the newspapers li s t e d below have been covered for the period 1858-1871 except where otherwise noted. B r i t i s h Colonist. Victoria, B.C. Bri t i s h Columbian. New Westminster, B.C. Consulted for special items only. Cariboo Sentinel. Barkerville, B.C. Daily Alta California. San Francisco, California. 1858 only. In Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. Elevator. San Francisco, California. Negro newspaper. Scattered f i l e i n < Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. Evening Express. Victoria, B.C. Nanaimo Gazette, Nanaimo, B.C. July 10, 1865 - Nov. 3, 1866. New Westminster Times. New Westminster, B.C. Consulted for special items only. San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin. San Francisco, California. 1857 and 1858. In Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California. Victoria Daily Chronicle. Victoria, B.C. Victoria Daily Press. Victoria, B.C. Victoria Gazette. Victoria, B.C. 241 PERSONAL MATERIALS PUBLISHED ACCOUNTS -Beasley, Delilah H., The Negro T r a i l Blazers of California, a compilation  of records from the California Archives at the University of California ^ i n Berkeley; and from the diaries, old papers and conversations of  old pioneers in the State of California. Los Angeles, California, 1919• Cornwallis, Kinahan, The New E l Dorado or, B r i t i s h Columbia. London, Thomas Cautley Newby, 1858. Emmerson, John, Br i t i s h Columbia and Vancouver Island, Durham, Wm. Ainsley, 1865. Fawcett, Edgar, Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria, Toronto, William Briggs, Gibbs, M i f f l i n Wistar, Shadow and Light; an autobiography with reminiscences  of the last and present century, Washington, D.C., 1902. Higgins, D.W., The Mystic Spring, Toronto, William Briggs, 1904. Fictionalized stories of early Victoria and Br i t i s h Columbia, based on fact. Higgins, D.W., The Passing of a Race and more Tales of Western Lif e , Toronto, W. Briggs, 1905. Fictionalized stories of early Victoria and Br i t i s h Columbia, based on fact. Macfie, Matthew, F.R.G.S., Vancouver Island and British Columbia, London, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, 1865. Mayne, Commander R.C., R.N., F.R.G.S., Four Years in Br i t i s h Columbia  and Vancouver Island, London, John Murray, 1862. Quaife, Milo Milton, ed., Pictures of Gold Rush California, Chicago, The Lakeside Press, 1949. UNPUBLISHED ACCOUNTS -Anderson, James Robert, Notes and comments on early days and events i n Br i t i s h Columbia, Washington and Oregon, including an account of  sundry happenings i n San Francisco, 1925. Mallandaine, Edward, Reminiscences. The author was an architect, a farmer, and editor of the F i r s t Victoria Directory. 1912. 242 Helmcken, John Sebastion, Reminiscences of John Sebastion Helmcken, 1892. J.S. Helmcken was a doctor i n Victoria and the f i r s t speaker of the House of Assembly. DIARIES: Cridge« Reverend Edward. Gerald, James F. Hayward, Charles. Moses, Wellington Delaney. Pemberton, Augustus. Robson, Ebenezer. RECORD BOOKS AND ACCOUNT BOOKS: Cridge, Reverend Edward, Record Books. Containing l i s t s of pew-holders, memoranda of f i r s t communions, lectures, l i s t s of communicants, con-firmations and letters of introduction. Moses, W.D., Cariboo Account Books. 1873-1883. Winnard, William, Cariboo Account Book, 1866-1868. MANUSCRIPT LETTERS: Chapter V - M i f f l i n Wistar Gibbs M.W. Gibbs to the Mayor and City Council of Victoria, Nov. 18, 1868. Requesting permission to remove the sidewalk i n front of 170 Government Street where he intends to erect a building. In the letter f i l e s of the City Hall, Victoria, B.C. M.W. Gibbs to City Council, Nov. 18, 1868. Requesting three months leave of absence from the City Council. In the letter f i l e s of the City Hall, Victoria, B.C. Chapter VI - Victoria Pioneer R i f l e Corps G. Heaton to Governor Douglas, Aug. 15, 1859. Proposing the formation of a white Volunteer Corps. Fortune Richard to the Colonial Secretary of Vancouver Island, c. Dec. 8, 1861. Requesting financial support for the coloured volunteers. 243 Capt. W. Brown to Governor Douglas, July 31, 1862. Memorial from the Pioneer Rifle Corps to the Governor enclosing the financial state-ment of the Corps, Lieut. R.H. Johnson to Governor Douglas, March 3, 1863* An officer of the Pioneer Rifle Corps requests financial aid for the unit. Lieut. R.H. Johnson to Governor Douglas, June 19, 1863* If financial aid i s not given, the Corps may be forced to disband. P. Lester, Richard H. Johnson, Thos. P. Freeman, N. Pointer to the Hon. W.A.G. Young, March 3, I864. The Pioneer R i f l e Corps requests thir t y r i f l e s to be used in welcoming Governor Kennedy. The Government to Messrs. Lester, Johnson, Freeman and others, c. June 11, 1866. Requesting the return of the r i f l e s borrowed i n March 1864* Messrs. Lester, Freeman, Pointer to W.A.G. Young, June 13, 1866. Acknowledges letter regarding return of the r i f l e s and t e l l s of the state of the Corps at the time. Lieut. R. Caesar to W.A.G. Young, June 13, 1866. An officer of the Corps complains of lack of o f f i c i a l support for the unit. Thomas Deasy to Major J.S. Matthews, Sept. 1, 1934* An old resident t e l l s the Archivist of the City of Vancouver of the Pioneer Ri f l e Corps and of the early negro police in Victoria. Thomas H. Lineker to Governor Douglas, July 9, i860. Reporting Indian troubles on Salt Spring Island. Jonathan Begg to Governor Douglas, May 5, 1862. Regarding the construction of roads on the island. School Trustees of Salt Spring Island, J.P. Booth, Secretary to the Colonial Secretary, October 26,,1869. Regarding the establishment of a public school with the coloured man, John C. Jones as teacher. Louis Stark to Joseph Trutch, Nov. 3, 1869. Stark wants to move to another claim because of the Indian menace« Colonial Secretary's office to J.P. Booth, Jan. 27, 1870. Approval of appointment of John C. Jones as school teacher. Louis Stark to B.W. Pearse, Sept. 15, 1870. Disagreement over where the roads should be built on Salt Spring Island. W i l l i s Stark to Major J.S. Matthews, Oct. 20, 1934* Telling of his parents and of the early days on Salt Spring Island. 244 Chapter VIII - In the Goldflelds Chief Justice M.B. Begbie to W.A.G. Young, Richfield, Sept. 20, 1863. Begbie reports a case of assault against a negro. Richard H. Johnson to Henry Wakeford, Colonial Secretary, Oct. 3, I864. Johnson requests permission to take up an acre of land at Leech River to erect a hotel for ladies and gentlemen. Chapter IX - The Problem of Race Wellington D. Moses, Jacob Francis, F. Richard, Wm. Brown, Richard H. Johnson, to Governor Douglas, undated. Protest against proscription in the theatres. Jacob Francis, F. Richard, Wm. Brown, Richard H. Johnson to Governor Kennedy, Oct. 5, I864. Complaint about segregation in the theatres. Office of Colonial Secretary to the coloured committee, Oct. 5, I864. Giving sympathy regarding the problem in the theatres, but can suggest no remedy. William Daniel Anderson to Major J.S. Matthews, Sept. 7, 1934s> An old resident tells of the early coloured police and of prejudice against them. INTERVIEWS WITH DESCENDENTS OF THE EARLY COLOURED PIONEERS; Alexander, Barton, June 15, 1949• Victoria, B.C. Alexander, Norman, July 10, 1949* Victoria, B.C. Alexander, Mrs. Norman (nee Clanton) July 10, 1949. Victoria, B.C. Harrison, Ernest, July 1, 1950. Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island, B.C. (Names of other persons interviewed withheld by request.) 245 SECONDARY SOURCES BOOKS; Becker, Carl, The Declaration of Independence a Study i n the History  of P o l i t i c a l Ideas, N.Y., Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922 Brown, Ina Gorinne, The Story of the American Negro, N.Y., Friendship Press, 1936. Carey, Charles, H., A General History of Oregon, Portland, Oregon, Metropolitan Press, 1932, 2 vols. DuBois, W.E. Burghardt, Black Reconstruction, an essay toward a history  of the part which black folk played i n the attempt to reconstruct 5 democracy i n America 1860-1880, N.Y., Harcourt, Brace and Company, Eaves, Lucile, A History of California Labor Legislation with an Intro- \' ductory Sketch of the San Francisco Labor Movement, Berkeley, The Franklin, John Hope, From Slavery to Freedom, N.Y., Alfred Knopf, 1947. Fuller, Edmund, A Star Pointed North, N.Y., Harpers, 1946. H i t t e l l , Theodore H., History of California, San Francisco, N.J. Stone & Co., 1897, 4 vols. Howay, F.W., Royal Engineers i n B.C.. Victoria, King's Printer, 1910. Johnson, Charles Spurgeon, The Negro i n American Ci v i l i z a t i o n , a Study  of Negro Life and Race Relations in the Light of Social Research, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1930. Johnsen, Julia E., compiler, Selected Articles on the Negro Problem, New York, H.W. Wilson Co., 1921. Morrell, W.P., The Goldrushes, London, Adam and Charles Black, 1940. Sage, W.N., S i r James Douglas and B r i t i s h Columbia, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1930. Scholefield, E.O.S., and Howay, F.W., Br i t i s h Columbia from Earliest Times to the Present, Vancouver, S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Walbran, Captain John T., Br i t i s h Columbia Coast Names 1592 - 1906, their. origin and history, Ottawa, Government Printing Bureau, 1909. Washington, Booker T., The Story of the Negro - the Rise of the Race  from Slavery. N.Y., Association Press, 1909. 1934. 4 vols. 246 Wesley, Charles H., The Negro i n the Americas, Washington, D.C., Howard University, 1940, Wright, E.W., ed., Lewis and Dryden's "Marine History of the Pacific  Northwest," Portland, Oregon, Lewis and Dryden Printing Co., 1895• Bescoby, Isabel, M.L., Some Aspects of Society i n Cariboo from i t s Discovery Until 1871. A thesis submitted i n partial fulfillment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History, University of British Columbia, 1932. H i l l , Daniel C , The Negro in Oregon, a Survey. A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Oregon i n partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, June 1932. Pettit, Sydney G., Matthew B a i l l i e Begbie, Judge of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1858-1866. An essay submitted i n partial fulfillment of the re-quirements for the degree of Master of Arts i n the Department of History, University of British Columbia, October, 1945. Ross, Margaret, Amor DeCosmos, a B r i t i s h Columbia Reformer, A thesis submitted i n partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History, University of Br i t i s h Columbia, April, 1931. PAMPHLETS; An Occasional Paper on the Columbia Mission with Letters from the Bishop, London, Rivingtons, June I860. Island Farmers Institute of Br i t i s h Columbia, Saltspring Island, Colonist Press, Victoria, 1902. Wilson, Reverend E.F., Salt Spring Island, B r i t i s h Columbia, Colonist Press, Victoria, 1895. PERIODICAL ARTICLES: Beasley, Delilah, "Slavery i n California," Journal of Negro History, s 3:33-44, 1918. Duniway, Clyde A., "Slavery i n California after I848," Annual Report  of the American Historical Association, 1:243-248, 1905* THESES: 247 Howay, F.W., "The Negro Immigration into Vancouver Island in 1858," Bri t i s h Columbia Historical Quarterly. 3:101-113, 1939. Matthews, Major J.S., "British Columbia's F i r s t Troops were Black," The Army and Navy Veterans i n Canada, Sept. 1934, PP» 39-40. O'Brien, Robert, "Victoria's Negro Colonists - 1858-1866," Phylon, the  Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture, 3:15-18, 1942. Reid, Robie L., "How One Slave Became Free," Br i t i s h Columbia Historical  Quarterly. 6:251-256, 1942. Scholefield, E.O.S., "The Yale-Cariboo Wagon-Road," Man to Man, Jan. 1911 pp. 3-18, Brit i s h Columbia Magazine, Feb. 1911, pp. 93-106. NEWSPAPER ARTICLES: Edmond, Reby, "Victoria's Negro Invasion," Victoria Daily Times, Feb. 5, 1938. * Kelley, F.M., "Saltspring Calling," Daily Colonist. August 19, 1934. Matthews, Major J.S., "Men of Color Formed B.C.'s Firs t Volunteer Soldiers," clipping, source unidentified. Wood, Anne, "B.C.Is Colored Colony," Province, Vancouver, June 29, 1935. MISCELLANEOUS UNCLASSIFIED ITEMS Visitors' Journal, South Saanich Public School. Questionnaire sent to Sylvia Stark, Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island, by John Hosie, Provincial Librarian and Archivist, March 1928. Victoria Directories - 1860, 1863, 1868, 1871. Play - B i l l from the Victoria Theatre, dated Wed. Oct. 5, 1864. Affidavit/signed by Captain John R. Fleming of U.S. Mail Steamship E l i z a Anderson, demanding the return of the negro boy, Charles, dated Sept. 28, 1860. MS. James Tilton to Hon. H.M. McGill, Acting Governor of Washington Territory Sept. 30, i860. In Washington Historical Quarterly, 1:71. Requesting that something be done to force the B r i t i s h authorities to return Charles, the slave boy. • "1 -i 

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