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British Columbia gold mines : a paper read before the Liverpool Geological Association. The richness… Holbrook, Henry, 1820- 1884

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     GOLD  MINES: 
A Paper read before the Liverpool Geological Association, by 
Late Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and President of the Executive 
Council in the McCreight Government, and many years a Member of the 
Provincial Parliament, and 21 years a resident of the Province. 
The  Richness of the Mines, the Hydraulic Gold Washing 
and General Resources of the Province fully laid down, 
so as to bring such (for inquiry) to the notice of 
Capitalists in Great Britain, and showing British 
Columbia to be the Garden and Golden 
Province of Canada. 
Printed by B. Harah, 12, Preeson's Row.  GOLD  MINES: 
A Paper read before the Liverpool Geological Association, by 
Late Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and President of the Executive 
Council in the McCreight Government, and many years a Member of the 
Provincial Parliament, and 21 years a resident of the Province. 
The  Richness of the Mines, the Hydraulic Gold Washing 
and General Resources of the Province fully laid down, 
so as to bring such (for inquiry) to the notice of 
Capitalists in Great Britain, and showing British 
Columbia to be the Garden and Golden 
Province of Canada. 
Printed by B. Harah, 12, Preeson's Row.  BRITISH  COLUMBIA.

Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Geological Association,
WAS asked last Fall to write a paper on the " Resources of
British Columbia," to be read before the Royal Colonial
Institute, London ; but it was found, after a lengthened
correspondence, that the only nights of their session that
could be devoted to Canada were taken up by papers, most
valuable, relating to the whole of the Dominion, and as mine related to
only one province it had to give way. I therefore embrace the offer to
read it before the Liverpool Geological Association, as it will contain
much interesting to geologists, and may bring out other papers relating to
our gold leads I can also draw attfention, for further information, to the
reports of our Canadian Geological Department, and their splendid
collection of specimens at Ottawa, instituted by the Canadian Government, and presided over by Professor Selwyn, who has personally visited
our province. His able and scientific reports will be found in the
Geological Blue Books presented to the Canadian Parliament, which can
be seen at the Canadian Offices, Westminster, London, and contain much
valued information.
My great object in this paper is to draw attention—so that other
inquiries may be made by capitalists in Great Britain and also by those
at Montreal and Toronto—now that the wave of population is settling
towards British Columbia—to our Gold Mining Industry, more especially,
also, to our Hydraulic Gold-washing i esources, their great extent, and the
profits derived from similar undertakings in California; to our Quartz
Leads and their extent; and to our Gold Mines generally.
A new field is now opening on our Eastern boundaries near the
Railway Line, but it is only part of the great gold belt which can be traced
from the Gulf of California north-west to the Pacific Ocean in Alaska,
which I will afterwards speak about. I also draw attention to our Silver
Mines, one of which, near the Railway Line, is not yet taken up (I have
before drawn attention to it); also to our Copper and Coal formations.
I shall have to speak of our general resources, and show how this
great province is suitable for settlement, and of its fine climate. In order
that you may properly understand, I shall be obliged to trace back to
1858, and show how we have progressed, and the difficulties that have
hindered our rapid progress, and as our resources have eventually to be
opened up by capitalists from the Eastern provinces of Canada and Great
Britain, I hope this paper may so direct their attention to our riches, that
we shall find our prosperity with them, instead of having to lean on San
Francisco as in the past, and so have our great resources opened out that
our gold may go direct to our banking centres in Canada, instead of 
having to go round by San Francisco and New York. JSfo doubt the
information will be interesting to you, and it will be a guide to lay before
you and the capitalists I have spoken about, and the general British
public, the advantages of the province for settlement, and the field it
offers for the profitable employment of capital in opening out its great
riches. I will endeavour to show how this capital can be profitably
employed. But this is a work of some difficulty, as I have to overcome
certain prejudices that have arisen in consequence of the accounts given
in works written by casual visitors, who came out at various times,
stayed a few weeks or months with us, and, as they were the wrong men
to succeed as colonists, returned home and wrote against the province.
By thai, means they made it a dead letter so far as Great Britain was
concerned, and virtually handed over our mines to California, the miners
from which place have taken out most of our gold. Indeed, the produce
of our goldfields has actually been included in their returns ; and until
we had confederation with Canada, our lands had a small settlement
upon them from the same source. We have wanted a white population
to settle on our lands, and do so still; and we' want white labour on our
railway works. Great advantages are offered to both, as well as to capital
for our mining industry.
I may state with some diffidence (as I do not like to speak of myself,
but it seems to be necessary, in. order to show that an account can be
given which is trustworthy), that I am able to give a correct and true
account of things, after a residence of 21 years in the province, having
been engaged in commerce during the whole period. I have also filled
many public offices, and after confederation with Canada formed part of*
the first Government—the McCreight Ministry—which inaugurated responsible Government, and assimilated the laws from those of a Crown
colony to those applicable to our changed state under a confederation. I
was chosen as the first Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, with
full charge of the public lands and mines, and was at the close of that
administration President of the Executive Council. Before that, (and,
indeed, for many years after), I was a member of the Provincial Parliament
when we were a Crown colony, and assisted and voted in the scheme of
confederation as one of that body. I mention these matters, as beforesaid,
to show that I am in a position to give correct information, so far as I
have been able to learn, and I now wish to give the fruits of my experience and to state results, instead of writing theories or casual impressions.
My desire is to do good to the colony I have lived so long in ; and I think
I can safely say that British Columbia, so far as the Mainland is
concerned, is one of the richest colonies of Great Britain; that it offers
great advantages for settlement; and has unbounded riches in gold, silver,
copper, and coal mines. This, too, with a climate the same as the south
of England, so far as regards the Frazer Valley, which is very like
Tunbridge Wells. Kent. Its chief town was named by Her Majesty
New Westminster, which we call the Royal City.
Now, in order to prove the mildness of our climate, I give the
readings of the barometer and thermometer, with the rainfall for 1875
and 1876, taken at the Government Observatory, Esquimault;	 5
Feb.   Mar.
Oct.    Nov.

Maximum Barometer	
Minimum      do.       ....
29-247 29-084
Mean Height 	
29-955 29-816
Maximum Thermometer.
63-9     54"9
Minimum           do.
41-1     2*2*1
29 1
Mean temperature by day
52.7   1 43*7
45 "7
Do.        by night
46*8     36*1
Mean velocity wind p. hr. 9 mis.
7m. 3
12m. 7
10m. 8
llm. 3
10m. 2
7m.  4
5m.  3
8m.   1
5m.   5 10m. 1
llm. 3
Ram Fall  lin. 60 0    70
lin. 11
2in. 62
0   73
0   0
0   49 0   80
4in. 48|6in. 50
For the year, 33in. 43 Rainfall, 1875.
April. May.
73 "9
50 3
8m- 6
o 34I
Maximum Barometer....
Minimum      do.       ....
30 512
29 896
10 mis
5in. 6
54 9
22 1
llm. 8
3in. 4
30*505' 30*301
29*594129 626
29*976 30*12
59-9   1 69*9
31*1     38-1
52-2     57-3
40"9     48 2
9 mis. 10m. 6
0   88  0    76
6m. 9
0   83
9m. 2
0   41
lin 15
29 36&
3m. 7
2in 54
30 "1
7m. 8
4in 27
30 66
29 "86
Maximum Thermometer.
Minimum         do.
Mean temperature by day
Do.     . by night
Mean velocity wind p. nr.
Rain Fall	
38 5
10m. 8
2in. 32
6 mis.
lin 7
Rain fall for the year, 22in.-67.
I think these figures will bear me out in the statement I have made
about the climate. Of course other parts of the province are different.
New Westminster, Frazer Valley, lies in 49-10° North latitude. There
is no fever and ague; all are healthy. Further north it becomes colder,
a3 it extends up the coast, to 54°, and at our principal gold mines, 475
miles above New Westminster—I mean Carriboo, with Barkerville or
Richville for its principal town—they are 4,200 feet above sea level, in
latitude 53, 3° N. Of course the climate here is different, and much
colder. In the country bordering the sea we get the advantage of the
Japan stream coming across the Pacific and striking Vancouver's Island.
This answers the same as the Gulf Stream does to Great Britain, and
makes our climate the same for all parts bordering the Pacific; and no
doubt when the railway is completed—which will be the case in two
years from now—the wave of population will follow its course (it is this
year commencing, and we shall have our resources opened out by a
white population), and capital flowing in from British and Eastern
Canadian sources for that purpose. I might here mention the Canadian
Pacific Railway, which will run 2,500 miles through Canada, connecting
the Atlantic with the Pacific. It passes through a most fertile belt, which,
lately the feeding ground of the buffalo, will now be used for raising
stock and cereals, and has unlimited resources for settlement, some of
the most productive land in the world ljing along the Saskatchewan
Valley and in British Columbia It will also be the road to the Peace
River country.
We became confederated with Canada in 1870. One of the terms
proposed was a coach road. We had as our Canadian Premier one of the
greatest of living British statesmen—I allude to the Eight Hon. Sir John
A. Macdonald—and when the delegates came before him he granted as one of the terms a trans-continental railway, to be completed in ten years.
His far-reaching mind saw the advantages to be gained, and discovered
how a Greater Britain could be founded, stretching from the Atlantic to
the Pacific,
In his first endeavour to carry this out, he was beaten down and had
to give up office, but he returned to power and has now made the scheme
of the railway an accomplished fact, and the finished work will remain as
a lasting monument to him. "All hail to the great man who has
accomplished this, and made Canada so prosperous !" and if you in Great
Britain had him as one of your ministers and his grand ideas were carried
out, instead of drawing from you most of your best and most skilful
mechanics and workmen, to share our prosperity and find profitable employment fpr their labour and talents, you would' be able to employ them in
Great Britain, and the workman, land owner, and capitalist would enjoy
the same prosperity that we do in Canada. As I said before, his noble
ideas and great abilities have brought immense prosperity to Canada and
its loyal inhabitants.
I will now describe British Columbia. We can only imagine ils size
when we compare it with other countries. -Let us take as an example
Great Britain,—England, Scotland, and Ireland. These contain an area
of 121,115 square miles. Now the mainland of British Columbia which
lies between 49° and 54° N. latitude and runs back to the Rocky Mountains,
contains an area of 341,305 square miles, and we have besides Vancouver's
Island, which is 12,000 square miles. This latter may be called one
immense coal field.
This is British Columbia. Oar resources are—our rich land, our
timber, and our mines of gold, iron and coal; and there are also to be
developed, deposits of copper and silver.
The Colony was first created by revocation of the Crown grant to the
Hudson Bay Company, on the 3rd November 1858, succeeded by a proclamation issued by the then Governor, Sir James Douglass, on the 19th
November, 1858, providing fcr the Government of British Columbia, and
declaring English law in force in the Colony. From 1858 the progress
of the country was brilliant, resembling the marvellous career of California
and Australia after the discovery of gold in those countries. Thousands
upon thousands flocked to our golden shores to improve their condition.
The original deposits of gold, however, from which the shallow bars and
benches of the Frazer River were fed, were not discovered then, nor indeed
have they, in the opinion of many scientific men and experienced miners,
been discovered yet. The mines on the Frazer were, therefore, soon
exhausted ; and being unable to sustain the multitudes flocking to them,
were to a great extent deserted; although they have continued up to the
present time to be worked, in places, by a considerable number of men.
Gold was first found on the Thompson River, which empties into the
Frazer at a place called Nicomen. The Thompson and Frazer River cut
through the Gold belt, which extends from the head of the Gulf of
California, passes through California, Oregon, and British Columbia, and
comes out on the Pacific Ocean, near Mount Elias, Alaska. The direction
of the belt is N.W. from the gulf to this place in Alaska.   In some parts it is richer than others, and I think the future will show we have a fair
share in British Columbia. We commenced mining on the Frazer River
at Hope, 96 miles from the mouth, aud our hardy and enterprising men
kept forcing their way up stream, amidst privations and sufferings which
were enough to appal the bravest heart, and which cost many a noble
fellow his life. The nature of the deposit, and the character of the goM
was invariably the same; that is, the deposit was shallow and the metal
light, or what is commonly called "float gold." Comparing these
circumstances with their experience in California and Australia, certain
men determined to penetrate the interior in search of coarse gold deposits
which they felt assured must exist in the neighbourhood somewhere, and
at no great distance. The expedition was successful—gold in paying
quantities was found along QuesneUe River and its forks, of a much
coarser character than any yet taken out. Encouraged by these results
they penetrated still further, until, shortly after, they struck the world-
renowned Carriboo, a district which has since become so celebrated.
The year 1861 may be considered as the period of permanent
discoveries in Carriboo, and from this period may be dated the material
and political existence of the Colony in the great family of nations.
Williams' Creek, the compeer of which has never yet been furnished by
any country in the history of gold digging, became the parent of the
Colony's glorious prosperity at first, and of its subsequent part prostration.
It is necessary to bear this in mind, or you cannot intelligently comprehend
either of these conditions, in their extreme of affluence or their extreme
of indigence. Yet both, under the guidance of an all-wise Providence,
have played no unimportant part in aiding the completion of the great
scheme of confederation; the one by making known the vastness and
endless wealth of the country, the other by teaching us the need of
resting its future on something more permanent and solid than the
fluctuations incident to gold mining.
From Williams' Creek explorers started in every direction, as far as
the nature of the country admitted. Provisions and tools had to be
packed (or carried) adding to our knowledge, in a short time, a series
of creeks of more or less distinction, which, taken together, in wealth
and extent seemed to make the future of the country as permanent as its
present was brilliant.
The people rose with the grandeur of the day, and were prodigal of
their means to make the country worthy its reputation. The great want
of the country was easy communication from the source of food supply to
the mines; a want which, from the character of the country to be
intersected by a waggon-road, was not easily attained. Yet with a spirit
worthy of the pioneers of this Province, the work was commenced and
completed in three years, at a total cost of £151,000 ($754,148). I
speak now of the main waggon-road, as it stands to-day, a total of 383
miles from Yale to Carriboo a road, it is safe to say, that has no equal
in any British Colony for size, convenience, engineering triumphs and
durability. In addition to this, there was another road from Douglas,
through Lilloet, to Clinton, about 130 miles, which cost £100,000
($504,955); besides a third trail-road built afterwards to our southern 
Gold Fields at Kontenay, on which at least £30,000 (or $150,000) was
expended ; making a grind total for roads alone of $1,309,100.
Iniependent of ihese great public works, cities and towns of no
mean pretensions in size and beauty simultaneously sprang up, the wants
of commerce were supplied, and the pleasures of refined life were enjoyed
to an extent rejlly marvellous when we n collect that the country was
only four vears old.
I now arrive at 1863, the golden era of the Colony. Soon after, its
depression commenced, and con inued until confederation took place,
after which its prospects brightened ; and when the railway is comjueted
and the iron horse is running across, the wave of population will come
sweeping to us from the eastern part of Canada, bringing capital and
industry in its wake to open out our resources.
I now particularly wish to draw your attention to our Gold Mines,
their present condition and future prospects; especially to the hydraulic
washing, the profits of such in California, and to our Quartz leads.
I have already told you that the yield of gold was something
wonderful, and it was so. When estimated in proportion to the number
of men working, the yield was never equalled by California or Australia,
or any other country. Up to 1862, it is safe to say, there never could
have been at any one time over 5,000 miners engaged (and the returns
say only 4,000) in working the mines, and yet the annual yield was
nearly £1,000,000, including over the Bank returns, the estimate of the
gold taken away in private hands, a per capita average without parallel
in the world.
I shall now proceed to give you the estimated yield of gold from
.1858 to 1882, with the number of men employed, from the returns by the
banks and others made out by the Government. But it is a low average,
and does not show the result of early days, before the banks came—say
from 1858 to 1860, when men carried their own gold down. At one
time in 1858 it was supposed there were 15,000 people on Victoria Town
site, mostly living in tents, waiting to go to Frazer River. How many
got there we have only report as a record. Those that went had many
difficulties to contend with, as the Hudson Bay Company's Charter was
not revoked until November of that year, and the Indians were troublesome, not being respecters of the law, as at present. They are now
law-abiding, and industrious; thanks to the firmness and discretion
exercised by our Judicial Bench, with good and just laws to administer.
Many of these men came back disgusted, after leaving gold mining, as they
did in Australia, and we lost the chance of their settlement. Unfortunately
we are too near CaHfornia, and the pleasures of spending a winter in
San Francisco draw our mining population there. Indeed "Frisco" is
used as a harbour of refuge when a disappointment occurs, and many go
down there with the gold they have taken out of British Columbia, and
embark it in some enterprise, or lose it on the San Francisco Stock
Exchange. I give the returns as they are published, but though for the
last three years it is a decreasing figure, no less gold was taken out, but a 9
different calculation was made as to the gold in private hands. It is
evident the present banks want to keep all the good things to themselves.
However, with the Railway this pleasant arrangement will blow up, and
our gold will go direct to Montreal and Toronto, and the banks there will
come in.
Table showing the actually known and estimated yield of Gold, the numbers
of Miners employed, and average earnings per man from 1858 to 1882.
Amount received
by banks and
private hands.
per man.
^ "'£*
Only on Report
1858 V
6 raos. \
under stated, and
not reliable.
1862 )
4.246 266
j  4,100
1863 \
-* «|   *-i   J. V/ *   A4 \J yj
j  4,400
£245  per man.
about  9£
$47,141,711, or
As I have already more than hinted, these returns are not reliable ;
they are based on guess work as to the amount taken down in private hands
and the number of men engaged in mining. When a bank comes over
from the Eastern side like the Bank of Toronto, or Montreal, we shall
have other accounts. The present banks work through San Francisco
banks and are bound up in their interests. In addition to this there is
the gold taken out at Kourtenay and Big Bend, Columbia River, in our
southern gold fields, which goes down the Columbia River to Portland,
Oregon; and the gold from Cassiar and Strikeen River in our Northern
gold fields, which goes down in private hands direct to San Francisco
from Strikeen River mouth, which is in Alaska, United States territory,
and there is also the quantity taken away in private hands without passing
through the hands of the banks, and going direct to San Francisco.     As 10
an example, we can only guess at the amount of gold taken out by the
Chinese from what they sell to the banks, and we have no record of the
quantity sent to their companies, or retained in private hands. All we
know is they are most industrious, and if you ask one what he is making
he will perhaps tell you "six bittee" (3s.) But stand by and watch him
wash up from his rocker, and you will probably see him take out $10
(or £2) for Iris day's work. Then, also, many of our white miners take
all they do not require for provisions with them to California, and spend
the winter there. We have also record of a few Indians on the Thompson
River taking out $30,000, or £6000, for their winter's work. A mining
license is granted on payment of £1, which gives the right to mine and
take up certain quantities of unoccupied gold land, as specified in our
mining laws, which gives also great rights and facilities to companies to
take up and mine both land and quartz ledges. Science, machinery and
skill, are all now required to obtain gold in Carriboo, which a comparatively
small amount of unskilled manual labour obtained before.
Let us see how Carriboo has hitherto sustained herself, and judge,
therefore, what hopes we have of her success in the future. We will
take the history of Williams' Creek, the next after Antler Creek that was
struck in Carriboo. It is estimated to have yielded in the short area of
two miles and a half some five millions sterling. When we remember
that the mining season only lasts five or six months the sums appear
nearly fabulous—more suited to the pages of glowing fictions than the
stern realities of life.
I shall now authenticate these statements by giving in detail the
amount taken out of several of the principal claims; for you must know
extraordinary as it is in this Creek, there was not, as in the rich streams
of California, a single poor blank claim throughout the whole distance of
two and a half miles. The depth at which the gold was found varied.
At the upper end of the flats it ran 12 to 20 feet, getting deeper at the
lower end, till it reached 60 feet, equally rich. At the upper end of the
Creek was the Black Jack, located in 1862, and although worked in the
dearest times, when wages were $16 or £3 4s. per day per man, realized
in two years £40,000 at a cost of £10,000. The Cunningham, located
in 1861, took out in four years £100,000. at a cost of £20,000; California
Company for the same period, £100,000 at a cost of £20,000; The Steel
Company £150,000, about one-third going for expenses. To these may
be added the Abbot, Adams, and a host of others which paid in the same
On the lower portion of the Creek where the diggings were deeper,
the ground paid richer. For instance, the Dillon claims paid, for four
men working, the enormous sum of 110 lbs. weight of gold—equivalent
to £4000—in one day, and in six months gave the owners the handsome
fortune of £16,000, or $80,000, each. Below this came the celebrated
Barker, Welsh, Caledonia, Moffat, Cameron, Raby, and Prince of Wales.
These are some of the lucky ones, and results obtained in the rosy days of
Carriboo's glory.
The same may be said of Antler Creek, where, at a depth of only 4
and 7 feet, men for a long time made from £10 to £50 per day regularly— 11
of Lightning, Stouts Gulch, Grouse, Conklin, Mosquitoe, Sovereign, Jack
Club's Creek, and others, all of which paid enormously, though not so
regularly or for so long a period as Williams Creek.
No doubt you will say, "but these great doings exist no longer; they
are simply a part of a short and glorious history," and therefore it is not
wise or safe policy to make them the ground work of attracting fresh
population to the Colony. To the precise amount taken, I admit the
argument, but no further, for such a conclusion, natural as it may be, is
the particular error I wish to refute. In the first place, let me remark
that these Creeks, which so far have monopolised the capital and energies
of our limited population, form but a small proportion of Carriboo ; the
greater part of the remainder of that vast district being still not only
unprospected but almost unexplored; and secondly, that the "original
deposits" of gold which made these particular water sheds so marvellously
profitable have never yet been found. Now to accomplish either of these
two great things on which the future of tlie Colony or Province so much
depends, viz:—to explore and thoroughly prospect the country for new
diggings, or rediscover the old deposits in the surrounding hills, we must
have fresh population. To ask an infant to roll over, or walk away with,
the carcase of a dead elephant of the largest growth would not be more
ridiculous than to expect a limited population like ours (in British
Columbia) to do either of these indispensable things, in addition to what
they are doing.
A gentlemen who lectured on this subject at New Westminster, in a
meeting at which, as the then mayor of that city, I was chairman, speaking
of Mosquitoe Creek, three miles below Williams' Creek, said, "Between
Mosquitoe and Frazer, some 50 miles thence up the river to Fort George
100 miles, thence back from the Frazer to Swamp River, parallel with
Mosquitoe is a large auriferous region, utterly unknown, as I have already
said, which henceforth will be carefully prospected, and judging by
developments already discovered, will, in the end, become the most popular
in Carriboo, because the greater portion will prove the least expensive and
difficult to work of any yet known. So you will see it is not an idle
boast to say these Creeks—I include Mosquito —are worth more to the
country to day than Williams' Creek; not so much from the amount
of gold they will yield, as from the new life, vigour, enterprise, and
confidence they will inspire; and because they go far to prove that
Carriboo really is the country of endless wealth which we hitherto only
thought it was. Again, the same person, said all this section alone is
capable of supporting 10,000 men. This prediction was strengthened
by results of prospectors, and by the flattering developments in
Omineca and Findlay branch of Peace River. In the latter stream, one
set of six men took out $10,000 in 35 days, crude work, besides 40
ounces of native silver in small pieces. So then, so far as new territory
is concerned, we have evidence of gold along the whole gold line
commencing at Kourtenay and ending at Cassiar, on the Strikeen River,
the diggings in which place have given good results. In the neighbourhood of Dease Lake we have room for a large population as new diggings
are opened out, and at Williams Creek there are the whole tailings to 12
work over, and we have to prospect further, as we have not tried below
the first bed rock. In Australia, at Ballarat, the richest deposits were
found below, and then the hills have to be attacked to find where the lead
has gone to, and Bald Mountain, from which many of the Creeks head,
has to be prospected.
The rediscovery of the old original deposits which fed the stream
beds so abundantly, has, from the experience of California, ceased to be
problematical. As streams are exhausted, men naturally enquire into the
origin of their deposits, and thus they are gradually traced into the
adjoining hills. Hence the second era in gold digging, which always
proves the most permanent, though most costly, system of mining. Miners
in California have passed seven years of their lives and expended as much
as £20,000 to reach those deposits in the mountains; and, taken upon
the whole, we know the hill diggings in California have yielded thousands
of millions of dollars. The action of the water by which these deposits
are determined is always arbitrary and eccentric. In Carriboo, from the
nature of the country, it will prove more difficult to trace these deposits
than it proved in California, but eventually they will be traced with the
same accuracy, to the same extent, and with the same results. It is only
a question of time and labour; but to us, as in California, the event will
give a new lease of long-continued prosperity.
Our population in the mines have had some large works in Lightning
Creek, and in the Meadows'at the junction of Willow River. They have
not as yet been able to overcome the water in the latter. The Meadows
receive many rich streams ; they are some miles in extent, and are looked
at with an avaricious eye. A large sum of money has been expended in
pumps and tunnels, but the difficulties are still unconquered. In California
Gold Flat, Nevada County, after some 1500 men had drifted in it for
three years, was conquered by tunnel, and paid enormously. That
undertaking fades into oblivion when compared with this one. Might
we not place it on a par with the Great Sutro Tunnel,—as far as profit
goes,—which is to drain all the claims on the Cromstock Silver Ledge
in Washoe, and goes through eight miles of rock at a cost of a little over
a million sterling. Yet the stock in this undertaking is all taken up in
California and the Atlantic States. To drain the Meadows my informant
says, only two miles will require to be cut through gravel. We want a
good mining engineer to see the work and report, and if he can succeed,
he will have one of the best affairs in the world on hand, for if 1500
men could not work out Gold Flat in three years, 5000 men could not
work out the Meadows in ten. So says my authority. One company
tried steam pumps, but did not succeed ; and the ground remains still to
be worked,—the water is unconquered.
It is now necessary to glance at the formation of the country as
regards mineral wealth. But to enable us to do this, we have the full
information about California, and ours will be found the same, only, I
believe, richer. The two systems existing at the extreme North and the
extreme South are a counterpart of each other in all their relations,
divisions, and subdivisions,—from the copper to the gold and silver—in
the granite, metamorphia, slate, trap rock, marble—there is no difference
in character or position, so far as I can discover. 13
Taking the copper system as the base of demarcation, we find here,
as in California, it lies in three divisions, and by mastering it, the whole
formation is easily understood. In California, the central division is the
principal, stretching from the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada, twenty-five
miles East into the mountains, and intersecting the whole State, North
and South. On the Western summit of the Sierra Nevada there are
three veins of copper, and in the coast range five veins, forming two more
divisions parallel to each other, but all three separate and distinct in their
formation. The same thing exists in British Columbia. Commencing at
the West, I find the Alberm, Sooke, Howe Sound, and Jarvis Inlet veins
corresponding with the coast range in California ; then travelling East, I
find the central division extending from the mouth of the Thompson
River twenty-five miles in the interior, and intersecting the whole
country North and South ; 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 divisions, and 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
evident to me that the marvellous wealth extracted from the Californian
mines at the present time simply reflects the destiny of British Columbia
hereafter, when her mines, equally rich and more extensive in gold, silver,
iron, copper, lead, and cinnabar, for quicksilver—and incomparably richer
in coal—are brought under the same liberal expenditure, intelligent
labour, and scientific development, an event only to be hastened when
the 7'eality of the case is known to the world. Therefore, to sum up, let
us, from the above knowledge and the experience it gives, lay the country
down. First, Vancouver's Island coal and iron, with the run of the coal
basin in Frazer Valley ; then the copper I have spoken about, in its
several veins, and the position of those veins, after the marble in some
places ; then the silver, spurs of which intersect the copper lead; and,
finally, the gold, which is not only to be found in leads in its proper
place, but is distributed in the benches all down the Frazer River, and
can only be got at by
The country for this embraces a vast region, and has untold riches,
commencing below Hope, on the Frazer, up the Thompson and Bonaparte
Rivers, to the head of the great Shuswap Lake, a distance of 250 miles,
to which may be added all the country from Lytton to Quesnelle River.
The Frazer Valley lies in benches from the river, one above the other,
like the subsidence of a lake at different times, all of which prospect well
for gold. Then we have the Quesnelle River to its forks in one direction,
and to Cottonwood and Lightning Creek in another direction—at least
o o
150 miles more. The gold has not, as we first thought, been carried
down river, except in places. Look at Bridge Creek, near Lilloet. There
are signs of primitive deposit in the gold scales.    I am afraid to go fully 14
into the subject, and have not space in this paper to do so, and endeavour
to show where the gold came from. It is enough to show it is there, and
spread over an immense surface of country, and the hydraulic pipe will
bring it out, and make Canada one of the largest gold-producing countries
in the world, estimated from the fabulous amount of gold in British
Now, let us see how it will pay. I will take as an authority a work
published in San Francisco on this subject. Speaking of hydraulic
mining or digging between South and Middle Yuba, it estimates the
ground supplied with water by the Canal Company at five miles in length,
350 yards average width, and 40 yards average depth. These figures
give a total of 123,000,000 cubic yards. Of this amount only 8 % was
washed out in 12 years, the average yield as saved was 30 to 45 cents per
cubic yard, hence this mass of auriferous earth would yield £7,600,000.
To work dirt- under this system, this work computes the cost as follows :
Suppose, it says, wages are $4 per day, or 16s., it would cost per cubic
yard to wash by the pan say $20, with the rocker $5, with the long tom
$2.50, with sluice 75 cents, with hydraulics by the pipe only 20 cents.
Now, before I give the results of washing dirt by this system, let me
show in another way, still plainer, the infinitesmal character of its pay.
My authority asserts that the great hydraulic dirt in California of which
the world has heard so much during 20 years, averaged only 30 cents to
the cubic yard, or a fraction over 1 cent to the cubic foot. Now, a cubic
foot of loam dirt without rocks will fill an ordinary gold pan about ten
times, so that every prospect a person would obtain on an average the
tenth of a cent. Can anything in a business sense be more infinitesmal 1
Yet listen to the results. I will only give a few principal claims. Take,
for instance, the Blue Grand Mining Company, in Smatsville, 18 miles
from Marysville, which is known to have yielded over £120,000. Their
sluice boxes are over 3,000 feet long, they are cleaned up eight or nine
times a year, and from which are obtained amounts varying up to £10,000
each time. The Live Yankee diggings, at Forest City, have paid
£600,0000, while, throughout the State, the less important clean up from
a few hundreds to <£5,000 each time. In one case, at Manzanita Hill,
510 kegs of powder were discharged to reduce the dirt to a fitting condition. Such is the spirit with which this system is adopted and carried
out all through California. Suppose it were applied in British Columbia
in a limited way, what a difference it would make. All up the Frazer, as
I have said, especially around Lilloet, the benches and hills will pay from
3 to 20 cents to the cubic 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, also on the Quesnelle River, to the Forks, and
above them. It is the same in Carriboo ; it is the same nearly everywhere
in the upper country; but the people have to come, as those resident do
not and will not understand its wonders. Suppose the Old Aurora at
Williams' Creek was blown up like Manzanita Hill, and put under
hydraulics, do you not think it would pay more than 1 cent to the pan,
or 10 cents per cubic foot? It paid from 1863 to the end of 1867 in
dividends about £45,000, at a cost of £20,000.    Put the claim under 15
the new system, when three men would do the work of 14, and it would
pay again as well as it did in its proudest day. The time will come, and
is not far off, when the world will stand amazed at the annual yield of
gold coming out of Canadian British Columbia. It would be out of place
to show how easy water can be obtained, and the climate is not against
us. I could easily do this, but it is unnecessary. No great difficulties
would occur.
I        QUARTZ.
I must, before concluding gold mining, say a few words on the subject
of auriferous Quartz, which can be traced from the Island Mountain at
the head of Mosquito Creek, through Lowee, Stouts, Wilhams, Grouse,
Chisholme Creeks and Kertleys, over Ball Mountain to Black Bean Creek
on the South side of Quesnelle Lake, say a distance of 70 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 we want cheap freight, which the
Railway will give, to work them to advantage. In the early attempts in
California many were ruined from expenses and dishonesty of agents,
but they are now well worked under a system, and such will have to be
the case in British Columbia. It is said there $6 per ton will pay, as $4
per ton will reduce the amalgam. The average yield in California is
something like two millions sterling from this source. There are some 411
mills producing this, erected at a cost of £1,200,000. The business now
is thoroughly understood, and the returns are large. Our Quartz assays
large, and we have plenty of it.
Only a few claims are being taken up;—a few at or near Hope, or
the Frazer, say the Eureka, Van Braemer, and others; but works are at
a standstill. At Omenica three or four claims are taken up ; one a ledge
of 15 feet wide, and it assays 72 ounces to the ton. There is also a rich
claim near the Columbia River, which assays large, not taken up. This
industry is in its infancy.
Before mentioning the Coal and Iron on Vancouver's Island, I must,
in order to make this paper complete, speak of our other resources in the
Mainland, and the prospect there is for settlement and making comfortable
and prosperous Homes. You will not fail to observe, our country was
built first up on its mineral wealth, and according to the ebbs and floods
of our population to San Francisco, so we prospered. There was excessive
over-trading, associated with an extravagant value of real estate in
Victoria. Confederation with Canada became a necessity, in order to
settle the Province, and to assist us in the responsibilities of the
indebtedness incurred for the majestic edifice we had created in our roads,
which were necessary for access to our mines. Since confederation with
the Dominion, confidence is restored, and we find the proper men coming
to us to settle on our 16
which I now wish lo speak about. It was once maintained that
California, except to a limited extent, could never become an agricultural
country. Industry and enterprise, induced from the same cause
working now upon our people—namely, the necessity of productive
labour for the means of subsistence—have proved the fallacy of such a
doctrine beyond controversy, for to day California excels the world in her
annual exports of cereals.
It is not necessary to prove the position I take, that British Columbia
is, in the strict sense of the word, an agricultural country, or that she
will largely participate in the exportation of grain for the world's use.
In speaking of the Mainland, to which my remarks will be nearly solely
confined, I can safely assert—first, that we have, like California, a vastly
greater amount of good agricultural land than we have credit given for.
Secondly, these lands will support an enormous resident population,
without the.aid of Oregon or California. Lastly, that there is now no
country on the Pacific coast, or perhaps in the world, where the investment of labour and capital in agriculture pays so well as in British
Columbia. In reference to the first position, I may mention the valley of
the Lower Frazer, from the junction of the river with the Gulf of Georgia
to the district of Hope, a distance of 100 miles, and containing at least
900 square mile3 altogether, or about 800,000 to 900,000 acres, for the
most part, where not timbered, arable land, the most fertile belt in the
country, and in many places equal to the celebrated valleys of Sacramento,
San Jose, and Santa Clara, in California, or the Williamette, in Oregon.
New Westminster lies 16 miles up the river ; and until after confederation
we had only 6,000 acres in cultivation up to that place, but since then,
most of it has been either pre-empted or bought from Government, until
the reserve was put on for railway lands. Cattle can feed on this land
the whole year, and become enormously fat. However, four years back,
we had only 400 head on this lower portion. Near the mouth of the
river the productive capacity W8S tested by Mr. W. Ladner, on his place,
and found to be immense, wheat to the extent tried yielding as high as
60 bushels to the acre; cauliflowers he sent up to the agricultural show
at New Westminster weighed as high as 261bs., cabbages 4libs., mangel
wurzel 361bs., carrots 9-Jlbs., turnips 361bs., squash 761bs. Flax grew
well, also hops, which averaged 2,5001bs. to the acre, spread over the
house, and the quality seemed excellent. The land is also suited for
barley, oats, and rye, and will grow about three tons of hay to the acre, all
without manure. The lowest portion of this land would lequire to be
levied, or dyked, about three feet high, but that is not expensive. Above
New Westminster, for about 60 miles, including the settlements of Pitt
River, Keitsey, Matsqui, Langley, Sumass, and Harrison River, there are
about 25,000 acres in occupation of resident settlers, with about 1,500 head
of cattle, which has been proved by a succession of crops to yield 35 bushels
wheat to the acre, with other things in proportion. There are also several
parcels in speculators' hands for purchase, but I have not the record of
their holdings.   From this section of country we are supplied in New 17
Westminster with butter, cheese, eggs, &c.     Hence to Hope, including
the head of the valley, there are 4,000 acres in cultivation, with 400 head
of cattle, the capacity of which may be stated as averaging about -35
bushels wheat to the acre.    While speaking of this section, I must not
omit to mention that fruits of every description grow most luxuriantly,
especially apples, pears, cherries, plums, and strawberries, which for size
and flavour cannot be excelled by the world.    I will leave yourselves to
judge of the remuneration of farming on the Mainland when I givft the
current prices of agricultural produce :—Beef on foot 6 to 8 cents per lb.,
pork 10 cents, wheat 2 cents per   lb., oats  \\ cents, barley  1^ cents,
potatoes 1 cent, cabbages 1 cent, onions 8 cents, apples 4 cents, milk 50
cents per gallon, butter 37-J to 50 cents per lb., cheese 20 to 25 cents per
lb., cherries and strawberries 25 cents per lb., eggs 37^- cents per doz.,
hay $16, or £3 4s. per ton (the cent is the same value as a halfpenny).
Now, if the whole of this magnificent valley was brought into thorough
cultivation, it alone would supply a population of 300,000 souls with the
principal necessaries of life—beef, flour, fruit, and vegetables.     Incidentally I may state there are some coal deposits and outside croppings at
Sumass.    I should mention tli at my average yield of grain is lower than
given by some others in their works and publications, but we are both
correct.    They give the average yield of choice locations,  which a few
years back formed the only land under cultivation.     I, on the contrary,
give the average yield of all the land, without distinction, except timber
land, as proved by the present more general experience;   and I think it
will be conceded that 35 bushels to the acre is no bad average for wheat,
and others in proportion.    I now proceed  to the valley of the Upper
Frazer.    From Yale to Lytton, following the progress of agriculture by
the same route it followed in the natural course of events, viz., the footsteps of the early pioneers in search of gold, there is nothing to be said,
as the road intersects the iron-bound and barren barrier of the Cascade
Mountains; but from Lytton to Soda Creek, a distance of 215 miles, there
is much to attract the attention of those interested in the advancement of
the colony.    If we follow the Frazer up from Lytton to Lilloet, (the
garden of the upper valley, where grapes and water-melons mature in the
open air), along the banks of the river to Soda Creek ;   or  from Lytton
by the main waggon road through the interior to Soda Creek, touching at
the settlements of Thompson's River,  Cornwall's Cache Creek, Clinton,
Williams' Lake, and Lake la Hoche, we find a large amount of land in
occupation for agricultural and grazing purposes, probably 100,000 acres
or more, of which at least 30,000 are under cultivation in farms ranginsr
from 50 to 1,500 acres.    The yield of this land, with a certain amount
of irrigation required throughout the Upper Frazer, as in many parts of
California, has been found, so far, to average from 25 to 30 bushels of
wheat to the acre, none of the soil requiring manure, while vegetables of
every kind grow to an enormous size, and at the same time retain their
quality.    Throughout this range of country there are   still millions of
acres of good land to be taken up, under pre-emption or purchase, as our
population increases.    It is gratifying to mark, as an index of the colony's
progress, that the principal supplies of life for the Carriboo miners are now 18
drawn from the Upper Frazer, Flour and beans in Carriboo sell at 12 J
to 15 cents per lb., beef 9 cents per lb. on foot, which formerly were
imported from Oregon at three times that cost to the consumer. I must
now turn to another section, for without a brief description of it you could
not comprehend the vastness and resources of the whole country—I mean
the Southern Gold Fields on the Columbia River,, some 300 miles East
from the country already described, called Kourtenay, Osoyas, and Big
Bend. To reach this section there are two routes—one from Hope, on the
Lower Frazer, through the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys, and the
other from Cache Creek on the upper Frazer through the Kamloops and
Shuswap Valleys. Through these valleys at present only the choice spots
are under cultivation, being used chiefly for stock raising. After the
Cascade Mountains are crossed, the configuration and character of the
country changes, stretching out into endless valleys, in which the celebrated
bunch grass grows, so rich and succulent in nature that for cattle grazing
Americans admit they have no equal to it in the Atlantic States, Mexico,
or Lower CaHfornia. At present our herds in these valleys amount to
about 20,000 head of horned cattle, and about 10,000 sheep, while
they are capable of maintaining a million. The fattening quality of these
pastures is so great that it is quite common to find a yearling steer reaching
the weight of 500 lbs., while out of a drove of beef cattle of 600 head
starting for Carriboo, wagers have been made that 450 could be chosen
CT ' O
from the lot averaging 750 lbs. each. These figures may appear marvellous,
but I assure you they have become traditional in our history, and will
be authenticated by every person familiar with that history.
To these valleys must be added the Chilcoaten Plains, of great
extent and equally suited for stock raising, stretching from the West side
-L d CT7 O
of the Frazer River to the coast range of the Pacific. There is also the
great Peace River country, which the late Sir James Douglas, our first
Governor, thought so much of. This lies in the same direction, and I see
by the newspapers that our British Columbia Government have just
agreed to let the Dominion Government have three and a half million
acres of land there, receiving as compensation for Railway delays
$750,000, which the press state is proposed to be spent in Vancouver's
Island.   Part of it would do great good to the Mainland if it connected
New 'Westminster (where so much of the people's money has been spent
in improvements,) with the Canadian Pacific line of railway.
To induce a greater occupation of these lands, our Government have
adopted an extremely wise regulation. According to the Land law passed
in the time of the first administration after confederation (the McCreight
Ministry), all British Colonists have the privilege of pre-empting 160
acres on the West side of the Cascade range of mountains, and 320 acres
on the East side of such range, for the simple fee of two dollars, which is
charged to defray the expenses of recording. Occupation is required, and
time given to pay for the land. Land adjoining the pre-empting can also
be purchased. To this they have added the Homestead law, which is
equally liberal in its provisions, and gives protection to the Homestead to
the extent of $2500; also the Married Women's Property Act, which
enables a wife to hold property independent of her husband; and lastly, 19
the Registration of Titles Act, which enables land to be safely conveyed
and gives security to mortgages, which become a first charge on the land
when registered. How you want such a land law as this in Great Britain !
Some of your legislators would find useful hints from our Statutes, and
your merchants and steam ship owners might find their advantage  in
v I O CT
copying our stern wheel boats, which will steam up rapids or rivers with
only 3 feet of water. How useful such vessels would be in tho rivers of
upper India and other Colonies !
I have already alluded to our climate. The Winter may be considered
to commence in December and end in March. On the Upper Frazer and
throughout the interior, of course, the winter is a little longer and more
O 7 CT
severe. It seldom occurs, however, that the cold is intense, or that intense
cold lasts more than a few days. Our winters are natural, doing good to
man and leaving no evil effects behind. On the contrary, the winters of
California are often destructive to the interests of the whole State,
although the agent of ruin is not cold. When wet seasons come, and rain
pours down for months incessantly, cities are submerged, beautiful homes
washed away, stock destroyed, and the people paralysed with despair. It
is a grievous sight, that universal wreck of the interior which these wet
winters in California leave behind, and the calamity so often occurs that
it more than counterbalances many other advantages possessed by the
Golden State of the Pacific, and makes the inhabitants turn with envy
to the climatic advantages of British Columbia.
I have spoken above of our agricultural lands, and I must now
mention the distance from Great Britain. When the Canadian Pacific
Railway is through, the time of transit will be 16 to 20 days. Now, the
settler has to go to Quebec, say 10 days, thence to San Francisco by
railway 6 days, or in the emigrant's train 14 days'; and up the coast to
Vancouver's Island 4 days, and 1 day to New Westminster. Allowing for
delays in towns, you may say about 30 days. There is also the Northern
Pacific route from Duluth, on Lake Superior, to Tacoma, Puget Sound, and
from thence either direct in 1 day to Vancouver's Island or New
Westminster. The time by this route would be about 25 days, and as
the fare from Duluth to Tacoma for 3rd class is only £10, it is much the
cheapest route, with no delays, and is strongly recommended as the proper
route for settlers. The Railway Company have an office in Water Street,
Liverpool, where every information can be obtained. Our goods come by
sea, via Cape Horn; it takes five months for them to arrive from Great
- Britain.
You will naturally ask is there employment for a man on arrival, so
as to give time to look around1?    I can only point to our Railway Works,
O v      ± d '
on which some 25,000 men are now employed. Mr. Onderdonk, an
Oregonian, has the contract from the sea board to Kamloops. No
English Civil Engineer, I believe, made the attempt to compete. He
has succeeded in cutting through the Cascade Range of mountains, and
has every description of labour saving machinery of the newest patterns
at work.    Some of the compressed air machines and steam shovels, made 20
in Philadelphia, are most effective, and it would pay some of our Civil
Engineer friends well to go over and see his appliances and the work he
has done; they would then feel that they have much yet to learn, and
they would see what an active mind can turn to account. The contracts
are let at a high rate, but remember how British Columbia has been run
down and the difficulties of the country magnified in Great Britain, by
various publications, and in your newspaper press and illustrated papers.
No doubt the contract will be very profitable to the contractor, but the
work is well done.    He now advertises for labour as follows :—
New Schedule of Wages for White Labour, on the
Canadian    Pacific    Railway,    in    British    Columbia.
Overseers     $125 ty month
Rock Foremen $3 to $4 per day
Earth Foremen $2 50 to $3 „
Bridge Foremen  $3 50 to $5 „
Bridge Carpenters (1st class)   $3 50 ,,
,,            „          (2nd class)   $3 „
Masons  $2 50 to $3 50 „      10/-to 14/-
Stonecutters    $3 to $3 50 „
Blacksmiths (1st Class)   $3 50 „
(2nd  class)  $3 „      12/-
DriUers ..: $2 to $2 25 „
Labourers    $1 57 to $2 ,,     8/- to 9/-
Hewers $3 50 „
Choppers $2 to $2 20 „
All outside labour 10 hours per day. All carpenters to furnish their
own chest tools. All employes to find themselves bed, board and lodging.
Boarding houses will be convenient along the line. Board $4 per week
(16/-). It will not be compulsory for employes to board in the Company's
houses.    Wages will be paid monthly, on the 10th of each month.
A. ONDERDONK, General Manager.
This interest is not yet fully developed. It is true this interest has
increased since 1866, but still it is not so much as it will become when
we have more population and capital. In 1866 we only exported
somewhere about 600,000 feet, but from that time to 1870 we had
exported 60 million feet rough and dressed lumber. The sawing capacity
of the two mills at Burrard's Inlet, 12 miles from New Westminster, is
175,000 feet per day, and in the city there are three saw mills, whose
capacity is upwards of 50,000 feet per day. We manufacture large
quantities of shingles, laths, pickets &c, and we have exported about
3,500 spars. Wages to woodmen average £6 to £12 per month with
board, and the same in the saw mills, with higher wages for a few more
skilled and responsible men.    So superior for general purposes is the 21
British Columbia lumber esteemed in the markets we export to, which
are San Francisco, Australia, South America, China, and the Sandwich
Islands (we are not able to send to Great Britain on account of free trade
and the freights, except spars, which come to Europe for marine purposes),
that in all these markets we command the highest prices, and no other
lumber will be asked for while it can be obtained. Even in San Francisco,
where the market has been supplied by the excellent lumber of Oregon
and Washington territory, and where people are naturally prejudiced
againBt articles of British produce from this coast, our lumber always
commands, after paying a duty of $2 per thousand, an advance of $1.50 to $2
per thousand over theirs own lumber. Our principal timber is the Douglas
pine. Many of the trees are 320 feet high, 6 feet diameter at the butt,
and perhaps 210 feet from the ground before branches begin. The logs
used for spars are 100 to 120 feet clear, and cannot be beaten in the world.
These spars have been tested in the French shipyards by the most severe
experiments, and found superior to the best Riga spars in flexibility,
resistance, and density. A sample, in the shape of a flag pole 90 feet
long, can be seen at Kew Gardens; also pieces cut out of a tree 5£ feet
diameter, and 210 feet before branches began—the tree, I think, was 320
feet high. Our Forests also produce the White Pine in limited growth
like Quebec lumber, besides the Yellow Pine, Spruce Pine, Hemlock, Oak,
Maple, Alder Logwood, Arbutus, and Cotton Wood in immense growth.
This industry, in which the writer was engaged, has1 assumed
proportions of great magnitude. The annual product now is about a
million dollars, or £200,000, one third of which will represent labour.
The hands employed are fishermen—Indians and white men. The former
earn from 4s. to 7s. per day, and the latter 12s. For cleaning salmon
Indian women are mostly employed, with a few Chinamen. The former can
earn 3s. to 4s. per day. For soldering up and making cans, we employ
Chinamen, with a few white men and boys Chinamen earn £5 to £G
per month of 28 days, each 10 houis, and 7-Jd. per hour overtime; white
men 12s. per day; boys about £2 per month. For boiling and packing,
white men at 4s. per day are employed. We improve each year in labour-
saving machinery. We have several runs of salmon in the Frazer, which
has a course of some 1000 miles. First our spring fish; they weigh about
16 lbs. and come from May to July; then we have the Sockeye, weighing
6 to 81bs., (this is our best fish); the run for these commences in July
and ends in August. Then we have the summer fish. With these come up
large numbers of white fleshed salmon instead of pink. The flavour is as
good, but they will not sell in cans. This run weighs heavy; you often see
fish of 50 lbs. each. Lastly we have the the Cockoes; they weigh about
8 lbs. and run until October ; so the season lasts from May to October,
I am aware that a certain prejudice exists in England against our
fish, and it commands a less price than the United States fish, say from
Columbia River further south. But I maintain that the quality of our
fish is much superior to that of the Columbia River fish. The writer of
this paper took the prize (bronze medal), at ^the International contest at 22
the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, against all comers, whether from
Great Britain or the United States, for the best quality of can salmon.
So, then, it is only a prejudice we have to overcome in England against
Canadian products—a prejudice which the writer would like to be one in
overcoming, by introducing his brand again. However, to overcome this
prejudice, those putting up salmon must use care. It will take time to
accomplish, and depends upon the choice of the English people, who
will in the end give the preference to the best article; and I think I may
safely add that, on grounds of health alone, canned salmon is preferable to
the fresh, now that disease is spread among the British fish. A very
good account of our salmon industry is given in the Blue Book on Fish,
laid before the Canadian Parliament, from the report of A. C. Anderson,
Esq., the Fisheries Chief Officer in British Columbia. He mentions the
different sorts of fish, with the nets and boats used to take them. We
have some thirteen canneries in the neighbourhood of New Westminster,
CT '
one at the Skeena, and one at Naaz River. W7e have, in addition to the
salmon, a very delicate fish called Oulchan, the oil from which is most
valuable for medicinal purposes. We have also the sardine, the he) ring
in large shoals, cod fish, halibut, dog fish, and whale on the coast, all of
which in the future will be important industries. We certainly put up
a few herrings at Burrards Inlet, and turn them also into oil, but the trade
is in its infancy.
I must now leave the Mainland and come to Nanaimo, Vancouver's
Island, which is the seat of the coal industry. I copy from the report of the
Wellington Colliery Co. for 1876. They say : " We employ 150 white men,
90 Chinese; have 3-| miles railway and 3 locomotives; our output coal
from the mines is 300 tons per day; miners' wages 12s. to 16s., labourers
8s. to 9s.; seam of coal, 9 feet thick." They shipped in 1876, 52,000
tons. The Vancouvers Coal Company wages are the same; they shipped
in 1876, 75,536 tons.
Iron in Texadu Island, between Vancouver's Island and Mainland,
Gulph Georgia, exists in large quantities, but is not worked.
Salt springs of great strength are found at Salt Spring Island, and
can be used for making salt, alkali and chemicals. Lime is also found on
the Islands. Stone for building of fine quality comes from the neighbourhood of Nanaimo.
In conclusion, in order to make this paper complete, and give every
information about British Columbia, I must not omit to mention 23
This is free to all children. In the first administration after confederation,
an act was passed by the Legislature called the " School Act," by which
every male above 18 years old had to pay an annual school tax of $3
(12s.), and each district of settlers could form themselves, by complying
with the provisions of the Act, into a School Board, and apply to
Government for a sum of money towards building a School House and
expenses. A . master or mistress was appointed who had passed an
examination, and held first, second, or third class certificates. These were
paid by the Government, so the settler has all his children educated free.
As a proof of the character of the education given ,\I may mention that
in the annual examination some of the questions correctly answered by
the children would puzzle many who had had a first class education in
Great Britain. In fact, the character of the education given in the popular
schools cannot be better, and first rate scholars are turned out. We have,
in addition, a High School in Victoria, Vancouver's Island, to which students
are admitted after examination.
This is British Golumbia, its products, and resources. I should
occupy too much time if I went into full details ; I have therefore given
as short an account as possible. We are a Province of the Dominion
of Canada, and are proud to belong to a country whose area of land is
many thousand miles larger than the United States, and whose inhabitants
are noted for their energy, kindness, warm heartedness and loyalty; and
who are an honour to the British flag that flies over them as well as Great
Britain. We* saw only lately how Canadians rose as one man to present
their heartfelt and respectful condolence to Her Majesty on the great loss
she had sustained. It made those belonging to her, resident in other
countries, proud of Canada, and her prosperous, loyal inhabitants. British
Columbia has not been behind; the far west has spoken with the rest,
and she considers herself specially favoured, from a Royal Princess
having resided there, and won such golden opinions for the monarchy of
Great Britain by her kindness and affability, assisted by that painstaking
nobleman, the late Governer General of the Dominion. The Marquis of
Lome and the Princess Louise have together left a name behind that will
not easily be forgotten, and made Great Britain respected and honoured
on the Pacific Coast.
British Columbia is priceless, both to the Dominion and Great
Britain, as she commands the great Pacific Ocean. The Railway, when
across,—within two years it will be running—will give us the population
and capital we require, and then British Columbia, by pouring forth her
wealth, will fulfil her glorious destiny, and will finally refine, ennoble, and
enrich the masses, and show by her prosperity and her beautiful climate
that she is what I have endeavoured in a short way to describe her, the
Golden Province and Garden of the Dominion of Canada, 
I copy from an excellent work called the " Resources of British
Columbia," published monthly in Victoria, Vancouver's Island, by Mr.
Munroe Miller, an account of our trade exports and imports, taken from
the Blue Books. The work is well worthy of perusal, and contains vast
information not taken up in this paper.  DESIRABLE  INVESTMENT.FOR SALE,
Will be sold in separate lots, by tender, if near the valuation of the
undersigned, say on
COLUMBIA STREET.—Stone Building, containing 3 stores, lately
occupied by Bank of British flolumbia. and J. McColl; also Shop
at side on |~lot 5, block 5, 66 feet fronting Columbia Street, and
about 66 feet deep.    Rental X210 ; price asked, j£2,500.
COLUMBIA STREET.—Ilot 1, block 13, not occupied, near the
Parsonage, 33 feet fronting Columbia Street, and 132 feet deep.
MARY STREET.—Lots 12 and 13, containing two acres, with good
dwelling-house hard finished, which was put up at a cost of 1,500
dols.    Price asked, j£700.
FALSE CREEK ROAD.—Lot 24, Country Land, containing
about 260 acres, on the road to Granville, Burrard Inlet, and will be
near the supposed terminus of the railway. Price asked, about <£4
per acre.
As a demand has arisen for land and property in the neighbourhood
of the rai      


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