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BC Historical Books

[A history of British Columbia. Part one, being a survey of events from the earliest times down to the… [Gosnell, R. E. (R. Edward), 1860-1931]; [Scholefield, E. O. S.] 1913

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•    X.
At the Time of Confederation.
Political Conditions and Early Legislation.  \b
Federal and Other Matters. -2 ?
The Edgar Incident.y ^
The Carnarvon Terms.   5"1
The Dry Dock and Financial Muddle.
Lord Dufferin's Visit. ^
The Story of the C. P. R. ^
The DimsmulrSv^/   vvS|
The SettlemenrAet. jpj
A Settled State of Affairs. \M
A Period of Political Transition.
Stable Government and Prosperity./4:
Railway and Industrial Development. II* '
Economic Phases of the Province.
The History of Kamloops (by M. S. Wade, M.D.).
Development of the Okanagan (by J. A. MacKelvie)
The Advisory Board.
To write a history which even approximately reflects the true conditions
of any remote period to which it refers is always an onerous and responsible task. To attempt to dwell in any detail, according to approved historical methods, upon a period which includes the present may be less difficult in respect to the availability of materials and on account of existing
personal knowledge of the events and circumstances of the time, but it is
much more delicate and dangerous ground to tread upon and the writer of
such history must, in a figurative sense, be prepared to carry his life in his
hand. There are numbers of persons in British Columbia who have lived
through the entire period to which the second part of this volume relates.
Some of them, and others as well, have been conspicuous factors of the political situations discussed. Many of the subjects dealt with are still regarded as extremely controversial topics. The author, therefore cannot
hope to escape criticism when he runs counter to the opinions of those who
in their time differed with the views herein expressed. As an honest, even
if not the most competent, student of the period under consideration, he has
at least endeavoured to present the truth as it appears to him.
Truth is at all times relative in respect to the great mass of facts and
information of which the world now is, or ever has been, cognizant. Truth in
its absolute forms is expressed only in the abstract—in the concepts of metaphysics. In its concrete aspects it depends in the main upon the angle of
vision—the point of view from which objects, events, personalities, policies,
are scrutinized. Atmosphere and environment visually impart the reality
which everything possesses and unless an historian can reconstruct these for
any given period or group of events he must fail in painting a faithful picture. Much of all history will forever remain in doubt for the very reason
that we can never know all the intangible facts of life. Mind and motive are
only explicable from what appears to reflect them and in respect to such
subtle and elusive, but basic, elements of history, we can never be sure that
our analyses are not at fault. Facts, statistics, official documents—in fact,
the entire category of archivistic lore, however indisputable its origin or
authenticity—can in themselves convey only a very imperfect impression
of what they relate to unless we can reincarnate in the narrative, of which
they are the anatomical framework, the spirit, the motif, the mental attitude,
the mainsprings of thought, the primum mobile, the human element of the
time and the action.
In regard to the history of the Province of British Columbia since Confederation, the author has not striven to enumerate a series of facts in
organized groups but rather to convey a series of impressions derived from a
careful study of the facts and the factors. The period has never before, except in outline, been dealt with in any comprehensive way, and he is confident in stating that, while much of interest has been omitted, much that
is interesting and important has been presented for the first time in the
 form of historical narrative. In a sense and in purpose it is an account of
political and economic development and necessarily does not profess to be encyclopedic in its scope. Incidentally, however, it does deal with many matters
that are not strictly germane to the main purpose. Whatever may be the
conclusions or criticism of readers, the writer is conscious of a single desire to
state accurately what are alleged to be facts; to view impartially the events
related and the personalities discussed; to set down naught in malice or in
favor. With the men who played a leading part, with a few exceptions, the
author was personally acquainted. With the greater number he was on terms
of at least friendly relation. With none of them has he been on terms of
personal enmity. The personal equation counts for much and the little touch
of intimacy with his characters he was privileged to have from time to time
has given him impressions invaluable in sununing up results and arriving at
conclusions that otherwise would have depended solely upon the printed record and the estimates of others. Nevertheless, he is fully conscious of the
fact that all judgments formed in respect to contemporaneous men and
events are subject to those re-adjustments and revisions which the lapse of
time and the clearer perspective of distance will enable successors in the field of
enquiry to undertake.
At the time of confederation the colony of British Columbia had advanced certainly in political consolidation and self-governing experience. But
in other regards there was no perceptible progress. In population indeed it
had fallen back since 1858. A local census, in 1870 (1), taken by the colonial government did not return more than 9,100 white inhabitants, the majority of whom were resident in Victoria, New Westminster and Nanaimo districts,
whereas it is estimated that there were at least 25,000, some say 35,000, gold-
seekers in the two colonies in 1858, although these were mainly transients, a
large number of whom left almost as suddenly as they came. The second rush
attracted by the Cariboo gold excitements brought a more permanent element;
probably two=tbirds of these later comers remained.
Conditions in the meantime had become stable; but there was little progress made for some time—in some respects indeed there was retrogression. In
1863 the output of the mines had been $3,900,000, while in 1871 it was only
$1,400,000. Agriculture (2), which was confined largely to the New Westminster district, and the southeastern peninsula, of which Victoria was the
apex, could not be said to have made material advance. There was little local
demand for the products of the forest, and the export trade in lumber was
restricted to the shores of Burrard Inlet (3), where there were two sawmills,
so that the timber industry, though the most prosperous, was not large in
volume. It could hardly be said to have been flourishing. Salmon canning
was then only a prospective asset, and the fisheries generally afforded a very
(l)The census referred to gave about the following results:                 Whites Coloured       Chinese
Victoria    :   2,842 217 210
Victoria District, South Saanich, etc   1,512 56 36
Nanaimo and District         601 92 36
Comox          102
Lillooet-Cllnton          235 3 80
Cariboo         920 32 685
New Westminster City and District   1,292 37 ^27
Columbia and Kootenay      108 2 JL45
Tale,   Lytton          524 5 60
Cowichan  and  Islands          456 5 25
Omineca      500 10 25
Total   9,092 459 1,319
(2)There were 13,384 acres under cultivation in 1871, the product of which in that year was: 215,000
bushels of grain (oats, wheat, barley and peas), 140,000 bushels of turnips, 125,000 bushels of potatoes,
etc., 2,373 tons of hay and 28,737 head of live stock.
According to the census of 1881, 1891 and 1901 the same products amounted to:
1881 1891 1901
Grain, bushels      559,120 1,511,428 1,958,705
Turnips   bushels       352,774 576,242 635,988
Potatoes,  etc     473,831 685,802 955,946
Hay,   tons          43,398 102,146 170,187
Live Stock, number     151,202 251,367 237,096
(3)There were 126 names in the directory of Burrard Inlet, nearly all of whom were millmen, loggers,
etc. Among them are those of George Black (who afterwards kept a hotel at Hastings), T. Brew, J.
Deighton  ("Gassy Jack"),  J. Van Bremer.
The Moodyville mill, on the north side, was owned by Moody, Dietz & Nelson. J. C. Hughes and
Coote Chambers were office associates. S. P. Moody, the principal of the firm, was lost in the ill-fated
Pacific, ajid Nelson was Hugh Nelson, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor. Hastings Mills, still one of the
leading export mills in the Province, was managed by J. A. Raymur, father of Mr. James Raymur, Water Commissioner, Victoria, Jonathan Miller (father of Mr. Ernest Miller, M. P. P. Grand Forks), and
late Postmaster, Vancouver, was constable.
Among the names also are those of the DeBecks and L. Linn, after whose father, who came to
British Columbia In 1859, Linn Creek was named.
 narrow scope. Lode mining did not become a feature until after the completion of the C. P. R., while, owing to its isolation from the outside world, the
absence of effective communication between the interior parts of a vast province, and the limited opportunity for enterprise the country had come, practically, to a standstill. It was the realization of these facts which actually
brought about the union with Canada. Not that there was any lack of faith
in the ultimate future; that was as strong then as now. None of the band of
pioneers ever lost courage or hope. They were inspired always by the possibilities of British Columbia, even in the hour of its deepest depression. The
huge mineral wealth whichJiad been exposed and exploited; the vast shoals
of fish that swarmed in the contiguous sea and the inland waters; the density
and extent of the forests; the fertility and adaptability of the soil already
brought under the plough; the geographical situation in regard to the Pacific
trade; the charms and salubrity of the climate; the rare opportunities for
sport afforded by the abundance and wide habitat of game; the magnificent
resources of scenery—all these happy causes combined to render certain,
under favourable conditions, the great future that awaited the country. Nature
brought optimism to birth on whose lap, like that of Danae, fell showers of
gold. She travailed with great destiny. And so it came to pass that when
the Terms of Union were proposed the chief demand was for railway connection
with the systems of Eastern Canada—unbroken communication between tide
water and tide water. This demand seemed to impose a tremendous obligation upon the Dominion as a whole and more especially upon the older
provinces, whose shoulders mainly had to bear the added burden without
apparently any hope of return. Look at that picture and on this! To-day
two new transcontinental railways are being built with eagerness, whereas
in 1871 the prospect of one, in order to fulfil the terms of the treaty with
British Columbia, was enough to fill the hearts of all Eastern Canadians with
dark forebodings. This was the first of the great problems of confederated
Canada that chiefly concerned the people of this province for the first ten years
of their political history. While there were of course local questions affecting
the fortunes of those in office, and the prospects of those out of it, the great
overpowering issue was always the construction of a Canadian Pacific Railway. This problem brought about a serious estrangement with the rest of the
Dominion; it sent delegations to Ottawa and to Downing Street; it occupied
diplomatic representatives in the persons of Mr. Edgar, Lord Dufferin and
Lord Lome, and it left grievances, the memory of which are still alive, and
wounds, the scars of which are still to be seen.
In order to account for the stagnation which existed in the midst of
progressive elements, the situation as it then was must be realized. It was
through no lack of enterprise, because the British Columbians of that day
invested freely, and in many instances to their cost, in anything that looked
promising. It was merely the lack of opportunity—of outlet. There was
a considerable trade with the Indians in some few products, but, beyond that,
10,000 white people, generous consumers as they were, could create only a
limited local market. Some trade indeed was done with Puget Sound ports,
then a series of hamlets, but the principal market was San Francisco. Thence
were imported various manufactured articles and fruits, the Nanaimo collieries, the output of which was then about 35,000 tons a year, sold coal in ex-
change for these commodities. Thither gold bullion, too, was imported, though
in decreasing quantity. From England, round the Horn, in sailing ships
came a number of staple products—liquors, clothes, cottons, haberdashery,
apothecary supplies, heavy hardware, etc., etc. The Hudson's Bay Company sent back furs as in time past, and there were occasional cargoes of
lumber and spars. The exports in 1872-73 amounted to $1,750,000; imports
to $2,076,476. In 1862, after both colonies had been fairly well established,
these had totalled about $2,750,000 and $3,700,000, respectively. The revenues of the province at the time of Confederation amounted to $327,215 and
the expenditure to $432,082. In 1862 these items had aggregated $490,000
and $540,000, respectively. Statistics are tedious, but a few are necessary to
emphasize a progress, which, since the C. P. R. has been completed, has
been rapid and during the last decade phenomenal (4).
(4)The Exports in 1862 were:
Gold     $2,176,185
Coal    41,500
Furs    300,000
Timber    200,000
Miscellaneous    5,000
Total   $2,713,683
(Note:   Owing to the difficulty of getting exact details  under   these  different  heads,   the  figures  are
only approximate, but are substantially accurate.)
In 1872  the Exports were:
Gold       $1,038,574
Coal          180,963
Furs, etc.           259,292
Timber           211,026
Fish  48,361
Miscellaneous  59,231
Total    $1,792,347'
These exports included $50,000 worth of goods that  were not the products of the Province.
To carry on the comparison further, showing expansion consequent upon railway building, we find
exports in 1891 to have been:
(1) The Mines     $2,375,770
The Fisheries        2,374,717
The Forest            325,881
(2) Animals and their produce        346,159
(3) Miscellaneous          213,198
Total  $5,636,725
Coal   $1,970,743
(1) Gold     377,000
(2) Furs     248,832
(3) Not  produce  of  B.   C  91,104
In 1895:
(1) The Mines   4,615,452
The Forest    500,048
The  Fisheries  3,264,500
(2) Animals and their produce ■.  454,618
(3) Miscellaneous   & *hp  231,647
Total    $9,066,265
(1) Gold       $   611,209
(2) Furs             126,091
In 1901:
(1) The Mines    $11,941,716
The Fisheries         3,443,037
The Forest  771,098
(2) Animals and their produce    482,078
(3) Miscellaneous    578.352
Coal       $ 3,348,920
(1) Gold           5,118,708
(2) Furs      250,619
(3) Including manufactures, $265,663, and not produce of Canada, $210,619.
The trade and navigation returns of the Dominion for the year ending the next period of five years
do not give the details by provinces, a change made as the result of a mistaken and foolish idea of the
department in respect to the danger of discriminating comparisons among provinces. But the comparison
may be made in a more general way by the total of exports and imports compared as follows:
Exports Import*
1872                   $1,912,107 $1,790,352
1875 '"     2,824,812 2,543,552
1880            2,643,570 1,756,291
1885                  3,237,804 4,089,492
1890   .." 3   5,763,467 4,379,272
189S        *     9,121,098 4,379,611
1900    17,851,812- 10,560,532
1905        16,677,882 12,565,019
1910 '.'.'.'.'.'... '.'.'.  25,068,411 27,091,019
 Conditions which affected the colonies from 1860 to 1870 continued more
or less the same until the completion of the C. P. R. in 1885. Activity, it is
true, had been quickened by the anticipation of the railway, by the circulation of the vast sums of money required for the surveys, and construction of
the transcontinental line; by the previous completion of the Northern Pacific
to the coast, which gave direct communication with the East by way of the
Sound /by the development of the salmon canning industry; by the expansion
of the lumber industry, and by the attention directed to the prospecting for
lode mines. But this activity was more marked in the way of increased population and speculation than of actual development.
During all the 25 years since 1858 the ^colonies and the provinces had
imported, with few exceptions, everything the people ate, wore or used. Of
agricultural produce—eggs, butter, bacon, flour, fruits, poultry, canned goods,
vegetables even—only a small percentage was supplied locally. Beef cattle
for the most part came from the bunch-grass ranges of the interior, mutton
and lamb largely from south of the line; bread, biscuits, oatmeal, canned
salmon, beer, (for a time) matches, bricks, lime and building material alone
were manufactured locally. There were in addition to these industries, ship
and boat-building in a limited way and foundry and machine shops. Sealing
was an important enterprise for a considerable period.
The period from 1870 to 1910 can, therefore, be conveniently divided
into two parts, the first ending with the completion of the C. P. R. to Burrard Inlet, after which a new era, rendered possible by new conditions, began.
Progress in actual development, comparatively slow at first, was accelerated
year by year. Three new factors were created: first, transcontinental traffic
and intercommunication between British Columbia and the other provinces;
secondly, the commencement of interior development; and, thirdly, the opening of direct trade with the Orient and Australasia. From a federal and
imperial standpoint, there was still another and greater factor—the opening
of the new Empire trade route across Canada—of which our ocean ports
are the gateways. It might not seem the proper place at the beginning of the
history of the post-confederation era to enlarge upon the nature and extent
of these factors. Nevertheless, the unfolding of the scheme of railway construction, the long drawn out negotiations, and the extension of the systems
of internal communication, will be better understood and appreciated by being
discussed at this point, because the raison d'etre of joining Canada together
in^Gonfederation was founded upon these considerations and not upon patriotic
sentiment, loyal as British Columbians always were. If the British authorities
had built the C. P. R. as an Imperial highway, as they were at one time
strongly urged to do, British Columbia might have remained with some advantage to herself, as Newfoundland is to-day, a separate colony of Great
Britain; or, again, if such a course had been constitutionally possible, British
Columbia might have removed some of her existing disabilities by merging
her destiny with that of the country south of it. Indeed, the situation at one
time did create a certain amount of annexation sentiment. Separated as Victoria was three thousand miles away from the seat of central government,
with a vast extent of barren and undeveloped country, with huge mountain
barriers between, such a course might have seemed to justify the theory of
Goldwin Smith that sovereignty should be based on the lines of least resist-
 ance, namely, contiguity of place and homogeneity of conditions. In all probability British Columbia, joined to Washington and Oregon, would have more
quickly sprung into new fife, but on the other hand, she would not have enjoyed the substantial growth in the years which were to follow. Subsequent
events have shown that, in so far as the welfare of Canada and British Columbia are mutually and separately concerned, Goldwin Smith was wrong in his
philosophical deductions, and that the wisdom of his very specious theory has
not been demonstrated by practical results. In any event, whatever might
have been the outcome of negotiations between the governments of the colony
and of the Dommion in respect to union, British sentiment which was dominant in the Province would not have agreed to annexation with the United
States, except as a very last resort. Far too much weight has been attached
to what this crude and very limited tendency towards annexation portended,
although indifferently informed writers, some of them in high places in Great
Britain, even yet persist in referring to it as a danger which, as a matter of
fact, never existed. Indeed, throughout the length and breadth of the Empire there is no part where the people as a whole are so wholly and unreservedly devoted to the idea of Imperial unity and to British institutions as is British Columbia.
To consider the above named factors in order, direct communication
with the eastern provinces by the completion of the railway made British Columbia an indissoluble part of the Dominion and brought about new conditions
of trade and politics.
The balance of commercial advantages, indeed, for some time were, as they
still are, in a large measure in favour of Eastern Canada. This Province became
a new and profitable field for the manufacturers and wholesale merchants of
the older provinces—in other words, she enlarged their sphere of activity. On
the other hand, the natural products of British Columbia—lumber, fish, and
minerals—on account of distance and other disadvantages, could not readily
find a market in the East. Nor did she possess manufactured goods to give
in exchange. But the completion of the C. P. R. stimulated activity, brought
population, incited travel to the Coast, built terminal cities, and gradually and
increasingly fulfilled the expectations, so that transcontinental traffic has
assumed immense proportions, and from a condition of practical isolation our
social and political relations with the East have been rendered intimate.
Internal development at the time of Confederation, however, was practically at a standstill. Cariboo, which had enjoyed such a period of prosperity,
was on the wane. No other rich fields had been exploited. Wild Horse Creek,
Big Bend, Rock Creek, Boundary Creek, and Similkameen had shown spasmodic outbursts, but, had they proved richer than appeared, the difficulties
and expense of transportation would have offset their advantages. The Omi-
neca and Cassiar excitements of a later day "produced considerable gold, but
here again the districts were too remote and too hard to reach to be really
reproductive. Placer camps have always been the graveyards of the brightest
hopes of mankind, and even had the provincial revenues sufficed, the amount
of the precious metal won from them, excluding, of course, Cariboo, would not
have justified the expense of building wagon roads. The operation of lode
mines with wagon roads as the sole means of communication has always been,
as experience teaches, an impractical proposition. Mining in the interior is only
 possible on one condition: cheap transportation by railways in combination
with numerous waterways. The main line of the C. P. R. did not run
through the most fruitful parts of the Province. In the Kootenays, to which
prospectors for lode mines first directed their attention, opportunities were
soon opened up for traffic and interior communication by means of railways,
and steamboat traffic began to expand until a network of lines was completed.
Thus was made possible the mineral developments of to-day, combined with
the establishment of the coking and smelting industries, and the building of
mining towns.
One of the first results of the completion of the railway to Burrard Inlet
was the opening of direct trade with Japan and China. In 1886 sailed the first
tea-ship, which transhipped its cargo for overland at Port Moody; soon after
which were chartered for this trade the steamships Parthia, Abyssinia, and Batavia, and these again were succeeded by the three "Empresses": India, China,
and Japan. Then followed the establishment of liners to Australia. There is
now a large fleet of transpacific steamers calling at Victoria and Vancouver,
representing half a dozen companies. The importance to the Province of these
developments is very great, involving as they do the building up of seaports, in
the creation of commission and forwarding houses, and the bringing of the people into contact with the commerce and leading men of three continents.
But there is a phenomenon of larger and infinitely more important consequence to be noted. The coupling of ocean with ocean by means of a railway has placed British Columbia on the new Empire route of travel. Coin-
cidently with the establishment of Pacific steamships to the Orient came the
agitation for a faster Atlantic service between Great Britain and Canadian
seaports. Again, the fact that the C. P. R. has subsidiary European connections has had the effect of drawing the trade to the west coast cities from
the continent as well as from Great Britain. The new condition also suggested the idea of a Pacific cable, which in its turn inspired the still wider
vision of an all-British cable girdling the earth. All these enterprises will
clearly have the greatest effect on the future of British Columbia seaports;
add to which the opening and settlement of the Middle West, the invasion of
the Great Northern Railway, the development of the Grand Trunk Pacific
and the Canadian Northern, the expansion of commerce seaward and coast-
ward, the enlargement of shipbuilding, the establishment of pulp mills, and
the prospect of iron and steel industries, all of which are fraught with infinite
consequence to the Province, the Dominion and the Empire alike—have been
the direct and logical outcome of that bargain between Canada and British Columbia, which stipulated that a railway should be the main condition
of union. The difficulties, however, the heartburnings, the agitations, and protracted negotiations connected with the fulfilment of the terms of that union
will be seen to form a large part of this history of the Province after 1871.
To begin with, the political, social and economic conditions of the period
must first be briefly considered. Victoria, politically the capital, was also for
many years the social and commercial centre of the Province. New Westminster had lost its importance as chief city of the colony of British Columbia when the union of British Columbia and Vancouver Island took place in
1866, and had by that time become a town of only several hundred inhabitants.
Though being on the highway to the interior, the chief point in the navigation
of the Fraser River and the natural centre of New Westminster district,
which was the most considerable farming area in the Province at that time,
it had a trade and importance peculiarly its own, yet it was inert and lifeless.
The feeling of its people on account of the change of the capital, in addition
to a natural rivalry was anything but friendly to Victoria. The latter, with
the population, the wealth, the men of influence, the trade, and the seat of
government, completely dominated the Province. There the traveller in the
West, the politician, the commercial man, and the seaman found their natural
home. During the winter it was the resort of a more shifting element—
miners, prospectors, cruisers, loggers, sailors, sealers—whose avocations called
them hither and thither in summer in search of fortune or employment. There
the policies of the government of the day were framed, always with an eye to
the interest of Victoria and the Island of Vancouver. There in the hotels,
the homes of the nomads, during the winter months, was an atmosphere of easy
gaiety and distractions. Nevertheless, Victoria had none of the marks of the
typical border town of the United States, and was always quiet and orderly.
There were few restrictions to pleasure, but the freedom enjoyed was seldom
openly or flagrantly abused. Similar conditions to those in Victoria obtained
almost all over the Province. In the more remote places gambling was a
standard form of abusement, but the wholesome fear of law and respect for
authority prevented those excesses which were blots upon every mining and
frontier town of the western United States. Moreover, the pioneers of this
Province were of a mucn better class, as a rule, than those of the country to
the south of the line (5). No reference, of course, is here intended to the
first settlers of Oregon and Washington, but to the men who followed in the
wake of the prospectors and the founders of towns as settlement advanced—
the border desperado, the cattle "rustler," the "bad man" of the plains, the
"tinhorns," the "Arizona Petes," the "Texas Bills," and the rest of that
motley herd around which fiction has thrown a halo of romance, and pseudo-
moralists have excused on the score of following the "ways of the West"—a
class of men who, freed from the restraints of polite and orderly society, revert
to sheer barbarism, reducing themselves below the level of the untutored
In British Columbia, on the other hand, towns of the coast society were
leavened with an especially religious and moral element. From the very first,
Christian   churches  (6)   had  reared  their spires in all the towns of the
(5)This comment is made without disparagement to the general morale of the people of the United
States, and is corroborated by works of American origin.
The difference in pioneer conditions between the two countries, in the better social order maintained
in British Columbia, is due to two things: 1. The population of British Columbia, after the first rush,
was drawn, mainly directly from the older communities in Canada and Great Britain, whereas in the
western states, there was a large class of adventurers who drifted hither and thither as new discoveries were made, or new movements took place. 2. The strict enforcement of the law from the outset
in British Columbia prevented excesses and crime and engendered a spirit of order and obedience to
authority. Had it not been for the latter fact there would have been repeated in this province the
deplorable condition of things elsewhere. Nothing has been here stated that has not been maintained
hundreds of times over and in much stronger terms by writers of the United States themselves. "It
is the Idealism of the Americans that makes them such searching self-critics," says Low, and "It is this
which makes the American criticise himself so fiercely, that makes him so quick to resent the criticism
that comes from without; and that the American is extremely sensitive to foreign criticism cannot be
denied."    The author, realizing this, is the more careful not to give needless offence.
(6)In Victoria, almost from the very earliest days of the Hudson's Bay Company rule, religious ser
vices were conducted first by the Rev. J. R. Staines. He was succeeded by the Rev. E. (now Bishop)
Cridge. Accompanying Douglas on his first expedition to old Camosun was the Catholic missionary, Rev.
Father Balduc, who baptized many Indians. It is not recorded, however, that these sudden conversions
had very lasting effect on the native conscience or that they represented any intelligent conception of the
nature of the change supposed to have been wrought. The Oblate fathers were first in the field in British Columbia as Indian missionaries, and in 1860 we find the R. C. Church well established in Victoria,
with Bishop Demers as head of the Diocese and Revs, and Father D'Herbomez, Baudre and Lejacq (of
 coast—Catholic, English Church, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational,
and Baptist—representing a class of the community trained in religious observances, which were of a restraining and beneficial influence. In fact, the
pioneers of British Columbia, if we except the rabble of San Francisco adventurers who came with the first rush and left soon after, were essentially
a superior class of men and women. They included the Hudson's Bay Co.
traders and their families, the officials of the civil list in two colonies, the
members of the corps of Royal Engineers, retired army and navy men, enterprising, ambitious, intelligent, and educated youths from Great Britain, Eastern Canada and the United States, and/the better class of western miners.
There were also, stationed at Esquimaltythe officers of ships of war who contributed their quota to social life, so that at the time of confederation there
was a nucleus of society educated and refined beyond the standard of the
ordinary new world community. There were churches, clubs, reading rooms,
private and public schools—though not yet an educational system — musical
societies, theatres, amateur theatricals and lodges of all kinds (7). Externally, towns like Victoria and New Westminster seemed new and unfinished,
but in many respects they differed but little from communities in Great
Britain and Eastern Canada or elsewhere in the older world. There was, of
course, the free and easy life and absence of convention which distinguished
the West from the East; but the predominance of British and Canadian residents, especially the former, nurtured by the best traditions of a good home
life, gave to the colony special characteristics, which are still marked in British Columbia, and which rendered the translation of the best of old conditions
to new, an easy process. These were halcyon days to which older men of the
present generation can now look back—moderate work, frequent holidays,
wholesome recreation and sport, gay evenings, congenial, free-handed social
life, beautiful environment, a climate like that of England itself, and, finally,
the O. M. I.) as priests. The Oblate order was also established at New Westminster, which was the
headquarters for the mainland. In both Victoria and New Westminster there were Catholic schools for
both sexes.
In 1863 there were two English Churches in Victoria, Christ Church and St. John, of which Rev. E.
Cridge and Rev. A. C. Garrett, respectively, were rectors. There were five other English Church congregations on the Island in which Revs. Dundas, Wood, Good, Lowe and Kirk ministered. The Rt. Rev.
George Hills was Bishop of the Diocese, and Very Rev. H. P. Wright, Archdeacon.
The Presbyterians had a church under the charge of the Rev. A. Hall, pioneer clergyman of that
denomination, who was sent out to Victoria by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in
Ireland. In New Westminster the Presbyterians were represented by the Rev. Dr. Jameson, sent out by
the General Assembly of the Canadian Church in 1862.
The Wesleyan Methodists had four ordained clergymen in British Columbia, Rev. E. Evans, Supt. and
Revs. E. Robson, E. White and A. Browning.
Rev. Mr. Macfie, who wrote a book on British Columbia, was a Congregational minister.
On the mainland, the English Church had parishes in New Westminster, Sapperton, Hope, Douglas
and Lillooet, of which Rev. J. Sheepshanks (afterwards Bishop of Norwich), Rev. H. P. Wright, Rev. A.
D. Pringle, Rev. J. Gammage and Rev. R. D. Brown, respectively, were pastors.
(7)In regard to education, in Mallandaine's Directory of 1860, the following note is to be found: One
nunnery—Sisters of St. Ann—also school for females, one school under the auspices of the R. C. Bishop
(school for boys in Humboldt Street), one private educational institute for the sexes, E. Mallandaine
(late J. Sexsmith); one young ladies' seminary. In that year there was also a hospital, a Masonic lodge,
an Oddfellow's lodge, a Ladies' Benevolent Society (under the presidency of Mrs. Moody, wife of Col.
Moody) and a Philharmonic Society conducted by John Bayley. There was no educational system until
after Confederation, but there was very soon a Central School in Victoria, of which the late John Jessop
was principal. It was strictly non-sectarian, and although fees were charged they were described as
There were two Masonic lodges, No. 1085 and Vancouver Lodge No. 421. Among the officers of the
first were Robt. Burnaby, Thos. Harris (first Mayor of Victoria), W. H. Thain, Lumley Franklin, J. J.
Southgate and Geo. Pearkes.    Of the latter Dr. I. W. Powell, Hon. David Cameron and R. T. Smith.
A St. Andrews Society, of which Governor Douglas was Honorary President, and Chief Justice David
Cameron and Matthew Baillie Begbie were Vice-Presidents, Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, President, and J D.
Walker, James Duncan, Rev. J. B. Dundas, Dr. Trimble, Capt. Irving (Sr.), A. D. McDonald, Thos. Lowe,
and C. Wallace were among the members.   Was organized at an early date.
So also was the Amateur Dramatic Association, with Governor Douglas, Patron, and Robt. Burnaby,
Selim Franklin, W. A. Harris, C. W. Cruickshanks, A. M. Harris (general manager), Lumley Franklin,
A. B. Fry, H. C. Courtney, Edward White, and Godfrey Brown were among the members. There was as
well a Hebrew Society, called the Chebra Bikin Chalim Ukedisha, of which the officers were Emanuel
Levy, David Hart, Lewis Davy and Lewis Levy.
 hope in the future. What wonder that some in that happy community regarded the new era of railways and commercial bustle as an intrusion upon'
pleasant dreams and rather resented the breaking in of newcomers upon their
sacred circle. There was no greedy competition. Business men went late to
their offices and came early away. Celebrations of all kinds were frequent,
there was cheerfulness in ill fortune as in good, of both of which the colonistsu
experienced their share. The Pacific province, then as to-day, though in a
greater degree, had a peculiar fascination for the majority of strangers, and
few who came to stay for a time ever left, or if they did leave longed to
return again. In truth, the atmosphere of a British Columbian city holds him
who breathes it with a grip not felt under other skies.
None of the towns of the new province had attained the proportions,
although several had all the dignity, of cities. Besides Victoria and New
Westminster, there were Nanaimo, Yale, and Barkerville. Nanaimo, like
Victoria, had had its origin as a Hudson's Bay Co. fort—a relic of which is still
seen in an ancient bastion on the water front—and was a colliery town pure
and simple, as it is still to a large extent. The collieries were operated by the
old Vancouver Coal Company. These were subsequently transferred to another English corporation, known as the New Vancouver Coal Company,
which company after years of operation in its turn transferred its interests
to a corporation known as the Western Fuel Company, whose headquarters
are in San Francisco. Nanaimo's fortunes varied with the fortunes of the
coal industry, but in the main have steadily progressed. Yale was the head
of navigation on the lower Fraser, the seat of local government for a large
area of interior country, and the point of departure for Cariboo and Yale dis
trict. It had ever since the first been the headquarters of the mining fraternity
of the Fraser and an important commercial and forwarding point. Later on
it was the headquarters for railway construction during the period of the
Onderdonk contract, and at the latter time as well as in the very early times
was extremely "livery" in the western sense of that term. Its environment j
formed the nearest parallel in British Columbia to the gambling saloons of j
the typical mining town of the West. It was not municipally organized and /
may be more correctly described as a "camp," bustling enough in its heyday,
but long since a quiet hamlet, with a railway station, a ladies' school, a government office, a church, a hotel, the broken-down remnants of business blocks,
and a few old-time residents, Indians and Chinese. Saloons are pointed out
to the visitor where one thousand dollars a day in gold dust used to be spent
over the bars. With the completion of the railway the glory and bustle of
Yale vanished, when the head office of the stage line to the Lillooet and Cariboo
country was removed to Ashcroft. Situated in a snug, fruitful flat in the
Fraser canyon, it is, nevertheless, a delightful spot, redolent of Indian traditions and the reminiscences of pioneer mining and travel.
Williams Creek was virtually the centre of the mining of the principal
division of the Cariboo district, and the mining population of the neighbouring creeks really belonged to Barkerville. About 1863 and 1864 Barkerville
was a town of considerable importance and, though its citizens were more or
less transient, coming and going, as the fortunes of mining ebbed and waned,
it maintained, however, a steady trade for almost a decade. A number of
business houses were represented and it was noted for its hotels, its dance halls,
 and as the seat of local government. It boasted of a reading room, of a newspaper—the Cariboo Sentinel—a four-page paper which cost a dollar a copy,
paid its editor $150.00 a week and charged $5.00 an insertion for the smallest
advertisement—a fire department, together with fraternal and benevolent societies. Although it had several places of worship it was not a martyr to
religious exercises. Barkerville never became incorporated. It declined in
importance and population with the decadence of the placer industry.
It can scarcely be realized now, what the conditions were at that time, of a
province so vast, so isolated, and so rugged, and yet potentially so great.
Burrard Inlet, now the scene of such activities, was then a solitude, surrounded by dark and deep forests, save for two sawmills to which ships came
now and then for cargoes of lumber and spars, a hotel, a store, and the
Indian village on the north shore.
Vancouver was then known as "Gastown," called after mine host, "Gassy
Jack," who kept the single hotel of the place, a trail connected it with New
Westminster, but even then, at the time of the laying out of the townsite of
Granville, prophetic minds saw in it "an exceeding great city." New Westminister itself, according to the census of 1871, was only a burg of some few
hundred souls. To it there ran steamships from Victoria via Lander's Landing, which touched at river points as far as Yale. The district was the most
populous rural portion of the province, boasting on both sides of the river,
but principally on the south side, some 600 or 700 residents. From Victoria
there was regular communication with San Francisco, and up the coast
to Nanaimo, Alert Bay, the mouth of the Skeena River, and as far
north as Fort Simpson and the mouth of the Stikine, travel to which
northern points for some time after Confederation was somewhat brisk, owing
to the milling excitement in the Omineca and Cassiar districts. Queen Charlotte Islands, now an important objective point for miners, prospectors, timber cruisers and land-seekers, was only occasionally visited by steamers during
summer months, but was then, as for a long time subsequently, practically
an exclusively Haida heritage, the possibilities of which were neither appreciated nor known. There was a little farming done in the delta of the Fraser,
in Saanich, in Sooke, and in Metchosin districts, but hardly any in- Cowichan.
Beans had been raised in Lillooet with a good market in the mining camps,
and some wheat was grown in Cariboo. There were cattle ranches in the
Lillooet and Cariboo districts, in the vicinity of Kamloops and in the Okanagan, and one or two in the Similkameen and Nicola, which found their principal market at the coast. The ranchmen, however, were few and far between,
and for the most part unprogressive. Splendid fruits were grown here and
there, but fruit-growing as an industry was as yet only a possibility in British
Columbia. Progressive methods, even had they existed, would not have availed
much. Ranching was a somewhat unprogressive and easy-going life. The big
ranches which were taken up in the early days, for the most part at one dollar an acre, have now become too valuable in the majority of instances for
running cattle, and a great many of them have been sold and subdivided into
small holdings for the growing of fruit, which afterwards became infinitely
-more profitable and important as an industry than in those early days.
Throughout the interior government offices served the needs of the
fexceedingly thin and widely scattered population, consisting of only a few
thousand or two whites in the aggregate and of a shifting type. Such condi- j
tions created a form of administration peculiar in Canada to British Colum- I
bia, that of government agency, which has existed ever since. A government agent was lord paramount hThis district with a multiplicity of official
functions—government agent, stipendiary magistrate, gold commissioner,
mining recorder, assessor, collector, water commissioner, land agent, issuer of
marriage licences and constable. Any of these powers, not exercised by himself in person, were delegated to responsible deputies under his direction and
control, but in early days and in the remoter districts one man usually performed all functions, and the system has always worked well. Some of the
men who acted in that multiform capacity are honoured names in provincial
annals—men such as O'Reilly, Saunders, Fitzstubbs, Cox, Ball, Vowell,
Kirkup, Bowron, Tunstall, Haynes, Bray, Hussey, Moresby, Galbraith, and
Brew—some of them no doubt with faults of temper and eccentricities, but
men of character, bravery, endurance and administrative ability, many of
whom travelled for hundreds of miles along trails on horseback through
wilderness and by canoes on lake and river, suffered hardships and exposure,
and maintained alone at isolated posts the majesty of the law—men of whom
their descendants are deservedly proud, and to whom the province owes much
both as contributors to its early development and as exemplars of public
duty at all hazards. Among Indians in remote places, and miscellaneous congeries of whites, their duty was always attended with risk and danger,
but it is only fair to add as a tribute to both classes of their subjects that few
tragedies occurred, and acts of violence were rare and invariably avenged in
the courts. Indeed, it may be said that miners and prospectors, however
rough in speech and appearance, are proverbially submissive to law and amenable to order. Moreover, the outstanding feature in British Columbia as a?w-
colony, and as a province, has been the prompt and effective administration \,
of justice. No contravention of statute, misdemeanour or crime is so remote Jv
that the arm of the law has not been long enough to reach and punish. The
fact that men like Douglas and Begbie at the very outset exerted their
authority with an unsparing hand in dealing with offences had the effect of
establishing a respect for British law and order that soon became universal in
the Province and extending far beyond its borders.
y The Chinese were numerous in the Province and their competition with
white labour created at an early date an Oriental question, which perennially
Wjitated the Legislature and was the common topic on the rostrum as often as
Selections came round. The Chinese came to the country first in 1858, being
'attracted, according to some authorities, by the stories of the gold discoveries.
Some of them were engaged in washing gold, but as a rule were employed as
domestics, cooks, and farm hands. Gradually, being a versatile people, they
drifted into other occupations. The agitation against them arose from the
fact that they worked in factories, in lumber yards, in tailor shops and in other
industries at a price against which the white labour was helpless in competition. Some five thousand of them were employed in the construction of the
C. P. R. At first, as a political question, it was taken up by the local Legislature, which attempted to deal with it by imposing a tax of $50 per head,
but the statute, under whose authority it was imposed, wafe promptly disallowed by the Dominion Government on the grounds that it was ultra vires
 provincially. The agitation became so strong ultimately that the Federal
Parliament was moved to pass an act placing a tax of $50 per head on Chinese.
With the exception of advancing wages slightly, this had little perceptible
effect in preventing-Orjental immigration. Chinese contractors paid the tax,
hs they paid the^passage money, for these people, obtained employment for
them at a handsome^commissTon for themselves, and collected their advances
[as wages were paid. To all intents and purposes the Coolie immigrant was
/a slave to the contractor for a year or more, as the case might be, until the
*debt was paid—a system which obtains everywhere where Chinese are largely
employed. The agitation against them, however, still continued, and the
Dominion Parliament raised the impost to $100 a head, a restriction that still
failed to satisfy the labour unions or protect the interests of labouring men.
Wages of Chinese went up once more, but the Chinese still came in. At the
time of the elections in 1896, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, then leader of the Liberal
opposition, had given a definite promise to make British Columbia a white
man's country, and in pursuance of that pledge a Royal Commission was
appointed in 1898 to enquire into the conditions of Oriental labour on this
coast, and took voluminous evidence in that year bearing on the Oriental
question generally. As the outcome of the report of the commission, the
head tax was raised to $500 per head, which for some time proved to be
practically prohibitive of entry. Thereupon the Chinese who were already
resident demanded almost a double wage. This manoeuvre was to some extent responsible for the incursions of Japanese and Hindus in 1907. Another result has been that the Chinese element has again begun to increase,
Jthereby swelling the coffers of the Provincial Government, whose share of;
the head tax is fifty per cent.
In the foregoing account an attempt has been made to outline fairly
and accurately the condition of the Province at and immedately before and
after the date of union with Canada. A glance at the figures that have been
given, which cover a period of 25 years, reveals the fact, already stated, that
the province of British Columbia was in a material sense almost stationary
during that long time. In one important sense, however, the country was
moving forward. The people were slowly but surely laying the foundations
of progress, but not in a manner that can be shown in statistics. From the
latter point of view the country was more prosperous in 1860 than it was at
any subsequent date until the completion of the railway. But the activity and
speculation consequent upon mining or any other class of excitement is not
necessarily real prosperity, although on account of incidental developments it
may, and under favourable conditions usually does, lead to results of great
consequence. This has been true of California, Australia, and South Africa,
and it has been particularly true of British Columbia, notwitihstanding that
mining itself may in the meantime cease to be the most important factor in
t the new era of expansion. Mining excitement brings population, which seeks
! new avenues of employment when the original incentive is lost, and utilizes
* other opportunities to earn a living or accumulate wealth. Some of the
.thousands who went to Cariboo, without finding what they sought, took up
(land and formed the nucleus of an agricultural population. Others who came
to British Columbia, lured by the stories of golden sands, turned their attention to commercial pursuits.   Others again became interested in timber and
 fishing, others in transportation and shipping, until a community of diverse
interests was formed, with, however, mining as its main prop and hope. But
success was in a general way dependent upon railway construction and communication with the outside world, and other developments of a national
character which were to determine British Columbia's ultimate place in the
history of British North America.
Prior to Confederation British Columbia was a Crown Colony, similar in form of government to that of the Crown colonies of older Canada.
Upper and Lower Canada were granted responsible government in 1841, but
the fullest and complete expression of all that the term involves is observed
in the B. N. A. Act. Responsible government was not enjoyed by British
Columbia until the date of Union in 1871 (1). It is scarcely necessary to
state that at the head of the Crown Colony regime there stood the Governor,
who received his instructions direct from the Imperial Government through
the Colonial Secretary in Downing Street, and who necessarily, had a much
larger share in the responsibility of the affairs of state and exercised a much
greater influence in Executive Council than the Lieutenant-Governor, or His
Excellency the Governor-General. The very term "responsible" as implied to
government implies of course responsibility to the people, whereas it is the
(1) The statement that responsible government was not achieved to Its fullest extent, is true in a
literal rather than a constitutional sense. During the McCreight regime Joseph Trutch as Lieutenant-Governor, sat in the Executive Council, and discussed all matters submitted with the members. He was
the dominating influence of the cabinet, so that it might be said he was not only the Throne itself,
but the power behind the Throne. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, who combined professional knowledge with practical business experience and capacity. From his former connection with
the Government as chief commissioner of lands and works, he was familiar with all the details of
governmental machinery. He had also a peculiarly practical mind, and possessed a sound and evenly-
balanced judgment. To the members of his administration his advice and assistance were of great
service. Not one of his ministers was a man of ministerial experience, and all, with the exception of
Hon. Mr. Holbrook, were lawyers. His relations with them had this advantage that he influenced their
policy, and gave effect to his own views without becoming responsible for their decisions. Moreover,
he was a masterful man of forceful character, but like most such men, was selfish, ambitious and inclined to be dictatorial. He was, also blessed with a belief in himself, and was somewhat pompous
in manner, though his good sense was always prominent. At the incoming of the de Cosmos Government he received a rather severe shock. At the first meeting of the executive council he was present
as usual, and an extraordinary amount of time was spent in miscellaneous and desultory conversation.
Being a man of prompt business habits, he became impatient and remarked, "Well, gentlemen, is it not
time to begin?" It was then diplomatically but firmly intimated that they were waiting for him to
retire. That was the last occasion in which Crown and Council met in executive conclave in British
Columbia. It was likewise the first real responsible government. It is not certain that the Province
was any better off without the advice of His Honour, but the arrangement was at least more defensible. His Honour did not cease, however, to exert a strong influence on Cabinet counsels and in public
affairs, though advice was not always salutary and unselfish. On one occasion he exerted himself to
secure the retirement of Mr. Bunster from the Vancouver (Island) contest in favour of Sir Francis
Hincks, Finance Minister of Canada, who wanted a seat in the House of Commons. This nearly brought
about a grave crisis in his affairs. Bunster, who had his faults, was a blunt, honest, outspoken man,
and he negotiated his retirement (so he alleged) in the presence of Hon. Mr. Trutch, and with his
concurrence, on condition of special protection to British' Columbia agricultural products. Sir Francis
Hincks either forgot to, or could not, give effect to his promise, and Mr. Bunster blurted out his statement of the case in the Legislature. His Honour denied any share in the transaction, but Mr. Bunster
persisted. The matter was finally allowed to drop. Had it been pursued, one of two things would
have resulted, the expulsion of Mr. Bunster from the House, or the retirement of His Honour. Other
things were whispered about the latter in respect to his relations with administrative and executive
affairs. For instance, later on, it was said that he was interested in the Moody lands, of which there
was a considerable area, in the vicinity of Burrard Inlet and that his influence, for that reason, was
exerted in favour of the C. P. R. terminus being located on the mainland at that point. A letter from
Colonel Moody himself satisfactorily disposed of what proved to be manufactured out of people's imagination. But it is certain that until Dr. Mclnnes entered the arena, no Lieutenant-Governor ventured so
far outside of his strict constitutional sphere of influence to interfere in public policy. During the
transition from Crown Colony government to Provincial autonomy, there was a brief interregnum in
which it was necessary for him to administer affairs on his own initiative, but he continued this rule
much longer than was necessary, or than was constitutionally defensible. He did not appoint his
ministers until it was barely in time for them to meet the House after their election. It might also
be a matter of wonder that he chose ministers who had not been identified with the movement towards •
Confederation, and who were without political experience. Undoubtedly, this was done to make more I
firm his own hold on the direction of public policy, and retain a personal supremacy that was much to i
his liking and in accord with his personal ambitions. On the whole, if we put aside considerations of '
his personal prejudices and those human weaknesses inherent in a man of his mould, his influence and
his efforts were on the whole beneficial at that particular time. There was a tendency to demagogy
in a newly constituted Province, which might have steered the ship of state still further out of a sound
economic and political course. Moreover constitutional and responsible government in Canada was in
its experimental stages—a fact which applied with more particular force to the situation In British'
 Crown from which the Lieutenant-Governor indirectly derives his authority, and
of which he is the local representative. There was the Legislative Council the
members of which were, in part, appointed by the Governor and in part elected
by the people. In the older Canada these two branches—the elective and the appointed—were often, if not always, in a state of conflict. The Governor was always ia conflict with one or both, but usually the appointed branch represented
the will of the Governor. The unsatisfactory results of this combination of irreconcilable elements brought about what was in name at least responsible government—because the government, backed by the influential remnants of what in
Ontario was known as the Family Compact, still continued, or attempted, to
exercise undue prerogative and influence. In British Columbia there was not
the same hostility displayed between the popular and executive elements.
Nevertheless the representatives of the people were essentially in opposition,
They in the main favoured Confederation and were to a large extent the
leaders in the agitation which brought it about. The same causes, however,
which operated in Old Canada to make Confederation possible and necessary did not obtain in British Columbia. In the former, Confederation was
the solution of a political deadlock between Upper and Lower Canada, which
rendered progressive government or satisfactory government of any kind im-'
practicable. In the latter, Confederation was not the panacea for government
ills, but a great factor of material development—the improvement of a situation which by reason of isolation and lack of communication with the outside
world, rendered further commercial and industrial expansion a physical and
financial impossibility. The country had become and remained stagnant for
want of opportunity. Confederation in British Columbia was not, except incidentally, a matter of sentiment evoked in order to help forward the cause of
its supporters. The people sought relief in Confederation from disabilities
which by their own efforts they were powerless to overcome. In a word, a
transcontinental railway, with all the advantages which it promised, was the
crux of the issue. There had been it is true, complaints as to the old autocratic form of government, but it cannot be said that the evils of the system
were out of all proportion to the requirements of the country at that time (2).
It is even true, indeed, an imperfect system of government well administered is capable of good results equal in degree to the evils made possible
by the bad administration of a good system.
"For Forms of Government let fools contest,"
"What'er is best administered, is best."
In a previous chapter the events which led up to the Confederation have
been traced step by step, and, therefore, it is not necessary to deal further
with the causes or conditions that gave it effect. The fact, however, should
be borne in mind that while in principle and in law the constitution of the
Province was made subject to the British North America Act, the Terms of
Union were essentially a treaty between British Columbia and the Dominion.
The relations of this province and of other provinces which came into confederation after 1867, whatever may be said about those of the original members
of the Confederation, are not in the nature of a pact among provinces.   This
(2) In 1871, for instance, the requirements of the civil list amounted to $150,978 out of a total expenditure of $522,135. Governor Musgrave received $19,400 per annum. In 1869 the civil list cost S144 4fiK
and the total expenditure was $462,170; in 1868, $157,510, out of $573,035. *•«<».
 proposition has been disputed and endeavours have been made to maintain a
contrary theory, but Lord Lisgar, Governor-General, in bis telegraphic despatch to Governor Musgrave, dated 1st February, 1871, is explicit. He
stated in explanation of the attitude of the authorities at Ottawa in regard
to certain changes in the British Columbia tariff desired by the British Columbia Government, "the Terms of Union are in the nature of a Treaty . . .
The Canadian Government, therefore, think they have no right to alter these
Terms, after acceptance by Canada. Parliament may, in its discretion, modify the Tariff, on the request of British Columbia." To put the case in another form—if for any reason British Columbia wished to withdraw from
Confederation—which constitutionally, except by successful rebellion, or consent of the Dominion she could not do—the acquiescence of the people of the
other provinces, as provinces, would not be required or involved. It would
be a matter entirely between the Province of British Columbia and the Dominion of Canada qua Dominion. The British North America Act as a
national code, is only constitutionally effective and binding so long as the
province remains in Confederation. As a concrete instance of efforts, made
by implication at least, to establish the contrary proposition, the Dominion
Government contended that the decision of the late interprovincial conference at Ottawa was binding upon the Province of British Columbia, notwithstanding the fact that British Columbia had refused to accept that decision in so far as it related to the allowance recommended to be made to this
province in settlement of its special claims—a decision which the Imperial
Parliament was asked to confirm as "final and unalterable." It is important that this distinction between a treaty and a pact in federal and interprovincial relations respectively should be clearly emphasized having regard
to its bearing on any future negotiations between the Dominion and the Province.
After the discussion between the delegates sent by British Columbia to
Ottawa to arrange the Terms of Union had been completed, a session of the
Legislative Council was held to ratify them and to pass necessary legislation.
The most important item of the programme was the framing of an act of
constitution (3).
This done and the incidental labours of the last session of Colonial Parliament ended, the first election under the new regime was held. In the
meantime the Terms of Union, after a long and animated debate, were ratified in the House of Commons. Anthony Musgrave continued in office until
the appointment and installation on the 1st of July, 1871, of the Honourable
Joseph Trutch—later Sir Joseph (4)—as the first Lieutenant-Governor of
(3) On the 20th of July, 1871, Confederation with Canada was completed. On that very day, or slightly
before it, the first party of railway surveyors, completely equipped, many of whom had come from eastern Canada, left Victoria for the mainlaid to commence the exploratory survey of the C. P. R The
20th of July in the next year was the date fixed for the actual commencement of the railway; but beyond a formal two hours' survey nothing was done in construction at this end. In the meantime surveys were vigorously carried on. Victoria especially at first seemed to realize Confederation in the arrival soon after the commencement of the survey of Hon. H. D. Langevin, Minister of Public Works,
and Sandford Fleming, Chief Engineer, both of whom on theft—return presented exhaustive and highly
interesting reports on British Columbia.—MaUandaine's Directory, 1874.
(4) On July 20th, 1871, British Columbia formally passed into Confederation as a Province of the Dominion of Canada, On July 26th Governor Musgrave, afterwards knighted for his services, took his
departure. In the meantime, Hon. Jos. Trutch, the newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor, was absent,
and did not arrive and was not sworn in until August 14th, during which time British Columbia was
without an official head or governor of any kind. Governor Musgrave had spent 23 months in office,
and assisted materially in bringing about union, to effect which form a special part of his instructions
from the Colonial office.    He was much respected, and  before  leaving  was  presented  with  an  address
 British Columbia. (5). The latter, in the period of transition from the old to the
new regime, became virtually the government, having control of departmental affairs and being endowed temporarily with powers which later on came
exclusively within the domain of the executive. As the British North America Act had been passed by the Imperial Parliament, and provided for the
inclusion of the whole of British North America as provinces were formed,
British Columbia passed automatically under its provisions. The constitution
of the Province differed from that of the older provinces in the fact that only
one branch of the Legislature was provided for, and the people were thus
saved an annual expenditure that would have been as burdensome as it was
needless. The meeting of the first parliament was looked forward to with
considerable expectation. One portion of the community was highly optimistic in regard to the new state of affairs. Another portion of the community
opposed to Confederation had predicted failure for the particular form of
aolministration adopted, and considered it as ill-adapted to the circumstances
of the country. Although the government had just been formed, and the
ministers had not all yet returned from re-election in their constituencies, an
opposition already existed, and was represented by a press almost virulent in
its criticism—the Daily Standard, owned by Mr. Amor de Cosmos. This
opposition, before there was an opportunity for lines to be drawn in the
House on definite issues, was personal in its nature and arose to some extent
from disappointment as to the personnel of the Government. The gentleman selected by the Lieutenant-Governor as head of the a(lniinistration—
Hon. J. F. McCreight (afterwards Mr. Justice McCreight)—was in some
respects unfitted to be a popular leader, and certainly was unsuited by temperament to enter politics, more especially in the Legislature, where tact and
strategy were required to pilot his party and his administration among many
dangerous shoals. From a personal point of view the choice was unimpeachable. A man of superior education and breeding, and an able lawyer, he was
at the same time scrupulously honest and conscientious, and as a consequence,
implicitly trusted and greatly respected by all who knew him. Notwithstanding these qualities, however, he was imbued with many of the prejudices that
belonged to his special class-environment of that day, both in England and
from the public officials of the Province, also from the Anglican clergymen of the Diocese of British
Governor Musgrave in replying to the address of officials prior to his departure said: "I take this
opportunity to state that no pressure had been placed by the Secretary of State upon the local Government for the purpose of accomplishing the union. The general view of Her Majesty's Government
were expressed in a despatch which was made public and of which, of course, you were made aware.
But subsequently It was left entirely to my own decision whether union should be attempted, and at
every step of the negotiations the Secretary of State has generously trusted to my judgment and discretion. It is not surprising that under these cir