BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Two lectures on British Columbia Harnett, Legh 1868

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1868.  PREFACE.
In publishing these Lectures in their present for.m, I am
only complying with the general desire of the people, to
■whom, at different places, they were addressed. The
opinions they contain as to the future of British Columbia
are so different to those commonly entertained, that I
should have hesitated in their publication, had they not
been endorsed by the intelligence of the country. The
more fact of my having seventeen years' experience in the
mines of California, though it might give weight to my
opinions, would not confer the authority I desire on this
occasion. If the publication of my opinions is to do any
good in the world, it must be known, I am not speaking
merely as an individual, but on the behalf and under the
sanction of the community. I have, therefore, thought it
necessary to append the resolution adopted by the audience
at New Westminster, the Capital of the Colony, and signed
by Henry Holbrook, Esq., President of the Municipal
Council, as it conveys precisely the authority under which I
desire to appear.
Victoria, Feb: 7th, 1868.
The Lecturer sat down amidst loud and enthusiastic
applause, after which the Hon. J. Robson read the following
address, which was seconded by Jas. Cunninghan^ Esq.,
unanimously adopted by the meeting, and presented to Mr
Harnett, who duly acknowledged the same :—
To Legh Harnett. Esq.,
Sir,—Having had the pleasure of listening to your two
Lectures on British Columbia, including all its interests, we
cannot allow you to leave without making some acknowledgment of our great indebtedness to you, We haye been
&ft9ftti!ll§$ ftt yo\}F POKWP of gbserya^tan. a^d, impressed. —_
with the correctness of your reasoning, and still more have
we been surprised at the vast amount of interesting and
important information you have collected in so short a
It is little to say that we heartily endorse what you have
advanced in regard to the advantages and resources of this
Colony. Unquestionably the country owes you much, and
it is as gratifying to us to say as it will doubtless be to you
to be assured that you leave us with the respect and
gratitude of all classes. We hope the interruption to our
intercourse will be short, and that we shall soon have the
pleasure of seeing you amongst us again. If so, you may
rely upon meeting with a hearty reception.
Signed, on behalf of the Meeting,
President Municipal Council.
Nkw Wbstmisster, Nov. 27th, 1867. Mr President :—It is just eighteen months since I came
a stranger amongst you, to learn and not to teach. When I
look back through that short period and see how my position
has changed, I may be pardoned, if I keenly feel the responsibility it entails, and deprecate, in some measure, the
importance attached to my opinions. It is true that I am
no longer a stranger, that my name has become familiar to
almost every household in the land, that 1 have been entrusted with a most important duty; but all this", I think,
may be attributed as much to circumstance as to merit. I
first came here for the purpose of compiling a brief history
of the Colony, to be published in another form, which gave
me the fullest opportunity of understanding its real condition. The favorable conclusions I drew from the evidence
before me were made known to the community at a'public
meeting in the theatre; and thus, it was natural, on
coming the second time, to complete my original business, a
general desire should prevail for me to visit the upper
country and judge honestly of its future, by my miuing
experience in California, I believe', it is admitted by all,
I have discharged the onerous duties of that exploration
faithfully in every respect; that I have omitted nothing,
overlooked nothing, neglected nothing having a remote
bearing on the future of the Colony, and I am here to night,
after five months' excessive labor, exposure and fatigue to
submit to you the final result of my investigations. I confess I have felt much anxiety about the character of this
meeting, for if my labors are to do any good, so abused and
slandered has the Colony been, I must not speak on this
matter as a private individual, but for the community, and
under their sanction. The intellectual and social element I
see present eucourages me to speak boldly, while it warns
me to speak honestly. I shall do botlvand if I succeed in
gaining the concurrence of those before whom I stand to
night, I shall consider I have accomplished a success of
which any man may be proud.
You are aware, Mr President, that this lecture is to embrace the whole of your mining interests, with a description
of your entire mining territory. On this ground I must
claim your indulgence, for there are few things in life mere
difficult than to make such a lecture attractive to an audience
having little knowledge of geology and less connection with
the mines. Under ordinary circumstances, it is nothing but
a relation of specific terms and dry detail, which it is impossible to diversify or embellish. In this case, I think, I
may fairly olaim the indulgence asked, for you have all,
tlwiigb it my »ol appear §of. i §\m\ gqspsIqj with $f m
mines—a connexion, in fact, which governs your future condition. There cannot, in my opinion, be any immediate improvement in the general interests of the Colony, in commerce, trade, agriculture, real estate, manufactures, &c,
without an immediate improvement in the mines. Without
the latter, the others must remain languishing in their
present unhealthy state for a long period, probably the lifetime of the present generation; but with the latter, the
change would be magical—new life, vigor, enterprise and
prosperity would exist everywhere, and comparatively to as
great an extent as in California, after her mining depression
in 1858. Precisely in the same way that an unnatural prosperity in the mines gave, at first, an unnatural life to the
whole Colony, you can measure the result of a return to a
natural prosperity in the mines, such, I mean, as they are
really capable of regaining*—a new life, and better stilly a
rational life, would be infused into the whole body politic,
from which a permanent prosperity never known before
would follow; for you, like ourselves, in California, I
imagine, would not soon forget the bitter lesson of your misfortunes. Thus, it will be seen, the real prospect of the
mines developed, and the extent and capacity ol the auriferous territory undeveloped, is a question of absorbing importance, which no class of persons in the Colony can ignore
or treat with indifference, for it certainly involves the very
condition of their existence. I rely, therefore, to-night on
self-intercut, at all times a powerful agent with mankind, to
excite the attention I desire, while I endeavor to show what
your mines are positively to-day and what your mining territory must be hereafter.
The mining explorer or engineer, who seeks to attain a
competent knowledge of this portion of the Pacific Coast,
must have a general if not an intimate acquaintance with its
mineral formation, as it appears elsewhere, otherwise its
extent will frustrate all his exertions and its character baffle
all his ingenuity. But with a knowledge of the mineral
formation of California (which I have studied practically for
seventeen years) he has the key of the whole Coast, which
not only facilitates his labors at any given point but renders
his conclusions thereon accurate and reliable. It was this
experience and knowledge I brought to bear on British
Columbia while tracing for hundreds of milts the unity and
correctness of her mineral formation. The same mistake I
find, and a mischievous one it is, has been made here, that
wc made in California, adopting a general system of mining,
similar in all cases and in all districts, without in some
degree first understanding the source of those mines. The
miner, who labors to develop the auriferous deposits, or the
explorer, who seeks to understand their extent and character,
if they would avoid endless failures and ruinous expenditures, must both study two things, viz., the mineral formation from which those deposits originally came, and the
npjipltivo w4pi<.gl)pt]a by whjolj tjjey were Qj'lgjn^jy |qo^qcj, 1
To simplify this lecture to the full comprehension of those
present, who cannot be expected to be familiar with the
fundamental principles of mining and exploring, I shall carefully eschew all technical and scientific terms while I take
you step by step through the vastness and yet the legitimacy
of your mining territory and explain seriatim the facts which
have led me gradually to form such an exalted opinion of
your slandered country.    First, then,
It is a great mistake, in my opinion, of many very competent persons to deny the continuity of true organic veins
and the existence ot any natural laws by which we can
determine their permanency and richness. For my own
part, I am a firm believer in the continuity of organic veins,
in obedienco to the course of electricity, now generally admitted to be the grand agent of their formation ; for, as
Prescott beautifully remarks, "it is electricity, mysteriously
powerful in this as in other departments of material existence, that teaches these veins what course to take, where
to accumulate and where to lie down and rest." Modern
science has demonstrated, beyond all question, the universal
influence of this* agent throughout the range of animal life
and material existence. Why, then, deny it in the aggregation of mineral veins, and thus retain the difficulties, which
for ages have proved a stumbling block to geology and
scientific mining ? I was first led to believe in this theory
when exploring the great mineral formation of the Coast,
from the Southern boundaries of California to Oregon,,
especially the copper system ; and I have since become-con-
firmed in that belief by my recent explorations thence
through your territory up almost to the Rocky Mountains,
a distance, in a,direct line, of some 1200 miles or more.
From the extreme south, through the intermediate regions to
the extreme north, I find the same unity of formation, the
same continuity of course, the same extent of width, the
same disposition of metal, the same relation of rock, and
therefore how can I longer doubt it all springs from the
same parentage ; that the great mineral formation of California and British Columbia are one and the same thing, and
that when placed under the same expenditure of capital and
the same intelligence of labor, as these primary agents of
successful enterprise and industry naturally gravitate to
their level, they will equal each other in the same endless
wealth. 1 believe 1 could not do the Colony a greater service than by proving the identity of the mineral system of
the Coast at the extreme north and the extreme south. The
world knows what gold California has produced, still produces, and for years will produce ; the world, if it pleases,
may know thereby what British Columbia, struggling at
present under the early difficulty of California, an unnatural inequality between labor, food and capital, will be,
I 8
when like California, she has out-lived that difficulty and
started fairly in her career of prosperity, and, so from the
quantity of gold, the world may, if it pleases, form a correct
estimate also of all other natural products and elements of
wealth. I do not concur with those political economists who
think there is no advantage to a country in being gold-
bearing. Would California and Australia be to-day what
they really are, magnificent in their present and future
history, unless for the last fifteen years they had produced
from $40,000,000 to $60,000,000 every year ? In California,
I know, all the elements of productive wealth, commerce,
agriculture, manufactures, existed for many years, and do
still to a great extent, in proportion to the yield of gold,
though having received a good start from the product of
gold, they are fortunately all fast becoming self-sustaining.
I see the same thing going on around me here—the life of
the Colony governed in tho past, the present, the future,
by the yield of gold—exalted or depressed, stagnant or progressive, according to the year's yield. How all important
then to have a correct knowledge of the mineral formation,
which, in fact, determines the extent and richness of the
auriferous deposits, which again in their turn decide the life
or death of the country for years. The ignorant may deny,
the educated may doubt, one man's ability to see farther into
a rock than another, and yet with an abiding faith in nature
he can do so, and does do so, in all mining countries. I
know very well the Great Creator never errs or belies His
purpose, and on looking over the universe we find everything " that is, is well." Now, in the same way, if I find
the imprint of Divine omnipotence stamped on a rock, or a
series of rocks, or in other terms " on a formation," I care
not what man, or multitude of men, ignorant beyond what
tbey see, or intelligent to tho full extent of education, oppose me, I there rest my unwavering faith. I know this formation is an integral part of the great universe, I know it is
created for the specific purpose of man's use and happiness,
and therefore must be capable of being understood and developed by natural laws, otherwise the object of its creation
is a failure, and that cannot be. The fact is, Mr President,
these mineral formations are really governed by laws as determined and immutable as those that govern the heavenly
bodies; and when the one aro understood as well as the
other, there is no more difficulty in predicting the result of
the final development of a mineral formation than there is
in tracing the excentric wanderings of a comet through
space for centuries to come, and fixing the precise moment at
which it shall reappear to us on earth. If one man, by a
knowledge of gravitation, can bring the eternity of space
within the deductions of the human mind, I see no reason
why another, by a knowledge of geology, should not also bo
ablo to bring the mysteries of the mineral system to a comparative certainty. Being assured that such a thing is to be
done, let me now give in detail the analogy between the
I 9
systems of California and British Columbia, on which, as I
have already said, so much of the future life of the latter depends, especially in attracting a speedy increase to her population and capital.
I find, then, the two systems, existing at the extreme north
and extreme south, a counterpart of the other in all their
relations/ divisions and subdivisions ; from the copper to the
gold and silver, in the granite, metamorphic, slate, trap-rock,
marble, there is no difference in character or position, so
far as I can discover. Taking the copper system as a base
of examination, we find it here, as in California, in three
divisions, and by mastering it the remainder of the whole
formation is easily understood. In California, the central
division is the principal,' stretching from the foothills of the
Sierra Nevada, twenty-five miles east, into the mountains,
and intersecting the whole State north and soath ; on the
western summit of the Sierra Nevada there are two or three
veins, and in the coast range five veins, forming two more
divisions, parallel to each other, but all three separate and
distinct in their formations. The same thing precisely exists
here. Commencing at. the west, in this country, I find the
Albcrni, Sooke and Howe Sound veins, corresponding with
the Coast Range in California ; then, travelling east, I find
the central division, extending from the mouth of Thompson
River twenty-five miles in the interior, and intersecting the
whole country north and south, and finally at the head of
Shuswap Lake, two or three veins, which correspond with
those on the western summit of the Sierras, while it is remarkable that- the distances from west to east, between these
three divisions, are about the same as in California. Again,
the best gold and silver veins in the two countries'are found
east of the central copper division, with the subsidiary rocks
already mentioned occupying the same relative positions
throughout the whole formation. It is by no means an idle
speculation to establish this identity, for it appears self-
evident to me that the marvellous wealth extracted from the
California mines at the present time simply reflects the
destiny of British Columbia hereafter, when her mines,
equally rich and more extensive in gold, silver, copper, iron,
lead, and incomparably richer in coal, arp brought under the
same liberal expenditure, intelligent labor, and scientific
development, an event only to be hastened by the real facts
of the case being made known to the world. It is sufficient
to state' here the fact of the unity and extent of the mineral
formation, as I shall have to particularize upon the gold and
silver veins when I speak about quartz mining. On the
present division of my subject I' shall merely add, it is a
matter of indifference to me who follows my foots'teps in my
late explorations, so long as he is a competent and unprejudiced man. In that case. I feel assured, his intelligence
and justice will compel him to indorse my opinions, and with
me, to regret the world should so long have been kept in
ignorance of the real merits of the country.   Having thus 10
established the legitimacy of the source of your mineral
wealth.   I must proceed next to the
These, as found in what are called Placer Diggings, can
only have their extent and richness determined by the
mineral formation. Hence, if we find the one correct we
may safely have confidence in the other. I admit, however,
there must always be more uncertainty in finding and following such lodes than in working mineral veins, because their
distribution through rivers, gulches, and hills being governed
by the action of water, is necessarily eccentric, accidental,
and arbitrary. Indeed, there is onlyAsafe theory by which
to judge them, and that is, to determine the primitive water
courses, as far as possible,, by the evidences of the present
configuration of the country. Some people deem this process
little more than mere speculative observation ; to a certain
extent it is so, but when a man understands the business,
possesses the requisite knowledge and experience, and will
take the trouble to perform it properly, for it is very laborious, it is astonishing what a degree of accuracy can be given
to that observation. In examining the different creeks at
present under operation?, and the enormous territory hitherto
neglected. I fully realize*/ the responsibility of this uncertainty, feeling the need painfully for a corresponding circumspection and care before I adopted any conclusion as to their
future. 1 believe, I omitted nothing that could guide and
mature my judgment. I took all this special trouble, because
for some time past; a general belief has been growing up at
home and abroad that the auriferous deposits of this country
are nearly exhausted. Looking at the condition of things
as I found them in the mines, I confess, I am not much
astonished at the prevalence of such a belief. A greater
mistake, however, was never made in the world. In no
single case, that I could see, has any ground been worked,
within a distance of three hundred miles in length and one
hundred in width, but the beds of a few streams, while the
sources of gold feeding those streams, as for many years in
California, have been entirely neglected. I think it safe to
say, there is not a legitimate hill tunnel in the upper country. How, then, can the deposits of gold be exhausted ?
They are really not yet touched. To-day they are as
thoroughly unknown as they were six years ago. But with
the experience' of California, in this respect, before the
miners, such a thing ought not to be, and had they devoted a
tithe of their early wealth to the discovery of hill-diggings,
which all admit could have been done without inconvenience
at the time, such a thing would not have been. But the mistake as to the exhaustion of the auriferous deposits goes
farther even than this; for in the stream-beds, throughout
every locality, where the lodes have been longest and most
successfully worked, so far from being exhausted are now
V 11
only beginning to be better opened, better understood, and
better appreciated, while new ones of great importance, in
different sections far apart, have recently been discovered.
There is no such a thing for generations to come, as exhausting the auriferous deposits of this country; they are
co-existent and co-extensive with the mineral formation, and
cannot therefore be thoroughly known, much less worked,
until the other is more thoroughly developed. A man who
has had the experience of half a life-time in California, participated in all her mining vicissitudes, watched her struggles, and shared her triumphs, can see at a glance that the
deplorable condition in the mines and country is but the result of natural causes, which must have their course ; but
uninfluenced by that condition pecuniarily, his vision is left
free and clearL and he can also see at a glance those causes
have nearly exhausted themselves, and without your knowing it, inaugurated a new period of safer progress and prosperity than ever known. This truth, which has been impressed on me, step by step, as I passed through the gold
regions, will, I think, be impressed on you, as we travel
through those regions again to-night. I propose to give an
illustration of the principal sections, beginning with—
This creek has played so important a part in your history,
and forms so conspicuous a feature in the history of mining,
that it is well worth being understood. From the time of
its discovery in 1861 up to last summer, as near as I could
ascertain from the most authentic sources, some $25,000,000
have been taken from its bed, and a limited portion of its
banks, within a distance of three miles, and yet when
thoroughly drained and thoroughly worked, I really believe
twice that enormous sum will be taken out hereafter. From
its fabulous richness it has been alike, the origin of your
prosperity and misfortunes. It would have been far better
had the creek been discovered two years sooner or five years
later. In either case the welfare of the country would have
been more permanently served, for its interests, products, and
reputation would not have been dependent, as they have for
years, on the accidental condition of a single isolated spot.
In either case, many rich tracts of mining and agricultural
lands, easy of access, and with the finest climate, would have
been teeming with life and wealth, which now are unjustly
deserted, because this creek has absorbed the capital and
enterprise of the whole population, and filled them with inflated dreams of sudden wealth to the prejudice of that
patient industry from which the true wealth of every country comes. Unfortunately and wrongly, since its discovery,
William Creek has been considered, in a certain sense all
Cariboo, and Cariboo all British Columbia. The world,
more or less, thinks so to-day, because it has no authentic
knowledge of the wonderful wealth and richness of the vast 12
interior. Thus, in a great measure, it must remain, until
Cariboo regains its pristine glory ; for it is only by its
wealth your own people can disenthral themselves from such
a contracted existence, arid field of operation ; it is only by
its wealth strangers can be induced to come in sufficient
numbers to give life and vigor to the whole country. The
principal point then I had to determine by my investigations
was, whether this creek and the vast region it opened, and
still represents, held out any immediate hope of accomplishing either of these things. I have already said, I do think
so conscientiously, and I do not think I am mistaken._
The opinions prevailing in the public mind respecting this
particular spot are altogether wrong. I was under the impression myself that there were only one or two very rich
claims in Cariboo, all the other ground, like the basins in
Idaho, being barren. I know that such is still the general
impression in California. Yet on William Creek alone
there must be over sixty.good claims, independent of the
Flume Companies and Hill claims, some of which, after six
years' working still pay remarkably well, and all pay wages,
which means, in other words, from $8 to $10 a-day. Last
year, it is estimated that nearly one-third of these claims
were not touched during the best part of the season, owing,
to the Bed Rock Flume, at the upper end. not being completed, and the Bed Rock- Drain Flume, at the lower end,
being filled up by the freshet. But in spite of these drawbacks, what was the result of the season's labor ? The total
yield of gold was larger than at any period since 1803, the
golden year of the country. This season, the upper Flume
will be completed, the lower one repaired, which will bring
the whole creek into perfect operation by draining it thoroughly from one end to the other ; and if these Companies
secure the drainage against every possible contingency, the
most important thing of all in successful mining (and it is
their interest and duty to do so.) I cannot but conclude the
yield next season will surpass 1863 by a large amount. I
arrive at this conclusion from the best of all evidence, the
history of every claim, from first to last. To secure myself
against mistake, I took the total receipts and total expenditure of each from the time it was opened to the present day,
with the amount and character of ground left to work. I cannot, of course, give the whole, as it would be tedious, and con-
1 sumo more time than I can spare. Those, however, I select,
are not chosen, it must be understood, on account of their
great richness, but to show the steady yield of the ground.
I will take the upper part of the creek first, beginning at
the Canyon :—Black Jack Co., located in 1862, 6 interests;
in two years took but $200,000 ; total expenditure, in the
devest time, when labor was $16 a-day, $50,000 ; still the
best claim on the creek for proper hydraulic washing.
Cunninghan Co., located in 1861, 4 interests ; total receipts
up to 1865, $500,000 ; total cost, $100,000 ; now making
good wages sluicing.   Tontine Co,, located in 1864,  4 1
interests ; total receipts, $36,813 ; total cost, $22,243 ; now
prospecting for back channel. Dietz Co., located in 1864,
paid good wages all the time. Tyack Co., located in 1861,
4 interests; paid all the time from $16 to $20 a-day to« the
hand ;. this year better than ever, washing up sometimes
over 100 ozs., and looking more promising as they go into
the hill. California Co., located in 1861, 9 interests ; total
receipts to 1865, nearly $500,000 ; total cost, $150,000 ; now
working a small sluice ; three white men and two Chinamen ; making from $15 to $20 a-day ; considerable ground
left. Cornish Co., located in 1861, 8 interests ; paid expenses to 1866 ; that year paid a dividend of over $400 to
the interest besides wages, most of the shareholders working;
in 1867 up to September paid over $8,000, at cost of $4,000 ;
still paying better as they go into the hill. Steadman Co.,
located ia 1861, 4 ihterests ; up to 1863 total receipts nearly
$60,000; at a cost of $15,000 ; still working and making
good wages. Allen Co., located in 1864, 1 interest (colored
man) ; could not be worked till 1866 ; from that time to the
present paid from $25 to $30 a-day to the hand ; considerable ground to work. To these, may be added, the Browse,
Wilson, Bradley, Forward Cos., in fact, the whole of the
immense flat stretching thence to tho Junction of McCullum's
Gulch, paying in about thesame proportion, but which will
all be worked henceforth to the best advantage, by being
thoroughly drained by the Bed Rock Flume. This company
also have a large amount of good ground, hitherto lying
idle, but which also will be brought into operation under
the hydraulic system, and contribute immensely to the
general receipts of the season. I may here remark, for they
deserve my saying so, that it is almost impossible to estimate
the benefit this Corporation will be to the upper portion of
the Creek, within the limits I am now describing, if they
adopt a safe and liberal policy towards the miners. Under
such management, I consider, they have one of the best
properties in the country. Below the canyon, some of the
most marvellous claims existed, and I could go on saying the
same of them as I have of those above it, until your patience
was exhausted. It is enough to say that the old celebrated
Diller claim, which paid in one day 103 lbs. of gold ; the
old Barker claim, which enriched its owners, will be drained
by Mr R, Dexter ; it is expected in time for this season,
and if so, that ground and the rest stretching up to the
mouth of the Canyon, will again yield immensely. Then
below these claims, down to Camerontown, including some
twenty or thirty goed claims, the whole Creek will be a
scene of active labor, if the Bed Rock Drain is only secured
against accident. In my opinion, the miners ought to see to
this themselves. A common benefit is a common interest. To
secure a successful season, at any time, is no trifling matter
to the miners ; to the country at large, in this particular
period of its crisis, it is all important the world should see
Jipw really rich you are, and, th0 ca# bs eigne if tbo drah}» 14
age of the creek this year is kept secure. Every man is
interested in, and therefore should contribute to it if necessary; for drainage ; in all raining regions, especially Cariboo,
is the secret of permanent suceess, whatever may be the
character of the dirt, whether very rich or only moderately
It is necessary here, while treating upon this branch of
tho subject, to draw your.attention to a stream running into
William at this point from the left-hand side, called Stout's
Gulch. It also has been a- feature, like the great stream
itself, nj| the history of mining in Cariboo, but never
hitherto properly understood or appreciated; its glory has
yet to come. It is especially an illustration of what perfect
drainage will do, and as it presents itself to-day, is the best
worked stream I saw in the country. The mouth of the
Gulch joining William Creek was commenced in 1863, and
worked chiefly the next year, when the water from the latter
breaking into it, it has never, 1 understand, been opened
since. The first claim on it from the mouth was the High,
Low, Jack, located in 1864, with 5 interests, and in June,
1867, paid a dividend of $12,000 to the share. The Pioneer
Co., located at the same time, paid about the same amount,
and was then sold to the Floyd Co., who now own the whole
ground from the mouth to the Alturas, above them. This
company lost most of last season by their underground drain
being filled up, but this is a magnificent claim and will be
for a long time,- having good pay dirt from 20 to 40 feet
wide. The Alturas Co. is^next, located in 1864, with 8
interests ; from thorough drainage they work their claim to
great advantage, making much of it, otherwise valueless,
yield well thereby. In five weeks, last summer, they paid
off an indebtedness of $23,000, and have a large amount of
ground left. Taft Vale, located 1864, 8 interests, only
commenced working thoroughly last summer, by extending
the drainage from the claims below, and averaged from 100
to 240 oz.-a week. It cost $30,000 to open this claim in the
first instance, having lost five shafts for want of their present
drainage. This is also a splendid claim. The Jenkins Co.,
located 1864, 8 interests, have pay dirt from 30 to 40 feet
wide, but from its great width it has never yielded over $12
a-day to the hand. The Much Oro, located in 1865, 6
interests, realized $20,000, at a cost of $15,000. The lead
is narrower and richer here than in the Jenkins, and now
they have carried on the drain, they will henceforth realize
much more. Above are two claims, the Durham and Emery,
prospecting for the lead on the upper end, on the left hand
side of the flat. I consider this a very important locality,
and examined it thoroughly. My observations led me to
conclude, that although these two companies occasionally
find gold enough lo encourage them, it is only a small overshot from tho original lead, the continuation of which
eventually will be found above the Much Oro, on the right
hand side of the flat: then curving to the left, but con- 15
siderably above the Emery and Durham. I am led to this
conclusion by the present condition of the slate-rock, as seen
along the water-ditch going to Lowhee Creek. There must,
unquestionably, at one time have been an immense water
stream through here, and before it was drawn down to its
present level, have turned off opposite or a little below the
Alturas, gone through the high hill behind Barkerville and
joined William Creek, then also a much larger stream, at the
Morning Star claim below the town. This is no idle or
useless speculation, for there must be an immense deposit of
gold at the flats, which originally fed Stout's and Lowhee
Gulches, and which can only be found at last by investigate
ing the formation ; and anyone understanding these matters,
doing so, will, I believe, adopt my views. This case is
multiplied all over the country, so that a correct knowledge
of the one,attained by actual experience will both assist and
hasten the development of the others. That surely is no
trivial consideration. Such is Stout's Gulch to-day. What
will you think when I state it was not deemed worthy of
attention three years ago? Yet this is the natural progress
experience creates in mining, as well as in other occupations;
and when I see that experience daily maturing in Cariboo,
and carefully applied in every direction to the development
of her vast auriferous deposits, I cannot but feel that her
real wealth and greatness will only be known when most of
us have passed away.
There is another stream running into William's, a little
below, on the opposite side, cal-ed Conklin's, which cannot
be overlooked in considering the future of this section of
Cariboo. From the great richness of the celebrated
Ericson claim, near the mouth, immense expectations were
formed, which, so far, have not been realized. If the rich
pay in the Ericson had been anything but an accidental
deposit, it would certainly have been found in the bed by the
Reid Co., who have an extensive, deep, and exceedingly well-
worked claim, or by the Home-Stake tunnel in the hill on
the left side, because it could never come from the right side,
between the mouth of the Gulch and the upper end of the
Reid claim, if not farther up for that strip, stretching
indeed back to the Canyon on William Creek, is inevitably
barren. In truth, Conklin's is very difficult to understand.
It is one of those spots, sometimes found in mining countries,
which baffle scientific investigation, and which can only be
proven by hard labor and expensive ventures. Yet from the
interest and importance it derives from an accidental freak
of nature, we ought to try to understand it, in some measure,
in order to direct the large expenditure of labor and capital
it so strongly attracts and freely receives. The extreme
richness of the Ericson claim, at the bottom, and the smooth
surface of the rocks in the Renfew aud other claims at the
head of the Gulch, convince all people of two things—the
existence of a tremendous wash through' there some, and
the. existence of a large deposit of gold somewhere in the 16
neighborhood yet. Considering the amount^ of labor and
capital expended at the present day on this Gulch, the
enunciation of any man's ideas may be useful to all interested,
provided thoy are based on reason, and induce a- closer and
more extended examination of the laws of nature. My
opinion is, that the mountain, from McCullum's Gulch to the
Prairie Flower, at the Meadows, though divided now, is one
and the same mountain, that Conklin's Gulch is comparatively of recent formation, and that the original deposit will
only be found far back in the hill, beyond the pressure of
water, j which, when it first broke its barriers, made the
United, Ericson, Davis, Aurora, and Borealis ground so
very rich. Thus, to understand the final chances of most
claims on this Creek, -we must look into the prospects of
These may be considered the second era of placer mining,
for they are naturally overlooked until people begin to
iuquire whence all the gold in the stream beds comes, and is
finally traced up the banks into the mountains. Too much
importance cannot be attached, nor too much encouragement
given to this branch of mining, for as a general thing, it is
always found to be a permanent source of wealth. According to our California ideas it has not really been commenced
in British Columbia, simply because its day has not arrived;
but it is time public attention was directed'to it, for by my
own showing, the more the streams are brought under a
thorough system of drainage, the quicker and more effectual--
ly will they be exhausted, and hence, it cannot be very.long
iu the natural course of events before some other resource
will be required to fall back upon. Let us, then, look into
the hills rising so precipitously round the locality we are
reviewing, and that will be sufficient, for the same argument,
and the same rules in a primary sense apply to all others.
Of the existence of immense rivers, of which there is no
evidence at present but such as the hardy miner gives the
world, I may quote the great " Blue Lead " in California.
' Here we have the bed of a large river, intersecting the
centre of the whole State almost from one end to the other,
filled in by some terrible incomprehensible convulsion, and
huge mountains piled up on it afterwards to hide, if possible, its precious treasures for ever. By degrees and by
accident man's intelligence is brought to bear upon the subject, when the secret of countless ages is made known,
perhaps, in a few'months ; and, his skill and indurance in
this, as in his other triumphs over the accumulated obstacles
of nature, add lo the general happiness of his race. Now,
if large rivers can thus be lost for ages, and found again in
one country, why cannot smaller streams be lost and found
by the same agencies in another ? I ask this question to
arrest the attention of the sceptical, feeling assured, that if
the experience of California in this matter is applied to 1?
British Columbia, much labor and money will be saved, and
many failures avoided. Indeed, I do not think better service can be done the country by any one, than to assist the
investigations now directed by the miners in Cariboo to the
discovery of those primitive deposits which have made its
principal streams so rich. For my own part, I give the
preference to. the hill on the right side of William Creek.
In the first place, I find the country from Ground Hog Lake
and Jack of Clubs' Creek to the head of William much
firmer in its formation, more consecutive in its order, less
disturbed on its surface, than the country thence to the head
of Grouse Creek, and throughout bearing less evidence of
being auriferous. I naturally look, therefore, for the original
water-course which fed William and Conklin's to be in the
right hand hill. Did that stream, then, come somewhere
from Bald Mountain range, across the head of McCullum's
Gulch, through this hill to the middle or upper portion of
Conklin's, behind the boundary line of the United and
Aurora claims, to the Forest Rose and Prairie Flower, at the
Meadows, which originally probably were a series of large
lakes? I am strongly inclined to this opinion, and feel satisfied,
hill diggings, as rich as any we ever had in California will
be found along the route I have just marked out. The whole
range from McCullum's to the Prairie Flower, was certainly
in early times all one hill, for from each extreme I traced
with exactness the same evidences of two or three distinct
slides, of fearful power, which finally left the rim rock on
the left hand side of Conklin's as much out of its primitive
position as the Canyon on William Creek. No one, I presume, acquainted with geology will venture to maintain the
latter rocks are In their original position. Everything in
my mind leads to the conclusion I have drawn. Even the
lead on William, from above Richfield to the Canyon, is
nothing but an overshot from the hill deposits, otherwise it
would never be found in the Tyaek and California claims, as
it has been, creeping up from the Creek to the very summit
of the first slide. Taking the limited time at my disposal
the wet weather I experienced, and the amount of work I
had to do in'places over a.hundred miles apart, I can at the
best be only suggestive now; but, notwithstanding the
Perseverance claim on Mink Gulch, I can find no satisfactory
evidences on the west range, from the head of William to.
Stout's Gulch, of the existence of primitive deposits on that
side ; yet I have examined every point with equal care. In
speculating upon the chances of the tunnels in- the east
range, which must eventually lead to the discovery of rich
and permanent diggings, I may mention the Cathcart,
Cornish, Mountain View, Hilton's (if run a long way in)
those on the south side of Conklin's at the upper end, Home-
Stake, United, Aurora, Borealis, if they will persevere,
Forest Rose, and Morning Star. The last claim, however,
is dipfinct from the others, but it will open a very rich
deposit, for the whole hill in which it is located bears 18
evidences of an extensive basin. Below this claim, on the
west side, and the Forest Rose on the east side, the
country down to the Meadows looks unpromising for
hill diggings. The result I predict, of course, is the work
of time, and can never be fully accomplished until the
.stream-beds are' more exhausted ; then labor, provisions
and materials will be cheaper, and consequently the
cost of tunnels reduced within the means of many, who have
now the desire but not the ability to commence them on a
large scale. Thus, I feel assured, the brave men of Cariboo,
who have already done such marvellous wonders, will be
true to themselves, and repeat the history of California in
this, as in other respects. .Who would have thought that
any men could have been found in California, when labor
and provisions were .as dear there as they are to-day in
Cariboo, to devote three, nay six years of their lives, and
seventy or one hundred thousand dollars of their money, to
pierce her grim old hills in order to reach their hidden
wealth ? Well, we know it was done in cases innumerably
throughout the State; we may rest assured, it will be done
here also. A finer race of men are not to be met in the
world than the miners of Cariboo, hardy, industrious, intelligent, generous; they may be discouraged to-day, but
they will not be so next season ; with an extended and more
correct knowledge of the country, will come better and surer
results ; an increase of gold will bring a renewal of confidence ; and that confidence, a thorough development of the
country. I have one more subject to speak about before I
finish William Creek, without which any account would be
unjust and imperfect.   I mean
These are a series of flats, extending from below the deserted village of Marysville down the stream to its junction
with Willow River, a distance of three.miles. These flats,
as I have already said, were either one large lake or a continuation of lakes in early times, having their final discbarge
of water through Jack of Clubs' Lake, round the western
base of Island Mountain, instead of the eastern side, as at
present. In the prosperous days of William Creek, as the
gold was gradually traced down to the stream in paying
quantities below Marysville, they received much attention,
and were prospected in every direction, as far as possible, by
shafts and artesian wells. At all points, without exception,
I believe, where the gravel was touched at an average depth
of about 60 -feet, far apart, and in opposite directions, such
astonishing prospects were obtained, that to-day, tho fact
of their being marvellously rich cannot be disputed. As far
as I could learn, and 1 can get scores of affidavits from the
most reliable men in the Colony, if necessary, to prove the
fact, every shaft on reaching the gravel got a prospect from
ten to twenty-five cents to the pan, which allowing an aver-
«= 19
age of ten feet of gravel throughout the flats, by no means
an extravagant allowance, such a prospect makes them the
richest and most extensive deposit of gold I know on the
coast, even supposing it were no better as the bed-rock was
reached. The moment, however, the top gravel was disturbed, the water shot up with such violence, and in such
quantity, that no shaft could be kept empty. Machinery of
the best character, with pumps of the greatest power, were
applied in vain to combat this great enemy of miners ; and,
so the meadows were finally abandoned, after a long and
terrible struggle, at an expenditure, it is estimated, of some
$600,000. Soon afterwards the general depression commenced, under which the whole Colony still lies prostrate
and exhausted ; and since then no one has had the means
to do what is now known necessary to be done in order to
drain the ground effectually, though that drainage can be
obtained easily, and, in a certain sense, cheaply, besides being
made a paying investment almost from the beginning. I
fully endorse the general opinion prevailing now, that the
source of this great body of water came from the Jack of
Clubs' Lake, about four miles long, a mile and a half wide,
and in some places, over a hundred feet deep, lying to the
west of the Meadows, a mile, or perhaps more. Thus, by
sinking on the Meadows sixty feet, the surface level of the
lake is exceeded, according to my calculations, at least thirty
feet, and by an underground communication evidently existing, the same as was found at Valecitas, in Caleveras county,
California, each shaft would immediately fill that depth, as
soon as the water escaped by disturbing the gravel. Hence,
it is evident, no known machinery or pumps could contend
successfully against such a pressure. The question then
comes, how is the ground to be drained sufficiently to get to
the bed-rock, and what would it cost ? The answer, at first,
sounds strange, though it is true. The lake can be successfully drained deep enough, and a tunnel run thence to the
Meadows for $50,000 or less. That is a very small sum compared with the $600,000 expended already by a small number of men ; but, unfortunately for themselves and the
Colony, those men did not know, while they had sufficient
capital at command, what they had to do at the time, or it
would have been done. Mr Dewdney, a competent civil
engineer, has surveyed the country on the Western side of
•Island Mountain, from the Lake to Willow River, and finds
a fall of 40 feet can be obtained within a short distance.and
then probably another 50 feet between there and the river.
I am fully prepared to confirm the first calculation, and have,
therefore, no doubt of the correctness of the second ; but,
supposing no more fall than the first 40 feet could be obtained, it would practically drain the ground, as a limited
quantity of sub-water could be mastered by pumps. Much
of the labor of the lower drainage could be done by this
water as it is drawn from the lake.   There is then, we see,
no really great difficulty in the way of this yast uuctertakiof, 20
The tunnel to the Meadows from the Lake, would not cost
as much as the tunnel cut through the hill a few miles above
Auburn for the water of the Bear River Ditch.   With the
Lake once lowered 60 feet, the company could begin to
realize enough to pay a large share  of their expenses, for
besides the edges of the Lake prospecting enough to pay $5
or $6 a-day sluicing, the tunnel would soon cut the rich lead
of Lowhee, one of the best creeks in Cariboo, at the mouth
of which the Calaveras and First Chance claims are still
paying from 100 to 200 ozs. a-week each.    Such, in so many
words, is the work and amount of capital, required to redeem
this rich, but idle ground, and considering all things  connected with it honestly, and in a business light, I know no
mining speculation  equal  to it on the whole coast.    There
are many men in this Colony who are aware how enormously
Gold Flat, near Nevada City, paid, when put under a similar
drainage, after some 1500 men had drifted in it for three
seasons—that undertaking, howeyer, fades away into night
when compared with this one.    Indeed, it would not be
extravagance on my part to place the drainage of these
Meadows on a par with the great Sutro Tunnel, so far as
profit goes, which is to drain all the claims on the Comstock
ledge in Washoe.   The one is intended to go through eight
miles of solid rock, at a cost of $6,000,000, and the stock is
all taken in California, Atlantic States, and England ; the
other, is intended to cut through gravel one mile and a half
at the most, at a cost of $30,000, and no one can be found
to touch it.    Yet, it is a question in my mind, supposing both
works completed to-day, whether the owners of the Meadows'
Tunnel, in Cariboo, would not realize in five years' time
twice as much as the owners of the Sutro Tunnel in Washoe;
for, if 1500 men could not half work out Gold Flat in three
years, 4000 men could not work the Meadows out in ten
years.   In California, it is safe to say, any number of men
would be glad to  complete the undertaking for the only
privilege they have in such cases there—that of catching
the tailings from each claim ; and, in  many of our large
drain flumes, as much or more money is invested on that
solitary condition than it would take to complete the one I
am now describing.   But, iu  addition  to  the privilege of
catching the tailings, itself an enormous fortune, the Government would grant a liberal charter of so many feet of
original ground on each side the flume, on the condition, of
course, that the work would be completed.   I am opposed,
on principle, to such charters as a general thing, because
they have a tendency to create vexatious and obstructive
monopolies ; but, in this case, considering the magnitude of
the undertaking, and its influence on the prosperity of the
country, it would be necessary, for if once commenced, no
person should have the power by owning ground on the line
of route to obstruct its completion and Ruccess.   Such, Mr
President, is the scheme of draining the Meadows.   Looking
at it as a practical miner in every possible light, its practi- 2i
cability, its cheapness, its certainty of paying, its duration,
I dare not let loose my imagination to paint its effects on
the future of the Colony if successfully carried out, and
perhaps, it is unnecessary, for they must be obvious to every
person. After all it is only question of time. We live in
an age of rapid movements and rapid accomplishments.
During: my experience in California I have seen so many
sudden revolutions in the mining world, such vast schemes
conceived, enunciated, believed in, completed, within such
short periods, at such enormous expenditures, that I have
ceased to doubt the accomplishment of any scheme, having
a reasonable business character, when honestly brought before
the speculative.of the age. And why should not this
one be speedily accomplished, when like others of less
promise and less surety, it is thus honestly presented to and
. urged upon the world ? I see no reason, because I have
unlimited faith in the energetic, glorious enterprise of the
people on the Pacific. The inhabitants of this Colony were
not behind the rest in their day of prosperity, if on looking
over your gigantic works of every kind, my eyes do not
deceive me. Yet those works, or many of them, were
stopped, as it were, in their conception, and yourselves laid
low. What of that ? Suppose you did stake all on a single
throw and lose, you cannot get lower than the bed-rock
where you are, as we in California from similar causes were
before you. You must rise again or perish. Which is it to
be ? Did we perish ? Did any English community ever
perish ? No, and neither will you. This very creek alone,
which built you up and threw you down again is still worth
betting, upon. Take courage, you may well do so, for in old
William Creek, the father of Cariboo, the father of the
Colony, which I have now thoroughly, and I believe honestly
illustrated, there is still wealth enough left to build up the
country again three times as large as ever it was.
I must now lead you a short distance below these Meadows,
and the junction of William Creek and Willow River to a
stream opened last summer, called
It is hardly possible to estimate the good which the country will derive from.the discovery of this creek. It may be
regarded, indeed, as one of the most fortunate events that
could have happened. Apart from its real wealth, and the
comparative easy character of the ground to work, it is the
key to an immense new territory almost unexplored hitherto,
stretching to the Fraser river fifty miles, all of which will
be found full of streams as good as Mosquito, excepting that
portion intersected by the granite range, and that, I think,
will not be so good. Thus, Mosquito will not only give a
new impetus to mining, but, what is better, revive the drooping spirits of the old miners, and inspire generally, a new
confidence in the country, not easily to be shaken hereafter, 9.9.
for already this new territory has been prospected twenty-
six miles, to a creek called Mustang, and gold found in paying qualities that far down. .Some new discovery of this
kind, with gold in paying quantities, and without being so
difficult and expensive to work as it has been on the old
creeks, was requisite at this period. It cannot be denied
many circumstances of late tended to shake the confidence
of the people in Cariboo containing general gold deposits
easy to be worked, and though such was a superficial view, it
was not altogether without reason. For instance, Lightning,
Lowhee,!Grouse, Antler, Horse-shoe,'Keithley and other?, had
gradually gone down ; Cunningham, Conklin, and others
had not realized expectations, although a vast amount of
labor and money had been expended upon them ; so it came '
to pass, that what was left in William Creek and its immediate vicinity was considered about all that could bo
relied upon in Cariboo. So that, in reality, I regard the
opening of Mosquito at present as important an event in
your history as the opening of Cariboo originally ; nor,
would it astonish me, if it proves of more value to the
Colony in the end than the discovery of three such creeks
as William, wonderful as that has been and is still if the
hew country which it calls into life is vigorously prospected
to the Fraser. But it is not simply in the fact of its being
a new creek, very rich, easy to work, and the pathway to an
immense gold region hitherto neglected, that I consider the
discovery most important—it is rather, in the newer and
truer knowledge of the country it supplies, and in the application of that knowledge to other districts. There is in
fact no limiting the encouragement, if properly viewed,
which it gives of the inevitable progress of the country.
Three years, ago the creek was first discovered and worked,
but labor, provisions and packing were so high, that it
would not pay a dollar, although only five miles from Bar-
kerville, the chief trading town of Cariboo. It was
abandoned until last Spring, when a man named Cockings,
dissatisfied with the results of his labor, and having some
leisure time at his disposal, resolved to return, and see
whether he had gone down deep enough, his opinion all the
time being that he had not. He did so, like a sensible fellow,
and he and the Trevethicks, whom I remember years ago at
Grass Valley, in California, now own the Discovery claim. In
a few months the creek was occupied and opened, and before
I left Cariboo, the total results of the claims taking out gold
was as high as 500 ozs. a-week. Next season, there will be
some 300 men or more working, and the result when in full
operation, will I think, be l_(J0or 1500 ozs.,a-week, for the
Minnehaha and other laims not then paying at all, have since
beeu found to be immensely rich, while those that were paying
well have become still richer. You cannot then over-estimate
the importance of this creek. The gold it yields, of course,
is valuable to you, but the evidence it gives of your progress,
your wealth; and, the lesson it teaches yonr miners, is iucom,-* 23
parably more so.   It shows beyond all question that the
true character of the country has never been understood ;
that it is rapidly being attained ; and that as labor, living,
and wages reach their natural level, these four essentials of
prosperity will force your progress and extension in spite
of yourselves, and all your  enemies  combined.    To satisfy
you I am not talking without mature  calculation, let me
enumerate the claims opened since last June, the time the
work was commenced, up to September, the date of my visit.
First the Minnehaha,   15  interests ; had  spent then about
$4,000 prospecting, without results ; since found the gold,
and taken out probably twice that amount, having in one
week, I learn, washed up over 400 ozs.   The Hocking, 5
interests ; sank a shaft 65 feet, and drifted 18 feet, got pay
to the amount of 52£ ozs. ; now paying well.   The Ophir, 4
interests ; struck pay in the first shaft 25 feet deep ; taken
out from 3 to 5 ozs. a-day.    Willow Co., 5 interests.; total
cost, $800 ; total receipts over $2,000 ; paying then about
6 ozs. a-day to two picks ; pays much better  now.    Point
Co., 4 interests ; total  cost,  $800 ; total receipts, $1,500 ;
paying  about $12 a--day ; now paying better,   I believe.
Union Jack and Hugo Co.'s prospecting for  the  source of
the lead.    Jeffrey Co., 4 interests ; total cost, $3,000 ; total
receipts, $4,500 ; now paying better.    Rising Sun, 7 interests;
total cost and receipts, $1,500 ; now paying  a dividend of
$50 a-week to the interest, besides $6^ a-day wages, to such
shareholders   as   work,   being $39  a-week more,   or  $89
together ; now paying  better.    Holman   Co., 4 interests ;
total  cost,  $2,000 ; total receipts,  $4,000, for two  picks.
Tabb Co., 6 interests ; total cost, $40 or $50 a share.,prospecting.    Discovery   Co.,  3  interests ; total  cost,  $2,000 ;
total  receipts,  $1,500 up to  September;   not  thoroughly
opened; running a tunnel, the results of which I have not
learnt.    Intersecting  Mosquito,  about  half-way down, and
having its source in the same mountain,  is  another stream,
called Red Gulch, not sufficiently opened, at the time of my
visit, to speak definitely of its merits, but since proved to
contain vury rich deposits.   To describe this gulch in detail
would   simply  be   a   recapitulation of Mosquito ; though,
in general, I believe it will be somewhat more difficult to
develops.    I have no  doubt at  all of its proving equally
rich.    At the time of my visit there were six companies at
work, with a large number of claims located, but laid over
for the season.    Like Mosquito, this summer, it will-be full
of life.    One word more on  this section, and I have done
with it.    Between Mosquito and the Fraser River, some 50
miles, thence up the river, to Fort George, a distance of 100
miles, where gold was found last summer in paying quantities,
and back from the Fraser to  Swamp River nearly parallel
with Mosquito, is a large auriferous region, utterly unknown,
as I have  already said,  which will henceforth be carefully
prospected owing to these developments, and in the end become the most popular   region in Cariboo, because the greater portion will prove tho least expensive and difficult
to work of any yet known. So that you see it is not an idle
foolish boast in saying Mosquito is worth more to the country to-day than William Creek ; not so much from the
amount of gold it will yield, as from the new life, vigor,
enterprise, and confidence it will inspire; and, because it
goes far to prove that Cariboo really is, the country of endless wealth which we have heretofore only thought it was.^
I must now retrace my steps, and travel in an opposite
direction 60 miles ^.oitth-east to the Quesnelle River and
Horse Fly country, taking as we go, a glance at the creeks
lying in the intermediate sections, the value of which,
though occupied a long time, is only beginning to be known.
The first is
It lies some five miles north-east of William, running
parallel with it, and rising in the same Bald-Head range of
mountains. I attach great importance to this creek ; for I
regard it as the future centre of the best hydraulic and Hill
diggings in Cariboo. Its history to day, is instructive, by
showing the vitality of the country, as a truer and more extended knowledge of its character prevails amongst the
miners. For several years it has been abandoned, and any
man who spoke of it except in terms of contempt, was considered a madman or fool; yet it now boasts thirty five companies at work, a good saw-mill, and two respectable villages- It is not, by any means, an easy creek to understand,
describe, or work, from the existence of two distinct leads,
one much more modern than the other, and neither, according to any evidences I could find, ever coming from the Bald
Mountain range. Of course, this naturally complicates its
investigation and development ; it has two very rich, continuous, and determined leads : that fact has been proved ;
but whence they originally came, can only be explained by
a great amount of expensive labor. The Ontario and Mountain Co.'s tunnels on the north and the Point Co.'s open cut
on the south side, all prove the adjacent ranges rising from
the creek to be auriferous, and that it and another stream
existed for a long time at an elevation far above the present
water level. Thus years, perhaps, will be required to ascertain the real wealth of this locality, which everything indicates, in my opinion, to lie in the banks and hills rather
than in the present stream-bed. The Heron, Flume Co.,
Discovery, Caledonia (the latter paid very well last fall),
Salt Spring, and Hippie claims combine in different ways to
prove this fact; and, therefore, if all the other claims, from
the Saw-mill to the head of the creek, supposed to be on the
modern lead, should prove failures, it would not change my
opinion of the richness of the locality in general. But there
are circumstances connected with this creek which give it an
advantage over any other locality I have seen in Cariboo.
From the boundaries of the Heron and Hard-Up claims at 25
the lower end, the creek stretches out into a continuation of
flats in which, at present, the old channel has not been found,,
although considerably prospected for. Throughout these
flats and benches, Mr Heron informs me, the a;old is arenerallv
distributed from the grass down through the gravel, which
at the present rates of living, with China labor at $3i a-day,
can be made very profitable. Indeed, there were some
Frenchmen working them last summer, who with most imperfect appliances, acknowledged to making $4 and $6 a-day,
though where the gravel was only three feet thick, the\ did
not wash more than six feet square, aud that in California
would be considered about half a day's work for an ordinary
man. There is abundance of ground of this character all
through to Antler Creek, which with proper sluicing, in the
hand? of California miners would pay $10 or $12 a-day to
the man. But this is not ail. At a comparatively small
expense sufficient water could be introduced for hydraulic
washing, with 150 feet pressure'; and that system; with the
bed-rock soft as it is, and such an amount of gravel easily
washed, would certainly raise the pay to $20 or $25 a-day.
All this is sure to be in the course of a short time. It is
contrary to the nature of things that hundreds of acres of
valuable mining ground, while there is a known system of
washing which makes the investment safe, should long be
allowed to lie idle when its actual existence is made public.
Such an idea is preposterous. If men can go through a district like this for 30 miles to the. head of Bear River, with
the ground not very, rich, but generally, containing gold, and
with small means and small* appliances soon realize enough
to commence large surface hydraulic operations, you may
rest assured, men from somewhere will come to do so. The
existence of such a tract would be considered a ninst fortunate  event in   Calilornia.     The  same may  be said   of
Canadian C
11  stream  lying  a  short distance to
the west of these flats, but emptying itseli imo Valley River,
if that can be ealled a river. Along this creek I'know personally of the existence of an immense deposit of fine gold,
a thing I had been earnestly looking for, but never found
before in Cariboo. Almost on the top of the mountains,.
behind the Miller claim, and running up into the Divide
between William and Grouse Creeks, as high as 20 cents to
the pan has been washed ; while in the tunnel of the Clear
Grit claim, at the lower end of the creek, I myself picked
small .particles of gold from the gravel_sev?n feet above the
bed rock.: .1 have my doubts whether the Clear Grit can be
made to pay very much under the present system of working;
but under a good hydraulic, which would cost but little
more than the present works when completed, it would pay
immensely fo» a long time. So it will be seen from the.-e
statements that Grouse Creek, so long despised and ridiculed,
because three men would not investigate their' interests properly in r6l and '62, is fast vindicating herself in the estimation of practical men, and in due time will become the centre 26
of active business and lasting prosperity, without my aid or
the aid of any stranger.
There is nothing of particular interest-to be said of these
streams. Antler, however, is worthy of a short notice, on
account of its wonderful richness in times past, and as being
the first stream in Cariboo on which gold was found by the
hardy and daring pioneers who forced their way from the
Quesnelle River ; and because if it never sees the glory of
the past again, there is much ground in its neighborhood
that'Will make a name. In early times, a portion of the
creek paid as well, if, not better, than anything in Cariboo,
since which tho lead has never been found. But here, as in
other places, the best plau to recover a lost lead is, if
possible, to trace its origin. A very striking peculiarity in
Antler was that the fine gold was found on one side, the
coarse gold on the other side of the creek, as far down as it
paid, and I believe all successful investigation hereafter
must be guided by this singular circumstance. Now, suppose the flat up to the head "of the creek in the Bald-Head
range, and the Saw-mill flat stretching for miles, in an opposite direction, to have been in early time, as 1 have no
doubt they were, one great lake, and when drawn clown their
waters formed the present stream-bed. In that case, I know
no laws of gravitation or projectile that would divide the
gold thus systematically for a long distance. Hence, I conclude, this very rich lead did not come originally from the
head of the present stream. Whenco then ? Certainly not
from the high mountain on the east side of the creek, for
that to-day is in its primitive position and little disturbed
except by the attrition of ages; while if it had the disposition of the gold would have been reversed, the coarse instead
of the fine gold being at its base. It could not by possibility
come from that mountain, as some still think. Whence
then ? I think from the hill on the west side. This so far
from being primitive, is a gravel formation back three miles
to Grouse Creek, fearfully rent and torn adjoining Antler,
from the immense slides it has ir.dergone. The disposition
of the gold confirms this view—the fine gold being lightest
went with the soil to the opposite side, where it was found,
the coarse gold being heaviest remained at the base all over
and along the jagged rocks where it was found. I do not
think the deposit on Antler a regular lead, such as we find
on Grouse Creek, but simply an overshot, such as we find on
William, opposite Richfield. Besides, this western hill is
auriferous from one end to the other ; and I shall be much
disappointed if the tributary streams running across it from
the divide into Antler, viz., Wolf, California, Stephens and
Begg's do not all turn out good diggings and- lead to further
developments.. Near the old town site, either immediately
below or above, 1 see no chance of recovering the lead ; but 27
as the population increases it may be found still further
down, and to a certain extent, at the extreme upper end of
the creek. I have already spoken of the mouth of Antler,
as it runs down to Bear River in connexion with Grouse
, Creek. At the time of my visit this first-born of Cariboo
was almost deserted, although a few men did tolerably well
last summer by sluicing and cleaning up the old ground a
second time.
A few miles from Antler is Cuuningham, a creek I was
unable to visit on my way to the ""north and south branches
of Quesnelle River. It is, I understand, a large creek, on
which considerable works are progressing, and from which
hereafter good results are expected. Beyond that I am
ignorant of its history. Opposite this creek the summit of
the Bald-Head range is S")on attained, the highest point, if I
mistake not, in Cariboo ; and it would be impossible to
describe the grandeur of the country laid open to the vision
for hundreds of miles in every direction. On the right the
plains of the Horse Fly lie flooded with the effulgence of
sun light, while the biting sleet storm passes for a moment
over where you stand, and huge masses of snow, which have
withstood the summer's heat, intersected with an endless
profusion of rich pasturage, wild flowers, and beautiful
woodlands meet the eye at every turn, giving to the whole a
contrast and power beyond expression, charming. Nor must
I forget the lofty pinnacles and rounded domes of the Slate,
Granite, and Wild Goose ranges, commingling in grand and
fantastic groups, 'till the vision is lost in the hazy far-off
loom of the Rocky Mountains. On this spot, more than all
others I met with, the mind grasps the future mining greatness of British Columbia, not on account of its " magnificent
distances'" for the Continent of America is, full of them, but
because those distances in this case are proved to be filled
with golden streams ! from Swift River under your foot to
Fort George on the Fraser, of which nothing is known really
except that they contain gold in paying, quantities, but
which in time will give employment to 10,000 men, instead
of the small isolated bands which here and there in out-of-
the-way solitudes possess ihem to-day. -From the summit
there is nothing to mention but Keithley's, and that needs
only a short notice. It is, indeed, but a repetition of the
old story, rich in early times, lead lost, and the whole creek
abandoned to Chinamen without being thoroughly investigated. Of late it has again attracted attention, on account
of the money which it is known the Chinamen made regularly,- and on account of a claim at the mouth of the creek,
which has paid steadily for a long time from $12 to $16
a-day to the hand. This led to some other men going back,
who in running a tunnel have struck a large quantity of dirt
paying ai high as a dollar to the pan since I left. There
can be no doubt of the existence of good diggings on Keith-
ley's and neighboring streams down to the bridge on the
North Fork of the Quesnelle, but like mo3t of the country I
   - 28
have illustrated, there is not yet yet sufficient population in
the country to prospect it thoroughly. p
Haying finished and left the Cariboo district, on reaching
Keithley's, I will now proceed to the south-east side of the
second divide, a distance of five miles, in a straight line
across, to Cedar Creek,"" on the south lake of Quesnelle
River, in order to bring under notice a newterritory recently
opened, which promises to be of much importance in future.
It is astonishing on reaching Quesnelle River how the country and climate change immediately for the better, cereals,
vegetables and fruits being grown in abundance, while the
profusion of the wild raspberry, a large and luscious fruit, is
truly marvellous. From this region the early pioneers
traced up Cariboo, which led gradually almost to its desertion in the feverish race for sudden wealth, and it has since
remained, I may say, unknown, so far as its real richness is
concerned. Some parties, however, went into it again, two
seasons ago, and opened Cedar Creek; which from the large
and steady pay it has yielded must lead eventually to extensive diggings being found on this magnificent lake, offering
as it does for nearly ninety miles above and twelve miles
below the creek an unbroken navigation. The discovery of
this, creek ranks certainly in importance next to Mosquito,
Seventy miles away to the north-west, because while the two
establish the richness of the extremes they at the same time
establish the richness of tho centre, the only difference being
that the latter is generally much more difficult to open and
expensive to work. Up to this time only three companies
have got fairly to work on Cedar Creek—the Aurora. Moor-
head and Barker. The first, the Aurora, at the mouth, is
perhaps of the kind the best opened claim in the country,
having a main flume of 2000 feet to carry the tailings into
the lake, and three sluices, each 150 to 200 feet long, to wash
the dirt; total cost, $8,000 ; total receipts, principally last
year, $20,000 ;- with ground for three years more, and in a
condition to be worked to the best advantage. The Moor-
head, located in 1866, 2 interests ; total cost, $2,000 ; total
receipts, $7,000. The Barker, located in 1866, 3 interests ;
total cost, $7,000 ; total receipts over, $20,000, with ground
for three years more. Above this claim, to the head of the
creek, a large extent of unprospected ground remains unoccupied. Mr Barker himself 'belongs to the best class of our
California miners, and as soon as he has finished the stream
intends running a tunnel into the side hills, on evidences
which certainly justify the enterprise, and which, I feel confident, will be successful. It may be, therefore, this creek
will be the means of inaugurating the era of hill-diggings,
and if so, its discovery will be one of the most fortunate
events that could possibly have happened.
A few miles to the east of Cedar lies Black Bear Creek,
which was opened in a small way last summer with satisfactory results, It runs however in an opposite direction,
imptying itself isto BpanM Creek, a tributary of the north 29
fork of Quesnelle River, thus intersecting the whole of the
south divide and .proving it to be auriferous all through.
Some day this fact will force itself upon the attention of
prospecting parties and have a beneficial result. Again,
below Cedar, some two miles, but running into the south
lake, is Coquette Creek, until lately occupied only by a
solitary company of Chinamen, who are known to have done
well by their purchase from the Cornishmen who originally
opened the creek. The latter lost their lead, and as usual,
got discouraged and sold out. The pertinacity with which
the Chinese have kept on working has again attracted white
men to the creek, and good results are expected from the
work they have now in hand. Up to this period these are
the only.new mining operations in this section. They may,
so far, be limited in character and limited in productiveness,
but they assure me that the country, deserted for Cariboo,
will ere long be its rival, as the population increases, because,
although it may not be so rich, it is superior in four essentials of successful placer mining ; it is easier of access, better
in climate, longer in season, and less expensive to work.
With those advantages its thorough development is only a
question of time. Nothing more has been done to-day,
simply for the reason there wero,not people in the Colony to
do it* I have only one more district to notice in the north--
ern gold fields, and to omit it would be an act of injustice.
I mean the Horse Fly country. It commences with the river
bearing that name, some twenty mik's above Cedar Creek, on
the south side of the lake, stretching east I suppose up to
the head of the lake, and west between tho boundaries of
Quesnelle and' Thompson Rivers to the dividing water-shed
of the whole country, an immense region of which nothing
is known except that it contains gold largely from one end
to the other, though. I confess, I see no chance of its being
brought into operation for years. I shall simply speak of
the district in the neighborhood of the Horse Fly River. In
the first place, it is remarkable for containing a gravel formation very similar to the celebrated " blue-lead " of California, and e&rt±»nisg the fertility of the valley, as shown in
the endless profusion of natural pasturage and indigenous
fruits of every variety, proves the alluvial deposits of a
great primeval river. Whatever prospecting has so far been
done on the present river to discover the bed of the old one
has been rendered useless by a false bed-rock which the
miners did not understand. In the entire basin of the river
I find an immense formation of a bastard, talc, which of
course could not hold gold to any extent, though in spots
quite large amounts have been obtained ; but on further examination I find the hill-rock to be metamorphic. This fact
satisfies me that the talcose formation is only accidental, and
* The country of the main   Quesnelle running  40  miles  hence to  the
Fraser, including; lightning Greek ft&4 Cgttoj;woot}; will ba included under
jfe§ bfgd of b/cbMliP T8lelng<
mtt^ 30
must be cut through entirely, not followed down in holes as
was done to reach the original pay gravel, which under this
talc is likely to be very rich. At present, however, this
splendid district lies idle, as the few men in it originally exhausted their means and were compelled to leave. Some of
them, I understand, intend returning when able to prosecute
their investigations ; in that case, I would recommend them
by all means to cut through the talc, which according to
general experience cannot be more than sixteen or thirty
feet thick. I have now finished the northern gold fields of
British Columbia. It will at once be seen what a trifling
proportion lying between the gold-bearing parallels has been
occupied, and how imperfectly' that trifling proportion has
been prospected and developed. What then will be the
condition of the Colony when the whole of that vast region
teems with a busy, active, and prosperous mining population?
Simply incredible. The facts and details I have given prove
beyond question that I have notexamined the mining regions
carelessly or superficially, buI on the contrary, more minutely
than others preceding me, If I am mistaken in the estimate
I have formed, it is upon evidences that would deceive any
man, and nature docs not often present such for the sake of
deceiving—those evidences cannot be mistaken. Such as I
have described the northern gold fields such 1 really believe
them to be, and such 1 am firmly convinced they will eventually prove.
There is another immense territory to - be noticed, the
southern gold fields, but as these have been partially worked
and the gold found generally is fine dust, it will enable me
to show their value better by considering them in connexion
This division embraces a vast region, commencing below
Hope on the Fraser, up the Thompson and Bonaparte Rivers,
to the head of great Shuswap Lake, a distance of some 2'0
miles, to which Tor the purpose of this description of gold
washing may be added all tlje country from Lillooet up to
Quesnelle River to its forks in one direction, and to Cottonwood and Lightning Creek in another direction, at least 150
miles more. When gold was first discovered on the Fraser
it was found in very fine dust, scattered profusely on the surface of its bars and banks, but none generally speaking on
the bed-rock. This led to a false impression of the country.
It is supposed this fine gold was washed down the Fraser
from the regions above, where the coarse gold would be
>:md. This, however, cannot possibly be, and the deposits
of fine gold on tho Fraser have no connexion with the coarse
gold of Cariboo, though the idea led fortunately to the discovery of the latter. I arrive at this conclusion from two
important facts—first, that gold as coarse as any in Cariboo
is found to-day in quantity on Bridge River, near Lillooet,
showing the existence of a distinct primitive deposit; and 31
next, that the water-shed% forming that deposit always ran
from Nelson's, 100-mile house, to the Fraser, in an opposite
. course from that forming the Cariboo deposit- The point
mentioned is to-day and always has been, in my opinion, the
natural division of the two great water-sheds of the country, for it is a singular coincidence, that the present watersheds of British Columbia and the pre-Adamite river system
in California are the same. The gravel beds of the southern
districts in California appear to have been formed in rivers
whose courses followed the same direction as the present,
while those of the northern mines appear to have run at
right angles. This is precisely the case with the present
water sheds of this Colony, and we may, therefore, presume
it. will be found the same with those of ancient times. Hence
the fine gold of the Fraser could never have come down the
river from any point higher than Lillooet; it could never
have been carried at right angles over the intervening coun-'
try to the Fraser, nor could that river afterwards carry it
300 miles and scatter it about where first found. The river
itself forbids such a conclusion, for after all it is nqthing
more than a natural sluice on a large scale, and with its im-
mense benches, its jagged and broken rocks acting as
riffles, the fine gold must be caught long before it reached
Hope, by the very principle on which we conduct large gold
washings to-day. To give reason to such an argument we
must pre-suppose the river to have been at least twenty
times its present size ; no doubt it was, for the benches on ,
both sides from Yale to Quesnellemouth mark its gradual
contraction within its present limits ; but that fact, so far
from strengthening, really destroys the argument. Such an
immense vdlume of water as the river then contained would
•immediately dissolve the debris containing the fine gold,
when gravitation would soon  gather it to its final resting
o o o
places, for it is now an authenticated fact, that even fine
gold will not travel far in'water without the aid of some
earthy substance. Hence, I conclude, the fine gold deposit
of the Fraser never came from Cariboo, but from a deposit
of its own in the lofty benches and precipitous hills on both
sides, and which probably will only be found by means of
the hydraulic pipe. In estimating the ground then in British
Columbia suited for this system of working, the Fraser cannot be excluded with justice, although it has been worked
for years. Let me now show in detail the results of
hvdraulicing: in California, for by them alone can anyone
thoroughly appreciate the advantage it will be to this country when applied to its full extent.
The greater portion of the placer diggings in California,
as you all know, were first worked by the rocker and long-
tom, most crude and defective machines, and district after
district gradually deserted on the supposition of being exhausted. Then flume and ground-sluicing came into existence, and with them the districts deserted were re-peopled ;
again worked to advantage and again deserted,   Then fol- 32
lowed the hydraulic pipe, and with this last and most perfect
system, a repetition of action and a repetition of results,
only with this difference, the districts have not again been
deserted so fully, for thousands of acres have thereby been
made remunerative for years past and for years .to come,
which under any other method of working would be valueless. The field for profitable hydraulics in California,
indeed, has been found almost co-extensive with the gold
belt, and it will prove so in this country. It is not my intention-, however, to do more than refer to the principal districts under hydraulic power, in order simply to illustrate
the cost and profit of working, and to do this effectively I
shall make an extract from the report of Mr George Black,
M. £•., published in San Francisco, 1864. Speaking of the
hydraulic diggings between -the south and middle Yuba,e
H. he estimates the ground supplied with water by the Middl
Yuba Canal Company at 5 miles in length, 350 yards
average width, and 40 yards average dept . These figures
give a grand total of 123,000,000 cubic yards; of this
amount, only eight per cent, was worked out in 12 years, the
average yield of which, as saved, was 30 to 45 cents per
cubic yard : hence this mass of auriferous earth would yield
over $38,OU0,000. But the total area of the gravel deposits
worked on the ridge is estimated to be equal to fifteen
square miles, which, assuring; a like average width and thick-
J. '
ness would contain at 30 cents per cubic yard the enormous
. sum of $550,000,000." To work dirt under this system, Mr
Black computes the cost as.follows, and I have taken his 1S64
prices as approximating in some degree those of this Colony
in 1868. " To work," he says, "one cubic yard of this auriferous* earth, assuming the wages of the miners to be $4
a day. it would cost by the ordinary pan, $20; with the
rocker, $5; with the long-tom, $2 50 ; with the sluiee 75
cents ; and by hydraulics, 20 cents." Now, beforelgive the
result of washing dirt by this s-ystem,let me show in another
way still plainer the infinitessiir.al character of its pay.
Mr Black, and I assure you he is quite an authority amongst
us, asserts that this great hydraulic dirt in California, of
which the world has heard so much, during 12 years' average,
only paid 30 cents to the-cubic yard, or a fraction over 1 cent
to the cubic foot. Now, a cubit foot of loom dirt without
rocks will fill an ordinary gold wash pan about ten times, so
that every prospect a person would obtain amounts on an
average to the tenth of a cent. Can anything in a business
sense be more infinitessimal ? Yet now listen to the results.
I will give some of the principal claims only. Take for
instance the Blue Gravel Mining Co., in Stnortsville, 18
miles from Marysville, which is known to hare yielded since
1864 no less than $i>OU,000: their sluice boxes are over
3,000 feet long ; they are cleaned up eight or nine times a
year, and from which arc obtained amounts varying op to
$50,0' 0 each time. The Live Yankee claim, at Forest City,
is reported to have paid $3,C00,000 - while throughout the 33
State, it is no uncommon thing to see the less important
claims clean up from" a few hundreds to $15,000 or $20,000
each time. In one case, the Manzanita Hill, near San Juan,
Nevada County, 510 kegs of powder were discharged
at a single blast to reduce the dirt to a fitting condition to
wash. A dull report, it is said, | broke upon the ear. and a
mass of earth, 150 ft. deep, 200 ft. wide, 300 ft. long, rose a
short distance into the air, and fell back thoroughly disintegrated, and in a fit condition for working." Such is the
spirit with which this system is adopted and carried out all
through California. Suppose it wero applied here even in a
limited way. what a difference it would make. All up the
Fraser, especially round Lillooet, the benches and hills will
all pay 1 cent, and in many cases 3 cents to the cubit foot,
and at the same time abundance of water and abundance of
fall can be obtained ; it is the same on the Thompson and
Bonaparte Rivers to the head of Shuswap Lake ; it is the
same up the Quesnelle River to the Forks, and above them ;
it is the same in Cariboo ; it is the same everywhere, but
the people do not understand its wonders ; in fact, its day
has not arrived. It is not only in the extent to which dirt
can be washed, so much as in the effectual manner in which
it is washed by this system that its merits lie. Drifting is a
slow and costly process, while it is an established axiom in
mining that the best underground men necessarily leave a
third of the gold behind them. Suppose the old Aurora
claim, on William Creek, like the Manzanita Hill, at San
Juan, was shattered to pieces by powder and put under an
effective hydraulic, do you think it would not pay morevthan
1 cent to the cubit foot ? It has paid from 1863 to the end
of 1867 about $225,000 in dividends, at a cost of $100,000 ;
put that claim under the new system, when three men would
do tho work of fourteen, and it would pay again almost as
well as it did in its proudest day ; while the folly of such
costly labor would be seen and appreciated. At present,
however, the people say it cannot be done; ere long,,you
will hear them say it must be done ; and then, but not
before, when every section of the country is brought under,
economical operation, and made to pay in full the proportion
it can pay towards the general wealth, the world will stand
amazed at the annual yield of gold coming out of the | poor
and beggarly country" which British Columbia is called
Before I close this branch of the subject, let me say a few
words upon the two great difficulties at present in the way
of introducing the same general and- extensive mining sys-
* The same argument may be used in reference to ground once worked
over, especially that which has beeu drifted. Tako for instance the rich
Heron, claim, on Grouse Creek. It originally paid $300,000, at a cost of
$150,000. Last year fire men bought it lor $4,000^and by simply cutting
down the bed-rock from twelve to eighteen inches deeper, averaged nearly
100 ozs, a-week during the season.
■   — --
/ ■"WW
tem in this Colony that prevails in California, for they are
intimately connected.   I mean, the  absence  of   artificial
canals and the severity of winter.    I confess, it struck me,
considering the complaints I heard of the  want  of water,
not only as very extraordinary but as one of the main causes
of the mining stagnation  in   Cariboo, that there were no
artificial   canals  or large temporary reservoirs.    Of  the
necessity of both here, as elsewhere, during the latter part
of the season there can be doubt.    The question then comes,
can they.be built?   The artificial water canals for mining
purposes in California, are, perhaps, the proudest monument
of her enterprise and spirit.    The best ground is of no use
without water.   Now to make all available, there is a network of these  canals intersecting the entire  State, 5,328
miles long, constructed at a cost of $15,575,400 ; the water
is drawn from sources as inaccessible, and  through regions
as terrible as any in British Columbia ;  it is taken from the
heads of rivers, incased for miles in  solid  walls of rocks,
the lakes on the very summit of the Sierra Nevadas 11,500
feet above the level  of the  ocean,  and  finally, sent to its
destination through flumes, iron pipes and over suspension
bridges, with a constructive genius that could not be subdued
or appalled.    Yet, notwithstanding  this  enormous supply,
our general washing is suspended for the season from about
the second week in July to the end of October, and oftentimes later.   I grant such a system of canals cannot be constructed here for sometime, but to meet the emergency, the
miners by uniting together, as was done in California, can
do the next best thing, build large reservoirs at the head of
the creeks, as a reserve fund when needed in summer, and
thus ensure a profitable employment of every'hour of that
precious season when drawing to its close.   This could be
done successfully, and to a certain extent cheaply in every
district, and thus equalize in a great measure the busy mining seasons of both countries.    There is not, however, as
things are, tho vast difference which some imagine and many
maintain.    In  California, from the dry summer, extensive
washing,  and mining operations  generally are  suspended
. from July to November, during which period many miners
go to the Eastern States, and many visit San Francisco ; in
British Columbia, the suspension takes place in December,
sometimes sooner, and goes on to April and May, and the
same exodus is seen ; so,  after all, it is but a change of
period rather than a difference of fact.    All that is wanted,
so far as I could observe, to place British Columbia  on an
'equality with two-thirds of California, is more water at the
end of summer ; and  with that the severity of the winter
would be shorn of much of its terrors and most of its evils.
In California, it is true, tunneling is carried on in the fall of
the year, and a vast amount of dirt accumulated for the wet
season ; to some extent, the same is done in Cariboo, and
every year now will see that system of work extended.   At 35
Cedar Creek, last summer, the Barker Co. and others worked
and washed from the first week in April to the end of
November ; and so thence south the same thing could be
done, if there was only water introduced through the country. Take, as an example, the whole of Thompson River to
Boston-Bar, on the Fraser, all the way full of good hydraulic
and moderately good sluicing ground ; if that territory was
in California, tbe Bonaparte would be carried right through
from Cache Creek, and by supplying water for irrigation in
the intermediate sections, be made a splendid investment.
If this sounds extravagant, let me state there are many
artificial canals in California much longer, and much more
costly than this would be. I will enumerate a few, to
satisfy the incredulous, and to show I never make statements
I am unable to sustain. On referring to the Pacific. Coast
Directory it will be seen that the, Eureka Canal Co.,
Cosumnes River, is 450 miles long, and cost $500,000 ; Pilot
Creek Co, 150 miles, cost $300,000 ; South Yuba Canal Co.,
200 miles, cost $1,500,000 ; Eureka Co., Yuba River, 150
miles, cost $750,000 ; Auburn and Bear River Co,, 290 miles,
cost $650,000. I could, if requisite, multiply these, cases,
but they are sufficient to sbow that such a canal as I have
just mentioned is not so gigantic or terrible an affair after
all; that it is not nonsense, as some in their ignorance of
what, men will do in gold countries might be pleased to call
it, when, they know the wealth to justify the expenditure is
really there. As in the case of draining the Meadows, tunneling the hills, introducing hydraulics, I see no earthly
reason why the same enterprise, the same costly undertakings, the same wonderoUs and all conquering spirit, should
not be seen in British. Columbia that we have witnessed
in California, when the world comes to know that they
will pay as well there as elsewhere. That is simply
the trouble, the world knows nothing of the real truth
of the case, and as far as the people and a portion of
the Press are concerned, they seem, until lately, mutually
determined it never should know. Personal experience,
whether good or bad, is not by any means a safe principle
by which to judge the genreal or particular merits of a
country. All cannot become rich by mining any more
than by any other occupation in life ; and it is well they
cannot, for 1 can conceive nothing more deplorable than
mortal's condition in a community where every person was
positively rich—even if poverty and wealth were not, as we
know they are oftentimes, the result of mere chance and
accident. But what incalculable turpitude is this in men, to
go forth and defame a country at all times, and in the most
unjust manner, simply because they were not successful in it.
However, these things will soon be adjusted, for the truth is
told now by everyone who knows anything of the country ;
and you rest assured, that this greatest of all evils, " the
short season and severe winter," will grow, smaller and
^ mmtmm
smaller as water is generally introduced throughout the
mining regions.
I have been requested to say a few words before concluding upon these interests, and as 1 have examined them I will
do so gladly, for without such notice my history of your
mineral wealth would be incomplete. With reference to the
auriferous quartz ledges, I have traced them from Island
Mountain, at the head of Mosqtiitp Creek, through Lowhee,
Stout, William, Grouse, over Bald-Head Mountains to Black
Bear Creek, on the great south lake of the Quesnelle, a distance of seventy miles. Although these ledges are very fine
in character, well developed, determined in their course, and
offer every evidence of being up to the standard of the
California ledges, still I do not think the time has arrived
when they could be worked to advantage. Much discretion
must be exercised'in commencing the quartz business on an
extensive scale. A failure at first would throw these great
interests back *br years. It will be wisdom in this respect
to be guided strictly by the experience of California. Up
to 1860, nearly everyone who went into the quartz business
was ruined, and it fell into such disrepute, and became so
odious in San Francisco, that no capitalist could be found
to advance a dollar to-assist in opening a ledge for which
now he would gladly give $50,000. The total average pay
of the California ledges throughout the State, according to
Mr Black, and other authorities of equal experience, does
not exceed $15 a ton. Of sourse there are many brilliant
exceptions, and so there will be here, but upon the whole,
you have no right to expect nature to make an exception in
her general laws for you. Now in this country at present,
with labor, money, provisions, machinery, freight and incidental expenses so high, anything under $60 a-ton at least
would be a losing affair, and $40 a-ton is very rich rock ;
thus 18 out of every 20 men investing, in quartz largely
would be ruined, the same as men were at first in. California,
and this great productive interest thrown back for years.
Therefore, I advise a little delay. Develop the ledges so
far as to prove them, if you please, but except in ordinary
cases, do not attempt to work them on a large scale. It is
estimated that from 1862 to 1865, the period of the quartz
mania in California, that San Francisco and New York
spent $120,000,000 in Reese River, Montana and Idaho,
without getting a dollar in return, and now no matter what
they find, no one will help them in those cities, nor will they
for years. You all know the desolate condition of those
territories at present, from having little or no other resource
to fall back upon. I have already spoken of the immutability of the laws governing mineral veins, but those laws
are valueless against an oyer whelming expense that can 37
neither be avoided nor reduced ; and it is a poor policy in
mining to expend the money in simply getting to a mine,
which was intended to develop it; people very soon tire of
such a business. I grant there-is a great difference in California to-day. In 1860, her quartz interests were literally
dead ; in 1867, her quartz mills numbered 411, erected at a
cost of $5,900,000, the annual aggregate product of -which Js
$11,250,000. What produced this change in seven short
years? In the first place, a better knowledge of the laws
governing mineral formations and a thorough experience in
working rock,and the application of both to the minimum,
yield and the maximum cost by which to determine the margin for profit; and in the second place, the natural equalization of labor and capital. To-day, from .these causes, a
ledge paying, $10 a-ton, easy of access and easy to work,
would bring more in California than one that would pay
$500 a-ton in Idaho or Montana ; simply because, in the*
former, we can reduce our amalgam for $5'':. a-tonr which
leaves 100 per cent, profit. A few years will make a similar
change in this couiitry. You are not wanting in all the
elements of successful quartz mining ; and, therefore, it is
better and safer for all concerned, in my opinion, to allow-
the business to come to maturity in the natural course of
events, than to force it into a sickly existence at present, to
its certain prejudice hereafter.
These observations, however, do not apply to the same
extent to your silver ledges. You have already made such
a wonderful development at Cherry Creek in silver, that I
think that interest may be advantageously advanced now as
hereafter. Such enormous fortunes have been made in Washoe
by silver, and such an enormous business is still done in California in silver, that I see no difficulty in inducing capitalists to invest money in it here, if the thing is properly
managed. Besides, there can be no doubt about the Cherry
Creek lead, the quantity and the character of the rock it has
yieldedestablish its legitimacy at once. I have some in my
possession, richer than any coming from Washoe for three
' years' yast. I feel convinced 'they have the main lead and
not the spur ; but as the sudden illness of Mr Landvoigt prevented me going to inspect it personally, I cannot yet determine that important point. Nevertheless, putting all the
circumstances together, I confess I cannot resist the conviction on my mind, that the discovery is not made on a spur,
but on a large, rich and permanent vein. I saw the same
ledge on Scotch Creek, twenty-six miles from Cherry Creek,
and it is there nearly thirty feet thick, and at the same time
a magnificent character of rock.
You are probably aware, His Excellency the Goveroor
was kind enough to place his little steam yacht Leviathan at
my disposal, in order to visit the Howe Sound Copper Mine,
near Burrard Inlet, soon after its discovery. Many in this
city have asked me, since my return, whether there is any-
1 38
thing in it. Indeed there is, you may be assured, a great
deal in it. I pronounce it by far the best thing of the kind
discovered in the Colony, and quite as legitimate as any|on
the Pacific Coast. It is one of four mines hitherto found in
the world, of which we have record, where sulphuret ore in
a concentrated form was carried in quantity and of high
percentage on the surface. Nor is there any doubt, in my
mind, about its being a true organic vein, for there, plainly
in sight, are all the essentials necessary to constitute a true
copper vein down even to the fluckan, the first and last
essential. At present there is a slight displacement, which
will require probably drifting for a hundred feet to overcome. As soon as the vertical dip is reached in the hill, the
vein will show itself in its true course and form, and at
least be three feet thick. If this mine is now judiciously
managed by the owners, and liberally dealt with by the
Government, it must be of immense good to the Colony ;
for it at once establishes the reliability of your vast copper
ledges, and may in the end, when thoroughly developed,
excel the marvellous richness of the Union in Copperopolis,
and the Cobra, in Cuba, for neither of those celebrated
mines were equal to the Howe Sound mine on the surface.
So far, I have spoken only of your mineral wealth on the
Mainland. Vancouver Island, of course, I haveliad no opportunity of examining, to decide with any degree of certainty either the extent or character of its auriferous deposits. Its copper and coal, however, are endless, and the
rock on which your town of Victoria stands i? all a mineral
formation. It appears to me, you should first devote every.
energy to the development of your splendid and extensive
coal beds. I have already told you that the theory of
Professor Jackson, of New York, a very competent and
scientific man, of the non-existence of the carboniferous era
in California is daily gaining strength, for the more we
examine into the matter the more we find his statement of
the auriferous rock occupying the place of the coal-measures
to be correct. Hence, then, the coal does not exist there' at
all, or at such a depth it cannot be worked with profit; in
either case California is left in the same dilemma—she is
without coal.
1 stated this eighteen months'
ago, and that,
therefore, the day was not far distant when the proud city of
San Francisco must come begging to you for the means of
sustaining her commerce, manufactories and greatness ; for
without coal she is comparatively helpless. To-day my pre^-
diction is nearly realized. It was then evident to me that
the business enterprise of the Americans would overcome
all political and national prejudices, and in the event of not
getting coal of their own, they would do the next best thing,
go to the nearest and cheapest place for the supply they required. To-day they are doing so, and I am satisfied, if the
business is properly managed, at least 150,000 or 200,000
tons a-year can be sent from this Island to San Francisco. 39
It is gratifying to see the increase of shipments lately made
from Nanaimo, the last year exceeded the previous year by
J 0,000 tons, while the shipments during the first two months
of this year are far in excess of that increase. And so it
must continue to the end—the long, dreary night of misfortune is giving way to the dawn of a brighter day, and if
you only avail yourselves of the mineral wealth in your possession, the coal beds of Nanaimo, Cowichan, Comox, Newcastle, and on the Mainland, are sufficient in themselves to
build up the Colony to the highest state of prosperity and
wealth. 40
On the Agricultural, Commercial, Geographical, Political
and National Resources) Advantages and Aspects of the
Mr President :—Having in my previous address substantiated, I believe, beyond all question the mineral wealth
of the country, which in the natural course of events must
attract the attention of the world to a large extent, in spite
of all the prejudice and misrepresentation of those who
judged the country, not from its merits so much as their own
incapacity to ensure success, the next question that pre- .
sented itself to my mind was, whether in case of a sudden
influx of people drawn to it by sudden  discoveries which
are certain  to be made, the agricultural capacity of the
Colony would be equal to the emergency,   instead, there-"
fore, of  finishing my travels with an  examination  of the
mines, I found, in order to ascertain this fact, I had still an
irksome, laborious  and important duty to  perform, and I
went through with it with care, because few people, unacquainted with mining countries, have any idea how closely
the production of gold and the production of flour are connected.    My impressions  of  the  agricultural  character of
the Colony, I am free to confess, by being obtained from
false authorities, were about the same as ray impressions of
its mineral wealth, altogether wrong and unjust.   It was
necessary, in this case, to examine the districts lying adjacent
to the main thoroughfare of the mines, the product of which
could be brought into immediate use if required to feed and
sustain a mining population; so it must be understood all
the rich tracts of land extending along the banks of the
Fraser to its mouth, and also on Vancouver Island, are not
included.   I am merely speaking now of the Upper Fraser,
from Yale to Quesnellemouth.   It has always bee,n maintained that British Columbia is not an agricultural country,
the same thing that was said of California in. early times
■by men about as foolish as those who spoke of that country
without any real knowledge of its merits.   In order to prove
the vitality of this country, it is not necessary to "prove it
an agricultural country in the strict sense of the term—that
is, like  California, capable  of exporting grain ;   all that
appears necessary to me, is to show she can, as early Cali- 41
fornia did, sustain the population of to-day, and half-a-
million more if they were to come to-morrow at any given
point without calling into requisition the whole of her
resources. Now, what do 1 find in this respect ? This great
truth—that British Columbia i3 as capable in agriculture as
she is in mining, even within the contracted limits to which
I shall confine myself, extensive as thpse limits are in point
of distance, but nothing, wjrse than nothing, in comparison
with the total extent of her vast agricultural area.
From Lillooet on the west to Soda Creek on the east side
of the Fraser, say 200 miles north, thence to Cache Creek,
along the  Thompson, to  8avana's   Perrv,  up the lakes to
lloops and fteyrnour, say
iOO miles south, I find a countrv
as fertile, as easy of cultivation and as.durable as most of
the better portions of California, and which, judging from
it? general features an i the actual corps it produced last
year is certainly capable, without exaggeration, of sustaining at least half-a-million people in the two great necessaries
of life, flour and meat. Throughout these limits I also find,
as in California, that all required to make an apparently
barren land highly productive is sufficient irrigation, for the
crops last year by this means averaged thirty bushels to the
acre, an average over tuat of any similar given area to be
found, I believe, on the coast. It is estimated by parties
engaged in buying last year's grain, that the Upper Eraser,
from Lytton to Quesuellemouth, produced 1000 tons of wheat,
which is equivalent to 9,000 barrels of flour, while the
quality of flour is equal to the celebrated Golden Gate brand
of California ; and tuat this is not an exaggerated calculation, is evident, frcm the fact of Cariboo this winter, the
most severe ever known, being abundantly supplied with
flour of your own producing at 20 cents a pound instead of
50 cents a pound, when the supplies were dependent upon
California. Thus you have arrived at that period, Long to
be remembered in your history, when the upper country.
even the " howling wilderness " as it is called, has become
self-sustaining in flour- Few people, especially those unacquainted with miniug countries, can form a true estimate* of
the importance of this achievement. While Cai fornia remained dependent on Chili for flour, she made little progress
in the development of her material interests ; while British
Columbia remains dependent upon California we see the
same thing ; but as the former gradually became self-sustaining, she gradually became what she is, the princely mistress
of the Pacific. Shall we deny the s»me results to the latter?
Perhaps we might with propriety if she were not a large
producer of gold and coal; but having these, with the production of her own flour, her career, in my opinion, cannot
be impeded. Xo, sir, the tacts of your taking last year the
first step towards your independence of the world for the
chief means of living, the first time observe it has been
taken in your history, is worth more, a thousand times more,
than all the glittering, unstable, grandeur of the past, be- 42
cause it will create an inevitable desire for greater independence by greater production, and therefore every coming year,
in obedience to that desire, will duplicate the past year in
both. The labors of 1867, all round, have been'indeed a
glorious triumph for the Colony.
Throughout the limits I have drawn, the soil is very rich
and enduring ; abundantly supplied with water for irrigation, with a climate unexceptionable in summer, and not very
severe in winter. I have already spok<*n of the high average
of the crops, and as a proof of the power of duration in the<
land, they proved
upon some of the farms last year on
Cache Creek, the fifth consecutive growth of wheat, barley
and oats, than ever known before.    This was. shown  on the
two farms, of Boston and Perry—the one under cultivation
five years produced about the same proportion of wheat from
22 acres, that the other, for the first time under the  plough,
did from 30 acres.    From inquiries at the mills, at Lillooet,
Soda Creek and Cornwall's ranch, I learned that the grain
runs very even in its percentage of flour, yielding in all the
three districts from 65 to 70 per cent., with a little advantage
in favor of Cache Creek grain.    The best and largest farms
I have seen in the whole  country  are  Dunlevy's and Gal-
braith's, at Soda Creek ; Boston's  and  Perry's,  on   Cache
Creek, and the Cornwall ranch, on the Thompson.    A few
.particulars  of these five  ranches,  selected  simply because
they are well-known,  may not be uninteresting.    Dunlevy
produced about 125,000 pounds of wheat, 40,000 of barley,
30,000 of oats.    Galbraith, about 150,000 pounds of wheat,
with something  of the'same  in barley and  oats.    The immediate district of Lillooet produced 1,500,000 pounds  of
excellent wheat, 800,000 pounds of oats and barley, 60,000
pounds of beans, which is much less than the farmers intend
.growing there next season.    Sandford,  or Boston, as he is
commonly called, on Cache Creek, 43^000 pounds of wheat,
86,000 pounds of barley, 22,000 pounds of oats.    Perry, from
30 acres, the first season, as already said, averaged 50 bushels
of wheat to the'acre.    Cornwall  Brothers,  have 90  acres
under cultivation, with 50 more preparing for this year ; last
season's crop yielded 48 bushels to the acre, with barley and
oats in the  same proportion,.; oats  especially  never being
considered good under 49 bushels to the acre.    These gentlemen, in addition, have  380  head  of cattle, 60 horses, hogs,
<fcc, &c, in quantity, and will soon become wealthy.    I wish
to refer for a few moments, to Sandford's case, being a bright
and meritorious example of industry.   He located 269 acres
in 1861, the cereals of which, as given already, would realize
him last season $4,500, in addition to which  (given here  as
an evidence of the duration of the ground) he produced 70
tons of hay, worth $25 a-ton ; in vegetables, 50,000 pounds
of potatoes ; beats, 3 tons ; carrots, 8 tons ; Swedish turnips,
15 tons, besides a large amount of onions.   The total cost of
this farm residence, out-houses, fences, together with ditch
for irrigation, cost $6,000.   Putting the stock growing up 43
on the farm, together with its produce, the proprietor to-day
may be considered rich. I could instance numbers of such
'examples, yet it is difficult to make people believe that
British Columbia offers any inducement for farmers to cultivate the land. It must not be understood either that the
territory within the limits mentioned is fully occupied. Not a
tithe of it is under cultivation. Indeed some of the best
still invites'the settler. Here, I must observe, that the
climate is equally good for vegetables. During the summer,
in all places, as far up as Quesnellemouth, I ate peas, cauliflowers, cabbages, turnips, carrots, onions, celery, as large as
any grown in California, but "better flavored, while the
potatoes everywhere in the Colony, for size, soundness and
quality, defy the world. The same holds good also in reference to fruits. It is a common and true saying amongst the
Americans, that where the water-melon flourishes, any fruits
may be grown to advantage. When, therefore, I found
water-melons at Lillooet and other places as fine in every
respect as any grown in lone Valley, California, I was not
surprised to find apples, pears, plums, strawberries, cherries,
gooseberries, currants. &c, &c, if not so large as the California fruits of the same variety, infinitely better flavored.
Yet people will persist in calling the interior a | howling
wilderness," fit only for the red man and the bear. If I am
wrong in these statements, it is easy to show the falsehood.
To do so, however, requires a man to do what 1 have done,
traverse the entire country step by step, look into everything,
calculate everything, compare everything, and when that is
done, I know my veracity "will be established. General
statements, contradictory of what I advance, will not suffice;
figure against figure, detail for detail, must be produced, and
then if there is a discrepancy it can very soon and very
easily be brought home to the erring party. If I am proved
to be wrong;, let me for ever be covered with the shame such
falsehoods deserve. \ Now, Captain Bumsby, author of the
trashy letters appearing last summer in the Cariboo Sentinel,
as your optics and imagination are so dull that you could not
see Legh Harnett's garden in the interior, here is another
chance for distinction—to you and all- of the same school, I
boldly throw down the gauntlet. Any man who could ride
through the country at the time of my visit, and not see it
in th 3 same light that I did, must look in his own soul for
the barrenness he sees around him.
The next and last point to be considered in connexion with
the agricultural resources of the Colony is cattle-grazing. I
approach this subject really with hesitation, nor should I
venture to publish the tacts I have collected, were they not
fully substantiated by parties whose position and characters
cannot be ques ioned. It is, indeed, one of the most remarkable features of the country, and I doubt whether any
man was more astonished than myself at what I learned and
gathered,   The magnificent range of pasturage, In which
the bu.nch<gr&gs is tad, peouU&p fov Us Mealog py«« -■""
perties, really begins east of the Cascade Mountains, fifty-
seven miles above Yale, running up to the head of navigation on the Fraser, to the very base of the Rocky Mountains,
altogether north and south 800 miles, but how far cast and
west is not known, though the distance must be immense. I
will select a few particulars from my notes. The principal
cattle dealers are the Messrs Harper, two brothers, supposed
to be worth $200,000, most of which they are said to have
made in this Colony. Mr Jerome Harper assured me there
is scarcely any such pasturage iu Texas or Missouri, and as
he is an American, his testimony is the more reliable. They
are located on the Shuswap and Cache Creek, and possess
about 1,800 head of fine stock. At the time I saw him at
Cache Creek, on his way to Cariboo, with some 600 head of
grass-fed cattle for the winter's supply, he assured me he
could select 180 three-year old steers frem the band that
would weigh 870 pounds each, while the remainder were
certainly the finest lot of beef-cattle I ever saw collected
together in any country. No such average as this could be
reached on the Pathero Plains, round San Juan, south in
California, beyond comparison the finest grazing district in
the State, Again, Mr Cornwall told me they had killed
two-year old animals that weighed as high as 820 pounds
each, fed simply on grass. One case I witnessed myself, on
Antoine's farm, four miles below Mr Cornwall's, exceeds all
the others, and appe rs almost incredible ; it was that of a
yearling, killed in my presence, which weighed when dressed
545 pounds. I could mention many such instances coming-
to my knowledge indirectly, but I prefer the above because
they can be authenticated by the g.ntlcmen whose names are
mentioned. Here then, again, you see what this "'howling
wilderness" of the interior will do, and is doing daily. Can
such cattle be found in the London market,/ed alone on grass,
in England, Scotland or Ireland ? If so, I confess, I never
saw or heard of them. In California, I know nothing of
the sort can be produced. Another instance maybe given,
of the extraordinary value of this bunch-grass for dairy
purposes, and with it I will finish. It is that of Messrs
Duck and Pringle, located on the Shuswap River, who made
1,500 pounds of butter from 15 cows_ during last summer.
Nor is the severity of winter through this particular district, as in some others, a set-off against the profits of summer.
During some extreme seasons, it is true, cattle suffer and die ;
but settlers who are prudent enough to cut natural bay for
winter feed, which can be done for $5 or $7 a-ton, never
lose a single head in the deepest snow, while such as do
perish are old and poor California, cattle. That I am not
underrating or overrating this magnificent cattle range is
proved by the Cariboo teamsters and packers, in addition to
the stock belonging to it, regularly bringing at the end of
each season from 400 to 600 head of worn out animals of
every kind to winter, and which, without  being fed with
hay, come out in the spring in splendid condition.   And sq 45
I leave the agricultural resources, with a firm conviction,
that in this respect, as in others, the country has been grossly
It will be seen from these statements that this solitary
bugbear of the Colony, the " terrible winter," might as well
be left alone, for in most parts except the extreme north its
horror consists more in it solitude than severity. If, as in
Canada and the Eastern States, the interior gentlemen could
have lots of sleighing, with something very pretty and warm
rolled up in furs by their sides all the time, it would not be
feared 1 think so very much. In such latitudes a California
winter cannot be expected, though her winter one year in
three is more devastating and ruinous than yours with all its
severity during the whole time. Indeed, I have never met
a country so free from those dire calamities which periodically visit the world as this. Where are 'your -floods, fires,
hurricanes, earthquakes, drought that with such a cruel hand
constantly in other places lay men so low, so ruined, so
crushed ? In the absence of these plagues surely you can
bear with the severity of a winter, which at the worst only
stops work in open air two or three times during'the season.
I have had some experience in California during the last
seventeen years in these matters and know what they are.
Let me tell you something about them. Do you know what
a large city laid in ashes means ? Have you ever seen a
vast ocean of fire sweeping onwards with lightning speed,
on every side curling up the lofty spires in wreaths of angry
flame, devouring the mansions of the rich, the hovels of the
poor, the haunts of the vicious, the asylums of the destitute,
and commingling all in one vast and common ruin ? It is
but the work of an hour—yet how terrible that work. To
see stern men who had gone to bed rich, delicate and refined
women accustomed to the elegancies and luxuries of wealth,
children who never knew want wandering to and fro in
multitudes, without a home, without clothes, without food,
crushed and helpless and no relief at hand, is a sight that
tries mens' souls indeed. But you have none of this, you
have none of this in your- midst, and God grant you may still
be spared. Do you know what a country deluged by floods
means? Have you ever seen a vast inland sea, a hundred
miles long and forty miles wide, the work of a few days, but
raging and surging for weeks, and laving a paralyzing
hand on all it touches ? Have you ever stood on some lofty
eminence and, viewed the utter hopeless wreck of life that
lies stretched out on all sides as far as the eye can carry ?
The work and reward of years lost in an hour—beautiful
homes crushed to pieces or swept away, noble cities submerged and surrounded by a desolation as sublime, though
not as fatal as that which wiped out all traces of the once
proud Babylon and Nineveh"? Have you ever seen the
darkness of the storm^night prevail by day, when it seemed
as though you could raise your hand and clutch the murky
beayeos aboye as they poured and poured down their endless.
—^ 46
torrents of water, and the soul of man is weary, so weary
waiting for the sun ? No, you have none of this, you have
none of this, and God grant you may still be spared. Do
you know what a country dying out by inches from drought
means? Have you ever rode over fertile valleys, rich
prairies, studded with splendid farms, valuable orchards,
endless flocks of every kind, and marked the slow but
inevitable work of famine and progress of death ? Have
you ever seen the beautiful firmament of Heaven paled in its
hue by the .constant glare of the terrible sun, ; '. creation
stripped of every living herb, panthers and bears subdued
by hunger come down from their lairs to die with dying
flocks of sheep and cattle, and fruits, and trees, and crops
perish by the hour ? Have you ever felt that living death,
the dread silence pervading the busy haunts of man, when
the earth and all things living are weary, so weary waiting
for the rain ? No, no, you have none of this, you have none
of this, and God grant you may still be spared. No, sir, of
all countries I was ever in this one to me seems least afflicted
by those physical evils which constantly punish each clime
and each people in turn. What would have.been your conditions, to-day had you gone through a tithe of our California
experience? I hear people on all sides constantly talking
of California to the prejudice of British Columbia. Well,
she is a bright, sunny, glorious country upon the whole ; but
if there is one country in the world morethan another where
men's souls have been tried and their energies tasked to
make her what what she is, it is that very California. Had
this Colony received the same advantage of foreign capital
and emigration that she has had, it would have been, in my
opinion, a far more preferable country in many respects.
Again, in a commercial sense, 1 cannot see grounds for
such gloomy forebodings, because, in my opinion, the more
San Francisco extends her influence, capital and successful
trade, it must, to a certain extents in the end benefit Victoria, simply because she has the only sale seaport besides
that city on the sea coast. The opening of the Japan and
China trade, and the purchase of Sitka, will also have an
immediate good effect, for neither can be carried to a successful issue without the means of this Island. The
Americans know this, and hence their desire to get this
stumbling block to their greatness on tne Pacific. In reference to Si ka, it brings British Columbia at once in the
centre of the American possessions, and its trade must centre
here in spite of national prejudices and political jealousies.
The steamers plying to and from San Franc sco must coal
here, because it is cheaper, and commercial necessities and
commercial benefits soon bring all thinss to a level. Some
think Sitka will never amount to anything,and much fun has
been made about its purchase. That is not my impression.
In the hands of the American people, and in the midst of
American wanti, it is sure to advance • and not being able
to get this country, tho purobaw of Sitka wm the next \m\ 47
thing they could do, for the possession of the extreme north
and south doubles their power on the coast, and gives them
political and commercial advantages they never before possessed. Let those advantages extend to the utmost, if you
please, as the great tide of nation floats along your shores;
and how you can avoid participating in the establishment
and continuance of that nation, when you cut them off in
their necessity from their own people? Do you think any Sitka
shipmaster would go to San Francisco in preference lo Victoria for such things as may be required immediately, simply
because you are English ? It would not pay, and the
Americans look to that point I assure you. But the possession of Sitka by the Americans tends to your advantage
in another way hitherto not seen, in connexion with the
Japan trado recently opened with San Francisco. You all
know how that trade has increased during the first year,
beyond the expectation of those who inaugurated it. Now,
it is a fact, that the route from San Francisco to Japan, by
going through the Aleutian Isles, on the west coast of Sitka,
can be shortened eleven hundred and sixty miles, instead of
going by the Sandwich Isles, as they do now. There is
nothing for the large steamers running on this line to go to
Honolulu for, except to keep..up an established communication and connexion ; it cannot possibly pay,financially; and,
therefore, when Sitka becomes of more importance, by being
filled by American people, and by extending American interests, 1 do not see how the Japan liue can avoid taking
the other route; When, in the first place, they s ive thereby
such an immense distance, and by coaling here, in the next
place, save such an immense expense. Such are the natural
■ advantages of this place, in a commercial light, that I cannot understand any progress on the Pacific coast and Victoria not sharing in it largely; and the proof of this is, that
to-day, she i? doing more, and holding her own better, than
any portion of the coast from Washington Territory to San
Francisco, except Portland, and she is no great thing to
boast about.
But the most important feature of this country in relation
to its future progress, is its geographical position. Without
mines, without any extent of agricultural lands, this alone
would make it prosperous in course of time. If the English
natiou desires to maintain its footing and extend its influence
on the Pacific, it must foster and encourage British Columbia. An abandonment of this territory, is an abandonment
of the entire Pacific, for there is not now another spot on it
where we can get a foothold. The more this truth is impressed upon the English people, in order to induce their
assistance in various ways required at present, the better for
them and for yourselves, for a greater Colonial calamity
could not be experienced than its loss. That position gains
additional importance from the configuration of the country
inland, in connexion with a waggon-road to Canada- My
own impression is, that no power on earth can prevent
1 48
eventual Confederation with the Dominion: and, furthermore,
that the idea, so far as the transmission  of British interests
and influences are concerned it is the greatest idea enunciated
for a century.   I have already told you, in my correspondence
with the Colonist, how the configuration of the upper country points naturally to  this result, for  I really believe it
would not cost more to take a railroad to-day from Yale
through  the Horse-Fly  country to   the Rocky  Mountains
than it has already cost to build one from Sacramento to the
Summit of the Sierra Mountains, though only something over
200 miles.   Thus,  $20,000,001),  I  believe,  of the original
stock is gone.    I  do  not  think  the most salient points in
favor of Confederation, have been presented to you, neither
do I think it has been discussed eutirely free from personal
prejudices and old p ditical proclivities.    Now,   it  seems to
me, any measure having for its object ostensibly the perpetuity of England's greatness, by insuring the prosperity of
her Colonies, should receive the respectful attention of every
British subject.    Now, Confederation cannot be understood
without discussing the encroachments made  on  our Asiatic
interests  by the aggressive spirit of the  Americans since
their establishment  upon this coast; nor do I refer to that
spirit, because I fear it, but to induce the English, if possible, to imitate it.    In fifteen years, they have done more in
overcoming the national prejudices of the Japanese  by the
potent influence of commerce, than we have done from the
other side in fifty-years by the means of treaties and saltpetre; and to-day, from their proximity to  Japan,  by their
establishment at San  Francisco and   with  their  Overland
Railroad, they contest with us in no mean manner the supremacy of dominion on the Pacific, and threaten seriously to
wrest from our gra?p a large portion of the rich trade of
the Orient; for you may be assured, if they once firmly get
a foothold in Japan, tbey will advance further.    How then
can they be checked ?   I answer, by immediate Confederation with Canada.    The real lover of his country, and the
.real statesman, will not view this question simply by the immediate good Confederation would do this Colony, although
that is a view you cannot and ought not to  overlook; he
must view it to understand it properly as an English as well
as a Colonial question.'  It is by these great results the welfare of this country will be best subserved.    We can  only
check the American encroachment upon our Eastern trade by
imitating their example on the Pacific, and we can only do
that through this Colony.   Force this view upon the English
and they will see at once what they ought to have seen long
ago—that this Colony, next to Australia, is  the most important possession England has.   This, it may be said, is
simply raising a future issue, that may or may not come to
pass, while we want immediate relief.    What more, pray,- do
the opponents of Confederation offer by asking you to wait
than a future issue, without investing the claims of the
Colony with new interest?   1 know very well the Colony 1
can redeem itself without, but it will do it, in my opinion,
more thoroughly and more permanently with Confederation.
I do not regard this consolidation of power as an untried
experiment. To a certain extent it has proved successful in
America, but- that success was never so conspicuous as when
California connected her boundaries with the two great
oceans. What California has done for America, Canada
will do for British Columbia. I have no doubt in my mind
that the great mineral formation of the Pacific Coast crosses
the Rocky Mountains within our possessions and goes
through to Canada. I know it goes to the Mountains, and
we have strong evidence of its existing on the other side by
recent reliable gold developments in the Saskatchewan territory. Connect the two great oceans once more through
eur possessions, and there is no other portion of the globe
equal to that territory for wealth of every kind. That territory, however, can only be brought under the industry of
man immediately to any extent by Confederation ; arid,
therefore, it seems to me, taking consolidation of power as
a fact, that the immediate and permanent welfare of British
Columbia and Confederation are synonymous. There is
another consideration in favor of this grand idea of Confederation which the people here do not sufficiently regard,
if they are not altogether ignorant of it. The Americans
have determined to have a Northern Railroad, to come from
Lake Superior through Montana and Idaho, to Puget Sound.
Already the Government have granted 47,000,000 of acres,
and ordered a bill for its construction to be brought at once
into Congress. They know very well the value of the
territory through which this will- pass—that it is incomparably superior to the barren territory of the California
line. What the Americans know, we ought to know ; what
the Americans do to enrich their nation by an expansion, but
at the same time a union of power, we certainly ought to do.
We are equal to them in intelligence ; superior to them in
wealth ; but we waut their quick conception of great ideas,
their harmony of action in carrying these ideas out. In my
opinion, this Northern Railroad through American territory,
not more distant often from our own line than 150 miles,
will of itself force Confederation upon you, independent of
all other issues. However, with or without Confederation,
of the future prosperity of this country I have no doubt;
and after looking into her great and varied interests with
me, I hope we now agree, low even as she stands among the
nations of the earth, that next to Australia she is to-day the
most important possession of Great Britain, and in connexion
with the transmission of her future power and future greatness she is priceless in proportion as she commands the
Great Pacific.
Postscript.—I have to apologize for the reduction made
in the Second Lecture, which became necessary in conse-

quence of slightly enlarging the first. Both were originally
delivered extemporaneously without a single note, but I
have endeavored to keep up the resemblance as far as
memory would possibly permit.
I also think it right to acknowledge the especial attention
to me at all times-of Captain Swanson. of the Enterprise ;
Captain Finch, of the Anderson ; Caj tain Irving, of the
Onward ; Captain Fleming, of the Lillooet, and Mr Barnard,
of the Cariboo Stage Co.


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