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BC Historical Books

A pioneer 1851 [Macdonald, William John, 1832-1916] 1914

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1851  A
1851  Notes  by a Pioneer
I am the third son of the late Alex. Macdonald, of Valley
North Uist, and Glendale Isle of Skye, and his wife, Flora McRae,
daughter of Captain McRae, of Inverinet Kintail—my grandfathers
on father and mother's side were in the Army. My father served
first in the Navy, his discharge being purchased on account of his
father's death. He afterward served in the County Yeomanyry.
My early days spent at home in Aird and Kilmuir, under a
private tutor, with my three brothers. The first tutor being Rowland Hill Macdonald, son of an arm}' man who served in Egypt
under Lord Hill. My second tutor was the Rev. Donald Murray,
a hot tempered man who used to punish us severely. No doubt
we deserved punishment, but not to be struck on the fingers with
a heavy square ruler in frosty, weather. My best tutor was Alex.
McPhee, of the public school Uig, under whom I began to understand the benefit of education as being superior, and more useful
than outdoor exercises. Without vanity I may refer to an incident
of mutual confidence. Fish curers and fishermen came to Mr.
McPhee to settle disputed accounts. He said, "I will not undertake it, but ask William Macdonald to hear your case." I did
so, heard both sides of the disagreement, revised their accounts
and in two hours settled the matter to the satisfaction of both
parties. This being my first judicial act, at the age of 17.
I had my first appointment to any work, my father and self
were asked by Admiral Fishbourne, in charge of the Isle of Skye
relief work during the famine, owing to the unaccountable potato
blight, to administer relief and provide employment for the destitute, the men road-making and the women knitting stockings.
Our supervision extending to the parishes of Snizort and Kilmuir.
After a time Admiral Fishbourne called me to headquarters at
Portree, to be his private secretary and superintendent of work.
This year my eldest brother left   for   Australia   to   try   his
fortune.    Married there and died, leaving a large family.
The end of this year my father died, also my grandmother,
Mrs. McRae, of Knitail.    I was offered   by   the   Hon.   Edward Ellico, of Glenguich, a director of the Hudson's Bay Company, a
position in the company's service in Vancouver Island, which I
could not then accept on account of my father's death.
Early this year I left home, bidding a sorrowful farewell to ,
my mother, sisters and cousin, Jessie McCaskill—on my way to
take up my appointment—going first to my'uncle and aunt McLean, at Inverness, where I remained four months, receiving the
greatest kindness and attention. While there I attended a mathematical class. My next stage being to Stirling, to visit my cousins,
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, where I continued to early November, the
month my ship was to sail. From the dear Mitchells I received
the greatest kindness, attending a French class while there, for
which they paid. When at Stirling, Harriet and Isobella, my
cousins, Mrs. Mitchell's sisters, came on a visit. After their stay
of some weeks, we left for a visit to the Highlands, chiefly to the
Island of Tyree, to my uncle, the Rev. Neil McLean, parish
minister, and his wife. From Tyree back to Stirling with Mrs.
Mitchell, and leaving for London in November, to join my ship
for Vancouver Island. On my arrival in the city I went direct
to the Hudson's Bay offices, Fenchurch Street, to report to Mr.
Barclay, the head secretary, who received me cordially, and secured room for me at the George and Vulture Hotel. Next I went
to Favel and Bonsfield, outfitters, to purchase an outfit for my
long voyage. Having met John and Hugh Macdonald, of Monk-
stadt, who lived in the West End, of London. I took rooms near
them. Hugh was in the Custom House St. Cathrine Dock. Previous to embarking I met Captain William Mitchell to be fellow
passenger coming to Victoria to take command of - the steamer
Beaver. Also I met John M. Wark, a clerk in the service, coming
out. At the end of November I embarked on the slow old-fashioned
barque, Torry, 500 tons, Captain Duncan, who had his wife on
board. She had a piano with her, was plain looking, wore curls
and squinted. Robert Williams, first mate, a good natured mar.
who sang well; Herbert Lewis, second mate, not so agreeable,
and Jay, third mate. Captain James Cooper, supercargo, with his
young wife, and' George Johnston, surgeon, were on board. Also
Richard Golledge, a clerk, who wrote a beautiful hand, and became
secretary to Mr. Douglas, Chief Factor.
Poor Golledge was depraved, living for years among the Song-
hees Indians, and died at their village.   John Work was stationed
Page Four at Fort Simpson, Cariboo and Victoria respectively, died in 1909,
leaving a wife and family.
Our ship was towed down to Gravesend, where Captain Langford, wife and five daughters, and Captain Cooper and wife came
on board. Captain Pelly, ship's husband, and W. G. Smith, assistant secretary, Hudson's Bay House, came on an inspection
visit before the ship sailed. Mr. Smith thoughtfully placed £10
in my hand on sailing. The Langfords brought a mastive dog and
a goat on board.
In the first cabin twenty-one of us, in the second cabin, thirty;
and in the steerage, ninety labouring men and families. Among
those in the second cabin were Mr. and Mrs. Blinkhorn and Mrs.
Ella, then fourteen year old. Mr. Blinkhorn was bailiff to Captain Cooper, on a farm at Metchosen. Miss Cameron, fresh from
school, a neice of Mr. Douglas, was on board, and W. H. Newton, one of 4he Langford party, who married the eldest daughter
of John Todd chief trader in the service of the Hudson's Bay
Company, he was taken into, the service and died at Fort Langley.
Miss Cameron married W. H. G. Young, naval secretary to Captain Prevost, of the Satellite. After leaving the Colony he became
governor of the Gold Coast, Africa, died there of fever.
The Hudson's Bay Company having a lease of Vancouver
Island on certain conditions, one being to colonize, which will account for our steerage passengers.
Soon after putting to sea we encountered severe gales, chiefly
in the Bay of Biscay. Close reefed topsails for days, green seas
washing over us. This delay caused an apprehension as to the
scarcity of food, water and stores generally, which determined the
Captain and Supercargo to put in to Saint Jago, in the Cape de
Verdes, off Portugal, and belonging to that country. Here we
obtained supplies of different kinds. Our ladies and others of us-
who were anxious to land, did so. Our- boats could not safely
touch the beach, owing to the heavy surf, and we had to be carried by coloured natives to land. All of us young men secured
saddle horses and rode off to the country, a beautiful ride through
vineyards, orange groves and tropical foliage, which we enjoyed
exceedingly after being cooped on shipboard for nearly a month.
Had dinner at the Central Hotel, then off to our ship in a large
lighter ladden with stores, and a crew of dusky men. Our position was far from safe with a head swell, and two of our passengers
having embibed rather freely, quarreled with the crew. On sailing
from Cape de Verdes we soon got to the tropics—trade winds, our companions being porpoises and flying fish. I used to enjoy
being soused in the wash deck in early mornings. Mrs. Duncan
having a piano, and Aubery Dean, a second cabin passenger, having a metal flute, we used to have dances after dinner, on the
quarter deck. As we neared the Falkland Islands the weather be- ''
came much cooler, gales, rain, thunder and lightning. Very
stormy off the River de la Plata.
Here we enter on 1851. Sailing south with strong head wind,
snow and hail, going to 63 degrees south in trying to round Cape
Horn. After getting into the Pacific Ocean our voyage was uneventful, no ships met, no land sighted. Our food by this time
three months out, became bad and scarce, cheese and biscuits full
of weevils, water scarce and putrid part of the time. After water
is some time in tanks or barrels it becomes putrid and smells offensively, but after a time clarifies.
Very monotonous sailing week after week without seeing any
signs of life besides some sea birds and porpoises. Arrived at
Victoria, Vancouver Island, 14th May, 1851. Although the voyage
was long and tedious I had no wish to leave the ship and so many
friends, made on our long voyage. However, the next day after
anchoring, Mr. Douglas, Chief Factor in charge, sent Mr. George
Simpson in a large canoe manned by Indians, to take me on shore.
On landing walked up the Fort to the Mess Hall, where I was
met by Mr. Douglas and Mr. R. Finlayson, who gave me a cordial welcome, had early dinner, as the custom was, enjoyed the
change of food from the ship—mutton, fish, grouse, etc., and fresh
After dinner John Ogilvy, a stalwart young clerk in the
service, brought two horses round to the hall, and off we went for
a scamper round Beacon Hill and Clover Point, which I enjoyed
immensely. Wild clover over those parts a foot high, which has
died out. Milk and butter in abundance, the company having a
dairy of one hundred cows on the hill where the Cathedral now
stands, afterwards moved to where the Pemberton house now
The Langford family occupied a small log house outside the
Fort, where the first white boy in Victoria -was born—George
Langford. Six hundred acres of land were alotted to Captain
Langford at Colwood, to establish a sheep farm. Here he built
a house to which he removed his family, where they lived in comfort for some years, but the farming did not succeed.    The eldest daughter, a first-class piano player, married Captain Joslin, of the
Navy. The second daughter married Captain Lewis, of the
H.B.C., and the third married Mr. Bull, lieutenant in the Navy.
After a few days rest, I was installed in the Company's chief
office, with Chief Factor Finlayson.
At this time there were no houses outside the Fort, all the
officers and men, about seventy in all, lived inside the Fort, gates
locked every night and watchmen set. In the month of June I
was sent to San Juan Island to establish a salmon fishery, starting
in a canoe, with an Indian crew, Joseph W. McKay as pilot and
locator of a site, and four French Canadian workmen. We selected
a small sheltered bay, erected a rough shed for salting, packing
and canning of salmon, not known at that time, afterwards to become such an extensive and remunerative industry.
This year being a short run of fish only 60 barrels of salmon
were cured. The first month on this Island I lived under a very
primitive rough shelter, four posts stuck in the ground with a
ceder bark roof, and wolves used to prowl round us all night. My
men soon built a house for me of rough logs, with bedstead and
table of the same, and as the Hudson's Bay Company always furnished plenty of blankets, I had a very comfortable bed. Soon
the old schooner Cadboro, Captain Dixon, came into our little bay
with different kinds of supplies. I removed my quarters to her,
and after a month we came back to Victoria, and I went back
to office work.
The end of this year Dr. J. S. Helmcken came down from
Fort Rupert to Victoria, where he continued to reside as medical
man to the company's officers and men.
The Hon. J. S. Helmcken deserves more notice than I have
given him. He was a kind hearted, generous man, always willing
to help others, never asked for a fee for professional services. He
was a man of ability, and acted as Speaker for the Legislative
Assembly for many years. At the writing of this he is still with
us, at the age of ninety-one. May God bless him, and in His own
good time gather him to His Kingdom.
Every Saturday after 1 o'clock all work ceased, some of us
riding out by Cedar Hill or Cadboro Bay, or canoeing to Esquimalt
or up the Arm. Captain Dodd, who had retired from the command
of the Beaver to begin farming, returned to the service and to his
old command, trading in the North being the chief business.
Captain Mitchell was given command of a schooner called the
Una, employed in the trade with the Sandwich Islands.
Page Seven 1852
The winter of this year Captain James Murray Reid, in command of the Brigantine Vancouver, arrived with his wife and
three daughters. Mr. Williams, who was first officer of the Tory,
was first officer of the Vancouver.
Soon after arrival the Vancouver sailed for San Francisco, to I
bring up Mr. and Mrs. Cameron from Demarara. He became
Chief Justice, and lived at Belmont, Fort Simpson next. Mr.
Swanson, as pilot, taking the outside passage and in rounding
•Queen Charlotte Island to make Fort Simpson, they were wrecked
on Rose Spit or Sands. The ship having a valuable cargo on
board, and some barrels of rum. The Indians being fierce and
savage, began pillaging, so Captain Reid and Swanson thought it
wise to burn the ship, which they did. This so enraged the Indians that they threatened the life of the white men, but on promise of compensation an amicable settlement was reached. This
catastrophe was a sad thing for Captain Reid. No ship, No pay,
with a. wife and family to support and a home to build for them,
but he did not lose heart, and went into the mercantile business
on his own account. This year the ship Norman Morrison arrived
from London with a mail and supplies of all kinds, and bringing
Mr. Kenneth McKenzie, wife and family, and forty mechanics and
labourers and their families, also Mr. Thomas Skinner, wife and
family, with a like compliment of men. The former took up 640
acres, known as Craigflower, built a dwelling, mens' houses and
barns and stables, commenced farming, but did not succeed. The
latter took up 640 acres, known as Constance Farm, went through
the same operation and failure. Had these farms produced
largely, there was no market in those days, there not being more
than 200 white people in the whole colony. From time to time we
had visits from Hudson's Bay officers, such as Mr. Manson, Mr. •
Ballantine, Mr.- H. N. Pearce, and occasionally a visit from Englishmen such as Captain Palliser, Dr. Hector and the Hon. Fitz-
william. Three years time passed quietly, without any stirring
The Russian war was going on, but we had very meagre news
of what was being done in the Crimea and Sevastopol. Two
British ships, the Pigue arid President, with Admiral Evans went
north to Pretropauleski, to attack a small Russian settlement, accompanied by two French ships. An armed party was landed and
beaten back to their boats, some officers and men being wounded.
Page Eight over which she
:ould fire at the British ships, doing much damage,
knocking yards
and masts to pieces.    Our ship could not touch
the Aurora, she
ltered inside the headland.    The British Admiral
lost heart and
shot himself.    The French Admiral, an old man,
would take no r
esponsibility, so the ships came south, the officers
qUltCI wislent 1
>y Governor Douglas to Esquimalt to welcome the
Pique and Pres
ident and found the officers in mourning at the
death of their -A
dmiral, and having virtually been beaten.
The inciden
t of the ships going north led to the establishment
Mr. Dougla
s this year, 1855, erected two buildings to be used
as hospitals in
:ase of wounded men coming in.
The end of
this year I fell into bad health and insomnia. My
doctor said I m
ust have a change.   The officers of.the President
kindly offered n
le a passage to San Francisco, which I gladly ac-
CCP This year a
little trouble arose in the Songhees camp.    An
Indian shot an o
x.   The guilty man was demanded by Mr. Douglas
and Mr. Finlays
on, but the Indians refused to give him up, where
upon two boats
with raw labourers were manned and armed in
command of Mr
. Finlayson.    They pulled over to the village and
demanded that
the guilty man be surrendered.    When the boats
got into shoal v
rater the Indians, instead of giving up the guilty
man, made a d
ish for the boats, hauled them up high and dry,
wrenched the g
ins out of the mens' hands, leaving the war ex-
pedition helples
s, but were  allowed to return to the  Fort with
their boats.    Th
en the steamer Beaver dropped down in front of
the village with
ler guns run out ready to fire.   On this demonstra-
tion the Indian
5 gave in, surrendered the guilty man, who was
taken to the Fo
t, lashed to an oak tree, flogged and let go.
The Preside
nt making the fastest sailing trip I ever made—
from Esquimalt
to San Francisco in two days   and   a   half,   750
miles—a strong
northwest wind and the ship'a swift sailer.
On arriving
in San Francisco, Mr. James Lowe, agent for the
Hudson's Bay
Company, put me up, dining every   day   at   the
Union Club—g
jod company, old  and young Britishers,  and  an
excellent table
<ept, Captain Coady, an   old   army   man,   being
secretary.    Whi
e there, news of the fall of Sevastopol came, much
hold a grand m
usical festiva" and   banqu^wnkh   wafT great
Page Nine success. On the outskirts of the city a pavilion to seat and dine
3,000 persons was erected of scantling, covered with cotton. Two
British ships happened to be in harbour at the time, which added
to the festival. A row was caused towards the end of the festival
by American rowdies cutting down the French and British flags,
fortunately some British sailors were on the ground, who quickly /
secured the flag, climbed up and waved them from the top
of the pavilion.
From here I went on to Honolulu in the barque Yankee, Captain Smith, a good specimen of the jolly old sailor. At 12 noon
he always asked us down to his cabin to have some old rye. A
fast ship and a good sailor. Making the voyage in 14 days. We
had a theatrical party on board. A young, good looking woman
married an old man. They did not enliven the voyage much.
On landing at Honolulu I reported to Mr. Clouston, chief
trader in charge, who secured sleeping quarters for me, and I
boarded with him at Mrs. Voufister's, a kind, agreeable widow
lady, who, I think, was in love with Mr. Clouston, but no marriage took place. Mr. Joseph Hardisty was chief clerk. He and
I took a native cottage up Nuana Valley by a mountain stream, in
which we both bathed before sunrise, afterward it would be too
hot. We kept native ponies, which were fed by the owner with
cut grass.    Every day we enjoyed our ride.
Called on General Miller, the British Consul, who lived with
a sister in a suburban villa, lawns, gardens and iron railing being
after the British style. The General was a fine old English soldier who fought with Peru against Chili. On retiring he received
a present of $350,000. Here I met a Mr. Wyllie, who was Foreign
Minister to the Government, a very agreeable, well-informed
Mr. Adams, a former shipwrecked carpenter, settled in the
suburb, married a native, had a beautiful garden with tropical
fruit trees. He gave a native feast and dance in honor of Mr.
Hardisty and self, to which he invited King Kamhamra the III,
who came on horseback, accompanied by two mounted attendants.
He threw off his coat and squatted down on mats, like all of us,
to dinner of roast turkey, roast pork and other dishes spread on
mats on the ground. After dinner there was native music and
dancing. Not being in very robust health I consulted a Dn. Hilde-
brand, who prescribed for me to advantage. About this time Captain Mitchell arrived from V
brigantine Recovery, with a cargo of salt salmon.
Dr.  McGibbon, Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes and Dr.
I met Mr. Montsteratt, a most handsome man, i
made some purchases to take back to Victoria, on whi
The scenery round Honolulu is very fine. First
hill, the top of which is a pretty green hollow the
extinct volcano, then 6 miles ride up to the Paley, thr
the face of this rock,
in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Arrived at Victoria
March, and after seeing and greeting old friends, went
Dffice work. Nothing of any consequence taking place,
war coming and going. An Indian had shot a white
■ the tribe refusing to give him up, an expedition was
ith the
tter with Sir James Douglas, Captain Mowat; myself as Captain
: Militia, with fifty men. On landing we were met by 200 armed
idians, with their faces blackened, who danced and shouted in
ont of us.    We marched on, not taking   notice   of   the   Indian
Northern Indians, who used to land on their way home and shoot
In 1854 Captain Mouat took the brigantine Mary Dare to
England, with Mr. Williams as first officer. In 1855 Captain
Mauat married and came back with his wife, a gentle, educated
lady. The Rev. E. Cridge. Chaplin to the Hudson Bay Company.
and his young wife, arrived on the same ship. In the same year John Flett, a cooper
pany's service, came out with his young w
wards became Bishop of the Reformed Ch
A few settlers coming in and taking u
This was a momentous year for me, having married Cathrine
Balfour Reid, second daughter of Captain Reid.
The end of the year the second white child in Victoria was
born. The present mother of four children. We lived in a home
built by me, called Glendale Cottage, afterwards known as the
Badminton Club. Sold by me some years afterwards for $40,000.
Cost me about $5,000.
At"the end of this year gold was discovered on the banks of
the Thompson River. Many of the sailors of the Company's vessels deserted for the mines. The news of this discovery spread
near and far. The gold products of California had by this time
become much less, which caused a keener rush to this country,
consequently a gold fever set in the spring and summer of 1858.
In the spring and summer of this year our small community
of about 200 persons was augmented by an invasion of about
thirty-five thousand persons, from the United States chiefly, but
from many other countries. Many of them splendid, hardy men
composed of miners, mechanics, doctors, lawyers, and many idlers.
No houses, no food or supplies for so many people. Meantime
they sought shelter as best they could. Fortunately it was summer time and they could camp in the open fields. Before many
weeks passed vessels arrived from San Francisco with mining
supplies, sawn timber, canvas, cotton, and food of all kinds. Soon
there was a cotton or a canvas town—restaurants, shops and
dwellings. Many buying town lots, then selling for $50 and $100,
and building on them. Soon Victoria began to have the appearance of a town, and regular streets. A few of the working men of
the Company had small log houses outside the Fort, which may
have cost then about $100 cash, and woke up in the morning to
be offered $5,000 and $7,000 for their holdings. All readily sold
their property, and the free use of strong drink was too much for
them. In two or three years all were poor as before, and nearly
all had died. They were principally French Canadians—first class
workmen, if kept sober. In the rising town, water was very scarce, the chief supply
being at Spring Ridge, about a mile from Government Street. It
was carted in 90 gallon hogsheads, and delivered at one dollar
each. Some people dug wells, were supplied that way. After a
time water was laid on in wooden pipes, chiefly for fire purposes,
tanks being dug at the intersection of streets. The men who
came in from San Francisco being used to frequent disastrous fires
in that town, organized fire companies, purchased their own apparatus, gave their time gratutiously, which proved a great boon to
the young town, on many occasions saving it from destruction.
At this time there was no organized City authority, the Colonial
Government looking after streets, drains, etc. No attempt at
sewerage for many years.
I was worked very hard this year. Men being scarce I was put
to do many jobs, taking the place of a gentlemanly fine man, Captain Sangster, who became incapacitated, as collector of
customs and postmaster, then Gold Commissioner, issuing Mining
licenses. A guard ship being anchored in the mouth of the Fraser
River, no miners could pass up .without showing a license. Then
I was commissioner, road commissioner and Captain of Militia.
In the clerical part of this work I was greatly assisted by my wife
and her sister, Mary Ann.
No printing to be had in those days. A free port prevailed,
an importer could land to any value by paying one dollar permit.
Extensive importers were much surprised to know they could import to any amount for so insignificant a fee. The idea of a Free
Port was to establish an emporium for British goods on the Pacific
Coast, but it proved a failure, as the Pacific Coast merchants
could import direct from Europe, and bond their goods. A Free
Port is a bad policy commercially, inducing more exports to be
sent than a market can absorb, causing a glut and depreciation.
Sir James Douglas relieved me of some of those duties, giving
Mr. Alex. Anderson, an old friend and Hudson's Bay Chief Trader,
the position of Collector of Customs. He unfortunately employed
a man called Angelo, as chief clerk, who took what did not belong
to him, and was put in prison, and Mr. Anderson had to retire.
Seing the failure of a Free Port, a duty of twelve per cent,
was levied. The end of this year I retired from the service of the
Hudson's Bay Company, and joined Captain Reid in the mercantile business. 1859
This year I was induced to seek election as Member of the
Legislature for Sooke. Mr. Naylor, then sheriff, and myself proceeded to Sooke in an Indian canoe for the election. A hasty proclamation was made before election day. The few electors, the
sheriff and myself went to the harbor front, and used the deck of
a small steamer, then building, as a hustings. Mr. Muir proposed
me as a fit and proper person to be member for Sooke. Another
Muir seconded the motion, carried and I became member without
opposition. We had a stormy return trip, so much so that we
landed at Gordon Head, the Indians camping for the night. We
walked on in the   face   of   rain and wind to Belmont, where Mr.
harbour, from there we walked to Victoria, wet and tired. This
year I sat for the first time in the Legislature of the colony. Dr.
J. S. Helmcken, Speaker; G. H. Carey, Attorney-General, and Mr.
A. G. Young, Colonial Secretary. Dr. Tolmie, A. R. Green and
others were members, and Dr. Kennedy, Member for Nanaimo.
An uneventful year. Not much trade on account of the
Fraser River mines not turning out well. The Hudson's Bay Company purchased the American steamer Enterprise, to run between
Victoria and Westminster, commanded in turn by Captains Swanson and Lewis.
•     1861
This year my second daughter, Edythe Mary, was born. A
Captain Owens, with propeller steamer, Sea Bird, attempted the
navigation of the Fraser from Victoria to Yale, making the up
trip against stream successfully, but in coming down river was
wrecked or driven on a sand bank. No appliances within reach
for hauling off or launching. She remained there until winter,
when the water was low, and was then launched, coming to Victoria to be refitted. Captain and Mrs. Owens lived in our home
for months, and their young sister, Emma, while the steamer was
aground.    Her first trip was to Port Townsend, on pleasure, in My sister-in-law, Mary Ann, was married to Captain William
Moriarty, and my wife's cousin, Mary Harcuss, was married to
John Coles. We gave them a wedding breakfast at our first house,
Glendale Cottage. Soon after the wedding Moriarty was ordered to
England, and John Coles went to farm at Saanich. Mrs. Moriarty
left for England, March, 1861, to join her husband, who had been
appointed to the training ship, Britannia.
My wife and self, with our two daughters, determined to visit
the Old Country. I had by this time been twelve years from
home. We left our house to Capt. Reid and Lilly, and sailed in
the steamer, Brother Jonathan, for San Francisco, putting up for
a few days there in a very nice house, Mrs. Lewis', when we again
met Mrs. Owens, who was so attentive and kind. Took passage
on the steamer Golden Gate for Panama, a fine, large steamer.
Among the passengers were Southern and Northern Americans
who took different sides on the Civil war then raging in the United
States. Drink, pistols and evil tempers caused a collision, which
our Captain Caverly had trouble in quieting.
A very interesting voyage along the coasts of lower California,
Mexico, Guatamala, San Salvador, Costa Rica and Columbia. Vol-
canos to be seen at night burning up, and numerous sharks in different harbours to be seen.
San Salvador has a beautiful circular harbour. The town Js
old fashioned with narrow streets, and the sewerage and drainage
in the middle of the streets open. Two Spanish ladies came off
to the ship here, and took a great fancy to our two girls, with their
fair hair and rosy cheeks, and nothing would do but they must
land with them, to which we thoughtlessly consented. The time
came for up anchor and the sailing of the ship had arrived. No
children come, we got into a panic and were helplss to do anything
to get them back. Much to our relief, and at the very last moment,
on board they came. We made up our minds not to be caught that
way again. On now to Panama, a quaint Spanish town, which
had been fortified at one time, even now a wall twelve feet wide
surrounded the town, and the soldiers' barracks were in the wall.
Soldiers, all coloured, with no clothing beyond a cotton cloth
round the loins. Many fine old churches in the town, also many
priests. Parrots and dogs, the two later, with frequent bell ringing, did not conduce to sound sleep. We put up at the Aspenwall
Hotel for a night. A fine old building, large rooms, polished floors,
Page Fifteen antique furniture. Food not good—beef never is in hot countries—
water not good, and ice 25 cents per pound, just sufficient for one
drink. Took train next day for Colon or Aspinwall, on the east
side of the Isthmus of Panama, on the Caribbean Sea, boarded the
old-fashioned paddle wheel steamer, Clyde. Very hungry. Had
great difficulty in getting a little supper. A Mr. Gibson, from
Peru, a fellow passenger, insisted of having something to eat,
finally biscuit and cheese were set before us. Steamed on for the'
Island of St. Thomas, belonging to Denmark. Had a strong head
wind, sea washing oyr decks fore and aft and nearly all our passengers very sick.
Joined the fine, large steamer Tasmanian, Capt. Sawyer, for
Southampton, had a fine run from the picturesque town and harbour of St. Thomas, to Southampton, had a very good table, good
food, well cooked, carved at table, old fashioned way. Fell on the
gang plank at St. Thomas. Nearly drowned. On landing went to
Goodricks Hotel, ordered dinner, which was good enough—at five
shillings each—two shillings and six pence use of the room, and
one shilling six pence for waiter. The two latter charges we considered an outrage, and told the landlord so We were bound first
for Portland, where Moriarty and Mary Ann were living, telegraphed to know if they were at home. The first telegraph we
ever had, came. Could not make out its meaning. However, we
took train for Weymouth, from there by cab to Portland, along
the Chisel beach, a long, tedious drive, found Moriarty and Mary
Ann away, put up for the night at their rooms. Next day went to
the hill above Portland Village, to witness a military review. In
walking about, Mary Ann came on the scene. We were so delighted to meet. We took a better house between us, stayed some time.
King Edward was married while we were here, and the war ships
were illuminated with old-fashioned candle lanterns. In the
Autumn went to London, this being the year of the great exhibition
of 1862, we had much difficulty in finding apartments. Visited the
exhibition, saw the Crown diamonds, and a pyramid of gold representing the gold received from Australia up to 1862, being gilded
stucco, looked just like gold. From London went to Glasgow to
pay a visit to Peter Reid, my wife's uncle, from there I went to
Stirling, taking Flora with me, on a flying visit to my cousins,
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, the most generous and kind people living.
Then back to Glasgow for a day or two, from then to Inverness to visit my uncle and aunt McLean, of Telford Street, and my sister and brother-in-law, the Gregories at Academy Street.
We enjoyed the steamer and canal trip by Crinan and Caledonian
Canals, from Glasgow to Inverness. After a good long visit here
we proceeded to Skye by Glasgow steamer from Oban, to visit
my mother, whose joy was unbounded, and sister Christina and
Mr. John Tolmie, at the manse of Braeadale, who met us at Portree
to drive us to his manse. From there to Rodil Harris to visit my
aunt Mary and Captain Macdonald, who had retired from the
Army in India, was then sheep farming, and factor for Lord Dun-
more. From here went to Valley North West, my ancestors home
for centuries, now occupied by Mrs. MacRae and family, widow
of the Rev. Finlay MacRae, then back to Skye, on to Inverness,
and London, sailing from Southampton for Victoria, via the West
Indies, Panama and San Francisco, getting home in July 1863.
My third daughter, Lilias Christina, was born. Very glad to be
back in our old and first home. This year Captain Reid and Lilly
came to live at our house, as he and I had given up business, and
the ground on which his dwelling stood was used for new stores,
to be erected.
In coming back by the West Indies we were fortunate in having the same steamer and Captain we had going to England in
1862. On board were a Dr. Gallage, wife and two daughters, from
Peru, on their way back. The eldest daughter very handsome,
the second not so handsome, but a kind hearted, nice girl. She
took a great fancy to Edythe, then 3 years old, used to nurse her
and amuse her. Captain and Mrs. Devereaux,-just married, were
on board, on their way to Porto Rica, where Mrs. Devereaux's
father lived, engaged in sugar raising. Hearing from us about
Vancouver Island, the year following they were in Victoria,, he
getting employment in the Government service. Have lived here
ever since, raising a large family.
Governor Douglas retired this year, and visited Europe with
his daughter Martha, a handsome young girl, now Mrs. Harris.
Governor Kennedy arrived in succession to Governor Douglas,
accompanied by his wife and two daughters. The eldest married
Lord Gilford, Captain of the Tribune. Soon after his marriage
he became Earl Can William. I may record an incident about the
second Miss Kennedy, Georgie. In 1889 I was in Hyde Park, London, on a Sunday, standing not far from a lady and gentleman.
She laughed heartily. . I said to my son, if Georgie Kennedy is
Page Seventeen alive, that must be her. I went up and spoke to her, reminding
her of old days in Victoria—the gist of this story is—I had not
met her for 18 years, and remembered her by her laugh.
The Mainland, then called New Caledonia, was proclaimed a
colony under the name of British Columbia, Governor Douglas
acting governor of both colonies for a time. On his retiring, Governor Kennedy acted as joint Governor. General Moody, with a
company of Royal Engineers, arrived in 1859, took his residence
at Westminster, acting as deputy of the Governor.
In 1865 Governor Seymour came out as governor of the new
colony of British Columbia.
In 1866 the two colonies were united, Governor Kennedy retiring, and Governor Seymour becoming governor of the joint
colonies under the name of British Columbia.
This year I was elected Alderman of Victoria. The revenue
was very small and we could not carry out many improvements.
We added a new drawingroom to the house—the finest room
in Victoria at that time. During the building we camped in the
garden, enjoying the change.
In 1863, William Blakeny came out in the same ship to join
in the coast survey carried on then by Commander Pender in the
old H. B. Company steamer "Beaver," which sailed from London
via Cape Horn, arriving at Vancouver, Columbia River, in 1826.
Commander Mist came out at the same time on his way to
Honolulu to marry Miss McGibbon. He afterwards commanded
the Sparrowhawk at Esquimalt, he and his wife living at Maple
Dr. and Mrs. Patrick came out this year. He was surgeon in
the "Sutlezy," flag-ship of Admiral Denman.
Governor Seymour called me to the Legislative Council sitting
at New Westminster, the seat of government. Mr. Arthur Birch
was Colonial Secretary, and Mr. Henry Crease—afterwards a
Supreme Court Judge as Sir Henry—was Attorney General. The
. members to the Legislature at this time were Dr. Helmcken, Mr.
Pemberton, Dr. Cosmos, Captain Stamp and Southgate. Nearly
all government officials were members of the Legislature.
In the first session the Vancouver Island members carried a
resolution for the removal of the capital from New Westminster
to Victoria. This caused much ill feeling at New Westminster,
naturally, as it was a great blow at the progress and life of that In 1869 Governor Seymour died while up north in H.M.S.
"Sparrowhawk," Captain Mist. His place was taken by Mr. Anthony Musgrave, who had been Governor of Newfoundland, whose
chief mission was to bring about the federation of British Columbia
with the Eastern Provinces of Canada which had federated in
1867. Consequently a deputation was sent in 1871 to the Federal
capital at Ottawa to arrange the terms on which British Columbia
would unite. The deputation was composed of J. W. Trutch, then
Commissioner of Lands and Works, Dr. J. S. Helmcken, and
Dr. Carroll.
The terms asked for by our Commisisoners were a wagon road,
a graving dock, the pay of our governor, judges, customs, post-
office and inland revenue officials, and to pay a subsidy annually
of eighty-five cents per head of the population; the Dominion to
take the customs, post-office and inland revenues.
Sir John Macdonald, Premier at this time, was laid up very
ill, and Sir George Cartier, who was acting, said no, we will not
give a wagon road but we will build a railway. So into the bill of
federation went the provision for a railway.
Sir Joseph Trutch was appointed our first Lieutenant-
This year Sir Hector Laugevin visited the Province to have a
look at things generally and to pick out Senators. He sent for
me to see what I was like, and at the end of the year my commission arrived as Senator. Dr. Carroll and Mr. Cornwall were the
other Senators.
The first members to the Dominion Parliament were Henry
Nathan, Amor de Cosmos, Messrs. Wallace, Nelson, Horner,
Haughton and Thomson.
Barron Nicholson took our house for a year and I proceeded
to Ottawa with my wife and five children, who were going to
England. We travelled by steamer to New York. While there
we put up at the Grand Central Hotel. The waiters were much
taken with our children's fair hair and rosy cheeks.
My wife and children took passage to Liverpool by the
steamer "Queen." They went to London, and afterwards to Mit-
cham to live with Blakeney and Lilly, where they lived for four
months. I went to Ottawa to Parliament, which assembled in
April, three months later than usual.    Evidently the Government was afraid to meet Parliament on account of the concessions to the
United States under the Treaty of Washington enabling that
country to take fish and bait within certain prescribed limits.
Parliament prorogued in July, and I visited Quebec and the
Falls of Montmorenzie on my way to England to join my family.
After a short stay at Mitcham we went to Stirling and Inverness. Coming back to Mitcham in the late Autumn, we took a
house at Mitcham and had Miss Clark of Inverness as governess
to the children.
From there I went to Ottawa to the session of 1873, taking
passage in the Allan steamer "Polyniscan." We had very rough
weather, and landed at Portland on account of the ice in the St.
Lawrence, taking train to Montreal and Ottawa. I returned to
England at the end of the session.
Soon after my return from Ottawa we went to Inverness,
accompanied by Blakeney and Lilly. My wife and Lilly went to
Orkney, taking two children; Blakeney and myself went on to
Oban, Staffa, Blachulish, Glen Coe, Tighendrum and Kilin,
Bredalbane estate at the end of Loch Tay. We saw a magnificent
park, well stocked with red deer. We walked on to Aberfeldie,
visited the romantic Bicks of Aberfeldie. We took the train for
To meet my wife and Lilly we went back to Inverness, taking
a house there for a time. Blakeney and Lilly went to their home
at Mitcham. We then took all the children and went to our
cousins at Stirling, where we had a long stay. The Mitchells kept
open house—too much so for their own purse.
From there my wife and self went to London and took rooms
at Montague Street. We had Regy and Willie with us, Flora,
Edythe and Tiny being left at Stirling.
We arranged for our passages to New York. Jennie Pearse,
who was coming out to her uncle, Mr. Bales, met us at Liverpool,
and James McKie came up from Stirling with the three girls. We
had a slow steamer, "The City of Montreal." We had taken
tickets for San Francisco via Panama, and much to our disgust we
passed the Panama steamer going out of New York as we were
going in, having.sailed a day ahead of time, for which I made the
Pacific Mail Company pay compensation as it meant ten days in a
New York hotel. This year, 1873, we had a great stirring up in Church matters.
In 1872 old Christ Church was burned to the ground, the congregation taking refuge in the Pandora Avenue Church then without
a pastor, and kindly placed at the disposal of Dean Cridge and his
people. Money was subscribed and a new Cathedral was being
built on Church Hill, where the old Church stood.
The Church being complete, the opening day came in 1873.
Bishop Hill invited the Rev. Mr. Reece to preach the opening sermon to a large congregation. The sermon was so far from an
evangelical one that Dean Cridge, a Low Churchman, arose after
the sermon was over and said he hoped his congregation would not
consider the sermon just preached was in accordance with his
ideas. This unusual proceeding caused great commotion among
the people. In a few days the Bishop brought an action against
■ the Dean for "brawling in Church." The case was tried before the
Chief Justice Begbie. The Dean was found guilty of the charge
and lost the Cathedral. The congregation and the Dean held possession of the Cathedral for some time, putting strong new locks
on the doors, and had a guard of twelve men on Sundays to protect the Dean from being taken out of the pulpit. After cooling
down, the congregation took Pandora Church and set about building a new Church, which was done. We joined the Reformed
Episcopal Church of the United States. The Dean went' to Philadelphia to be consecrated Bishop. From this sprang the Reformed Church as it now stands.
The death of Bishop Cridge, who served his Master so long and
faithfully, was greatly mourned. He left three daughters and several grand-children. His place as rector of the Reformed Episcopal
Church. Victoria, was taken by the Rev. Thos. Gladstone, who
retired recently, his place being taken by the Rev. W. Owens.
It would be ungrateful of me in this, my last words, to pass
over without mention my Masters for eight years. I consider
Chief Factor James Douglas and Chief Trader Rodk. Finlayson
(their then titles) as honourable, considerate gentlemen; treating tion. In severing my connection with the Hudson's Bay Company,
I am glad to be able to say that I carried with me their good
wishes, although at the time Sir James Douglas tried to induce
me to remain in the service.
Another man who stood out prominently in our new company should not be forgotten: Sir Mathew Begbie, Chief Justice,
who in the early mining days of 1863 to 1869, did very salutaty
and necessary work among a rough class of miners, to whom he
was a terror. During his residence in Victoria, his frequent dinners, card and tennis gatherings will be remembered as long as
men of his day are living.
In the Spring of the year I went to Parliament at Ottawa. On
my return I found I had a third son, Douglas being born in June.
This year a sad catastrophy took place. Our old friend Robert Williams was drowned crossing from Queen Charlotte Islands to Fort
Simpson. It came on to blow heavily, their canoe was frail and split,
and all were drowned excepting one Indian. Williams was mate of
the ship "Tory" in which I came out in 1851. After that he came
out as first mate of the "Vancouver" with Captain Reid and his
family. This Autumn we had the sad news of the death of my
wife's two sisters, Mary Ann and Lilly, within a few days of each
other; a sad blow to us.
The years 1875-6-7-8-9, 1880-1-2 and three were uneventful. I
went to Ottawa each year.
In 1884, Sir Alexander Campbell came out to the Province with
his daughter, Marjorie, a beautiful girl. Mr. Cornwall was appointed Governor in 1883. Sir Alexander lived with him. I should
have mentioned in proper order that in 1877 Mr. Richards was
appointed Governor.
The Marquis of Lome, Governor-General, and the Princess
Louise came from San Francisco in H. M. S. "Comus," Captain
East. They were met on landing at Esquimalt by our foremost
citizens, and mounted escort. I, with all my family, went to meet
them. Willie was dressed by his mother in white and blue, which
with his long fair hear, made a pretty picture. He held open the
door of Her Royal Highness' carriage, whereupon she beckoned
to me to come to her and asked whose boy that was. I said mine.
She replied: "I thought so." Their intentions was to stay in
Victoria for a fortnight, but they liked the place so much that they remained for two months, and used to join in outdoor games
and small dances.
1879-1880-1-2-3 were uneventful.
My wife and Flora, accompanied Reginald and Willie, the
former to Kingston College, and the latter to England to join the
"Britannia." On the voyage to England from Montreal they met
Mr. Cargill who told them his daughter and Mr. Ness were anxious
for a change and probably would change houses for a time. On
arrival in London the exchange was carried out, the Nesses coming
to Victoria and my wife and Flora being established at Porchester
My wife attending to Willie's outfit, and placing him on
board the "Britannia," Edythe, Tiny and Douglas came on from
Victoria to Chicago in the Spring. I came from Ottawa to meet
them at Chicago; then started for New York, and took the White
Star steamer "Republic" for Liverpool. In a lurch of the ship, she
shipped a sea which caught Douglas, rolling him along the deck,
and nearly carrying him overboard. While in London, Douglas
went to school at Holland Park. Gregory and Blakeney, Hotham
and Eyres paid us visits while at Porchester Terrace, and Dr. and
Mrs. Patrick stayed some days with us.
In the Autumn of this year we left London for Victoria,
Kathleen O'Rielly coming to her parents under our care. We
took passage in the Allan steamer "Peruvian," landing at Quebec;
took train for Ottawa, staying there a day; took Grand Trunk
Railway train to Chicago, and the Northern Pacific to Seattle;
steamer from there to Victoria.
1886-7 and 8 uneventful.
Flora and Gavin H. Burns were rqarried. This year I went
from Ottawa to England on account of Reginald's health. Found
him and Willie at the Schofield's. Reginald having obtained extension of leave from Surgeon General Sir William McKinnon, I
proceeded to the highlands with him and Willie. We spent some
days at Kingressie with my sister Mary. On to Inverness, spending some days with my sister Harriet. Willie was here' recalled
to his ship. Reginald and I going on to Skye, spent some days at
Portree, entertained there by the McDonalds, sons of the late
Harry McDonald, lawyer and banker. We took the mail cart to
Page Twenty-three 1
Uig, the hotel phaeton from there to Kilmuir, where my father is
buried; on to Duntulum, an ancient seat of the Macdonalds, the
ruins of their castle still standing. Had dinner at the farm occupied
by Mr. and Mrs. McLeod, companions of mine in childhood days.
Back to Patree, taking the steamer from there for Stornoway,
where we witnessed the herring season in full swing, about 200
fishing boats with their tanned peaked sails making a novel picture.
Several steamers in port to take the herring to market.    Had a
look at Lewis Castle, the seat of Sir James-Matheson.    After his
death the Cotters behaved very badly to Lady Matheson, killing
deer and  committing other  outrages.     Continued  on  steamer to
Lochmaddy North Mist, visited Valley, the home of my ancestors.
Now occupied by a Mr. Mclnnes who treated us very kindly, giving
us lunch.   Found dear Donald McRae waiting there to see us. How
he knew we were in the country I do not know.    Back to Lochmaddy, spent a few days waiting for the mail packet to take us to
Dunvegan.    Landed there, put up at the inn; visited Dunvegan
Castle, one of the old highland holds or keeps, owned by McLeod
of McLeod, with a good slice of country.    Found dear old Miss
McLeod at the Castle, who received us kindly.    She showed us
many Prince Charlie's relics, and a flag under a glass case, I believe an old crusader flag, called now the Wizard Flag.    Called
often at John McKenzie's, an old friend of my relations.    He had
been   promoted   to   be Factor for McLeod.    Took steamer from
Dunvegan to Uig.   Mail cart from Uig to Patree; steamer to Oban,
put up at the best hotel.   Called on Mrs. Patrick Ness, then occupying Dunally house near the famous ruin of Dunally Castle.   Mrs.
Ness  kindly asked us to stay with  them  for some  days,  which
we   did;   received  great  kindness.     I   was  struck   here   with   the
confidence whether in the appearance of a person or in the un-
business method.    At one of the banks I presented a cheque on
London to be cashed.    No questions were asked and the money
was handed over without discount.    Called on the Misses Tolmie
who were living at Oban then.   After a few days' stay, proceeded
by rail to Lanark to visit Willie and Harry Stewart at Stanmore
their pretty small estate near the Village of Lanark.      Found a
large party there, Harriet and Gregory, and the two Misses McLaughlin and Kate Gregory.   After an enjoyable stay here of a few
days, we went from Stanmore to Edinburgh, visiting the castle,
Holyrood, the art gallery, and other places of interest.    Took the
steamer from Leith to London.   A quaint old skipper, at 12 o'clock
noon time, he used to invite us by saying, come down and wash
Page  Twenty-four steamer for Montreal and C. P. R. for Victoria.
The first electric railway was constructed and operated under
the management of D. W. Higgins. The access given in this way
to the suburbs caused a boom in land and much building. Unfortunately soon after this prosperity, smallpox broke out. Many
people left Victoria and many houses were unoccupied, remaining
so for years. Attended Parliament. This year Flora and Gavin
Burns were married.
Attended Parliament. My wife, Edythe and Tiny met me at
Ottawa. Took train for Montreal and New York and on to Liverpool and London, taking rooms at Miss Barkes, Cromwell Road,
where we were comfortable, and met many nice people. At this
time Reginald was at Woolwich, Willie in the gunnery ship at
Portsmouth, and Douglas at the Bedford Grammar School. The
Schofields were very kind to us and to the sons. Flora came to
London this year, where Flora Alfreda was born. She returned
to Victoria the end of the year, taking Jane Gorden as nurse to
the child. This winter my wife, Edythe, Tiny and self went to
Paris, Madame Blum taking appartments for us at a house kept
by Miss Chapins in the Rue Druo, where we met people from all
parts of the world, all gentle people. Madame Blum and daughters
did all they could to make us comfortable, and piloting us to
different galleries, museums and places of interest in Paris. Douglas joined us for a time.
This new year I, in company with four French gentlemen,
attended the reception held by President Carnot at the Elysee
Palace. Our names called in rotation, we passed in. I was looking for the President on a dias at the head of the room. Instead
he stood by the door as we entered, made our bow and passed on
through two salons to a large central hall at the head of which
sat the different ambassadors' wives, along with Madame Carnot,
all blazing in diamonds. On one side of this hall was a large
room with refreshments, consisting of champagne, rum punch,
sweets and cake. On the other side was a large room decorated
in Oriental style in which a band of a hundred musicians played.
The Palace of the Elysee is not an imposing looking building,
nothing so grand as some of the castles in Great Britain. Returning to London the early part of this year, I crossed the
Atlantic for Ottawa via Montreal. In time my wife, Edythe and
Tiny came out via Montreal where I met them. Commander
Fleet and other naval officers and wives were fellow passengers
with them on their way to the China station.
Went to Ottawa as usual.
Mrs. Schofield, Olive and Maze came out to visit us, and
stayed for three months. The flag-ship "Imperiense" was at Esquimalt. Admiral Pallister, his wife and niece, Gladys, came out and
took Mrs. Croft's house and entertained a good deal; were kind
and hospitable. Willie came out as Lieutenant. Jack Gregory
and George McKinnon were in the "Garnet" as midshipmen.
The same routine; nothing important going on.
Edythe   married    Commander    Fleet    now,   retired-Admiral.
Their son, Billy, was born here.    He is now a cadet in the navy.
Fleet was commander of the "Icarus"; then captain of the "Phaeton" ; then captain of the battleship "Swiftsure"; afterwards retired
as Admiral; now living at Worthing, Sussex.
Fleet, Edythe and Billy, 2 years old, went to England; Fleet
getting command of the battleship "Swiftsure"; Edythe living at
Uneventful, excepting that in  1906 Victoria and Vancouver
began to feel the beneficial effects of the bountiful harvests in the
This year my wife and Tiny went to Ottawa with me. After
the session we sailed for England from St. John in the C. P. R.
beautiful steamer "Empress of Britain." Had a good passage of
six days. Put up for two nights at the Euston Hotel, then on to
Southsea to Bill and Isabelle who made us most welcome and
comfortable. We enjoyed our stay there very much, meeting old
naval acquaintances. Admiral Bosauguet, in command at Portsmouth, was very kind to us. From there we went to London
several times, and were asked by the King and Queen to a
garden party at Windsor Castle. All the first class carriages in
London were engaged to convey guests to Windsor.   I asked one
Page  Twenty-six of the King's Esquires to introduce me to the King. He took
my card to the Prince of Wales, the present King, who came up
at once and introduced me to the King, who received me cordially,
and had a long chat with me. He said I suppose you have come
home to see your relations. I said yes, Your Majesty, to see my
three sons who are all in the King's service. He said that.is very
good.     Had  the  great  pleasure  of  meeting  Princess   Louise  at
From London we went to Elgin to Alex, and Chrissie and to
Kingussie. Spent some days with them. On a cold, damp day, I
went to an agricultural exhibition. Sat for some time on damp
planks, and caught cold. That night was taken ill with congestion
of the lungs. Kept in bed for two days. Was removed to the
Station Hotel; had comfortable rooms. Kept in bed for a month,
attended by Dr. Campbell, an attentive young doctor. He called
a specialist from Aberdeen for a consultation to whom I had to pay
twenty-five guineas. The old chap would not take twenty-five
pounds, but must have his guineas. My sisters, Harriet and Mary,
were near Elgin at Lossimouth and came to see me frequently;
also Col. Miers and Kenneth McKenzie.
At Elgin I was visited by Dr. McLeod, who served in India.
He was a son of the Rev. R. McLeod, Free Church minister in
Skye. After getting sufficiently well we went south to Edinburgh and put up at a comfortable hotel. Here we met my sister,
Christina, her daughter, Mary Smith, and her son, John, a very
handsome man. He married a daughter of Donald McRae, of
Vallay. After resting a few days in Edinburgh, we went to London, and had rooms at the Queen's Gate Hotel. We were very
On the 18th of October we sailed for Canada in the C. P. R.
steamer "Empress of Ireland," landing at Quebec.    After a good
trip across the country, we arrived at Armadale the end of October.
Many friends were glad to see us. The place was looking beautiful.
Went to Ottawa as usual.
Many people coming to the town and country to buy land and
live here.   This March the darling child Faith died, plunging all
into grief.   The shock laid me up for weeks.
Did not go to Ottawa this year.
Nothing of importance going on beyond numbers of people
coming and going daily. 1910
My wife and Tiny went to Ottawa with me this year.   We put
up at Mrs. Lambkin's; fairly comfortable; had to go out to dine
at the Parliamentary dining room daily.
My wife and Tiny went with me to Ottawa. Lived at the
Roxborough; fairly comfortable, but the rooms were very small;
no parlour or room to sit in after meals.
In May, Tiny went to England as one of the delegation of
Canadian. Women to the Coronation. After much enjoyment and
receiving great attention from many distinguished persons, she
went to Scotland where she was taken ill. Visited Ardross, Kingussie and Edinburgh. Now at Worthing with Edythe being
nursed. This year we received much attention in Ottawa from
the Governor-General; Mr. Brodeur, Minister of Marine; Mr.
Lemieux, Postmaster General, and from the Speaker of the Senate
and Mrs. Kerr.
We had a visit this year from Lord Charles Beresford and the
Duke of Sutherland, the former much excited to see us and to renew
old acquaintances, and going over the doings of old days when we
were young.
A great demand for city land; prices going far too high. Many
dwelling houses built in the suburbs, rather unfortunately of an inferior style of stereotyped architecture. Many tourists coming and
going daily from all parts of the world. The very safe and seaworthy C. P. R. steamers conduce greatly to the volume of travel.
Trade is good and money is available at reasonable interest.
During the first part of this year the demand for land continued, also building, but about the middle of the year the demand
slackened owing chiefly to stringency in the money centres of the
world, and to the inflated values of land. However trade and
business goes on in fair proportion to that of previous years.
There is a marked sign of permanency throughout the country from
agricultural land being taken up, and reports from mining centres
are encouraging. Men to settle down to live by their own efforts
and earn something are the class wanted and not the class which
drift into towns, spending their earnings when they have any
in drink and folly. Sold the Armadale Estate for a good round
Page Twenty-Eight Very important harbour work commenced on the breakwater
to shelter and enlarge Victoria harbour. Sir John Jackson has the
contract at $1,800,000, in my opinion not sufficient to leave a moderate margin of profit for so extensive a piece of work.    I called
two daughters.
The end of this year another important contract was given by
the Dominion for the building of two piers of stone and cement
within the area sheltered by the breakwater at a cost of over two
The Winter of this year and the Spring of 1914 were extremely mild; little snow or frost.
In March of this year my darling wife was taken very ill.
After being in bed for a month she improved and I thought she
was to get well over her sickness, but in the middle of March she
was seized again with agonizing pains in her body which continued with more or less severity to the 22nd of April, when a
merciful God called her to her long home, leaving her children and
myself in deep sorrow. As we had sold Armadale and not wishing
to continue our residence there, we rented a house at Oak Bay
where we are now living, and like the locality and the house.
Am writing now early in August, 1914. The alarming and
dreadful news of the declaration of war was published involving
Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Russia, Serbia and France.
Such an extensive and important clash of the great nations never
took place before. Its effect on the commerce and the intercourse
of nations being suspended, throwing thousands of people and
ships out of employment, cannot help bringing serious complications. We are anxiously waiting to have news of the conflict
each hour. The German invasion of Belgium as a road to France
has not been successful so far.
The combination of nations for mutual defence and strength
has led to temporary alliance and friendship. Austria goes to war
with Serbia to avenge the committal of a crime, whereas the punishment of the criminal or criminals should have been deemed sufficient had not the thirst for war been dominate. Russia declares
war against Austria to protect the Slav population of Serbia and
other small troublesome States.    France goes to war to help Rus- against the course Austria is
At this date, 25th of Aug
best of the fighting. The po
this date shown itself in the j
British navy is waiting for th
cruisers have cleared the No
man passenger and cargo ship  T<r^?   1/4  M*    0
ims^^ -4>%c  


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