Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Caribou, the newly discovered gold fields of British Columbia, the richest gold deposits in the world… 1862

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0221721.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221721-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221721-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221721-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221721-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221721-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221721-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

\ I
Men at these diggings get from three to ten ounces per day."—See Timet, February 6th, 1862.
Government Information relating to these Colonies. ZB-A-ZSTIEC
Established in 1836.—Incorporated by Royal Charter in 1840.
J. B. ELIN, Esq.
Bankers—BANK of ENGLAND; Messrs. GLYN, MILLS, and Co.
General Manager—THOMAS PATON, Esq.
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia.
ST. JOHN, New Brunswick.
VICTORIA, Vancouver's Island.
The Bank GRANTS CREDITS on its Branches in all the North
American Colonies, and on its Agents in New York, payable on presentation;
similar Credits are granted at all the Branches of the Provincial Bank of
Ireland, of the National Bank of Scotland, and by the Royal Bank of Liverpool,
the Manchester and Salford Bank, and the Birmingham Town and District
The Bank also purchases or forwards for collection Bills on America, and
Coupons for the dividends on American Stocks, and undertakes the purchase
and sale of Stock, and other money business, in the United States and in the
British Provinces. By order of the Court,
C. McNAB, Secretary.
7, St. Helbh's Place, Bishopsgate Street, London, E.C.,
March, 1862.
"Men at these diggings get from three to ten ounces per day."—See Times, February 5th, 1862.
1862.  CONTENTS.
Chap. I.—What I did and what 1 got         1
Chap. II.—My notions of British Columbia           13
Chap. III.—Various routes and tariffs to British Columbia         26
Chap. IV—Your outfit         ,         29
Single man's outfit          to.
Single woman's outfit      30
Chap. V.—The voyage out "  31
Offences at sea punishable in the colonies       33
Abstract of the United States Passenger Act of 1855         ...       ... t&»
Maintenance on arrival of a passenger ship   ...       .1.         35
Chap. VI.—Rations and provisions in all passenger ships during the
voyage           40
Chap. VII.—Medicines         v         42
Chap. VIII.—Tools     ■  43
Chap. IX.—Concluding remarks.   Hints to gold diggers how to keep
their gold; what to do with it when they have got it; and how
to keep their health at the diggings         44
Some account of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia         45
The gold region of British Columbia  49
Government information relating to the new gold fields in British
Columbia              59
The Colonial Secretary's information  60
Geography of British Columbia  61
Crown lands of British Columbia          62
Vancouver's Island        ...       ...               ...       ... 64
Government report (1859) of Victoria, the capital of Vancouver's
Island           66
Privileges of aliens in British Columbia         #•
Climate of British Columbia  67
Climate of Vancouver's Island  68
Gold regulations  ti>. f
Population, revenue, and expenditure of British Columbia and
Vancouver's Island      69
Assay office of British Columbia       70
Banking  accommodation of British Columbia and Vancouver's
Island               ib.
Legal and medical practitioners in British Columbi   and Vancouver's Island        ,             ib.
Sale of waste lands in the colonies            71
Government emigration officers in the United Kingdom          72
Routes, &c, from Quebec to the principal points in Canada and the
northern and western states of America      73
Aliens, naturalization and land-holding rights of, in the United
Kingdom and all colonies      74
Canada, Vancouver's Island, and British Columbia ... '          75
Remittance of money to assist emigrants on arrival in Canada and
New Brunswick           ,      76
I have been asked to make a plain statement, as a returned gold
digger from Cariboo, in British Columbia, of what I did for myself
in that splendid colony, and what I got by my stay in that quarter
of the world.
I shall make a plain story of it, simply because I am a plain
man. Mind, I am not a labourer in the ordinary sense of the word,
or the chances are I should not be writing a book—good, bad, or
indifferent. I don't care one straw so long as I speak out my mind
and just say what I know to he the truth, and what I think will
do good for others, since what I have done seems to have turned up
trumps in my own case—or rather, I ought to say, which I turned
up myself.
Through this statement I have no doubt the reader will often
think that for a gold digger what I know seems to be pretty clever,
hut I may state at once, and without any hesitation, that for three
years, and m'ore, I have been picking up information here and there,
and scraps out of newspapers everywhere, all bearing upon emigration and emigrants, and gold mining.
And I have also drawn pretty liberally upon different government
books, pamphlets, and papers r s.o I do hope that altogether I have
managed to put together such a mass of notes and hints as for real
honest value is not to be found every day in the week.
And as people like to know something of the man they are
reading about, I may just say a few words at once about " what I
am," and have done with it; I was, as a boy, the son of a small
farmer who owned some land. As a young man I worked that
farm after my father's death; and as I worked hard, early and late,
I need not say I did not lose money over it.   Between you and
B me I don't think the man who works early and late, and who has
anything at all of a chance, does lose money as a rule. Of course
there are exceptions, but I don't much care about them. Well, I
worked the farm, and made it pay very decently, but I had a longing
for a brisker life. The seasons came and went, and I was gradually
making money; but I wanted a change. Now, I don't say for one
moment that every man who wants a change does right to take it,
because there are some men who never want anything else; but I do say
that if a man has kept steady to a trade for many years, as I did at
farming, till I was between twenty-five and thirty years of age, that
if he then feels he can't do without a change the sooner he takes it
the better. I have said I am not an uneducated man, though I
know I am far from a learned one, and my knowledge told me that
when I felt an unconquerable desire to leave my farm and go out to
a colony, the sooner I left home the better.
I began in fact to get sick of things about me. It was no use
trying to shake this feeling off, though I can tell you I tried in no
small way to do so. It .got the better of me, and as I had all
through my life managed to carry out everything I undertook to do,
why I felt pretty sure that if I went out to a colony I should not
burn my fingers.
I sold the farm—at a good price, for it was in first-rate condition—
stopped in London a few weeks, and then "cleared out" for
Arrived in that splendid though over-done colony, I turned to
sheep-farming, and after one or two hard rubs I managed to make
it pay; but banks are banks, and if they break why the hardworking men who deposit money in them are as certainly ruined as
the richest and laziest losers. A bank broke—I need not name it,
for that would do no good, and I only care to speak of what will—
a bank broke I say, and in so doing tumbled me off my legs.
My friends in England looked on that catastrophe, I believe, as a
judgment—f only looked on it as an extra misfortune which called
for extra work.
I had some money left—but it was not enough to warrant me in
carrying on my sheep-farming business, and selling off what flocks
remained, I came down to Melbourne to look about me.
I had not been there long when news came about fresh gold
fields in British Columbia. " Gold" news, as it is called in
Australia, is so stale a subject, and rumours have so frequently
turned out to be nothing else, that the statements which went
flying about, were heard and forgotten for a time by most miners
down for a " spend out" at Melbourne.    A few men, however, who heard of the gold deposits of British Columbia did not disbelieve
those rumours which so soon hecame certainties.
I was one of them.
I need not say by what means I reached the north-western coast
of North America, but after waiting some time, and putting my
shoulder to the wheel, so to speak, vigorously, I at last got a ship,
and after a long and stormy passage my eyes sighted Vancouver's
Island, in the early spring of 1861—I hope to sight British Colum-
hia once more (of which Vancouver's Island does not form a part,
though in all probability it some day will)—I hope, I say, to sight
British Columbia again before this year, 1862, is ended; for though
I may have made enough money to keep me from getting my bread
by the sweat of my brow, yet I don't seem to care about settling
down at home, and indeed I may tell you that after British Columbia, I care little for England (this is as regards living, I do not refer
to England's people). The truth is, that the climate of that colony
is so splendid, so magnificent, that it is worth the journey, and even
the dangers of the journey (and of these there are many beyond the
common run of dangers to which emigrants are and must be open),
in order to breathe once more its pure air, and again look at that
brilliant sky. On my word as a man, I do think one day there
seems as long as two in England—the enjoyment of the climate is so
great. In fact I don't hesitate to say that, as far as my knowledge
goes, it must be the finest climate in the known world; I never read
of such an atmosphere as I found that of British Columbia to be.
I started for home just as the winter was setting in, and my experience of it was so pleasant that I hope I shall reach the colony about
the same season this year.
And now, perhaps, you would like to know what kind of a man I
am ? There is a general notion that your only true and successful
gold digger is an immense muscular fellow, who could almost fell an
ox at a blow. The idea is a bad one. As a rule the miner, though
a strong man, is not a man of extraordinary strength or make. He
must be strong man; but, perhaps, you don't know what I mean by
that word ? I am aware that it is not every man born who is able
to dig and go to hard hand labour; but I am quite sure, also, that
nine men out of ten have been well enough used by nature to become
strong men, and keep strong men if they like.
I was through the main street of London only yesterday, and I
am quite sure that nine out of every ten men I saw could become
good miners and hard colony workers. They had the ground-work
of working men in them, and with this one great qualification they
might become as strong men as ever were wanted at diggings in any part of the world, and what is that qualification ?    I mean tempe*
Don't suppose I am a teetotal digger. I am nothing of the kind,
but I tell you plainly there is nothing so pulls a man back at gold
digging as spirits. They take all the strength out of him; they unman him for a time, and the expense is so great, spirits (especially the
good) costing an enormous figure at all gold settlements, that I really
think the man who picks up half an ounce a day, and doesn't spend
a grain of it in "drink, makes, in reality, more by the end of the
month than the miner who picks up four ounces a day, and drinks
when it pleases him. As a proof of the truth of what I am saying,
I may declare that the owners of spirit stores are always safe to make
This warning is worth something, for candidly I tell you that the
temptation to drink is very great.     Whether it is the excitement
life, or whether it is the desire to be
is certain, that an
enormous per centage of gold diggers, and this I know from my own
observation, and the experience of other sober men much older than
I am myself, an enormous per centage of gold diggers I say, drink,
extravagantly of spirits.
These diggers who " drink their gold," as they say in Australia,
never are worth anything, and they generally die in ditches, unless
them hut or tent-
natural to a gold digger's
luxurious - and dashing, I know not,  but this is certain, that
men more temperate than they have been give
there is another and still
drinking as a custom with gold di
argument against
is this, that
those who
take much spirits are unable to bear the roughing of a miner's life,
and the consequence is that they are ready at any moment to take
any disease which may be common, and not unfrequently, in fever
times, they fall down in scores, and never get up again.
Mind, I don't say that a little spirit is a very bad thing, but I do
say this, that the excitement of a miner's life is so great that not
one in six who takes a " little drop " will stick there, and if he goes
beyond he becomes just what I warn you against—a fellow who digs
for the spirit-store keeper, and who is never worth more than the
shirt about him. Nay, I have seen a " drink-miner," as I have heard
them called, not even worth a shirt.
Take my advice—don't take the | httle " except the doctor says
" yes," because it's almost sure to lead to the more, and that's
remarkably expensive work. For my part I drank nothing but
water and tea all the while I was at the diggings, and I was there
long enough to feather my nest warm. o
To return to the requisites of a miner, I say it's all nonsense to
suppose that only very strong and hardy men are able to live and
gain money at the gold diggings. Nine out of every ten men I
meet have strength and health enough with a will and a good spirit,
and a good temper, together with temperance in all manner of ways,
to get on at the diggings.
I guess that in a very short time we shall hear more about the
gold fields of British Columbia than we ever heard of Australia or
California. Just at present, as I saw it put in the Times a few
weeks back, the amount of gold don't " show " from this colony, for
the simple reason, that so far there has been no gold-buying system
established at Victoria (the capital city of Vancouver's Island), and
therefore no gold exports from it. AH the metal goes down to
California, whence it is exported.
If I am asked—" would you advise me to go to British Columbia,"
I would say, "have you got a fair average amount of strength, and
have you a stout heart ?" and I tell you that a stout heart is worth
quite as much as a strong arm, for it keeps one up to the mark.
If you answer me " yes," I reply that "strong arms, stout hearts, and
good wills, can do pretty well with some prudence to back them,
in any colony in the world;" and as I do firmly believe that British
Columbia (apart from its value as a gold district) is the finest colony
in the world, and all who know anything about the matter willingly
declare this to be the case, why I cannot help recommending you to
go to that colony. For, could all the gold vanish to-morrow, the
land, the climate, the natural advantages would still remain, to
the great and lasting benefit of the emigrant.
Mind, I don't say that apart from the gold-fields any man will get
on in British Columbia. With respect to gold-finding I do say that
one man, if he has moderate strength, is as good as another at that
occupation after very little practice; but as regards other kinds of
labour of course I need not say that farming as much requires an
apprenticeship in British Columbia as in the British Isles. Sailing
across the Atlantic and up the Pacific will not teach a man how to
Now do understand me aright. I say that British Columbia
contains the finest gold-fields in the world; and that any man of
ordinary strength, strong will, and temperance will find his account
in testing those fields: but apart from that employment the rule
which holds good with respect to other colonies holds good here.
They don't want any broken-down swells, or printers, or draper's
assistants in British Columbia, apart from the gold-fields. The
men   they   want   are   farm   labourers,   bricklayers,   carpenters, 6
farmers, graziers, gardeners, and blacksmiths. They want no
governesses or ladies' companions, but women (the better educated
the better for the colony), who can look after families and houses,
who can brew, bake, do all other domestic offices, and meet the
husbands, brothers, and employers with smiling faces when the men
return from the day's work.
The first question I feel I am asked is, how about provisions ?
I answer that when I left the colony provisions were as plentiful as
gold. But I doubt if they are now. I doubt if they are not so
dear as to be almost at famine prices; for when I left the "news was
flying to all quarters of the world to the effect that the finest gold
fields in the world had been discovered. I know the gold digger
well. I have seen too much of him in Australia, in California
(where I stayed a short time to look about me on my way from
Australia to British Columbia), and in the new fields—not to know
his habits. He is as true to a new gold-field as the loadstone tc*
the pole.
The recent and most exciting news of the new fields reached
California long before it reached England. Before I arrived at
Southampton it. had been talked about at every dust-location in
Australia, and I would bet my life that lodgings at Victoria are not
at this moment to be had at any money under a good sum, and that
the colony is swarming with Californian rowdies and Australian
diggers to the number of many thousands.
So, though provisions were cheap as the gold was plentiful when I
left the colony, as might well be the case, for there was nothing like
so great a demand as supply, I have no doubt that brandy is now
worth its weight in silver.
But don't forget what I said—that with temperance you can get
on let things be ever so ugly. Even if brandy and wine are worth'
their weight in silver, or beer and ale worth theirs in copper, yet tea
and bread are comparatively cheap; and depend on it, a year or
two will bring things to their level, and by that time you will have
made enough to snap your fingers at the colony, if you were so
disposed, which you will not be, unless you have left relations,
children, or mistress at home.
Are provisions now cheap at the British Columbian gold fields ?
They can't be. Why, the number of men leaving London every day for
this colony is a caution, though the fare to British Columbia from
England is the most expensive to any of Her Majesty's colonies.
Now, if in spite of that fact emigrants are leaving for it daily, is it
not natural to suppose that emigrants from places infinitely nearer
than England to British Columbia have been drafting there for months past—especially Chinese coolies; I have no doubt thousands
of Chinese such as have inundated Australia for years past have
arrived and are daily arriving on the new gold fields.
Mind, don't suppose that I say all this to deter you—far from
that. Remember I have said over and over again that I believe
a hard-working, economical gold digger emigrant can't be off making
money m the long run; but I have determined to give a plain
statement of what I know, and. this I feel to be certain, that though
provisions in November last were plentiful enough and cheap
enough in British Columbia, I am quite sure such is not now the
Last winter potatoes were selling in the colony at tenpence the
hundredweight, while flour and other necessaries were comparatively
as cheap ; and there being no duties levied, tea and sugar were as
cheap as in England, if not cheaper; but I doubt whether everything has not gone up a dozen times over by this time.
Well—and what of that ? Even at those figures you can live
upon two or three shillings a day if you live rather for to-morrow
than to-day. I say again I warn you that the Times was wrong
' when some weeks ago it announced that provisions were then cheap
in British Columbia. This cannot be the case, I know. But I add
that cheap provisions or not, it does not matter. A steady industrious man is safe in British Columbia, for this reason, that the
colony is not injured by many of the drawbacks which afflict most
British colonies. There are no excesses of temperature, no excessive rains, no droughts, and a good and easily reached seaboard.
So far I have not said a word to women emigrants. But if I
wrote till I was grey, and I am a long way from that condition, I
could not sufficiently assert the great advantages which present
themselves to women emigrants. The great curse of the colony
so far, as it must always be the curse of any colony in which such a
want exists, is the absence of women. I doubt if there was one
woman to a hundred men twelve months ago. I am quite -sure
that now, when I am writing, there must be at least two hundred
men to every woman.
There is no better colony to which women can emigrate than
British Columbia, for it is an improvement upon home. It is
English, and the emigrant will no more have to learn American
customs than she will have to accustom herself to the horrors of an
Australian summer, or the misery of being " helped " by hideous
black native and strong-smelhng Australians.
There never was such a field for matrimony. I never saw
diggers so desirous of marrying as those of British Columbia j roughs rn
generally gold diggers are not marrying men. They work, spend
their money in drink, and work again. Whether this arises from,
as a rule, gold fields being in hot latitudes, I know not any more
than I know whether to the real, yet improved, English temperature of British Columbia is owing the intense desire to be found
amongst the emigrants to settle down and bring up families..
Any decent young woman who reads this may take my word for
it that in British Columbia she will find work as soon as she steps
on the shore, while she may find a husband before her foot touches
it—character to be risked; but there were not many
British Columbia up to the date when, for a time, I quitted it
Mind, I don't say that I recommend families to go out to
British Columbia. A family is a burden till a man is established,
and I should strongly advise that only one in a family should be
sent out as a feeler, a steady hard-working and temperate man,
who would feel'his way and pave it for those who should follow.
Let this man have what funds can be spared, and let him do the
best with them; this will be infinitely safer than exhausting one's
means by carrying out an entire family at once, and hampering
them and one's self directly the end of the journey is reached.
And now some account of what I did at the new and most
auriferous gold fields in the world, may perhaps be acceptable to the
reader. I won't say how much I made in the whole, because I
don't see any need to do so; but this I do assert, that, being very
economical while on the work,* and working hard, I made enough
in six months to keep me for life, if I choose, while still a young
man (which I am), to sit down and make myself easy for life.
But this kind of thing I don't care about, and so, as I said before, I
shall be off once more to British Columbia almost as soon as you
see this book, if you read it immediately it is printed.
I suppose you will not believe that many men during my time at
the diggings made 100 dollars (£20) a day average for weeks
together. This is a fact, and one easy of comprehension compared
with the statement that not a few miners have picked up 100 ounces
(,£490 worth) in the same space of time. Many miners were in
Victoria when I left it early in September last, who had left the city
in the spring as penniless as the next pauper, who during last
summer made from 1,000 to 10,000 dollars (£200 to £2,000).
Mind, I don't say that every miner made money. There is an old
Spanish proverb that says, | While you are likely to gain a fortune in
a copper mine, and may in a silver, you are absolutely certain in a
gold mine—to lose one. The last three words make all the difference.
Gold digging is the greatest lottery in the world, and therefore I 9
need not say that many miners got claims that were not worth looking at, and which did not contain a grain of gold. But for all that,
they made money by hiring themselves out to more fortunate men.
I know this, that I paid my helps from 10 to 20 dollars (£2 to £4)
per day, and then I thought myself lucky to get them, and 1 give
you my word the cheaper helps had no " go " in them. They had
been disappointed in their own lots, and allowed their ill-luck to
knock them over. I would recommend no man who lets ill-luck
knock him over to go to gold diggings, for it is the most risky kind
of work rn this world, and wants equal courage. This I am quite
sure of, that many a clerk I saw yesterday in the city of London
was far stronger than many a man who was earning his fifteen dollars
a day at the British Columbian gold fields last summer.
In fact, I don't know but what a little" want "in British Columbia
will do it good. Starvation makes a man look about him. There's
nothing so thoroughly encourages a man in his laziness as an easily
filled belly. Up to last September (beyond which date I shall not
speak, for this simple reason, that I personally know nothing at all
about the matter), up to last September, I say, want in that colony
was unknown. Provisions were as plentiful as the skies were blue,
and as there are always so many men in a hundred who will never
work more than is enough to give them from hand to mouth, the
consequence was that we had out hosts of lazy people. I do hope
by this time they have either been turned into hard-working men,
or turned out of the colony, for I hate idleness.
Hardship—I never saw any hardship in the colony; but I tell you
what I saw—waste. I do not know whether I am most rejoiced or
sorry when I see bread kicking about a place. I am glad to
know it is not wanted : I am sorry not to be ignorant of the fact
that it is wanted elsewhere, and that God's children in some parts
of the world are crying for it.
Why, how could hardship exist when there was a beautiful climate,
a good seaboard, rich teeming earth, rivers full of splendid fish, and
gold as plentiful as hard words in an English workhouse, or dirt in
Seven Dials. I heard of cases in which gold was literally taken out
of the earth in spadefuls. I remember one case in which a single
pan of soil yielded 100 dollars (£20). The man who found it,
however, had been drinking for some weeks, he was as poor as any
man in the colony, and the excitement at this find was so great that
he fell ill of brain fever, and had a narrow escape with his life. The
illness not only swallowed up his lucky pan, but his tools were
in pawn as well for the expenses incurred ; and this' idiot of a miner
at the time I left in the Panama boat was working at 20 dollars 10
(£4) a day, and yet was no richer at the end of the week than at
its commencement.
I myself had no marvellous find. But I was always at work ten
hours per day, though I do not mean to say that I kept hard at
work throughout those hours, and I gradually picked up the metal.
I don't recollect more than two weeks when I was no richer at the
end of them than their beginning.
If I were asked the average amount made in the season amongst
moderately fortunate miners I should say about £500 to £600.
As for myself, as I have said, I worked hard, lived sparingly, and
though I had no great finds my claim on the whole was as golden,
if not more so, than that of any man in the district.
Miners, however, and as a rule, think that the real source of the.
gold deposit is yet to be discovered, and that it lies far away from the
district in which gold has so far been found. The reasons for this
supposition are that the metal is coarse and in very small nuggets,
about 10 to 20 dollars value (£2 to £4). A good many miners
came down with me from the gold fields, each with his little sackful of gold. Those, however, who had large sacks went on to St.
Francisco; for British Columbia does not yet boast of a mint, though
I've no doubt a year or eighteen months will supply this want, as it
will the great demand for " money " in this district. As a proof of
the masses of gold the new fields are yielding, in September last
the other brought down no less than 500,000 dollars worth.
(£100,000)—and there is plenty more to come, (a)
And while I am writing this very chapter I find that the warning
I gave a page or so back is a necessary one. Provisions are going
up to an awful figure, and a man, according to an account which
left British Columbia about a month after I did, must earn four or
five pounds a day to live in anything like comfort.
Gaming, too, has sprung up. It was just beginning to show its
ugly head when I was leaving. Gaming was the ruin of Californian
miners for years. These fools, however, have learnt that the.
chances are always so thoroughly in favour of the gaming-house
proprietors that the loss of the gambler's money and the gain of the
gaming-house proprietor is only a question of time.
And now I warn you fairly that if you take to gambling you may
as well stay in England, for you will make no money in British
Columbia. All the gaming-house-keepers in California will settle
in the Frazer river district, and so will their brethren in Melbourne
(a) Messrs. Wells, Parga, & Co. (Victoria), shipped last year not less than
a million and a half dollars' worth of gold from the district. 11
and Sydney.    Indeed, I feel  sure many of them have already
started.    The new gold fields will swarm with them because they
will be quite sure beforehand of making money.    With them it will
be no speculation; their gaming establishments will be as safe to
return them profits as the Bank of England is secure from breaking.
I have seen a good deal of miners' gambling, and so I think I
. . .
may declare I am an authority on this subject, and I say plainly
that a man might as well chuck his gold back into the creek as
pitch it on to the gaming table; gaming is the miners' curse all the
world over.    How this comes to be the case it is not difficult to
make out.    The life of a gold miner is very exciting, and quite as
monotonous.    He, therefore, wants some  change,  and one that
7 O       *
must be as exciting as his daily trade. This relief he finds in
gaming, and he discovers it to bis cost.
But it is all nonsense to say the desire to gamble cannot be got
over. How did / get over it ? and if I managed to fight against it
why can't others ? I only know I put a strong will on my desire to
gamble, for I do not deny that I sometimes had a wish to try my
luck at the red and black table, and that strong will had its
way. Mind, I don't say this would have been the case had I been
in the habit of drinking; but I was always sober, and so, keeping a
steady head on my shoulders, I always had a full pocket.
Most of the gold-digger gamblers I have come across have been
© DO ©
fellows who could manage a good quantity of liquors, and I believe
firmly that the excitement of the drink has been such that they
have been quite unable to withstand the temptation of the gaming
table. Why, what gains can stand such a drain upon them as £3
or £4 a bottle for brandy, and then being carried by an unsteady
hand and a bewildered brain to the gambling house ? What gains—
not any. They never did, and they never will. I tell you candidly,
that if you want to make your fortune in the new gold fields of
British Columbia you must go out with a good will to live down to
the lowest dollar, and not to spend a cent in waste.*
Let provisions get ever so high, and I am quite sure that this
summer they will be at double-famine prices, you will make
money, even if your claim is so bad that you chuck it up and hire
yourself out, if you make up your mind to drink water and be
satisfied with bread and a plain slice of mutton. I say I don't care
what prices go to this summer, you will make money if you are
determined so to do; but if you must have brandy for breakfast, the
best tobacco to be bought for your own smoking, and champagne
on Sundays, why I guess you had better think twice before you
leave the old country. -
I cannot give a better evidence of the value of temperance to a
gold digger than pointing to those Chinese labourers who are to be
found on the gold fields of Australia and California, who were
arriving in British Columbia in hundreds when I left, and who are
now, I am quite sure, flocking to the district in thousands upon
thousands. These men, generally speaking, are miserably poor
when they reach the gold fields, are generally in bondage to speculators who have brought them over, and have to work their way to
freedom. And yet, in spite of these drawbacks, and still further in
the very face of the fact that they are not strong men, while their social
customs keep them in a continuously weak and miserable condition,
yet in the course of a few years these men amass enough money to
carry them back to independence, and even to luxury, it is said, in
their .own land.
And how is this ? These men are, as regards their food, the most
temperate human beings possible. They eat scarcely anything but
rice, and the cheapest possible animal food ; they drink nothing but
water and coarse tea; and they work hard. They are healthy too,
notwithstanding this hard work, their natural constitutional weakness,
and indulgence in those social habits to which I have already
referred, but which I cannot with decency more strictly define.
How is it that these Chinese make money and maintain their health
under these circumstances ? Why, they are temperate ; as a rule,
you do not see these diggers drunk, and you certainly do not mark
them at the gaming table.
Of course I am speaking generally, because I do not mean to say
that I have never seen a Chinese gold digger none the better for
liquor, nor one of them at the rouge et noir table. I have—but
exceptions prove rules, you know.
Well, if in the case of these worn-out looking Chinese temperance
does so much for them, what will it not do for strong, hearty, and
free Britons? Do—there's no knowing what it will not do. It
will give health, fortune, and a happiness that will make one year as
gay as a dozen. Mind—let me say once more—I am no teetotaller.
I laugh at the idea of a man requiring to swear that he will not
touch fermented liquor, and I am almost as willing to laugh at a
man who prides himself upon never drinking beer, wine, or spirits j
but I do say that no man can afford to drink at any gold digging
district in this world of ours. No man ever dreams of passing all
his life at the diggings. He goes there for a time to make enough
money to settle down and enjoy himself according to his own way.
Then I say, that while he is at work making his fortune, whether
it is ten or fifty thousands, or only as many hundreds, he should give t o
his whole mind to it—work like a slave and live like one if he ever
wishes to have money and time at his finger's ends. A month spent
at the diggings in living luxuriously is about equal to two or three
years of the same kind of thing in England or France. I say over
and over again that the man who wants to make money at the
diggings must spend as little cash while on the gold fields as he can.
He need not be afraid of " breaking down." Hard work is better
contented with plain than good fare; I have tried both plans, and
I'm quite sure of this, that I can work much better on a slice of
mutton, a hunk of bread, and one or two handfuls of water, than on
a heavy dinner and a bottle of stout. At the Frazer River diggings
at this moment I guess the latter dinner would cost about twenty
times as much as the former.
I have headed this chapter " What I did and what I got in
British Columbia." Well, I think I have pretty fairly told what I
did and what I got. I worked and lived temperately, and I got a
decent small fortune, as I have said, enough to keep me for life
without working, if I did not love work for its own sake.
Before I finish this chapter, however, I must just set down
another terrible evil which falls upon the gold miner of British
Columbia who has given way to intemperance. When he sets out
from that colony on his return to England, and the south of North
America, his frame is so shaken by his habits, that while the hardy
temperate miner is case-hardened for the voyage south, the other is
so open to the attacks of sickness that his chances are about five to
one in favour of his taking yellow fever directly he nears Panama.
He may get over the attack, but his chances are few, and only too
often he is a dead man, and what gold remains after his extravagance
in the north is separated from him, for while he is pitched into the
sea, his gold, according to the law on this subject, is [sold for the
benefit of his relations—if they are ever found.
My notions of British Columbia are just those of a plain man who
has his eyes open, and who knows something about colonizing and
colonies. I have, as the reader already knows, had some experience
of Australia, a little of California, and I have a very satisfactory
Nnowledge of British Columbia. 14
The gold district of British Columbia (and indeed the whole of
that colony) has this enormous advantage over the gold districts of
Australia and California, that it is agricultural and splendidly
watered. The gold fields of British Columbia not only produce
gold, hut they are composed of some of the finest agricultural land
in the known world, and specially advantageous to the English
farmer, as the rules of farming which hold good in his own land are
equally valuable throughout this colony. The English farmer does
not have to unlearn his trade as in Australia, or forget it as in
California. He is able to begin at once with mother earth just as
though he were in Kent or Devonshire, and under precisely similar,
or rather improved, circumstances of climate, seasons, rules of crops,
and rotations. Therefore, I may as fairly speak of British Columbia
as an agricultural as a gold colony—for then if gold digging fails
the plain field is ready for cultivation, a field which, with hard
work, never can prove unproductive, and for the produce of which
there 'will be a steadily rising demand for many years to come.
I do not hesitate for one moment to recommend these countries
to the labouring man and the rough mechanic. They will, speaking
broadly, earn from two to five times as much a day as anywhere in
England. Of course I am speaking now apart from the gold
mines—at which they may or may not make a fortune, as the case
may be. But it must never be forgotten that gold digging is just a
regular lottery. Why, in the very best California days there were
just as many dismal-faced miners coming down from the mines and
swearing- they were not worth the working, as there were happy-
faced men going up to the gold district with the belief that a month
or so would see them millionaires.
If I am asked is there any opening for professional men— such as
doctors and lawyers—I answer that they want none of the latter in
British Columbia. The colonists and miners, without being lovers
of lynch law, are given to a kind of equal man-to-man settlement of
disputes, which does away with the want of lawyers. I never saw
a I solicitor's letter" in British Columbia. As for doctors—of
course there is some call for them ; but not much. Apart from the
salubrity of the climate, and the fact that the general employment
of the colonists keeps them in health, there is a general feeling to
knock through illness by more work, and it is astonishing what a
successful medicine that kind of thing is. Certainly there are
openings for a few doctors, but I should seriously recommend that
those of the faculty who make tracks to British Columbia
should be men who are able to turn their hand to other trades than
their own.    Candidly, all ideas of professional dignity must be 15
pitched over board before they leave the ship, or they will go a good
way towards injuring their owner.
As to farmers—why, where there is good and cheap land the
farmer who has on his shoulders a head worth calling one cannot
starve. In British Columbia there is good land, and cheap land,
and, as I have said, a rising demand for all farm produce, but still I
would not advise a farmer with a family, if he can make a moderate
Kving at home, to emigrate even to British Columbia. In fact, to
speak very plainly, and in all cases it is by far the best way to do
so, I would recommend people in England with families to keep
them there, and themselves too, unless they can provide at home for
the children, and go out as single men and pave the way for the
little ones. Children, and even a wife, are millstones round the
neck of an emigrant. That which he would venture to do if he were
alone he will hesitate to begin if he looks into the eyes of wife and
children, and remembers that they depend on htm. There is an
old proverb—nothing venture nothing have. The man with wife and
children ought not to be venturesome; and new colonies require to
be peopled by venturesome men. The argumenj; seems pretty clear.
Adventurers in British Columbia, whether married or not, and
especially the latter, should be free to work by themselves.
Mind, don't suppose for a moment that I am arguing against the
presence of women in a colony. My experience tells me there can
be nothing more damnatory in any colony than the want of women;
but I do say this, that dependent women ought not to be carried into
a new colony. The women who arrive to bless it should either be
destined for the arms of the husband who singly—alone has
established himself at the new home; or steer towards old lovers; or
be in expectancy of new ones. Do not look upon that sentence as
indelicate. It is the duty of women, I do believe, and one they
feel is theirs, to marry, and I know no better woman's mission than
that of going out to colonies already provided with well-to-do,
strong-hearted, and strong-bodied men, who have worked in order to
support themselves and the wives they long for. I have seen the
change for the better produced in a small colony by the coming of
only a score of women. I do really believe that they ^suggest to
men, who when alone are apt to be lawless and harsh, the memory
of their mothers and the homes, more or less happy, of their youth.
And I want to lay it down at once that I have no wish for any
man who reads'this book to accept every line in it as bible truth.
New colonies, as I know, change so rapidly that what may be
gospel concerning them to-day may, by the end of six months, just
as well apply to the other side of the globe.    Thus it is that in 16
putting this work together, I rather look at the early future than .
the past of British Columbia—that future in which the intending
emigrant will visit the district, and not that past during which I
was a colonist in that part of the world. This future I build upon
my experience of other colonies and gold-mining districts. I say
once more, don't take all I say for certain, but judge me on my
entire merits. Read the book through, and form your own belief
on it.
The agriculturist most wanted in British Columbia at the present
moment, is the small farmer, who here at home tills a few acres.
The best way of working is in partnership with one or more men
of a similar standing. The working in partnership will soon make
enough to provide sure homes for wives and little ones; and when
such is the case, wives and children, or sweethearts, can be sent for.
I would not advise farming on a large scale, because, as I have
said, the circumstances of to-day in a new colony may widely differ
from those which will exist six months hence; and secondly, for the
reason that large farming requires large labour; and as jn British
Columbia labour is, and will be for some years to come, extremely
expensive, a large outlay of capital would be certain, while the
chances of an equally large return would be doubtful.
The farmer, to make money at once in British Columbia, is he
who depends entirely on his own labour and common sense. Such
a man can buy land on easy terms, land which in a few years will
be worth fifty times the present price, and the yearly value of which
will steadily rise, so that a sale at any time must be a source of
profit. Nor is it necessary to pay the entire purchase money before
entering on possession. Instalments are taken, and so although
the price per acre is only four shillings and two-pence, yet an
immediate payment of that sum upon the purchase of every acre is
not required.
This land will be a source of future wealth to the tiller's children,
and certainly in the meantime be a maintenance for himself. I know
of no better way in which the father, or the man who hopes some
day to be a husband and a.father, can do his duty to the existing or
hoped-for children than in working hard himself as an agricultural
emigrant for the benefit of those belonging to him, whom, in the
course of nature, he will leave behind upon this earth.
The emigrant, however, need not ■purchase land unless he is willing. He can " squat" upon unsurveyed lands the title of which he
may make sure of getting when they are surveyed, up to which
time the only expense to which he can be put, will be one small
registration fee.
Of course good lands in
the neighbourhoods of 17
towns are pretty well all appropriated by this time, and I tell proposing
settlers at once that they must be prepared to rough it at first, with
no other faces to look upon than their own, which will be cheerful
enough if they work hard, and are determined to put a good face
upon matters.
Though the extent of really good land m British Columbia is
certainly small compared with mountain and forest tracks, yet it is
very large in proportion to the number of inhabitants. The soil is
everywhere fertile, though in many places it is extremely light
and sandy.
With respect to the climate of British Columbia I have already
said much. That of the sea coast is milder and finer than that of
England, but it is wet in winter. In the interior the winter is
drier and colder than the same season in England, while the
summers are proportionally hotter. Some tales of suffering from
the climate have spread to the coast and thence reached home, but
these calamities arose from want of food and shelter; and I know
in some instances the victims were either weak-hearted men, who
had to thank themselves for their misfortunes, or drunkards whose
miseries lay at their own door, or foolhardy adventurers who have
mistaken rashness for courage (qualities as far apart as iihe poles),
and suffered accordingly.
Men fond of sport will not be destitute of it in many shapes who
go to British Columbia, and it already affords the chief and healthiest
amusement amongst English settlers. Game is plentiful, and of no
mean sort, consisting as it does of bears, deer, and elk, together with
grouse, partridges, and wildfowl. Sport, however, is not the easy
work it is in England, owing to the density of the forests and the
rank growth of underwood.
There is also another drawback to the pleasure of sporting; I
mean the rattlesnake, but, on the other hand, this is the only noxious
animal or reptile in the colony, and even the rattlesnake is confined
to the interior of the mainland.
The mosquito seems to be a necessary adjunct to gold digging,
for wherever, all the world over, you find the one the other is not
far away; it is, in fact, generally a great deal too near to be pleasant.
Nor is Frazer's River an exception to this rule, though from the high
latitude of the district the mosquitoes are neither so numerous nor so
formidable as in other gold mining districts. However, in Victoria
(the metropolis of British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, as I
dare say you know) not one of these nuisances is to be seen; at
least, I never saw, nor felt the sting of, a single specimen.
And now I approach a question which I fancy many of my readers
c wish to ask—what are the chances for broken-down gentlemen or
clerks, and men with soft palms to their hands, generally? My
answer is this, that nature can make those hands as horny as any in
ihe world, and that the outcry against this kind of emigrants is
monstrously absurd and—worse—unjust. Mind, I do not wish to
raise any false hopes. Broken-down gentlemen and clerks would
take at first the very lowest places in the colonies. But what of
that ? The lowest places in a new colony, and especially in healthy
British Columbia, are worth having, if they are well worked. I
think a strongish, or rather let me say, I think a healthy, willing,
broken-down gentleman or clerk has pretty well as good a chance in
British Columbia as any other kind of man if he goes the right way
to work. In the first place, he must look upon himself as ceasing to
be an outside gentleman (let him keep one at heart by all means),
he must regard himself as a common labourer knowing nothing
about common labour. He must strive to consider himself as, for a
time, below the common labourer in value in the new colony; but
I do apprehend that if he does this he will soon rise by virtue of bis
education and self-respect to something superior to that labourer.
I do not think the case can be otherwise. 1 have known very clever
sheep and agricultural farmers in Australia rise out of broken-down
gentlemen. For instance, there were the nephews of Lord Brougham.
They went out to Australia perfect gentlemen (though not by any
means broken-down ones); taking kindly to the new life they roughed
it with the rest about them, and were very soon the equals in real
hard-working powers with any of their neighbours.
And yet, as there must be a cause for every effect, I dare say there
must be a cause for this wide-spread belief, that a " gentleman " is
no good in a new colony. I take it this idea is founded on the fact
that in all colonies a number of loafing young men are to be found
who have clearly done nothing in all their lives, and who will not
work to save themselves from death. They are spoilt sons of good
families, or youths who have gone wild, and who have been sent out
by their families as a last resource. They would never do any good
for themselves anywhere, and, therefore, do no colony burdened with
them any benefit; but so far from the colony not giving them bread,
I doubt if half of those unhappy persons, belonging to this kind of
emigrants, which have come under my notice, could have lived
without resources a quarter the time in the old country they have in
the new.
Plainly, gentlemen, and all emigrants affecting a gentlemanly
standing, must, in going to British Columbia, or any other colony,
look upon their education as a something which must be only for 19
their " moral, not their social, guidance.' (a) For instance, I do
think a man without a trade ought not to hesitate at taking a place
as waiter at a restaurant, of which I found plenty kept by enterprising Frenchmen in Victoria and small towns; or as shopman at any
kind of business to which he could turn his hand, if it should not be
strong enough to grasp a spade, which instrument is certainly the
most valuable, and ,the best paying, in British Columbia, as it is that
of most young and unsettled colonies.
Even a shoe-black's is not a bad trade, since the charge for brushing shoes is just one shilling, while the wages men-servants get are
from £5 to £8 a month, together with board and lodging; the latter
no inconsiderable item, for house-rent in the colony is exceedingly
high. All this news is enough to frighten the professional gentleman
who wishes to maintain a regard for his profession; but it is good
tidings for washerwomen (who get 12 shillings per dozen in British
Columbia), shoe-black boys, and maids of all work.
Of the latter—the maids of all work—I must say that they would
be as welcome as flowers in May, and, indeed, they would very soon
become wives of all work, for if there is one thing more than another
a miner sighs for after a hard day's work, it is to see either his tent,
or his log hut, brightened up by the smiles of a woman, and tidied
up by woman's hand; for truth to tell, men themselves are but poor
hands at keeping a hut or a tent in order. It is one of the misfortunes
of British Columbia in general, and of the mining districts in particular, that they possess few women. Especially at the gold fields,
men stand up to look at a woman go past, and I have known the
arrival of a fresh female face in a gold digging district create such
a stir that the miners have knocked off work for the day, and had
a kind of here and there meeting over the event. Whence the new
arrival has come—what she is going to do—who has sent for her—
has she come of her own accord—and who knows her—these are
the questions asked a hundred times over amongst the little groups
which assemble on such high days and holidays, as those upon
which women arrive at the diggings. (S)
(a) I am partly indebted to a friend for these observations on the emigration
of gentlemen and clerks to British Columbia and other English colonies.
(6) A correspondent writing in the Times also takes notice of the want of
women in British Columbia in the following sentence, so characteristic of the
leading paper, both in tone and philosophy.—Ed. " I believe there is not 1 to
every 100 men at the mines; without them the male population will never
settle in the country, and innumerable evils are the consequence. A large
number of the weaker sex could obtain immediate employment as domestic
servants, at high rates of wages, with the certainty of marriage in the background. The miner is not very particular—'plain, fat, and 50/ even, would
not be objected to; while good-looking girls would be the nuggets, and prized. 20
And I guess I need not say that the new-comer does not remain
long without a husband if she is willing to take one. Nor will she
be long unwilling, for to tell the truth, she is so pestered with offers
till she is a wife, that she chooses a man if it is only to be well rid of
the rest; and this having been done, the settlers have to wait till the
next arrival. But it is weary work waiting, and I have known many
a miner send money over to England for the passage out of an
English girl or Scotch lassie he has known, more or less, in the old
country at home, as the quickest mode of getting a wife. Why, I
have heard of more than a couple of cases in which miners sent
passage money and offers of marriage home to girls to whom they
perhaps, had never spoken, but whom they had known as neighbours
friends in England.
Nay, I knew an instance in which a miner wrote off to a woman
whom he had never seen and whom he only knew by reading her
name in a public report in an English paper of an assault case, in
which this girl had given a drunken man in charge for assaulting her.
©. © © ©
Whether he ever got an answer, or whether his money was sent back,
or this girl " reported " herself at the diggings, I know not; for I left
the neighbourhood of Frazer River within a week of the posting of
the letter in question
Indeed, I state candidly that I do not think any brisk woman could
do better than emigrate to British Columbia. Her chances of gaining work are so great that thev may be called certainties, and if she
be inclined to marry she will not lack for offers; 1 may say, after experience in the three chief mining districts in the world, that gold
miners make very good and considerate husbands, let what may be
declared to the contrary. The miner, as a rule, may be a rough and
ready man, and the blow between two of the mining craft may follow the word before its echo is dead, but there is a general kind of
broad warm-heartedness shown towards women which gives the he
to the slander that miners look on women as " chattels."
It is true that some women are not treated well at gold digging
districts, but perhaps this is their own fault. For my part I never
saw a decent woman unkindly used. In a word, I am quite sure of
this, that a poor woman has far better chances in British Columbia
than in the British Isles, and knowing as I do the almost necessarily
evil consequences of men herding together with no women to
humanize and soften them, I cannot help thinking that a matrimonial office established in London to promote the emigration of
accordingly. An immigration of such a character would be as great a boon to
the colony as I am sure it would be to many of the under-paid, under-fed, and
over-worked women who drag out a weary existence in the dismal back streets
and alleys of this metropolis."
|k        _ 21
young and struggling women to British Columbia at the cost of the
miners would be a glorious boon for all parties; and if there is anything unpleasant in the idea I am sure the amount of indelicacy
would be over-balanced by the extreme good such an establishment would bestow on the womanless colony located on Frazer's
After talking so much of the advantages to be obtained by emigration to British Columbia it is likely that the question arises to the
reader's lip—" But if I am inclined to go to this colony, how am I to
reach it ?" I have no doubt that by the time this book is in the
hands of its readers the daily papers will be beginning to teem
with advertisements of vessels sailing for Vancouver's Island and
British Columbia, and that those advertisements will be able to give
far more accurate'information than I can on the subject; still I will
devote a page or so to this subject, and the reader will find what I
have to say on it under the heading " Various routes and tariffs to
British Columbia."
With respect to the food best suited to emigrants arriving in
British Columbia I need say very little ; but what I set down is I
think worth the reading. The climate being so much like that of
England, there does not require that care in taking food which
even a visit to a country so short a distance from England as France
sometimes'requires. For my part I should say, live pretty much as
yon?have lived in England, but taking care not to consume too much
fat pork, which I do believe is a great cause of American biliousness
and pale looks, nor to take too kindly to the fish, which is so abundant
in British Columbia, and of most known English kinds. Salmon,
for instance, is very plentiful, but I noticed that last year, and
especially in the summer, a large consumption of this fish in
the fresh state was followed more or less by illness, diarrhoea, &c.
Mutton and beef seem to me the safest food for the emigrant till he
has served his apprenticeship to the new climate, which is so bracing
nine months out of the twelve, that I do not think, after the emigrant has served half his time to British Columbia, that he will
pay much attention to any advice as to what he should or should
not eat.
The food for the vayage out is, however, quite another affair, and
in a fitting place I devote a short chapter to this subject. It is all
very well to talk about the colony, but it is another thing to get
there, and as the journey to the British Columbia by the long route
is the longest sailing spell one can have to reach any colony belonging to the British crown, and as some portion of the short route is
really dangerous if taken in summer or autumn (and I do not desire 22
to hide that fact) I think it is well that I should pay very considerable attention to this portion of my guide book.
It was in May last that miners got to work on Antler's Creek,
that plot of the Frazer River district which has so far proved the
best gold mining field. Some of the new hands, as raw to the work
as they were raw in reality, after working at their new trade for a few
days, took out gold to the value of 200 dollars (£40) a day each,
while everv hour brought fresh discoveries as good. One man with
a "rocker," about as poor and inefficient a mining implement as can
be imagined, made 400 dollars (£80) by ten hours' work, while a
couple of men in the day washed 16 ounces (sold for £88 10s.).
This work was also done with a rocker. One Mr. Smith earned 3^
pounds (worth £185 6s.) in one day; his claim averaged 26 to 30
ounces a day.
What are called " bench claims," terraces situated 100 feet above
the water of the creek, were yielding from 4 to 8 ounces to each
rocker every day. Few claims yielded less than 50 dollars (£10) to
100 dollars (£20) a day to the hand. Confidence in the mineral
wealth of the district was inspired from the first. It was' seen to
exhibit all the characteristics of a rich gold region, and bore a
striking resemblance in all its features to the richest regions of
California in 1849. In the early part of May, there were five feet
of snow on the ground, but this did not prevent several miners from
getting to work. A company of five men were getting out 37 ounces
a day. Two men had got out 900 dollars (£180) in two days. As
the miners formed " flumes," which lessened hand labour, and enabled
them to chuck up the slow and tedious rocker, the results were much
higher, amounting to all sorts of amounts, from £100 to £500 a day,
to a company composed of three to five and six men.
On Keithley's Creek the yield was not so large; 25 dollars (£5)
to 75 dollars (£15), and in some cases 100 dollars (£20), a day to
the hand were the results. I know in June that one man from
Fort Yale earned 1,800 dollars (£360) in about a fortnight by the
remittance of the dust. Other creeks were now being discovered,
and they were worked with varied success, ranging from Is. to the
pan of dirt to £10 a day to the hand.
But perhaps the best news in connection with this splendid gold-
digging work is the fact that the health of the diggers remained so
good; I hardly remember one case of illness which was not brought
on by drinking. This healthiness was in good contrast with the
sickness so common in the Californian gold regions, and even in
those of Australia, in both of which districts fever and ague kept a
man's hands still half his time.    While writing this chapter I learn 23
that the miner's worst illness—because it is fatal—gaming, has taken
hold of the miners at Antler's Creek. I was not located there last
year, and I can only speak from hearsay of that rich lot of claims ;
but I am bound to say that the gaming mania, even so late as last
November, had not spread throughout the gold district, colony, &c,
to any such extent as I have seen it in California or in Melbourne.
I must speak of things as I find them, let whatever be the result.
There is another thing I would caution emigrants against, and
that is, making way at once for the diggings directly they reach the
colony, and refusing all work. The fact is, that after the long sea
voyage, men are not quite in order for very hard work, and I plainly
warn all men, however easy the business of getting gold on Frazer's
River has so far been, that, as in other gold fields, when what is
called the surface " efflorescence " of gold—the metal near the top of
the soil—is exhausted, the work of driving tunnels in the quartz and
breaking up the rock is no joke. I have no doubt, in my own mind,
that the surface gold is already exhausted, or, at all events, very
nearly exhausted, and therefore, when the intending emigrant arrives
in the colony, the real hard work of gold getting will be wanted if
the miner is to reap any harvest.
I say the digging will be very hard, and therefore the emigrant
will do well to season himself after his voyage to work (that will be
easy compared with that at the diggings) before he tries his hand at
the mines.
I candidly caution all men not to refuse good wages on their first
arrival in the colony, in their eagerness to reach the gold district; I may
say as a rule, that until emigrants become acquainted with the labour
of the country, their services are of comparatively small value to their
employers.    They should, therefore, be careful not to fall into the
common error of refusing reasonable wages on their first arrival.
© ©
With regard to the expense of a log hut, though we were in tents
last summer, I do not care to say much. The cost of a log hut, such
as the settler is usually contented with, is from about £5 to £10;
now I dare say it would come to four times the amount; but when
the best part of the work is done by the settler with his own hands, the
money laid out for the hut is much less than that I have put down
as its cost. These log huts, mind you, if made in a good workmanlike manner, are not to be despised. They are as warm and comfortable houses as men could wish to have over their heads.
I could say a deal more about the Frazer River gold district, how
to get there, and how to manage when you foot it amongst the gold;
but the thing has been well done by Mr. Alexander C. Anderson,
late the chief trader of the Hudson's Bay Company, who has written 24
a handbook to the gold regions of Frazer's and Thompson's Rivers;
but as this book was published in February, 1859, all it has to say
will not hold good at the present date. However, I shall reprint a
bit of his book here, and let it go for what it is worth. The reader
will easily see where changes have taken place since Mr. Anderson
wrote his chapters.
" There are two distinct hues of approach to the mines; one hj
the direct route through Frazer's River; the other by way of the
Columbia River, by Portland and the Dalles, and thence, with pack
animals, through the trails used until recently by the Hudson's Bay
Company for their communications.
" The gold found in the Couteau country has so far been procured
chiefly from dry diggings. It is ' coarse' gold, and its quality stands
high in the market. Considerable quantities are reported to have
been dug by the natives, who appear to have been the chief miners.
" The upper and lower Indians have a standing feud, which is
kept alive by a treacherous murder every now and then, as occasion
" The miner visiting these regions will find no native resources
beyond what the river supplies. Land animals are scarce, and so
much hunted as to be extremely shy. Salmon can usually be bought
very cheaply; but as there is no salt, save what may be imported,
there is no way of curing the fish but by the Indian method. At
Ska-oose, below the Forks, is a good sturgeon fishery, and elsewhere
in the eddies these fish may be caught. A strong fine, with some
large cod-hooks, might be a useful addition to the miner's equipment.
Set lines are an efficient way of catching these fish, the bait a small
fish, or what is better, when procurable, a lamprey eel. There are
trout in the streams, and on the Dalles communication grouse of
various kinds, sage hens, and other fowl, are generally abundant.
" In ascending Frazer's River mosquitoes are very numerous
during the summer season, and as the sea-breeze is rarely felt the»
air is extremely sultry.    Near the Tehae-tse-sum River, below Fort
Hope, the mosquitoes suddenly cease, and thence upwards the river
is free of these troublesome pests.
" The regular freshets begin at the latter end of April, and last
during May and June. About the 15th of June may be regarded
as the culminating point; and by the middle of July the waters are
generally greatly subsided. There is rarely a freshet of much consequence at any other season, but this sometimes happens, and I
have known a sudden freshet, from heavy rains in October, raise the
river beyond the summer limit.
"Snow beginsfc o fall in the mountains early in October.    In July 25
there is still snow for a short distance on the summit of the Fort
Hope trail, but not to impede the passage of horses. From the
middle of October, however, to the middle of June, this track is not
to be depended upon for transport with pack animals.
" The summer climate about the Forks is dry, and the heat is great.
During winter the thermometer indicates occasionally from 20 to 30
degrees of cold below zero, of Fahrenheit; but such severe cold
seldom lasts on the upper parts of Frazer's River for more than three
days; the thermometer will then continue to fluctuate between zero
and the freezing point, until another interval of cold arrives.
" But the winters are extremely capricious throughout these
regions, and no two resemble each other very closely. In general
the snow does not fall deep enough along the banks of the main
streams to preclude winter travelling with pack animals. The quality
of the pasture is such (a kind of bunch grass in most places) that
animals feed well at all seasons. There are many spots between the
Similk-a-meen Valley and O'Kinagan that are specially favourable
for winter ranches. In some the snow never lies, however deep it
may be around.
" The country, from the mouth of Frazer's River up to the Falls,
is thickly wooded, mountainous, and impassable for man or beast.
The river becomes more contracted above Fort Hope. Above the
Falls, as far as Tqua-yowm, the character of the country continues
to resemble the same distance below. At Tqua-yowm, however, a
change takes place, and the evidences of a drier climate begin to
appear. These continue to become more marked as we approach
the Forks. At Thilk-um-chee-na, or the Little Fork, and upwards,
rattle-snakes, wormwood, and the cactus (prickly pear) characterise the
scene; and some of these attributes extend thence downward for
some distance.
" At this point (Thilk-um-chee-na, the junction of Nicholas
River with Thompson's River) the horse region may be said fairly
to commence. Hence, to the frontiers of New Caledonia northward, and southward to the Pampas of Mexico, this useful animal is
the best servant of man. Horses, however, are dear luxuries (comparatively speaking) in this quarter. At the Dalles and around
Walla-Walla they are more numerous, and may be bought at very
moderate rates.
" Every miner is recommended, by whichever road he may travel
to the Couteau mines, to supply himself well beforehand, as he can
depend upon little in that region, save what is imported by himself
and others." (a)
(a) Mr. Anderson, in recommending " every miner to supply himself before- A
Mind—once more before concluding the chapter, I say to the
miner—no drinking, no gambling. Do one and you will do both.
Do both and you will leave the mines, whatever your luck may be, a
poorer man than you reached them, not only broken down in pocket,
but in health and in temper for life.
I suppose that many intending emigrants to British Columbia will
be men with not too much money in their pockets. I will not say
to such—do not go to British Columbia, because candidly the colony
is so superior to any other that I have not the heart to say it; but
I cannot help reminding the poor man with a desire to emigrate, that
hard work and a good will must pull a man through in any British
colony, and that if he has only a little money he had better save it,
and try for governmental assistance to any of the colonies to which
emigration is aided by the government. The only colonies which at
present enjoy this privilege are Victoria (Australia), Queensland,
the Cape of Good Hope, and Natal; you see British Columbia and
Vancouver's Island are not in the fist; and as the voyage to these
two latter colonies is the most expensive which I know, I say plainly
to the poor man who contemplates emigration, that on the whole it
is perhaps better that he should apply to government to assist him
to reach a colony and keep his few pounds in his pocket, than to sink
what money he has in paying his expenses to British Columbia.
However, to the man who has a little money, and who desires to
make a little more of it, I say I do not think he could carry out a
better plan, whatever his calling may be, provided he has good
health, moderate strength, and decent will, than start at once for
British Columbia.
As I have not gone from England to British Columbia, and as in
all probability by the time this book reaches the hands of its readers
the Times will swarm with advertisements of fines of steam and sailing vessels for the new gold grounds, perhaps what I have to say on
hand with necessaries" both for food and tools, does not mean to advise the
nitending emigrant to bring masses of tools and all other necessaries from
England. He means to intimate that these things are to be bought in the
towns in the colonies, as they are not to be purchased in the gold districts. He
says truly—each miner imports from the town .what he wants for his own use
or consumption. 27
this subject is not very important. For my own part my voyage
home, via Panama, the expensive route, cost just £70, second
The official government statement of the various routes is as
ws :-
Routes to British Columbia.
There are three routes by which Vancouver's Island and British
Columbia may be reached :—
1st. Round Cape Horn, in sailing vessels, direct to Victoria, in
Vancouver's Island.
2nd. By the West India mail steamer to Colon; thence, across
the Isthmus (48 miles) by railway, to Panama; and thence by the
Pacific line of steamers to Victoria, Vancouver's Island.
3rd. Via. New York to Colon, by steamers; and thence to Vancouver's Island across the Isthmus, as in the second route. This is
the most certain route for letters.
From Vancouver's Island to the main land of British Columbia,
the distance is about 60 miles across the Gulf of Georgia.
The time occupied on the first route is about five months. The
cost, in the first cabin, from £50 to £60 ; and in the second or
intermediate cabin, from £30 to £40; and in the steerage, from
£25 to £30. By the second route, Vancouver's Island may be
reached in about 50 days, if the passengers are not detained at
Panama and St. Francisco. There is sometimes a week's detention at
the latter place. The cost of a first-class passage is about £100;
that of the second class, about £65; and that in the steerage,
about £45.
The cost of passages by the third route is about the same as by
the second route.
The following are the government tabulated figures extracted from
columns giving " the cost of passage in private ships from some of
the principle English ports of the United Kingdom to the British
Colonies and the United States."
British  Columbia, via
Cost, including Provisions.
Cost, with Provisions.
Cost, with fall allowance of Provisions.
Charges for Children.—If children are to be taken, and as I
said they are mill-stones round the neck of the man, and I say
nothing of the cruelty to the children themselves, it is as well that
the general practice with regard to them should be known.   The 28
general practice in charging for children to North America is to
compute them according to the Passengers' Act; viz., Children from
1 to 12 years of age half the price of adults. Children under one
year of age, no charge.
Mr. Dallas has, in the Times, treated 'the question of the route
to British Columbia in a jocular and pleasant style. That gentleman says:—
" Spring is the best season in which to arrive in British Columbia.
The pons asinorum is how to get there, and at what cost.    The
shortest route is by the Isthmus of Panama, which can be reached
vid New York, or by the West India steamers to St. Thomas's.
The latter route ought to be adopted only in winter and spring, as
the emigrant may be detained some days both at St. Thomas's and
Panama, waiting for the connecting steamers, and both those places
are subject to the visitations of yellow fever, (a)    St. Thomas's has
been much maligned for its heat and insalubrity, but I heard a
Glasgow skipper say it was the finest climate he was ever in, as he
was  'aye drinking  and aye dry.'    The   West   India   steamers
book passengers through from Southampton to Victoria for £35;
but, whether by St. Thomas's or New York,  no emigrant need
calculate on reaching his destination under £50 or £60.    The
voyage round Cape Horn can be made for £30, or even less, but it
generally occupies five or six months.   As the passenger is fed and
lodged for such a period some may consider this an advantage, and,
in comparing the voyage with the shorter one via Panama, and the
cost, be of the same way of thinking as the  Highlander, who
complained of a professional dentist that he charged him half-a-
crown for pulling out a tooth, which was done in a second, while a
blacksmith, in extracting another grinder, dragged him all round
,      7 © © '      ©©
the smithy for a quarter of an hour and charged only 6d.
(a) This is only too true. I myself have seen in crossing the Bay of Panama,
between my locations in Australia and British Columbia, a score of dead
passengers carried up the hatchway in the same morning and pitched, bedding
and all, into the sea. Yellow fever in the waters of Panama is simply a
plague. A man goes to bed one night apparently well, or with only a headache, and the next morning he is found in his bunk, or his hammock, a corpse.
Mr. Dallas is quite right. Winter or spring is the only time for the Englishman to be in Panama, or near it; and I would strongly advise any man, rich
or poor, or whether or not he wants to reach Frazer's Biver in a mighty hurry,
by no means to take the Panama route if he finds by calculation that he will be
at that isthmus in summer or autumn. Under such circumstances he had
better a million times take his chance by the long five or even six months'
route round by Cape Horn. This latter may be slow, but it is sure; and
better, say I, to take half a year, and perhaps more, in which to reach this new
colony, than try to reach it in fifty days by the Panama route, and never get
to it at all. 29
"Emigrants should burden themselves with as little baggage as
possible, and husband their ready cash for extremities." These are
the words of a gentleman to whom I have already referred—the
Times correspondent—and that gentleman never made a truer
remark. There is no greater mistake than for an emigant to overload himself with baggage. A great chest is almost as much a
drag upon the newly arrived emigrant as a child. He does not
know what to do with it, and it is too valuable to be thrown away,
while in nine cases out of ten the money it and its contents cost
would be a great deal better in your pocket.
In submitting the following outfit, recommended by the govern-
ment, I am supposing that you want to save as much money as you
can, and to be hindered with as little baggage as you can manage
with. Believe me there is no greater mistake than an expensive or
too extensive outfit for a voyage to a distant colony. The under-
printed pauper outfit is admirably adapted to a man who goes out
with a good sum of monev in his pocket. " The following is a list."
says the government official from whose work I am quoting, " of
the principal articles required; but it cannot be too strongly impressed, as a general rule, that the more abundant the stock of
clothing each person can afford to take the better for health and
comfort during the voyage." For my part I think, after some
experience of sea-travelling, that the following outfit is really all
that is wanted as regards quantity, though I need not say that in
reference to quality the emigrant can suit himself accorcling to his
pocket.    Here he will find the lowest quotations.
Single Man's Outfit.
1 beaverteen jacket (warm lined)    -        -       -       -
1 ditto waistcoat with sleeves -
1 ditto trousers (warm fined) -
1 duck   ditto        -------
1 coloured drill jacket   ------
1 ditto trousers      -------
1 ditto waistcoat   -------
1 pilot overcoat or jacket        -----
0 30
Or, 1 waterproof coat
2 blue serge shirts, or Jersey frocks
1 felt bat      -       -       -       -
1 Brazil straw hat -
6 blue striped cotton shirts, each
1 pair of boots       -       -       -       -
1 pair of shoes      -
4 handkerchiefs, each
4 pairs worsted hose, each
2 pairs cotton hose, each
1 pair braces _       _       _       .
4 towels, each       -
Razor, shaving-brush, and glass
Single Woman's Outfit.
1 warm cloak, with a cape
2 bonnets, each    -    -    -
1 small shawl -    -    -    -
1 stuff dress     -    -
2 print ditto, each
6 shifts, each  -    -    -    -
2 flannel petticoats, each -
1 stuff ditto -    -    -
2 twill cotton ditto     -    -
1 pair of stays -    -    -    -
3 caps, each    -    -    -    -
Each person also requires—
1 bowl and can, 2s. 3d.; 1 knife and fork,  1 deep tin plate, 1 pint
drinking mug, 1 table-spoon, 1 tea-spoon, Is. 6d.
An assortment of needles and thread, Is.
4   pocket   handkerchiefs,
each ------
2 net ditto for neck, each
4 nightcaps, each -    -    -
4 sleeping jackets, each  -
2 black worsted hose, each
4 cotton ditto, each   -    -
1 pair of shoes      -
1 ditto boots    -    -    -    -
6 towels, each -    -
0 4
1 6
s.   di
2 lbs. of marine soap, at 4<d.
1 comb and hair brush, Is.
2 shoe brushes, each 7^i.
1 pair of blankets, 7s.
1 counterpane, Is. 3d.
1 strong chest, with lock, 8s. 9d,
1 linen clothes bag, Is. 9d.
1 mattress and pillow, 5s.
Cost of above Outfit for a Single Man,    about £5 10    0
Ditto ditto Single Woman   „       5 15    0
Ditto ditto Married Couple „     10 10    0
3 sheets, each Is.
2 pots blacking, each 4<^d.
A married couple require only
one set of these articles, but of
larger size. D
The cost of an outfit for children varies with their size. Generally
speaking, three children under 7, or two between that age and 14,
may be clothed for about 51.; but a well-grown girl or boy of 13
years of age will cost nearly as much as an adult.
I say again that the above outfit for men and women seems to me
quite sufficient as regards quantity; perhaps if an addition were to be
made it should be Guernsey shirts. These articles, which should be
got of very fine texture, and of very coarse, are the emigrants' true
wear. There is no clothing like the thick ones for keeping him
warm, and not any equal to the thin ones for keeping him cool in
hot weather; and I can tell you that you will find many great
varieties of weathers, varying between extremely hot, and bracingly
cold, during your voyage, especially if you take the route round
Cape Horn.
By the wayr, boots are not your wear on a sea voyage, they draw
your feet, you can't well walk in them, and the sea water makes
the leather as hard as wood. Shoes, and better still, slippers, are ■
what is wanted on board ship. The following recipe is a capital
one for keeping leather in order, and preventing it from being spoilt
by sea water. I have tried it too often not to recommend it.
Linseed oil, 1 gill;. spirit of turpentine, 1 oz; bees-wax, 1 oz; Burgundy pitch, loz. To be well melted together and kept covered in
a gallipot. Lay it on the leather, rubbing it in well, and set shoes in
a hot sun, or before the fire.
As most emigrants from England are men who know little or nothing
about ship regulations, perhaps the following abstract of order in
council "for promoting order and health, &c, in passenger
ships to any of Her Majesty's possessions abroad," will be read with
1. Every passenger to rise at 7 a.m., unless otherwise permitted
by the surgeon, or, if no surgeon, by the master.
2. Breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m., dinner at 1 p.m., supper at 6 p.m.
3. The passengers to be in their beds at 10 p.m., except under
permission of the surgeon, or, if no surgeon, of the master.
4. Fires to be lighted by the passengers' cook at 7 a.m., and kept
alight by him till 7 p.m., then to be extinguished, unless otherwise
directed by the master, or required for the use of the sick.
— 32
5. The master to determine the order in which each passenger, or
family of passengers, shall be entitled to the use of the fires. The1
cook to take care that this order is preserved.
6. On each passenger-deck three safety lamps to be lit at dusk,
and kept burning all night, and such further number as shall allow
one to be placed at each of the hatchways used by the passengers.
7. No naked light between deck or in the hold to be allowed at
any time or on any account.
8. The passengers, when dressed, to roll up their beds, to sweep
the decks (including the space under the bottom of the berths), and
to throw the dirt overboard.
9. Breakfast not to commence till this is done.
10. The sweepers for the day to be taken in rotation from the
males above 14, in the proportion of five for every 100 passengers.
11. Duties of the sweepers to be to clean the ladders, hospitals,
and roundhouses, to sweep the decks after every meal, and to dry,
holystone, and scrape them after breakfast.
12. But the occupant of each berth to see that his own berth is
well brushed out; and single women are to keep their own compartment clean in ships where a separate compartment is allotted to
13. The beds to be well shaken and aired on deck, and the bottom
boards, if not fixtures, to be removed, and dry scrubbed, and taken
on deck at least twice a week.
14. Two days in the week to be appointed by the master as
washing days, but no clothes on any account to be washed or dried
between decks.
15. The coppers and cooking vessels to be cleaned every day, and
the cisterns kept filled with water.
16. The scuttles and stern ports, if any, to be kept open (weather
permitting) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the hatches at all hours.
17. On Sundays the passengers to be mustered at 10 a.m., when
they will be expected to appear in decent and clean apparel. The
day to be observed as religiously as circumstances will admit.
18. No spirits or gunpowder to be taken on board by any
passenger. Any that may be discovered to be taken into custody of
the master till the expiration of the voyage.
19. No loose hay or straw to be allowed below.
20. No smoking to be allowed between decks.
21. All gambling, fighting, riotous, disorderly, or quarrelsome
conduct, swearing, and violent or indecent language, are strictly
prohibited. Firearms, swords, and other offensive weapons, as soon
as the passengers embark, to be placed in the custody of the master. 33
22. No sailors to remain on the passenger-deck among the passengers except on duty.
23. No passenger to go to the ship's cookhouse without special
permission from the master, nor to remain in the forecastle among
the sailors on any account.
Formerly offences at sea might, under the Act 11 and 12 Will. 3,
cap. 7, be tried in any colony, and were to be dealt with according to
the civil law, and the method and rules of the Admiralty, and subsequently (under the 46 Geo. 3, cap. 54), according to the common
course of the laws of this realm, applicable to like offences committed
on land. But now, by the 12 & 13 Vict, cap. 96 (1849), these
offences, when dealt with in a colony, are to be tried according
to the law of the colony, but punished according to the law of
The Act of Victoria, which was passed in August, 1849, for the
prosecution and trial in the colonies of offences committed within the
jurisdiction of the Admiralty, provides that all persons charged in
any colony with piracy, felony, murder, " or other offence of what
nature or kind soever," committed on the sea, or within the
Admiral's jurisdiction, may be brought to trial in the same manner,
according to the laws of the colony, as if the offence had been
committed on waters within the local jurisdiction of the criminal
courts of the colony, and, upon conviction, shall suffer the same
punishments as they would have been liable to had the offence been
committed, tried, and adjudged in England.
Where death ensues in a colony from an injury inflicted at sea,
the offence, whether murder, manslaughter, or accessory before or
after the fact, may be dealt with in the colony as if it had been
wholly committed there; but in the converse case, of the death
ensuing at sea from an injury inflicted in the colony, the offence
shall be held to have been wholly committed upon the sea.
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and
Tasmania,, as established by 9 Geo. 4, cap. 83, is left intact.
Abstract of the United States Passenger Act of 1855.
Sect. 1. Tonnage Check. Computation of Children.—No greater
number of passengers is to be carried than 1 to 2 tons. In the
computation of passengers, infants under 1 year old are to be ex-
eluded, and children between 1 and 8 years are to count as one passenger.
Space Check.—Where the height between decks is not less than
7£ feet, 14 superficial feet are to be allowed to each passenger;
where less than 7|- feet, but not less than 6 feet, 16 superficial feet
are to be allowed to each passenger on the main and poop decks,
and in deck houses, and 18 superficial feet on the lower deck, not
being an orlop deck.
Space to Passengers on different Decks.—No passengers are to be
carried on a deck less than 6 feet high. Any master carrying more
passengers than here allowed will be guilty of a misdemeanour, and
be liable to a fine of 50 dollars and six months' imprisonment for
each passenger in excess.
Hospitals.—A hospital is to be provided, not exceeding 100
superficial feet, and to be included in the computation of the space
for passengers.
Sect. 2. Berths.—No vessel is to have more than 2 tiers of berths.
The berths are to be 6 feet long and 2 feet wide ; the bottom berth
is to be not less than 9 inches from the deck; each berth is to be
occupied by a single passenger, but double berths may be constructed to be occupied by two women, or by husband and wife, or
by a woman and two children under 8 years, or by a man and two
of his own children under 8 years, or by two men, members of
the same family. For violation of this section the master and
owners severally are to forfeit 5 dollars for each passenger on
Sect. 3. Booby Hatches.—Vessels capable of carrying 50 passengers are to have one house or booby hatch, and those capable
of carrying 150 passengers are to have two houses, or booby
hatches, over the hatches. Penalty on master and owner, 200
Sect. 4. Ventilating Tubes.—Every vessel capable of carrying 100
passengers is to have at least two ventilating tubes, one fore and the
other aft, proportioned to the size of the compartment to be ventilated, unless other equally efficient mode of ventilation be adopted.
Penalty on master and owner, 200 dollars.
Sect. 5. Caboose.—Every vessel carrying more than 50 passengers
to- have a caboose or cooking-range, the dimensions of which are to
be after the rate of 4 feet in length by 18 inches in width,
for every 200 passengers. Penalty on master and owner, 200
Sect. 6. Diet Scale.—Every vessel to carry provisions for each
passenger, after the following scale, for the voyage, viz.: — 20 lbs
good navy bread,
15   „
15   „
10  „
wheat flour,
15  „
peas or beans,
20   „
10  „
10   „
salt pork 1 »       e
f   r > free ot
„   beet J
1 pin
; of vinegar,
60 gall
ons of water.
Substitutions.—But increased quantities of bread or potatoes may
be substituted for rice, oatmeal, wheat flour, and pease or beans,
where these cannot be procured, and vice versa.
Weekly issues.—One tenth of the above provisions is to be issued
to each passenger weekly, and 3 quarts of water daily.
Provisions to be cooked.—The master is to cause the provisions to
be cooked, and issued at fixed hours to messes or otherwise.
Pine for short .issues.—Ii passengers are, at any time, put on short
allowance, they shall be entitled to recover 3 dollars per day for the
period of such short allowance, and if the master shall fail to furnish
such provisions in a cooked state he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and be liable to a fine of 1000 dollars (£200) and one
year's imprisonment.
Discipline, Waterclosets, &c.—The master is to establish and
post up regulations for discipline and cleanliness, and to provide a
safe and convenient water-closet to every 100 passengers, and when
the bed cannot be brought on deck to cause the deck to be cleansed
with chloride of lime or some other disinfecting agent. Penalty on
masters and owners, 50 dollars (£10).
Passengers are entitled by the Imperial Passengers' Act to be
maintained on board in the same manner as during the passage
for 48 hours after arrival, unless within that time the ship should
quit the port in the prosecution of her voyage. As regards those
•bound to Quebec, the Canadian Passengers' Act, 15 & 16 Vict., c.
86 (1852), imposes a penalty on the master who compels passengers
to leave before the expiration of 48 hours (except in cases where the
vessel has a mail contract), and provides that they shall be landed
free of expense and at proper hours.
I add some, of the rules taken from an abstract of the Passengers 36
Act, 1855, thinking they may be of some value to the emigrant to
British Columbia.
The Act applies equally to foreign and to British vessels, except
such parts thereof as relate to the rules to be prescribed by orders in
council for preserving order and for securing cleanliness and ventilation on board, which rules are binding only in passenger ships proceeding to the British colonies. But by the bond required by the
63rd section of the act to be given to the Crown, before clearance, by
the masters of all passenger ships for the due observance of the law,
the masters of foreign passenger ships proceeding to the British
colonies engage to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the colonial tribunals for any violation of the law, in like manner as British
masters. Regular mail steamers are exempt from the act. ' So also,
for most purposes, are cabin passengers.
No persons are to be deemed cabin passengers unless the space
allotted to their exclusive use be not less than 36 clear square feet
to each statute adult ; nor unless they shall be messed at the table
of the master or first officer of the ship ; nor unless the fare contracted to be paid shall be in the proportion of at least 30s. for
every week of the prescribed length of the voyage for sailing vessels,
proceeding from the United Kingdom to any place south of the
equator, and of 20*. for those proceeding to any place north of the
equator, nor unless they shall hold a duly signed contract ticket.
The term "statute adult "means each passenger of the age of 12
years and upwards, or two passengers between the ages of 1 and 12
years. A " passenger ship " means any vessel carrying more than
30 passengers in all, or more than in the proportion of one statute
adult to every 50 tons, if a sailing vessel, or more than one to every
15 tons, if a steamer, of the ship's registered tonnage.
A marked distinction is made between passenger ships and ships
not coming within that definition. To the former all the provisions
of the act apply; to the latter only six clauses, viz. the 10, 16, 17,
48, 49, and 56, which require that facilities of inspection shall
be afforded to the emigration officers; that lists of passengers (however few) shall be delivered to the Custom-house officers; that
passage-money shall be returned, with compensation, if passages are
not provided according to contract; that subsistence-money shall be
paid to passengers in case of delay in sailing; and that passengers
shall not be landed at the wrong place.
Parties contracting to provide cabin passengers in " passenger
ships," or emigrants in any ships with passages to any place out of
Europe, not being in the Mediterranean Sea, are bound to give contrast tickets in the form prescribed by the A ct, or by the Emigration
Commissioners, containing an acknowledgment for the money re-
— 37
ceived, under a penalty not exceeding £50 and not less than £5,
and the forfeiture of license in the case of a passage broker.—Sees.
71 & 67.
Any person fraudulently altering, after issue, contract tickets, or
inducing passengers. to part with or destroy them during the existence of the contract, is liable to a penalty not exceeding £20 in each
case.—Sec. 72.
Cabin and other passengers may recover in a summary way, before
Justices of the Peace, damages for the breach of any stipulation in their
contract tickets, not exceeding, with the costs, the amount of their
passage money and £20.—Sec. 73.
Cabin and other passengers are bound, under a penalty not exceeding £10, to exhibit, on demand, to any emigration officer, their
contract tickets.—Sec. 74.
Facilities for inspecting all ships, either fitting for or carrying passengers, are to be afforded to the proper officers at home and abroad.
—Sec. 10.
No "passenger ship " is to clear out without first obtaining from
the emigration or custom-house officer, as the case may be, a certificate that the requirements of the Act have been complied with, and
that the ship is seaworthy, and with her passengers and crew in a fit
state to proceed; nor without the master having given a bond to the
Crown. The penalty for breach of this regulation is the forfeiture of
the ship, if found within two years in any port of the United Kingdom, or in the British possessions abroad.—Sees. 11 & 12.
No ship is to carry passengers on more than 2 decks, except in
the case of cphin passengers, where the number does not exceed 1 to
every 100 tons register.
If the ship does not sail before 3 o'clock p.m. of the day following
the day of embarkation named in the contract, the passengers who
may be entitled to a passage in the ship can recover from the owner,
charterer, or master, subsistence-money after the rate of Is. 6d. per
day for each statute adult, for the first ten days, and afterwards of
3s. a day till the final departure of the ship. If, however, the passengers are maintained on board, no subsistence-money is payable
for the first two days, nor at all, if the ship be unavoidably detained
by wind or weather, or any cause not attributable, in the opinion of
the emigration officer, to the act or default of the owner, charterer,
or master.—Sec. 49.
If the passengers be at the appointed place of embarkation before
6 o'clock p.m. of the day of embarkation named in their contract,
and if from any cause, other than their own default, or the prohibition of an emigration officer, they shall not be received on board
before that hour, and obtain a passage in the ship, they must be pro- ;,f!
vided with one to the same port, by some equally eligible vessel, to
sail within ten days from the day named in the contract, and in the
meantime to be paid subsistence-money at the rate mentioned above.
In case the failure to obtain a passage arises from a wreck or disaster
at sea or any other cause after the voyage has actually begun, the passengers in like manner are entitled within six weeks at farthest to a
passage in some eligible vessel, and in the meantime to be main-
tained by the master, or to receive Is. 6d. per day per statute adult
as subsistence-money. In default of this, the passengers, in both
cases, can recover from the contractor, or from the owner, charterer, or
master of the ship, any passage-money they may have paid, and in the
former case compensation not exceeding £10.—Sees. 48 & 51.
Ships detained in port after clearance more than seven days, or
putting into any port in the United Kingdom, must, under a penalty
not exceeding £100, effectually repair any damage they may have
sustained, and must replenish their provisions, water, and medical
stores, and obtain from the emigration officer a certificate of fitness
before they can be allowed to put to sea again. Masters of passenger ships putting back must, under a penalty not exceeding £20,
within twenty-fonr hours, report their arrival, and the cause of putting
back, and the condition of the ship's stores, to the emigration officer,
and produce the official list of passengers.—Sec. 50.
If passengers shall, from disaster at sea or otherwise, be cast upon
or landed at any other place than that at which they may have contracted to land, the Governor of the Colony, or the British Consul,
is empowered to forward such passengers to their intended destination,
if the master of the ship shall not do so within six weeks.—Sec. 53.
Passengers are not to be landed against their consent at any place
other than the one contracted for, and they are entitled to sleep and
be maintained on board for forty-eight hours after arrival, unless the
ship, in the prosecution of her voyage, quits the port sooner.—
Sees. 56 & 57-
Such regulations as may be prescribed by order of the Queen in
Council for preserving order, promoting health, and securing cleanliness and ventilation on board, are to be enforced by the surgeon,
aided and assisted by the master, or, in the absence of a surgeon,
by the master. Any person neglecting or refusing to obey such
rules, .or obstructing the master or surgeon in the execution of any
duty imposed on them by the order in council, or offending against
the provisions of the Act, or guilty of riotous or insubordinate eon-
duct, will be liable to a penalty not exceeding £2, and moreover, to
one month's imprisonment at the end of the voyage.—Sec. 60.
One copy of the Act, with such abstract of it, and of any order
in council relating thereto, as the Emigration Commissioners may 39
prepare, is to be delivered, on demand, to the master, who is bound
under a penalty, not exceeding £2 per diem, to post up previous to
the embarkation of the passengers, and to keep posted up in at least
two conspicuous places between the decks, copies of such abstracts
so long as any passengers are entitled to remain on board. Any
person displacing or defacing this abstract is liable to a penalty not
exceeding £2.—Sec. 61.
The sale of spirits on board to the passengers is prohibited, under
a penalty not exceeding £20 nor less than £5.—Sec. 62.
The requirements of the Act are enforced by penalties chiefly on
the master. All penalties are to be sued for before two or more
justices of the peace, to the use of her Majesty. They can only be
recovered in the United Kingdom by the emigration officers, or by
the officers of her Majesty's Customs ; and in the British possessions
abroad, by those officers, or by any other person duly authorized for
the purpose by the governor of the colony.    Sees. 84, 85, & 86.
Passengers themselves, however, or the emigration officers on
their behalf, may recover, by a similar process, any sum of money
made recoverable by the Act, to their own use, as return of passage-
money, subsistence-money, or compensation; and in such cases,
the passengers are not to be deemed incompetent witnesses.—Sees.
84 &, 91.
Single men of the age of fourteen and upwards are to be berthed
in a separate compartment rn the fore part of the ship, or in separate
rooms, if the ship be divided into compartments and fitted with
enclosed births. Not more than one passenger, unless husband and
wife, or females, or children under twelve, are to occupy the same
berth. No berths are to be taken down for forty-eight hours after
the arrival of the ship at her destination, unless all the passengers
shall within that time have voluntarily quitted her. Sees. 20, 21,
22, & 23.
In every " Passenger Ship " there must be a hospital or hospitals
set apart, under the poop, or in the round-house or deck-house, or
on the upper passenger deck, and not elsewhere, not less in size than
18 clear superficial feet for every fifty passengers, and properly
supplied with bed-places, beds, bedding, and utensils.—Sec. 24.
There must be two privies in each passenger ship, with two additional privies on deck for every one hundred passengers on board;
and where there are fifty female passengers, with at least two
waterclosets under the poop or on the upper deck, for the exclusive
use of the women and children. The whole number of privies need
not exceed twelve, and they are to be placed in equal numbers on
each side of the ship, and to be maintained in a serviceable and
cleanly condition throughout the voyage.—Sec. 25. 40
During the voyage of a passenger ship, including the time she may
put in at any port, the master must issue daily before two o'clock in
the afternoon to each passenger, or, where they are divided into
messes, to the head man of each mess, pure water and sweet and
wholesome provisions, according to the scale underneath. All
articles requiring cooking must be issued in a cooked state. The
first issue must he before two o'clock on the day of embarkation.
No mess must contain more than 100 adults.
3 quarts of Water daily (exclusive of 10 gallons
a day per 100 statute adults for cooking
Bread or Biscuit not inferior in quality to Navy
Biscuit -	
Wheaten Flour	
Oatmeal   ----.--.
Rice --	
Potatoes   -	
Sugar      -	
Black or White Pepper (ground)     ...
Vinegar   -	
Lime Juice      -	
Preserved Meat	
Suet ---.	
Raisins    -------.
Butter     ---.....
Scale A.        Scale B.
For Voyages       For Voyages
not exceeding 84    exceeding 84
days for Sailing  days for Sailing
Vessels or 50 days Vessels or SO days
for Steamers.       for Steamers.
One Gill
One Gill
By an  order in council, dated 6th May, 1857, steamers (and,
by an order in council, dated 13th May,   1859,   sailing vessels)
mmm -   41
which carry an efficient apparatus (approved by the emigration
officer) for distilling fresh from salt water, at the rate of not less than
one gallon per diem for each person on board, need only carry, in
tanks or casks, one-half the water prescribed by this Act.
The following substitutions for articles in the above dietary scale
may be made at the option of the master of any " Passenger Ship,"
provided that the substituted articles be set forth in the contract tickets
of the passengers; that is to say, 1 lb. of preserved meat for 1 lb. of
salt pork or beef; 1 lb. of flour or of bread or biscuit, or | lb. of
beef or of pork, for \\ lb. of oatmeal, or 1 lb. of rice, or 1 lb. of
peas; 1 lb. of rice for 1\ lb. of oatmeal, or vice versd ; | lb. of
preserved potatoes for 1 lb. of potatoes; 10 oz. of currants for 8 oz,
of raisins; 3^ oz. of cocoa or of coffee, roasted and ground, for 2 oz.
of tea; f lb. of treacle for | lb. of sugar; 1 gill of mixed pickles for
1 gill of vinegar.—Sees. 35 & 36.
If I were asked what provisions I should recommend the
emigrant to take as a kind of addition to those provided by the
ship's master, I should say a case or so of preserved meats and
preserved vegetables—especially the latter, which when good are
beyond all value.
Another indispensable thing is lime juice ; I believe that on two
or three occasions I owed my hfe (and several of my fellow-travellers
owed their lives in turn to me) to a large supply of lime juice,
which was more than enough to satisfy us all. The value of this
health preserver cannot be too highly estimated. If you ask me how
much you shall take, I answer, just as much as ever you like; for
what you don't want you will be able to give away in the best directed
charity you ever had a hand in. You should see the little children
enjoy a draught of water in which a little lime juice has been dropped;
it is a real pleasure to look upon the sight. This liquor seems to
cure bad water, and to save every creature who uses it carefully from
such illnesses as fever, costiveness, scurvy, and all affections of the
skin. There, I have known it to cure tooth-ache, and even inflamed
eyes. It seems to me, that on ship board, lime juice is a regular
universal medicine.
Whatever you take with you, leave alone such things as potted
meats and all high-seasoned things, which will only heat your blood.
And I can tell you the 'tween decks of a ship will send your blood
up to fever heat quite soon enough. Perhaps, however, you should
not forget some preserved milk, which you will find of immense
benefit, and a great luxury, while a few pounds of tea will cheer
you, and will pay you for the outlay upon it. 42
This may, perhaps, appear an odd chapter heading, but it is a
necessary one, for the simple reason that, as I have said, if you go
by the Panama route in summer or autumn, and I am thoroughly
convinced that during the coming spring and summer many hundreds
of Englishmen will cross the Isthmus of Panama, you will run a
very considerable risk of catching yellow fever, and that complaint
has a knack of sticking by one for a long time—if, indeed, it lets
you off with life at all. The medicines I should recommend an
emigrant to take with him are sulphate of quinine, some preparation
of mercury, and, if he can afford it, a half dozen case of the very
best champagne.
About an ounce of sulphate of quinine will be sufficient. This
will give 160 doses of three grains a dose, which will be quite
sufficient. Care should be taken that this splendid preventive should
be got at a good chemist's. Two doses a day will be sufficient, and
the medicine should be commenced when the very hot latitudes are
reached, or even before, if sickness should show itself on board.
The mission of sulphate of quinine seems to be to fortify the body
against the attacks of fever. Should, however, the premonitory
symptons of fever set in—you all know them—heavy head, burning
skin, dry mouth, take to the mercury. Have the mercurial preparation made in two or three grain powders. Begin with the first, and
then with the second, if the symptoms do not abate. Doses, I believe,
at six hours' distance. It may be said, but there is the doctor to
consult, why not leave the question of medicine to him ? I say in
answer, that as far as the quinine is concerned, that it is to prevent
any call for the doctor; while, as to the mercury, he would give it to
you, so you may just as well take it, and save yourself the danger of
its being discovered that there is no mercury in the ship.
If, however, neither quinine saves you from the attack of yellow
fever, nor mercury abates the premonitory symptoms, then your
champagne will become of paramount importance. It i's the general
medical custom now in all cases of yellow fever to " put a bottle of
champagne into you." It is the new cure for yellow fever, the
specific that is ultimately, in combination with other discoveries
still in darkness, to abolish yellow fever.
Mind, whatever you do let your champagne be good, or you had
infinitely better, in case of yellow fever, be without it. By all
means get it at one of the best London houses, and do not expect to buy it at a less rate than 80 shillings per dozen. The champagne
fit to contend with yellow jack, as yellow fever is called on the other
side of the Atlantic, is not to be got at a lower price.
At all events, if you are afraid to believe in what I have said
about the mercury, you may purchase the ounce of quinine, which
will cost about 12 shillings, and the half-dozen of champagne; for,
while the quinine is a fortifier, and can do you no possible harm,
supposing that it can do you no good, you can certainly, if you do
not have occasion to take it as a medicine, drink success to yourself
hi the wine when you reach the young colony, the new land of
And while I am on this question of medicine, let me, without
any offence whatever, say a word or two about personal cleanliness.
It is half the battle on board ship. Be clean, and you are healthy.
Whenever you can souse yourself with cold water do not be afraid
of it; you will not take cold. Then, if you follow my advice and
wear Guernseys, there can be no better plan than to submit them to
the same system, wash them (in sea water if you cannot get fresh)
whenever you have the opportunity, every day when you get into
hot quarters, for worsted easily soils and readily absorbs the
Do not, I say, be offended at these minor recommendations. It
is astonishing how well such hints pay for the minding. A good,
healthy, clean, and unworried skin is one of the greatest comforts of
a long voyage. Mind, whenever you can, souse yourself with sea
water, and do what you can to make them about you do the same
kind of thing. I have, as you already know, been a good deal on
the sea, and I am really sorry to admit that as a rule steerage
passengers do not care for soap and water. You see I am addressing you as a steerage passenger, not because I am supposing
that you could not afford a better kind of berth, but because I am
persuading myself you are desirous of taking all the money you can
into the colony, and of spending as little on the voyage as you
possibly can.
I have given this subject a chapter heading because it is a very
important one, and not because I have much to say on the matter.
However, I had the feeling that if I put the few lines I have to say
on this point in amongst other matter, it might possibly be overlooked.    I cannot add half a dozen words to those which Govern- 44
ment offer on the subject. You will find it laid down in the Colonization Circular.
" It is not generally considered desirable that agricultural labourers
should take out implements of husbandry, as these can be easily
procured in the colonies; but artizans are recommended to take such
tools as they may possess, if not very bulky."
There can be nothing more to add. Agricultural tools, which for
the most part are gold-getting tools, can be bought good, and if not
cheap, at a less cost than that to which the emigrant would be put
in bringing his own, to say nothing of the trouble they will be after his
arrival. However, in the case of mechanical and especially favourite
hand tools, take them by all means, for in the first place they are
not bulky; secondly, you are sure of them; and especially in the third
place I have noticed that a man gets on better with his work in the
colony if he begins with well-known tools, whose features, if I may
say so, seem those of old friends. • But as for taking patent ploughs,
patent gold-washing'apparatus, or lathes, and such heavy matters,
don't dream of doing any thing of the kind. There will be
plenty of skilled labour this summer in Vancouver's Island and
British Columbia, and the dearth of gold digging tools once felt in
^> © Do     r»
Australia can never be experienced in British Columbia, near as it
is to San Francisco, where there are more of these tools in stock
than sufficient for ten times the diggers who will swarm this year to
Frazer's River.
I intended to have separate chapters to each of these headings, but
I find that I have in reality already said all that I can say on these
points. Of hints to gold diggers I have given hundreds already. Be
temperate, I say, when you are at the diggings. Mind, no gaming
and no drink. Wait till you get home or ■ colonised, because I do
not suppose that you, any more than the rest of the men who go up
to the diggings, think of remaining there for life. Wait, I say,
till you get away from the diggings before you spend your money.
Remember, every nugget you lay out at the diggings is, without any
figure of speech, eating gold. For I tell you everything will be an
immense price this spring and summer on Frazer's River.
There is another thing I would warn you of.   Take care whom you
525 45
sell your gold to. The Jews will be up at Frazer's River, be sure,
and they will try their usual games upon you. 1 say, sell only to
official dealers; they are the only men with whom you can safely
To keep your health at the diggings you have only to be temperate
in eating and' drinking, to bathe as frequently as you like, to smoke
as little as you will, and not to sleep too many hours—seven will be
quite enough I do assure you.
By the way, sleep as high as you can from the ground, and if
it is possible above the level of the river itself. This you may do
in many cases. But if you should find ague or fever coming on,
have recourse to the sulphate of quinine I have already spoken of.
Six grains at the same time every day, and easy work, together with
walking exercise and temperate regular living, will enable you to
overcome your first attack of ague or fever, and in all probability, if
you remain steady, that first attack will be the last, for you will then
be seasoned, and, I may tell you for your comfort, better able to
work than you were before—that is, if your illness falls on a steady
man. Be unsteady, and your fever or ague will lay you up for
months, and work all the gold out of your pocket again.
Well, now I leave you, with these last words: good-will,
temperance, cheerfulness, and work. With these four things,
you cannot well go wrong either in health or fortune.
Until 1789 Vancouver's Island, which may be said to form a portion of the colony of British Columbia, though in strict legality it
does not, was nameless. It was supposed to belong to the mainland,
which at that date may be pronounced as also devoid of a title.
It was in the year named that an American captain sailed round it,
and proved its division from the mainland. It took its present
name in 1792 from Captain Vancouver, who was the second navigator who completed the tour of the island. Its navigator also
bestowed upon it the name of Quadra, in honor of the Spanish
commandant of Nootka Sound. But this latter appellation is very
generally dropped. Vancouver's Island in 1848 was granted to the
Hudson's Bay Company, on condition of their colonizing it.
Vancouver's  Island and British Columbia (of which latter very
little is   even at the present  hour known)   are British posses- *tr
sions   on the West  coast of North America, between  N. lat.
48.20 and 51,   W. long.  123   and 128.20;  Vancouver's Island
is separated from the mainland   by  Queen  Chorlotte's   Sound,
the Gulf of Georgia, and Juan de Fuca Strait.    The island is of an
irregular oblong form, stretching from north-west to south-east.    Its
length, from Cape Scott to Point Gonzales, is 270 miles; its mean
breadth from 40 to 50; and its area estimated at 16,000 square
miles.    The general appearance of this island is very different from
that of the mainland, for it is by no means attractive.    The coast
consists for the most part of steep cliffs, against which the sea dashes
impetuously, and breaks itself into foam and spray at their feet.
" Almost immediately behind rise a uniform series of rounded hills,
densely covered with pine forests," we read in the ' EncyclopcedLa
Britannica,' "while the back ground of the scene is filled up with a
serrated ridge of bare mountains, which runs like a backbone through
the middle of the island from end to end.    The interior, so far as it
has been explored, consists of a mass of rocks and mountains ; and
of the level ground, which lies for the most part along the coasts, by
far the greater part is covered with wood, although the portions that
are clear have generally a very fertile soil.    There are many small
bays, harbours, and inlets along the coast, and in the interior are
some small rivers and lakes, but none of any considerable size.   The
prevailing geological formations of Vancouver's Island and British
Columbia also are gneiss and mica schist; but towards the southeast strata of limestone and sandstone occur ; and among the moun-
tains of the interior there are many blocks of granite and dikes of
trap.    In the central part of the island the hills are steep, rugged,
and in many cases without  vegetation;   the valleys narrow and
shallow; and the soil such as to be of little use.    On the mainland,
on the contrary, and where the ground has been cleared, the very
best kinds of agricultural soil exist.    The mountain scenery generally is wild without being romantic, and has neither beauty nor
sublimity to attract the traveller: but the fertile spots of Vancouver's
Island, and especially of the mainland, are of an exquisitely superior character.    The climate is very healthy and more agreeable.
There are two seasons, a dry and a rainy.    The former lasts from
April to September, during which time the heat is greater than that
of an average English summer, and little rain falls.    In the rainy
season, from October to March, there is generally a great deal of
snow and rain; and it is certain that the winter is more severe than
this season is on an average in England.    The seasons, however,
are not very certain, being liable to considerable irregularities both
of time and of temperature." The principal indigenous plant is the camass, which has an
esculent root, somewhat resembling an onion. This is a favourite
food with the natives of both the isle and the mainland. The
indigenous islander also lives in a great measure upon dried salmon
and potatoes. Salmon is marvellously plentiful and luxuriant in
these colonies, and there can be little doubt that before long we
shall have it on our English tables. In all probability the potatoe
has been an introduction of the emigrant, or rather of the early
trader to this region.
The animals found in the colonies are bears, a /ew wolves, less
panthers, and many elk and deer. Of birds—there are several kinds
of grouse, wood-peckers, and an immense variety of water-fowl.
The most important mineral product of these colonies was, until
the gold fields were discovered, a good coal, of which there are many
extensive and valuable seams. The coal has has been already
worked in many places.
Until within the last four years British Columbia proper, as far
as the white man is concerned, may be said to have been uninhabited. The " gold news," however, which has been gradually
spreading for three years, and which has within the last few weeks
taken such an extraordinary leap by the publication in the Times of
the letters of the " own correspondent" of that journal, and also
those of Mr. Dallas, have caused an emigration to the mainland
which was gradual up to the end of 1860, but which -has become
marvellous during the past year, though in all probabihty the
numbers which are already in the colony are contemptible in
extent when compared with those which are flocking thither, and
who will continue to flock for the next year or so. So little is
known of British Columbia that its history can only at present be
inferentially learnt by a perusal of the known facts relating to
Vancouver's Island. There can be little doubt that what is true of
the one is not false with respect to the other. Indeed, the only
difference we know of is this, that while rattlesnakes are not
infrequent in the interior of the mainland, they are quite unknown
on the island.
The extent of land in the island that has been appropriated was,
in 1853, 19,807 acres; of which 10,172 were claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, who now claim the entire island, it having
being granted them in 1848. The Paget Sound Company own, or
owned, 2,374 ; while private individuals own the remainder. However, only a few thousands of these acres are at the present moment
under culture, though it need not be said the extent is made more
important every  day.    A few years will make a vast change. iW
Those portions under cultivation yield most excellent crops of wheat,
barley, oats, peas, beans, turnips, and potatoes. The land is
specially adapted for the growth of green crops. The most arable,
as might be expected, lies in the neighbourhood of the metropolis of
the island, " Victoria," at the south-east extremity of the island.
This place is not increasing in size so rapidly as one might expect when
we consider that it is the chief city of the colony. But it must not
be forgotten that the rapid increase of population during the past
year, and the more rapid influx of emigrants, are owing to the
discoveries of gold fields, which not lying in the island, but on the
mainland, the new arrivals do not remain in or near the metropolis,
if so it may be called, but immediately make for Frazer River.
The majority of the settlers in Vancouver's Island, if at the present
moment it can be said to boast of settlers at all, either live in the
neighbourhood of Victoria or at Fort Rupert and Nanaimo, on the
north-east coast, at both of which latter places the coal deposits
are worked.
All along the ocean coast of Vancouver's Island the fisheries may
be described as bevond value. Salmon and herrings abound to an
extent almost unknown elsewhere, and mackarel and cod are also
found. The produce of these fisheries, along with the coal and
timber, form the principal resources of the island, as it is not well
adapted for pastoral, and not altogether for agricultural, purposes.
The exports were, after the gold mama, coal, timber, lumber,
oysters, salmon (10,000 barrels were exported in 1860), and oil;
but the rush to the diggings has been so immense, that the exports
during last year may be set down at naught. The exports in 1860
valued £50,000 ; the imports about £40,000. These imports consisted of specie, provisions, and various merchandise.
The aboriginal inhabitants, both of Vancouver's Island and of
British Columbia generally are the most objectionable " facts " of
this colony; and though this portion of the history of the new
colony has been noticed by the Times, we should hardly be doing
justice to ourselves, to say nothing of our readers, did we not commit
this truth to print, that the native tribes of Vancouver's Island and
British Columbia are as savage, treacherous, inhospitable, and
cunning as any to be found on the two continents of America.
Indeed, perhaps they are more savage, treacherous, inhospitable,
and cunning than any other known Indian tribe. The total number
of aborigines in Vancouver's Island is estimated at 17,000; that
of the mainland at four times that number; though in the latter
instance conjecture alone yields the result given. 49
As the title of our book informs the reader, the substance of this
guide is compiled from the experience of a recent adventurer in the
new gold region, and in a great measure written by himself, the
reader may fairly rely upon the accuracy and good intention of the
writer; but, inasmuch as the word of the Times is the word of the
literary law, it has been thought expedient to add to this account
by a transcript of the most recent news from British Columbia,
printed in the that journal. The following extract is word for word
from the Times of the 5th February, 1861 :—
Victoria, Vancouver Island, Nov. 29.
I have not written much on the subject of British Columbia of
late, because the accounts which reached us throughout the summer
and autumn were of so glowing a character, and gave so superlative
a description of the wealth of the upper gold country, as appeared
fabulous. The reports from Cariboo were really so extravagant in
their character that I did not feel justified in giving circulation to
them on hearsay evidence. Being now, however, in possession of
proof of the general accuracy of the very flattering reports which
regularly reached Victoria by every succeeding steamer from British
Columbia during the whole period of the mining season just over, I
feel justified in communicating them.
The portion of British Columbia which has yielded nearly all the
gold produced this year, and which is destined to attract the notice
of the world to a degree hitherto not accorded to the country in the
aggregate, is a newly-discovered district called Cariboo (a corruption
of " Oerf-bceuf," a large species of reindeer which inhabits the
country). The district is about 500 miles, in the interior, north (or
north-east rather) from the coast of British Columbia and the
mouth of Fraser River. It is not far from the sources or " head
waters" of the south branch of Fraser River and the Rocky
Mountains, and forms a patch of country:—a broken, rugged mass
of mountains and streams, 50 miles from north to south and 30
miles from east to west, as far as yet known from recent exploration—round three sides of which the south branch of the Fraser
makes a great bend or semicircle from its source to its junction with
the north branch, near Fort George, a trading station of the
Hudson's Bay Company, in about lat. 53° 50' N.
For the sake of accuracy, I should mention that this branch of
the Fraser, although now popularly called the south branch (and
which the Hudson's Bay Company called the north branch from the
E /f-
northerly direction of the first portion of its course), is really the
main body of the river. Its sources are at a distance of some 60 or
70 miles westwardly from the main chain of the Rocky Mountains.
The bend of the river, which embraces the new mineral region
within its curve, runs a course north-west 180 miles, and then
takes a south-west course of about 50 miles in length. This large
section of country is believed, from the' appearances presented on
various parts of the surface, to be auriferous, both in quartz (gold
matrix) and in placeres, throughout its whole extent; but the
portions hitherto "prospected" (as the miners' phrase is for the
search for, and for the discovery of gold) are confined to the
dimensions given above—50x30 miles.
Fraser River does not acquire its great velocity in this part of its
course, which runs through a comparatively level country until it
enters the regions of the Cascades and other mountains through
which its waters rush with an impetuosity which causes many
obstructions to navigation. Consequently the river is navigable
from Fort Alexander, in lat. 52° 37' north for steamers of light
draught of water, say three to four feet, up to Swift River, a
distance of 45 miles, and which is within 40 miles of Antler, in
Cariboo—a fact which will facilitate the traffic of next year by
shortening the land carriage of the present route.
Cariboo is in New Caledonia, as known in the division of districts
west of the Rocky Mountains, by the Hudson's Bay Company, when
they held the license to trade with the Indians in the country which
now forms the colony of British Columbia. I cannot state the
geographical position of Cariboo with accuracy, but the centre of
that portion of the district which was the scene of this season's
mining may be taken as lying between the sources of Antler Creek,
Swift (or Cottonwood) River, and Swamp River, all of which flow,
and run in opposite directions, from a chain of mountains called
" the Bald Mountains," traversing the district. This central point
(by a correction of Arrowsmith's map) is in north latitude 53'20 deg.,
west longitude 121*40 deg.
The mining localities are distinguished by local names given to
them by the miners this year. Here are some of them:—Antler-
creek, Keithley's-creek, Hawey's, Williams's, Nelson's, Lowhee,
Cunningham's, Lightening, Vanwinckle, California, Canon, Grouse,
Goose, Stevens's, Salt Spring, Burns's, Snowshoe, Jack of Clubs,
and Last Chance Creeks, all being streams (creeks) of various sizes;
most of them of small size, issuing from the Bald Mountains, which
rise to a height of from 7,000 to 8,000 feet above the level of the
Pacific Ocean. 51
Other mining localities are called Chisholm's Gulch, Davidson's Gulch, and Hall's Gulch, &c. ("Gulch," is Yankee for
a ravine.)
I insert these names, because they give an idea of the extent of
the gold diggings hitherto unequalled for their productiveness,
because they are likely from this fact to acquire celebrity abroad,
when their wealth begins to be distributed over the world, and also
because the nomenclature will assist the reader to understand the
references in the following narrative.
Cariboo was discovered late in the season of last year, but its riches
were not developed till this summer. I can only spare room for an
epitome of the mining operations of the season.
The truth of these accounts was doubted at the time, but they had
the effect of inducing a considerable emigration of miners from all
the other diggings in the country to Cariboo, which increased the
mining population to about 1,400 by the end of May, and the
number was constantly receiving fresh accessions. On the 9 th of
June 30,000 dollars (£6,000) in gold arrived from Cariboo, besides
the sums carried by 35 men who came down on business, and who,
it is supposed, returned to the mines. The same day 40,000 dollars
(£8,000) arrived, some of which was also from Cariboo. These receipts awakened confidence, and a description of the gold of the
district, which corresponded with the character of that just received,
accounted for the enormous earnings. The gold was all coarse gold,
granulated, gravelly stuff, mixed with pellets and pebbles of pure
metal of considerable size. Of the fine-scale gold of Fraser River, a
man could not physically wash out so much as the reported individual earnings, but of such nuggets as then came down it was easy
to take out pounds' weight in a day. Freshets from the melting
snow carried away the flumes, and the miners' labours were suspended for some time towards the end of May by the floods from the
melting snows of the adjacent mountains, and there was a scarcity of
food. The roads, or tracks and trails, at any time only fit for mule
travel, were then impassable for animals, and provisions had to be
carried on the backs of Indians, who were paid 50 dollars (£10) a
day for " packing." Labouring men, who had no mining claims of
their own, were hired to work those of the miners at 7 dollars (£l
8s.) and 8 dollars (£l 12s.), and found. Provisions were relatively
high in price. Flour was at 38c. (Is. 7<£)Per *D- > bacon75c. (3s. l^d.);
beans, 40c. (Is. 8d.); tea, 1 dollar 50c. (6s. 3d.); sugar and coffee,
75c. per lb. Single meals at the restaurant's, consisting of beans
and bacon and a cup of bad coffee, cost 2 dollars (8s. 4td.).(a) Acor-
(a) The dollar is is. 2d. English money. nt
respondent of one of the newspapers in Victoria, writing from
Cariboo at this time, quotes the prices of what, in the grandiose
style of these parts, he calls " miners' luxuries," as follows :—A tin
pan (worth Sd.) sold for 8 dollars (£l 12s. 9d.); picks and shovels,
6 dollars each; ditto, with handles, i.e., shovels, 7 dollars 50c. each
(£l 4s. 6d. and £l 10s. 6d.). Washing was charged for at 6 dollars a dozen pieces (£l 4s. 6d.). The latter is the only item of
" luxury" I see in the " Price Current," and I cannot believe that
the lauhdryman was much patronized. It was added that " business of every description was lively." At such prices a man would
need to earn his £5 to £20 a day to enable him to keep "business
lively." (as.) These wages and prices show the large gains of the
The first news of operations in June exceeded the glowing accounts
of May. The melting of the snow kept many miners idle, and the
country was covered with mud and slush, which made travelling
almost impossible. However, those who could work earned largely,
one " rocker" washing out 50 ounces of a forenoon, and three men
" washing out ' 100 ounces from a flume in a week. Omitting
these " big strikes," which fell to the lot of the favoured few, we
find that the fickle goddess was more sparing in her gifts to others.
50 dollars to 100 dollars, and as low as 20 dollars a day, are quoted
as individual earnings. A person on the spot wrote, what seems to
have been the truth, judging from what one knows of the temper and
habits of the miner,—"Those who have claims are making piles.
Those who have not are making nothing and have nothing. These
were the unlucky ones, who would not choose to work on hire, and
who were waiting on Providence for ' something to turn up,' and
for good weather to set out fon a ' prospecting tour, from which
many of them would return footsore and 'strapped,' i. e,, 'dead
In June intelligence reached Cariboo that gold had been discovered
on the east side of the Rocky Mountains in British territory. This
news, and the return to Antler Creek of exploring parties with a
report that they had found "favourable indications of gold and
plenty of rich quartz veins, 30 miles off," added intensity to an ex-
(a) A still later account gives the following prices: Provisions still rather
dear in consequence of the scarcity caused by increased consumption; meals, 2
dollars (8s. id.); flour, 70c. (2s. lid.) per lb.; beef, 50c. (2s.ld.); beans,90c.(3s.lrf.)
per lb.; and liquor—" Minie rifle and tangle-leg, ' -warranted to kill at any
distance,' was snapped up at 50c. (2s. lrf.) a glass." Contrast these prices with
those of February, 1861, in the Colonization Circular for that year: Flour, 17s.
barrel of 1961bs. (about Is. a pound), and beef, 6d. a pound. This shows how
prices will rise in 6 or 8 months.
% 53
citement already at fever heat. Many of the miners wandered about
the pathless wilderness " prospecting" for rich and yet richer
"claims" which would contain the philosopher's stone, and lost
their time and their strength and health in their restless wanderings,
and earned nothing.
Presently the weather improved, provisions became abundant,
new discoveries were being made at great distances apart, and success attended the efforts of all who worked steadily and stuck to one
spot. On Keithley's Creek a party of five " divided " 1,200 doUars
(£250) from one day's labour, and their daily average was a pound
weight of gold a day.
Several " sluices " were set to work on this creek, and the results
were 20 dollars (£4 3s. 4i.) to 50 dollars (£10 8s. 4<d.) per man per
day. There were 200 men on this creek, of whom 75 were at work
about the middle of June. The gold found was in small nuggets, of
the value of 6s. to 8s. sterling each piece. No quicksilver was used
to amalgamate the gold, which made a vast saving in time and ex-
pense, and which enabled the miner to make such large gams as I
have stated above. Another fact, peculiar to the Cariboo Diggings
generally, is that the gold is found near the surface—a few inches, a
foot or two, and very seldom more than six feet below the surface.
There is an efflorescence of gold near the surface in the virgin soil of
most gold-bearing countries, but I never knew it so general as it is
The diggings on Snow-shoe Creek were opened in June, and
yielded 12 dollars (£2 10s.) to 25 dollars (£5 4s. 2d.) to the hand
per day.
Here are a few statistics of this remote country, noted down in
June by a'traveller:—
"A little town springing up at Keithley's, consisting of three
grocery stores, a bakery, a restaurant, a butcher's shop (cattle had by
this time been driven up from Oregon and the Lower Fraser), a
blacksmith's shop, and several taverns, some in tents and some in
log-houses. At Antler 10 houses are erected, and a sawmill on the
Creek. In all Cariboo there are five white women and three
physicians.    Several vegetable gardens started at various points."
The native Indians fairly quiet, civil, and industrious ; very useful
as carriers of provisions, &c. The mule trails rendered impassable;
but the Government appropriated 2,000 dollars (£416 13s.) for
opening a bridle road to the district, and the miners of Antler and of
Keithley's subscribed 800 dollars to open a trail to the former place.
Labourers' wages at Antler, 8 dollars a day; at Keithley's 7 dollars
a day—and board in both cases.    A considerable number of hands 54
thus employed.    When a member of a " company " cannot work
himself, he puts a hired man in his place.
We had from the first discovery of this gold district heard most
unfavourable reports of the severity of the winter season, which was
said to render the country uninhabitable. The matter was set .at
rest by some Canadians who wintered in Cariboo last year. They
found the intensity of the cold so much less than in the Canadas that
they represented the climate as mild compared with that of their
native country. It is inhospitable from the altitude and the abundance of mountains, the level land being about 3,000 feet, and the
mountains 5,000 feet more, above the level of the sea. The spring
is wet, and the summer subject to frequent rains. The snow falls
in October, and when the winter is fairly set in the weather continues
cold, clear, and dry. The mining season continues from May to
October at present; but when accommodations increase, and the
miners begin to tunnel the banks and bills for gold, as they soon will
do, the wmteri will present no obstacles to continuous work, under
cover, during the whole season.
A mining claim is a parallelogram (square) piece of ground 100
feet wide, from bank to bank of a creek. The depth is indefinite,
varying, of course, with the width of the creek. Each miner is
entitled to one of these " claims," and there may be several miners
associated together to work a "claim." In case of such an association
amounting to five miners, the " company " would be entitled to 500
feet of ground in width, and running from bank to bank. At first
many miners " took up " claims in simulated names, and thus caused
a monopoly—an evil which was remedied by the Government Gold
Commissioner when he visited the country in the summer.
Under the mining laws of British Columbia, whicl are well
adapted to the country, the miners have the power to regulate their
own mining affairs, such as settling the size of claims, which must
vary in different localities, &c, with the assent and assistance of the
Gold Commissioner in each district, and subject to the approval of
the Governor.
The provisions of the mining laws are very seldom, if ever, complied with in all respects; but still the mining operations are conducted with exemplary propriety, and no body of men, upon the
whole, could conduct themselves more peaceably than do the miners
of British Columbia. All disputes are submitted to the commissioner, and if his decision'is not acquiesced in an appeal is taken to
the judge of the Supreme Court of Civil Justice (the only one in the
whole colony), who goes circuit to all the inhabited parts of the
country. 55
While on this subject I should not be doing justice to the country
if I failed to remark upon the absence of crime generally in British
Columbia. The fact is as remarkable, considering the heterogeneous nature of the population, as it is gratifying. It speaks
well for the miners, and for the magistrates also, who are a very
efficient and respectable body, all young men in the prime of life;
and I am certain, from my knowledge of his character, that the
moral effect of the judge's free intercourse with all classes, of his
disinterested counsel when appealed to extra-judicially—as he frequently is, to settle disputes—and of his urbanity, is very beneficial.
The exercise of his good-nature prevents litigation, and the fearlessness with which he punishes crime prevents the commission of
heinous offences.
July opened with increased exertions and proportionate results, in
consequence of the disappearance of the snow. Six miles from
Antler, 31 ounces were " cleaned out " in one day in a hole only
two feet under the surface. The bottom was composed of " rotten
slate,"—a favourable formation, indicative of gold. 8,000 dollars
had previously been taken out of the same claim. Another spot
was discovered where the pay-dirt was two feet thick and full of
nuggety gold. 1,000 dollars was paid for a claim, which the purchaser resold shortly afterwards at a profit of 500 dollars. Wages
now rose ten dollars a day. Quartz leads (the matrix of gold) of
considerable breadth was discovered near Keithley's. Some claims
began to pay as high as 1,000 dollars a day, and several from 20 to
25 ounces. Four days' work yielded a man 104 ounces, and some
men from Victoria were making two and three ounces each a-day.
The town of Antler growing "like magic." Instead of 10.houses,
as it counted last month, it now boasts of 20 substantial stores,
whisky shops, and other edifices, surrounded by any number of tents.
The prosperity of the town was. in part indebted to an evil influence. Professional gamblers track the successful miner as the
carrion crow scents the dead on a battlefield. " The chink of
money and the sound of gamblers' voices are heard at all hours.
Monte and Paro Banks and Poker Games are all the go. Large
sums of money change hands constantly; I heard of one party who
lost, between three of them, 27,000 dollars.
I met a Spaniard on his return from Cariboo. He is a muleteer,
and was engaged in packing. On my asking him about the richness
of the mines, he answered that the gambling was as rife and carried
on as high as in California in her palmiest days. The Spaniard did
not penetrate far into the mining region, neither did he gather many
statistics.    He saw piles of gold bullion and of 20 dollar pieces laid 56
out on the gambling tables, and he saw a bank of portentous size,
and he saw large stakes played and won and lost; and all these evidences of wealth satisfied him that " the country was saved " without going beyond Antler. He had been informed that Cariboo was
a "fizzle;" but at Antler he changed his opinion, and went
vigorously into the packing business, made money, and is now
building a house to enjoy his otium cum dignitate.
It is hard to suggest a cure for this vice of new mining countries.
The miner requires relaxation, and no healthy means of relaxation
exist.    He will adopt the first and readiest.
I do not see what the Government can do except to discourage it.
It cannot put it down with the strong arm, for the rapid growth of
population and of wealth outrun Government administration in these
cases of sudden developments of the treasures of the earth. The
magistrate intimated that he would hold the tavern-keepers who
permitted gambling in their houses responsible. Beyond this his
means of enforcing the law would not carry him. The vice. will
wear itself out, as it did in California.
In August and September mining was at its height. Here are a
few facts culled from a mass of correspondence and verbal information received :—On the Antler Creek the rocker yielded 50 ounces
of gold of a forenoon. The average yield on the fluming claims is
60 ounces a-day to the hand. Later the creek yielded 100 and 130
ounces a day from small claims. Three quarters of a mile below
the town of Antler 40 to 60 ounces a day to the hand, obtained by a
company of two men from one of the richest claims on the stream.
Since last spring these two men have taken out 18,000 dollars with
a rocker. M. DonneU's claim not paying so well for the last three
weeks, but up to that time it gave 60 to 100 dollars a day. The
town site is threatened to be washed away, as the miners are entitled
to all mineral ground which lay waste when they staked it off for
niining. Water for sluicing sold at 50c. (2s.) an inch (cubic measure, flowing through a square tube), yet after paying this heavy
charge, the yield left 40 to 60 dollars a day to the miner. Eleven
companies on the creek making large gains. Others not doing so
well—15, 20, and up to 50 dollars a day to the Jband only.
On Keithley's Creek the companies were making from 50 to 100
dollars a day to the hand, and on the hillside (dry diggings) 120
dollars a man per day.
The miners were by this time enabled to extend their means and
appliances to save manual labour. Flumes were built of enormous
size and length, with numerous wheel-pumps to supply water for
washing the gold, which were to be seen turning constantly, " as far 57
as the eye could reach." " The magnitude of the works was surprising." These were due to the neighbouring sawmill, which produced lumber on the spot, and must have also yielded a rich return
to the proprietors, for the price was high, of course, 25c. a foot and
The mining holes were described as shining with gold. When
the bed rock was laid bare it was found studded or paved with
lumps of gold, and in every shovelful contained a considerable
amount, in some cases to the amount of 101. sterling, and required
no washing, the nuggets or pellets of gold being picked out by
The diggings were now found to be not only rich, but extensive,
which led to a new enterprize. A drift was driven into one of the
hills. This tunnelling is now the chief mode of working practised in
California, where the efflorescence of gold has been long exhausted,
and where the placeres are nearly so. Labourers were in demand
(in Cariboo) for this work at 8 dollars a day and board, so that, with
health, no man who chose to labour could fail to make money. A
miner told my informant, at this time, that his claim would last him
10 years to work it out.
The Lowhee Creek yielded to four miners on the first two days of
their work 5,'200 dollars, and on the third day 72 ounces. These
returns appeared fabulous, yet private information and published
accounts agreed as to the facts, and in due time similar statements
were verified by the appearance of the miners with the gold in New
Westminster and Victoria.
The miners were now in good heart. Their condition was much
improved by the abundance of salmon caught in the Fraser and other
up-country rivers. There was abundance of grass, also, on the
mountains all through the summer—a supply as necessary as human
food, as all commodities being "packed" there were many mules
and horses to feed.
A miner writes that his gains far surpass anything ever produced
in California, and cites the fact of 1,700 dollars having been dug
out of two crevices in the rock less than three feet under the surface.
In fact, the explanation of the enormous yields is, as I before stated,
the large, solid, nuggety character of the gold, and its proximity to
the surface. Men who had never mined before, tradesmen, mechanics, and labourers new to the work, did just as well as the old,
practised miner. This result will cease as the efflorescence of gold
near the surface becomes exhausted. Then some skill and much
labour will be required to produce far less results than paid the
exertions of the Cariboo men last season. . 58
)egan in August to
" Veins and boulders of quartz are seen in every direction in the
hills, such as would of themselves create an excitement in any other
country," but they are here neglected for the placeres, which are so
much more easily worked. A person writing from the diggings
says, " The country is covered with quartz and with indications of
volcanic action," and concludes " that this is the richest gold country
in the world." The development of the wealth which lies in quartz
must be obtained by the application of capital and engineering and
mining skill. It is a fit subject for the capitalists of England, and
as capital has just as much protection in British Columbia as' in any
part of the Empire, and property and life are equally as well protected, I have no doubt the quartz magnet will attract the necessary
capital in due time, and that we shall hear the Stock Exchange resound with the quotations of shares in many mining companies in
Cariboo and elsewhere in the colony by and by.
At this time (in autumn) a man who left Victoria penniless
arrived with 2,000 dollars in dust, which he had dug in about two
months. Williams's Creek, which finally turned out the
success of all the creeks for rich single yiel
produce. Dawson and Co. took out fifty ounces in one day, and in
a few days reached the bed-rock, when in one pan of pay-dirt they
got 600 dollars. Abbott and Co., on sinking three to four feet,
obtained 900 dollars in one pan-full of dirt. This extraordinary
fact was confirmed by Mr. Abbott himself when he came down to
Victoria the other day. He and his two partners made each a
fortune in less than three months. I will come to their case more
in detail presently.
Several new creeks dsscovered in July and August which prospected well. Several layers of pay-dirt, that is, strata of gold-bearing gravel and of blue clay, one over the other, with layers of earth
between, now found, so that increased workings lower down in the
same ground produced gold.
On Vanwinckle Creek the best claim produced 100 to 200
dollars a-day to the hand. The companies above and below, average
50 dollars and 60 dollars a-day to the hand; and the diggings near the surface, just as they were in California in 1849,
equally rich.
Gold dust was worth 16 dols. 30 c. to 16 dols. 50 c. the ounce
(£3 6s. lOd. and £3 7s. 7^.), and it was taken in exchange for
goods at 17 dollars the ounce. The average ley of the gold has not
yet been accurately ascertained. Some of it gave 918-1000ths fine,
which is very high. Some gave from 800 to 900-1000ths fine, and
the average is taken at 850 fine. 59
I need hardly remark to you that I would not have lent myself to
giying currency to these marvellous stories were I hot fortified by
my own knowledge of the general truth of all I write.
The first information given by government on the subject of the
gold fields of British Columbia, was in the Government Colonization
Circular for 1860. This information we extract, that our readers
may judge how cautiously the government accepted the news of
these nests of future wealth. It is amusing to contrast this account
with that of the Times already given.
There seems good reason to suppose that the gold fields of this
colony, are both extensive and rich.
Governor Douglas, in a despatch dated January, 1859, states, that
it is supposed on very probable grounds that the whole course o£the
Frazer River, to its sources in the Rocky Mountains, contains
deposits of gold.
Gold was known to exist in Queen Charlotte's Island in 1830,
but it was not until April, 1856, that Governor Douglas reported to
the Secretary of State, that considerable quantities of gold had been
found in the upper Columbia River. It was subsequently discovered
in its natural state of deposit in the district of Frazer River and of
Thompson's River, commonly known as the Quaateau, Couteau, and
Shuswap countries, which are the principal gold fields of the colony.
The governor in the despatch above mentioned states, that reports
continue to arrive respecting the rich deposits of gold on or about
Bridge River. The gold generally is coarse and lumpy, not requiring
quicksilver for its separation from the soil.
Gold has been also found at Stonia, a point on Frazer's River, five
miles beyond Hudson's Bay establishment of Alexandria, about 400
miles from the sea coast. 60
The following information relating to British Columbia and its
gold fields was published by government in 1861, and bore date
February, 1860.
British Columbia.—W. R. G. Young, Esq., the Colonial Secretary, in a Report dated Victoria, 22nd February, 1861, says:—
" British Columbia being a gold producing country, with little else
than the gold yet developed, it is difficult to recommend any particular class to emigrate to its shores. Amongst the miners are to be
found men of every class and trade, who, when sufficient inducements
offer, by there being a demand for their particular calling, will
readily abandon the one occupation to engage in the other, and vice
versa. But the resources of the country, independently of gold, are
undoubtedly great, and the prospects held out to an industrial population by no means discouraging, even in this early stage. Land
can be easily acquired by pre-emption without immediate payment,
and the soil is abundantly fruitful; while the demand for its productions hitherto far' exceeds the supply. Men of steady and
industrious habits, possessed of small capital, who would be content
to forego the glittering, though perhaps meretricious, allurements of
the gold fields, remembering that where one man may realise a competence, hundreds do actuaUy fail in procuring more than a livelihood,
would, there is but little doubt, do well in following agricultural
pursuits in British Columbia. Those who have done so, hitherto,
have reaped a rich harvest. Men of the ' navigator' class would
also, it is believed, do well, for the Government are engaged in the
almost interminable work of opening out roads and communications
to the interior, and the cost of labour hitherto upon such works as
these has, in consequence of the principal portion being drawn from
the gold fields, been very heavy.
" Female domestic servants would meet with instant employment,
and for this class there is, and would be, a continual demand, as the
disproportion of males is so great, that an unmarried woman who
has reached the age of 20 is, it is believed, not to be found in the
" Vancouver's Island offers good inducements to farm labourers,
mechanics of every description, and domestic servants of both sexes,
but especially to female domestics, as the few at present to be found 61
in the island readily obtain places at wages varying from £4 to £6
per month. A large proportion of the vegetables consumed in Vancouver's Island are imported from the neighbouring American
territory, and it may, therefore, be fairly assumed that agricultural
pursuits would yield a good return. Small farmers would do well,
but they must he possessed of sufficient capital to be independent for
the first twelve months.
" The pre-emption system is established in Vancouver's Island,
and rich and valuable land within a short distance of Victoria, the
capital, if not open to pre-emption, can be readily leased at a ground
rent of from 4s. to £l per acre per annum."
That part of British territory on the north-west coast of North
America, previously known as New Caledonia, has, by an Act
passed on the 2nd of August, 1858 (21 & 22 Vict. cap. 99), been
erected into a colony, under the name of " British Columbia." It is
bounded on the south by the frontier of the United States (i.e.,' the
49th degree of north latitude), on the east by the main chain of the
Rocky Mountains, on the north by Simpson's River and the Finlay
branch of the Peace River; and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
It includes Queen Charlotte's Island and all other adjacent islands,
except Vancouver's Island, and the islands adjacent thereto. The
Queen, however, may at any time, upon a joint address of the two
Houses of the Legislature of Vancouver's Island, incorporate it with
British Columbia.
Extent of Colony.—British Columbia^possesses an extent of about
500 miles of sea coast, stretching from the point where the 49th
parallel of latitude strikes the sea coast to the fine of the Russian
possessions in Portland Canal.
The area of the colony, including Queen Charlotte's Island, is
computed by Mr. Arrowsmith to contain about 200,000 square miles.
Laws.—The civil and criminal laws of England, so far as they are
not inapplicable from local circumstances, prevail throughout the
colony, subject of course to be modified by the Queen in Council or
by local legislation.
New Westminster is the capital town, and is situated on the right
or north bank of Fraser's River. 62
Secondary Towns.
Hope;  Yale;   Douglas;   Cayoosh;   Lytton;   Derby;   Prince-
town ; and Alexandria.
The following are the regulations referring to the crown lands of
British Columbia.
The disposal of the crown lands in British Columbia is regulated
by four proclamations of the Governor, having the force of law,
dated respectively 4th January and 20th January, 1860, and No. 1
and No. 2 of the 19th January, 1861. These proclamations will be
found printed in extenso in the appendices to the Emigration
Commissioners' Annual Reports for 1860 and 1861.
Sale by Auction.—All town and suburban lots and surveyed
agricultural lands, are, under the proclamation of January 20th,
1860, to be offered for sale, in the first instance by public auction;
and if not sold may afterwards be purchased by private contract at
the upset price, which for country lands is fixed by proclamation
No. 2, of 19th January, 1861, at 4s. 2d. per acre, to be paid on
delivery of the deed of grant.
Pre-emption Bights.—Under the particular circumstances of the
colony, however, and with a view to promote its settlement, provision is made by the proclamations of 4th January, 1860, and No. 1
of 19th January, 1860, whereby settlers can obtain without immediate payment small portions of unsurveyed land. The following is ■
the substance of the principal provisions of these two proclamations :—
British subjects and aliens who shall take the oath of allegiance
may acquire unoccupied, unreserved, and unsurveyed Crown Lands
(not being the site of an existent or proposed town or auriferous
land, or an Indian reserve or settlement) in fee simple on taking
possession and recording their claim with the nearest resident
magistrate to any quantity not exceeding 160 acres. The fee to the
magistrate for this record is 8s.
When the Government survey shall extend to the land thus preempted, as it is termed, the claimant or his heirs or (if he shall have
obtained from the nearest magistrate a certificate that he has made 63
permanent improvements thereon, to the value of 10s. an acre) his
assigns shall, be entitled, if there has been a continuous occupation
of the land, to purchase it at 4s. 2d. per acre.
Priority of pre-emption is secured by the person in occupation,
who shall first record his claim.
On payment of the purchase money the purchaser obtains a
conveyance, which, however, reserves to the Crown the precious
minerals, with the right to enter and work them by its assignees
and licensees; but if this right is exercised, reasonable compensation
is to be made for the waste and damage done, to be settled in case
of dispute by a jury of 6.
In addition to the land thus "pre-empted," the claimant may
purchase any quantity of unsurveyed land not otherwise appropriated
by an immediate payment of 4s. 2d. an acre.
Any allotment thus sought to be acquired either by pre-emption
or purchase must be of a rectangular form, the shortest side being
at least two-thirds of the length of the longest side. The boundaries
must also run as nearly as possible by the cardinal points of the
compass, but natural boundaries may be taken when they exist. If
the land is bounded by a purchased or " pre-empted" claim, the
line of such claim may he adopted, notwithstanding any irregularity
in it arising from the adoption of natural boundaries. Land
enclosed partially or entirely between two or more claims', and not
exceeding 160 acres in area, may be purchased or " pre-empted,"
notwithstanding irregularity of form or disproportion in length of
sides. The claimants must, moreover, give to the magistrate the
best possible description of the land, together with a rough plan
If any person holding under a pre-emptive claim shall cease to
occupy the land, the claim may be cancelled by the nearest resident
magistrate, whose decision, however, may be appealed against to the
Court of Civil Justice on security for the appeal being given
Occupants of unsurveyed lands, whether by purchase or under
pre-emption, may bring ejectment or trespass against any intruder
on the land, as if they were seized with the legal estate in possession ; but they cannot exclude free miners from searching for the
precious metals, working them, or carrying water for mining purposes over the land, although they will be entitled to compensation
for damage done, as before mentioned.
The Government, however, may resume such portion of the
pre-empted or purchased land as may be required for roads or other
public purposes. — - ■
The Crown lands in this island are divided into four classes : (1)
country lands; (2) mineral lands; (3) town lands; (4) suburban,
With a view to promote the settlement of the colony, pending
the legal difficulties which at present impede the issue of Crown
grants, a Proclamation, dated 19th February, 1861, has been issued,
allowing settlers, as a provisional arrangement, to occupy country
lands in certain districts, with a right of pre-emption.
The following is an abstract of the provisions of this proclamation,
the operation of which was, by a subsequent proclamation, dated
21st March, 1861, extended to the whole of the island and its
dependencies: —
1. Price.—The upset price of all country land is to be 4s. 2d.
per acre.
2. Pre-emption.—Male British subjects, and aliens above the
age of eighteen, who shall take the oath of allegiance, may preempt, as it is termed, in any district (not being an Indian reserve or
settlement) unsold Crown lands to the extent of 150 acres for a
single man, and 200 acres for a married man, whose wife is resident
in the colony, with an additional ten acres for each of his children
under eighteen years of age, if also resident.
3. British subjects who may have become subjects or citizens of
any foreign state must take the oath of allegiance before they can
exercise the right of pre-emption.
4. Immediately after occupation, the pre-emptor must record his
claim at the office of the surveyor-general at Victoria, paying a
fee of 8s. 4>d.
5. 6, & 7- Unsurveyed Land.—The lots which may be selected
for pre-emption must be of a rectangular (square) form, the shortest
side being two-fifths the length of the longest side, and the boundaries must run as nearly as possible by the cardinal points of the
compass; but natural boundaries may be taken where they exist.
The claimant must give the best possible description thereof,- in
writing, with a map, to the surveyor-general, and identify the land
by placing a post at each corner of the lot.
8. Surveyed Land.—The description of these must be based on
the landmarks of the government survey.
9. Payment.—If the land be unsurveyed, the claimant must, as
soon as it is surveyed, pay into the Land Office at Victoria the purchase-money at the rate of 4s. 2d. per acre.    If the land be already 65
surveyed, the payment is to be made in three separate instalments,
the first, of Is. Id. per acre, within one year from the date the claim
was recorded ; the second, of a similar sum, within two years from
such date ; and the balance of 2s. an acre within three years. On
any default in payment the pre-emption claim, and any paid-up
instalments, are forfeited.
10 & 11. A certificate of improvement is to be issued to the
pre-emptor, his heirs or devisees, by the Surveyor-General, after the
claim has been occupied permanently for two years, and permanent
improvements have been made thereon to the value of 10s. per acre.
This certificate entitles the holder to sell, mortgage, or lease (subject
to any unpaid instalments) the land in question. In the absence
of such a certificate the land cannot be so disposed of until the full
purchase-money has been'paid.
12 & 13. Upon payment of the whole of the purchase-money, if
the land has been surveyed, a conveyance is at once executed in
favour of the pre-emptor. The Crown reserves, however, the power
to resume any portion of the land required for public purposes, and
also the precious minerals, with the right to work them. If the
land has not been surveyed when the full purchase-money is paid,
the conveyance is to be executed as soon as possible after the survey
shall be completed. After survey, the pre-emptor may take, at
4s. 2d. per acre, any quantity of any unpre-empted land which may
be included in the sections containing his pre-empted land. If,
however, he does not exercise this option, he forfeits so much of the
pre-empted land as lies in those sections.
14. Priority of title is secured by the person in occupation who
first records his claim.
15. When any person ceases to occupy pre-empted land for two
months, the surveyor-general may summarily cancel his claim, and
record de novo the claim of a fresh applicant.
16. When the Crown, or its assignee, acts on the reserved right
to enter land and work the precious metals, reasonable compensation for waste and damage is to be paid to the land-holder. Disputes on this point are to be settled by a jury of six men, to be
summoned by the surveyor-general.
17. The right of the licensees of the Crown to search for precious
metals on any unenclosed land is reserved, subject to the foregoing
18. Water privileges, and the right of carrying water for mining
purposes over any lands, even after they have been conveyed, may
be claimed and exercised by miners holding a license for the purpose
from the surveyor-general, subject to the payment of compensation 66
for waste or damage, which is to be fixed, in case of dispute, by a
j ury of six men, to be summoned by the surveyor-general.
19/ Arbitration.—Disputes respecting claims to land may, before
action brought, be settled in a summary way by the surveyor-
The following details respecting Victoria, the capital of Vancouver's Island, are extracted from the Victoria Gazette of 1st
February, 1859:—First-class hotels, with bars, 5; ditto, without
bars, 2 ; restaurants, first-class, 6 ; ditto, second-class, 9 (this does
not include private boarding-houses, or any of the numerous little
eating and lodging-houses, where meals are occasionally served).
First-class saloons, with billiard-tables, 3 ; second-class ditto, with
bar only, 12; butchers' shops, first-class, 4; garhe, vegetable, and
meat markets, 5 ; fish markets, 2; barbers' shops, 9 ; intelligence
office, 1; reading-room, 1; express office, 1; printing-offices, 2;
buildings in town proper, 550 ; ditto, in process of erection, 45.
In this colony the privileges of aliens are at present regulated by
a proclamation, dated 14th May, 1859, and issued by the Governor,
under the authority of the Imperial Act 21 & 22 Vict., cap. 99, and
of his commission. By this proclamation aliens have the same
capacity to hold and transmit landed and real estate of every
description as natural-born British subjects, and after a residence of
three years may demand naturalization on producing a declaration
of residence and character from some British subject, on making
himself a declaration of residence, and on taking the oath of
allegiance. The latter declaration must be made and oath taken
before a Justice of the Peace, who is to declare that he knows no
reason why the applicant should not be naturalised. These conditions being fulfilled, the Court of British Columbia is to record the
proceedings, and the alien is then to be deemed a British subject for
all purposes whatsoever while within the colony. The cost of this
process is 18s. Aliens, wives of British subjects, are to be deemed
to be naturalized. The naturalization may be annulled (in addition to the penalties
for perjury) if any party to either of the above declarations is convicted of perjury therein.
[Proclamation printed in Parliamentary Papers, part 3, on
British Columbia, presented to Parliament I860.]
The climate is represented as variable, and the transitions, though
periodically regular, as remarkably sudden if not violent, but, on
the whole, remarkably healthy and invigorating.
Mr.  McLean, one  of the  Hudson's  Bay  Company's  servants,
, states that at Stewart's Lake in the month of July be experienced
every possible change of weather within twelve hours, frost in the
morning, scorching heat at noon, and then rain, hail, and snow.
The winter season is subject to the same vicissitudes, though not
in such extreme degrees.
Mr. A. C. Anderson, late Chief Trader of the Hudson's Bay
Company's service, states that snow begins to fall in the mountains
early in October; that the summer climate about the forks of the
Thompson River is dry and the heat great; that during winter the
thermometer indicates occasionally from 20° to 30° of cold below
zero of Fahrenheit, but that such severe cold seldom lasts on the
upper parts of Fraser's River for more than three days. The
thermometer will then continue to fluctuate between zero and the
freezing point, until, possibly, another interval of cold arrives.
He adds that the winters are extremely capricious throughout
those regions, that no two resemble each other very closely, and
that in general the snow does not fall deep enough along the banks
of the main streams to preclude winter travelling with pack animals.
In ascending Fraser's River mosquitoes are very numerous during
the summer season, and as the sea breeze is seldom felt the air
is extremely sultry. The mosquitoes cease, however, below Fort
Governor Douglas, in a despatch dated the 21st January, 1859,
states that the climate at Lytton on the Fraser, near the junction of
the Thompson, is pleasant and temperate, and that the weather is
generally clear and dry in so remarkable a degree that from the 24th
of August to the 19th December, 1858, there had not been, in all,
more than 12 hours' rain or snow.
1 6S
The climate in this island is stated to be excellent, and has been
compared to the climate of the milder parts of England or to that in
the South of France. Indeed, it is said to be preferable to that of
England, as it has more fine steady weather, is far less changeable,
and on the whole milder. The days in summer are warm, but not
oppressive, and free from glare ; the evenings are cool, with a gentle
sea breeze. Heavy rains are said to fall in September. The winter
is a little cold, but not severe, and rather wet. There are occasional
frosts and falls of snow, but they never last long.
The following is the substance of the Gold Fields Act, 1859,
passed on the 31st of August of that year, which came into operation
as regards Queen Charlotte's Island, on the 1st of January, 1860,
and as regards the rest of British Columbia on the 1st of September,
This Act and the former regulations will be found printed in full
in the Appendix to the Engineer Commissioners' Annual Report for
The Governor may appoint Gold Commissioners, who, within
certain districts, may issue "free miners' certificates," authorising
the holder to mine upon Crown lands, and may register claims (i.e.,
allotments of auriferous land to individual miners) ; \l. is to be paid
for a free miner's certificate, which must be countersigned by the
miner and is not transferable, and 4s. for the registration of a claim.
Each is valid for a year.
The Gold Commissioner is to possess all the authority of a Justice
of the Peace, with power to try and settle summarily all miners'
disputes and abate encroachments. He is to be judge of law and
fact, subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court, when in civil cases
the value of the matter in dispute exceeds 20/., or when in criminal
matters the fine exceeds that sum, or the imprisonment exceeds 30
days. He may also mark out plots of 5 acres for the occupation of
the miners as gardens or residences, and other plots for the occupation of traders.
The Governor may also lease auriferous lands under regulations to
be prescribed by himself.
On the petition of 100 free miners in any district, the Governor
may establish a " Mining Board," to consist of from 6 to 12 persons, 69
elected by the miners. A majority of the 'board, with the concurrence of the Gold Commissioner, or of two-thirds without that
concurrence, may make bylaws respecting the size of claims,
sluices, registration, and mining matters generally. Three members
are to retire annually, but are eligible for immediate re-election.
A person convicted (after his election) of misdemeanour, felony,
or assault with a deadly weapon, vacates his office, and is not
The Governor may dissolve the board, or in the absence of a
board may make bylaws for the above purposes.
Pending the constitution of these boards, the Governor, in
exercise of the power reserved to him by the 12th section of the
Act, issued a set of regulations, of which the substance is as
The size of registered claims is to be,—
In dry diggings 25x30 feet. In bar or river diggings 25 feet in
breadth from the highest line to which the river rises in flood
indefinitely into the stream.
Provision is made for letting " exclusive water privileges," for
which a rent is payable to the Government equal to one day's
estimated receipts per month. The privileged person is bound to
supply all -miners with water, and not to waste it. Divisions of
three feet in width are to be left between claims.
Leases of auriferous land may be made for periods not exceeding
10 years, and of spaces not exceeding 10 acres in dry diggings, and
in river or ravine diggings ^ mile in length of unworked or 1^ mile
of abandoned diggings.
Males.   Females.   Total.
British Columbia - 5,000 official estimate, 1860.
Vancouver's Island 5^000       do. ' do.
Revenue for 1860.
British Columbia £53,286
Vancouver's Island   -------        14,749
,    Expenditure for 1860.
British Columbia      -       - £47,175
Vancouver's Island   -------       14,171
J ro
The establishment of an assay office in British Columbia has recently
been sanctioned by the home Government.
The only banking accommodation for both British Columbia and
Vancouver's Island is the Bank of British North America, Victoria,
and Vancouver's Island. This bank is incorporate. The amount of
the share is £50. The extent of the shareholder's liability is not
great. In most colonial banks he is liable to twice the amount of
the share, but in the case of the Bank of British North America the
liabihty is limited to paid-up capital. The head office of the bank is
situate at 7, St. Helen's Place, Bishopsgate, London. The capital of
this bank is £1,000,000, all of which is paid up.
British Columbia.
Medical Practitioners.—No legal enactment restraining or inter-
fering with the practice of British or Foreign Physicians, Surgeons,
and Apothecaries.
Barristers.—There may be enrolled as barristers of the court of
British Columbia,—1st, any person called or qualified to,be called to
practise at the English or Irish bar, or as an advocate in Scotland,
or who has taken the degree of Doctor of Laws at any University in
the United Kingdom. 2nd, any person instructed within this colony,
or on Vancouver's Island, in the knowledge and practice of the law
by any practising barrister of the court, subject to any future regulation established within the polony.
Attorneys.—There may be enrolled as attorneys and solicitors of
the said court,—1 st, all persons entitled to practise as attorneys, solicitors, or proctors, in any of Her Majesty's courts in England or
Ireland, or as writers to the signet or solicitors to the Supreme Courts
in Scotland. 2nd, all persons instructed within the colony or Vancouver's Island, in the knowledge and practice of the law by any
practising solicitor and attorney of the said court, subject, neverthe- 71
less, to future regulations. Until further order, all barristers of the
court may appear and practise as attorneys and solicitors, and
all attorneys and solicitors may practise and plead as barristers.
Vancouver's Island.
Medical Practitioners.—British or foreign physicians, surgeons,
and apothecaries can practise immediately. No local enactment
affecting them.
Barristers.—Such persons only as shall have been admitted as
barristers in England or Ireland, or advocates of the Court of
Session of Scotland, or to the degree of Doctor of Civil Law of
Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin.
Attorneys.—Such persons only as shall have been admitted to
practise as attorneys or solicitors of any of the Courts of Record at
Westminster or Dublin, or, being proctors, admitted to practice in
any ecclesiastical court in England or Ireland, or being writers to
the signet in Scotland.
The general rule for the disposal of Crown land in the British
colonies, is sale in fee simple. The exceptions are, mineral lands,
lands used for pasturage, and lands in Hong Kong. The reason for
the first exception is obvious; the second is the necessary consequence of the small value of land for purposes of pasture. Where
it requires, as in Australia, four or five acres to feed a sheep, it can
never be worth while to buy the land at any price which could be
reasonably put on it. It is, therefore, let at rents varying from less
than \d. to about Id. an acre, subject to conditions of resumption
when required for settlement. The third exception arose from the
necessity of obtaining a public revenue in Hong Kong, without the
imposition of customs duties, which would interfere with its value
as an entrepot. In this difficulty, the rent of Crown land offered
the most obvious resource, while the special circumstances of the
colony, and the class of persons who alone were likely to settle
there, removed the difficulty which would be felt in other colonies
in collecting such rents.
The rule, then, being sale, there is some difference in the mode of
sale in different colonies. Generally speaking, the land is put up to
auction at an upset price, and sold to the highest bidder. Land
that has been once put up and not sold, may, within certain limits 72
as to time, be purchased for the upset price by private contract. In
some colonies, however, all surveyed land is open to purchasers at
fixed prices.
Another point is the mode and time of payment. Formerly the
payment was universally by instalments spread over several years.
About 1842 this system was abolished, ana the payment of 10 per
cent, at the time of purchase, and the balance within a short period
(generally a month), was substituted for it. This rule still prevails
in the Australasian colonies, including New Zealand, and in all the
colonies where the Crown lands are under the control of the Home
Government. In Canada, New Brunswick, British Columbia, and
Vancouver's Island, however, the system of payment of instalments
has been reverted to.
In order to facilitate transfers and to prevent frauds, a system of
registration of all transactions connected with land has been established in all the colonies.
London (Office, 70,
Lower Thames Street).
Liverpool (Office,
> Stanley Buildings, Bath
Com. Lean, R.N.
J. T. Forster, Esq., R.N.,
Com. Westbrook, R.N.,
Lieut. Barnard, R.N.,
Com. Prior, R.N.,
Lieut. Bourchier, R.N.,
Com. Saunders, R.N.,
Lieut. Hay, R.N.,
Lieut. Aldridge, R.N.,
R. Evatt, Esq.,  |        -        -J
E. A. Smith, Esq., R.N, Southampton.
Capt. Stoll, R.N., Plymouth.
Com. Stewart, R.N., Glasgow and Greenock.
Capt. Dyer, R.N., Belfast.
Capt. Keele, R.N., Londonderry.
Com. Ellis, R.N., Limerick, &c.
Capt. Kerr, R.N, Cork, &c.
These officers* act under the immediate directions of the Emigration Commissioners, and the following is a summary of their
They procure and give gratuitously information as to the sailing
of ships and means of accommodation for emigrants; and whenever 73
applied to for that purpose, they see that all agreements between
shipowners, agents, or masters, and intending emigrants are duly
performed. They also see that the provisions of the Passengers' Act
are strictly complied with, viz., that passenger vessels are seaworthy, that they have on board a sufficient supply of provisions,
water, medicines, &c, and that they sail with proper punctuality. .
They attend personally at their offices on every week day, and
afford gratuitously all the assistance in their power to protect
intending emigrants against fraud and imposition, and to obtain
redress where oppression or injury has been practised on them.
Premising that this work will have some Canadian readers
desirous of proceeding to our Western American gold fields, the
following information will possess considerable value:—
Routes etc. from Quebec to the Principal Points in Canada
and the Northern and Western States of America.
Route No. 1.—From Quebec through Canada to Windsor (on the
Detroit River (St. Clair), the most westerly point of Upper Canada)
and to the Western States, viz., Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa or Minesota, proceeding by Grand Trunk Railway,
Detroit, or first class steamers from Quebec, via Montreal, Kingston,
and Toronto, to Hamilton, thence by the line of the Great Western
Railway to Detroit, thence to Chicago by Michigan Central Railroad,
and from Chicago by railroad to Galena on the Missisippi, or to St.
Louis in the State of Missouri. To any of the northern ports of
Lakes Michigan or Superior proceed by the Northern Railway from
Toronto to Collingwood, 93 miles, whence steamers leave for Green
Bay, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Milwaukie, Bruce Mines (copper
region), &c.
Route No. 2.—From Quebec to places onv the American side of
Lakes Ontario and Erie.
Passengers for this route prpceed by steamers or Grand Trunk
Railway from Quebec to Kingston, thence by lake steamers for
French Creek, Sackets' Harbour, Oswego and Rochester, Lake
For Ports on Lake Erie proceed to Toronto, thence by rail through
Hamilton and Suspension Bridge or by steamer across Lake Ontario,
to Niagara, Lewiston, and Buffalo; from Buffalo by steamer or
railroad to Erie, Cleveland, Sandusky, and Toledo. For (Dincinnatj.
Ohio, Pittsburg in Pennsylvania, Louisville in Kentucky, take in
G 74
the railway for Cleveland^ For parts in Indiana, proceed via:
Route No. 3.—From Quebec to the eastern townships of Lower
Canada, to the New England States of America, and to New
Passengers proceed from Quebec by the Grand Trunk Railway,
passing through Richmond and Sherbrooke, in the Eastern Townships, and thence through the State of Vermont, Massachusetts, and
Maine, to Portland; from Portland trains and steamers connect
daily with Boston, and to all places in the State of Connecticut and
New Hampshire.
Also from Portland steamers leave twice a week for St. Andrew's
and St. John, New Brunswick.
Route No. 4.—From Quebec to the Ottawa district and places on
the Rideau Canal.
Passengers proceed by steamer or Grand Trunk Railway to
Montreal, and from Montreal to Ottawa City (late Bytown) and
places on the Rideau Canal by steamer every morning, or continue
by the Grand Trunk Railway which connects at Prescort with the
Ottawa and Prescott Railway. Those proceeding to Perth, Lanark,
or any of the adjoining settlements, take the Brookville and Ottawa
Railway. This is the best route to the settlements in the Bathurst
Route No. 5.—From Quebec to Troy, Albany, New York,
Passengers proceed by steamer or Grand Trunk Railroad to
Montreal, and from Montreal by railroad to Rousse's Point on Lake
Champlain, thence by steamer to Burlington and Whitehall, by
railway to Troy or Albany, and by steamer or railway down the
Hudson River to New York City.
Aliens, Naturalization and Land-holding Rights of, in the
United Kingdom and ALL Colonies.
By the laws of England aliens cannot hold, and consequently cannot transmit to their representatives, any freehold lands until they
are naturalized.    The same legal principle prevails in the colonies.
Formerly the process of naturalization was effected in each case
bv a separate Act of the Legislature; but now, as regards the
United Kingdom, it is regulated by a General Act,—the 7 & 8
Vict., cap. 66, passed in August, 1844. This statute provides that
aliens who come to reside in any part of Great Britain or Ireland
with intent to settle therein shall, upon obtaining a certificate of 75
naturalization from one of the Secretaries of State, and taking the
oath of allegiance prescribed by the Act, enjoy all the rights and
capacities of natural-born subjects, except the capacity of becoming
Privy Councillors or Members of the Legislature.
To obtain a certificate of naturalization, a memorial is to be
presented to one of the Secretaries of State, setting out the age,
profession, trade, or occupation of the memorialist, and the duration
of his residence in this country, and all other grounds upon which
he seeks to acquire the privileges of a natural-born British subject.
The certificate, if obtained, is then to be enrolled in the Court of
Chancery, and the oath of allegiance must be taken within 60 days
of its date.
Under this Act, aliens, subjects of friendly states, may, without
any certificate of naturalization, hold lands or houses for the
purposes of residence or of business for any term not exceeding 21
years, with the same privileges as regards such property as a natural-
born subject, except that of voting at elections for Members of
It was doubtful how far this Act affected the colonies. To clear
up this doubt, and to give validity to colonial legislation on the
subject, the Imperial Act, 10 & 11 Vict., cap. 83, was passed in
July, 1847.
This Act declares that the 7 & 8 Vict., cap. 66, does not extend
to the colonies, but that all Acts of the Colonial Legislatures
imparting privileges of naturalization within the limits of the
particular colony shall be valid.
Under the authority of this statute several of the colonies have
passed naturalization laws, following in the main features the
provisi6ns of the Imperial Act. Subjoined is the substance of these
laws in those British colonies to which foreigners chiefly resort.
Canada, Vancouver's Island, and British Columbia.
By the Colonial Acts, 12 Vict., cap. 197, and 22 Vict., cap. 1,
aliens who have continuously resided three years, and have taken
the oaths or affirmations of residence and of allegience, and who
have procured a certificate of residence to be filed of record, as
directed by the Act, are entitled to all the rights and capacities in
the colony of a natural-born subject.
The oaths of residence and allegiance are to be administered by
any Justice of the Peace of the city, parish, or township in which
the alien resides, and the certificate of residence is to be obtained
from such Justice of the Peace, and is then to be recorded in the Court of Quarter Sessions or Recorder's Court, and thereupon the
privileges of naturalization (including the right to hold and transmit
real estate) commence. The alien is entitled to demand a certificate
of naturalization under the seal of such court, and of the signature
of its clerk. This certificate of naturalization may, at his option, be
registered at the Registry Office of any country vrithrn the Province;
and a certified copy of such registry is made evidence in all the
colonial courts. The whole cost of this process is 75 cents, or
somewhat less than 3s. 2d. sterling.
The penalty for false swearing is the forfeiture of the privileges of
naturalization superadded to the usual penalties of perjury.
Remittance of Money to assist Emigrants on arrival in
Canada and New Brunswick.
The Emigration Commissioners will receive and remit, free of
charge, for the use of newly arrived emigrants of the poorer class, to
the Government Immigration Agents in Canada and New Brunswick, any sum of money not less than £5 nor more than £20 from
any one person, which may be paid to them or to their credit at the
Bank of England for the purpose. The persons transmitting the
money must furnish the Commissioners with the names and ages of
the emigrants for whose benefit the money is deposited, and specify
the manner in which it is to be spent in the colony; whether
wholly in cash, or partly in cash and partly in providing the
emigrants with provisions and conveyance to their destination.
The Commissioners do not engage to effect purchases of land, or
otherwise to invest or retain the money for the benefit of individuals,
but simply to instruct the government agents to apply it to the
immediate use of the people after their arrival, either in the mode
directed by the depositor; or, in the absence of such directions,
in the manner which the Immigration Agents may deem most
advantageous for the emigrants.
Printed by W. H. COX, 5, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, W.C LONDON LINE OF PACKET SHIPS.
To follow the "IiOCKETT," and Sail in April.
R. M. PHILLIPS, Commandeb.
523 Tons Register, 1000 Tons Burthen.
This Ship, having a fine Poop, offers an excellent opportunity for Pirst Cabin
Passengers, while her lofty and well-ventilated 'tween Decks will afford most
comfortable Accommodation for Second and Third Class.
FIRST CABIN       ,      .      50 Guineas and upwards, according to accommodation.
SECOND CABIN   .       .      86 Guineas, enclosed Cabins.
THIRD CABIN       .       .       25 Guineas,       ditto.
Children under 12 pears to pay one-haff Passage Money.    Infants under 1 year no charge.
Passage Monet.—Each Passenger is required to pay a Deposit of one-half of the Passage
Money on securing his berth, which Deposit will be forfeited in case of non-embarkation.
The other half to be paid, prior to embarkation, at the Office. On remitting Deposit,
particulars of Name, Age, Country, and Occupation of each Passenger must also be given.
Cabins are appropriated in rotation as the Deposits are paid.
Luggage.—First Cabin Passengers will be allowed 40 cubic feet each adult; Second Cabin 30
feet; Third Cabin 20 feet, including every package, except bedding. All Luggage In
excess will T>e charged at the rate of 2s. per cubic foot. Any Packages required to be
opened on the voyage must be distinctly marked "Wanted on the Votaoe ; " others to
be marked "Not Wanted." All Luggage must be directed to the Ship, and be at the
Docks three days before sailing, and all Dock charges paid at the same time. Boxes
intended for the Cabin should not exceed 2 feet 3 inches long, 1 foot 6 inches broad, and 1
foot 3 inches high. All Luggage for the Cabin must be legibly marked " Cabin," or it will
be stowed away in the hold.
The Ship will not be responsible for loss, damage, or detention of Luggage.   Passengers are therefore required to look after its shipment here, and landing on arrival.
Embaekation.—Passengers embark at Gravesend the day after the Ship's leaving the Docks,
or in the Docks if they prefer it.
Chief Cabin Passengers provide their own furniture, bed places, and whatever else tbey may
think requisite within their private Cabins. The Owners of the Ship supply everything
that is required for the table—viz., plate, linen, glass, attendance, &c
Second and Thibd Cabin Passengers have berths built for them, but find their own bedding,
and other fittings they may require. They most also provide themselves with the
following utensils—viz, knives and forks, table and teaspoons, one or two deep metal
plates and dishes, a hook teapot, cups and saucers, or tin drinking vessels, and a water can.
The Provisions are daily prepared by the Cook of the Ship, but Passengers must in other
respects attend to their own arrangements for the table. They must be provided with a
proper supply of clothing and other necessaries for the voyage.
For Freight or Passage apply to Messbs. HENDERSON & BCHNABY, 17, Graceqhurcb.
Street; to Messbs. JAMES THOMSON & Co, BiRiter Court, E.C.; to CHARLES OSWALD,
13, George Vard, Lombard Street, E.C.; or to 'FILBT &' Co., 63, Fenchurch Street, E.C.
The R0SEDALB will be followed at short intervals by equally fine Passenger Ships.
The Route by Cape Horn is the cheapest and most comfortable. Once on board the Vessel
there is no further trouble or expense until landed at Victoria; thus the delay that often takes
place at New York, Panama, and San Francisco, and heavy expense consequent thereupon,
which all who go by way of Panama are subject to, is avoided; and the Passenger, having
paid his Passage Money, knows the extent of his liability. nf
Scrte JWanufactnurs of tfie onlg
Guaranteed   to  withstand  the   Climate   of
Columbia, never become stiff with, cold or
sticky by extreme heat, Price 30s.
PORTABLE AIR BEDS are strongly recommended as not harbouring
any description of Insects; Gbound Sheets, Folding Buckets, &c.
LIFE  BELTS,   10s.   6d.;   none should go without India Ktjbbek
Boats (Portable), designed expressly for shallow waters, all complete, folding
in a space of 3ft by lift., most convenient for Emigrants, serving as a Bed by
Night and a Boat for one by Day; Price, £9 10s.; Weight, 10lbs.
The Siphonia Dep6t, 5, Charing Cross, opposite the Statue of King Charles I.
Important to English Ministers, British Consuls, and Europeans seeking to reside
in safety in Foreign Climates.
The Govebnob of Siekka Leone, Colonel Hill, &c, &c., states with his accompanying
order, "I shall be rejoiced to hear that your Pyretic Saline is in the hands of all Europeans as
an article of Commerce. In every instance in which I have recommended it, its use has
proved highly salutary and satisfactory."
Major Mubray, 1st West India Regiment,—"Your Saline is highly thought of. I am commissioned to procure from you thirty more bottles;"
From Thomas Cask Jackson, Esq., F.R.S., and Assistant-Surgeon to the Royal Free
Hospital, London:—" It is beautifully prepared, and can be used at a moment's notice without
trouble, and is particularly adapted for use in public service."
Mr. Guthebie, Army Medical Director, became a warm advocate for its use in various Diseases.
Dr. Scott says " it is a remedy of-Vital importance."
N.B. If taken according to the directions accompanying each Bottle it will be found to answer all
the purposes of Soda Water, Seidlitz Powder, and other Saline Effervescents, it is exceedingly
portable and pleasant to the palate, and excels in medicinal effect every preparation yet invented.
113, Holborn, E.G., second door from Hatton Garden, London,
In Bottles, at As. 6d., lis., and 21s. each.
In Solid Mahogany and Solid Leather, for India and the Colonies,
Passage Money from London to San J'rancisco, £28 13s.
Passengers are conveyed to New York by the Liverpool, New York, and Philadelphia
Company's Steamers, leaving Liverpool every Wednesday, and from thence by the Atlantic
and Pacific Steam-ship Line on the 1st, 11th, and 21st of each month. Length of passane
about thirty-five days. For further particulars apply to EIVES & MACEY, 61, King Wfliiam
Street, London Bridge.
Parcels and Packages forwarded to California, Vancouver's Island, and British
Columbia, by every opportunity, through
JUDGED BY THE IMMENSE DEMAND, this TJnivebsai. Remedy now stands the first in
public favour and confidence; this result has been acquired by the test of fifty years' expe-
* rience. These Lozenges may be found on sale in every British Colony, and throughout India
and China they have been highly esteemed wherever introduced. For Coughs, Asthma, and
all affections of the Throat and Chest, they are the most agreeable and efficacious remedy.
Copy of a letter from the late COLONEL HA WKER (the well-known Author on "GUNS AND
Longparish House, near Whitchurch, Hants. October 21st, 1846.
Sra,—I cannot resist informing you of the extraordinary effect I have experienced by taking
only a few of your LOZENGES. I had a cough for several weeks that defied all that had been
prescribed for me; and yet I got completely rid of it by taking about half a small box of your
Lozenges, which I find are the only ones that relieve the cough without deranging the stomach
or digestive organs. I am, Sir, your humble servant,
To Mr. Keating, 79, St Paul's Church Yard. P. HAWKER.
Melbourne, Port P/iilip.
Deab Snt,—I duly received per Maitland the case of Lozenges, and have much pleasure in
saying that they have met with a ready sale,—therefore, send me now the value of ten pounds,
that is, double the last sent, packed in two cases with Tins, &c, as before.
The Lozenges require only to be tried, and I am sure the sale will be immense. I am not an
advocate for Proprietary Medicines in the general way, but assure you that the Lozenges have
done so much good in almost every case in which we have recommended them, that I believe
them better adapted to this climate than anything else we have seen used.
Believe me, dear Sir, yours fiUthfoDy,
Mr. Thomas Keating. DANL. B. LONG.
Prepared and Sold in Boxes, Is. IJd., and Tins, 2s. 9d., 4s. 6<L, and 10s. 6d. each, by Thomas
Keating, Chemist, &c, 79, St Paul's Churchyard, London. RetaU by aR Druggists and
Patent Medicine Vendors in the World.
N.B.—To prevent spurious imitations, please to observe that the words "HEATING'S COUGH
LOZENGES" are engraven on the Government Stamp of each Box, without which none are
0/3.3dI-   W:0bk% <sK~
Just Published, with Illuminated Titles and Frontispieces, and % full-page
Illustrations, handsomely Bound with BevelledBoards, price 5*. each.
With Photograph of MISS MARSH.
With  Photograph  of CHARLES  DICKENS, Esq.
With Photograph of CLARA NOVELLO.
By J. G. EDGAR, Esq.
Large Post 8vo. Elegantly Bound, with Illuminated Title and Frontispiece, Eight full-page Illustrations, and 3 Photographic Portraits,
price 7s. 6d.
Shortly will be Published, Part 1   of
Imperial 4to., Illuminated Wrapper, price 3s. 6d.
London : DARTON & HODGE, Booksellers and Publishers,
Printed by W. H. COX, 6, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields.'


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