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The re-annexation of British Columbia to the United States : right, proper and desirable. An address… Evans, Elwood, 1828-1898 1870

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       To The United States
RIGHT, PROPER AKD DESIRABLE.
XX  ADDRESS
Delivered by
E02J.  ELWOOD EVAUS
Before  the  Tacoxna Library Association.
01ympia,W.T.f January J<&C1l,1370.
». • • •
Published by Request.  CCRRESPOinDEHCE*
Olympia,W.T.,Jan.l8,1870,
HOK.EL^OOD EVAES:
Dear Sir:
The undersigned* knowing the
long and careful study you have given to the subject of
the claims of sovereignty by various nations to the
Eorthwest Coast, and in view of the fact that a
petition has been presented to President Grant by the
citizens of British Columbia in favor of annexation to
the United States, and that such subject may enter into
the negotiations between Great Britain and the United
States, deem this a fitting occasion, and therefore
request you to deliver an address on the propriety and
right, and the advantages growing out of, the annexation
to the Union of British Columbia, thereby securing a
continuity of Pacific boundary. While this
requested
by us as your friends and fellow-citizens,   on a national
question,  yet would we  suggest that you name  such time
as will enable you to deliver the  address as one of the
course of lectures for  the benefit of the Tacoma Lodge
Library and Reading Room.
Very respectfully yours,  &c,
H.G.TEimr,
JAS.S.LAWSOU,
C.B. BAG-LET,
E.L.SMITH,
I«M.A£iJCiiJ,
3.P.EERKT,
R.A.ABBOTT,
CHAS.PROSCH.
MESSRS. R.A.ABBOTT.
Olympia,
w.t. , Jan*.
20,1870,
, P. JERKY
totiWQnw
AND
Gentlemen:--It would be most ungracious in me
decline  the very complimentary request I have just
received, to deliver an address on the  question of the
sity and propriety of an exclusively American
Coast,  and a continuity of Pacific boundary
Horthwest  to the Polar Seas—Pacific, because the Great
Ocean is our ultimate western limit--Eacific,
because it must divest the Territory of adverse
claims of sovereignty, and remove forever any
occasion for strife with a foreign power. Such
a continuity brings power and grandeur to the
nation, and guarantees continuity of peace*
Doubly grateful am I that you have
suggested that my efforts may be rendered beneficial to the Tacoma Library and Reading Room--
I am always ready to do my little to contribute
to  such worthy objects*      Fix any evening next
week, and if health and life are spared me,  I
am cheerfully at your service*
I am,very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
ELWOOD EVAHS.  ADDRESS.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I appear before
you in response to a very complimentary invitation to
occupy your attention on a subject of deep interest
to citizens of the Pacific States and Territories, now
beginning to attract that attention elsewhere its
vast importance merits*  It involves the policy and
right of an expansion of our national, area, the propriety and desirability of a re-annexation of British
Columbia to the United States*  At first blush the
query arises whether the integrity of our Pacific
boundary, an uninterrupted and continuous coast line
to our Northern territorial possessions, may not be
regarded as an essential element in the successful
mission and the destiny of the United States of America.
That genial
writer, Frederick Whymper, an Englishman of observation
and talent, in  his Texy  readable and entertaining
narrative of "Travel and Adventure in the Territory of
Alaska," struck the key note of the spirit of the times
when he wrote so truthfully in regard to the motive or  -2-
1
result of the acquisition by the
United States of
Alaska Territo:
ry*
"There are, how<
3ver, many, both
in England and
America, who look
on this purchase as
the first move
toward an American occupation of the
whole continen
t, and who foresee
that Canada, and
British America generally, will sooner or later be
come part of the United States.
Looking at the
matter without
prejudice, I believe that it will be
better for those countries and ourselves when such
shall be the case.  We shall be
released from an
incumbrance, a
source of expense
and possible weakness;
they, freed fr<
3m the trammels of
periodical alarms of
invasion, and,
feeling the stren*
;th of independence
will develop and grow; and, speaking very plainly and
to the point, our commercial relations with them will
double and quadruple themselves in value. No one new
supposes that, had the United States remained naught
but *our American Colonies,' they would have progressed
as they have done; and it is equally obvious that our
commerce with them must have been restricted in equal
ratio.       That it is the destiny of the United States to  -3-
possess the whole Northern Continent, I fully believe."
In this quotation is furnished my text.
Our destiny, which must not, cannot be altered—a fiat
which has the potency of irrevocable law--the forward
march of Americanization until the whole Continent shall
be but one nation, with one sovereign government, one
flag, one people*  The name united States of America
will then have a consistency of nationality* History
will be rendered consistent with itself* We will have
no such contradiction of terms as British America. We
will indeed be E Pluribus Unum*
This is no new theory, no vain-glorious
hope.  It is the lesson of the future, taught by our
hallowed past, by our living present.  It is the realization of the great work of the Pathers; it is the fulfilment of the promise of the charter of our liberties,
"that in due time the weight would be lifted from the
shoulders of all men."  It was enunciated in London,
in 1787, by the orator of American Independence, the
elder Adams, is his defence of American Constitutions:
"Thirteen Governments founded on the National authority
of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or  -4*
mystery, and which are destined to spread over
the northern part of that whole quarter of the
globe, are a great point gained in favor of the
rights of mankind**
Those thirteen governments have
almost trebled in number in little over three-
quarters of a century since that prediction was
made, that destiny foretold. The "spreading* has
extended westward across the Alleghanies and Blue
Ridge, occupied the valley of the Mississippi,
crossed the Rocky Mountains and Sierras, and is
now limited by the broad Pacific.  The task has
been accomplished in a Western direction, but progress never halts while work remains to be done.
So, taking another departure, we have inaugurated
the movement at the extreme North. Prom thence we
now propose to spread this magical government,
"Pounded on the natural authority of the people alone
over the northern part of the whole continent*" And
between Alaska on the north, and Washington Territory
on the south, as the two spreading influences of  -5-
Americanization approach each other, when they
meet, will it not be like two great clouds on a
summer day?      Whilst they must neutralize and
crush the  intervening negative  element,  still will
they
"Consign their treasure to the fields,
And let all their moisture flow
In large effusion o'er the
freshened world."
But there will not then remain a British possession
or power sandwiched between our territories on the
Pacific.  Then will we have secured a continuous
Pacific boundary from the Gulf of California to the
Arctic Sea.
Our object now is to contribute something in spreading those Constitutions, those benign
influences whieh result, as Whymper says, from
independence.  Because it will prove "a great point
gained in favor of the right of mankind"--because it
will enhance the grandeur and glory of our country--
because it will diffuse innumerable blessings both to  V
ourselves and to those whom we bring within the aegis
and protection of our free Institutions*  Because it
will reduce to compact form the territory of the
nation, without a severance by the presence of a
European monarchial power. Because it will wipe out
and efface the humiliation of the treaty of 1846, by
which we are reminded that our nation was worried out
of British Columbia by mere British persistency of
claim, without basis of right*  It is needless to regret
that in 1846, our nation yielded its best opportunity
to realize the prophetic vision and vindicate the
patriotic sagacity of the elder Adams*  It is true that
the so-called Treaty of Limits brought with it the
quasi assurance that as cause of rupture was for the
time allayed, so friendly relations were once more re
newed between two great nations, whose best interests
were promoted by amity.  Por the time being it smoothed
our past differences. As it averted war, it may be
•
elaimed that it afforded time and opportunity for cool
reflection, which has enabled both nations thus long to
preserve peace.  At best it temporized matters of
controversy.  But it cost the United States five de-
grees and forty minutes of British foothold on the Pacific,  -7-
with territory of that breadth eastward to the Rocky
Mountains.   In the Oregon as reserved to the United
States it permitted the most eligible portions of
the Territory to be retained by a British company, and
the present Congress will be called upon to appropriate
$650,000 as a bonus to the Hudson Bay Company to withdraw
from American territory after twenty odd years' enjoyment
of the same, since it became relieved of the joint
occupancy incumbrance.  That treaty yielded all of Vancouver Island, a part of which, lying south of 49 north
latitude, would have remained in the United States, had
such parallel been carried as the boundary westward to
the ocean.  But solely with the view of avoiding a
partnership or joint-tenancy in that Island by the two
nations, the boundary line upon leaving the continent deflected southward through the main channel of the Gulf of
Georgia to the Straits of Puca* And the United States
ceded so much of said Island of Vancouver as was south
of said parallel*  That and that alone was all the land
or territory, south of said 49th degree, surrendered or
intended to be relinquished by the United States, bu that  -8-
Convention.      And yet before  the ink had scarcely
had time to dry with which that  ignominious treaty
was ratified,  England asserted claims  to the
Archipelago  de Haro,   including San Juan  and other
islands*     Por twenty-four years has she  defiantly
maintained this position,  and upon the flimsy basis,
would you believe it?      Lest you would suspect me
of making ridicule  of serious things,   I111 quote
from the dispatch of  her Commissioner I
"In support of my proposition that  the Rosario
Strait should be  the  channel of  the  treaty,   I advance
that it is  the only channel that will admit of being
considered the  channel, according to the  treaty, which
'separates the continent from Vancouver's  Island**
You state  that  'while  the  other channels only separate
the  islands  in the group from each other,  the  Canal
de Haro  for a considerable distance north of  the
"-'—
■■■*•» <■>■? Jguna^__and where  their waters unite,  washes
more adJ.o.nS to  the  continent  °"? "Vi""* ehluuwl«  ^"t
which  "separatee  the oontinent'froH* *°  tile,channel
c  <-untinenx irom Vancouver's  Island   •  •8-
Convention.      And yet before  the  ink had scarcely
had time to dry with which that  ignominious treaty
was ratified,  England asserted claims  to the
Archipelago  de Haro,   including San Juan  and other
islands.     Por twenty-four years has she  defiantly
maintained this position,  and upon  the flimsy basis,
would you believe it?      Lest you would  suspect me
of making ridicule  of  serious things,   I'll quote
from the dispatch of  her Commissioner I
•In support of my proposition that  the Rosario
Strait should be  the  channel of  the  treaty,   I advance
tbat  it  is  the  only channel that will admit of being
considered the  channel, according to the  treaty, which
•separates the continent from Vancouver's  Island**
You 3tate  that  'while  the  other channels only separate
the  islands  in the group from each other,  the  Canal
de Haro  for a considerable distance north of  the
Straits of Puca, and where their waters unite,  washes
the  shores of Vancouver's  Island,  and is,  therefore,
the only one which,  according to the  language of the
treaty,   separates the continent from Vancouver's Island]
I would ask your best attention to  this most peculiar
language of the  treaty,   in which the  usual terms of  -9—
expression appear to be designedly reversed, for the
lesser is not separated from the greater, but the
greater from the lesser--not the island from the
continent, but the continent from the island; and,
therefore, it would seem indisputable that where
several channels exist between the two, that channel
which is the most adjacent to the continent must be
the channel which separates the continent from any
islands lying off its shores, however remote those
islands may be,"
Hudibras aptly said of such captious
subterfugesi
•He'd undertake  to prove,  by force
Of argument,  a man's no  horse*
He'd prove a.buzzard is no fowl,
And that a Lord may be an owl —
A calf an Alderman, a goose a  Justice
And rooks Committee men and Trustees.-
But seriously,  Great Britain ha3  ignored
the  treaty of 1846.     She has violated its plain letter
by an utter disregard of the boundary line therein
defined and established.     She violated its spirit  in 1863,
(at a time  our nation was  struggling with a gigantic
rebellion, when so many feared Great Britain was about  to  -Id-
recognize the  independence of the so-called Southern
Confederacy)  to  secure for  her  subjects a recognition
of and compensation for claims under  that  treaty,
which identical claims in her portion of this same
territory,  arising under this same grant,  she had
herself most solemnly ignored and disavowed in 1858*
If a contract  intended as a settlement
between  individuals,   of all past differences,  may
become a nullity because of violation by either of any
of its material features, why may not a  treaty be set
aside for non-performance of  its stipulations by either
of the contracting parties?        A boundary or a party
line is essentially an entirety.     If 24 years  have
elapsed and the boundary prescribed by a treaty remain
undetermined,  is not that boundary an open question?
And as the area of territory is contingent upon  the
boundary,   it follows, as a sequence,  that  the  territory
also  is a  legitimate matter for negotiation.    True,
there  is no court in which to try these  issues—no
international  statute of limitation.    But if  ever a
treaty was made which might be avoided for  non-performance of  its stipulations within a reasonable period,  -11-
surely, in this instance, Great Britain has furnished
the amplest justification for the United States to
disavow that Convention. Again, that treaty, as its
preamble recites, was intended to remove "the state
of doubt and uncertainty which has hitherto prevailed
respecting the sovereignty and government of the
territory on the northwest coast of America*" It was
intended to be a final settlement.  As Great Britain
has persistently refused to recognize such settlement
as final, the sole moving consideration of the cession
of Territory by us is defeated.
I use the word cession advisedly. The
United States acquired the whole region watered by the
Columbia River and its tributaries, bu right of discovery
of the mouth of that mighty river by Gray, the
exploration of its sources "by Lewis and Clarke, and
settlement upon its banks by Astor and other Americans,
subsequently fortified by the adverse claim of Spain by
her right of discovery of the coasts, which the United
States by the Plorida treaty secured in 1819."  Up to
54 40', it was truly maintained our title was "clear
and unquestionable," and through Spain we might have
claimed still farther north.  It may be added here that  -12-
Great Britain, in restoring Astoria, conquered by a
British frigate during the war and named Port George,
was formally surrendered by Great Britain under the
Treaty of Ghent, as an American territory. Thus was
our sovereignty fully recognized.  In 1818, and prior
to the Plorida treaty, the United States and Great
Britain, who made pretensions adversely to Spain's
exclU3iveness of Claim, entered into a Convention to
continue ten years, whereby it was agreed that the
territory should be free and open to citizens and subjects of both nations, the object as expressed between
the two parties "being to prevent disputes and differences
between themselves."  There was a saving clause, that
no acts under and in regard to such treaty should
prejudice the claims of Spain, or any other power.
In 1826, the Convention of 1818 approaching
its termination, negotiations were renewed between Great
Britain and the United States*  It must be borne in mind
that in 1819, by the Plorida treaty, the Spanish title
had been merged into that of the United States*  At
that date (1826) Great Britain maintained no title, no
right of sovereignty to the territory on the northwest
coast.  She wanted it, and that was all sufficient to  -13-
justify the effort to secure it. Hear her claims
as defined by her most eminent publicists of that
day:
"Great Britain claims no exclusive sovereignty
over any portion of that Territory. Her p: esent
claim, not in respect to any part, but to the whole,
is limited to a right of joint occupancy, in common
with other States, leaving the right of exclusive
dominion in abeyance*  In other words, the pretensions
of the United States tend to the ejection of all other
nations, and, among the rest, of Great Britain, from
all right of settlement in the district eal claimed
by the United States* The pretensions of Great Britain,
on the contrary, tend to the mere maintenance of her
own rights, in resistance to the exclusive character of
the pretensions of the United States*"
Strip this of its diplomatic cloak and it may be
fairly stated that Great Britain had no title and
asserted none, but she prepared to secure and rely jrpon
possession*  Being in possession, she could hold till a
better affirmative right or greater force appeared*  But
she herself would be the judge of that superiority of
right, and she could elect whether or not she would be  -14-
0U3ted without resort to  the last argument of  the
powerful over the weak--paramount force.     Just  su:ch
a title,   in all ages of  the world, might  alone  has
made right*
The  negotiation in which the  above British
claim was avowed,  terminated in the  Convention of 1327,
which continued the occupance permitted by the  treaty
of 1818,   to citizens and  subjects of both nations,
until twelve months* notice of its abrogation should be
given by either.       Observe  this difference in the  two
treaties.    By the  latter  it is provided "that nothing
in either of said Conventions should impair or affect
the claims which the  two contracting parties may have
to 3aid territory*"       It was non-occupancy by the  two
nations as such, a covenant that no claim or right should
accrue to either government through citizens  or  subjects
of either  embracing the privileges conferred by such
treaties*
It therefore  follows  that Great Britain
bound herself,  by the  Convention of 1827,  not  to avail
herself of any claim which might accrue from s ettlement--
that such settlements by her subjects should not secure  to her any territorial right, nor such possession be
set up by her as evidence of claim or title.  By it
she convenanted that any act of her subjects under
that treaty should not impair or affect the claim of the
united States, nor increase or vest in her any right,
other than such as she possessed prior to 1818.  If, as
3aid by her negotiators in 1826, she had no title, all
she could possibly acquire subsequently thereto had
been obtained through the concession or permission of the
United States.  The occupancy by her subjects jointly
with Americans, an occupancy from which the government as
such was especially enjoined, is the only possessory
right Great Britain ever enjoyed* She never did jointly
or severally occupy the Oregon Territory or any portion
of it, save alone through the presence therein of her
subjects under those non-occupancy conventions, so often
glaringly miscalled Joint-Occupancy Treaties.
Such was the status of the parties in the early
stages of the Oregon controversy, and that such were the
measures of respective title or claim cannot be successfully denied. Yet, in 1844, British claim on the
northwest coast of America had grown into territorial
as
IS  -16-
right. Sir R. Pakenham-sas then the accomplished British
Minister to Washington. How boldly he aets forth possession
as evidence of title, of right to the territory of some
portion thereof, and with what overweaning confidence, not
to say effrontery, he urges a division of the territory as
a convenient mode to compensate Great Britain for that
possessory right, she asserted in violation of treaty, which
she solely acquired through an occupancy graciously permitted
by the United States not to her, but to her subjects.  Grant,
for the sake of the illustration, that the presence of
British subjects in the territory put that Government in
possession, and it is very like A consenting that B may enter
upon his lands during A's pleasure.  And then A, having
graciously favored B, finds himself compelled to surrender
a portion of his property to B, in order to secure a peaceable
enjoyment of the remainder. But let us read Sir R.
Pakenham's statement of British claims in 1844:
•The present state of the question between the two
governments appears to be this.  Great Britain possesses and
exercises, in common with the United States, a right of joint
occupancy in the uregon Territory, of which right she can
be divested with respect to any part of the territory only
by an equitable partition of the whole between the two powers.  -1 7-
—x i —
It is for obvious reasons desirable  that such a partition
should take  place as  soon as possible,  and the   difficulty
appears to be   in a  line  of  demarcation which  shall leave
to  each party that precise portion of the  Territory best
suited to  its convenience."
Mr.   Pakenham  then defends  the   British offer of
the Columbia river as a boundary:— §As regards extent of
Territory,   they would  obtain acre for acre nearly half
of the entire territory divided.    As relates to the
navigation of the principal river,  they would enjoy a
perfect equality of right with Great Britain, and with
respect  to harbors,   it will be  seen that Great Britain
shows  every disposition to  consult   their convenience  in
every particular,    un-the  other  hand, were Great Britain
to abandon the  line  of  the Columbia as a frontier,  and
surrender  her right  to  the navigation of that river,   the
prejudice occasioned to  her by such arrangement would
beyond all proportions    exceed the advantage accruing to
the United States from the possession of a  few more  square
mile3 of Territory.     It must be  obvious  to every impartial
investigator  of the  subject  that,   in adhering to  the line
of the Columbia,   Great Britain is not  influenced by
motives: of ambition with reference  to extent of Territory,  -13-
but by considerations of utility,  not  to say necessity,
which cannot be  lost  sight of,   and for which allowance
ought  to be made  in an arrangement proposing  to be based
on considerations  of mutual convenience and  advantage."
Thus it will be  seen that Great Britain pressed
claim on the ground that what she asked seemed to  her
to be a matter of  "utility," not  to say necessity," which
could well be  surrendered by the United States, as it
sacrificed but little   territory,  and left to   the  latter
the  same  convenience and advantage that  Great Britain
desired to enjoy.    Let us apply that doctrine now.     British
I Columbia has ceased to be an advantage  or  source  of
profit or benefit to  the  British Empire.     Indeed it will
hardly be  denied that  such colony has really become a
burden to  the home government.    As a  colony of England,
it  is a source of expense to  the  inhabitants--a mill-stone
about  their  necks,   retarding their advancement.     They  pay
largely for the honor  of being an appendage  to Britain,
without any corresponding benefit.     To  them the privilege
of being British subjects is ornamental rather than useful.
The completion of the  Suez Canal,  the  condition of
affairs in the British provinces  east of the Rocky  Mountains have forever dispelled the Idea that a Pacific
port and highway across the Continent will be a necessity
or even a benefit to British commerce. Indeed, nothing
now remains to justify Great Britain retaining her
Pacific American possessions but a love of territory and
an unwillingness to yield an inch to another nation, which
is one, or has been one of the most darling English
traditions. On the other hand, the time has arrived when
this territory is a matter of "utility, not to say
necessity," to the United States, which considerations,as
Sir R. Pakenham so aptly remarks, "cannot be lost sight of,
and for which allowances ought to be made in arrangements
to be based on considerations of mutual convenience and
advantage."  In other words, the preservation of good
neighborhood, the securing of "mutual convenience and
advantage" by powers owning contiguous territory, are
engrafted into international law as elements to be considered in the adjustment of territorial claims. And why
should not such relations as subsist between neighbors
holding contiguous estates apply equally between contiguous
nations?  Por the latter are but grand aggregates of
individuals, and the best international law is that which
compels nations in their dealings with each other strictly  and equitably to adhere to the relation of meum and tuum.
I am not permitted to pursue  in detail that
never-to-be-forgotten Oregon controversy and adjustment.
In 1844  the people  of  the United States elected a
President, and one of the planks in the  platform of  the
successful party was the following graphic and mo3t truthful
version of American claim to  the whole  of Oregon Territory.
The Democratic platform declared:   "Our title to the whole
of Oregon is clear and unquestionable;  that no portion of
the  same  ought to  be ceded to England or any other power;
and that the re-occupation of Oregon at the earliest
practicable  period is a great American measure."    Henry Clay
was the candidate of the Whig party for the  office of
President.    His views on the  question of American title  had
been  history,   since May,   1826, when, as Secretary of  State,
he  had uttered the memorable  sentiment  in his  instructions
to the Panama Commissioners:     "Prom the north-eastern limits
of  the  United States,   in North America,   to Cape Horn,   in
South America,  on the Atlantic Ocean, with one or two
inconsiderable exceptions;  and from the  same Cape to  the
fifty-first degree of north latitude,   in North America,  on
the Pacific Ocean, without any exception,  the whole coasts
1  -21-
y
and countries belong to sovereign resident American
powers."      During the  same  year, and when instructing
our Minister,  Albert Gallatin, who doaducted the
American side of the  negotiation which led to   the
convention of 1827,   in referring  to   the measure  of
claim acquired by the United States  from Spain, Mr.   Clay
asserted "our right extended to the   60th degree  of north
latitude*"    Through this broad land  the  Shibboleth of
political  parties was  the   "whole   of  Oregon,"  "54-40  or
fight,"  and  the people   of  the  United States unmistakably
and with hearty enthusiasm declared that war with England
was preferable to the  surrender  of any portion of Oregon.
And yet,   inside of  two short years, this great uprising
was followed by the   treaty of 1846,     "Oh,   lame and most
impotent conclusion!"
It must  therefore be apparent that Great Britain
acquired the   territory now known as British Columbia
solely as a compensation for  the with drawal by the British
Government  of all  claim to  the   territory south of 49   ,
based upon the presence of British subjects by permission
of  the United States  in the   two  Conventions  of  1818 and 1827.
England embraced the  opportunity presented by our war with
Mexico to renew negotiations.     She  presented the drafted  -22-
treaty of 1846. We accepted it without so much as dotting an
I or crossing a T, in the belief that the territory was too
worthless to justify further contention. Worried out by a
forty years' controversy, with a foreign war upon our hands,
popular but not enthusiastically endorsed by the people, we
accepted it as the end of a protracted "c®ntest, a seemingly
interminable diplomatic war* We surrendered all north of
49 • We agreed that British subjects should be recognized
to claim from the United States Government the same rights
they could successfully and lawfully assert against the
British Crown—but no more* We ceded certain territory upon
certain expressed considerations*  Those considerations were:
1. A certainty of boundary, to remove cause of
contention.  This has utterly failed, for still
the boundary is unsettled*
11. Exclusive sovereignty of the territory south of
49°• This was gross fraud, and has been entirely
ignored.  The government is about to pay $650,000
for a release of British claims to land, but a very
small portion of which had been reduced to
possession before the treaty of 1846, and for
rights under a license revoked by the British
Government in 1858.
J   111. Our Government was beguiled into surrendering the
territory by representations derived through
English channels of its utter worthlessness, the
English Government well knowing its value and
resources, and a party to our deception*  -23-
If the above deductions be just,   it  is not  coveting our
neighbor's property,   to wish to segain that territory;   it is
merely the seeking of a restoration of  that we  formerly
parted with,   the consideration upon which we  disposed of  our
interest  or claim having entirely failed.     Por  it  is not
claimed that a nation more  than  an  individual should violate
the Divine   injunction,   "Thou shalt not  covet."    Neither  is  it
right  that a nation should forfeit its contract,  or  falter
in a  treatZy stipulation, when  once faith is plighted.    But
what is true as applicable to  individuals,   is equally true as
to nations.    Will it be denied that  if A deceive B in
acquiring a piece  of property from the latter through false
representation,   he being we^l advised in the premises,  and
imposing on B's ignorance,  that it  is covetous or  dishonest
in B to avoid the bargain?      Suppose the  property thus
acquired while   In A's possession is enhanced in value and
rendered more  desirable  to B than formerly;   indeed,   it has
become a matter  of importance   to B to  regain it,   in order to
give additional value  to his   estate  in proximity; would it be
wrong for  B to seek its recovery?    Equity, common sense,  and
wholesome law all say B has a right thereto,  if he  can
establish fraud in A.    True,  the  law strictly construed may say,  -24-
"ignorance was  no excuse,"  "Caveat emptor."    But equity says
if A has committed fraud,   B must be relieved.     The
obligation may be  imposed upon B,   in regaining the possession
of hiw own,  to pay to A any increased value which the
property may have attained while  held by him,  but deducting
a proper allowance  to  B for  his damages of privation, and
A's profit by enjoyment.
Is not  this  the  condition of affairs between the
United States and Great Britain,   in regard to the territory
of British Columbia?      If it be,   then the  United States owes
it to  itself to  recover what wlgas lost.     It is commendable
patriotic pride--not covetousness,  nor ambition of territorial
expansion,   nor  lust for  power, which justifies—commands  the
effort.    The  treaty of 1846,  and the  events which have
and
followed In the r egion divided between England  the United
States by that treaty, establish the fact  that such was  the
character of  the dealings between the two  nations*    Let one
plain example  illustrate*     It must  have been known to  the
English Government and its accredited diplomatic agent that
there was no such association as  the  Puget Sound Agricultural
Company.    This suggestion acquires more force when we  call
to mind the fact that the  draft of the  treaty was handed to
Louis McLane,   the American Minister at London,  by the British
Secretary of State for Poreign Affairs, and by Mr. McLane  'CB"
was submitted to  our Secretary of State as acceptable
to  the British Government.       Our Government was bound to
believe  such a Company existed, and that  they had acquired
landed possessions  in  the  Oregon territory,   or why would
the British Minister have named  them?      And yet  that myth
till then was breathed  into   corporate  life by treaty
recognition to  enable   the  Hudson's Bay Company under  such
an alias to acquire lands which,   by its License  of Trade,
was  expressly prohibited.     This   is one only of the frauds
in that negotiation,   but  it aptly exemplifies British claim
to Oregon.
How usefully may the American student  of   the
current  history of  his beloved country pause and dwell upon
the  lesson taught by this  event and  its surroundings.    The
consent to the  establishment of British power  on the  northwest coast of America by that convention by illustrious
American  publicists receives no commendation now from any
quarter.      Its only explanation may be found  in a sublimity
of  ignorance alike  of the vast future  importance of  the
Pacific,  as  of  the wealth and resources of British Columbia
and Vancouver Island.     The   "derelict of nations,"  that which
was repudiated because of alleged worthlessness,   "the  3tone
which the builders rejected,   is become  the  head"  of this
northwest corner.     Its acquisition by Great Britain exemplified
the prescience and statesmanship of that wary government*  „2£-.
That England knew what she was securing,  that  she  had
a motive from 1818 down to  1846,   in  inducing the United
States to  consent  to a   "Joint  occupancy," while  she
ripened naked possession into title,   cotemporaneous history
fully establishes*
Through vigilant sentinels upon those  then
remote  outposts,  Douglas,   Simpson, McLaughlin,   Ogden,
men
Tolmie,   et  id omne  genus,   the   efficient managingtof the
Hudson's Bay Company,  the British government were
thoroughly advised of the value and  importance of the region.
Indeed,  as  early as the close  of the  last  century that
renowned voyageur Sir Alex* Mackenzie,   had foreshadowed
the importance of Pacific commerce, and invoked the
British government  to  take  the  necessary steps  to establish
here  its prestige  and power.    How full of  significance  is
the  opinion  expressed by a distinguished memberof the
British Parliament,  Hon. E. Ellice,   one of the largest
shareholders in the Hudson's Bay Company I    Of Vancouver
j
Island he  thus remarks:     "It  is a kind of England,
attached to  the  continent of America.    I think it should
not  only be  on the ordinary system of English colonies,
but that  it should be the  principal station of your naval  force  in the Pacific*     It  is the  only good harbor to the
northward of San Prancisco,  as far north as Sitka.    You
have  in Vancouver  Island the best harbor,  fine timber
in every situation,   and coal enough for your navy;     the
climate  is wholesome,  very like that of England;  the
coast abounds with fish of svery description;   in short,
there is every advantage  in the  Island of Vancouver to
make  it one of   the  first colonies and best settlements of
England*      Political questions are connected with making
a settlement in that quarter, which I will not enter into*"
But those Anglicising missionaries, who occupied
the region to perfect the  title,   or   secure the  possession
for England,  did not stop with instructing the British
government as to the value,   to that power,  of a foothold
in northwest America.    Prom them emanated another
character of representations as to  its inadaptability to
white  settlement.    Remoteness,   inaccessibility,   except by
the transit of a broad continent,   high northern latitude,
!with a supposed corresponding rigorous climate, and hordes
of barbarous natives,  all furnished the data by which to
damnify the country for  colonial or political purposes*
This course  had its  twofold effect:   it tended to delay  settlement till the fur-producing animals were  exhausted,
which must have disappeared with the advent of settlers*
It thus assured to  the Hudson's Bay Company a profitable
remuneration for exclusively enjoying the  country and serving
the British government in the maturing of title by actual
occupancy.
Through such means, non-adaptability to settlement
was assiduously and indelibly stamped upon Northern Oregon,
now British Columbia.     The ^Laborious Eenton,  proverbial  for
his critical correctness, was  entirely wrong for  once.    He had
drank too deeply that  information as  to  the  country Injected
by Hudson's Bay Company officers into official reports of
Americans sent to explore the country.    How naturally the
explorers thought old residents could give reliable  information,
how all impossible  that such hospitable men, who  so freely
volunteered details,  could garble, deceive or supress truth*
Yet,  where did the  studiously careful Benton acquire  that data,
which even palliates that remarkable  speech which brought about
the advice and consent of the United States Senate to the
treaty of 1846,  before  the  signing of the  same by the ministers
of the respective governments?    Two-thirds of an American
Senate would never have advised that humiliation,  but they
placed reliance in Mr.  Benton*s  industry in acquiring information, and his usual and thorough correctness.     They believed  ■29«
that speech, and its cost to the nation was British
Columbia and Vancouver Island*  That Mr. Benton believed
it then, as the world has since too long continued to
believe it, is the best evidence of how greatly we were
deceived, how grossly that country was misrepresented,
how well that part of the programme was performed, how
thoroughly through English channels and by English
representations the territory was damnified, until it
came to be regarded as^ utterly worthless. That Mr. Benton
would make such statements, is the best commentary; hear
him:
•I knew the Straits of Puca, and that these Straits
formed a natural boundary for us, and also divided the
continent from the islands, and the fertile from the
desolate regions.  I knew that the continental coast and
the inhabitable country terminated on the south shore of
those Straits, and that the northwest archipelago--the
thousand desolate and volcanic islands, derelict of all
nations—commenced on their shore: and I wanted to go no
farther than the good land and continentaX coast went.  I
had expected the deflection to have commenced further
back, on the continent, so as to have kept our line a
little further off from Port Langley, at the mouth of  -30-
Prazerfs river, almost in sight of which it  now passes.
If this had been asked,   I,  for  one, would have been
willing to  grant it;  but the British did not ask it,
probably for  the  same reason that I would have granted it,
namely,  the  entire worthlessness of the desolate region
about the mouth of Praser's river.    The deflection leaves
out Vancouver  Island, and I am glad of  it.     It is one  of
thejkmost worthless of the  thousand worthless islands which
the northwest archipelago presents, and is the derelict
of all nations,     it  is now vacant and desert, and I want
none of itl    I would not accept it as a present,  nor would
the  poorest Lord of the Isles that ever  lived upon the
western coast of Scotland."
In this anathema against Vancouver  Island and the
basin of Praser's river  is found one of  the  leading
excuses for  the relinquishment by the United States of
British Columbia,  as at present defined.    When the  Praser's
river excitement led to the  establishment of Victoria and
partial development of British Columbia,   how truly we learned
we  had been cruelly deceived.     It is not with any
disposition to  indulge  in vain regret that Britain then
over~rcached us in diplomacy,  or pang of  humiliation that
the United States sacrificed her prestige,  power or
V  -^1 —
territory, that these facts are recounted* History
has been truthfully defined as "philosophy teaching
by example," and in this connection between links in
the past, what duty to the future enjoins is made
apparent. England still intervenes to keep dissevered
our continuity of Pacific possessions and boundary,
and that great fact is full of interest to every
American, e specially to such as dwell upon the Pacific
slope•
Nor should we be unmindful that but too lately
there were some, claiming to be ranked as American
statesmen, who, disregarding those lessons of the past,
would have re-enacted the error of 1846; who did
endeavor to defeat the acquisition of Alaska, upon the
old and fallacious plea of worthlessness of territory,
the only excuse for the surrender of the present British
Columbia. Let us recur for a moment to the stirring times
on this magnificent inland sea in the years 1858,'59, and
'60. You, that were here, will heartily concur that,
had the then bustling city of Victoria been on American
soil, here, to-day, on Puget Sound, would be an emporium
of population and commerce second only to San Prancisco,
if not its successful rival.  State it otherwise:  had not
the southern portion of Vancouver Island belonged to  -32-
Britain, Victoria might not have been the site of such
emporium, but Whatcom, Seattle, Port Townsend, or some
other of the numerous eligible harbors on Puget Sound,
would, to-day, have been the head-center of Pacific
commerce. Ho one will dare to assert that, had the United
States in 1846 owned Alaska, any American statesman would
for a moment have thought of allowing the Pacific continuity
of northwest America to be destroyed, however worthless the
territory. The homogeneity of that coast line would have
been preserved inviolate at any cost. History and posterity
would have approved any expenditure of blood and treasure
in its maintenance. Nor will any one urge that, had the
existence of the wealth and importance of British Columbia
or Vancouver Island been as well understood by the United
States as by the British government, any part of  such
territory or ISaae island would have been relinquished. Had
we then possessed our present knowledge, there would not,
to-day, be stretched along the whole extent of our northern
frontier, from ocean to ocean, with a highway of travel across
the continent, an European power w hich may only cea.se when
succeeded by a rival American nationality. Those soi^ disant
statesmen forget that what charity may condone as a blunder
in 1846, on the plea of ignorance or misapprehension, is
crime at this later day of our progress and destiny.  -33-
Concede that regions are valueless, and the reason
becomes more cogent why European powers should relinquish
them, for the motive of retention is reduced to the mere
desire to exercise jurisdictional rights upon the American
continent. Maintaining upon it a foothold with such
motive, but likens such power to the famous "dog in the
manger," and a nation, actuated by such policy, is, at best,
a bad neighbor, and should be excluded on general principles.
The exorcism of any European sovereignty from the American
continent is a valuable consideration to the United States,
and no territory upon the continent is so worthless but it
possesses political value to the national Union.  It is freely
admitted that the character of land, climate, accessibility
and adaptability to settlement should eadh have due weight
in regulating the price.
The history of British Columbia has exploded forever
the theory of yielding any portion of this continent to an
European sovereignty because of worthlessness.  It is lasting
testimony against the resort to such an argument to delay
the forward march of the nation to its future destiny. That
plea has always proven error. When Jefferson led the way
for American empire to cross the Mississippi river, by the
purchase of Louisiana, though that secured the inestimable
boon of the exclusive navigation of seveial of the great rivers  of the world, an internal navigation unequalled in any
portion of the earth, yet how unsparingly was "he derided.
But posterity has accorded to him undying gratitude, and
stamped the Louisiana purchase as the crowning act of his
glorious career. California was equally damnified as
worthless, and yet she has a future of wealth and grandeur
second to no State in the American Union. Vancouver Island,
so scoffed at by the illustrious Benton, exhibits her
Victoria, her Esquimalt, her Nanaimo, as evidence of the
absurdity of such policy.
unsatisfactory, not to say humilating, as is
this recurrence to the treaty of 1846, yet, even in that
dark picture of our past, there is occasionally relief from
gloom.  There were those in the councils of the nation, who
understood the real situation, who, even then, appeared
dissatisfied with the damnifying process by which the people
of the United States were to be stimulated to and reconciled
with the surrender to Great Britain of a part of Oregon.
John Q,uincy Adams, in the American House of Representatives,
in that eventful year (1846) which marks the eagerness of
the general government to go to war to acquire territory on
the southern border of the Union, and an equal willingness to
relinquish territory on its northern frontier, urged the
passage of a bill directing the President to abroggate the
Convention of 1827, by giving to Great Britain the requisite  -35
twelve months' notice. He spoke of British pretension, claim
and motive as to Oregon. With him, Oregon was the Oregon
of history, before it was shorn of its fair proportions, and
half of it ceded to Great Britain. These were his sentiments:
"But at this day she claims no exclusive jurisdiction
over the whole country. She claims to have the country free
and open, that is, to keep it in a savage and barbarous state
for her hunters, for the benefit' of the Hudson's Bay Company,
for hunting.  Now, she knows that it would have no value to
her at all from the day that it is settled by tillers of the
ground. We claim that country—for what?' To make the
wilderness blossom as the rose, to establish laws, to increase,
multiply and subdue the earth, which we are commanded to do
by the first behest of God Almighty."
The "old man eloquent" foresaw it all. His mind had
received the impressions from the reports representing the
savage and barbarous state of the country,i.e., its unfitness
for settlement, but, notwithstanding such representations,
yet would it be ultimately Americanized by the class he so
eloquently alluded to in that same memorable speech*
•I want the country for our Western pioneers, to
afford scope for the exercise of that quality of man which
is most signally exemplified in the population of our western
territory, for them to go out to make a great nation that is
to arise there, and which must come from us, as a fountain  -36-
eomes from its source, of free, independent, sovereign
republics."  That is what we want with British Columbia,
and it is not claiming too much to assert that that gifted
and prescient statesman well appreciated, that however
important Pacific commerce might become to England, still,
with an ocean and continent between it and Great Britain,
British influence and power would not be in the way of our
nation's dedication of "the northern part of that whole
quarter of the globe" to free, independent, sovereign
republics."
How dompletely is his prophetic judgement
vindicated in 1869 by the petition of the citizens of British
Columbia to the President of the United States, imploring
that they may be brought within those influences which are
contributing so steadily to making that great nation which is
to arise there, the wilderness to blossom as the rose, the
establishment of laws, obedience to the first behest of God
Almighty.
May I r ead to you that petition the earnest yearning for republican life and vigor alike of British subjects
and American residents now domiciled in British Columbia:  -37-
To His Excellency, the President of the United
CJ+a + oo *
O Let bCOi
Your memorialists beg leave most respectfully
to represent that we are residents of the Colony of
British Columbia, many of us British subjects, and all
of us deeply Interested in the welfare and progress of
our adopted country; that those who are British
subjects are penetrated with the most profound
feelings of loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty and
her government, and all entertain for her feelings of
the greatest attachment, and to the country; that while
we thus indulge such feelings we are constrained by
the duty we owe to ourselves and families, in view
of the contemplated severance of the political ties
which unite this colony to the mother country, to
seek for such political and commercial affinity and
connection as will insure the immediate and continued
prosperity and well-being of this our adopted home;
that this colony is now suffering great depression,
owing to its isolation, scarcity of population, and
other causes too numerous to mention; that we view
with feelings of alarm the avowed intention of her
Majesty's Government to confederate this colony with
the Dominion of Canada, as we believe such a measure
can only tend to still further depression and ultimate
injury, for the following reasons,viz: That confeder
ation cannot give us protection against internal
enemies or foreign foes, owing to the distance of
this colony from Ottawa; that it cannot open to us a
market for the produce of our land, our forests, our
mines, our water; that it cannot bring us population,
our greatest need, as the Dominion itself is suffering
from a lack of it; that our connection with the
Dominion can satisfy no sentiment of loyalty or
devotion; that her commercial and industrial interests
are opposed to ours; that the tariff of the Dominion
will be the ruin of our farmers and the commerce of
our chief cities; that we are instigated by every
sentiment of loyalty to Her Majesty, by our attachment
to the laws and institutions of Great Britain, and our
deep interest in the prosperity of our adopted country,
to express our opposition to a severance from England
and a Confederation with Canada. We admit that the  Dominion may be aggrandized by Confederation, but we can
see no benefit, either present or future, which can accrue
to us therefrom. That we desire a market for our coal
and lumber, and our fish, and this the Dominion seeks for
the same produce of her own soil*  She can take nothing
from us and supply us with nothing in return.  That
confederating this colony with Canada may relive the mother
country from the trouble and expense of fostering and
protecting this isolated distant colony.  But it cannot
free us from our long enduring depression owing to the lack
of population as aforesaid, and the continued want of a
home market for our produce. The only remedy for the evils
which beset us, we believe to be in a close union with the
adjoining States and Territories* We are already joined by
a unity of objects and interests*  Nearly all our commercial
relations are with them. They furnish the chief markets
we have for the products of our mines, land and waters.
supply the colony with most
of
the necessaries
They
life,
They furnish us the only means of communication with the
outer world, and we are even dependent upon them for the
means of learning the events in the mother country or the
dominion of Canada. Por these reasons we earnestly desire
the acquisition of this colony by the United States.  It
would result at once in opening to the United States an
unrestricted market for our products, bring an influx of
population, and with it induce investment of capital in our
coal and quartz mines, and in our forests.  It would insure
us regular mails and communication with the adjoining States
and Territories, and through them with the world at large.
14 would lessen the expense of our Government by giving us
representative institutions and immediate control of our
domestic concerns, besides giving us protection from foreign
enemies, and with all these we should still be united to a
people of our own kindred, religion and tongue, and a people
who for all time must intimately affeet us in all our
relations.for weal or woe.  That in view of these facts we
respectfully request that your Excellency will cause this
memorial to be laid before the Government of the United
States, and that in any negotiations that may be pending or
undertaken between your Government and that of her most
gracious Majesty for the settlement of territorial or other
questions, that you will endeavor to induce Her Majesty to
consent to the transfer of this colony to the United States.
We believe Her Majesty earnestly desires the welfare and
happiness of all her people in view of the circumstances that
for years she has consented to the annual exodus of tens of  thousands of her subjects to the United States, and
that she will not let political traditions and
sentiments influence her against a measure so earnestly
desired by the people of this poor, isolated colony.
Dated British Columbia,Nov ember, 1869.
This petition demonstrates two propositions: L* That
the spirit of free institutions, like the gospel, conquers
peoples, and forces them to covet the "spreading" of its
influences, that they, too, may enjoy its vitalizing power.
11. That deeply imbued as is.the feeling of a Briton in favor
of hi3 native land and its institutions, in favor of its
peculiar national tradition against the diminution of
territory, yet the contrast between the success of the American Pacific States and Territories, side by side with
British Columbia, gifted with as great resources and
advantages, showing that the former depends alone upon
Americanization, forces the conviction in the mind of the
British Columbian, "not that I love England less, but my
adopted country more."  To advance her best interests, to
avoid her future insignificance,"the only remedy for the
evils which beset us we believe .to be in a close union with
the adjoining States and Territories*"
It doe3 seem that there can be no doubt as to the right
and propriety of the United States Government at once taking
steps to secure the reannexation of British Columbia to the  Union. Right, because it was once ours, and the consideration
upon which it was relinquished has entirely failed.  Right,
because fraud and misrepresentation were used in extorting
its cession to Great Britain. Right, because it ha3 become
a necessity to our country, its commerce, its future, its
destiny. Right, because it restores self-respect, wipes out
the wounds of humiliation, and effaces inglorious memories*
Right, because it will benefit humanity and spread the
blessings of free institutions. Proper, because it is right,
and because the people of that colony have asked the measure;
and every principle of our institutions recognizes that they
are the only competent judges of whom they will have to rule
over their destinies.
Let us now advert to the desirability of re-annexation.
This seems so palpable as hardly to justify extended notice.
To the United States it is desirable in every point of view.
To the people of British Columbia so desirable that it is
urged by themselves as a sine qua non for future well-being.
To Great Britain, as affairs are now being developed, it would
seem desirable, at least beneficial, to part with this colony.
Briefly only am I permitted to make a passing notice
of each of these three elements of desirability, invoking
immediate action in the necessary measures to bring about this
re-annexation, this restoration of the integrity of our
former Pacific territory*  -41-
The leading reason for the United States to respond
at once to the petition of the citizens of British Columbia,
is that the granting of the prayer will contribute to the
success of the true mission of the United States of America*
American destiny means the entire, exclusive, homogeneous
Americanization of North America, with but one nationality
exercising sovereign powers, without the intervention, or
right, or necessity, to intervene by any foreign power in
affairs upon this continent*  Such a condition of things
would seem to have been in the mind of Washington when he
so aptly depicted the necessities for the oneness and ex-
clusiveness of the United States of America*
•Our detached and distant situation invites and enables
us tq pursue a different course* If we remain one people,
under an efficient government, the period is not far off
when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when
we may take 3uch an attitude as will cause the neutrality
we may at any time resolve upon to be scuptulously respected;
when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making
aggressions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us
provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest,
guided by justice, shall counsel."
The exclusive Americanization of the North American
continent is desirable because it is the harbinger of peace,
m  because it removes from the list of causes of international
jealousy or strife one great element of contentionbetween
powers struggling for supremacy.  It is one great step
towards that universal peace the world is destined to enjoy
when it 3hall have attained that highest civilization to which
it is steadily advancing.
Foremost among the agencies to effect this "consummation so devoutly to be wished," is the exclusive mastery
of the commerce of the Pacific, constituting the United
States as the great western power without a contestant. This
would of necessity interpose a continent as the barrier between
the eastern or European seas and the riches of India and
the south Pacific, except by the transit of eastern continents
and the seas.  That great triumph of the age, the Suez Canal,
will soon afford a channel of communication between Euuopean
States and the East Indies, and relieve all European commercial
or maritime powers from the excuse of a necessity to retain a
foothold on the Pacific coast, for facilities of communication
with Asiatic countries. All temptation to acquire or
disposition to hold territory in this region, as a measure of
commercial advantage, is now removed. No reasonable excuse
remains for European intervention in American affairs. The
exclusion of England as a sovereign power from the American  continent accomplished, and we will have attained that true
condition of national independence, "when," as the good
Washington has expressed it,"we may choose peace or war, as
our interests, guided by justice, shall counsel."
The Monroe doctrine, enunciated in regard to, and
stamped upon the great Northwest, will not be theory, but
practice. That doctrine is near its realization.  "The
American continents, by the free and independent condition
which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to
be considered as subjects for future colonization by any
European powers."
We lost sight of this principle, this animus of our
Americanization, in the abortive treaty of 1846, but British
subjects, in 1869, invite us back to our principles, to
practice that theory; they implore us to shed abroad, to
spread again, and still further, the healthy influences of
American institutions, and revivify a colony which was attempted
tib be built up and breathed into being as an appanage of
European power and policy on this American soil: but it proved
a paradox, and has already dwindled to decay, while yet in its
o
minority.     In  1846 we could not quite reach up to  54    40',  but
a year or  two ago we made that historic  landmark our boundary,  -44-
and already is British Columbia becoming reconstructed by
gravitating to the American Oregon, of which it was
formerly a constituent portion.  That good old line our
people were willing to fight for in 1844 now bounds American
territory. With Alaska as a top weight, it will be pressed
downward, meeting the upward expansion of Puget Sound
development.  Between these two strata of Americanization,
British supremacy will be squelched out, and the continuity
of American Pacific boundary be attained, bringing with it
the exclusive control of the empire of the Pacific, and the
commerce of eastern Asia and the southern oceans.
An inspection of the map of the world affords the
most ample proof of this desirability of exclusiveness of
Pacific poast line. By the acquisition of Alaska and the
Aleutian Islands, our possessions have been pushed, as it
were, across the Pacific, and we are at the very doors of
Japan and China.  Take the coast line from Panama to our
northwesternmost limit, representing almost the two sides of
a spherical triangle, and, subtended within the area of the
completed triangle, are the Sandwich Islands, which must
naturally come to us, England andPrance withdrawn from these
seas. Then bear in mind the great fact that a voyage is
shorter from San Francisco to Japan and China, via our
northwest possessions, than by way of the Sandwich Islands;
shorter still from Puca Straits or Puget Sound; shorter still  -45-
from Sitka;--in fine, shorter from any intermediate point
on the Pacific coast of the American continent. So it must
be plain as the sun at noon-day how great a figure the
control of that whole coast and its innumerable harbors
must cut in this problem of absorbing the vast and wealthy
commerce of thi3 ocean.
This proposition is not new; its solution led
to the exploration and settlement of the great Northwest*
England and the United States, during the last century,
in these seas, contended for that commerce; and centuries
before they had been preceded by Spain and Russia.  To
attract the wealth of eastern Asia to the Pacific coast of
this continent and carry it to the Atlantic, and from
thence distribute it to other parts of the world, stimulated,
hastened and insured the construction of the great
continental railroad, which of necessity makes the Pacific
port of that road the magnet for and absorbent of the
character of commerce which will be found profitable by
speedy land transportation to eastern marts, such as
valuable fabrics and wares, when rapidity of transmission
and light weights neutralize freight charges.  Furs, teas,
silks, jewelry, and such articles, are the illustration.
In the present condition of things, it is improbable that
an interoceanic road will cross the American continent in  British territory. The necessity for a British Pacific
port is therefore dissipated and removed. Besides that
great triumph of engineering, the Suez Canal, has brought
India, the richest jewel of the British Crown, much nearer
England.  How vastly has its completion enhanced the value
and importance of her East India possessions, and her
attention will be exclusively needed in securing it, for
both France and Russia seem to believe that "balance of
power" in international matters is essential to the peace
of the world, and current events would indicate that, if
an opportunity occurs, an attempt will be made to weaken
the British empire by a division of her Indian possessions.
Every indication justifies the assertion that England will
find it to her interest to withdraw entirely from this field*
British. Columbia is inhabited by a people, as the petition
asserts," of our own kindred, religion and tongue; a people
who for all time must intimately affect us in all our
relations for weal or woe." Besides a large number are our
own people, and by all theties of blood and consanguinity,
by the sacredness of our mission to Americanize the continent,
it is duty to them, and desirable to us, to mankind and
I posterity, that British Columbia be re-annexed to the United
'States •  But desirable as it may be to the United States, to
the people of British Columbia this desirability intensifies
into a question of actual necessity. We here might content
ourselves by re-reading the petition of the citizens of
that interesting colony; but the history of Victoria, its
rise, its early brilliant career, its premature subsidence,
not to say decay, is the speaking illustration of every
feature of the subject*
Its establishment vindicates the judgment which
prompted the location of a commercial emporium on the Pacific
coast*  Its rapid growth shows how spontaneously, as it were:
cities may be built by American population and energy.
The early years of Victoria illustrate the vastness
and value of Pacific commerce, and the inherent strength
and advantage of the situation.  Its subsidence is the best
evidence that on these continents, settlements to continue
successful, to grow, to prosper, need more than natural
advantages, more than capital, more than population. All
these are essentials; but there mu3t be present also the
leaven of American institutions, the energy, the reliance,
the dependence on future which grows out of what Whymper
call3 "independence  -48-
The whole argument  i3  embraced in this single
proposition,  plainly stated,   and which will not be denied:
Had British Columbia,   including Vancouver  Island,  been an
American territory,  Victoria,  if such port  had been
selected as the  port for British Columbia,  with the  impetus
it received in 1858,   '59 and  '60, would,   to-day,   have been
a flourishing city,   instead of a  "deserted village."
The most  insidious and potential   essay to acquire a
British foothold in the Northwest,  and to  control Pacific
commerce and power, was set' on foot  in 1857-58 by Governor
(now  Sir)   James Douglas,   in a  series of measures, chief among
which,  for  its boldness of conception,  successful initiation,
wide  spread attractiveness, universality of response and
important subsequent results, wasthe Praser's river excitement.
A careful examination of the   events of which it is the
historical aggregate,  will satisfy the most  skeptical  that
that vigorous-minded Briton,   that able far-seeing statesman,
a
had determined to make Victoria^British rival of San Francisco,
and to establish as its base or  feeder a province or  colony
in British Oregon, as then known,  but now the continental
portion of British Columbia*     it will likewise appear that
Praser's river gold did not "pan,"  that the country was
proclaimed as a gold region,  and license fees established
for working it,  on statements of native  Indians, and because
S 35
K£«f  •49
the  Governor knew no good reasons why gold should not be
diffused throughout British Oregon as well as elsewhere
on the Pacific slope.    True  the color did appear in all the
tributaries  of Fraser's river.     Here and there were rich,
diggings;   but  the  wealth of Cariboo and other  even richer
gold fields were unknown,  unanticipated.     Their  existence
became ascertained after the Fraser's river bubble  had bursted.
When British Columbia and Vancouver Island, with its numerous
and suddenly accumulated population,   had settled down to  quiet
and regular routine  of life,   the   Cariboo mines became  known
andproved rich indeed.     They were a  godsend to the  authors of
the  "Fraser's river  excitement."    But for them that memorable
gold stampede would have  found  its place   in  history,   side  by
side with the  great "South Sea bubble."    The  "Douglas scheme"
was not intended for the benefit that might accrue from gold
seeking.    Had it been really known that gold was there in such
quantities as  it  afterward proved,   the Hudson's Bay Company,
who knew its value as well as the honest miner, would have been
content  to  have appropriated it.     That memorable  excitement
was but the allurement to draw population,   erect a British
colony,  and oerpetuate British celeny lodgement and empire on
the Pacific.
Had  his very able  and ingeniously devised efforts
been seconded by the British government,   as zealously as their  -50-
intention would seem to have warranted, England,to-day,
might have better justification for a desire to continue to
divide.  American territories on the Pacific.  She might
yet have some reason to desire to retain a seat of empire
in these seas for the purpose of commerce and power.  But
the sceptre has departed from Judah.  That ever-watchful
government was once found napping.  She was guilty of as
fatal an omission to improve her opportunity as was the
United States in 1846.  The wise and sagacious founder of
British Columbia, and projector of Victoria commerce and
British supremacy in these regions, received the compliment
of being commissioned as First Governor, and also the honors
of Knighthood.  The British government had notified Governor
Douglas "that the government were not prepared to increase
any expense on account of a revenue derivable from such a
source (gold license) from that distant quarter of the kingdom."
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, then colonial Secretary, restricted
Governor Douglas's movements by instructing him that British
Columbia was expected to be "self-sustaining." Douglas was left
without encouragement, and, finally, supplanted. He had lived
long upon the frontier; he had breathed that vital air of the  Pacific slope which seems to impart energy and snap; he
had been invigorated by seeing a wide expanse of territory
develop into States; to see cities in a day spring into
prominence.  He rose to his full stature of native
character when he felt: "If this can be done in America,
why cannot it succeed in British Columbia?" For more than
a quarter of a century he had been autocrat of these
regions, and overlooked one idea. He had no knowledge or
appreciation of the strength of a government dependent
upon the will and consent of the governed. Here was his
mistake: he wanted English institutions, English discipline
and English circumlocution.  He eschewed the American
element present in the country, by his invitation. Jealousy
of American ideas, the real secret of American progress,
marked his administration. As the English government refused
to be at the expense of supporting English institutions, and
as the American system was repudiated, the consequence is
natural. As a governmental scheme, as a colony, British
Columbia is a failure; Victoria, its city, is but a reflex
of the colony.
A parallel between Victoria dnd San Francisco,
truthfully drawn, making due allowance for the more favorable
agricultural resources of California over British Columbiam  -52-
and the  only feature   in which there  is an advantage,   in
favor of  the  former,(And  it may be  claimed that   the   gold,
coal,   timber,   lime and fisheries of the  latter  ought to
compensate for the better cultivable character  of  the
lands of California)   demonstrate  the  reason of the  premature  decay of Victoria,  and points  to  the  remedy by which
she may be re-invigorated with healthy strength,  experience,
a  hopeful  future,  and yet attain the  place  in the roll
of Pacific  cities to which, she is  entitled by her many
natural advantages.
In 1848   San Francisco made  her  debut as  the
American city of the  Pacific.    Her pretensions were  quite
as humble,   her then as  insignificant as the beautiful
little Hudson's Bay Company town of Fort Victoria  in  1858.
In  1849  the  discovery of gold attracted a  large  advent of
population to  California.     At the  beginning of 1849   the
population of  San Francisco  had attained to the  number  of
2,000;   by midsummer   it  had probably  increased to  5,000.
During the year 1850,36,000 persons arrived by sea at  San
Francisco;   in 1851,27,000 arrived by sea.     1 am not  taking
into consideration the   overland  immigration  into  California,
but  it  is  fair  to   state   that  in neither  of  the above years
did it exceed the  similar  immigration  to the  gold-fields
of British Columbia  in 1858 and 1859.  -53-
n   Office,   July 1st,   1858,   he  3tates
With the foregoing exhibit of  the start  of San
Francisco,   let us now compare  that  of Victoria in 1858
and  1859.     In the  official  despatch of Governo     )ouglas
to  the  British Colon:
that  from May 19th to date   "the   custom house  books  show a
return of 19 steamships,   9  sailing  ships and 14   decked
boats,  entered with 6,133 passengers.    The ascertained
numbers sailing from San Francisco alone for Victoria,
between the   early days  in May,   1858,   to  June 15th,   1858,
were  10,573.     That this unparalleled state of things
continued for  several years  is   evidenced by the following
statistics:     In Victoria,  the  customs received in 1859
amounted  to £18,164—over $90,000.     In  1860   it rose   to
£58,980--nearly $300,000.
In 1861  the  imports to Victoria from San Francisco,
Oregon and Washington Territory,   amounted to $1,733,212;
from other places $601,877.     Total import 1861,#2,$35,089.
In 1862 the  imports from San Francisco,   Oregon and
Washington Territory had  increased to $2,645,229;  from
other places,  $910,248*     Total,$3,555,577*
In 1863  the  imports  from San Francisco,   Oregon and
Washington Territory were $2,230,501;  from other places
$1*657,311,     Total,#3,887,812.  -54-
f»
The exports during the  same period make  an excellent
showing.     These  figures  demonstrate  two things: American
trade,   or  trade  from American  states and territories,
was greatest, and exhibits the presence of American merchants.     The  foreign trade  increasing marks the advent of
the  growing excess of British traders and merchants,  and
leaves the inference, which is borne out by the facts,   of
the withdrawal of Americans,  American capital and American
I  merchants.    Victoria,  in .other words,   started with American
impetus, but has now become a British port, with British
the
trade and British .ideas.     In 1866 Governorof British
/
Columbia thus  speaks of  the  condition of the colony:   "The
yield of gold  this year  is   estimated at £600,000, and as
there were    certainly not more  than three  thousand miners
engaged,   the average product reached £200 per man,  far
exceeding any average  ever reached  in California or
Australia."    Whi \t   it  cannot be pretended that British
Columbia  can compete with California,   in agricultural
products, as an item of exportation,  still it may be  claimed
that she  is not dependent on the  outside world,  but  has
facilities within herself to be  "self-sustaining."    In
the last report referred  to,  the   Governor  says:   "The most
important advance made by British Columbia in 1866 was the
I  -55-
rapid development of  agriculture,  occasioned by the
increasing number of wagon roads and other  communications.
Home manufactured flour is already taking the place of
the  imported article.     Use   is being made of  the magnificent
timber covering the  sides of  the  harbors and  inlets."
Let us add to   this  that during the year 1863  there was
exported to  San Francisco  alone  Uanaimo  coal to  the amount
of 22,000  tons,  paid for at the mines at $6 per  ton.
From this showing,   is  it  saying too much that,
in the  early part of the  decade just closed,  Victoria had
a fair  start;  that she  possessed great advantages;  that
her early stimulus was full as great as that of San Francisco,
that  her  future was full of hope?    Yet  how  changed  the
picture !    In  1869  San Francisco   has become  the  third city
of the United States,  as the representative  of American
progress,  advancement and commerce,   though not  in wealth
and population.     Connected now with the Atlantic  by a
continental railroad,   her future progress must be as steady
and glorious as  her past career  has been wonderful and
speedy.     In 1869, with all the  natural advantages of
Victoria,   the vast mineral wealth of British Columbia,  the
coal and lumber of Vancouver  Island,  the  stimulus of British
capital and prestige,   she  has tottered to  her fall,  and
her citizens,   together with those of the whole colony,  -56-
forget  their   traditional  love of English empire,   their
jealousy of her successful rival;   in language of deep
seated feeling they recount the causes of their adversity
and implore aid from the President of  the United States,
"for  the people  of  this poor,   isolated colony."    Save them
from  "isolation I"     It is desirable  for  them to   be relieved.
Those two systems stand side by side--Old England
and Young America.    While  the  one   is fast verging into
senility, the  other's  "youthful veins are full of  enterprise,
courage  and honorable   love of glory and renown."    One  cannot
hold the  even tenor   of  its way,   nor  even stimulate a hope
for  the  future;   the  other has insured progress, advancement
and power.    Let us not  deny to our English brethren across
the border  the  encouragement,  the  hope  they seek.    Re-
annexation to the United States is the panacea for  their
ills.     They now pine  away for mere want  of the  pure  invigorating influences    of healthy Americanization*
Already has much been anticipated in support of
our   last proposition,   that  it  is desirable to England to
relinquish British Columbia.     I have already wearied you,  and
I shall but hastily refer to passing events  to  show that the
time  has passed when to England  it is a matter of political  -57
or commercial moment to retain her territorial possessions
in America, and e specially on the Pacific side of the
continent.
"The spider's most attenuated thread
Is cord, is cable—"
compared to the tie or bond really holding British Columbia
or any of the British American provinces to the British
Crown.  That government would hardly put forth the effort
to save them, if either of them asserted independence.
Ever since that model government, oblivious of
all her past history, sacrificed her prestige and integrity
of empire by giving countenance and sympathy to rebellion
against a friendly rival, Ireland and her American Colonies
and Provinces have been a fruitful cause of anxiety,
distrust and alarm. Ever since she failed in expelling
American commerce from the seas by the assistance of anglo-
rexel pirates, for whose acts she is morally accountable
and legally liable, she knows the day of retribution ought
to be at hand, and she dare not enter into conflict with
any maritime power. The law she established will be meted
to her, and as she sanctified piracy and recognized it as
legitimate belligerency, so has she indicated the method
by which war can lawfully be made upon her* She will find
that now, as of old, nations, like individuals, shape their  own destiny, invite their own doom. From the date of the
triumph of the Union and freedom over slavery and
secession, with British sympathy thrown into the scale,
she has seen the handwriting on the wall, that she is
powerless to throw any serious obstacle in the onward
career of the American Republic. Her Provinces everywhere
were sanctuary, asylum and rendezvous for rebels in their
operatinns against the Government* British Provinces on
the North. American Continent will never again be used for
such a purpose, and to-day, so soon after this bad faith
to be a friendly nation, this dishonor to her whole past
history, this glaring anomaly, a monarchy forgetful of
every element in the piicy of empire, she appears stripped of
her morale, and it is apparent she could not for a moment
retain a single one of those Provinces, were they to throw
off the yoke, or rebel against her authority. Knowing all
this, she has abandoned the idea of expending either men
or money in their retention or defence.  She is resolved on
saving her East India possessions, of defeating Irish
independence. With these two projects, she has all-sufficient
to engage her whole and undivided attention. The
announcement or indication that the American Colonies must
take care of themselves, finds a fitting, prompt response
in the petition of the citizens of British Columbia, the Red  River rebellion, the preference, so marked, of the people
of Few Brunswick and Nova Scotia for annexation to the
United States, rather than confederation with Canada*
These are the out-croppings of that change so early to be
realized. All show that it is desirable for England to
be ridden of these sources of expense and division of her
power which the maintenance of British rule in these
Provinces of necessity involves. They show more—they
demonstrate that it is essential for her to make up her
mind to let them go and "stand not upon the order of their
going."
Two great nations, with a common ancestry, speaking
a common language, professing the same religion, are now
the leading powers of the world.  In manyrespects they have
a similar mission, the redemption of the world from
barbarism, its enlightenment by Christianization and free
institutions.  In each hemisphere abundance of room is found
for each to work out its separate and successful destiny
or mission. Confined to such sphere, each would of necessity
co-operate with the other in giving to the world better
institutions, more freedom, more light, more liberty.
Between them now is deep seated feeling, liable at any
moment to rankle into hate, to burst into hostility, to
bring a clash of arms.  The causes of that feeling have  -60-
already been recounted.     That peace-loving,  philosophic,
England-admiring,  but unswerving American patriot and
Senator,  Charles  Sumner,  thus  eloquently sums up our real
heart-burnings,   our grievances,     our occasions, of  offence:
"They stand before  us mountain high, with
a base broad as the nation and a mass stupendous as the
rebellion itself.     It will be  for a wise  statesmanship to
determine  how this fearful accumulation,   like Pelion upon
Ossa,  shall be removed out of sight,  so  that it shall no
longer overshadow the two countries."
The  times are  fitting, and circumstances
favor  the  peaceful and amicable  solution of   the  difficulty.
It was England's interference  in American affairs,   her
disposition to neutralize the   influence of  the United States
and retard her onward destiny,   that caused this  fearful
account against  her.    Let hernow gracefully withdraw from
the American Continent  her  territorial claims.     She   can do
it without  sacrifice—indeed  it is reasonable  to believe  that
by such an act she would be  greatly benefitted and relieved
from a weight of expense and responsibility.    Let the United
States assume  the Alabama  claims and accept the withdrawal
of England as  "indemnity for   the  past,security for the
future."    In due time,   if  the  people  of those Provinces
desire admission  into  the  Federal Union,   they will be free to  i^SSE
-'  iiTT
-61-
express their opinions, or, if they prefer, let them
remain independent American Republics. The end will be
the same. Ho european monarchial power will encroach upon
these Continents. In no distant future these people will
find it to their advantage and best interest to seek and
receive the blessings of our free institutions. The
prophecy of the elder Adams will have been fulfilled.
This free and glorious Republic will, be co-extensive with
the Continent. We will have fully attained to the
boundaries ascribed by the master-hand of the immortal
Webster:
"The ti
ro  great  seas  of  the world wash the  one and
the  other  shore.    We realize  on a mighty scale  the
beautiful description of  the ornamental edging of  the
buckler  of Achilles:  THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH C0UM8IA
PROVINCIAL   LIBRARY
VICTORIA,  B.C.
July  6,   1932,
R.  L. Reid,  Esq. ,K..C,
Yorkshire Building,
525 Seymour Street,
Vancouver,  B.
Dear Mr.  Reid:
Agreeable to promise I am
sending you herewith certified typewritten
copy of the Elwood Evans pamphlet on the
RE-ANNEXATION OP BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1870.
I had a visit yesterday from
Mr. Puller, Librarian of the Spokane Public
Library, who tells me that the pamphlet is
excessively rare, and that there was no copy in
his expensive historical collection.
With compliments,
Tours sincerely,
JH:GH
&&L~Mfr
UL.
Provincial Librarian
and Archivist.     

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