BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

How Methodism came to British Columbia Robson, Ernest M. 1904

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  The History of the Forward Movement
PRICE,      -    Jfe     25 CENTS.
In the interesting story of " The History of the Forward
Movement, " Dr. Service has briefly sketched the progress of
a movement that is, in a peculiar sense, the child of Canadian
Methodism. The movement stands for the consecrated enthusiasm of our youth to the task of world-wide evangelism. The
progress it has made from 1895 *s weu* t°ld. The book is illustrated by photo-engravures of the forty missionaries who are
being supportedl^ibe^oung people of our Church.
The Indians of Queen Charlotte Islands
WtTBMAP*  *3§L  1      PKaOB m OSOTS.
Our Indian missions on the Pacific Coast make one of the
.must interesting studies mail oursmssion work. To realize the
^faH^oaaiang j)ower of the Gospel, it is necessary to knew ?fl«
influence of heathen customs and superstitions on the lives of
the people phystc^y,, morally and spiritually. Mr. Freeman
in his book has supplied a short history of the Haida Indians,
described many of their customs, jmd told the progress Christianity has made in the once heathen islands. The illustrations
add to #se value and interest of the book. A copy should be in
every League library.
The French Methodist Institute, Montreal.
Lantern Lecture, No. f •
PRICE,  J||; /{' m CENTS.
Professor Villard has given us many glimpses into the detail
of the work done in the Institute. The book is written to explain
forty-six lime-light views of the Institute and the work it is
doing. It is valuable in studying our French work. It contains
fifteen full page illustrations of the work. IEV.   E.   ROBSON,   D.D.
'"THIS little booklet contains only the barest outlines of a
story which deserves a place among the heroic annals
of missionary enterprise and achievement. The author,
Rev. E. Robson, D.D., has, during the past forty-five years,
accumulated an immense mass of data which will be
invaluable to some future historian of Methodism in
British Columbia. But the personal recollection, the
thrilling adventure, the racy anecdote, the pathetic incident which would endow the story with life and action,
these will be lost iorever when such men as Ebenezer
Robson, Cornelius Bryant, Thomas Crosby and James
Turner pass on to their reward. Dr. Robson has frequently
been importuned by his brethren to commit to paper some
of those reminiscences of early days on the Pacific Coast
which have so often moved his auditors to laughter and
tears. It is understood that such a volume is now in course
of preparation. Epworth Leaguers ! look out for it! When
it appears forego a meal and buy it! It will touch your
hearts and kindle your enthusiasm for Christ and His
James H. White,
Local Supt. of Missions for British Columbia.
Kamloops, B.C., April, 1904. REV.   J.   H.   WHITE,
Local Superintendent of Missions for British Columbia. BY   REV.   EBENEZER   ROBSON,   D.D.,   VANCOUVER.
The Rush to the Gold Fields in 1858.
©URING the spring and summer of 1858 the first great
rush of adventurers from California, Oregon and Washington to the newly-discovered gold fields of the Fraser
River took place, and before the sands of that year were
quite run out four missionaries, representatives of Canadian
Methodism, were on their way to the new Eldorado.
These were charged with the duty of preaching the gospel
of a free and full salvation to the traders, miners, settlers
and aborigines of Vancouver Island and British Columbia,
then separate colonies.
The inception of the work at so early a date in the
history of these colonies was largely due to the far-seeing
sagacity of the late Rev. Enoch Wood, D.D., for many
years superintendent of Wesleyan missions in Canada.
He brought the importance of these territories to the
notice of the English Wesleyan Missionary Society, and
secured an appropriation of ^500 to assist in the outfit
and despatch of at least three missionaries, the selection
of the men and their subsequent maintenance to rest with
the Canadian Society. A number of missionaries promptly
volunteered for service in the new field, of whom Rev.
- Edward White, of Smithville, and the writer, then junior
pastor of the Montreal Centre circuit, were accepted. Rev.
Ephraim Evans, D.D., of Kingston, was requested to
undertake the chairmanship of the new district, he nominating Rev. Arthur Browning, of Artemesia, as the fourth
member of the party.
Four Missionaries Sent Out—The Farewell
A few weeks were allowed the missionaries-elect for
preparation for their long journey to what w„as then little
more than an unknown land to the average Canadian.
On December 15th they met the Missionary Committee
in Toronto for final consultation and instruction. On the
evening   following   an   intensely   interesting   valedictory service was held in Richmond Street Church, and the next
morning about 300 persons sat down to a farewell breakfast in St. Lawrence Hall. The "farewell" and "Godspeed " were heartily joined in by representatives of nearly
all the denominations, b> the Mayor ot Toronto, the Hons.
George Brown and J. Beverly Robinson, and such honored
and historic Methodist names as Rev. Drs. Stinson, Wood,
Green, George Douglas and Egerton Ryerson; Rev. John
Douse and Richard Jones; and Messrs. John Macdonald
and John Stirling. Dr. Evans and family left the same
day for New York to make final arrangements for the
From Toronto to, British Columbia, Seven Thousand
On the last day of the year Rev. A. Browning and the
writer were ordained by the President of the Conference
and started for New York, being joined en route by Mr.
White and family. The party was heartily welcomed by
representatives of New York Methodism, and a large congregation gathered in St. Paul's M.E. Church, January 4th,
1859 to encourage them on their way. A princely layman,
Francis Hall, Esq., occupied the chair, while Dr. John
McClintock, the venerable Dr. Nathan Bangs and others
took part in the exercises. The missionaries proceeded on
January 6th by steamer to Aspinwal], thence via the
Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific. Arriving at San
Francisco on Saturday, January 28th, they were assigned
work in several of the churches of the city next day. Proceeding north on February 3rd, and touching at Portland,
Ore., the party reached Victoria on Thursday, February
10th, where they were heartily welcomed in the name of
the Lord, and found shelter in a new building belonging to
Mr. J. T. Pidwell, thanking God who had kept them all
safe throughout a journey of nearly 7,000 miles by sea and
Victoria in those days had a mixed population estimated
at 3,000 with two churches, Episcopalian and Roman
Catholic. The old stockade fort of the Hudson Bay Co.,
with its frowning bastions and rusty cannon was still intact.
In the preceding September Rev. J. F. Devore, Presiding
Elder of Puget Sound District, accompanied by Rev.
H. Rhodes, had ascended Fraser River as far as Fort
Langley. Returning to Viqtoria they held services in a
tent and on the street, but learning that missionaries were
about to be sent from Canada they returned to the Sound.
I First Services in Victoria held in the Court
The first services held by our missionaries were on
February 13th, 1859, in a room in the Court House, the
use of which was kindly granted by Governor James Douglas.
Dr. Evans preached in the morning and Mr. White in the
evening to a packed congregation. The missionaries were
cordially welcomed by Rev. Mr. Cridge, now the venerable
and beloved Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church,
who for forty-five years since then has been the cordial
and consistent friend of Methodism. They were also
given a very hearty reception by Governor Douglas and
other officials of the Government and of the Hudson
Bay Co. On the following Sunday services were again
held in the Court House, the writer preaching the same
day his first sermon in the colony at Craigflower school
house four and a half miles from the city.
The   Gift   of   the   Hudson's   Bay   Company—First
Church Dedicated in Victoria, May 20TH, i860.
Organization was at once proceeded with. A class had
been formed with ten members, which increased the first
week to fourteen. The Hudson's Bay Company donated
three lots on the corner of Pandora and Broad Streets for
the use of the mission, on which a parsonage was erected,
and on August 15 th the corner-stone of a church was laid
by His Excellency the Governor in the presence of a great
concourse of people. The church was completed and
dedicated May 20th, i860. Dr. Evans remained in charge
for seven years, being assisted first by Rev. D. V. Lucas,
who had been sent out from Canada, and later by Rev.
Arthur Browning. During the pastorate of Rev. A. E.
Russ, M.A., who came out in 1868, the church became
self-sustaining. Mr. Russ was followed by Rev. Wm. Pollard, and from that day t© this the mother congregation of
Victoria Methodism, now worshipping in the commodious
and beautiful Metropolitan Church, has been served by a
succession of godly and distinguished men, some of whose
names are household words in British Columbia and in
the Dominion. The old church has been a prolific mother.
Methodism is now represented in the Queen City by the
Metropolitan, Centennial, Victoria West, James' Bay, and
Spring Ridge churches; by missions to the Indians,
Chinese asd Japanese ; and by the handsome and commo- dious Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, erected at Esquimalt for
the accomodation of the men at the naval station there.
Saanich Mission also has been largely fostered from Victoria. The hosts of saintly, consecrated men and women,
whose self-denying toil through the years has contributed
to this result, cannot even be mentioned by name. Many
have " crossed the flood," some are | crossing now." Their
names are written in heaven, and their record is on high.
The Work Begun at Nanaimo.
Just one week after the arrival of the missionaries Rev.
A. Browning was despatched to Nanaimo to open work
there. He was welcomed by Mr. Cornelius Bryant, a
Wesleyan Methodist from England, teacher of the colonial
school, who had come out in 1857, and who was, so far as
is known, the first member of our Church in the province.
It had been his custom to hold service with the people on
the Lord's Day. He afterwards entered the ministry, sat in
the General Conference of the Church as President of the
British Columbia Conference, and still remains among us,
saintly in spirit, ripe in wisdom, and abundant in labors for
Christ and His Church. All the members of the original
band of missionairies served the church at Nanaimo at
various times, Rev. E. White and the writer spending the
longest time there. The field was soon extended until it
reached Comox, 70 miles north, and Salt Spring Island,
30 miles south. This territory now includes two strong
self-supporting churches in the " Coal City " itself, and four
flourishing mission fields. An honored name in connection
with Nanaimo Methodism is that of Rev. Thos. Derrick,
long since passed to his rest.
During the second pastorate of Mr. W7hite at Nanaimo,
July, 1869, the first camp-meeting in British Columbia was
held at Maple Bay. It was attended by nearly all the
ministers in the country, and by a number of devoted laymen and women from Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster. There were a number of conversions both among
whites and Indians, and much good was accomplished.
The amount of physical wear and tear involved in doing
the pioneer work on the fields just referred to, was great
indeed—long and perilous trips in canoes and open boats on
the salt water, amid fierce storms of wind, rain and snow,
and equally fatiguing tramps and exposures upon the land
in all seasons of the year. But it was work cheerfully done
for God and His redeemed ones.    Doubtless they who thus toiled, often with blistered hands and feet, that they might
sow the precious seed beside all waters, " shall return with
joy, bringing their sheaves with them."
Fraser River Gold Fields.
It having been decided by the Chairmen that my mission
was to be the gold fields and mining camps of the Fraser
River, we left Victoria on an exploring trip March 2nd,
1859. We travelled by the Beaver, the first steamer to
plough the waters of the Pacific. She had been built near
London, England, in 1835, as a trader for the Hudson Bay
Company, and was wrecked at the outer narrows, Vancouver, in July, 1888, her hull being as sound as ever, and
her " Belton and Watt" engines being in good order. We
dropped anchor the following day at Langley, the oldest
Hudson Bay fort on the coast of British Columbia, having
been established in 1827. On Sunday, the 26th, Dr. Evans
preached in the morning in the dining hall of the Company's house, and the writer in the afternoon in the
barracks of the Royal Engineers, Lower Langley. These
were the first Methodist services held on the mainland of
what is now the Province of British Columbia. On
Monday we began the ascent of the river in a small canoe
purchased from the Indians. After a difficult passage of
five days we reached Fort Hope, where I remained, Dr.
Evans and companion going on to Yale, fifteen miles
further. On the Sunday following opening services were
held in both places, after which Dr. Evans returned to
Victoria. At Hope, Yale, and the mining bars from
Murderer's Bar to the famed Hill Bar, I visited the
miners in their cabins and preached to all who would
listen the glorious Gospel of Christ, often paddling alone,
in my little canoe Wesleyan, through Hell Gate, and
over Emory's Bar and other " riffles" which mark the
course of the turbulent Fraser in that region. Mr. Browning came to Hope and Yale in i860, and remained in
charge three years, spending the summer months mostly in
the newer mining districts, including far-famed Cariboo.
Among our hearers in those early days were many who
afterward became prominent in the affairs of the country,
as well as some who " died in their boots," being drowned,
blown up, murdered or hanged. Though the work was
trying and the results seemingly insignificant, yet we hope
to meet some of both classes in the better land when we
also shall have crossed the " Great Divide." A site for the future capital of the colony was selected by
Col. Moody, Commissioner of Land and Works, on a
heavily timbered ridge on the north bank of the Fraser
River. The town was called Queensboroug by the
gallant Colonel, but Gov. Douglas preferring to spell it
Queensborough, the matter was referred to the Queen
herself, who gave the embryo city the name of New
Westminster, hence called the " Royal City," the Queen
being its sponsor.
To this location came Mr. White on April ist, 1859, and
held the first service on the town site the Sunday following,
the congregation gathering in the shade of a large tree
near the margin of the river. Fifty men and one woman
were present, the latter still being a respected resident of
the city. A week later the congregation met on the floor
of the Colonial Treasury Building, the erection of which
had meanwhile commenced. On the 22nd of the month
Mr. White's family came up and were domiciled in a room
13x14 feet in a cotton tent. As soon as the Treasury
Building was complete a large room was placed at the disposal of the Methodist congregation. In that room, on May
25th, Mr. White held the first public temperance meeting of
which there is any record in British Columbia. The missionary at once began, assisted by four or five others, to
hew out from the dense forest the two lots donated by the
Government for a church and a parsonage. The shingles,
weather boards and fencing for the parsonage, and a considerable part of the frame and furniture of the church
were made by hand out of an immense cedar tree which
stood on the property. Here, on April 8th, i860, the first
Methodist church to be completed in the province was
dedicated to the worship of Almighty God. Mr. White
was followed in 1863 by Mr. Browning, and he, two years
later, by the writer, when the mission was enlarged so as to
include Hastings (now Vancouver), Moodyville, Maple
Ridge, Langley, Sumas, Chilliwack, Hope and Yale, beside
the city itself. In fact, he was the only missionary of the
Methodist Church stationed on the mainland.
Since then the growth of our Church has been very
great. The ground then covered by one lonely missionary
now comprises two districts, having two prosperous cities
and many strong self-supporting churches. New Westminster itself was visited in 1898 by a disastrous fire,
which destroyed most of the' business portion of the city,
including all but one of the down-town churches. But she
has risen from her ashes with renewed strength and beauty, and the central .Methodist congregation is better housed
than ever in their new and modern church on Queen's
Though a connexional institution, yet, as having its home
in New Westminster, mention  should  here be  made  of
. Columbian Methodist College.    This was begun in 1892
by the British Columbia Conference and formally passed to
the control of the General Conference in 1902. The
college gives a full course in Arts in affiliation with Toronto
University, and a full course in Theology under its own
Charter, as well as commercial and ladies' college courses.
It occupies beautiful premises, free of debt, in the centre of 12
the city, and under the management of its Principal, Rev.
W. J. Sipprell, B.A., B.D., and his gifted staff has attained
a place in the van of the educational institutions of the
Two places, one included within the bounds of the
Westminster mission, should receive special mention,
viz., Chilliwack and Vancouver. The former was visited
by the writer in 1865, when the first religious services
were held. In 1868 Rev. T. Crosby was appointed
missionary to the Indians of the Fraser Valley, and carried
the Gospel among the white settlers also. There broke out
a remarkable revival of religion, during which a majority of
the settlers were converted. The results were far-reaching
and the beautiful Chilliwack valley, one of the richest
agricultural districts in the province, is to-day dotted with
churches and has the honor of having never permitted a
license to sell liquor to be issued within its bounds.
Though of later growth, Vancouver has now become
known as the " Terminal City," the largest city and the
commercial centre of the province. In one of its sanctuaries the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
in Canada, numbering 450 commissioners, held its session
of last year. The first services on Burrard Inlet were held
in 1864 by the writer. The following year the first service
was held on what is now the site of Vancouver. When this
spot was selected for the terminus of the C. P. R. a great
city sprang up. Vancouver also has passed through her
baptism of fire, being entirely destroyed June 13th, 1886.
The family of our missionary barely escaped with their
lives by taking refuge on a raft in the harbor. There are
to-day Wesley, Princess Street, Mount Pleasant and Fair-
view churches. Vancouver is also the home of the only
Scandinavian Methodist mission in Canada, and has beside
flourishing and well-equipped missions to the Chinese and
Japanese. In addition to these congregations, there are
outside the city limits five school sections which have been
regularly supplied with preaching every Lord's Day and
with Sunday Schools during the past year without cost to
the Missionary Society.
North Arm (now Richmond) and Ladner have also
become strong self-supporting circuits.
The synopsis of early Methodist history would not be
complete without mention of the Cariboo mission. This
most famous of the gold fields of British Columbia was
visited in 1862, and again the, year following by Dr. Evans
and  Mr.  Browning,  the latter   of   whom   again  visited 13
Cariboo in 1864, and preached to the crowds of gold-
seekers as opportunity offered. But the stationing of a resident missionary was not made practicable till 1868, when
Mr. Thomas Cunningham generously contributed $500
a year for three years for that purpose. The first Methodist
missionary so appointed was Rev. Thomas Derrick, who
" remained three years at Barkerville, during which time he
erected a church and small parsonage and won the confidence and affection of all. Nearly twenty years of
earnest and self-sacrificing labor was given to this difficult
field, but in 1887, the population having greatly declined
and another denomination
having sent missionaries to
the district, no regular appointment was made, and it
has only been revisited since
at irregular intervals, the last
visit being made by Rev.
' "^ H   James Turner in 1902.
The Bunch Grass Country.
In 1875 Rev. James Tur-
k    ner, who had spent the two
fB    previous years at New West-
|jjf      minster and Burrard   Inlet,
was appointed to the Nicola
Valley and  Kamloops missions. This practically meant
the whole  dry  belt  of the
REV- JAbMc! corSNcERESIDENT Bunch Grass Country, or so
much of it as he could reach.
A famous    Saddle-bags" Missionary.      *     j ij        n i_
-^ And no man could well have
reached more than did James
Turner, who, though not much given to writing up reports
of his work, has probably seldom, if ever, been excelled
as a " Saddle Bags " missionary. After prospecting and
studying his field he pre-empted, in the name of God and
Methodism, a section of country stretching from Soda
Creek to Osoyoos and Keremeos; and from Lillooet to
Spallumcheen. When at Soda Creek he was 274 miles
from his home in Nicola, and at Keremeos was 270 miles
in the opposite direction. To make the round required
1088 miles of travel, exclusive of numerous side trips.
Mr. Turner was ever ready to undertake a ride of one
hundred miles to visit the sick, marry a couple, bury the 14
dead, or eat a Christmas dinner with his friend, the cattle
king, at Penticton. Bear in mind that his fifteen appointments were in many instances seventy or more miles apart,
that the journeys had to be made on horseback in the
hottest days of summer and in the severest weather of
winter; that rivers had to be crossed without bridges, and
the nights often spent in bloody warfare with millions of
musquitoes; and that the missionary was only at home long
enough to write a few letters and lasso a fresh bronco from
the hills, and you will have some idea of life in the early
days on Kamloops mission. Many faithful men have
followed  in   his   footsteps,  and  this  vast   territory  now
includes ten circuits and missions. There is considerable
pioneer work still being done on Kamloops District by
successors to the devoted | trail blazer," who now serves
the Church as the honored President of the British Columbia Conference, and has once more returned to the scene
of former exploits on the banks of the Thompson River.
He is still itinerating and is greeted by hearty welcomes
and crowded congregations wherever he goes.
This, by far the greatest lode-mining district of British
Columbia, has opened up wonderfully during the past few i5
years. Revelstoke, a divisional point on the C.P.R., first
became the head of a mission, with Mr. Turner as its
pastor, in 1888. It is now one of the leading charges on
the district, while Golden, further east, is a thriving mission.
Nelson was first "staked off" as a mission also by Mr.
Turner in 1891, some prospecting having been done the
previous year by Rev. R. J. Irwin. Nelson has been for
years a self-supporting charge, and in 1901 entertained the
Conference  at  its   annual   session.      Ainsworth,   Kaslo,
Slocan, Three Forks, New Denver and Nakusp have all
been reached, while little Sandon, in spite of disasters from
flood, snow-slide and fire, still clings to the mountain side
and fights the battle without cost to the Mission Fund.
Rossland sprang into notice in 1895 and was "supplied "
till the following year, when Rev. Chas. Ladner, then
President of the Conference, was stationed there and a
church and a parsonage were at once erected. Shortly
afterwards the charge became self-supporting, and is still  forging ahead as becomes the richest mining camp in
British Columbia. Trail, near Rossland, and Ymir, south
of Nelson, are being courageously worked as missionary
fields. Trout Lake in the Lardeau District, is also a hopeful, though difficult, mission.
In the Boundary country, so called because of its nearness to the adjoining state of Washington, several flourishing towns and mining camps have sprung up, in which our
cause has been established under the labors of faithful men.
These are Grand Forks, where we have a vigorous self-
supporting congregation ; also Greenwood and Phoenix,
which are still in the mission stage, but are making steady
East Kootenay, including the Crow's Nest Pass region,
11  pi jji    - m
was made a separate district in 1902, having, as its contents
at the present time, Cranbrook, Fernie, Michel, Morrissey,
Coal Creek, Elko, Kimberley, Moyie and Creston. This
work has all developed since 1899. The first two charges
have been self-supporting for two years and are vigorous
and well-equipped, while a third will probably go off the
Mission Fund at next Conference. All the other fields,
especially those situated in the great coal region of southeast Kootenay, have made satisfactory progress, considering
the difficulties attending the opening of new work in a
mining country. The work,has called for a high order of
ability as well as much sacrifice on the part of our mission-
V J9
aries, and they have been nobly sustained by the efforts of
loyal, devoted and liberal men and women, intent on the
salvation of their fellows.
This holds true of the domestic work in every part of the
province. In no part of Canadian Methodism are there to,
be found more self-sacrificing, progressive and courageous
people than in our British Columbian churches. They
have been generously aided by the Missionary Society during the pioneer days. It has been money well spent and
will be repaid with interest in due time. Meanwhile many
precious souls have been gathered in.
Indian Methodist Missions in British Columbia.
The crowning glory of Canadian Methodism is its work
among the Indians. To the present writer the name of
Elder-Case, James Evans, John Sunday, Peter Jones, Peter
Jacobs, Henry Steinhauer and Allan Salt were household
words, along with those of Rundle, Woolsey, Hurlburt, and
McDougall, as representing the triumphs of the Cross among
the red men of America. With all of them save two I had
the honor of personal acquaintance. All except Allan Salt
have passed to their reward, and the Church is rich in
memory of their work.
The commencement of our mission work among the
Indians of British Columbia was feeble and somewhat intermittent. While serving the white people on my first
mission, Hope and Yale, and afterward at Nanaimo, I
observed with grief the ignorance and degradation of the
Indians in these vicinities, rendered all the deeper by their
contact with white adventurers. The moral tide rip produced by the meeting of different races, in the swirling
waters of which so many have gone down, is one of the
saddest features of national expansion, whether in India,
Africa or America.
During the winter of 1859 I fitted up the largest room in
the parsonage at Hope as a school room, and, with the
help of my young wife, tried to impart the rudiments of an
English education, and above all, a knowledge of God and
His Son, Jesus Christ. Being removed to Nanaimo the
next spring, I was constrained to seek, with God's blessing,
to save the Indians round the town. There were 370 of
them, and degraded enough. Nevertheless, with the
approval of the chiefs, we fitted up a large outhouse in the
rear of the parsonage and began a school, with twenty
children in attendance, December 3rd, i860.    Next year a school chapel was built close to the Indian quarters, and
later rebuilt on the reserve. I meanwhile preached to the
Indians every Sunday under the shade of some big trees.
The coast about this time was scourged with a fearful
visitation of smallpox, which, breaking out at Victoria,
spread with frightful rapidity and caused the death of
thousands of Indians throughout the colonies. The
Indians were ordered by the authorities to leave Victoria,
and as they passed north the dying and dead were left at
every camping ground. All the Nanaimos and hundreds
of others were vaccinated by the H. B. Co.'s surgeon and
myself, and I had the satisfaction of knowing that the
Nanaimos suffered less than any other tribe on the coast.
The spring of 1863 brought changes. I was removed to
Fort Yale and Lower Fraser. Mr. White succeeded me at
Nanaimo and Mr. Thos. Crosby took charge of the Indians
as school teacher and missionary, entering the work with
the greatest enthusiasm and soon mastering the language.
It was not long till he was rewarded by seeing conversions.
Amos Cusham, who had been my cook, canoeman and
interpreter, and his wife were the first and second. Others
followed, among them David Selasselton, an Indian boy
attending the school. He became a spirit-filled evangelist,
an orator of unsurpassed natural eloquence, and died a
triumphant death in Victoria in 1872. His name is still as
" ointment poured forth" in the memories of Indians,
whites and missionaries who had witnessed his intense
devotion and unselfishness.
During the next few years Mr. Crosby and his two
helpers, Cusham and Selasselton, carried the Gospel to
every accessible point, both on the Island and along Fraser
River. The great revival, mentioned elsewhere, which
visited the white settlers in the Chilliwack Valley in 1869,
gave a wonderful impulse to the work among the Indians.
A goodly number attended the first camp-meeting at
Maple Bay, where they met converted Indians from
Nanaimo and received a great uplift. In the following
September the first camp meeting was held at Chilliwack,
the forerunner of the annual feast of tabernacles continuing
to this day, and which has greatly blessed both natives and '
In 1872 Mr. Crosby made a tour to Thompson River
and Nicola Valley in search of openings for missionary
work. He found several promising fields, but lack of men
and means hindered and no permanent work has been
done by our church in those regions. REV. J. C. SPENCER, M.D.
Missionaries to the Indians in British Columbia. The same year a gracious revival visited the Indian
mission at Victoria, which had been commenced by Mr.
Russ, assisted by zealous men and women of his church, in
1869. The attendance was small and fluctuating until the
remarkable conversion of Mrs. Elizabeth Deix, a chieftess
from Port Simpson, and later of her son and daughter-in-
law, who were brought all the way from Port Simpson, a
distance of 600 miles, in direct answer to prayer. These
were soon rejoicing in Christ their Saviour, and after
spending some ten months in Victoria and learning the
way of God more perfectly returned to their distant northern home supplied with Bibles, hymn and school books,
and at once began preaching " Jesus and the Resurrection " to the thousands of T'simpsheans who composed
the village population. Thus the way was being prepared
for the opening of our mission at Port Simpson and other
points of that country, a work seldom, if ever, excelled in
the history of modern missions. The following year Mr.
Pollard, Chairman of the District, visited Port Simpson
and found 500 of the Indians attending religious services,
almost the whole tribe having abandoned heathenism.
After careful examination he baptized fifty, and assured
them in response to their earnest request, that a missionary would be sent them. Mr. C. M. Tate, missionary
teacher at Nanaimo, and now one of our most successful
and widely known workers, was sent to hold the fort.
In June, 1874, Mr. Crosby, accompanied by his cultured
and devoted wife, then a bride just out from Hamilton
city, took up his residence at Port Simpson, and these
noble workers for a quarter of a century, with brief intervals, spent their years and strength in establishing and
extending the work thus auspiciously begun. They passed
through trials sufficient to cause the stoutest heart to quail
had it not been for the supporting presence and grace of
God. Four of their precious children are buried at Port
Simpson, several of them torn in rapid succession from the
mother's arms during her husband's absence, by that fell
disease, diphtheria. But the work went on apace. The
writer had the privilege of spending a year at Port Simpson
on the removal of Mr. Crosby, and saw with delight the
marvellous transformation of the community wrought by the
power of the Gospel.
A volume would be required to tell even in outline the
story of the years that followed ; a record of heroic toil and
victory unsurpassed in the annals of missionary endeavor.
Only the most meagre summary can be given here.    The
^ 23
Macedonian cry began to come from other tribes, some of
whose people had visited Port Simpson and seen the
changed lives and happy condition of the people there.
An earnest call for a missionary came from Naas River,
which Mr. Crosby had visited, but the prayer was met by
the humiliating confession that on account of lack of funds
it would be impossible for the Society to extend the work.
After a night of anguished prayer and weeping Mr. Crosby
laid the matter upon the hearts ©f those present at the
uOQUELETZA HottE ,oa in.DLAtf BOYS ,«» 6IRLS
CRKTED BYTHE nT55iGNAPvY joffflltj or the ttTIfiODiST CHURCH or CANAE
-t Iwwwtf.ac te:3 T.,oiv.i Hqspes *arrlfr wctobw.&c
Saturday night prayer-meeting in good " Father " MacKay's
house in Victoria. The appeal was irresistible, and $300
was subscribed to send a missionary to Naas at once. The
God-sent messenger was found in the person of Mr. A. E.
Green, now Chairman of Vancouver District. Those were
grand days for old Pandora Street Church. Paying off
debts, enlarging their own sanctuary, first supporting a
missionary at Saanich, then to a large extent one at Naas, 24
at the same time contributing $640 to the General Missionary Fund and vigorously carrying on the work in their
own church, as well as among the Chinese and Indians in
the city ! What wonders God can accomplish by a few
spirit-filled men and women !
The work rapidly extended and God raised a number of
native workers who carried the Gospel not only to their
own people but to Alaska, where the Presbyterian Church,
which came in at Mr. Crosby's urgent call, has now half a
dozen or more missions. Missions of our own Church
were established at Skeena River, Queen Charlotte Islands,
Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Upper Skeena, Kitamaat, and at
many other points on the coast and in the interior. These
have been served by a succession of saintly and heroic men
and women, whose names alone would fill a page. They
turned many to righteousness and shall " shine as the stars
for ever and ever." As the result of their labors hundreds
of Indians are living the Christian life, having been won
from the most degrading paganism, while a multitude have
gone home and await their coming on the other shore.
At Cape Mudge a mission is still carried on under
extreme difficulties. The Indian school still lives at
Nanaimo. Rev. C. M. Tate and his wife, both veteran
missionaries, have carried on work for the past five years
among the Cowichan tribe. On the west coast of Vancouver Island we have two missions ; one of them little
more than a name and a rather expensive house. At
Nitinat Rev. W. J. Stone is sowing beside all waters. Who
can tell which shall prosper ?
Indians being regarded as the wards of the Dominion,
the Provincial Educational system does not make provision
for them. Our own General Board and Woman's Missionary Society, working in harmony with and assisted by the
Dominion Government, have quite a force of devoted men
and women engaged in educational and industrial work.
The Coqualeetza Industrial Institute at Chilliwack, the
leading Indian educational institution of the Province, has
one hundred boys and girls.
The Crosby Girls' Home at Port Simpson provides for
forty girls, the Boys' Industrial School at the same place
keeping up its end of the work.
The Home for Indian boys and girls at Kitamaat does
similar work, while almost every mission station has its
own school for mission children.
During recent years a number of medical missions have
been established among the Indians, with well equipped
REV.   C   M.   TATE.
Missionaries to the Indians in British Columbia. 26
hospitals at various points. The oldest of these is at Port
Simpson, where a large hospital was built some years ago
by Dr. A. E. Bolton, the pioneer of our Church in that
line. Four consecrated physicians are now in the field,
who carry the gospel of healing for body and soul to the
Indians, and are often ministers of mercy and help to the
scattered settlers of the North Coast.
As these lines are written, there is an earnest call being
made for laborers to take charge of several of the most
important mission stations, the ranks of the workers having
been depleted by  various causes.
Chinese Missions.
Early in i860 Miss Woodman (now Mrs. Thomas Cunningham, of Vancouver) opened a mission school for
Chinese in the pioneer church, New Westminster, and
continued it for some time. In 1869 a school was opened
in Victoria in a disused bar-room and was taught by Mrs.
Russ, the pastor's wife and others. In 1873,tne " Sanford "
Mission, supported by a liberal donation fiom the late
Senator Sanford, was opened in Victoria. The attendance
at one time rose to ninety and there were several conversions. The difficulties, arising principally from the lack
of anyone who could speak the Chinese tongue, were very
great, and the mission was discontinued in 1882. After an
interval of about three years, there came to Victoria, on
business, Mr. J. E. Gardner, the son of a Presbyterian
missionary in China, and himself born and brought up in
that country. He secured a position as interpreter to the
Custom House, and spent his evenings and Sundays in
preaching to and teaching the three thousand Chinese in
the city. A room was rented, and both night and Sunday
school started, with good success. Evangelistic services
soon followed, Mr. Gardner's first text being Acts 26. 18,
" Lai ome t'sau Kwong " (To turn from darkness to light).
During the summer of the same year, 1885, Rev. D.
Sutherland, General Secretary of Missions, visited the city,
and was much impressed with the importance of the work
thus providentially begun. He baptized eleven converts on
his return from the North, the occasion being one of great
joy to all concerned. In 1888 Mr. Gardner became a probationer for the ministry, and devoted his whole time to
the work. The mission at Victoria now comprises a
church, evening school, Bibje women's mission, and Rescue
Home for Chinese girls.    Suitable buildings have been pro-
L 27
vided, and the work is carried on by the united efforts of
the General Mission Board and the Women's Missionary
Miss Woodman's school in New Westminster has been
already mentioned, but permanent work among the Chinese
of that city did not begin until 1883, when the present
writer, assisted by his wife and daughter, Mrs. Monck,
opened an evening school in the parsonage dining-room.
The work in Vancouver was begun by the same persons,
and almost in precisely the same manner, a little later. At
both places there are now large and well-equipped premises
occupied by the missions, which have been blessed to the
salvation of many souls. At a missionary meeting held
some time ago in Vancouver, the converts were asked to
Missionaries to the Chinese in British Columbia.
relate their Christian experience, when it appeared that not
one, except the missionary, had ever heard the name of
Jesus till he came to this coast.
At Nanaimo, after various spasmodic efforts, a missionary
was appointed in 1894. A church has been erected, and
the work is being carried on with some degree of success.
The Gospel has also been preached to the Chinese at the
canneries on Skeena and Fraser rivers, at Chilliwack,
Donald and Kamloops. At the latter place a small band
of converts has been kept together and instructed for years.
Our native Chinese missionaries at present are So Pui Kow,
Victoria; Chan U Tan, Vancouver; Tong Chue Thom,
New Westminster, and Fong Dickman, Nanaimo.
Chinese Rescue Home.—In the early eighties Canada was 28
receiving annually from one to two hundred Chinese women
and girls, who were enslaved and brought into the country for
the vilest purposes. Mr. Gardner was touched by the inhuman wrongs and sufferings of these poor creaturqs, many of
whom before coming had been chaste as the morning dew.
He began the Christ-like work of rescuing them, and for
some time carried it on at his own expense. The first girl
rescued was hypnotized and resold in Chinatown for $250
by a white man. Fortunately she was again rescued, and
her abductor sentenced to nine months in prison. The
present Rescue Home was purchased by the General
Board, the Women's Missionary Society undertaking to run
it. The first matron appointed was Miss Leake, and from
that day a succession of noble women have sought to help
the unfortunate victims of avarice and lust. Some of them
have gone to the very gates of hell to snatch the prey from
the teeth of the destroyer. The full story of a dreadful
traffic, now happily almost destroyed, can never be fully told.
From Chinese dens to courts of justice Mr. Gardner and
his valiant helpers fought for the lives of these unfortunate
ones. Mr. Gardner's ability as a Chinese scholar, his knowledge of Chinese methods, his Christ-like courage and pity,
constituted him a foe of whom even the murderous " Highbinders I were afraid. All honor to the slender youth who
came boldly forward, in the face of fierce and powerful
opposition, even when a price was placed upon his head
and the written contract for his assassination signed and
sealed, and championed the cause of these shamefully
wronged fellow-creatures. Each of the rescued ones has a
history all her own, in many cases thrilling enough. It is
a noteworthy and encouraging fact that of the numbers
who have come into the Home scarcely one has returned to
an evil life. More than a score have been married from
the Home and are enjoying the blessings of Christian
citizenship. What better reply can be made to those who
question the utility of the work ? From our Chinese missions and Rescue Home have gone forth those who, in our
own Church, or in sister churches in Canada, the United
States and distant China, have been true witnesses for
Christ and self denying laborers in the mission field.
It may be added that latterly quite a number of Japanese
women have also found friendly shelter in the Home, for
which kindness the thanks of the Japanese consul have
been conveyed to the matron. 29
Japanese Missions.
The coming of large numbers of Japanese to British
Columbia has furnished an additional field of missionary
Missionaries to the Japanese in British Columbia.
effort, of which Methodism has taken advantage.    About
1888 we found a number of Japanese attending our Chinese mission on Sundays and also coming to the evening school
in Vancouver. These listened readily to religious instruction, and one, after three years' attendance, accepted
Christ as his Saviour and requested Christian baptism, which
was administered by the writer on September 27th, 1891,
being probably the first case of the kind in Canada. It
was interesting to see Kurakawa, the Japanese convert,
kneeling beside a Chinese brother who was baptized at the
s*ame time, while the nations to which they belonged were
at war with each other.
The following year Mr. L. W. Hall, our missionary to
the Chinese at Cumberland (Union Mines), gave considerable attention to the Japanese, and several of these were
subsequently baptized. Then followed Mr. Kobayashi, a
student from Victoria University, on his way to Japan;
Mr. Yoshioka, from Seattle, and Mr. Okamato, from the
Methodist Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Other
laborers were raised up who proved good soldiers of Jesus
Christ, preaching the Gospel to their fellow countrymen
throughout the province. A remarkable feature of the
Japanese work in this province has been the amount of
spontaneous effort put forth by the Japanese themselves,
and their liberality in supporting evangelistic and charitable
work. Numbers gave their whole time to evangelistic and
hospital work, while others toiled at ordinary labor and
gave all their earnings to the cause of Christ.
In August, 1896, Rev. Goro Kaburagi, a graduate of
Evanston, 111., and a minister of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, who had done good work in the Eastern States,
came, on the invitation of the Japanese, to visit his countrymen in British Columbia. He was deeply affected by the
condition of these scattered disciples, who were as a sheep
without a shepherd, and when they invited him to remain
with them he expressed his willingness to do so. The outcome was that he was received as a minister of the British
Columbia Conference and stationed at Vancouver. He at
once organized the Japanese work in connection with the
Methodist Church, and suitable laborers were appointed
A Japanese paper, the Vancouver Weekly, was started, and
is now published in full Japanese type. The hospital at
Steveston was also brought fully under the auspices of our
Church. The work is now carried on by recognized agents
of the Church in Vancouver, Victoria, Cumberland, Steves-
ton and Sapperton. In Vancouver a school for Japanese
children was begun in 1902,'during which year a gracious
revival of religion visited the various missions.
u Conclusion.—From the foregoing history of the coming
of Methodism to the British Pacific coast, it will be
apparent that in entering upon this work when she did the
Canadian church acted wisely in the interest of the nation
and of the kingdom of Christ. The two small colonies
have become a province, not the least in the Dominion,
and united to the others by bands of steel. British Colum- •
bia has such wonderfully rich and varied resources as to
reveal almost limitless possibilities for the future. The
Methodist Church has had a distinct and not unimportant
part in Canadianizing the Pacific colonies, and so far
conquering the land for Christ.
The latest statistics of Methodism in British Columbia
show: Preachers,85. Members—white,4,416; Indian,i,509;
Japanese, 159; Chinese, 89; total, 6,173. Raised for church
purposes during the year, $109,967. FORWARD MOVEMENT
The Missionary Bulletin is a necessity to
the Missionary Committee. It is needed to
help enrich the Monthly Missionary Meeting
and assist the Missionary Study Class. Anyone who wishes to keep in continual and
close touch with the mission work in West
China, Japan, and among the Japanese and
Chinese in British Columbia, the Indians
and Galicians, the Domestic and French
work, may do so by subscribing for the
Missionary Bulletin, 60 cents per year. This
publication contains quarterly letters from
over forty missionaries.
Postpaid, Cloth, $2.00; Paper, $1.00.
The Heart of Sz-Chuan, cloth, $J.00; paper, .35
Rex Christtjs    -
China and the Boxers
Confucianism   -
" The Heart of Sz-Chuan " contains information found in
no other publication, all of which is important to every
Methodist. The other three books supply special and
general information about China, her history, government   and   religion,   which   everyone should   know.
ClotH, $2.00; Paper, $1.00.
Forward Movement Declaration Cards,   50 for Toe
" Collectors'        "       -    3 for 5c
" " Treasurers' Books,  -   each, 5c
" " Envelopes,  -  per hundred, 10c
address, R C STEPHENSON,
Methodist Mission Rooms * Toronto.
^ Some Timely Books
From Rome to Protestantism. By Rev. Samuel McGerrald,
D.D., with introduction by Bishop Charles McCabe,
D.D., LL.D.
The spirit in which the book is writen is Christlike.
The boy of thirteen, who wept as he read for the first time
the account of our Saviour's trial and death, was led through
reading the Bible to accept Christ as the only Mediator
between God and man. The entrance of the Word gave
light, and the bright young life was given to God's service.
At the request of friends and in testimony of the power of
the Word and the Spirit of God to enlighten the understanding and regenerate the life, Dr. McGerrald has written
this intensely interesting story of his life, in the hope that
many may be helped by his experiences.    Price, 25 cents.
Methodism in Canada: Its Work and its Story.    By Rev.
A. Sutherland, D.D.    Price, $1.00.
The story of Methodism in Canada in all its picturesque-
ness, its heroism, its triumphant success, is surely worth the
telling, and never, we think, has it been so well told as in
this thirty-third Fernley Lecture, delivered at Penzance,
England, on July 31st last, by Rev. Alexander Sutherland,
D.D., Secretary of Missions of our Church. He .took
advantage of the opportunity to write a book of thrilling
interest and permanent value to world-wide Methodism,
small sections of which were delivered as the lecture. The
book measures 6x9 inches, containing 350 pages. It is
well bound in cloth. No minister or intelligent Methodist
should fail to read it.    To read it will mean to own it.
Indian Missions in British Columbia.   By Rev. C. M. Tate.
This is an interesting story of how the Gospel found its
way among the Indians of British Columbia. Mr. Tate has
been working among the Indians in British Columbia for
thirty-three years. In this pamphlet we have a valuable
record of the marvellous things the Gospel has done for the
Indians.   Price, 5 cents; cheaper in quantities.
These Books may be ordered from
F. C. Stephenson
Methodist Mission Rooms
Toronto Published by The Methodist Young
People's Forward  Movement
for Missions, Methodist
Mission Rooms,


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