Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

British Columbia. Report and journal by the Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, of the proceedings… British Columbia. Department of Lands and Works 1869

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0221715.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221715-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221715-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221715-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221715-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221715-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221715-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array BRITISH COLUMBIA  Honourable The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works
Of the Proceedings in Connection
with the
Printed at the Government Printing Office
By The
Hon. The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Of the Proceedings in Connection
with the
to the
Victoria, B.C.
Printed at the Government Printing Office
1869    REPORT
Lands And Works Office,
Victoria, June 22nd, 1869•
In obedience to your request, conveyed to me by
letter of the 17th instant from the Private Secretary,
I have the honor to lay before you, enclosed herewith,
a Journal of the proceedings during the recent visit of
His Excellency the late Governor Seymour to the North
West Coast in H.M.S.Sparrowhawk, and I take the opportunity of appending the following remarks thereon.
It is a matter of congratulation that the settlement
of the murderous quarrel carried on during the past
twelve months between the Naas and Chimpsean Tribes, which
was the main object of our lamented Governor's visit to
this part of the Colony, has been so fully and satisfactorily accomplished.
Erom information obtained from Mr. Duncan, Mr.Tomlin-
son, and Mr. Cunningham of Eort Simpson, as well as from
Indians of the contending tribes, I am satisfied that the
killing of the Naas Indian in which this bloody dispute
originated was purely accidental. A Naas Indian, formerly
resident at Metlakatlah, gave a feast (on the occasion of
his marriage to a Chief's daughter) to members of both
the Naas and Chimpsean Tribes, who up to that time had
been living on most friendly terms. For this feast a
supply of rum was purchased from the Schooner "Nanaimo
Packet," and during the drunken orgies which ensued a
Chimpsean Chief, by the accidental discharge of his pistol,
killed one of the Naas people•
We were fortunate enough to detect this Schooner,
after a twelve months' immunity, in the act of again dispensing liquor to the same Indians amongst whom the quarrel
between these tribes originated, and almost at the very
place where it arose. Her seizure and condemnation (after
due enquiry) had a very salutary and timely effect in
showing to the tribes of that neighbourhood that Government
are able and determined to punish offenders against the
law whether white people or Indians,
In the fight which followed the accidental killing of
the Naas Indian, two Chimpsean Chiefs were killed; and,
in accordance with the savage requirement of Indian law,
the loss of these Chiefs had to be compsensated by the
slaughter of an equivalent in number and rank of the opposite
tribe. Thus, murder followed murder in continual succession,
with no prospect of complete satisfaction on either side.
There was no real ground for the hostility of these tribes
towards each other; they were on the contrary, anxious to
be at peace, so as to avail themselves of the spring
fishery in the Naas River, which affords the main source of
subsistence to all the Indians of this neighbourhood.  Without  the interposition or some powerful peacemaker, however
reconciliation was impracticable; and this quarrel might
have lasted for years, with ever increasing waste of
blood, but for the intervention which ensured its complete
The murder of the three Naas Indians resident at
Kincolith did not originate in or indicate ill feeling
towards that Mission Station. Mr. Tomlinson and his work
are held in respect by both contending parties, as well as
by the Indians generally along that part of the Coast,
and there is no reason to suppose that his life was at any
time in danger. But the minds of Indians cannot readily
admit that members of a tribe with which they are at war
can be denationalised, and placed out of reach of their
savage laws of revenge, by the mere act of residing at the
time at a Mission Station, especially a Station situate,
as Kincolith is, in a most remote part ot  the Colony, and
in the midst of a notoriously ferocious race of Indians.
And here it may be observed that, however admirable
the spirit and intention of such Mission Stations, and
however valuable their humanizing influence, on the
surrounding savage tribes, tending directly to the
discontinuance of barbarous customs such as have given
rise to the outrages and disturbances now under reference,
it is questionable hovs/ far the establishment of such posts
should be encouraged in situations so remote from the centre
of Government as Kincolith, while a field for Missionary
labour, extending for four hundred miles southward along
the Coast from Metlakatlah, remains entirely unoccupied.
It would appear more judicious and advisable that Missionary enterprise should radiate gradually from the centre of
civilization, instead of isolating itself at once at points,
like Kincolith on the utmost verge of the Colony. So long,
however, as that Station is continued it must, most assuredly,
be held under the protection of Government; but it is
evident that the very remoteness alone of such posts renders
efficient protection a matter of much practical difficulty,
and in many cases entails on the Colonial Government
considerable embarrassment and pecuniary outlay.
The mode by which these warring tribes were brought
to relinquish their feud, and bound over to live in future
according to English Law, appears in happy contrast to
the manner in which, by bombardment and burning of Indian
Villages, Canoes, etc., the authority of Government has
on some former occasions been enforced with perhaps
unnecessary infliction of loss of life and impoverishment,
and even, in some cases destruction of entire tribes.  It
may confidently be expected that a more salutary and
lasting effect will result from the persuasive but firm
course adopted towards the Naas and Chimpseans which was
so satisfactorily consummated, on Board H.M.S.Sparrowhawk,
on the 2nd June, than could have been produced by a more
forcible mode of proceeding; and it is.a very gratifying
reflection, in which all who have served under Governor
Seymour will, I am sure, fully sympathize, that this his
last Official act was in every way so creditable to his
Administrative ability, and so entirely in consonance
with that kindliness of heart which was his peculiar
characteristic, and which will long cause his memory to be
cherished among us.
It must be borne steadily in mind, however, that as
these tribes were specially placed by the direct act of the  of the Executive
that law must in
whatever cost.
under the operation of English
future be enforced among them at
Whilst at Metlakatlah and Port Simpson enquiry was
made into the merits of the conviction and fine of Mr.
Cunningham, the Hudson*s Bay Co's. Trader at Port Simpson,
by Mr. Duncan Acting as Justice of the Peace, on a charge
of selling liquor to Indians at the Company's Post at Fort
Simpson, which conviction had been sustained on appeal
before Chief Justice Begbie, but subsequently submitted
by Dr. Tolmie, acting for the Hudson's Bay Company, for
the Governor's consideration. Upon investigation of the
case on the spot, it did not appear that there were any
grounds for the Governor's interference with the Magistrate's
decision and award.
The Mission Station at Metlakatlah has been so fully
described by others, and the benefits conferred directly
on the Indians of the neighbouring tribes, and indirectly
on the Colony at large, by Mr. Duncan's labors on the
North-west Coast, are now so generally acknowledged that I
need only add an expression of my appreciation of the
great importance of the results that have been accomplished
by that gentleman's christian zeal, courage, and singular
persistence of purpose, combined with remarkable ability
and adaptability for this particular work. The only fear is
that, should the Mission be deprived of his services, very
much of the good work effected by him among the Indians,
will be undone for lac_k of his sustaining presence in
their midst.
The investigation held at Bella Coola into the complaints
of the White Settlers at that place as to the behaviour
towards them of the Indians, amongst whom they reside,
leads to the consideration of how far Government is
responsible for the protection of Settlements isolated,
as this is, at so
a distance from the settled portions
of the Colony, and lying so far off any travelled line of
communication. It is impossible to exercise any supervision
or control over either Indians or White people at such
remote posts; quarrels arise, the real origin of which
it is often impossible to ascertain, and Government is
called^to punish the Indians, without its being proved
that they are actually more blamable than their accusers.
It is obvious from the beneficial results of the
late cruise of the Sparrowhawk, how desirable it is that a
Ship of War should periodically visit the various Settlements
Mission Stations, and Indians Villages along the Coast.
By such means only, can any measure of protection be given
to the scattered Settlers and Missionaries, and the wild
tribes amongst whom they are located be kept under any
control; and by blows such as that inflicted in the
confiscation of the Nanaimo Packet, the sale of liquor to
Indians, the cause of nearly all Indian outrages towards
white people, as well as ajnongst themselves, will be
rendered so hazardous a business that the trade must soon-
be extinguished in that part of the Colony.
Some duly authorized Official Agent of the Colonial
Government should, however, be sent in all cases on board
of ships engaged in such missions, to share, if not to
bear wholly, the responsibility of any extraordinary
proceedings that events may necessitate; for Officers in  command of Her Majesty's Ships, although holding Commissions
as Justices of the Peace, may reasonably be supposed to
be disinclined to take decisive action in police matters
which can hardly be considered within their proper
jurisdiction, and which may involve questions of material
importance and great pecuniary interest to the Colony.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant
His Honor the Officer Administering the Government
of British Columbia.  JOURNAL
May 17th.- I went on board H.M.S.Sparrowhawk, in
Esquimalt Harbour, at 4 p.m., a few minutes after the
Governor, accompanied by Mr. Lowndes, acting as Private
Secretary, had arrived. At a quarter past 4, the anchor
was weighed, and we steamed out of the Harbour under easy
steam; the weather being fine but with a fresh breeze
from the S.W., which gradually increased to a gale,
accompanied with much thunder and lightning and very
heavy rain, which continued all night.
At 6 p.m., we anchored for the night at Cadboro Bay,
perfectly sheltered from all quarters but the S.E. The
Governor's health, which had been indifferent for some
days past, seemed to improve from the moment he got on
board ship.
May 18th.- Started at 7 a.m., and reached the anchorage
in Nanaimo Harbour at 4 p.m.  I there went ashore, in
company with Mr. Lowndes, and called on the Resident
Magistrate, Captain Spalding, who went off to wait upon
the Governor, and remained on board to dinner. The
Governor was at table, feeling much better and stronger.
May 19th.- Went alongside the coal shoot at 7 a.m., and
finished coaling at 2 p.m., having taken in 90 tons,
making with the 60 tons on board when we arrived, 150 tons
in all, of which 50 tons were stowed on deck.  I went ashore
this afternoon and arranged some matters of Lands and
Works business with Captain Spalding, as to the Collection
of the Road Tax in his District, and.the repairs of the
Nanaimo Bridge and the District Roads.
w I.
J May 20th,- We left Nanaimo at 7 a.m., and reached
Plumper Bay, above Seymour Narrows, about 90 miles from
Nanaimo, at 7 p.m.,
May 21st.- Started at 5 a.m., against a strong head wind,
and anchored off Fort Rupert at 5 p.m., where Captain Mist,
Dr. Comrie, Mr. Lowndes, and myself went on shore and
visited the Hudson Bay Company's Fort.
May 22nd.- Under weigh at 5 a.m., passed the wreck of the
U.S.Steamer Suwanee, in Shadwell passage. At 9 a.m.,
crossed Queen Charlotte's Sound in very fine weather and
smooth sea, and reached Point McLaughlin at 6, where
we found the Hudson Bay Company's Steamer Otter at anchor,
she having arrived the same day from Skidegat, on her way
to Victoria. Mr. Moss has established a trading post at
this point, near the site of the old Hudson Bay Company's
Fort, relinquished 20 years ago, when Fort Rupert was
established. The Bella-Bella Indian village is situated
on the opposite side of the Inlet, and about a mile distant
from Moss'.  It is chiefly built on a small rock-island,
but is deserted by most of the Indians, who are now settled
around Moss' post, which consists of a substantial and
comfortable looking dwelling-house, store-house, trading-
shop, etc., with some cultivated garden land around them.
Mr. Moss came on board and informed us that Captain Pender
of the Beaver was at Kynumpt Harbour, about seven miles
further on; we therefore, having handed to Mr. Moss hastily
written letters to be forwarded to Victoria by the
Otter, proceeded to Kynumpt, and anchored near the Beaver
at 7 p.m. Captain Pender came on board to call on the
Governor, and remained to dinner.
May 23rd (Sunday)— All day at anchor.  In the forenoon
Mr. Lowndes and myself went on board the Beaver with
Captain Mist.  Captain Pender told me that he had been I
BHBBBH informed,  on what he  considered good authority,  that  the
schooner Nanaimo Packet,  which had been engaged in trading
liquor  to  Indians,  was now again in the Naas River employed
in the  old business.
May 24th.-    Started from Kynumpt at  5 a.m.,  and anchored
in Lowe Harbour,  about  half a mile from the water-fall,
in a beautiful and perfectly sheltered little bay,   at  7:30
p.m.    Soon after we anchored it  came on to blow in very
heavy squalls,   and  throughout  the  night  and until past
noon next day we had very stormy weather with heavy rains.
May 25th.-    Remained all day at anchor,   the weather being
very stormy until after noon,  when it  cleared up a little
and  I went ashore with Captain Mist  and Mr.  Lowndes.    We
landed near the waterfall and tried to make our way back
to the Big Lake,   of which the river that  forms the waterfall
is the outlet.    But as we  could not find any trail,  we
were unable to make any progress through the dense undergrowth along the    river bank.
May 26th.-    We  started at 5 a.m.,  the morning being fine,
and anchored off Metlakatlah,   about  two miles from Mr.
Duncan's house,  at  about  2 p.m.    We were soon surrounded by
canoes full of Indians anxious to trade.    Having no pilot
on board,   and as none of the officers of the present
commission,  with the  exception of the Surgeon,  had been
here before,   it  was not  considered prudent  to take the  ship
into the  inner harbour.     From the  distance at mien we lay
this Mission Station has quite a town-like appearance.
Mr.  Duncan's residence and store-house,  a large octagon
building near  it  used for School and Church purposes,   the
gaol—a bastioned block-house—over which the ensign was
flying,   and the  town-hall and  court-house—a large framed  4
building at the water side, all newly whitewashed, produced
altogether an imposing effect. Mr. Duncan came off soon
after the ship was anchored, and had an interview with
the Governor, who arranged to go ashore the next day.
May 27th.- At anchor all day. At 11 S|j the Governor,
with Mr. Lowndes, Captain Mist, and myself, went ashore.
On landing, the Governor was received by a guard of honor
of Metlakatlah Indians in uniform, and saluted with cannon
and musketry, and with cheers, which he acknowledged, through
Mr. Dunan  as interpreter, in a few kind WDrds of thanks
and encouragement. Mr. Duncan's various buildings, his
residence, church and school-house, trade-shop, store-house,
soap-works, court-house and assembly-hall, together with
the work in progress for retaining the bank along the shore
of the bay, a heavy piece of crib-work of hewn timber, were
then visited, as well as several of the houses of Indians
resident at this Mission, among others that of the late
Chief Legaic, who, we were informed, died a few days before
our arrival. We returned on board at a quarter past one,
and during the afternoon many canoes were again alongside,
offering furs for sale. Mr. Duncan came off and dined with
the Governor.
May 28th.- At anchor all day.  In the forenoon the Governor,
accompanied by Mr. Lowndes, Captain Mist, and myself, went
ashore. The Governor had a long conversation with Mr.
Duncan in presence of Mr. Lowndes and myself, in reference
to the quarrel that had been going on for the past year
between the Chimpsean and Naas tribes, arising from the
fight which took place at a whisky feast on the Naas River
in April, 1868, and which had resulted in the loss of
about six lives on each side, including three Naas Indians
then residing at Kincolith, Mr. Tomlinson's Mission Station  near the mouth of the Naas, who were killed by the
Chimpseans about 3 miles from Kincolith. The Governor
determined, after hearing Mr. Duncan's report and opinion,
to endeavour to bring the Chiefs of the Naas and Chimpsean
tribes together on board the Sparrowhawk, and compel them
to come to terms of peace. Mr. Duncan was requested by
the Governor to accompany us to the Naas River in the
Sparrowhawk, as interpreter. The Indian who gave the feast,
on the occasion of his marriage with the daughter of a
Naas Chief, which led to the subsequent outrages, had up
to that time been settled at Metlakatlah, and was now again
residing at that place. He was therefore, also, taken up
to the Naas River with us.
In the afternoon, Mr. Duncan's school of 40 girls and
30 boys came on board to vist the man-of-war, and were
shown over the ship.
May 29th.- Left Metlakatlah at about 9a,m,, in a drizzling
rain, and anchored off Fort Simpson after a very disagreeable run in thick foggy weather, at about 1 p.m. The
Governor, accompanied by Mr. Lowndes, Captain Mist, and
myself, went ashore to the Hudson Bay Company's Fort, where
we found Mr. Manson in temporary charge during Mr. Cunningham's absence, the latter gentleman having gone to vist the
Company's branch station on the Naas River. After visiting
the Fort, the Governor., with Mr. Lowndes, went on board,
Captain Mist and myself remaining to visit the Indian
villages; and whilst so occupied, we were joined by Mr.
, Cunningham just returned from the Naas.  I had then a
conversation with that gentleman, in reference to the
distured condition of the Indians of the Naas and Chimpsean
tribes. Mr. Cunningham thought that the plan of action
determined  upon  by  the  Governor . jfiK     ' was very judicious. Both tribes were anxious, in his
opinion, to make up their quarrel, if they could only be
brought together by anyone acting as peace-maker. Mr.
Cunningham told me that he had seen the Schooner Nanaimo
packet in Naas River, as he came down the day before, and
that the Indians had informed him that many of them had
obtained liquor on board, and that this was the same schooner
with the same master, from whom the liquor had been
purchased a year ago, which led to the fight and subsequent
On the subject of the fine inflicted on him by Mr.
Duncan last year, on conviction of selling liquor to Indians,
Mr. Cunningham said he was now aware that the man Hans
Branson, employed under him at the Fort, had been in the
habit of trading liquor obtained from him (Mr. Cunningham)
to the Indians for furs, which were afterwards purchased
from Branson by him as agent of the Hudson Bay Company.
He now perceived that these circumstances afforded
strong grounds for the suspicion that he (Mr. Cunningham)
had been a party to the sale of liquor to Indians; but he
would solemnly aver that he was then totally unaware that
the Indians got liquor from Branson, on any terms, much less
did he know that the furs he bought from Branson, had been
purchased with liquor.
May 30.- Leaving Fort Simpson anchorage early in the
morning, we reached the Naas River about 10 a.m., and came
to anchor off Kincolith Mission Station. We found the
Schooner Nanaimo Packet at anchor about two miles up stream,
and a boat was at once sent to search her, but no liquor
was found on board in excess of the quantity which her
permit allowed her to carry. Still a watch was kept to
prevent her getting away, until we could communicate with
the Indians at the villages above, from whom we expected ^/ to get decisive information of their having obtained
liquor on board the schooner.
Kincolith Mission Station was established under the
charge of the Rev. Mr. Tomlinson, about two years ago.
The buildings consist of a small Church and School-house,
with dwelling house adjoining, and nine houses built and
occupied by Indians residing at the station. Shortly after
we anchored, Captain Mist, Mr. Lowndes, and myself started
for the shore, but were unable to land as the tide was
low, so that the boat grounded when we were still 200
yards from the beach. We were, therefore, obliged to
return to the ship, but in the afternoon, at about half-
past two o'clock, the tide having risen, we succeeded in
making a landing, and were met by Mr. Tomlinson, who
shewed us the different buildings at this station, after
inspecting which we called on Mrs. Tomlinson, who has been
residing here for the past twelve months.  I heard from
Mr. Tomlinson further accounts of the disturbances that had
taken place among the Indians in this neighbourhood during
the past year. He dwelt especially on the murder, by the
Chimpseans, of the three Indians then resident at his
station, as a marked act of hostility to his Mission.
The facts are, that the Chimpseans, in making their way
from the fight in which they had just been engaged,
unfortunately encountered, at a point about three miles
above Kincolith, a canoe in which were three Indians then
resident at Kincolith, but who belonged to the tribe of
Naas Indians with whom they had just been fighting. They
murdered these defenceless people, because they belonged
to the hostile tribe.  I am satisfied that they had no
intention of expressing by this act any enmity to Mr.
Tomlinson or his work; but they could not disassociate fp 8
these Indians from the hostile tribe to which they were
related, and to which in fact they belonged, although at
this time living at the Mission.
On our return on board, it was decided that I should
go up to the Naas villages with a message from the
Governor to the Chiefs; but it was considered too late to
start that afternoon.  It being Sunday, Mr. Tomlinson did
not come off to call on the Governor till next day.
May 31st:- Left the ship at 10 a.m. in the Captain's gig,
with Mr, Lowndes, and accompanied by Mr-. Duncan as
interpreter. We had a strong breeze with us, but the
freshet in the river caused so strong an adverse current
that we did not reach the Indian villages, a distance from
the ship, as I estimate, of fifteen miles, until half-
past three p.m. On landing at the lower village, I
informed the Indians, through Mr. Duncan, that I had a
message for them from the Governor, and was accordingly
conducted to the Chief's house, where the tribe presently
assembled, and I told them the Governor was much grieved
at the evil work that had been going on for some time
between them and the Chimpseans, and had come up to make
them friends; that he wanted the Chiefs of the Naas to come
down at once to him on board the Sparrowhawk, and to go in
her to Fort Simpson to have a talk there with the Chimpseans
and arrange all their difficulties before him. For some
time they hesitated to go, on the ground that the
Chimpseans who commenced the fighting ought to have been
brought to Kincolith, instead of the Naas, who were the
aggrieved party, being carried to Fort Simpson. They at
last, however, agreed to go down with us, and I then went
on about three-quarters of a mile up river to the second
village, where a meeting was also called in the Chief's
house, and the same message delivered. This tribe having  9
also, after some hesitation, accepted the Governor's
invitation, we started, on our return, at 5 p.m., and after
proceeding about five miles were overtaken by four canoes
in which were the Chiefs and principal men of these
villages. They accompanied us down to the ship, which we
reached at 10.30 p.m.
I had refrained from mentioning at the villages, the
subject of the reported dispensing of liquor by the Captain
of the Nanaimo Packet, as I feared lest the Indians might
be deterred from coming down, and I calculated that if the
Chiefs came down to the Governor we should be sure, after
we got them on board, to find some who could furnish
evidence of liquor having been given to them on board the
June 1st.- The Indians came on board the Sparrowhawk at
9 o*clock, prepared to go down in the ship to Fort
Simpson. We then spoke to them about the schooner, and
several of them immediately stated that they had received
liquor on board of her from the Captain, and that it
was he who had sold them the liquor a year ago, which was
the cause of all their subsequent troubles.  Information
having been duly made on oath to this effect, and the
schooner was seized, and at noon we started from Kincolith
towing the schooner, and anchored off Fort Simpson at 6.30
p.m. There I went on shore to the Indian villages,
accompanied by Mr. Lowndes, and Mr. Duncan as interpreter,
and summoned their chief people to come on board the ship
the next day at 10 o'clock, to meet the Naas Chiefs and
arrange a peace, as the Governor was fully determined to
put to an end the fighting and disorder that had been
going on so long. After a short consultation among themselves they cheerfully consented to come on board next day.  10
June 2nd.- The Chiefs of the Chimpsean tribes having arrived
on board at 10 o'clock, were set opposite to the Naas •
Chiefs on the quarter-deck, in presence of the Governor.
A parley ensued, which lasted for a couple of hours. All
the events of their hostilities during the past year were
discussed, and the amount of compensation to be paid by
each tribe for injuries done to the other having been finally
settled among them, peace was concluded, and symbolized
by the former enemies blowing swans' down over each other's
heads. A document setting forth that peace had been that
day concluded between the Chimpsean am Naas Indians in
the presence of the Governor was then drawn up, and to this
the Chiefs' names were all signed by their marks being set
thereto as certified by the Governor's signature and seal.
Each Chief was also furnished with a paper setting forth
that he had signed this treaty.  These papers were signed by
Mr. Lowndes and certified by Mr. Duncan as interpreter.
The Governor then, through Mr. Duncan, addressed the
Chiefs, telling them that he had allowed them on this
occasion, for the last time, to make compensation to
each other, according to the custom hitherto in force
among them for friends and relatives killed and injuries
inflicted; but now they must understand that this barbarous
system was abolished; that they must henceforth live .
according to English law; and that if they offended against
that law by taking each other's lives, every means in the
Governor's power should be employed to apprehend and
punish them. All the Indians on board, to the number of
one hundred and upwards, were then feasted, and presents
of pipes, tobacco, etc., made to each. The previously
hostil» tribes now mixed together with the greatest
cordiality. After the feast the Chimpseans departed in  11
high spirits, seemingly much satisfied at the result of
the day's conference. The ship then left for Metlakatlah
with the schooner in tow, the Naas Indians still remaining on board, as some of them were required as witnesses
in the case against the schooner.  We had a pleasant
run to Metlakatlah, where we arrived at 6 p.m., and
anchored in the inner harbor.
June 3rd:- At 10 a.m., Captain Mist and myself, as
Justices of the Peace, opened Court in the Mission
School Room, to try the master and crew of the Schooner
Nanaimo Packet, on the sworn information of three Naas
Indians, for giving to each of them, in presence of the
others, a glass of liquor.  At 6 pjm., the Court was
adjourned until 10 a.m., next day.  The Governor remained
all day on board.
June 4th:- The Court sat again at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.,
when judgement was delivered—the schooner to be forfeited,
and the master, William Stephens, fined $500, and each of
the two men employed on board as crew $10.  Stephens
being unable to pay the $500, it was determined to take
the Schooner and cargo to Victoria.  Stephens paid the
fine of $10 for each of the men on board with him.
At 5:30, the Governor came ashore, and the Indians at
Metlakatlah having been all assembled in the School-house,
the Governor addressed them, expressing his gratification
at their continued well-being, and at the improvement which
he noticed in and around their houses since his former
visit to Metlakatlah two years ago, encouraging them
to persevere in the same way of life and always to
respect and practice the advice and teaching of Mr.Duncan,
w ho had their true welfare at heart, and aimed to educate
them and their children to live profitably to themselves
and others.  The Governor then returned on board, and the  J IBM"
Indians were feasted with various good things provided
for them by his order.
June 5th:- We left Metlakatlah at 5 a.m., towing the
schooner as far as Ogden Channel, where she cast off to
make her way under sail to Victoria, in charge of the
gunner and two seamen of the Sparrowhawk. About noon we
came up with a small sloop. An officer was sent to search
her but no liquor was found on board. Her name—Petrel—
was on her stern, and the man in charge of her said she
belonged to the Hudson Bay Co., and had left Fort Simpson
about three weeks ago upon a trading cruise along the
coast. He had, however, neither register, manifest,
clearance, coasting license, nor any document whatever on
board to show the character of the vessel; nothing but a
journal in which the various purchases of skins from Indians
since leaving Fort Simpson were recorded. As, however, there
was no reason to doubt the truth of the account given of
her by the master, the sloop was allowed to proceed on her
way, and shortly afterwards we steamed into Queen Charlotte's
Sound, and laid a course for Skidegat. Up to this time the
GovernorTs health had been steadily improved from the day of
his departure from Victoria, and he was on deck today
apparently quite well, until as we entered Queen Charlotte's
Sound he retired into his cabin and did not appear again.
After a quick run across the Sound, the weather being
fine and the sea smooth, we crossed Skidegat Bar at half-
past 6 p.m., and reached the anchorage off the Queen
Charlotte Coal Company's Station at Cowquitz at half-past
8. Soon after we anchored Mr. Gibbs and others connected
with the Coal Company came on board.
June 6th.— At anchor all day. Heavy showers during last
night and this morning, but the afternoon was clear and  13
bright. About noon, I went ashore with Mr. Lowndes and
Dr. Comrie. The Company's buildings consist of a storehouse, office, and boarding-house for their workmen, all
framed buildings, with some minor houses scattered around.
Here we found Messrs. Gibbs and Landale, who are engaged
under contract with the Company in constructing a tramway
from the harbour—into which it is to be extended by piling
and trestle work, so as to form a pier affordinga depth of
over 20 feet of water alongside at low tide—to the coal
works, about a mile distant. From the proposed pier the
tramway will rise gradually for a distance of 3600 feet
to a height of 184 feet above high water.  From this point
a chute will be constructed, from the top of which a further
short section of tramway will connect with the mouth of
the tunnel, at a height of 448 feet above the level of
high water, and distant about 4,600 feet from the sea-shore.
Of this tramway, about 1700 feet from the sea-shore is now
nearly finished, and fromthe character of the portion
already done, I anticipate that when the whole is completed
it will be a very substantial work, and afford an
economical and very efficient means of leading the coal
down for sh ipment.
Accompanied by the-gentlemen above named, I walked
up to the tunnel with which the tramway is to be connected.
There we found Mr. Robinson w3ao has at present charge
of the coal working, being employed by the company under
contract to get out and deliver at the top of the proposed
chute a specified amount of coal.
By this gentleman we were conducted into the tunnel--
called Nicholson's Tunnel--which is 619 feet long. At
210 feet from its mouth the coal is struck, and thence
extends to the end of the tunnel, where there is a fault,
the walls of the vein coming together gradually for the  «•*-
last 100 feet until they close altogether. The whole
thickness of this seam is nearly 6 feet, in which are
two veins of pure coal, aver aging 3 feet and 1 foot 3 inches
respectively, separated by a slateshale midstone 6 inches
thick. These veins are nearly vertical, and their general
course bears N., 40° W. The coal has been proved by
practical experiment to be a of very good quality. We
were also shown by Mr. Robinson three other tunnels which
have been driven 112, 433, and 450 feet respectively.
In the first, called Robinson's tunnel, the coal had been
found, but broken and disintegrated; the other tunnels,
Hutchinson's and Wilke's, are designed to strike the vein
now being worked in Nicholson's tunnel above, but have
not yet been run in the full distance. These tunnels are
all driven into the steep north slope of a range of high
hills, the summit peak of which—Mount Seymour--is about
4000 feet high.  Outcrops of coal are found in the beds
and along the banks of almost every stream running down
this mountain slope. There can be no doubt of the abundance
of the coal in this neighbourhood; and its valuable
quality is, I believe, fully ascertained.  From the facility
with which it can be got out and, after the tramway is
constructed, put on board ship, in a harbour of easy access
for vessels of any size, there appears every reason to
anticipate that this coal bed may be profitably worked.
The only contingency to be feared, in my mind, arises
from the broken character of the formation in which this
coal is situated, which may render the continuous wDrking
of the coal more difficult and expensive than is now
June th.- The ship went down in the morning to the Skidegat  '^*
p. 15
Village, off which we remained all day at anchor.  In
the afternoon we took the opportunity of visiting the
lodges. These are for the most part large and substantiallv
constructed. Before each lodge one or more poles are erected
50 to 60 feet high, and about 4 feet in diameter, on which
are carved the crests of the owners. We found but few
people at this village, and these chiefly old women and
children, most of the tribe having gone to Fort Simpson
to purchase oolachan oil from the Nass, or to Victoria.
June 8th.- Started early from Skidegat, and encountered
a strong breeze from S.E. which soon raised so much sea
that we were obliged to go under easy steam, as the screw
bearings had been found to be in some way defective, so
that it was considered prudent not to put more strain on
them than could be avoided.
June 9th.- We reached Kynumpt Harbour at 10.30 a.m., and
found the Beaver there.  Captain Pender came on board and
brought some letters for the Governor from Mr.Feake (in
charge of the Hudson Bay Company's trading post at
Bella Coola) and two white settlers in that neighbourhood,
complaining of the threatening conduct of the Indians in
that district, stating that they were apprehensive of an
attack from the Indians, and were in fear of their lives
and praying the Governor to pay them a visit before he
returned to Victoria. Another letter from Captain Lewis,
of the HudsonBay Company's steamer Otter, corroborated
these representations, and joined in soliciting that we
should visit Bella Coola immediately. The Governor
considered that as we were so ■ near Bella Coola we ought
to go there, should Captain Mist determine that the
additional run could be made without injury to the ship,
in her damaged condition; and that sufficient additional
fuel could be obtained, there being now on board only  16
just enough to take us to Nanaimo.  Captain Mist having
decided that the ship could go without risk, we started
again at noon, and aided by a fair breeze anchored off
Bella Coola, after a speedy run, at 9.30 p.m.  The three
white men residing at Bella Coola, Mr. Feake, in charge
of the Hudson Bay .Company's trading post, Mr. Fletcher,
and Mr. Clayton who have been settled in the neighbourhood
for three or four years engaged in raising potatoes, which
they sell chiefly to the Indians, immediately came on
board and laid before Captain Mist and myself—the Governor
being so much exhausted from the effects of diarrhaea,
from which he had been suffering for the past three days,
as to be unable to attend to' business—a detailed account
of the conduct of the Indians during the past winter and
spring, especially as to the murder of an interior
Indian, near the Hudson Bay Company's post at Bella Coola,
by one of the Bella Coola tribe; and of the assault by a
Bella Coola Indian on a white man, George Pearse, at that
time residing at the mouth of Bella Coola River, but who
had since gone to Victoria to lay a complaint before the
Governor in reference to this assault. After having heard
these statements, we sent word by Mr. Feake to the Chiefs
and principal men of the tribe to come on board at 10a.m.
next day, and to bring the Indian who had committed the
assault with them.
Arrangements were also made by Captain Mist with
Mr. Feake to supply 40 cords of firewood, to be brought off
to the ship as soon as possible next day.
June 10th.- During the past night the Governor became
more and more exhausted, Dr. Comrie being, in constant
attendance on him, as was also Mr. Lowndes, who never left
him, being with him to the last. Early in the morning it  17
became evident that the Governor was sinking, and at a
quarter to ten he ceased to breathe.
Captain Mist would have started immediately for
Esquimalt, but that we were so short of coal that it was
Yexy  doubtful if we could reach Nanaimo; we were therefore
obliged to wait until a supply of wood could be got on
board. This was delayed until late in the evening, by
so strong a breeze blowing up the Bentick Arm as to
prevent loaded canoes from coming alongside.
Shortly after 10 a.m. the Indians came off, in
obedience to the summons sent to them through Mr. Feake,
and were assenbled on the quarter-deck. The principal
Chief was away at a village about 50 miles up the river,
but he was represented by the young Chief, Tom (Yakokeas),
a good looking, well dressed Indian, the same man whom
Governor Seymour, five years before, had rewarded for good
conduct.  I then told them that the Governor could not
see them as he was ill— we did not let them know of his
death—but had deputed me to talk to them. Mr. Feake,
in the presence of the Indians, repeated the complaints
made to us last night by himself and fellow residents at
Bella Coola.  I asked Tom what they had to say in reply
on the other side. He said that there were some few bad
men among them; but that the tribe generally were very
friendly to white people. That some of the Indians from
the Interior, whilst at Bella Coola last winter, had
talked with these bad people (messache tillikum) of his
tribe, and had tried to concoct a plan for killing and
robbing the white people among them; but the great majority
of the tribe were entirely opposed to such wickedness,
and he was certain, since a man-of-war had now come to
look after these white people, that there would be no fear  18
of their being injured. As to the assault by the Indian
on Pearse, he said that the Indian was bad-hearted, and
s^jtruck Pearse in a quarrel with him, which arose out of
Pears__e ref_using to lend him a canoe; but that Pearse, also,
was not a good man, but had traded liquor to Indians.  The
Indian, Tow, who had been brought on board, was then asked
what he had to say about his striking Pearse.  He acknowledged
that he did strike him because he would not lend him a
canoe.  He also made a statement which we could not understand much of, but the gist of it seemed to be that there had
long been a quarrel between Pearse and himself.  This
Indian was then put under arrest, and told that he would
be taken to Victoria, unless he or his friends gave ten
blankets to be kept as surety for his good benavour.
In the course of the day tnese blankets were brought on
board, and he was released after some hours imprisonment.  I
then, also, told the Chiefs that I should repwort to the
Governor all that had that day occurred, and that they
must not fancy that Government were indifferent about the
few white people at Bella Coola; .if any harm wa s donie them
either by the Bella Coolas or by the interior Indians,
they (the Bella Coola Chiefs) would be held responsible,
and a man-of-war would be immediately sent up to punish
them.. This they seemed fully to understand, and to agree
to the juajfcice of.  The Indians then left the ship, with
the exception of the Chief Tom, from whom and from
Messrs. Feake, Clayton, and Fletcher we took depositions
under oath, which appear to establish a ease against
George Pearse, of having sol/liquor to the
Chief Tom, at Bella Coola, about a year ago.  In the
afternnon I went ashore with Mr. Lowndes, Captain Mist,
and other officers of the ship, and visited the Indian  Village on the left bank of the river (the current of
which was at this season very rapid from the freshet of
melted snow) about a mile from its mouth. The Hudson Bav
Company's trading post is some 200 yards distant from the
village. The village consists of nine lodges, inhabited
by about 200 people.  The Hudson Bay Company's establishment consists of a frame store, with dwelling rooms
attached, without stockade or protection of any kind. Mr.
Feake is the only white man at this post. Only 17 cords
of wood could be got on board, in consequence of the
high wind, and that not until late in the evening.
June 11th:- We got under weigh at 2:30 a.m., the wind
having to a great extent gone down, and had a capital
run, with smooth water, across Queen Charlotte's Sound
to Fort Rupert, which we reached at 10:30 p.m. and
came to anchor off the Fort, but did not communicate with
the shore•
June 12th:- Started at 5:30, and stopped at Is'quash,
about nine miles from Fort Bupert. Here Captain Mist,
Mr. Lowndes, and myself went ashore to visit the coal
workings at that place, and with the intention of getting
off some coal so as to avoid the necessity of stopping
at Nanaimo. The tide was so low, however, that we should
have to wait 6 hours before there would have been water
to float the company's scow alongside the jetty, which
extends some 200 feet out from high water, the shore being
very shelving, and we were, thereore, reluctantly obliged
to give up the idea of coaling here.  The coal crops out
on the beach where we landed, and extends back, rising
very gradually in a direction nearly west, the vein
having a slight dip to the southward. The coal hitherto
taken out has been mostly obtained by stripping off the  overlying surface, the stratification being so nearly
horizontal. But a tunnel has been run, striking the
vein at about 100 feet from its mouth, from which some
60 tons of coal have been taken, and are now on the iettv
waiting for the Beaver.  The vein is thin, but the
quality of coal, especially that taken from the tunnel
appears excellent, and its value for steam purposes
has been fully established by practical experiment,
and I much regret we could not have the opportunity of
further proving it in the Sparrowhawk. The country for
some miles back from the coast at this point appears
moderately low and regular, and from the character of the
formation where we landed, I should conclude that this
coal vein would prove continuous and easily worked. We
got on board again a little after 8 o'clock, and got
under weigh at once, proceeding slowly at first on
account of a thick bank of fog, which rendered the
navigation dangerous in the narrow channel we were in.
We soon ran out of this fog, however, and, aided by
a strong flood tide, made a very quick run through
Johnson Straits, passing Cape Mudge at 7 p.m., from
which point we went under easy steam and arrived at
Nanaimo next morning at 7 a.m.
June 13th:- Went alongside the wharf, and got coal
enough on board to take us to Esquimalt, at which
harbour we arrived at 10:30 p.m., having met .a strong
breeze at Discovery Island.
Mr. Lowndes and myself at once went ashore, and
took the sad news of the Governor's death to Victoria.
Apr. 27 1868.
In November 1867, Governor Seymour despatched
for England the last bluebook of British Columbia as it
was, bringing down its story to the close of 1866 when
o mucn
couver Island had just been annexed to it. He was
occupied last year to be able himself to report in detail
on the Blue-book. He had just returned at end of June
from an official inspection of the then nightless regions
of our extreme boundary and the magnificent scenery of
Q,ueen Charlotte's Island, when he received a telegram from
Cariboo, stating that the law was utterly powerless at the
mines against some 500 or 600 men banded together.  He proceeded to the spot, and tranquillity was restored.  He found
the farms in the upper country greatly improved, and the roads
in excellent order.  He drove six-in-hand from Yale, the
head of navigation on the Fraser, into Cariboo, about 400
miles; sometimes along a road build up by scaffolding against
a mountain side, and hanging 600 or 700 feet over the river,
and sometimes through the high country of vast prairies, plains
and cornfields. The leaders in t is travelling were generally
in a hard gallop, the second pair, or swing horses, pretty
nearly chose their own pace, the wheelers were steady, and the
break £sic) was worked by the driver with his right foot.
The roadside inns, mostly kept by Franchmen and Italians,
are comfortable; the charges are greatly reduced, and the
governor had not, as at his first visit, to pay 30 1. a night
for the feed of his horses.  The most important advance made by
British Columbia in 1866 was the rapid development .Of agriculture occasioned by the,increasing number of waggon roads, and
other communications.  Home manufactured flour of superior
quality is already taking the place of the important Ceic*?
imported] article.  Use is being made of the magnificent timber
covering the sides of the harbours and inlets; and spars and
lumber of superior quality were exported in 1866 to the value
of 10,000 L. The yield of gold-in the year is roughly estimated at 600,000 L., and as there were certainly hot more than
3,000 miners engaged the average product reached 200 1. per man,
far exceeding any average ever reached in California or Australia.  Silver mining also promises well.  The reckless flooding of the country with an overstock of goods in ,1865 reduced
the imports of 1866 to 298,000 L., and the revenue to 86,000 L.-;
the progress of agriculture will now tend to lessen the import
demand. The exports were 43,000 L.; the expenditures, 91,000L.;
the debt, 295,000 L., including that of Vancouver Island. The
white population of the mainland was about 6,000 in 1866,
the native population at'least 40,000, all more or less producers and consumers. Education is liberally aided on a non-
sectatian system, the Government granting the teacher 4s. a .
month for every child regularly attending school.  The Govern- I
or  considers that the era of resident farming population
dates from 1866, and that the great strides made in agriculture and stock-raising are full of promise.  He says with
ordinary care and application the resources of this vast and
peculiarly healthy colony could be developed twenty fold.    


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items