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The mining advance into the inland empire; a comparative study of the beginnings of the mining industry… Trimble, William J. 1914

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Professor of History and Social Science,
North Dakota Agricultural College
Sometime Fellow in American History,
The University of Wisconsin
Entered as second-class matter Ji
if July 16, 1894.
Walter M. Smith, Chairman
O. Clarke Gillet, Secretary and Editor
Thomas K. TJrdahl, Economics and Political Science t
William H. Lights, University Extension Series
William S. Marshall, Science Series
Daniel W. Mead, Engineering Series
E. E. Neil Dodge, Philology and Literature Series
Carl R. Fish, History Series
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be addressed lo the Librarian of the University of Wisconsin, Madison,
Professor of History and Social Science,
North Dakota Agricultural College
Sometime Fellow in American History,
The University of Wisconsin
I.   Introduction: The Region and the Movement..
I.   The Incipient Rush to Colville and the Indian
III. Preparations for a Decisive Advance of the Fron
IV. Cariboo, Kootenai, and the Upper Columbia....
V. The Mining Advance into Idaho, Eastern Oregon,
and Montana	
VI.   Methods of Production and Organization of Industry 	
VII.   The Product and its Utilization	
IX.   Components and Characteristics of Society	
X. Education and Religion	
XI. The Establishment of Government and Law in
XII.   The Evolution of Order and Law in the American Territories   	
-[139]  PREFACE
This study has been made possible by the use of the stores of
a number of libraries, both public and private, and by the generous co-operation of friends who are interested in history.
No more earnest and efficient public service is rendered in
our time than that by librarians. The author desires to make
cordial acknowledgment of the unfailing helpfulness of the staffs
in charge of the libraries of the University of "Wisconsin, the
University of Idaho, the University of California, and of the
North Dakota Agricultural College ; of the city libraries of Spokane, Seattle, and Portland, and of the collections of the Montana
Historical Society, the Oregon Historical Society, the Provincial
Library and Archives of British Columbia, and the Academy of
Pacific Coast History. In particular I wish to extend my thanks
to Mrs. Ethel McVeefy, Librarian of the North Dakota Agricultural College, Mr. Frederick J. Teggert and Mr. Porter Garnett
of the Academy of Pacific Coast History, and to Mr. E. O. L.
Scholefield, Provincial Librarian of British Columbia.
Generous access has been given to the valuable private collections of Hon. C. B. Bagley, of Seattle, Mr. Justice Martin of Victoria, and his Honour, Judge Frederick W. Howay of New "Westminster.
No one who has felt the kindly spirit and received the suggestive criticism of Professor Frederick J. Turner (now of Harvard
University) can fail to be grateful. Acknowledgments are
particularly due to Professor Turner, and also to Mr. T. C.
Elliott, of Walla "Walla, Washington, Hon. W. J. McConnell, of
Moscow, Idaho, Judge W. Y. Pemberton, of Helena, Montana,
Judge F. W. Howay, of New Westminster, British Columbia,
and to Professor Frederick L. Paxson, of the University of Wis-
consin.    These gentlemen read my manuscript patiently and
critically and furnished many helpful suggestions.
I am indebted also to Messrs. McConnell, Pemberton, and
Bagley for pioneer reminiscences and illuminating suggestions.
This sort of assistance was courteously extended, likewise, by Mr.
Holter, of Helena, Major J. G. Trimble (lately deceased) of
Berkeley, Cal., and Dr. James S. Helmncken and Mr. Gilbert
Malcolm Sproat of Victoria.
For almost a decade after the discovery of gold in California,
the precious metal industry in the United States was carried on
extensively only within that state. The decade following 1858,
however, was characterized by the expansion of the industry on
a large scale into many parts of the Rocky Mountain area. In
this process of expansion certain movements or fields may be
differentiated for convenience of study. One movement took
place to the Southwest, another into the Pikes Peak region, a
third into Nevada, and a fourth into the far Northwest. The
last is plainly differentiated from the other movements either
because of location or character of development, while the
various districts which it reached were well connected by homogeneity of population and relationship of development. It is
difficult, however, to find for this movement a name at once
sufficiently succinct and comprehensive.
It should be made plain at the outset of this study that the
term Inland Empire, as applied in the title, is used more as a
convenient name for a movement than as a precise geographical
designation. The region with which we are concerned includes
(in terms of present political boundaries) the southern interior
of British Columbia, eastern Oregon and Washington, western
Montana, and Idaho. When this region began to attract wide
attention about the time of the Civil War in the United States,
because of a series of great mining "rushes", it was known
vaguely in the East as the "Northwest", while along the western coast it was spoken of frequently as the "Northern Interior".
Today it is generally included in the term Pacific Northwest, and
it might, perhaps, well be designated as the interior of the
Pacific Northwest. But differentiation is often made in the
United States between the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia; and so, in the absence of any definite term applicable to
the whole region under consideration, I have ventured to make
use of one commonly applied only to the central area within this
region. Yet a growing use of the term "Inland" in southern
Idaho and of the "Inland Empire of British Columbia" may
give some sanction to wider application for the sake of convenience. Its extension to the Missouri slope of Western Montana,,
however, is defensible only from the point of view that the development of the early mining industry in that quarter formed a
part of the general movement into the Inland Empire.
Considered as a whole, this vast region possesses very considerable physiographic unity. Diversities, to be sure, are to be
found, as, for example, between southern and northern Idaho;
but the country is clearly differentiated from the eastern
plains' and from the western coast. The latter distinction is
most, clearly marked,—travelers emerging from the dense fir
forests of the coast to the plateau of the interior, either by way
of the Columbia or the Fraser, observed that the trees (here of
pine) became far less dense or disappeared altogether in great
bunch grass plains, that the rainfall was much less, that peculiar terraces were found along the rivers, and that instead of
the "canoe Indians" of the coast, there now appeared a better
type, the "horse Indians". The inland plateau itself is distinctive. Covering the. country from far into British Columbia to the confines of Nevada and California, and from the
Cascades to the Rockies, is an immense lava formation of many
layers. Its average depth is estimated at 2,000 feet, and its;
extent    200,000    square    miles.1    Rising    above    the    lava
1 Bulletin U. S. Qeol. Sur. No. 108, p. 11. This monograph Is by I. C. HusseL.
one of the best authorities for the physiography of the Inland Empire. Professor Russel characterizes the lava formation as follows: "This vast inundation
of lava is one of the most remarkable and, I may say, one of the most dramatic
incidents in the geological history of North America. It is safe to assume that
all of the lava poured out by volcanoes within historic times, if run together,
would make but a small fraction of the mass under which the region drained by
plateau are the partially submerged peaks and mountain ranges
of the primeval country, and on the eastern border the lava
thins out into gulfs and bays among the Rocky Mountains.2
In the Rocky Mountains or in the off-shoots westward
from these mountains—the Owyhee, the Boise, the Salmon
River, the Bitter-root, and the Cariboo ranges, and the Okanogan highland—were located the various mining camps about
which we are .to study.3 From the Rockies flowed the
three great river systems which became important factors in
transportation to these camps—the Missouri, the Fraser, and
the Columbia. The two latter are much alike. Both are noted
for the swiftness of their current and the ruggedness of their
canons ; both swing far northward, and both receive from the
East a great tributary (in the one case, the Thompson, in the
other, the Snake) ; both have fine navigable stretches in their
upper courses which, as the rivers plunge from the plateau, are
interrupted by formidable obstacles ; and both form magnificent
waterways from the last of these obstacles to the ocean. The
districts drained by these systems, likewise, have much of physiographic similarity. The Line of 49', the boundary between
British Columbia and the American territories, was drawn at
right angles, so to speak, to the physiographic inclination of
the country. From the point of view of physiography it would
seem that there was not sufficient differentiation north and
south of the political boundary materially to modify the development of society. In other words, so far as the country was
concerned, the development of institutional life was likely to
be identical.
Civilized society took possession of this region both north and
south of the Line through a great movement of miners, which
occurred in the decade following 1855. Previous to that year,
it is true, there had been within the region such forerunners
of civilization as fur traders, explorers, and missionaries, and
1 An important phase of the geology of Montan
Ashoeds of Montana, by J. P. Rowe, Mont. Univ. 1
»A succinct and satisfactory treatment of the physiography of British Colum-
,t by Geo. M. Dawson, in Geol. Sur. of Canada, Vol. Ill, pt. II, pp. 5R-
[145] through its southern part had proceeded the immigration on
the Oregon Trail ; but the institutions of civilized society had
not been established upon the soil of the Inland Empire. These
the Mining Advance produced.
The advance of the miners into the British and American
portions of the region was practically contemporaneous, and
the various rushes were interrelated. "A flood of picks and
pans" (as writers in the midst of events styled it) spread over
the country in successive waves, beginning with the Colville
country in 1855. Between 1858 and 1866 rushes occurred
(using present political designations) in British Columbia to
Fraser River, Rock Creek and the Siinilkameen, Cariboo, Kootenai, and the Upper Columbia; in eastern Oregon, to John
Day River and to Powder River; in Idaho, to the Nez Percés
mines, Salmon River, Warren's Diggings, Boise, and Owyhee;
and in Montana, to Grasshopper Creek, Alder Gulch, and Last
Chance. There was constant migration between these various
camps, which political boundaries did not seriously interrupt.
The general unity of the movement was greatly increased by
the presence everywhere of Californians. It is true that in
different fields different outeroppings (if the phrase be permissible) of population appeared. Thus in Cariboo, for example,
the British element was more apparent than in most camps
south of the Line ; men from Missouri and Colorado were conspicuous in Boise Basin, while still another admixture was
formed by the people from Minnesota who came to Montana.
But a stratum of Californians was to be seen everywhere, and
these produced throughout the region a similarity in methods
of mining, in manners of society, in interests, and in the sort
of institutions that tended spontaneously to spring up.4
There are three points of view, the statement of which may
be of value in considering the mining advance into the Inland
'Californians, of c
relationships betweei
Nevada and Colorad(
that in the constituent elements
south of the Line, th<
! in types of institutions.
irse, went to most American camps, and there were also
many of the camps of the region we are studying and
ain point which is here sought to be made Is
the population of the mining camps north and
ifflcient divergencies wholly to account for •
In the first place, this movement was part of the formation
-and advance of an eastward moving frontier. American population, which had advanced westward up to 1840 in comparatively gradual and connected movements, in the decade 1840-50
leaped to the Willamette and the Sacramento; now it was
recoiling eastward and in this recoil was meeting the old frontier, which was still advancing westward. In this beginning
of the fusion of frontiers there was ah interesting commingling
of men reared in the East and of the men habituated to Calif ornian ideas and usages. New problems were created (among
which the condition of the Indians was the most grave), new
industrial and social forces were generated, and older ones reshaped or accentuated.   .
A somewhat elated poem of the time, published in Montana,
indicates the swiftness of change wrought by this meeting of
frontiers :
"The star of Empire Westward takes its way;
When Bishop Berkeley wrote was very true,
But were the Bishop living now, he'd say
That brilliant star seems fixed to human view.
"From Eastern hives is filled Pacific's shore—
No more inviting sun-set lands are near;
The restless throng now backward pour—
From East to West they meet, and stop right here.
"Away our published maps we'll have to throw—
The books of yesterday, today are lame
"And towns and roads are made on every side,
In shorter time than books and maps are bound."5
A second point of view in the consideration of the mining
advance is that it was a movement based, primarily, on a single
industry. Whether north or south of the Line, in British Columbia, Idaho, or Montana, men talked of mines, struggled for
a. Post, republished in the Owyhee Avalanche
mines, and founded their laws and institutions on mines. Other
forms of industry were subsidiary to mining. (By mining, of
course, is here meant mining for the precious metals.) The
growth of this industry in this region, moreover, was related
to the evolution of the industry in other sections, and, therefore, adequate treatment should include reference to the more
important phases of the general development then going on in
precious metal production.
The third and principal point of view of this study is that
of comparison between British Columbia and the territories to
the south during the period of the mining advance. While
there would seem to be sufficient unity in the history of the
whole region, during this period, to justify an attempt to treat
it as a whole and to segregate it from other movements of the
time, yet the main thesis here offered is that, in spite of unifying natural tendencies, the accidental political Line did cause
deep cleavage in the formation of institutions. In two similar
parts of the same region, with a population having many of the
same elements and occupied in the same industry, distinct differentiation did occur; and the phases, sources, and tendencies
of this differentiation will be a recurring theme in this history.
The plan of presentation contemplates: (1) a survey of the
history of the mining advance; (2) special treatment of its
economic and social aspects; (3) consideration of problems of
Ft. Colville, which for thirty years had been the chief inland
post of the Hudson's Bay Company, became the first important
center for mining development in the Inland Empire. It stood
on the east bank of the Columbia on the second terrace back
from the river, and in 1855 comprised a stockade which partially enclosed a dwelling house, several rude huts, a blacksmith shop and a few storehouses,—all made of squared logs
and all somewhat decayed. The chief clerk of this establishment was Angus MacDonald, an intelligent Scotchman, and
the habitues of the place were some twenty Canadians and
Iroquois Indians. Three miles from the Fort was a good flour
mill, in which was ground wheat raised by the French settlers,
whose scattered farms dotted for nearly thirty miles, the beautiful Colville valley.1 The mining district of which this fort
became the center had no definite limits, but was held to comprise in general the territory lying east of the Columbia and
between the Spokane and Pend d'Oreille Rivers.2
Who first discovered gold in this region, we do not know nor
is the question important. Various roamers through the wilderness,—explorers, French-Canadians, mountain men,—with
interest sharpened by the discoveries in California, had happened on gold in divers localities, but their discoveries had
brought no results.3   In the late summer and fall of 1855, how-
1 Stevens's Report on the Hudson's Bay Co., 33rd Cong. 2nd Sess., Sen. Doc.
Vol. 7, No. 37, p. 8.    Life of Stevens, Vol. 1, p. 348.
» Olympia Pioneer and Democrat, Sept. 28, 1855.
•Thus Mc Clellan had discovered gold on the Wenatchee in 1853 and Findlay
or Benetsee in Montana in 1852, Pacific Railway Reports, Vol. 12, p. 120;
Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, Vol. 2, p. 121. The first
discovery on the Pend d'Oreille was made by Walker, a half-breed. Letter of
Judge B. F. Tantis, Olympia Pioneer and Democrat, Nov. 23, 1855.
ever, a movement occurred to the vicinity of Ft. Colville, which
had some of the characteristics of a genuine miners' "rush,"
and which ushered in the gold era in the Inland Empire.
Considerable numbers of the citizens of Oregon and Washington participated in this movement and prospected in the
Colville mines in the fall of 1855. The interest was increased
by business stagnation in the Willamette and on the Sound.*
Some idea of the extensiveness of the movement may be inferred from scattered notices: "Suddenly all eyes turned to
Colville," said the Olympia Pioneer and Democrat. "Many of
our best men have gone prospecting." Governor Curry wrote
to General Nesmith that many Oregon citizens had gone to the
Pend d'Oreille mines; Steven's messenger, Pearson, met a
company of ten or fifteen men near the Umatilla River on their
way to the mines; Stevens, himself, a little later enrolled eighteen miners in his "Spokane Invincibles;" Yantis reports
twenty men at work on one bar; organized parties explored the
country under the leadership of well known citizens.5 It is
apparent, therefore, that at that time a movement took place of
some magnitude.
The reports brought back, a number of which were made by
reliable and conservative men, were of such a nature as to inspire further efforts. It seemed that gold could be found almost anywhere between the Spokane and the Pend d'Oreille,
but that the deposits were small and superficial.6 Still, men
made with pan and rocker three to six dollars per day, and a
few twelve. Explorations many miles up the Pend d' Orielle
failed to show any large deposits, but MacDonald at Fort Colville told the miners that chances were better farther up the
Columbia—a suggestion not without fruit in the later discovery
of mines on Fraser River.7
The difficulties in the way of the miners, however, were
great.    The gold was light "float" gold, for the economical col-
* Deady, History of the Progress of Oregon after 1845, Ms., p. 37 ; Olympia
Pioneer and Democrat, Sept. 14, 1855.
5Id.; 34th Cong., 3rd Sess., Ex. Doc, Vol. 9, No. 76, p. 158, Oct. 16, 1855;
Pioneer and Democrat, Sept. 28, 1855, and Nov. 23, 1855.
8 Report of Col. Anderson, Olympia Pioneer and Democrat, Sept. 28, 1855.
' Report of Judge Yantis, id., Nov. 23, 1855.
[152] 17
lection of which quicksilver and the sluice system were needed.
Supplies were scanty and men were living on flour and coffee.8
There were no suitable roads from the Sound over the precipitous mountains, and steamboat traffic on the Columbia was just
'starting. Hence, transportation was not yet organized, and
organized transportation is vital to the success on a large
scale of distant mining operations. But the most baffling
obstacle to the adventurers was difficulties with the Indians.
The Indians of eastern Washington, in number about twelve
thousand, were not to be despised as enemies. Living in an
exhilerating climate, on an elevated plateau, thoroughly accustomed to the use of the horse, and having a variety of food,
they constituted in physique and mind a fine race.' The Nez
Percés, inhabiting, for the most part, the country lying eastward from the present city of Lewiston, Idaho, were the largest
and best ordered tribe, and, though not wanting in warlike
qualities (as Joseph's warfare subsequently proved), they were
nevertheless distinguished for their friendship to the whites.
This peace policy of the Nez Percés should be emphasized as the
most important fact in the history of the Indian wars of the
Inland Empire. North of the Nez Percés lived the Coeur d'
Alênes, Spokanes, Pend d' Oreilles, and Flatheads. A third
group was to be found south from the Nez Percés, and consisted
of the Walla Wallas, Cayuses, and Umatillas. Over the Blue
Mountains was the desert country in which roamed the Sho-
shones—banditti they above all other tribes. Another group,
important particularly because of the position it occupied, was
the Yakima. The Yakima country lay west of the Columbia—
between that river and the Cascade Mountains. The position
was central, therefore, both to the Sound Indians and to the
tribes of the farther interior and the principal chiefs of the
tribe were related to the chiefs in both regions.   Moreover, this
)f A. B. Stuart, id., Sept. 9th, 1855.
riters of the time comment on the mar
:he interior and the "fish" Indians of the coast, who lived almost ex-
salmon and who traveled in canoes.    Travelers in British Columbia
ame observation. For example, Kipp, The Indian Council at Walla
; Anderson, Alex C    Handbook and Map  to the Gold Regions of\
d Thompson's River, p. 6.
territory lay directly in the path of the mining advance.
The head chief of the Yakimas, Kamiakin, who was charged
by the whites with being the chief instigator and organizer of
the Indians in their efforts to stay the white advance, was an
Indian worthy of note. All accounts agree that in physique
and countenance he was impressive. He was tall and athletic,
though somewhat slovenly in dress. His face, generally gloomy
and thoughtful, lighted up wonderfully in speech, "one moment in frowns, the next in smiles, flashing with light and black
as Cerebus the same instant." Speech with him, however, was
rare, for he had the demeanor of a grave, proud man. He refused to be baptized as a Catholic, because he would not put
away his surplus wives. Jealous of his rights and especially
watchful against attempts to acquire the Indian lands, he traveled widely, striving to arouse the Indians to their peril. He
may be regarded as an Indian statesman, who with devotion to
the customs of his race and love for the superb land in which
he lived, tried as best he might in feeble Indian fashion to. unite
the unorganized tribes against the dreaded white advance
which he saw now impending.10
The Indians of the Inland Empire were, indeed, in bad
plight. The tribes of the east had been pushed ever farther
westward, but with both frontiers closing in upon these Indians, whither should they go? Everywhere throughout the
tribes was the fear of being dispossessed of their lands and
everywhere uneasiness. This dread and uneasiness extended to
the Indians on the Sound. The whites, after the outbreak of
hostilities, claimed that a general conspiracy had long been
brewing and that Kamiakin was the arch conspirator; but it
is evident now that conditions in different localities had made
matters ripe for desperate measures on the part of the Indians
without any deliberate plan of action.11 They shrank from the
coming of white settlers and especially of miners, for they
knew something of the troubles that had befallen the Indians
10 References on Kamiakin : Winthrop, Theodore, The Canoe and the Saddle,
p. 237; Life of Stevens, Vol. 2, p. 38; Indian affairs Report, 1854, p. 234;
Wright to Wool, Message and Documents, 1856-7, pt. 2, p. 160.
a Remarks of J. Ross Browne, 35 Cong., 1 Sess., App., p. 494.
[154]    ' TRIMBLE—MINI!
in California.12 Chiefs of the Yakimas, Cayuses, and Walla
Wallas had said to Gen. Alvord at The Dalles in 1853 that
"they always liked to have gentlemen, Hudson Bay Company
men or officers of the army or engineers pass through their
country, to whom they would extend every token of hospitality.
They did not object to persons merely hunting, or those wearing swords, but they dreaded the approach of the whites with
ploughs, axes and shovels in their hands."13 It can readily be
seen, therefore, that, with the Indians feeling thus, the coming
of the miners to Colville was likely to precipitate hostilities.1*
Another cause of the Indian outbreak, however,—so army
officers in particular claimed,—was the treaties made by Governor Stevens in the summer of 1855. A great council was
summoned by him to meet at Walla Walla, which, was attended
by large numbers of the Nez Percés, Cayuses, Walla Wallas,
Umatillas, and Yakimas. All of the tribes were suspicious and
semi-hostile at this council, except the Nez Percés; and even of
them a faction plotted with the malcontents. Kamiakin vehemently opposed any cession of land and rejected all presents
from the whites. But at length the friendliness towards the
whites on the part of the majority of the Nez Percés under the
leadership of their head chief, Lawyer, prevailed, and treaties
were signed which provided for the forming of three reservations and the paying of large annuities. The Nez Percés were
to receive the beautiful country lying mainly between the Snake
River and the Bitter Root Mountains ; the Yakimas were to have
their homes in the valley of the river that bore their name;
and the remaining tribes were assigned tracts in eastern
These treaties were subjected to bitter denunciation by army
officials, who claimed, as mentioned above, that they were a main
12 Also Wool in Message and Documents, 1856-7, pt. 2, R
13 Life of Stevens, Vol. 2, p. 625.
"See on this Roder, Capt. Henry, History of BelUnghat,
y of War, p. 88.
15 A pleasant n
Walla Council, Indian Pamphlets, Vo.
the History of Oregon", F. G. Younf
Life of Stevens, Vol. 2, pp. 34-65.
Sess., No. 542, p. 521-531.   .
that by Lawrence Kipp, The Walla
>. 10, and republished in "Sources of
: A good account is found also in
f treaties Is given in 57 Cong., 1st
cause of the war which broke out in the fall of 1855.16 Their
ratification was delayed for four years by the Senate, in part
because of the large annuities provided. John Sherman said
that the government might more cheaply bring all the Indians
4o New York and board them at the Hotel St. Nicholas. But
iStevens's course was in reality statesmanlike. Although the
Donation Act was to expire by limitation, December 1, 1855,
there was still time for settlers to take up claims. Under this
act Congress had authorized settlers to take claims before any
attempt had been made to extinguish the Indian title. Moreover, Stevens, foreseeing the impending advance of the whites
and, as chief advocate of the northern route for the Pacific
railway, favoring settlement, believed that the reservation system was the only refuge for the Indians.17 At any rate these
treaties were the first definite step under government sanction
in preparation for white occupation of the Inland Empire.
The suspicions, regrets, and resentments aroused in the minds
of the Indians by these treaties perhaps contributed to the outbreak of war. The chances of trouble of course were increased
from the fact that the main passes from the Sound to the
eastern country, as we have before mentioned, lay through the
Yakima country. The Indians later, in extenuation of their
course, claimed that the miners en route had violated their
women; Stevens tried to verify this statement, but was unable
to do so.18 All accounts claim that the miners were from a good
class of citizens on the Sound. The first to be killed were
Mattice and Fantjoy or Fanjoy, "both respectable men from
the state of Maine." The attacks on separate individuals continued incessantly during September. It is to be noted that
the exasperation on the part of the whites caused by such
attacks lay not alone in lives actually lost, but also in making
lines of travel so insecure as to hinder development of the
country. The total number of men lost, however, was not inconsiderable to a small community; one newspaper on the Sound
10 For example, Wright to Wool, Message and Documents, 1856-7, p. 160.
" For a statement of Steven's policy see Rpt. Com. Ind. Af., 1854, pp. 247-249.
" Message and Documents, 1856-7.    Wright to Wool, p. 152, May 30, 1856;
-35 Cong. 1st Sess., App. 491.
counted up thirteen of the residents of the immediate vicinity
who were known to have been slain and reported several others
missing.1' Matters came to a climax when A. J. Bolon, agent
for the Yakimas, was murdered by Qualchien, nephew of Kamiakin. Thereupon, Major J. G. Haller led a company of regulars
into the Yakima, country only to be driven out with considerable loss. At about the same time some of the Sound Indians
took to the war path, and the war became general.
The details of the war of 1855—56, though stirring and interesting, may be found elsewhere.20 A chronological resume of
the events directly concerning the interior country 1855—56
would include : the calling out of large numbers of volunteers
both in Oregon and Washington in the fall of 1855; the expedition of Major Raines into the Yakima country; the daring
return of Stevens from the Blackf oot council ; a decisive engagement between Indians and Oregon volunteers in the Touchét
valley in December; a surprise by the Indians at the Cascades
in March of 1856; an expedition by Col. Wright into the
Yakima country; a fight between Washington Volunteers and
Indians in Grande Ronde valley; a second council by Governor
Stevens at Walla Walla, and an attack by the Indians on
himself and escort; and, finally, the establisment in the fall
of 1856 of Ft. Walla Walla.
The policy of General Wool, who, as commander of the Department of the Pacific, was supreme military head in this war,
is worthy of note, especially from the point of view of the mining history. Volunteers, called forth by the governors both
of Washington and Oregon, took very active part in the campaigns, much to the disgust of General Wool. He claimed that
the war had been precipitated by the treaties of Stevens, that
the volunteers had entered it largely in order to plunder the
Indians, and that citizen speculators had fostered it for the
purpose of getting more money into the country from the Federal Government. In pursuance of his position towards the
volunteers and the work of Stevens, he issued the following
" Olympia Pioneer and Democrat, Oct 19, 1855.
» Meaney, Edmund S., History of the State of Washington, pp. 176-202 ; Bancroft, H. H., Works, Vol. xxxi, pp. 108-200.
order: "No emigrants or other whites, except the Hudson Bay
Company, or persons having ceded rights from the Indians, will
be permitted to settle or remain in the Indian country, or on
land not ceded by treaty, confirmed by the Senate and approved
by the President of the United States.
' ' These orders are not, however, to apply to the miners engaged
in collecting gold at the Colville mines. The miners will, however, be notified that should they interfere with the Indians,
or their squaws, they will be punished or sent out of the
This order is interesting from at least two points of view.
In the first place, Wool regarded the interior country as a
natural reserve for the Indians, who might there be separated
from the whites on the Sound by the Cascade Range, "a most
valuable wall of separation. "22 In the second place, he excepted from his order the miners—the most immediate cause of
trouble. Why did he make this exception? Certainly he had no
special favoritism to show these men, for they were most likely
to defeat the policy at which he aimed. From a legal point of
view, the miners were at that time simply trespassers upon the
public domain.23 It may be surmised that the custom of the
miners of unconscious trespassing and their claim of implied
recognition to such right on the part of the United States, may
have influenced this martinet to make the relaxation in their
The Pttitude of the military, however, did stay further mining development south of the Line for a period. Since the
Indians were unchastised and murderers such as Qualchien
were not surrendered for trial, the hostility of the Indians was
such as to make the interior country unsafe. In traveling
through it, all parties had to exercise ' ' Constant watchfulness
and care;" so much so that it was unsafe for the passage of
pack trains or for prospecting.24
In several respects, however, this war helped to prepare for
th Cong.
3d Sess., Vol. I, pt.
2, p. 169.
» See furthe
:his point, Life of Stevens, Vol
p. 22
f Blanchard
Weeks, The L
aw of Miners,
ng Water
s, Historical Si
etch of Mining
p. 213.
31 R.
H. Lansdale
in Report Com.
Ind. Affairs 185
t, No
p. 3
later advance. The military operations in the upper country
and the establishment of Ft. Walla Walla stimulated the development of transportation on the Columbia, and particularly so
in efforts to overcome the difficulties at the Cascades and the
Dalles. Moreover, the warrants of the war debt for the services
of the volunteers, which, it was assumed, would be paid by the
general government, circulated as an inflated medium of exchange and formed capital wherewith to promote enterprises
of all sorts. A thoughtful observer writes: "Portland I think
was quite slow and dull until this Indian war concentrated a
good deal of business here. There were a good many operations
and of course a large portion of this scrip was concentrated
here. Traffic and the impetus to business given by it, was felt
here. ' '25 The war claims amounted to no less than $6,000,000,
of which sum not quite half was finally paid. This formed a
large addition of capital for the scanty populations of the Willamette and the Sound.26
» Deady, Hist, of the Progress of Oregon after 1845, Ms., p. 37.
36 A good statement concerning this war debt is found in the Financial History
of Oregon, by F. G. Young, Some Features of Oregon's Experience with the Financial Side of Her Indian Wars of the Territorial Period, Quar. of Oregon Hist.
Soc, June 1907, Vol. VIII, No. 2, pp! 182-190.
The magnificent domain now known as British Columbia in
1855 was all but untouched by civilization. Over it the Hudson 's Bay Company was still paramount. The mainland they held
by virtue of an exclusive license to trade, and Vancouver Island
they owned as a colony by Parliamentary grant. The chief factor
of the company, James Douglas, was also Governor of Vancouver Island. The principle post was Victoria, where a few
houses clustered around the fort of the company. On the mainland the posts of chief interest to this history were : Ft. Langley
on the south bank of the Fraser, twenty eight miles above the
mouth; Ft. Hope sixty miles farther up, its sight a "lovely
plateau  , environed with lofty and shaggy mountains ; ' *
Ft. Yale, the extreme head of steamboat navigation on the
lower River, twelve or fifteen miles above Ft. Hope; and Ft.
Thompson, far in the interior on Thompson River.1 Roads
there were none, save the Hudson's Bay Company's brigade
trail up the Fraser. The interior of the country, cut off by
the canons above Ft. Yale, was inconceivably remote, unknown,
and inaccessible.
The more remote and inaccessible a country might be, however, the more alluring it often seemed to miners. Stimulated
in part no doubt by the suggestions of Angus MacDonald, of
Colville, gold seekers ranged northward from the Colville
mines in the fall of 1855.2 As example of one of these adventurers we may mention James Taylor, of Olympia, who with
3 A clear map showing these posts is found in Bancroft, Hist Pac. States, Vol.
XXVII, p. 177.
* Indians, indeed, had been bringing into
since 1852.    De Groot, British Columbia; i
a small party made his way by Nachess pass to the Colville district and thence, in August, 1855, struck across the Okanogan
country and penetrated as far as Thompson River.3 Mae-
Donald wrote to Governor Douglas, on the first of March 1856,
that gold had been found in considerable quantities on the Columbia within British territory, and that he believed, that valuable deposits would be discovered; and this information
Douglas transmitted to the Colonial Secretary.4 But the disposition of the Indians towards Americans in the summer of
1856 hindered further development for a time.6 The Indians
themselves,  however,  did some  work.6   The  developments of
1857 are summarized by De Groot as follows: "During the
summer and fall of 1857, a number of persons, being mostly
adventurers from Oregon and Washington territories, of the
Colville mines, together with a sprinkling of half breeds and
Canadian French, formerly in the company's service, made
their way into the country on the upper Fraser, where, prospecting in the neighborhood of the forks, they found several
rich bars, on which they went to work, continuing operations
with much success, until forced to leave from want of provisions on the approach of cold weather. Coming to Victoria,
or returning whence they came, these men spread abroad
the news of their good luck and laid the foundation for
the excitement that soon after followed."7 Douglas, also, noted
the excitement abroad, particularly in the American territory.8
By the latter part of March, 1858, the news from Fraser
River was of such character as to produce a real furore on the
Sound. On the twenty-second, the Herald at Steilacoom issued
an extra in which it announced that miners on Fraser and
Thompson Rivers were making from eight to fifty dollars, per
day, and that the Indians were friendly. Within a week mills
were compelled to shut down from lack of laborers, and vessels
were deserted.   All the hands at the Bellingham coal mines
s Victoria Canette, July 10, 1858.
« Hazlitt, Br. Col. é Van. Id., p. 128.
s Letter of Douglas, Oct. 24, 1856.    Id., p. 129.
•Dec. 29, 1857.    Id. p. 130.
' De Groot, British Columbia; Its Condition and Prospects, p. 13.
8 Letter of Douglas, Dec. 29, 1857 ; Hazlitt, Br. Col. and Van. Id., p. 130.
[    . [161] quit work.9 Soldiers deserted. Around Victoria nearly all the
floating populace left.10 The villages of the lower Sound
stirred with new life: Port Townsend was "like a bee hive;"
Whatcom took measures for cutting a trail from that place to
intersect the Hudson Bay Company's Brigade Trail, and weeks
of labor were consumed on this trail before it was found not
feasible. As shiploads of miners from California came pouring
into the various ports, many towns aspired to be the "San
Francisco" of this northern movement. Whatcom and Sehome
at first took the lead, and later Semiamoo, out near Point Roberts, attracted attention. In all these places throngs gathered,
faro banks sprang up, and speculation in lots throve ; but finally
the advantages of Victoria and the policy of Governor Douglas smothered these ambitious booms.
Meantime, there was in progress from California one of the
most remarkable "rushes" in the history of mining movements.
Conditions in California at this time were favorable for a
swift and great exodus of population to a promising field. The
exportation of gold, which by 1853 had mounted to $57,330,000,
had fallen in 1857 to $48,976,000.xl Moveover, the conditions
and methods of production were changing. At first it had been
comparatively easy for men to find good claims which could be
cheaply worked; or, if they were compelled to work temporarily for another, there was no sense of inferiority to the employer on the part of the laborers. But now, with the exhaustion of the surface placers, there was increasing necessity for
the employment of capital on a large scale and of resort to
corporate methods in order to work the deep diggings. In
the attempt to engage in operations on a large scale many individuals had hazarded and lost previous gains and were now
burdened by debt. Many small claims were yielding only
very moderate returns in comparison to those of flush times,
and new claims were to be found only after long, expensive,
and uncertain prospecting. Men who had been accustomed
to large returns and to independence became restive and dis-
'Puget Sound Herald, Mar. 26, 1858.
10 Letter of Douglas, March 22, 1858 ; C
» Mineral Resources, 1867, p. 50.
[162] «ouraged in working for less than "wages," but greatly resented being forced to work as employes. Consequently, many
were eager for opportunities in a new country which might
bring back the freedom, enthusiasm, and easy gains of the
earlier time.12
A vehement belief spread through the mining counties that
Eraser's River would repeat these earlier experiences. Miners,
±o be sure, were somewhat skeptical of new fields, because they
had been badly mistaken in several disastrous excitements.
But trusty delegates in this case reported back to some of the
camps the richness of the new fields, and secret notes from
former comrades often authenticated the reports of the newspapers. Moveover, there was a theory that farther north gold
fields became richer (as had been the case in California)., and
that fine gold discovered in the lower parts of a river betokened '
great deposits farther up. The reports of the "flour gold" of
the bars of the Fraser, therefore, brought conviction and enthusiasm.
Accordingly miners from the interior thronged all roads to
Stockton and Sacramento, and at these places crowded into
• steamers for San Francisco. Some of the mining counties lost
a third of their population ; business was badly deranged and
general bankruptcy was anticipated; claims that in March
would have brought one thousand dollars would not bring one
hundred dollars in June.13 Not only the miners who poured
into San Francisco were intent on Fraser River, but many of
the inhabitants of that city accompanied them northward.
Common laborers, bricklayers, carpenters, printers, cabinet
makers, merchants, gamblers, and speculators in real estate, as
well as miners, crowded to three times their capacity vessels
whose seaworthiness was often doubtful.14 Fares to Victoria
were for the "nobs" $60, for the "roughs," $30. Steamboat
owners of course made money rapidly. A careful estimate
placed the number who went from California to Victoria dur-
a This paragraph is based upon an article by J. S. Hittell in Overland Monthly,
May, 1869, Vol, II, pp. 413-417; Downie, Ma]. Wm., Hunting for Gold; Da
Groot Br. Col; Its Condition and Prospects.
g Hittell, Cariboo, Overland Monthly, May, 1869.
jjjj "Times" correspondence, Hazlitt, Br. Col. and Van. Id., p. 147. 28 BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
' ing the spring and early summer at twenty-three thousand,,
while probably eight thousand more proceeded overland.16
As ship after ship discharged its crowds at Victoria or at
Esquimault ( a fine harbor three miles from Victoria), a lively
town sprang into existence around the staid Hudson's Bay quarters. Hundreds of tents occupied the picturesque slope, while
more permanent dwellings and stores were swiftly put up.
Speculation in lots was rife. A newspaper, the Gazette, was
soon established. Crowds of miners continually coming and
going, auctioneers shouting their wares, the calls of dray men,—
all the bustle and stir of business,—recalled to many minds early
days in San Francisco.
These miners at Victoria, however, were stil] far from the
mining region. To get to it the Gulf of Georgia first had to be
crossed, and then the Fraser ascended for a hundred miles and
more. In the absence at first of adequate transportation, hundreds of the adventurous enthusiasts entrusted themselves to-
hastily made boats and canoes, in which they ventured to encounter the dangerous tides and currents of gulf and river.
Later, steamboats ascended to Hope and Yale.
The first miners on the Fraser found rich and easy diggings.
The gold occurred in the "bars" of the river.18 The lowest bar-
worked was Fargo bar, which was about fifteen miles above Ft.
Langley.17 From there clear up above the canons above Yale
a succession of rich bars was uncovered, the richest district being
in the vicinity of Ft. Yale. In this district on Hill's Bar the
discoverer made six hundred dollars in sixteen days, and two
other men took out two hundred and fifty dollars in a day and
a half. From many points came reports of rich returns, and old
Californians declared they had never seen such diggings.18 All
along the Fraser were evidences of activity and industry, and
the future seemed full of hope.
Meantime, steps had been taken to ensure law and order. In.
December, 1857, Douglas had issued a proclamation which assert-
«Nugent's Report, Ex. Doc. 35th Cong. 2nd Sess., Vol. XII, No. 3, p. 26.
""Every mine over which a river extends when in its most flooded state."'
Gold Mine Regulations, Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col., p. 532.
" Mayne, Br. Col. and Van. Id., p. 93.
""Times" correspondence.    Hazlitt, Br. Col. and Van. Id., pp. 134-140.
ed that "all mines of gold  whether on the lands of the
Queen or of any of her Majesty's subjects, belong to the Crown",
and required that a miner should take out a license before digging for gold.19 Douglas at first questioned whether it was a
wise policy to admit without requiring an oath of allegiance,
large numbers of ' ' foreign population, whose sympathies may be
decidedly anti British," and he issued a proclamation in May,
1858 which, to say the least, attempted sufficiently to safe-guard
the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company.20 This proclamation
warned all persons from engaging in trade for Fraser River and
from navigating boats thereon, except by license and sufferance
of the Hudson's Bay Company. The sufferance, which cost six
to twelve dollars per trip, was issued on condition that the
vessel owner using it should transport only the goods of the
Hudson's Bay Company; that he should import no powder nor
utensils of war, except from the United Kingdom ; that he would
receive no passengers except such as had licenses to mine; and
that he would not trade with the Indians.21
Douglas acknowledged that his authority to make this proclamation was questionable; but strongly claimed that the Hudson's
Bay Company's right of exclusive trade with the Indians implied
exclusive trade of all sorts,22
But Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies instructed him that he should "oppose no obstacle whatever" to
the entrance of foreigners and repudiated the claim of exclusive
trade rights for the Hudson's Bay Company.23 The rush of population to British Columbia, however, had decided the Imperial
Government to terminate the license of exclusive trade with the
Indians by which the mainland was held by the Company ; and,
on August 2, 1858, tbe act was passed by which the colony of
British Columbia was established.    The governor of the new
« Cornwallis, The New Eldorado, p. 349.
10 Despatch of Douglas, May 8, 1858.    Id. p. 356.
a Letter of Stevens to Sec'y of State, July 21, 1858, Id. 324-5.
22 Despatch of May 8, 1858.    Id. 258-9 ; Rights of Hudson's Bay Company, Id.
pp. 296-400.
» Despatch of Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, July 1, 1858. Id. 367. These restrictive
measures of Douglas were called to the attention of the U. S. Federal authorities,
who sent to Victoria as special agent, John Nugent. Nugent's report o
Douglas.    35th Cong., 2nd Sess., Vol. XII, No. 3.
colony was to have temporarily absolute power, subject to the
Queen in Council.24 Douglas was invited to become Governor
on strict condition that he sever all connection with the Hudson's
Bay Company, and he accepted.
With powers now plainly defined and old relations with the
Company severed, Douglas turned resolutely to the formidable
task before him. A gold commissioner and assistant gold
commissioners were appointed ; proclamations were issued having
force of law for the regulation of the mines and the survey of
lands; order was decisively kept; the great undertaking of
providing routes of transportation into the interior was entered
upon.   Vigilance and energy were shown in all directions.
The establishment of government may have been made somewhat easier by a swift recession of the tide of population which
had burst into the country. The miners, indeed, were confronted
by a most disconcerting phenomenon. The first operations had
been carried on in the spring and early summer, when the water
was low; but high water in the Fraser comes with the melting
of the snows in the mountains by the summer sun. The river
has an enormous rise in the summer months; at Ft. Langley it-
is fourteen feet, and higher up much greater—at Pavilion, for
example, it rose in 1859 eighteen feet in a single night.25 Such
a rise of course submerged most of the bars and stopped work.
Some of the miners resolutely determined to wait for lower water ;
others, facing every danger and privation, prospected far into
the interior ; but the great majority, finding expenses heavy and
prospects poor, returned to California—there to classify Fraser
River as the most colossal of humbugs.28
In spite of all these disappointments, however, the rush to
Fraser River accomplished very important results. The rule of
the Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rockies was ended;.
British Columbia with its outlook on the Pacific, had come into
being; prospectors were pushing farther and farther into the
interior toward Cariboo and Kootenay ; an inter-oceanic railway -
MFor a copy of the Act see Appendix
final form, British State Papers, 1858-59, pp. 739-42.   ""     *
aMayne, Br. Col. and Van. Id., p. 86.
"One gets some Idea of the bitterness of feeling in regard t
from Angelo's Idaho.
on English soil was begining to be talked of and with it the
federation of British North America.27 England's participation
in the life of the Pacific Coast was assured. "However we may
regard the advent of England upon our shores" wrote a thoughtful Californian, "or whatever estimate we may set on the value
. of her possessions in this quarter, one thing is certain, we have
now got to meet her on this side of the globe, as we have met her
on the other, and encountering her enterprise and capital; her
practical, patient industry and persistence of purpose, dispute
with her for the trade of the East and the empire of the seas."28
" Cornwallis, New Eldorado, Chapter VIII ; Speech from the throne, 1858, Bancroft Hist, of Pac. States, Vol. XXVII, p. 642.
IsDe Groot, Br. Col.; Its Condition and Prospects, p. 4.
While the foundations of British Columbia were being laid
in this rush of 1858, events were taking place south of the line
which ended General Wool's peace policy, pacified the interior,
and opened it to settlement.
It will be recalled that Wool had excepted miners when he had
declared the upper country closed to settlement, and in spite of
the hostility of the Indians and the apathy of the soldiery,
some miners continued their work, especially in the vicinity of
Colville. These felt the need of protection from the Indiana
and of some form of government for themselves. Accordingly, a meeting was held at Colville, Nov. 23rd., 1857, in the
log store of F. Wolff. A petition wasN drawn up praying for
the location of a company of soldiers in the valley, and a rude
governmental organization was effected.1
Influenced by this petition, by reports that two miners had
been killed by the Indians, and by a desire to punish some
Indian depredations on the stock at Ft. Walla Walla, Colonel
Steptoe, in command at that fort, determined on a reconnaissance to Colville. The expedition, which started May 5, 1858,
consisted of about 175 men—dragoons, mounted artillery men,
packers, and Indian guides. Although they took along two
howitzers, the equipment was poor, the troopers being armed
with the old Yager rifles or with musketoons, and the supply
of ammunition being insufficient. The route was by the old
Nez Percés trail to Red Wolf Crossing, just below the present
city of Lewiston, Idaho, and thence northward towards the
1A full account of this meeting appeared in the Portland Oregonian, Jan. 30th,
Spokane. The northern Indians, particularly the Coeur d'
Alênes and the Spokanes, already hostile in feeling because
of friction with the miners and because of rumors of the construction of a new military road (the Mullan Road) through
their country, desired to have the Snake river the boundary of
the Indian country and wished no troops to come north of it;
they were incensed, therefore, to a degree of which Steptoe had
no conception, and the more because he, instead of marching
directly to Colville by the accustomed trail, chose one far to
the east which ran near much-valued camass grounds.2
The expedition had proceeded to the vicinity of Filleo. Lake,
some eighteen miles south of the present city of Spokane, when
the way was blocked by Indians (mainly Coeur d' Alênes), and
the whites turned aside and encamped by the lake. So hostile was the attitude of the Indians that Steptoe determined to
retreat next morning. Soon after the retrograde movement
began next morning (May 17), firing commenced and a running
fight ensued for several miles. Steptoe finally made a stand
on a hill overlooking the Tohotonimine (or Pine) Creek.3 Two
eommissioned officers and six men had been killed and eleven
wounded, by the time the hill was reached. By nightfall only
two rounds of ammunition were left to each man. The situation was indeed desperate, for Walla Walla, the nearest point
of succor, was ninety miles away, and the Snake river inter-
, vened. A flight by night was determined upon. The dead
"were buried, the howitzers were dismantled, and the stores abandoned. The command rode all night and reached Snake River
next day. There they were helped by the Nez Percés, and
finally reached Walla Walla in safety.4
'Letter of Father Joset to Father Congiato, Report of Se&y. of War, 1858,
p. 355.
•This bill adjoins the village of Rosalia, Wash.
4 Sources for the Steptoe expedition : Report of Secretary of War for 1858 :
MS. of Father Joset (In .Nichols' Indian Affairs).
Accounts from survivors : Michael Kenney In Spokane Spokesman-Review,
May 12, 1901 ; Johnl O'Neill, Id., April 2, 1906 ; Thomas J. Beall in Lewiston
Teller, March 14, 1884. (See also, A Pioneer Soldier of the Oregon Frontier, in
Oregon Hist. Quarterly, Sept., 1907.)
A secondary^ccount is found in History of the State of Washington, by Edmund S. Meaney, pp. 212-214.
I am indebted for personal recollections of this affair and also of the Wright
This attack on regular soldiers made it evident- to Gen-
Clarke, who had succeeded Gen. Wool in command of the Department of the Pacific, that the Indians must no longer be
dealt with in temporizing fashion. He at once began concentrating troops' from all parts of the Pacific coast and planned
an effective campaign. The command of the expedition against
the Spokanes, Coeur d' Alênes, and allied tribes was given to
Colonel George Wright, and a cooperating force was ordered
to proceed into the Yakima country under command of Major
R. S: Garnett.
Colonel Wright (afterwards General) both in this campaign
of 1858 and later as commander of the Department of the
Pacific in the troublous times of the Civil War, proved himself
an officer of more than ordinary wisdom and usefulness. His
appearance was not particularly martial, though dignified; for
he was rather short in stature and corpulent in figure. His
military operations were very carefully conducted, and he exacted from his soldiers strict discipline. In his dealings both
with the soldiers and the natives he was stern, but very just.
Unostentatious and not given to worry, he pursued his duty
quietly and patiently, but at the same time with energy and
While Wright was collecting and drilling his forces at Walla
Walla, several expeditions bound for Fraser River ventured
into the hostile territory. The first of these companies to start
was that headed by David Mc Laughlin, which set forth from
Walla Walla early in July. A German who strayed from camp
was promptly murdered by the Indians, and near the boundary
line along the Okanogau River a fierce fight took place, in
which three Californians were killed. As the company numbered one hundred and fifty men, however, it was able to push
expedition to Major Trimble, Mr. Beall, and to Mr. William Kohlauf. Mr. Beall
went over the ground of the fight with me.
[Since the above was written there has appeared a careful work by B. F.
Manring, entitled The Conquest of the Couer d' Alênes, Spokanes, and Palouses..
It contains much valuable source material both for the Steptoe and the Wright
'This characterization of Wright is based on conversations with Major J. G.
Trimble and on an editorial in The San Francisco Daily Bulletin of June 30thr
through. Other companies proceeded under Pearson, Steven's
old express rider, and Joel Palmer, formerly superintendent of
Indian affairs. Misfortunes beset the former, but the latter
went through very successfully.8 The largest company probably was that headed by "Major" Mortimer Robertson, which
left the Dalles the latter part of July.7 Most of the members
were from California, but there were a number from Oregon
and the "States". Among them were carpenters, blacksmiths,
etc., ready, it was said, to build a city. They numbered 242
and were given a regular organization into six companies. This
array reached the Fraser mines without trouble.8 These expeditions broke the way for an important overland commerce
- betweeen Oregon and Washington, and British Columbia.8
Wright was ready to take the field the latter part of August.
His force consisted of five hundred and seventy regulars, thirty
friendly Nez Percés, and one hundred employes. A fort was
constructed at the mouth of the Tucanon, and here Snake
River was crossed. Thence the expedition struck northward,
every precaution being taken to guard against surprise. The
Indians were found concentrated at Four Lakes, sixteen miles
southwest of the present city of Spokane.10 Here had come
"Yakimas, Spokanes, Coeur d' Alênes, Pend, d' Oreilles, and
representatives of many other tribes. Kamiakin, himself, was
present. As the troops moved to the attack on September first,
they admired the dashing horsemanship and picturesque appearance of the "wild array" of the Indians.11 The infantry
opened the battle. The men were now armed with the new
minie rifle, which carried farther than the Hudson Bay carbines of the Indians and the conditions of the Rosalia fight,
therefore, were reversed; the Indians were dismayed -to find
their firing apparently of no effect on the soldiers, while that of
«Bancroft, Hist, of Pac. States, Vol. XXVII, pp." 367-369.
j Robertson had failed to get through in an earlier attempt. Puget Sound
Herald, July  16,  1858.
'Weekly Oregonian, Aug. 7th, 1858.
• The most important element in this traffic was cattle and it is at thi*
time that the cattle business of Oregon and of interior Washington begin»
to assume large proportions.    (Conversation with Hon. C. B. Bagley.)
10 The battle near the present village of Medical Lake.
"See Kip's Army Life on the Pacific, pp. 55-56. Kip's account of the expedition is readable and reliable.
[171] 36
the latter was deadly. As the red men wavered, the day was
decided by the dragoons, who, eager to avenge their former defeat, dashed upon the enemy. The Indians scattered in flight.
Eighteen or twenty of them were killed and many wounded,
while the whites lost none.
Five days later Wright marched for the Spokane River, fighting nearly all the way. The Indians burned the grass and
fought from the cover of the smoke, but they were skillfully
pressed back. Kamiakin, in the course of this skirmishing,
was almost killed by being hit on the head by a large limb of a
tree, which was torn off by a howitzer shell.
The spirit of the Indians was beginning to break under these
defeats, and they were further cowed by an incident which occurred on Wright's march eastward along the Spokane River
on his way to the Coeur d' Alene mission. He captured eight
hundred horses, which the Indians hoped to regain by stampeding, but Wright encamped two days and killed the whole
band. So, by the time the mission was reached and a council
summoned, the Indians gathered in subdued mood. They agreed
not to molest the whites any more and to give hostages for good
behavior. On his way back, while encamped on Lahtoo Creek,
Wright sent a detachment to the Steptoe battle field to bring
the remains of those who had fallen there. Other proceedings
at this camp changed the name of the creek from the beautiful
softness of "Lahtoo" to the rough symbolism of "Hangman".
To the camp one "evening came Owhi, chief of the Yakimas,
brother-in-law of Kamiakin. He acknowledged that his son
Qualchien was near by. Now, Qualchien Wright particularly
wanted to get hold of, for it was he that had slain Bolon, and
he had been conspicuous the last summer in attacking miners.
Owhi was put in irons and word sent to Qualchien that if he
did not come to camp at once, his father would be hanged.
Into camp, therefore, he came boldly, dressed so gorgeously
as to make the soldiers stare. Wright's account makes no
mention of the fierce struggles of Qualchien, when seized, nor of
how he died cursing Kamiakin; the stern soldier wrote: "Qualchien came to me at 9 o'clock this morning and at 9.1/4 a. m.
he was hung." The evening of the same day six Palouses met
the same fate. In the course of the expedition the total number
of the hanged reached sixteen. Owhi, however did not meet
that death, but was shot while attempting to escape on the way
back to Walla Walla.
The stern measures of Wright, with the successful coopera-
; tion of Garnett in the Yakima country, brought permanent
peace to the Indian country, except for the forays of
the bandit tribes of Southern Idaho. These events of the summer of 1858, indeed, were very important in the history of the
settlement of the Inland Empire, for they cleared the way for
the advance of the frontier.12 General Clarke at first had been
in favor of Wool's policy of keeping settlers out; but the conduct of the Indians, in attacking the troops, the emigration
through the country to British Columbia, and the knowledge
that it would be impossible to stay the advance of the miners
and of accompanying agricultural settlers, determined him to
reverse Wool's policy and to recommend the confirmation oî,
Steven's treaties.13 General Harney, who succeeded Clarke in
October of 1858, issued an order reopening the Walla Walla
valley to settlement, and in March of the next year the treaties
of Stevens were ratified. The carrying out of the terms of these
treaties in the founding of agencies, the payment of annuities,
etc., of course helped to reconcile the Indians; while at the
same time the establishment of new Ft. Colville in 1859 and the
operations of the Boundary Commission, with its large escorts,,
completed a military cordon around them.14
"This Indian uprising seems intrinsicaUy more important than the better-
known outbreak of Chief Joseph. The former was an effort to stay the white
advance of like nature with the efforts of Pontiac, Tecumseh and Black Hawk ;
while the episode of Joseph was a desperate and unreasonable, though brilliant,,
outbreak against going on to the prescribed reservation, and is akin to sucb.
episodes as that of Geronimo.
"35th Cong., 2nd-Sess. App., p. 206.
"Kamiakin escaped over the Bitter Root Mountains and lingered among- thv
Pend d'Oreilles. In the winter of 1858-9 Father De Smet was sent to try to
induce him and some other chiefs to come in. He found the once wealthy
chieftain and his family in pitiful poverty and misery. Kamiakin "made an
open avowal of all he had done in his wars against the government, particularly
in the attack on Colonel Steptoe and in the war with General Wright" * * •
"But he repeatedly declared to me and with the greatest apparent earnestness,
that he was no murderer." The worn Indian came with the priest nearly to
Walla Walla and then vanished. He finally settled down on a farm on the
shore of Rock Lake in Whitman county, Washington.    There he spent his old
The Boundary Commission, consisting of both British and
American representatives, began its work in 1857 and completed
it in 1861. Their labors resulted in a clear definition of the
Line of 49' through timber and over mountains from tidewater
to the summit of the Rockies. The line was marked by frequent
clearings, twenty feet or more in width and half a mile or more
in length, the aggregate length of these clearings amounting to
almost half the total distance.15 The plain marking of the
boundary was useful to the government of British Columbia in
the enforcement of its new tariff laws. Just at the time, therefore, when settlement was beginning in a region of essential
physiographic wholeness, government drew sharp its artificial
The fixing of the boundary line on land was made difficult
only by obstacles of nature, but the choice of the proper channel
•among the islands which lay off the mainland, produced the
San Juan crisis of 1859.18 This grave incident gets its significance largely from the mining advance, in connection of
•course with the geographical situation. The island had a very
.strategic position, since it commanded the route from Victoria
to the mouth of the Fraser. The settlers who precipitated the
difficulty were mainly American miners, who, on their way back
from the Fraser diggings, had "squatted" on the island."
To the British Governor the possession of this strategic island
by the Americans, especially since they already formed so large
a proportion of the populace over which he ruled, seemed intolerable ; on the other hand, to the United States British Columbia loomed on the Pacific as a rival, and possibly dangerous,
age. He died in the later seventies and was buried on a knoll above the lake.
Kamiac Creek flows near his home, while a few miles eastward a long sinuous
butte is still called Kamiac Butte. The foregoing account is based on De-Smet's
report (Sen. Doc. 36th Cong., 1st Sess. Vol. II, No. 2. pp. 98-107.) and on
conversations with pioneers who knew Kamiakin.
15 A realistic picture of the sort of opening cut may be seen in the frontispiece of Mayne's Br. Col. and Van. Id.; the basic account of the work of the commission is that by Baker, Bull. U. S. Geol. Sur., No. 174.
18 Official documents for the San Juan affair are found in 36th Cong., 1st
Sess., Vol. V., No. 10, pp. 1-75 ; also Douglas, Correspondence Book, MS. p. 22,
Aug. 1859. The best secondary accounts are Meaney, Washington, pp. 240-254
and Bancroft's, History of the Pacific States, Vol. XXVII, pp. 605-639.
5 Gosnell, Sir James Douglas, p. 280 ; Meaney, History of Washington, p. 244.
In the light of this occurrence the building of the Mullan
road assumes an important aspect. The years 1859 and 1860
assuredly were marked by attacks on the problems of transportation both north and south of the Line. The establishment of
£ àew posts in the latter region, the necessities of the new reser-
grotions, and the need of supplies for the Boundary Commis-
I sion, as well as the incoming of miners and immigrants, called
I for better means of communication.18 But the possibility of
r war with Great Britain and the necessity in that event for a
more expeditious and safer route for transportation of men
and supplies to the northwest than by sea, constituted a strong
motive in the War Department for furthering the new road.19
The plan of a road to connect the headwaters of the Columbia
had been conceived by that empire builder, Stevens,, who wished
to open a northern route for emigration and to nourish sentiment in favor of a northern Pacific railway. He secured an
appropriation from Congress of $30,000 in 1855. Meanwhile,
Lieutenant John Mullan, who had been left by Stevens in the
Bitter Root Valley to continue explorations in that region, discovered the easy pass over the Rockies which bears his name.
Mullan, an indefatigable and enthusiastic path breaker, had
done more than' any other man to explore thoroughly the
tangled country between the Missouri and the Spokane, and, at
the instance of Stevens, he was placed in charge of the construction of the road. Delayed by the Indian war of 1858, the
road was pushed through in 1859 and 1860 and completed in
1862. Its total length was 624 miles and the cost of construction $230,000. It was well constructed, substantial log bridges
being built, rocky stretches blasted, and many miles of forest
leveled. Before it was completed, a body of three hundred soldiers was brought west over it, and soon it began to be used by
the miners.20
The road itself, however, was only a part of a comprehensive
plan which included testing and developing the navigation of
18 In the Department of Oregon there were 2158 U. S. troops in 1859, Sen.
the Missouri and of the Columbia. The house of Chouteau &
Company of St. Louis, with some aid from the government,
sent the first steamboat to Ft. Benton in 1859.21 The same
year the Colonel Wright was launched on the Columbia, the
first steamboat above The Dalles. In the previous fall Ruckel
and Olmsted ( constructed a wooden tramway around the Cascades at a cost of $114,000—one of the first steps toward the
development of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company's system.22 Both the Missouri and Columbia river lines in a few
years had an immense traffic in the transportation of miner»
and miners' supplies.
The great movement of the miners south of the line, however, was not to come until 1861. In the period 1858 to 1860
all that was here worthy of note in mining was a revival of
interest in the Colville mines and recurring efforts on the
Wenatchee. The towns of Puget Sound were particularly interested in the latter region, and they were so keenly hopeful
that mines would be found in American territory so situated
as to boom them, that they became excited at any news favorable to their hopes. In 1858 "highly important" news from
the Wenatchee brought forth an extra of the Steilacoom Herald, and at Seattle rumors of the same sort in 1860 led to displaying of flags, firing of guns, and general rejoicing. Town
lots for sale in the latter the day before at $100 rose to "an
almost unwarrantable price."23 But the Wenatchee mines
proved evanescent and the Sound country, except for settlers
who eddied in from the Fraser River currents, made comparatively slow growth during the mining period.
There was, however, during 1859 and 1860 very considerable
activity in the extension of the mining area in British Columbia. Nevertheless, these years, in comparison to the fevered
efforts and ambitions of 1858, were on the whole dull, and are
to be looked upon rather as a time of preparation for the future  advance of the  frontier than  as  a period of  decisive
ri Account of this trip in Contributions to Historical Society of Montana, Vol.
[176] achievemsnt. As preparatory to further advance, however, the
, extension of the mining area in British Columbia was not without significance and took place in two directions.
The first of these movements was up the Fraser to the region
of the Quesnelle River. Some of the miners who stayed after
^the recession of the tide in 1858, continued work on the old
bars of the Fraser, while others pushed far northward, a num-
'ber striking eastward up the Thompson, but the main portion
sticking to the Fraser. There were good diggings near Cayoosh
or Lilloet and on Bridge Run, but the most promising territory
was that of the remote Quesnelle, into which miners pressed in
considerable numbers in 1859-60.24 A detailed estimate by the
British Colonist in the winter of- 1859-60 of the population
along the Fraser, on the Douglas-Lilloet route, and above Lilloet placed it at 1175, and this was largely increased the next
summer, especially on the Quesnelle.26 The distances to be
travelled, however, were great, and the difficulties of transportation immense. No miners in America had yet faced such
formidable obstacles as these who were now toiling toward the
heart of British Columbia. Yields, while variable, were on
the whole encouraging, but it was almost impossible to get supplies. In the spring of 1860 flour on the Quesnelle cost $125
per barrel and bacon $1.50 per pound. Tools were not to be
had.26 The arrival of packers from Oregon, however, in June
(among them the indefatigable General Joel Palmer) relieved
the situation and brought a reduction of 25-50 per cent.27
The other important scene of mining activity in British Columbia at this period lay east of the Cascade mountains near
the boundary, along the Similkameen River and Rock Creek.
These diggings were first discovered by soldiers of the Boundary
Commission in the fall of 1859, and high hopes were entertained of them.28 Early in the following spring large numbers
of men came from The Dalles, Walla Walla, the Sound, the
"A good account of this  movement is to found in Ban
istory of Pacific States. Vol. XXVII.
* Quoted in San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Feb. 1st, 1860.
"Id. May 30th, 1860.
27 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, June 13, 1860.
H Bancroft, Works, Vol. XXXI, Wash. Id. and Mont., p. 232
Willamette Valley, and from northern California. Heavy shipments of goods were made, 120 pack animals and horses leaving The Dalles in one day.2' Two embryo towns sprang up,
with the usual sprinkling of saloons, "hotels," and stores. A
few men did very well, but the rich diggings did not prove extensive ; the larger portion of the minors scattered to other fields,
and this district proved not very valuable.
The great problem of the Government of British Columbia
at this time, it can readily be seen, was to facilitate transportation to the remote regions to which the miners were penetrating,
and this both for the sake of development of the regions themselves (with consequent revenue), and in order that Victoria
might compete in trade with the Dalles and Portland. Remarkably effective aid to the government in the solution of this
problem, and in other tasks as well, was furnished by a detachment of the Royal Engineers.80
This corps was sent from England in 1858 by order of Sir.
E. Bullwer Lytton, then Her Majesty's principal Secretary of
State for the Colonies. It was under Lytton's guidance and
care that the new colony came into being, and it may be interesting to note that the library which the Engineers took with
them was selected by the author of "The Last Days of Pompeii." The detachment "was a picked body, selected out of a
large number of volunteers for this service, and chosen with
the view of having included in their ranks every trade, profession, and calling which might be useful in the circumstances
of a colony springing so suddenly into existence. And although
it is called a detachment of the Royal Engineers, there were
four men in it who did not belong to the Royal Engineers at
all—namely, two of the Royal Artillery and two of the 15th
Hussars—included for the purpose of forming the nucleus of
an artillery corps should  the   exigencies   of  the  case   so   re
s' San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Feb. 18, 1860.
*» Mention may be made here of the explorations made by Capt. P
under the auspices of the Royal Geographical Society. Palliser in 1859
from Edmonton by way of Kootenai Pass to Ft. Colville. The object *
find a suitable pass for a railroad, but no such pass was then found.
Hist. Br. C, p. 448; Bancroft, His. Pac. States, Vol. XXVII, p. 643;
Relative to the Exploration by the Expedition under Captain Palliser (:
and Further Papers  (1860). quire."31 In all there were about one hundred and sixty men,
and they were under the command of Colonel R. C. Moody.
The first duty with which Colonel Moody was charged was
the selection of a site for the capital of British Columbia. "On
sanitary, on commercial, on military, and on political grounds"
he chose a thickly wooded eminence on the north bank of the
Fraser River. The town which began to grow in 1859 on this
pjnte was at first called Queensborough, but later was named New
On two occasions the Engineers took part in strictly military
movements. The first occasion occurred in connection with a
: jealous dispute between two magistrates at Yale and Hill's
Bar. Conspicuous in this dispute was Ned McGowan, who, as
a resident of California, has been under the ban of the Vigilantes. At a distance the affair took the appearance of an uprising of the rougher Americans, and Douglas took instant
steps for thorough suppression. Twenty-five of the Engineers
and a force of marines, accompanied by Chief Justice Begbie,
went to Yale. The trouble proved at close range a complete
fiasco, serious only for the heavy cost to the colony for sending
the troops; nevertheless it suggested the sort of treatment that
would be given to disturbers of the Queen's peace.32 Another
occasion arose the next summer at the time of the San Juan
affair when fifteen of the Engineers were ordered to the scene
of trouble.
The great work of the corps, however, was in coping wita
the problem of transportation. The developments on the upper Fraser and the Quesnelle emphasized the necessity of some
way for improving transportation to a point beyond the canons
of the lower Fraser. A route had been discovered in 1858
which proceeded by way of Harrison River and Lake and a
chain of small lakes to Cayoosh on the Fraser. But there were
considerable stretches of portage at various places on this route,
:  Royal  Engin
> Richard Wolfenden,. :
tith Columbia, by His Honour,
t and. elegantly executed mono-
account of the work of the ens'. D., Printer to the
self, a member of this detach-
which required the making of trails and roads. By the cooperation of Gov. Douglas and the miners a trail had been made
in 1858. The Engineers deepened the channel of Harrison :
River and constructed a substantial road between Douglas and
Little Lilloet Lake,—a "work of magnitude" wrote Douglas,
"and of the utmost public utility."33 A trail was laid out by
them, also, to Similkameen, afterwards widened out into a
wagon road. Their monumental work, however, was done on
the great trunk road from Yale to Cariboo, the most difficult
portions of which were constructed by them. These sections
were fairly carved from the great rock walls of the Fraser.
Besides their services in road building, the Engineers laid out
all the important towns and made surveys of the public lands.
Their work is thus summarized by Judge Howay:—"All the
important explorations in the colony were performed by them;
the whole peninsula between Burrard Inlet and Fraser River
was surveyed by them; all the surveys of towns and country
lands were made by them ; all the main roads were laid out by
them; some of these, including portions of the Cariboo Road,
the Hope—Similkameen Road, the Douglas-Lilloet Road, and
the North Road to Burrard Inlet were built by them; practically all the maps of the colony and of sections of it were made
from their surveys, prepared in their drafting office, lithographed and published by them at their camp ; they formed in
1862, the first building society in the colony ; they designed the
first churches (Holy Trinity Church and St. Mary's Church,
New Westminster) and the first school-house in the colony; they
designed the first coat of arms and the first postage stamp in
the colony; they established the first observatory, and to them
we owe the first systematic meteorological observations in the
colony, covering a period of three years ; they formed the Lands
and Works Department, the Government Printing Office, and
printed the first British Columbia Gazette; they aided in the
maintenance of iaw and order; and their commanding officer
was the first Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, as well
as the first Lieutenant Governor."34   No such record of multi-
farious activities can be assigned to any one body of men south
of the line in preparation for or participation in the mining
I advance.85
"The letters of Governor Douglas, it must be said in deference to historical
Impartiality, contain some adverse criticisms of the Engineers, though these
may be due in part to what we in the United States would call differences of
I sectional leaders, Colonel Moody representing New Westminster and Gov. Douglas
Victoria.    See Correspondence Book of Sir James Douglas, MS., pp. 71-72.
I. Cariboo
Notwithstanding the activity of the Engineers and the extension of the mining area to the Similkameen and the Quesnelle, the years 1859 and 1860 in the British Colony, as we
have before remarked, in comparison with the excitement and
activity of 1858 were years of dullness and discouragement.
In Victoria business was poor, and the merchants regretted the
departure of the California miners. The yield of gold, however, was considerable, amounting in 1859 to over a million
and a half of dollars.1 Yet there seemed danger of further
decrease of population and even of the collapse of the Colony.
Governor Douglas, on a visit to the upper country, in September
of 1860, wrote from Cayoosh that ' ' The fate of the Colony hangs
at this moment upon a thread, abundance of the precious metal
is the only thing that can save it from ruin. ' '2
The abundance of the precious metal, which was permanently
to establish British Columbia, came from one of the most remarkable gold fields in the whole history of mining—the Cariboo district. This district lay in the triangular area to the
north of Quesnelle Lake and River, between them and the
farthest bend northward of the Fraser. A good description
of it has been left us by Lieutenant Palmer of the Royal Engineers: "Cariboo is closely packed with mountains of considerable altitude, singularly tumbled and irregular in character, and presenting steep and thickly wooded slopes. Here and
there tremendous  masses,  whose summits  are  from  6000  to
1 Geological Survey of Canada, 1887-88,  Report, p.   23R.
7000 feet above the sea, tower above the general level, and form
centres of radiation of subordinate ranges. This (mounjtain
system is drained by innumerable streams, of every size from
large brooks to tiny rivulets . . . , which run in every
imaginable direction of the compass.
"Of the Superior mountain passes—Mts. Snowshoe, Burdett,
and Agnes, the latter is generally known as the 'Bald Mountain
of William's Creek.' (On these there was but a scanty growth
of trees, and the tops were covered with grass.)
"The headwaters of the streams radiate in remarkable manner from these bajld clusters. From Mt. Agnes a circle of one
and one-half miles radius includes the sources of Williams,
Lightning, Jack of Clubs, and Antler Creeks. ' '3 Three of these
creeks—Williams, Lightning, and Antler—were the more important in thé mining history of Cariboo. Their valleys, in
common with those of other creeks were "generally narrow,
rocky, thiekly wooded, and frequently swampy."
About the time that Gov. Douglas was writing his rather
doleful letter from Cayoosh in the fall of 1860, the adventurous vanguard of the miners, having pushed up the north branch
of the Quesnelle to Cariboo Lake and prospected the streams
emptying into that lake from the north, crossed the divide into
Antler Creek. Reports of marvellous finds made by these men
came to the outer world during the winter. The next summer
(1861) about 1500 men penetrated to this rich region, and
these are estimated to have produced $2,000,000.* In this year
Lightning and Williams Creeks were discovered and yielded
fabulously.5 At Victoria in the fall gaping crowds followed
miners to the banks as they carried fortunes in canvass sacks—
fortunes which promised restoration of prosperity to the city.
The years 1862 and 1863 saw the flood tide in the history
of Cariboo, although the mines there continued to yield largely
for some years later.   About 2500 men were at work in Cariboo
Survey of Canada, Rpt., 1887-88, p
Cariboo is that of Dawson, mentione
, His. of Pac. States, Vol. XXVII, '
in, though not well organized.
in 1862 and 4000 in 1863. Most.of these were laborers, who
received at the ordinary rate $10 per day, but who paid $35
per week for board and for the privilege of sleeping on the
floor of a cabin wrapped each in his own blanket. The rate of
wages paid is proof of the extraordinary richness of the field.
On Williams Creek there were at work in 1862 one hundred
and sixty-nine "Companies" owning 727 claims. By the
tenth of June, 1863, the number of claims was 3071. Two
mining towns had arisen, Van Winkle on Lightning Creek and
Richfield on Williams. Attention was being directed to quartz,
and 50 claims were staked off on Snowshoe mountain in 1862.
Capital was accumulated in large amounts at the mines and
invested there.6
The yields were remarkable and can be verified better than
in most camps. Of course the tales of individuals acquiring
fortunes in a few months are many. For example we. may cite
the celebrated "Cariboo" Cameron, who went to the mines in
the spring of 1862 fresh-from Ontario and so unused to miners'
life that men laughed at him for calling a claim a "lot." He
had $500 when he left Victoria in the spring of 1862; during
the summer he made $10,000 and acquired title to claims so
valuable that he was able within a year to leave the colony with
$150,000.T We are fortunate, however, in the case of the Cariboo mines, in having some official statements in regard to yields
which are of very exceptional reliability and importance. These
are found in reports from Mr. Peter O'Reilly, Gold Commissioner in Cariboo in 1862-63.8
'The sources of this account are summaries found in the London Times,
Aug. 8 and 26, 1863.
* Cameron links up with some older British Columbia history. He was
neighbor to Simon Fraser, the discoverer of Fraser River, and went to Cariboo
at about the same time as John Fraser, a son of Simon. Cameron returned
to his old neighborhood in Ontario and bought a large farm and a mill, but
fortune had turned, and he lost his money. He returned to Cariboo, thinking
again to wrest riches from the old gulches, but he failed, and lived on, haunting in a restless and impecunious old age various gold fields (as did Diets,
Stout, Comstock, and so many once fortunate miners), until at last he died and
was buried at Barkerville. These details I have from Judge Erederic W.
Howay and from Mr. Simon Fraser, a grandson of the explorer, now a resi-
v. Douglas from
t reliable and satisfactory sources
[184] Writing from Richfield, May 11, 1863, Mr. O'Reilly mentions
that he has been able through the kindness of Messrs. Grier
and Diller to get a "short statistical return of their respective
Companies," but that the latter gentleman did not want his
information published in the local papers. The returns are as
I follows :
"The Hard Curry Claim.
"Williams Creek.
""This claim was originally preempted on the 27th of September, 1861, by three shareholders, " viz : J. P. Diller, Pennsylvania, Jas. Loring, Boston, and Hard Curry, Georgia, and is
still held by them in three full shares of 100 feet each.
"During a period of 17 months from the time above mentioned no satisfactory results were obtained, the time being
chiefly employed in prospecting the claim. Two shafts were
sunk at an aggregate cost of $7724. On the 18th of February
1863 the Company began to wash up, and from that time to
the present the claim has steadily paid the following almost
fabulous amounts to the fortunate share holders."
Three da s <
di              F b
2'. 744
$4 720
4th - April	
"The total amount expended by the Company in working the
claim from the 18th of February is $26,748, which with a previous cost of $7724 brings the total expenses to the 9th of
May to $34,472, this being deducted from the gross amount
taken out leaves a net profit of $135,976 or $45,325 to each
share."   .    .    .
« ' The number of men employed was 21 and the depth reached
was 60 feet. The lead is from 12 to 15 feet wide and the strata
of gravel in which gold is found is 9 feet in depth."
At present only 90 feet out of the claim of 300 have been
P. O'Reilly, Gold Commissioner."
"The Grier Claim
"Williams Creek
"The original company consisted of five share holders, viz:
Daniel Grier, a native of Wales, John Fairburn, Scotland,
Michael Gillam, Ireland, Capt. O'Rorke, Ireland, and John
Wilson, Canada West, who recorded in May, 1861, 100 feet
"From May to August they prospected at a cost of $3000
which included the purchase of sluices and all other material
for working the claim. From August to the first week in October the net profits amounted to $7000 to the share, at which
time the claims remained unworked till the 24th of May 1862.
From the 24th of May 1862'to the 24th of October the total
amount taken out of the claim was  $100,111.
The total expense during that period amounted to     28,366.
Leaving as net profit a sum of       71,745.
Or to each full interest a dividend of       14,349."
P. O'Reilly, Gold Commissioner."
On Nov. 27, 1863, Mr. O'Reilly summarized the results of
the year in Cariboo as follows: "The number of men actually
employed in the District of Cariboo north of Quesnelle River,
may be set down as 4000.
"The gross amount of gold taken from the same district estimated from weekly returns obtained from claim owners on
the spot, and also from personal knowledge may with safety'
be computed at $3,904,000.
"The quantity of provisions sent to the upper country, ascertained from the collection of road Tolls is over 2000 tons.
"The above statistics may be relied upon as being as nearly
accurate as it is possible to obtain them."
Some idea of the amount of business carried on with the Car-
' iboo mines may be derived from a statement of Mr. Cox, who
succeeded Mr. O'Reilly. He wrote, from Richfield Feb. 6th,
1864, that the stock of goods in merchants' hands was,
Flour    300,000 lbs.
Beans     i55,000   "
Bacon     16,000 !"
Sugar    '  35,000'   "
>   Tea and Coffee   30,000   "
Fresh beef     10,000   "
When we recall that nearly all of these staples (except the
last) had been transported from Victoria a distance about as
great as from New York to Chicago and most of that distance
over rough roads and trails, we get a glimpse of the tremendous
energy employed in opening up this remote region.
The importance of the business of this region to Victoria is
shown from the fact that in June of 1863 it was estimated that
the indebtedness of British Columbia to Victoria was $2,000,000
and that it was thought that 75 per cent, of the debt would be
paid by September.9 When the devout Bishop of Columbia
visited the upper country and noted the capital invested, the
ravines bridged, and the rocks blasted, he wrote : ' ' Mountains
and mighty torrents inspirp the heart with reverence for the '
works of God; but not less instructive of the Presence of our-
God are all these strivings and movements of men."19
Williams' Creek in these years, particularly during the mining season, was a place of concentrated activity. An Englishman has left us a description of the place as it impressed him.11
• London Times, Aug. 14,  1863.
"Journal, 1862-3, p.  25.
11 Johnson, R. Byron, Very Far West Indeed, pp. 113-116. A cursory reading of this work is likely to make one regard it as unreliable because the style
Is vivid and some of the adventures so exaggerated as to seem untrue. But discrimination should be made between such stories and the description of places
and scenes. The latter are corroborated by maps and by comparison with such
authorities as Mr. O'Reilly and the Occasional Papers of the Columbia Mission.
"Across the breadth of the little valley," he writes, "was'a
strange heterogeneous gathering of small flumes, carrying water
to the different diggings and supported at various heights from
the ground by props, windlasses at the mouths, water-wheels,
bands of tailings (the refuse washed through the sluices) and
miners' log huts.
"On the sides of the hills the primeval forests had been
cleared for a short distance upwards, to provide timber for
mining purposes, and logs for the huts. These abodes were
more numerous on the hill sides than in the bottom of the valley, as being more safe from removal.
"The town comprised the ordinary series of rough wooden
shanties, stores, restaurants, grog shops and gambling saloons;
and on a little eminence, the official residence, tenanted by the
Gold Commissioner and his assistants and one policeman, with
the British flag permanently displayed in front of it, looked
over the whole.
"In and out of this nest the human ants poured all day and
night, for in wet-sinking the labour must be kept up without
-ceasing all through the twenty-four hours, Sundays included.
It was a curious sight to look down the Creek at night, and see
-each shaft with its little fire, and its lantern, and the dim
ghostly figures gliding about from darkness into light, like the
demons at a Drury Lane pantomine, while an occasional hut
was illuminated by some weary laborer returning from his
nightly toil."
"The word here seemed to be work, and nothing else; only '
round the bar rooms and the gambling-tables were a few loafers and gamblers to be seen. Idling was too expensive luxury
in a place where wages were from two to three pounds per day
and flour sold at six shillings a pound.
"The mingling of the noises was as curious as that of objects.
From the hills came the perpetual cracking and thudding of
axes, intermingling with the crash of falling trees, and the
grating undertone of the saws, as they fashioned the logs into.
Such is the
places described or had studied <
on reliable authority that Mr. Jo
[188] planks and boards. From the bottom of the valley rose the
splashing and creaking of water wheels, the grating of shovels,
the din of the blacksmith's hammer sharpening pick axes, and
the shouts passed from the tops of the numerous shafts to the
men below, as the emptied bucket was returned by the windlass."
The difficulties with which the miners of Cariboo had to contend were great. The climate, though not unhealthful, was
disagreeable and at times caused serious loss and delay in mining operations. The winters were long and there were spells
of intense cold, while the summer weather was variable, alternating between extremes of heat and cold. Perhaps the most
unfortunate climatic feature was the incessant rains in the
spring, which swept away dams, flumes, and water wheels and
filled up shafts. Another difficulty arose from the geology of
the country. The surface diggings served merely to attract
the first discoverers; the real wealth of Cariboo lay in its deep
diggings. The leads followed ancient river channels, and these
were covered by the detritus of modern streams and displaced
by glacial action. In consequence shafts forty to seventy feet
deep had to be sunk and even then, after the expenditure of
much money, there was no certainty of striking the lead. The
Hard Curry Company, for example, sank their first shaft in
the channel and on the lead, but the bed rock was found washed
smooth; after drifting from the bottom of the shaft without
success they abandoned it and sank another: it was later
found that the first shaft was only ten feet from a spot where
the Company afterwards took out 1224 ounces in a single day.12
Moreover, water seeped into many shafts and could be removed
only by rigging expensive pumps and windlasses. Laborers
often had to work day after day in water and mud, sometimes
without boots, because none could be had in camp to fit or the
price was prohibitive. A man mourned greatly when he snagged
a pair of boots that cost him seventeen dollars. O 'Reilly reports
the following prices on Aug. loth, 1862:
".Report of Peter  O'Reilly,  May  11,  1863.
Flour    .•> $1.50 per lb.
Beans     1.50   "'    "
Beef    .' 50-55c "    "
Tea     3.00   "    "
Nails     3.00   "   "
Picks and shovels  10.00 each-
Lumber    22c per foot
It is plain, therefore, that the Cariboo miners faced uncommonly severe obstacles arising from climate, geology, and scarcity of supplies. In order to meet these varied obstacles and
to acquire the indispensable capital required, "Companies"
were resorted to, and these became even more a marked feature
of the industry of Cariboo than in other placer fields. The individual, once a camp was established, could do little except
to labor for some one else or to prospect for new fields. Some
form of co-operative, or organized effort is essential to the development of the milling industry, even m its simpler stages.
All other difficulties were small, however, compared to those
of transportation, and in large part dependent upon them.
Not only was it necessary to transport supplies great distances
into the interior, but to get them over the terrible country that
lay between Quesnellemouth and Cariboo. "It is difficult to
find language to express in adequate terms," writes Lieutenant
Palmer, "the utter vileness of the trails of Cariboo, dreaded
alike by all classes of travellers; slippery, precipitous ascents
and descents, fallen logs, overhanging branches, roots, rocks,
swamps, turbid pools and miles of deep mud."13 The Bishop
of Columbia had to wade through bog to his knees going into
Cariboo, and on reaching Williams Creek it seemed to him like
camping on a swamp.14 It was a melancholy sight to see all
along the trail the bodies of horses that had died from toil and
poor feed. The absence of grass in the dense forests of the, .
valleys was one of the greatest evils of the region, although
there was good pasture on the summits of the hills.    Horses
"Report, Williams Lake and  Cariboo,  p.  13.    See  also  Diary  of  Journey
to Williams Creek, Cariboo, May 1863, Macfie, 224-229.
"Journal, 1862-63, p. 37.
already worn by being away from the bunch grass of the Fraser
terraces during a two or three days' journey came weakened
to this last terrible stretch. Sometimes a drover would lose
half his train after leaving the Quesnelle, and sometimes it
was impossible to use animals at all. Then men plodded
through the mud and scrambled over the logs with packs of
fifty pounds or more on their backs.
Great efforts were made to better communications with Cariboo in the years 1862-3. Trails were built connecting Williams Creek with Van Winkle and the latter with Quesnelle-
mouth.15 From Lytton to Quesnellemouth the routes followed
were comparatively easy, since they were in part along the terraces of the Fraser. The portage roads on the route leading
to Lytton from the lower Fraser via Harrison Lake were finished in 1863, and the great trunk wagon road to Lytton from
Yale was constructed through the canons of the Fraser about
the same time. In places on this road the rocks were so
precipitous that men worked suspended from the cliffs overhead. A suspension bridge was thrown across the Fraser,
and navigation on that river of course expanded.16 In 1863
the steamer Enterprise was placed upon the smooth) stretch of
the upper Fraser to run between Soda Creek and Quesnellemouth. Parties of returning miners who were willing to take
chances built boats at Quesnellemouth which held seventeen
passengers, hired an expert steersman, and ran the canons to
Yale.17   On the lower Fraser there were ten steamers in 1863.
One of the accompaniments of this improvement in transportation and the development of the mining industry was the
growth of agriculture along the roads. Farms were being
brought into cultivation at various places between Lytton and
Quesnelle. About Beaver Lake over a thousand acres were in
crop in 1863, and along the Bonaparte River about 2000 acres
were cultivated.   It was thought that in a few years British
*• Resume of these ad
" Wm.   Stout  made  :
Stout, MS.
Columbia would produce sufficient cereals for its own consumption.18
Victoria of course shared in the prosperity of the interior.
Substantial buildings of stone and brick replaced tents and
wooden buidings. Once more crowds of veteran miners were
to be seen on the streets; but with them mingled unseasoned
newcomers from England, for a larger portion of the immigration of 1862-3 was from the mother country than in that of
1858. Many of these novices were in straits financially, and
young men of good family might be seen at manual labor.
Business improved steadily. Imports rose from $2,020,000 in
1861 to $3,866,000 in 1863.18 The combined revenues of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, which in 1859 were $73,000
and in 1860 $375,000, in 1863 were $706,000.20 A conservative
estimate of the yields of gold in 1859 places it at $1,615,000,
and in 1863 at $3,900,000.21
The discovery and development of the mines of Cariboo, we
conclude, therefore, were of paramount importance in the early
history of British Columbia.
II.   Kootenai.
Just as Cariboo reached the zenith of its yield in the fall
of 1863, came rumors of a new field in the far southeastern
corner of British Columbia. The principal diggings were upon
Wild Horse Creek, which flows into the Kootenai River about
fifty miles north of the Boundary.
In the fall of 1863 a prospector from Colville, named James
Manning, was at the Hudson's Bay Company's post on the Tobacco Plains, when a half-breed named Finley brought in about
five hundred dollars worth of beautiful gold, which he had obtained from the creek now known as Finley's Creek. Manning spent the winter near Vermilion Pass and early in the
spring started prospecting various creeks. In March he joined
a party of twenty men who came in by the Bitter Root Valley
Aug.  26th,  1863.
» Columbia, p. 19.
y of Canada, 1S87t88, Report, p. £
route from East Bannock, Stinking Water, and Warrens.22
They immediately found good prospects on Wild Horse Creek
and took up claims. By June there were upwards of five hundred men in the country, and in the middle of the summer,
when the Assistant Gold Commissioner, John C. Haynes, arrived, there were one thousand men on Wild Horse Creek alone.
Haynes reported in August (1864) that ordinary claims were
paying from $20 to $30 per day to the hand and mentioned
ten companies whose average exceeded that. He issued twenty-
two traders' licenses, twelve liquor licenses and over six hundred miners' certificates. In the month of August the revenues amounted to over eleven thousand dollars, of which more
than one-half was derived from the customs duties.23 In the -
fall there were fifty sluice companies at work, employing from
five to twenty-five men each and taking out from $300 to $1000
per day. The gold was of the best grade, worth $18 per ounce.
A town had sprung up called Fisherville. The Colonial Secretary, A. N. Birch, on his return from a visit to Kootenai in
October took with him seventy-five pounds of government gold
and rejoiced to be the first to carry gold from the base of the
Rockies to New Westminster.2*
It is significant of how the Kootenai mines were regarded in
the spring of 1865 that Commissioner O'Reilly was sent there
instead of to Cariboo, which had now begun to wane. In 1865,
the banner year for these mines, there were from 1500 to 2000
men in the district. Fisherville, the principal town, contained
120 houses at the beginning of the season, but as the village
was located on rich ground, two-thirds of it was washed away
during the summer—a proceeding which caused many disputes
between mine owners and house holders. Victoria Ditch, three
miles long, carrying 2000 inches of water, and rendering workable 100  claims was completed at  a cost of  $125,000.    One
œLewiston Golden Age, June 4, 1864, in San Francisco Daily Bulletin, June
16, 1864.
23 This account follows a narrative by Mr. Manning found among the reports of the Gold Commissioners. It is dated Sooyoos Lake, July 16, 1864, and
apparently is from Mr. Haynes. See also Report of John C. Haynes, Aug. 30tb,
24 Report of the Colonial Secretary, A. N. Birch, to Governor Frederick Seymour, Oct. 31, 1864, Macfie, 255-262, Van Id. and Br. Col.
shaft was sunk 90 feet. It was very difficult to estimate the
amount produced in the district, because the miners would not
tell their yields on account of the new export duty on gold,
but it was the general opinion of miners and traders that about
one million dollars was taken out. The gross revenue for the
year was estimated at $75,000. On Elk Creek about 200 men
were at work. But the population of the whole district was
reduced by repeated rushes to the Upper Columbia, Coeur d'
Alene and the Blaekfoot mines, particularly to the latter.25
In 1866, consequently, Kootenai had clearly begun to decline. Only seven hundred men were at work on Wild Horse
Creek, half of whom were Chinese. The latter had paid high
prices for claims—from $2000 to $7000—and promptly met all
engagements. There was considerable litigation, however, arising from the white men trying to take advantage of the Chinese.26
The real importance of the Kootenai mines in the mining
history of. the Inland Empire arose from their location, they
being remote from the commercial and governmental centres
of the British Colonies and easily accessible from the territories
to^the south. Hope, the nearest vlHagetom the Fraser, by the
round-about trail that was followed, was over five hundred
miles distant, and part of the trail, that from Ft. Shephard
to Wild Horse Creek, was so bad that, in 1864, one of the Hudson's Bay Company trains was fourteen days in making the
trip from that post and lost six horses in doing so. Lewiston,
on the contrary, was only 342 miles distant, Walla Walla 408,
and Umatilla Landing 453.27 Consequently, in spite of high
tariff, improvement of the British trail, and eagerness of the
Government to draw trade to Victoria, physiographic considerations prevailed, and nearly all the trade was with points south
of the boundary.
A marked feature of the life in Kootenai was the submission
of the miners to the lawful authorities.   Here were a thousand
» Reports of Peter O'Reilly from Wild Horse Creek, May-Sept. 1865 ; also
resume made Jan. 11, 1866.
» Report of Mr. Gaggin, Aug. 18, 1866.
17 Report of A. N. Birch, Macfie, Van Id. é Br. Col. 255-262.
or two of rough miners, all collected from the American territories at the time when Montana was going through vigilante
throes; government was represented by a lone magistrate with
two or three constables unsupported by any possibility of aid
from the Fraser ; and the district was close to the boundary
line, a condition permitting easy escape for transgressors. And
yet the testimony of the British officials is unanimous as to the
orderliness of the miners. Even before the arrival of Mr.
Haynes, the miners, as usual, had taken steps to form district
laws, but on the coming of the magistrate they gave him hearty
support. When Mr. Birch arrived, he found "the mining laws
of the colony in full force, all customs' duties paid, no pistols
to be seen, and everything as quiet and orderly as it could
possibly be in the most civilized district of the colony."28 Mr.
O'Reilly arrested three Americans for bringing in and circulating counterfeit gold dust, but he wrote in review of the
year: "It is gratifying to be able to state that not an instance
of serious crime occurred during the past season, and this is
perhaps the more remarkable if we take into consideration the
class of men. usually attracted to new gold fields and the close
proximity of the Southern Boundary, affording at all times
great facilities for escape from justice."28
III.   The Upper Columbia
The reports concerning the mining districts on the Upper
Columbia, which circulated in, the fall of 1865, characterized
these districts as "poor man's diggings"—i. e., diggings where
the deposits were superficial and workable by individuals with
small capital; whereas Cariboo and Kootenai were "deep diggings," necessitating companies and capital for digging shafts,
pumping, draining, and drifting.80 Mr. O'Reilly was assigned
to the Upper Columbia districts in 1866. The main diggings
were on French and McCullough's Creeks, branches of Gold
28 Report of A. N. Birch ; id.
tried to escape was that of the export duty on gold, not  one-fifth of which
was paid.    O'Reilly thought it ought to be repealed.    Total returns $6900.    Report of Jan. 11, 1866.
50 Report of Mr. Moberly, Government Gazette, Dec. 12, 1865.
Creek, which empties into the Columbia from the east, well up
within the Big Bend. On arriving at Wilson's Landing in May,
Mr. O'Reilly learned that a new steamer, the "49," had made
its first trip from Ft. Shephard to Dalles Des Mort a few days
before. The "49" proved an important factor in the transportation to this region.31 Proceeding to McCullough's Creek,
the gold commissioner found there six or seven companies, who
were hindered by deep snow. On French Creek more men were
found; some sanguine, others dejectedly starting to retrace
their steps to Cariboo, Kootenai or Blackfoot. In all about
twelve hundred men had crossed at Wilson's Landing, and this
furnished a rough index to the numbers of the miners. Prices
were extremely high. On trying to hire a constable, O'Reilly
discovered that the wages allowed by the Government for such
work were 23 cents less per day than one meal would cost,
viz., three dollars. The diggings proved difficult to work on
account of water and boulders, and it was apparent these were
not such "poor men's diggings" as had been reported. The
miners combined, however, in a "spirited way" and four or
five companies worked on a test shaft, using night shifts, but
they were driven out by the water at 42 feet. Fresh pumps
were rigged, however, and some good yields were reported. On
McCullough's Creek, by this time, fifteen companies were making from eight to twenty dollars per day to the hand. The
whole district was "perfectly quiet and free from outrage of
any sort.32 The difficulties encountered, however, proved too
great in proportion to the yield, and the district rapidly declined.
This movement to the Upper Columbia, insignificant compared to those to Kootenai, Cariboo, and the Fraser, may be
regarded as closing the initial period of the mining industry
in British Columbia. During this period, as we ought perhaps also to mention, small numbers of prospectors made their"
way to the far north into the Omineea district of the Skeena
and Peace Rivers and to the Cassiar district of the Stiekeen
.    " Bancroft, His. of Pac. States, Vol. XXVII, p. 534.    Bancroft gives a satisfactory account of this movement, pp. 530-538.
"Reports of Mr. O'Reilly, May 11 to June 30,-1866.
[196] River, and in 1871 there was considerable migration to these
parts. However, the history of these movements does not lie
within the range of the present study, since they may
be regarded more properly as an introductory chapter to
the history of mining on the Yukon.33 The movements to
Fraser River, Cariboo, and Kootenai, on the other hand, were
clearly related to the movements south of the Line and were of
typical and foundational importance.
"Account of the Omineca & Cassiar movements in Bancroft, His. of Pac.
States, pp. 543-564. See also Report on an Exploration in the Yukon District,
N. W. T. and adjacent Northern Portion of British Columbia, 1887 ; Geol. Sur.
of Canada, No. 629.
[197] BULLETIN OF 1,
Contemporaneously with the mining movements into British
Columbia from 1860-66, similar occupation of new regions was
proceeding in the territories to the south. The most important
of these new localities were the Nez Percés and Salmon River
districts in the northern part of what is now Idaho (then Washington Territory).; John Day and Powder Rivers in eastern
Oregon; Boise Basin and Owyhee in southern Idaho; and Deer
Lodge, Bannack, Alder Gulch, and Last Chance Gulch in the
present Montana. To get the location of these various districts
clearly in mind not only will help in our historical survey of
the movements by which these districts were occupied, but will
also contribute to a better understanding of later chapters, in
particular of the one on transportation.
The traveller who journeyed to the mines of the interior
from the coast by the ordinary route—that by way of the Columbia—found the Columbia from the mouth of the Willamette
for about forty-three miles upward a broad stream with ample
depth for navigation. Then comes a gorge-like narrowing
through which the river rushes with great velocity for four
and one-half miles. This first obstruction constitutes the Cascades. For about forty-five miles above the Cascades there is
another stretch of unimpeded navigation terminated by The
Dalles and Celilo Falls. Here, "in the course of nine miles
the river passes over falls and rapids and through contracted
channels that completely block navigation. The fall in this
distance is eighty-one feet"1   From this point up the Colum-
1 For this quotation and much of the data of this paragraph I am indebted
to an excellent article by Professor Frederic G. Young in the Annals of the
American Acadamy of Political and Social Science, Jan. 1908, pp. 189-202, on
Columbia River Improvement and the Pacific Northwest.    Quotation on p. 198.
[198] bia 110 miles to its junction with the Snake and thence 146
miles to Lewiston there is no serious obstruction to navigation,
though there are some formidable rapids.2
At Lewiston the canon of the Snake takes an abrupt turn to
the south, which general direction it keeps for about 200 miles,
before proceeding again eastward. For about 125 miles of this
southerly stretch, from the vicinity of Asotin, Washington,
nearly to Weiser, Idaho, the river canon is from 2000 to 6000
feet deep and in the vicinity of the Seven Devils Mountains
assumes the grandest and most forbidding proportions. Above
Weiser the depth of the canon recedes to 200-700 feet, and
the flow of the river is sufficiently gentle again to allow navigation. The rough stretch of the river just referred to and
the Cascades-Dalles obstructions may be regarded as great
steps in gaining the plateau regions.3
The mining districts of Idaho and eastern Oregon (with the
exception of one far up on the John Day River, a tributary
S>î the Columbia) were situated on the affluents of the Snake
which enter it in the course of its northerly flow. The mines
were not near the mouths of these affluents (which as they near
the Snake partake of its canon character), but at considerable
distances up the streams. Taking first the rivers on the east
side, we find farthest north the Clearwater, which empties into
the Snake at Lewiston. Up the Clearwater a few miles beyond
the mouth of the north fork enters from the north east Oro-
Fino Creek. On this creek was the first mining district in
Idaho, and in this district arose Oro-Fino and Pierce City,
towns about 25 miles from the mouth of the river. A few miles
above Pierce City was Rhodes Creek, famed for its richness.
About sixty miles on a straight line southeast of Pierce City
on the upper tributaries of the South Fork of the Clearwater
was the Elk City district. The Oro-Fino and Elk City districts constituted the "Nez Percés Mines."4   The next great
2 The Snake is barely navigable also for about sixty miles above Lewiston.
* For description of the canon of the Snake from Asotin to Weiser see Lind-
gren, Waldemar, The Gold and Silver Veins of Silver City, De Lamar and other
mining districts in Id, 56th Cong. 1st Sess. H. Doc. 20th An. Rpt. U. S. Geol. Sur.
pt 3, p. 78.
* Maps and description of this region are found in A Geological Reconnaissance across the Bitter Root Range and Clearwater Mountains, by Waldemait
Lindgren, U. S. Geol. Sur. Professional Paper No. 27.
tributary of the Snake to the South is the Salmon River, whose
gorge, 4000 to 5000 feet deep, greatly interrupts communication between north and south Idaho. On the plateau a few
miles north of the brink of the gorge, a little west of a straight
line south from Pierce City and about 110 miles south east of
Lewiston, were the Salmon River placers, in which Florence
became the most important town. Twenty-seven miles southeast of Florence across the Salmon on the south side of the
river were Warren's Diggings.5 The next large tributary to
the south, the Payette, was not the scene of mining operations,
but was of some importance because of agriculture. Not far
above the Payette comes the Boise, the most famous of the rivers flowing into the Snake. Care should be taken to distinguish Boise City and Boise Basin. The latter, which was a
celebrated mining locality, is on the headwaters of Moore's I
Creek and its branches, and is about twenty-five miles north- I
east of the present city of Boise. Southwest from the latter
site and across the Snake were the Owyhee mines, on the upper
part of Jordan Creek, which is a tributary of Owyhee river. I
The Owyhee bends in a broad bow from southwestern Idaho
into Oregon and empties into the Snake from the western side.
North of the mouth of the Owyhee on the western side of the
Snake in. Oregon come the Malheur, the Burnt, the Powder,
and the Grande Ronde rivers. Of these the Powder River furnished the only mines of considerable importance, but the
Grande Ronde became early noted for its fine farms.
From the consideration of the mining districts of the Snake,
let us turn to the most important of the early mining localities
in the region now embraced by Montana.
The first discoveries were made on Gold Creek, a branch of
the Hell Gate River, which is a tributary of the Clark's Fork :
of the Columbia." But the placers here were not only of little
importance, but more inaccessible from the southward than the
great basin of the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri, where the
most startling of the early developments occurred.
6 For description and maps see Lindgren, Waldemar, The Gold and Silver
Veins of Silver City and other Mining Districts in Idaho, 20th An. Report U. S.
Geol. Sur., pt. 3, p. 233 ft ; Also Hailey, His. of Idaho, pp. 29-30.
• Gold Creek Is a few miles wes-
The Jefferson basin, about 150 miles long and 100 miles wide,
is drained by three branches of the Jefferson, viz., the Big
Hole, the Beaver Head, and the Stinking Water or Passamari.
On Grasshopper Creek, a branch of the Beaverhead, were situated the Bannack mines. Southward on the east side of the
Stinking Water (into which it drains; is the celebrated Alder
Gulch. The mountains southward from the Jefferson Basin
are remarkably rounded and the country has the appearance of
rolling agricultural land.7 Hence it was easy for miners from
Boise Basin to pass to Jefferson Basin, and the immigration
from Pike's Peak and the East also found comparatively easy
access. Below Three Forks, where the Jefferson, Madison,
and Gallatin unite to form the Missouri, one of the largest
creeks from the west is the Prickly Pear. A few miles from its
mouth the Prickly Pear is joined by Last Chance Gulch, in
which the city of Helena lies. Just above Helena the gulch
branches into Oro Fino and Grizzly Gulches. From the heads
of these gulches a low divide gives access to Nelson's Gulch, a
branch of Ten Mile Creek. To Last Chance and the gulches in
the vicinity came the last of the great formative rushes of the
movement which we are studying.
Having now surveyed the geography of this movement south
of 49°, we shall next consider the facts of the mining advance into these fields.
The discovery which initiated this movement came as a natural
outcome of the pacification of the Indians by the campaigns of
Garnett and Wright, the removal of the restrictions on settlement within the Inland Empire, the ratification of the treaties
of 1855, and, most of all, the restless searchings of the miners
from the Colville and Similkameen districts. The leading
spirit in the discovery was Capt. E. D. Pierce, a prospector,
who was somewhat acquainted with the Nez Percés country, and
' "In crossing the Rocky Mountains we had plenty of grass, wood and water,
and the most beautiful mountain country I ever saw,—it is more like rolling
prairie land covered with grass, with scattered patches of timber, and but little
bed rock in sight." Letter concerning a trip from Boise to Deer Lodge, Owyhee
Avalanche Jan. 6, 1866. For description of Jefferson basin see also, Report on
Mineral Resources of the U. S. 1868, 505-508.
who had mined on the Similkameen and at Yreka, Cal.8   A
party of about a dozen men under the leadership of Pierce made I
a prospecting tour into the Clearwater country in the summer;;
of 1860 and found rich prospects on Canal Gulch, a tributary
of Oro-Fino Creek."    On the return of the party to  Walla
Walla, there was hesitancy ,in organizing for further development, because of the opposing attitude of the Nez Percés Indians—although the eastern limits of their reservation were so
vaguely defined by the treaty of 1855 as to make it uncertain
whether the rich ground was within the reservation.   But at »
length Sergeant I. C. Smith outfitted about sixty men and proceeded to Canal Gulch in November.    These men spent the winter
there engaged in mining, building cabins, and making sluices. I
Forty-one claims averaged during the winter 27 cents to the
pan, and in March Smith made his way out on snowshoes with I
$800 for his share.   All through the winter letters had been
sent out occasionally by the miners to their friends, and items
from these were published in the papers of the Coast and of
California.10   A  swiftly  accelerating stream  of travel conse- I
quently, started in the spring of 1861 for the Columbia and
the new mines.    Thus, just as the Civil War was commencing
in the East, a new era of development began in the far North- I
west.    Early in March four or five hundred men started from
Walla Walla to the mines.    The town was full of pack animals
and not a pick, shovel, or gold pan could be bought.11    By June I
the Portland papers were protesting against so many farmers
leaving the Willamette, and by September such large numbers I
of men had left the mining district of California as to increase
appreciably the price of labor.12   Traffic on the Columbia grew  I
1858 [?] was one thing that led to the =
discovery of gold by Pierce on the Clearwater. They were prospecting tha
country all over for gold. The discovery on the Clearwater was really made
by a party of Similkameen miners. Pierce had been up there. I believe Pierce
was an old fur trapper. He had been among the Indians a number of years.
He went up there from Yreka, Cal."—Ritz, Philip, Settlement of the Great
Northern Interior, (MS) p. 20.    See also Bancroft, Wash. Id., and Mont. p. 234,
"Account of this trip in Goulder, Reminiscences of a Pioneer, pp. 201-2.
30 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 20, 1860 ; Jan. 22, Feb. 12 & 28, Mar. 7 I
& 27, Apr. 19, 1861 ; Portland Times Nov. 24, 1860.
"San  Francisco  Daily Bulletin, Mar.   27,  1861.
12 Id. July 18, 1861.    See later, Id. Jan. 24, 1862 : TRIMBLE—MINING ADVANCE    > 67
swiftly. In May the Colonel Wright ran to the mouth of the
Clearwater (and a little above), and two new steamers were
being built. In June Lewiston sprang into existence at the
•junction of the Snake and the Clearwater, and from it long
trains of pack animals departed daily.13 G. C. Robbins, an
observer of more than ordinary reliability, estimated in August
that there  were  2500  practical miners  at  work on  Rhodes
- Creek, Oro Fino, Canal Gulch and French Creek, and that four
or five thousand men were making a living some other way.
Large amounts were being realized by various companies, particularly by Rhodes & Co.14 Pierce City and Oro Fino became
busy mining towns. As the country filled up, prospecting parties set forth to the southward, and during the summer rich diggings were discovered on the South Fork of the Clearwater,
where Elk City was started; and in September excitement intensified at the news of extraordinary prospects on Salmon
River15. In view of these wide developments the Portland papers began to look upon the mining movements in a different way
than at first when they had disapproved of the departure of the
Willamette farmers. ' ' The facts in regard to the mineral riche»
there," said the Oregonian "which come to us from authentic
sources, are absolutely bewildering ; ' ' and it predicted that there
would follow "tremendous stampedes from California,—a flood
I of overland emigration,—a vastly increased business on the Columbia river,—the rapid advance of Portland in business, population and wealth,—and the profitable employment of the farmer»
of this valley. 'ne A better summary of that which actually came
to pass could scarcely have been written.
The prospect of largely increased immigration to the mines,
however, brought added responsibility to the Indian Department,
for all the mines discovered up to 1862 proved to be within the'
limits of the Nez Percés Indian reservation.17    The treaty of 1855
sliable pages of
u Id. July 3, 1861.
" Oregonian, Aug.  31,  1861
15 A good general  account
af  these  move
Washington, Idaho and Monta
la, pp. 234-24,
ticular, one should not fail to
read the ver
Goulder-s Reminiscences.
"Oregonian, Oct.  26,  1861.
"Possibly some question as
to the Salmo
had set apart an immense area bounded indefinitely by the upper
part of the south fork of the Palouse River, Alpowa Creek, the
Salmon River Mountains, and the spurs of the Bitter Roots.1*
In the second clause of this treaty there was a stipulation that
no white men, except employes of the Department, should reside
on the reservation without permission of the tribe and of the
superintendent and agent. It was so evident, however, in the
spring of 1861 that a large rush of the miners was under way,
that an agreement was made under this proviso, April 10, 1861,
between the Nez Percés and the authorities of the Indian Department, as follows: that portion of the reservation "lying north of
the Snake and Clearwater rivers, the south fork of the Clearwater
and the trail from said south fork by the Weippe root ground,
, across the Bitter Root mountains, is hereby opened to the whites
in common with the Indians for mining purposes, provided, however, that the rootrgrounds and agricultural tracts in said districts shall, in no case be taken or occupied by the whites;" but
no white person, except employes, was to be permitted to reside
upon or occupy any part of the reservation south of this line.1*
Within a few weeks after the signing of the agreement, however, the arrival of steamboats made it clear that a town was
needed south of the Clearwater, and Lewiston came into sudden
and busy existence. A little earlier a party of fifty-two men
left Oro Fino and penetrated into the unknown region of the
South Fork.20 Part of them were turned back by the incensed
Indians, but the remainder discovered the Elk City district.
The temper of the miners was illustrated at Oro Fino on the
arrival of the detachment which had returned, when "A large
and well armed party was at once organized at Oro Fino and
will at all hazards prosecute their desired objects."21 In a little
while the whole country south of the Clearwater was being overrun by miners, although little real injury was done to the Indians,
because of the presence of Capt. A. J. Smith, with a detachment
14 Text of treaty in Keppler,  C. J.,  Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties,  57  I
Cong. 1st. sess. Sen. Doc. No. 452, Vol. 2, p. 528.
"Text of this agreement in Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1862,
pp.  430-31.
M Bancroft, Washington, Idaho and Montana, p. 240.
21 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 7, 1861.
of U. S. dragoons.22 There was, however, great danger of hostilities breaking out, particularly as this last movement was into
that portion of the country where a semi-hostile part of the
Nez Percés had their homes. There were at this time three
"parties" among the Nez Percés. The first under the shrewd
and peace-loving Lawyer, lived in the vicinity of Lapwai and
Lewiston. These had been most under missionary influence,
knew something of the power of the whites, and were not averse
to trading with them, but dreaded the effects of the sale of
liquor. The second was found in the South Fork country and
among the Mountains or Buffalo Indians, of whom the most important leaders were Joseph and Big Thunder. They were in
general friendly to the whites, but dreaded intimacy with them
as bringing degradation. The third party, hostile and suspicious, was composed of bands along the Salmon River, who were
more or less in touch with the wild Snakes, and of whom Eagle
of the Light, a pronounced enemy of the whites, was leader. A
treaty which was made June 9, 1863, with the object of adjusting
all difficulties, was not likely permanently to placate the last
two factions, and its terms probably helped to bring on the,
outbreak under the younger Joseph; for they certainly left no
room for Indian occupation of the Wallowa valley. Nine-tenth»
of the territory formerly guaranteed as a reservation was ceded,
and the limits were so drawn as to exclude Lewiston, Oro Fino,.
Elk City, and Florence. The Indians were to receive as compensation $262,500 in addition to the sums promised by the
treaty of 1855. Hotels and stage stands were to be conducted
only under license from the Indian agent, and the tolls from all
ferries and bridges were to be for the benefit of the tribe.23 As
no new mines were discovered within the territory delimited in
this treaty of 1863, the Indians were not further disturbed.2*
"The situation is set forth in detail by Chas. Hutchins, Indian agent, in
his report of June 30, 1862. Rpt. of Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1862,
pp. 422-27.
aKeppIer, Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties, 57 Cong. 1st Sess. Sen. Doc.
No. 452, Vol. 2, p. 644ff.    See also Bancroft, Wash. Id. and Mont. pp. 481—492.
24 No account of this period would be complete without mention of Wm.
Craig and Robert Newell. Both were very important factors in the relation»
between the Government and the Nez Percés. A Biography of Craig is given
in Bancroft, Wash. Id. and Mont., p. 106. I
The pacification of the Indians by this treaty was made all
the more necessary because of the extraordinary rush to the
Salmon River district, the discovery of which, in the fall of
1861, we have referred to above.25 Immediately on the receipt
of the news of this discovery at Oro Fino and Pierce City a
stampede took place of all the floating populace. By the sixth
of October 140 claims had been taken, and astounding results
were reported.28 Two men took out $300 in two days and two
others $800; the dirt ran as high as $40 to the pan; men were
making on an average $100 per day and were writing to friends
in Oregon and California to hasten to this new Eldorado, where
a man could have a better chance than at any time since 1849."
Not only the richness of the new mines, but the fact that they
proved the wide extent of the gold producing country, gave to
them an advertisement which drew multitudes from the Coast
.-and started large migration from Pike's Peak and the East. November first, 1861, it was estimated that 1500-2000 miners were
in the district, most of them from the surrounding camps or
-from the Willamette.28
Part of these, fortunately, withdrew before a late fall was
followed by a winter of unexampled severity. The snow lasted .
from the 23rd of December until late in March. At Walla Walla
for four weeks the thermometer ranged from freezing to 29°
below, and at the Dalles 30° below was reported. It was thought
that about five-sixths of the cattle in the Walla Walla Valley
perished, and nearly all the sheep.29 If such was the bitterness
of the winter in the milder localities, one can imagine what the
miners at Salmon River endured in their hastily constructed
cabins and dug-outs at an altitude of 6,000 feet, the snow seven
to ten feet deep, with insufficient provisions and all supplies cut
off. Scurvy broke out, and there were men who never recovered
from the experiences of that winter.30   Hardships fell worst on
26 Supra,—An interesting sketch of the car
\ C. Elliott in the Oregon His. Quar., June, 1
2« San Francisco Daily Bulletin, October 24,
« Id. October 14, 1861.
» Washington Statesman, Jan. 25, 1862.
■" San Francisco Daily Bulletin, March 20, :
"See  Bancroft, Vol.  XXXI, p. 253. TRIMBLE—MINING ADVANCE 71
those who tried to travel, and from the Dalles to the Bitter Roots
men fell victims to the frost.
But in spite of these dangers and the warnings of the newspapers, eager miners early in the spring thronged Portland and
The Dalles, and five hundred of them started up the river at
once on foot, many of these with only a few crackers, some cheese,
and a blanket or two. As the spring advanced the numbers of
the immigrants increased, and in May 3800 people departed from
San Francisco for the northern mines. There were also large
numbers from Utah, the States, and the Canadian provinces,
the total being estimated by the Bulletin at 30,000.31 At Florence, on June 1, 1862, there were recorded on the town books
1319 claims, worked by about 4200 men.32
A general view of this famous camp may be obtained from
reports of two observers : "When on top of the mountain, which
is distant some ten miles from Florence, you look eastward, and
there, bounded by a high chain of snow-covered mountains, lies
the basin known as Salmon River mines. It is a succession of
rolling hills, none higher than 200 or 300 feet, hence the place
is called a flat, having that appearance from the distance. This
flat or basin resembles a gigantic inverted saucer. In or near
the center lies the town of Florence."33 Another, observing the
camp from an elevated spot at a distance, thought when twilight
came that he could see a thousand camp fires burning: "The
sight was beautiful and I think was well calculated to give one
an idea of an army in camp, dispersed over six or eight square .
miles of gravel. ' '34 In all the creeks of this basin, placer mining
was feverishly prosecuted. The richest gulch was Baboon, and
from this Weiser took out $6,600 in one day.8* But while there
were many astounding finds the ground proved spotted and was
81 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, June 13, 1862.
"Letter of E. R. Giddings, chief clerk of surveyor general's office, Banker's
Magazine XVII: 879. At an election that summer 1430 votes were polled
and this was not more than % of the population; Oregonian July 21, 1862.
The O. S. N. Co. carried on the Columbia in 1861, 10,500 passengers and in
1862 24,500.    Statement of the Secretary, Mineral Resources, 1868,  p. 579.
"The Dalles Mountaineer, May 26, 1862.
"San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 6, 1862. For a scientific description
of this basin, see Lindgren, Waldemar, Silver City, De Lamer and other mining districts in Idaho, 20th An. Rpt. U. S. Geological Survey, pt. 3, H. Doc.
pp. 232-235.
«Bancroft, Works, Vol. XXXI, p. 256.
soon exhausted.   No mining camp flared up more suddenly or
more intensely than Salmon River, nor nickered more quickly.
The reverse of this was true in Warren's Diggings, twenty-
seven miles to the southeast across Salmon River, which were
discovered early in the spring of 1862. Here the placers gave
good yields for many years. Inasmuch as the large floating
population of Florence, which contained many lazy and reckless men, did not cross the gorge of Salmon River, the settlement
at Warren's, consisting mostly of old Californians, was distin- to;
guished for orderliness, industry, and thrift. Prices, of course I
at first were very high. An energetic woman, Mrs. Schultz, paid
75c per dozen for the first hair pins in the camp, but she more
than recompensed herself for this by charging $3.00 per meal for
board. Still when her husband wanted a newspaper, he had to
pay $2.50 for a single copy. The camp grew steadily until there
were 1500 men in the district in 1865, and then decreased to 500
in 1867.36 Quartz discoveries brought some revival; but the
quartz proved to be in chimneys, and not many men could be employed. At last, in 1872, the Chinamen were admitted, and much
of the yield since then has come from them.ST
Of the total yield of these various mining districts of northern
Idaho it is impossible to secure exact figures. An approximation
is made by Lindgren up to 1900 as follows: Elk City, five
to ten million dollars, Florence, fifteen to thirty million,
and Warrens certainly in excess of fifteen million; and in comparison with these yields the production of the Oro Fino mines,
it is safe to say, has been not less than ten millions. A conservative estimate, therefore, would place the total production of all I
the mines from their discovery to 1900 at about fifty million
dollars, and of this probably thirty-five millions was produced
before 1870.3*
"Hofen, Leo, His. of Idaho County, MS., p. 4.
«Of the authorities for Warren's Diggings, Hofen, History of Idaho Co. is
best. Of the Bancroft MS. there are also Hutton's Early Events in Northern
Idaho, Farnham's Statement regarding Warren's and Florence, and Mrs. Schultz'»
Anecdotes. See also Bancroft Works, Vol. XXXI, p. 258 and scattered but valuable notices in Hailey's Idaho and Goulder's Reminiscences. For physiography
consult Lindgren, Silver City, etc. 20th Annual Rpt. U. S. Geol. Survey, Pt. 3.
* Reconnaisance across the Bitter Roots, U. S. Geol. Survey, Profession»!
Papers, No. 27, p. 84 ; Silver City, etc. pp. 233 & 238.
[208] For the mines of Eastern Oregon we have no such careful
reports as those of Lindgren for Idaho. The eastern Oregon
mines, indeed, seem scarcely to have received the attention that
their importance in building up that part of the state warrants.
While there were discoveries on Malheur and Burnt Rivers, the
most important centers were Canyon City on Canyon Creek (a
branch of John Day's River), and at Auburn on Powder River,
about ten miles southwest of the present Baker City.
The placers on the John Day were discovered in November,
1861, by a party of thirty-two men from The Dalles. Fourteen
of these started back to The Dalles, but all except two were killed
by the Indians.89 A very considerable immigration followed the
next year, particularly from Washoe, and settlers soon began to
take up farms in the beautiful and fertile valley of the John
Day.*0 Miners went to work vigorously making dams and rigging pumps, and Portland capitalists became interested.41 In
1865 twenty-two thousand dollars per week was produced during
the mining season, and in 1866 Carmany thought that the John
Day mines had produced $1,500,000.42
The Powder River mines, also, were discovered in the fall of
1861. In June, 1862, Auburn was laid out and for a few months
grew rapidly.48 It soon had forty stores and saloons, five hundred houses, and by winter a population estimated at 3000.4*
In the dozen gulches of the district men were in June making
from five to thirty dollars per day.45 A valuable quartz lead,
the Rocky Fellow, was soon discovered. Two executions occurred, one in legal form, another—that of a Spanish gambler—
by the mob.48 Settlers began taking up lands along Powder
River and many immigrants or "Pilgrims" came in from the
East, so that at one time there were 150 women in camp. But
in 1863 the immigrants began to turn to the beautiful Grande
" Overland Press, March 17, 1862.
"San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 1, 1862.
i Id.  Sept. 9,  1863.
"Mineral Resources, 1870, p. 224; Carmany, John H., Review of Mining
Interests of the Pacific Coast for 1866, p. 9.
"An account of the beginnings in this locality is given by Mr. W. H. Pack-
wood in Mineral Resources, 1871,  pp.  179-80.
S San Francisco Daily Bulletin, December 2, 1862.
«Id. July 1, 1862.
" Id. December 15, 1862 ; also- Oregonian, October 4, 1862.
Ronde valley and helped to build up La Grande, and the miners,
finding that the water supply was inadequate, flocked away to
Boise Basin and to other camps, and decline rapidly set in.
An interesting political development occurred, however, in
1862, when the people in the vicinity of Auburn, not being content with being an election precinct of Wasco County, organized
a new county and named it Baker (after the famous senator of
that name), elected a full set of county officers, and chose J. M.
Kirkpatrick to represent them in the next legislature.47 But ther,;
legislature temporarily refused its sanction.48 It is significant
of the growth of Eastern Oregon that in the presidential vote
of 1864 the counties east of the Cascades polled 4455 votes out
of a total for the State of 18,350. The political proclivities of
the majority of the residents are indicated from the fact that
while the state went for Lincoln by 1431 votes, McClellan carried the eastern counties by 287 votes.49
Auburn was a "mother of mining camps" whence prospecting
parties explored in all directions.50 The most important of
these parties was that which, under the leadership of George
Grimes and Moses Splawn, late in the summer of 1862 discovered I
the placers on Grimes' Creek in Boise Basin. The journey
thither was most venturesome—the swift Snake had to be crossed,
and the prowling Indians of the vast plains of the upper Snake
knew no peace. Grimes himself was killed by the Indians just
after the uncovering of rich prospects. We catch a glimpse from
one of their number of the feelings of this little band of eleven
men alone in the great wilderness far from their friends at
Auburn and from the soldiers at Walla Walla : He writes simply, "We * * * carried Grimes to a prospect hole and
buried him amid deep silence. He was our comrade, and we had
endured hardships and dangers together and we knew not whose
turn would come next."61 They escaped in safety to Walla
Walla, however, and in October were back in the Basin. During I
the winter other creeks besides Grimes' were found to pay, and
*' San Francisco Daily Bulletin, June 24, 1862.
*sId. October 4, 1862.
49 Presidential vote in Oregon, Id. January 2, 1865.
60'j. he phrase is Pack wood's, Mineral Resources, 1871, p. 180.
[210] in the spring came a rush of unusual interest and importance.
By 1864 there was a population in the Basin approximately of
16,000, one-half of whom were engaged in mining; the other
half, were occupied as "merchants, lumbermen, hotel and restaurant keepers, butchers, blacksmiths, saloon-keepers, gamblers,
theatrical people, lawyers, ministers, ranchers, stockmen, and
transportation companies. ' '52
Not only were the mines of Boise Basin very rich and easily
worked (producing at least seventeen million dollars in the
first four years) but also they were so situated as to encourage
home-making and the upbuilding of a permanent community;
although at first, it is true, most of the people, as in all placer
mining communities, were intent only on making some money
and getting away.53 One reason why this region soon took on
an air of permanency was that the climate of the Boise mines
is much less severe than that of Florence or of Cariboo, and so
towns with stable interests soon sprang up within the Basin, the
largest of which was Idaho City. In the second place, a fine
location for an important trading center was only a few miles
distant in the Boise Valley, where Boise City was founded in
the summer of 1863 and Ft. Boise established the same year.54
The town was beautifully laid out, with wide streets, and its first
promoters were exceptionally enterprising and far-sighted men.
It grew rapidly into the leading city of the new Idaho Territory
and became the permanent capital. A third reason for the
permanent character of the southern Idaho community is found
in the proximity to the mines of the fine and fertile valleys of
the Payette and of the Boise, which were soon taken up by settlers.
Again, the fact that this community was on the well-used Oregon
trail helped to bring in a larger proportion of families ; and this
proportion was increased by a large migration of families from
Missouri, which came to escape the pressure of war conditions.
"Hailey's Idaho, p. 170.
53 Lindgren, Waldemar, The Mining Districts of the Idaho Basin and the
Boise Ridge, 18th An. Rpt. U. S. Geol. Sur. pt. Ill, p. 655. He estimates the
total production of the Boise Basin to 1896 at $44,651,800, of which $4,000,000
In Boise Basin alone there were in 1865, 799 persons under twenty-one years of age of whom 278 were girls, and 197 were children under four years of age.55 In the last place, quartz discoveries were soon made in near-by localities, and their development called for capital and abiding population. The principal
quartz districts were at Quartzburg, on the edge of the Basin,
at Rocky Bar on the south Boise, and, most important of all, in
the Owyhee region, southwest from Boise City, across the Snake".56
The party which initiated the Owyhee movement, leaving
Boise in May of 1863, discovered promising placer diggings on
a tributary of the Owyhee, which was named after the leader of
the party Jordan Creek.57 When the news of the discovery
reached Boise, hundreds of men rushed off so distractedly for
the new diggings that one correspondent facetiously reported a
"special forty-eight-hour insanity for Owyhee" to have devel-
-, J. H.,
i read Splawn's
Report of J. A. Chittenden, Territorial Superintendent of Schools, Owyhee I
',  Sept.  28,  1865.
he principal sources for the history of Boise Basin, Boise City, and vicln- I
e the following :—
The  Bancroft MSS.  furnish:
iscovery of Boise Basin.    (With this should
in Hailey's Idaho, pp. 36—44).
Bristol, Sherlock, Idaho Nomenclature.   This is of special value for the
history of the beginnings of Boise City.
Coghanour,   David,   Boise  Basin.    Coghanour   was   an   example   of   a
thrifty, saving man.
Butler J.  S., Life and Times in Idaho.    (With this compare Butler'*
chapter in kailey's  Idaho,  pp.  183-187).
Knapp, Henry H., Statement of Events in Idaho.
McConnell, W. J., Idaho Inferno.
Angelo's Idaho is a pamphlet, which, after a diatribe against Governor
Douglas of British Columbia, narrates interestingly the observation*   I
of a newspaper correspondent's visit to Idaho in 1863.
important newspaper sources, after the establishment of papers, are :
The Boise Weekly Statesman.
The Idaho  World.
The Owyhee Avalanche..
Books :
Bowles,  Samuel, Our New
Richardson, Albert D., Our
Bancroft, Vol.  XXXI,  Washington, Idaho and Montana.
Mineral Resources of the U. S., 1868, Report of J. Ross
Hailey, John, The History of Idaho.    Contains important so
g There is a resume of the history of Owyhee in the Avalanche, i
•oped.58 The placers on Jordan Creek proved fairly productive
and were worked vigorously for about two years. But the gold
was of poor quality, being worth only ten to twelve dollars per
ounce, and the development of the rich quartz lodes soon dwarfed
the placer mining.
The first discoveries of quartz were made in July 1863. The
richest section was on War Eagle Mountain. This mountain
is at the head of a gulch tributary to Jordan Creek, and its summit, 5,000 feet above sea level, stands out 2,000 feet above the
mining towns on the creek below.59 On this mountain one hundred claims were "claimed, staked and recorded," in some of
which gold predominated, in others silver.80 The history of one
of the veins of War Eagle Mountain deserves special consideration. This vein was first discovered in 1865 and was known as
the Hays and Ray. Other parties discovered a vein (or a part
of the Hays & Ray vein) which crossed the latter, the two being
in form somewhat like the letter X. The later discoverers called
. their vein The Poorman, the name being chosen possibly to win
sympathy for themselves.61 They opened their vein exactly at
the spot where it crossed the Hays & Ray, at which point there
proved to be a chimney of ore marvelously rich. It ran 60 per
cent, bullion, and the Poorman people took out of it $250,000 in
two weeks.62 The-latter party "seeing that they would become
involved in litigation, associated their company with some capitalists connected with The Oregon Steam Navigation Company,
and about the same time or shortly before erected a fort at their
mine called \ ' Ft. Baker ' ', built of logs, with portholes and other
means of defense usual in such cases. The Hays & Ray had their
work [i. e. of tracing connection with the Poorman vein] so
nearly completed that they could commence suit, but could not
give the necessary bonds."63   They therefore gave a portion of
"San Francisco Daily Bulletin, July 17, 1863.
"A clear sketch map of the Owyhee district is in Bancroft's Works, Vol.
XXXI, p. 417.
"Richardson, Our Nexv  States and Territories, p. 78.
n Conversation with Hon. W. J. McConnell.
" Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, p. 509.
| Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 523. Geo. C. Robbins was the intermediary in
bringing in the New York parties and "Put" Bradford the S. N. Co. capitalists.
Maize, Early Events in Idaho, p. 7. their interest to the New York and Owyhee Company, which
guaranteed to carry the case to decision. But before trial a
compromise was arrived at by which the New York and Owyhee
party got the larger share. This mine in three months subsequent to the consolidation produced in net proceeds from quartz
reduced in local mills $390,000. In addition fifteen tons of selected ore were sent to a smelter in Newark, New Jersey, and the
bullion product ran $4,000 per ton.64
The special interest of these proceedings to us lies in the clearness of the call from this newly born and remote mining community to outside capital and to science. Previous to this controversy, mills had been erected by both groups of capital, the
Ainsworth and the New York and Owyhee. The latter cost $120,-
000, had twenty stamps, and was under the management (in
1869) of Mr. John M. Adams, one of the first graduates of the
Columbia University School of Mines.65 The Owyhee district-
contained in 1866 ten mills with one hundred and two stamps.
The transportation of these mills into the wilderness (300 miles. ;
of the route being by wagons from the Columbia at an average
freight expense of 25c per pound) is a tribute both to American
enterprise and the richness of the mines. ' But eastern capital
was in some cases recklessly squandered, particularly through
incompetent management.66 Capitalists, it was becoming clear,
must summon the aid of science and must secure more thoroughly
organized control over investments in these remote regions.
A community based on the quartz phase of the mining industry naturally had more elements of permanency than one founded
on the floating riches of placer gravels. Three towns along Jordan Creek came into existence progressively towards the quartz
leads, culminating in Silver City. Here a Sunday school was
started by the citizens, a union church was erected, and a newspaper established. Here also lived J. A. Chittenden, who was
earnest in trying to start schools in the new territory and who
became the first territorial superintendent of public instruction.
The solid character of the development of Owyhee attracted the
- Report of W. D. Walbridge, Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 524.
M Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. XII, p. 279.
« Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, pp. 510-11 ; also, Mining A Scientific   I
[214] attention of the Mining and Scientific Press of San Francisco,
which represented the growing stability of the mining industry
upon the Coast. In its Review for the year 1864, it said, "Perhaps the most noticeable mining development of the past year,
upon this coast, has been that of Idaho."67 Again, speaking especially of Owyhee: "There is very good reason for believing
that Idaho is destined to become a most important and permanent mining region. Thus far operations there .have been conducted upon a sound basis, with very little of the speculative
feature, so characteristic of new mining localities."68
We turn, now, to trace the advance of the miners to the headwaters of the Clarke's Fork of the Columbia and to the source»
of the Missouri, into territory afterwards included in Montana.
The discovery of gold in this region was due to two streams of
development: that of the "Mountain men" and that of immigrants to the Salmon River mines.
The Deer Lodge Valley, on the upper waters of Clarke's Fork,
had long been frequented by "mountain men" and trappers,
some of whom traded during the summer far to the south with the
' immigrants on the great trails, and in winter continued their
business with the Indians in the northern valleys. So early as
1852 a Red River half-breed by the name of Benetsee had found
float gold on Gold Creek. More important was the arrival in
Beaverhead valley of James and Granville Stuart in the fall of
1857. These were miners of high character who had left California for a visit to their old home in Iowa, but, hindered by the
Mormon war of 1857, they had turned north with the mountaineers. Having found on this trip fair prospects at Gold
Creek, they returned in the winter of 1860-61. They were disappointed in not getting supplies at Ft. Benton, and had to send
to Walla Walla for picks and shovels. In May of 1862, they
commenced operations, but with indifferent success.80
Soon parties began to arrive whose aim was to get to the Sal-
mon River mines. Some of these immigrants came up the Missouri by boat to Ft. Benton and from there started by the
Mullan Road for the Salmon River fields ; others came with the
Fiske overland expedition across the plains from Minnesota to
Ft. Benton; still other parties from Pike's Peak70 and Missouri,
diverging from the great emigrant trail, tried to reach the center of excitement by cutting across to Salmon River, but were
compelled to turn north towards Deer Lodge Valley and the
Mullan Road. Explorations, of course, were taking place in all I
directions by these various parties, and a number of promising
"diggings" were discovered.71 Of these the most important was
situated on Willard, or Grasshopper Creek, an affluent of the
It was in August of 1862 that the first bar was discovered on
this creek by John White, and towards this locality thereafter
converged parties from various directions. Thus the first important mining camp in Montana started. A miner's district
was organized, and a town of log huts came into existence with
the name of East Bannack. The yields were good. One "pilgrim" panned out ten dollars one morning and got fifteen dollars
more in the afternoon with a rocker—big wages for a man from
the States. Two took out $131 in a week.72 A fine quartz lode,
the Daeotah, was discovered in December, and a rude mill was
built that winter.73 There are preserved the names of 410 persons who spent the winter of 1862-3 in Bannack City and vicinity, Dakotah Territory, and of these thirty-three were
From Bannack there proceeded in February, a prospecting
party which discovered placers completely eclipsing those hitherto discovered in Montana. It was through mere chance that
the discovery was made, for these prospectors, starting as part
of an expedition to the Yellowstone, had failed to make connec-
*> In the phraseology of the miners "Colorado" was seldom used, t
was spoken of as Pike's Peak, and people from that region were "Pil
«These explorations were sketched by Granville Stuart, Contr.
Mont., Vol. II, p. 123 ; see also Bradley Mss., Bk. 3, p. 2S1.
n Diary of J. H. Morley, MS.. Sept. 15 and Oct. 4, 1862.
73 W. A. Clark in Contr. His. Soc. Mont., Vol. II, p. 51 ; also Minei
1868, p. 4CS.
™ Contr. Hist. Soc. Mont., Vol. I, pp. 334-354. '
tions with the other part of the expedition, and, after a toilsome
journey ending in being plundered by Indians, had been forced
to turn back. On the way back they prospected in a gulch which
one of the party named Alder, and the returns were most promising. We get a glimpse of the diverse nativity of the miners
from the records of these discoverers. The party consisted of
the following :
Bill Fairweather, native of New Brunswick, St. John's River,
Mike Sweeney, native of Frederickstown, St. John's River.
Barney Hughes, native of Ireland.
Harry Rodgers, native of St. John's, Newfoundland.
Tom Cover, native of Ohio.
Henry Edgar, native of Scotland.75
Some of these men had been mining at Salmon River, and at
least one in British Columbia.78
They found here a gold field richer than any they had worked
in, for Alder Gulch produced in three years thirty millions of
dollars.77 It was populated swiftly. The principal town was
Virginia City, which soon became a thriving municipality with
substantial buildings, a newspaper, churches and schools, as well
as hurdy-gurdys, saloons, and theatres. The columns of its first
paper, The Post, give us a vivid picture of the town, as it chronicles the hosts of incoming "pilgrims," a fireman's procession of
two companies with gay uniforms, a poster warning against the
use of deadly weapons, and the building of water works. In one
issue a prize fight is announced whereat no weapons are to be
allowed in the enclosure ; in another a notice is inserted that
Professor Dimsdale's school will open on Idaho St., behind Mr.
Lomax's Corral, "where all branches included in the curriculum
of the best seminaries will be taught for $1.75 per week, and
strictest attention will be given to the morals and deportment of
the pupils."78 The population of Madison County, in which
Alder Gulch was situated was in 1864, 11,493.79
The comments of an intelligent miner give us a view of the
™ Journal of Henry Edgar, Con. His. Soc. Mont., Vol. Ill, p. 141.
™ Contr. His. Soc, Mont., Vol. VII, 197.
"Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 507.
"Post, Sept 17 & 23, 1864.
"Post, Oct. 8, 1864.
Gulch as it appeared to him while out for a walk in November of
1863.    "It surprises me to see how rapidly this country improves.   First, two miles below here is Virginia City, a thriving
village with many business houses ; then one mile farther down I
is Central City, not quite so large; then in another mile you
enter Nevada, as large as Virginia; then about a mile and one- I
half further Junction City.   The road connecting all these
'cities' is bordered with dwellings, on both sides all along. * * *
Recalling that only eighteen months ago this was a 'howling^
wilderness, ' etc.,—truly truth is more wonderful than fiction and
excels in marvelousness even the Arabian Nights, but truth and
the marvelous go hand in hand when Young America finds a
good gold gulch."80
It was in September of 1864 that a party of Georgian miners, ;
prominent among whom was John Cowan, began regular mining
operations at Last Chance Gulch. Other parties followed, particularly from Minnesota. A village sprang up in the Gulch at
first called "Crab Town" and soon after Helena.81 This village
was a natural center for many rich gulches which were opened
up back of it—such as Oro Fino, Grizzly, and Nelson's—and be-to
sides was well situated for trade between Ft. Benton and the
mining localities farther west. Quartz was soon discovered,
and in December of 1864 the celebrated Whitlatch Union vein
was struck, the total yield of which up to 1876 was estimated at
$3,000,000.82 Placer mining also yielded largely in aU the
gulches, but was hindered by scarcity of water. One nugget of
solid gold was accidentally thrown out by a sluice fork, which
was valued at over $2.000.83 A newspaper, The Radiator, was
transferred from Lewiston, Idaho, to Helena in 1865.84 Virginia City was gradually displaced as first in population and importance.
In three years the economic and social foundations of Montana
were laid. A review of some of the salient facts and tendencies
of the founding of the new community are brought out in a
M Diary of J. H. Morley, MS., Nov. 12, 1863.
» Diary of Gilbert Benedict, MS., Oct. 8„ & 14, 1864.
82 W. A. Clark in Contr. His. Soc. Mont., Vol. II, p. 51.
«Cornelius Hedges in Contr, His. Soc. Mont., Vol. II, p. 112.
i " Owyhee Avalanche, Nov. 4, 1865.
thoughtful address by Hon. W. F. Sanders, himself a leader and
founder. His subject was "The Pioneers": "Fromfar away Oregon, through solemn forests, by the Pend d' Oreille Lake, by the
Mullan Road, by the Nez Percés Trail, by the Boise Basin, they
[the Pioneers] journeyed to the hidden springs of the Missouri
and Columbia. From the golden shores of shining California
with appetites whetted by the pursuit of this patrician industry,
they crossed forbidden deserts and over trackless wastes to the
newly discovered Treasure House of the Nation. From recently
occupied Colorado, by the Cache Le Poudre, by the Laramies, by
Bitter Creek, they came to the Shining Mountains, finding a
promising field for mining activity. From all the states bordering on the Great River that we give to the valley which is the
Nation's heart, came an onrushing tide of eager, confident immigrants as they swept up the Platte across the mountains and
over the Lander Road and Snake River or down the Big Horn
to the famed Beaver Head country. Another contribution of
sturdy men and women daunted at no obstacle and intent on
conquest over forbidden difficulties came from distant Minnesota by Forts Totten, Abercrombie and Union north of the Missouri River and first located in this valley. * * * Brought
face to face with each other they [these peoples] were confronted
with the newness of the land, with ignorance of its geography,
topography, resources, climate and above and beyond all with
the fact that they were strangers each to the others. In coming
hither they outran law. They found here no pre-extinct civilization. In the raw they brought it with them, and its secure
planting was at first an awkward and imperious duty. Opinions-
clashed. There was no tribunal to settle differences ; they had
to be argued out to ultimate results without artificial or extraneous aid. Unique characters with strange and sometimes unknown history and weird experiences abounded. Social life
and economic life boiled. Industry was a tumultuous struggle,
the turmoil was active and the process of unification was slow.
No houses, no highways, no fences, no titles; verily, the world
was all before them where to choose."85
Their choice was in part guided by information derived from
white "waifs of civilization," who had identified themselves
with the Indians. There were also "discards of civilization,"
the highwaymen and free booters, not romantic creatures, but
"ugly facts of flesh and blood."
"Events in those early times, profoundly affecting our situation here moved swiftly. The creation of the new Territory of
Montana, the establishment of governmental mails July 1, 1864,
with its consequent regular stage transportation from Salt Lake
City, the installation of governmental officers, the election and
action of our first legislative assembly, the construction of a
telegraphic line, the permission of the government to have newspapers transmitted in the mails, the building of the Union Pacific Railroad, were events which deeply affected the material
and social interests of these communities. ' '
Conditions similar to those of Montana existed in the other
regions populated by the mining advance. Because of this advance which we have surveyed in the preceding chapters, as we
have seen, a new British colony was formed, and there came into
being two new American territories. The act forming the territory of Idaho was approved March 3rd, 1863, and that forming
Montana May 26, 1864.
In the following chapters I shall next attempt to discuss special
economic and social phases of the mining advance, particularly
keeping in view comparisons between British Columbia and the
American territories.
[220] PART II
In the development of a gold field from its first discovery by
prospecting up to the complicated methods of extraction of
quartz, cooperation is necessary. I mention this important point
in the beginning of this discussion, because it is basic in the consideration of the industry and of society founded upon this industry, and because in common conception the individualism of.
placer mining and society is often greatly exaggerated. The
"lone prospector" in the period we are considering was largely
a myth.
Prospecting was carried on, as a general thing, in small organized parties, consisting of five or six up to perhaps fifty men.1
Careful preparations were made, particularly with respect to
providing horses, food, arms, and mining utensils. The latter
would consist of picks, shovels, and always "pans"—vessels of
iron or tin six or eight inches deep and a foot or more in diameter at the bottom, useful not only in "panning out" gold, but
also for mixing bread. These companies were composed of experienced miners, generally "Californians." Immigrants from
Missouri, Minnesota, the ' ' States, ' ' or England did comparatively
little prospecting. It is interesting to notice, however, the presence of Georgians in Cariboo, Alder Gulch, and at Last Chance.1
For weeks and months an expedition might range over hundreds
of miles of mountains, valleys and canons, studying the geology
of the country, prospecting wherever indications were good, and
1 In later times often only two men might go prospecting, when danger from
Indians was lessened.   Remarks of Judge W. Y. Pemberton.
'The gold mines of Georgia do not seem to have had the attention which
their importance warrants in the mining history of the United States.
once in a while fighting Indians. Often failure resulted, but
sometimes came one of the most thrilling and exhilerating experiences in the whole gamut of human endeavor, when the.
"color" was found, and the scales assured two dollars and forty
cents per pan—twelve dollars and thirty cents from three pans. I
—one hundred and fifty dollars for a single day's work !3
When diggings affording such prospects were discovered, the
next step was to stake claims. One should not think of a placer
claim as approaching in size an agricultural claim. Conceive a
gulch (such as Grizzly, back of Helena) nine miles long, the
flat portion one hundred or more feet wide between hilly or
mountainous sides. Claims in such a gulch would generally extend from hill to hill and be in width one hundred feet. The
claims were numbered up and down the gulch from the "Discovery" claim. Discoverers were entitled to one claim by pre-,
emption and one by discovery. Later comers were entitled only
to a preemption claim. As a general thing a man could purchase
in addition one claim, but sometimes, when a camp was quite
thoroughly worked, more than one. If the flat was wide, claims -
would be from 100 feet square to 250 feet square, dependent on
the district laws. The British Columbia code allowed only 100
feet square, while in the American territories there seems to
have been a tendency to expand the size of the claims.4 A man
could hold claims such as the above in more than one district,
and besides he could hold claims on different kinds of placer
ground. The claims on Alder Gulch were bar and creek; in
British Columbia there were bar, creek or ravine, and hill
« These are actual figures from Alder Gulch.   "A more happy lot of boy» lt
would be hard to find, though covered with seedy clothes."—Journal of Henry I
Edgar, Contr. His. Soc. Mont., Vol. Ill, p. 139.
« Governor Douglas at first required very small claims, in dry diggings 25 by
30 ft. unless otherwise established by a by-law ; but the regular size was later
100 feet square. See Rules and Regulations for the Working of Gold Mines, Issued in Conformity with the Gold Fields Act, 1859 ; also Park, Joseph, a Practical
View of the Mining Laws of British Columbia (1864), pp. 13 & 14. See also u
to decided tendency to larger claims in American territory, Angelo's Idaho, pp.
25"6. Claims at Oro Fino were held 150 feet front by 250 feet across the
stream, San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 2, 1861.
5 Original agreement of Wm. Fairweather, et al., with other prospectors. MS ;
Park, Joseph, Practical View of Mining Laws of British Columbia. The latter
defines bar diggings as "that portion of the banks of a river over which the river
It should be carefully noticed here that the plan of a mining
camp corresponded more nearly to that of a town than to that
of a country district. While the camps themselves were scattered
and isolated, within each camp the structure was comparatively
concentrated. Hence, again, we see that combination, co-operation, and organization are basic factors in mining life. Having
staked their claims, the discoverers of new fields from lack of
supplies or fear of the natives were generally compelled to return to some camp or trading centre. There the news invariably
leaked out (a man surely must tell his friends, for whom he
had already probably staked out claims), and a local rush ensued. Day laborers, who constituted four-fifths of the population of mining-camps, late-comers, who came in crowds into
every large camp, and claim-owners who were not making top-
notch figures would drop every employment, put up every dollar
for outfit (or go without), and plunge for the new diggings.
The great desideratum was to be the first on the ground.
Merchants and packers, also, would press forward their trains
eagerly, for the man who got a well-laden train into a new mining community would make a good-sized fortune.
A vivid picture of the fever of a rush is furnished from Oro
Fino when the news of the Salmon River diggings reached the
town: "On Friday morning last, when the news of the new
diggings had been promulgated, the store of Miner and Arnold
was literally besieged. As the news radiated—and it was not
long in spreading—picks and shovels were thrown down, claims
deserted and turn your eye where you would, you would see
droves of people coming in 'hot haste' to town, some packing one
thing on their backs and some another, all intent on scaling the
mountains through frost and snow, and taking up a claim in the
new El Dorado. In the town there was a perfect jam—a mass
of human infatuation, jostling, shoving and elbowing each other,
whilst the question, 'Did you hear the news about Salmon
River?', 'Are you going to Salmon River?', 'Have you got a
in its most flooded state extends" ; a creek claim as "a parcel of ground taken
up on the alluvial banks, or flats, which lie on each side of a river or stream" ;
and hill claims as "situated on the side or rise of the hills or banks which ran
along the side of the creek."—pp. 13-14.
Cayuse?', 'How much grub are you going to take?', etc., were
put to one another, whilst the most exaggerated statements were
made relative to the claims already taken up     Cayuse.
horses that the day before would have sold for about $25 sold
readily now for $50 to $75, and some went as high as $100.
Flour, bacon, beans, tea, coffee, sugar, frying pans, coffee pots
and mining utensils, etc., were instantly in demand. The stores
were thronged to excess. Pack trains were employed, and the,
amount of merchandise that has been packed off from this town
to the Salmon river diggings since yesterday morning is really
astonishing. ' 'e
When an ardent crowd like this reached a gulch or basin, and
when successive crowds from farther camps and towns began pouring in, the available mining ground was soon occupied.    Before
much work was done, however, a miners' meeting was held, and ,
the district was organized by electing a miners' judge, a sheriff,
and a recorder and by passing the rules of the camp.   Men who I
had been Schooled in California camps not only had learned to
mine skillfully, but turned spontaneously to that form of local
political organization which had been evolved in California.7   This I
was true not only in the American territories, but also in the
British ; along Fraser River and in Kootenai steps were taken in I
organization prior to the arrival of the British officials, and the
success of these officials in maintaining law was due in very considerable degree to the orderly instincts and methods of the Cali-to
fornia miners.8
One of the most important of the district rules was that concerned with representation.    Representation meant the time re- I
quired for work in holding a claim.    Ordinarily one day out of
seven was required during the working season, although, some- I
times, as in Bivens Gulch (Montana) two days at first were neees- I
« Letter to The Portland- Advertiser, October 29, 1861, in San Francisco Daily
Bulletin, Nov. 2, 1801.
' A vivid account of the organization of California camps is found in Davis, I
Hon. John F., Historical Sketch of Mining Law in California (From History of I
Bench and Bar in Cal.) pp. 16-33.    Shinn, C. H., Mining Camps, takes up the subject more elaborately.    On the spread of California ideas consult particularly in.
the latter work Chap. XXV on Effects upon Western Development.
8 See Copy of Miners' Resolutions at Fort Yale Bar, Cornwallis, New Eldorado,
pp. 402-3 ; also, Report of A. N. Birch, Colonial Secretary to Governor Seymour,
Oct. 31, 1864, found in Macfle, Vancouver Id. and Br. Col., pp. 255-262.
[226] sary. A man might do the work himself, or have it done. In
British Columbia it was required that representation be bona-fide
and not colorable, and a claim was considered abandoned if left
seventy-two hours. Bona-fide representation, however, included
clearing brush for cabin, building cabin, cutting timber away from
the claim for works on the claim, and bringing in provisions.9
The time when representation was not required or, in other
words, when claims were "laid over" was determined in the
American territories by district meeting, in British Columbia by .
the local gold commissioner. Claims were universally laid over
during the winter season, but might be laid over temporarily at
other times—as for example, during prolonged drouth. The
British Columbia method of control seems to have given greater
flexibility, for adjustment to conditions. When claims were laid
over, miners could absent themselves entirely until representation was again required, and no one could legally jump their
claims. • This arrangement gave miners an opportunity, perhaps,
to return to their homes for the winter, if they chanced to live in
the Willamette or some Coast community, or at any rate, to go to
some town, as Victoria, Portland, Lewiston or Boise, where living
was cheaper than in the mines, life more attractive, and the
chances for spending all one's money very good. Here, then, is
another peculiarity of a mining camp: men seldom thought of
creating homes in such a camp, and ownership was based not on
residence, as in agricutural homesteads, but on work during a
portion of the year.
Still, it would be wrong to think that the camps were wholly
deserted during the winter. A very considerable proportion of
the miners stayed, and these occupied themselves in sawing lumber, making sluices, etc., and (especially in deep diggings) in
digging shafts and drifting. Mining operations in the latter
class of diggings could be carried on all winter. Camps often acquired, therefore, more of stability than is commonly thought.
It is time, however, to return to the recently discovered and
newly organized district where the miners were ready for their
work.   Theirs was a busy and laborious life, and it did not con-
sist of picking up golden nuggets out of streams and spending
most of their time in hilariousness and adventure. Work, hard
physical toil, was necessary to development.10 In the first place
there were cabins to build, and in this labor British observers
admired the skill of the American axemen—a skillfulness particularly noticeable in Missourians, or those recently from the
"States." Ditches were to be dug and sluices and flumes
constructed. Lumber had to be obtained by the laborious process of whip-sawing, and good whip-sawyers could always make
high wages until the inevitable small sawmill arrived.11
The processes of placer mining were somewhat varied. The
simplest, after the pan, was the use of the rocker, which was
an affair constructed somewhat like a child's old fashioned
cradle, having at one end a perforated sheet of iron. The
rocker was placed by the side of a stream and one man rocked
and poured water, while another dug and carried dirt. This
of course was a slow process, and a next step was the use of
the sluice.12 Boxes ten or twelve feet long, twelve inches wide
and eleven inches deep, were arranged in "strings" in such
manner as to allow a current of water from a ditch to be run
through the boxes. In working such a sluice a number of men
could be utilized—some to strip sod, some to dig and wheel, one
to throw out pebbles and boulders with a sluice-fork and one
to throw away tailings. Transverse cleats were nailed to the
bottom of both rocker and sluice-box, and quick silver was
poured into the mixture of dirt and water in order by amalgamation to secure a larger percentage of gold than would otherwise be possible. A farther modification of the sluice was the
use of hydraulic power, in the shape of a powerful stream of
water from a hose, instead of picks and shovels.13
10 Intensity of work was increased in districts where water could be secured
only for a short season. Night shifts were often used then. It took real patriotism at such a time for a man to volunteer on an expedition against marauding Indians. One gets an idea of the steady, plodding labor necessary to develop a claim from the diary of J. F. Morley where day after day is the entry,
"At work in the shaft."
11 Three things were indispensable to a placer miner—water, lumber, and
MThe "torn" was a simple form of sluice, consisting of but one trough.
MGood descriptions of processes may  be found in Goulder, W. A. Reminiscences of a Pioneer, pp. 211-214 ; Macfie, Van. Id. & B. C, pp. 266-2T9 ; MinWiïjM
Resources, 1867, pp. 16-23.
[228] The pay dirt lay next to the bed-rock and in shallow diggings could be got at simply by stripping ; but in a number of
rich fields (Cariboo and Last Chance, for examples) the pay
stratum or lead was buried under twenty to sixty feet of stream
detritus, and then shafts and drifting had to be resorted to.
Drifting of course meant digging out around from the bottom of
the shaft. This was work only for an expert miner, and a
good drifter was always in demand at wages three or four
dollars a day higher than those paid for ordinary labor. The
use of shafts and drifts required timber for supports and the
rigging of windlasses. Water and boulders often bothered
greatly, especially the former. Sometimes pumps were made, but
often a bed rock flume was resorted to. In its construction a
miner opened up a ditch on the bed rock from a point low
enough to drain his claim.
In carrying on these various forms of mining labor, the skill
of old Californians was pre-eminent, and everywhere from Cariboo to Owyhee the methods and opinions of Californians were
given great respect. In camps where there were many "pilgrims" from the states higher wages were generally paid to old
miners. The Californians, indeed, were apt to be a bit supercilious with regard to noviates; at Oro Fino, for example, they
complained that the Willamette farmers in the mines did not
know how to secure gold properly from the dirt—to which the
others might have replied that neither were they so expert in
gambling it away after it was secured.14 The scorn of the expert for the unskilled is somewhat amusingly revealed in a letter
from Last Chance, where, the writer says, the gulches were
"mostly taken up by Pilgrims, who know more about raising
wheat or cranberries, or handling logs, than using pick and
"Just watch them handle a pick. A good miner has a pick
drawn to a fine, sharp point ; he works underneath the pay dirt
on the bed rock ; you know, Mr. Editor, when you knock away a
man's underpinning he is easily brought down; and so it is with
gravel—get under it with a good long, sharp pick, and it is easily
g San Francisco Daily Bulletin, August 21, 1861 ; Bristow, Reencounters, MS.
brought down. It cannot stand on nothing ; but a green horn
has a short, thick, stubbed pick; he stands on the top, like a
chicken on a grain pile; gets out one rock and finds he has another below it requiring the same labor."15
Yet there was good demand in every thriving camp for many
kinds of labor, so that men turned easily to that employment in
which they had had previous training.
Notwithstanding the comparative skillfulness of the Californians, however, the placer mining of this period was wasteful,
and unconscious of conservation. This for two reasons : In the
first place men were in the mines simply to make as much money
as they could and get away in the shortest possible time. This
was particularly true, of course, with regard to residents of the
Willamette or of Missouri, to many of whom a trip to the mines
was of the nature of an excursion, designed to make a little
money or pay off a mortgage. In the case of the habitual miner
there was no possible way by which he could be constrained to
work old ground carefully, when he could make large sums by
hasty working and then hie to some other field. A man certainly could not be expected to work carefully a claim that did
not pay more than wages. In the second place, the expenses necessarily attendant upon opening a new and remote placer field
• by the modes of transportation which then obtained, were so
great a charge upon the mines that only the very richest gravel
could be profitably worked. These placer mines had to pay
for establishing routes of transportation and for nurturing civilization under unfavorable conditions.18 Whatever the reason,,
at any rate, the mines were skimmed, and the wastage was enor- I
mous. Mr. J. Ross Browne, who had spent years in the mining
regions and who had opportunity to know the situation better
than anyone else in the United States, in his report of 1868
[though he does not mention his authorities] says that, "At a
moderate calculation, there has been an unnecessary loss of
15 Montana Post, April 29, 1865. A very important workman in each mining
locality was the blacksmith. The worth of a mining field was estimated in part
at times by the number of blacksmiths employed in it.
. " Moreover, the lack of the "blue lead" beds of ancient rivers in Montana and
Idaho contributed to early exhaustion, compared with California ; Carmany,
Review of 1866, p. 9.
precious metals since the discovery of our mines of more than
$300,000,000, scarcely a fraction of which canwer be recovered.
This is a serious consideration. The question arises whether it
is not the duty of government to prevent, as far as may be consistent with individual rights, this waste of a common heritage,
in which not only ourselves but our posterity are interested."17
It was true that waste was to a considerable degree relieved
by the incoming of the patient Chinese into every camp after the
cream had been taken by the whites, by the introduction in some
cases of hydraulic processes by which low grade ground could be
profitably worked, and by more careful methods of whites who
were content to labor on after the flush times were over.18 But
it remained a fact, and a fact of importance in sociological study
of early mining society, that mining communities economically
based on placer mines were wasteful and unstable.
In order to overcome this instability, everywhere the more substantial miners, business men, and statesmen turned their attention to quartz. In all mining regions, therefore, whether in British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, or Montana, quartz lodes were
eagerly located and attempts, more or less elaborate and successful, were made at development.19
The simplest machinery for working quartz was the arrastra
(or arrastre), originally a Mexican invention. This consisted
of a circular area paved with stones, in the middle a post and to
this post attached a sweep to which a mule or horse was hitched.
A block of granite, fastened to the sweep, was dragged around
over the quartz distributed within the circle. The remains of
these old arrastras may be found in many gulches today.    Their
"Mineral Resources of the United States, 1868, p. 9.
"More work was carried on than is commonly thought, after the crowds of
adventurers had vanished and newspaper notices become sparse. This was true
of such places as Cariboo, Oro Fino and Warrens, but not so with regard to
Salmon River, Auburn, and Kootenai.
"In British Columbia the following bonuses were offered:
1. £500 to the person who should be first in the colony successfully to work
quartz, gold or silver by machinery.
2. £500 for discovery of a good coal mine.
3. £500 for building the first vessel in the Colony of not less than 500 tons.
4. £500 for discovery  of new alluvial diggings capable of giving employ-
'    ment to 500 men.    [Notice how the government here takes the initiative in a way that it never did in the territories to the south.]    Government Gazette, Jan. 7, 1865.
use "required neither capital nor a number of laborers. The
owner of the arrastra Ncould dig out his own rock one day, and
reduce it the next."20
The enterprise of Americans, however, forbade contentment
with such rude machinery, and they at once set to work, in spite
of enormous obstacles, to construct mills. The first mill in
Montana is thus described by one of the pioneers in quartz : -
"An overshot wheel, twenty feet in diameter, is placed on a
shaft 18 feet long, with large pins in the shaft for the purpose
of raising the stamps. These stamps are fourteen feet long and 8
inches square, and strapped with iron on the bottom, which work
into a box that is lined on the sides with copper plate galvanized
with quicksilver, so as to catch the gold as the quartz is crushed
and clashed up the sides of the box. Then we have an opening
on one side of the box, with a fine screen in it, through which .
the fine quartz and fine gold pass, and run over a table covered
with copper."21
More elaborate mills, of course, were constructed, as outside
capital was enlisted, and these mills represented what may be
called a second stage in quartz development. The study of the
reduction of gold and silver in such a mill was fascinating. The .
quartz was first broken into fragments the size of apples by.
sledge hammers and then shoveled into feeders, which brought
it under large iron stamps, weighing three hundred to eight
hundred pounds, and which "rising and falling sixty times per :
minute with thunder and clatter," made the building tremble,
as they crushed the rock to wet powder.
"Quiet, silent workmen run the pulp through the settling
tanks, amalgamating pans, agitators and separators, refuse material passing away, and quicksilver collecting the precious metal
into a mass of shining amalgam, soft as putty. This goes into I
the fire retort where it leaves the quicksilver behind and finally
into molds whence it'comes forth in bars of precious metals.22
20 Mineral Resources, 1867, p. 21.
M Letter of J. F. Allen in Campbell, J. L., Ste Months in the New Gold Diggings, p. 35.    This mill was near Bannack and used the ore from the Dakotah
22 Richardson, Albert D., Beyond the Mississippi, p. 501.    This mill was in  ■
The building of such mills and the working of quartz claims
required the use of capital and corporate methods. The most
significant development in the mining industry during the decade
1860-70 was the supercession of surface placer mining methods,
wherein the individual working in informal combination had
free play, by quartz mining and corporate working of deep
placer diggings, wherein individualism began to be submerged
and capital became uppermost.
The necessity of this process is clearly apparent when we look
at the position of an ordinary miner who had discovered and
perhaps tested a good quartz lode. He could with some trouble
get his claim duly recorded and, with more trouble, do or have
done the assessment work required. But what then? He did
not have money with which to work his claim, and he could not
pay his expenses of living as he could from a placer claim.
Hence, if he was to realize on his claim, he must inevitably
sooner or later call in capital. It is true that some few placer
miners saved enough to equip small mills and that there was
some evidence of cooperative organization among the men, but
in general there was a great call from the mining fields for the
application of capital.23
Accordingly, we find effort on the part of local claim owners
to interest outside capital. Portland capitalists invested at
Powder River and Owyhee. There was some connection, also,
with San Francisco. But New York was the place towards which
effort turned most yearningly. Hardly had the Owyhee quartz
been discovered, when Gen. MeCarver .started east to interest
New York capitalists.24 The Avalanche had among its advertisements the Agency of Geo. L. Curry for selling feet in New
York, and the local conditions are suggested by the declaration
of an editorial that "There should be less ledges and more New
Yorks."25   The participation of New York (and of some other
23 A notable case of cooperative working of a quartz mine was that of the
Oro Fino, in Owyhee, in which case the workmen, on the failure of the firm,
assumed the indebtedness and operated the mine successfully. U. S. Commissioner Browne commented on this as follows : "It is singular that so few mines
are worked by companies of operative miners, especially when we see how successful such companies usually are."
«San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Dec.  2, 1864.
"Owyhee Avalanche, Sept. 9, 1865.
[233] capitalistic centers) in quartz development in Montana is shown
in charters granted by the first legislature. Among these we
may mention The Montana Gold and Silver Mining Company,
whose office was in New York; The Rocky Mountain Gold and
Silver Mining Company, whose stockholders lived in Bannack,
St. Louis, and New York; and The American Gold and Silver
Mining Company, whose stockholders were in London, New York,
Philadelphia, St. Louis and in Montana.26 Concerning British Columbia a thoughtful observer wrote, "Labor has hitherto chiefly
performed what has been done, but the performance has been
limited, slow and imperfect. Capital must finally develop the
resources of the country. Its aid is essential to their full development, but to attract capital it must have free scope, and a
reasonable amount of legal protection and encouragement, or,
in other words, as much protection as will encourage its introduction. "27 The shaping of laws to encourage capital is
mentioned, also, in the first message of Governor Lyon, of Idaho :
"All legislation should be carefully molded to invite capital, and
the greater the inducement held out, the more rapidly will our
population be increased and the greater the peoples' prosperity. ' '28 This, then, was the situation : development in these min- .
ing communities by means of the labour of individuals, who had
little capital and organization, soon reached its limit; society
stretched forth to the centers of capitalism for aid and was willing so to modify its legislation as to favor the introduction of
This movement towards capitalism and corporate methods was
tremendously accelerated by the development of the Comstock
lode in Nevada. "The chief gold mines of California," wrote
Commissioner Browne, "high as their product is, .are small
affairs when compared with the vast works of the chief silver
companies of Nevada." "A strip of land six hundred yards
wide and three miles long yields $12,000,000 annually. There
is no parallel to that in ancient or modern times."28   With this
"Laws of Montana, 1864-5, pp. 558-658.
" London Times, Aug. 26, 1863.
"Hailey, His. of Idaho, p. 114.
"Mineral Resources, 1867, p. 72.
magnificent yield came decisive resort to corporate methods.
"Nothing more strikingly illustrates the difference between the
miners of California and those of Western Utah, ' ' saiff the Mary-
ville, (California) Appeal, "than the frequent formation in the
latter of incorporated companies with a great amount of capital
ifjjteck. "30 This development in Nevada promptly affected California. In an editorial on The System of Extensive Mining Corporations in Washoe, the Bulletin said : ' ' The clear tendency of
things throughout the entire mining region of California is to
this end [i. e., combination]. Those who are the possessors of
quartz or 'hydraulic claims' must call in the aid of capital and
science, if they hope to make their possessions profitable."31
These great achievements in Washoe aroused the capitalists of
San Francisco—who up to 1860 had been quite indifferent to
mining investments—to active participation in the process of
combination.32 . This participation, however, was not altogether
healthful, for "it was reserved for Washoe to transfer the most
active operations from the fields of actual labor to the pavement
and shops of Montgomery street. ' '33 Then followed a period of
riotous speculation. Two hundred and ten companies were
formed in 1S61 and 1862, with capital stock of $230.000,000.34
Men and women of all degrees made haste to invest their savings
in mining stock of companies, most of whose holdings were worthless. In 1864 came a great panic in these stocks and the "name
of Washoe, which had once been blessed, was now accursed by
the multitude, though still a source of profit to the few."35 The
mines of the northern interior, however, were not greatly affected by this excess of speculation or its reaction, except that
development was somewhat retarded by the latter.
This tendency towards employment of capital in combinations,
which is discernible in these remote mining communities which
we are studying, was apparent in Australia also and, indeed, in
"In San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Nov. 20, 1860.
"Mining & Scientific Press, Jan. 7, 1865, p. 8.
» San Francisco Daily Bulletin, July 6, 1864.
MId. Jan. 6, 1863.    Mineral Resources, (p. 30)  places the whole number of
companies at 3,000, with a capital stock of $1,000,000,000.
"Mineral Resources, 1867, p. 31,
all Anglo-Saxon mining localities.36 Moreover, the period of the
Civil War was marked in the eastern United States by the combining of capital and the forming of corporations on a scale before unachieved.37 The development of mining methods in the
camps of the Inland Empire, therefore, in their progression from
the simple and hasty methods of the placer miner to the compli-'
cated and stable processes of the capitalist and the scientist,
shared in the evolution going on in Washoe, California, Australia, and the whole United States.
MSee on this wide change in the precious metal industry an interesting article on Gold Mining and the Gold Discoveries made since 1851, in The Mining: I
and Smelting Magaztne, (London), Vol. I, pp. 392-401.
»'Fite, Social and Industrial Conditions During  the Civil War, Chap. VI.
In considering the product of the labor and capital expended
in the Mining Advance, one naturally inquires what was the
amount of the total product.
This question is one extremely difficult to answer at all and,
indeed, impossible to answer with entirely satisfactory precision.
In British Columbia with its more ordered administration we
can feel more sure of arriving at nearer approximation to accuracy than in the territories to the south, where, until 1867, there
was no governmental attempt to gather statistics. Of course one
meets all sorts of statements in the literature of the time, given
with great confidence ; but such statements often originated with
parties interested in exaggerating yields—claim owners desirous
of selling out, local editors who wished for larger subscription
lists, merchants, packers, steamboat men, and even express companies.1 The last, and especially Wells, Fargo & Company,
were, however, a source of information considered fairly reliable-
There were earnest efforts made, it is true, to arrive at right-
estimates, and of these special value attaches to the careful annual reviews of the San Francisco Bulletin; but here again vagueness arises from the fact that much of the dust shipped to California was merged in statistics with the California product, and
that very considerable amounts were shipped out of the northern
regions by way of Salt Lake and the Missouri RiVer of which the
Bulletin made little account.   Moreover, in estimating product,
'The s
r of tru
th wi
11 not
ore thank
ess field of investiga-
».    For
ars that
truthful men
ie tatêr
Peak  Region,
Daily ,
n, Oct
In s
upport of the unti
see Mil
of th
p. 5.
e Precious
variation in the value of gold dust must be taken into the account, a variation ranging from gold of Owyhee worth twelve dollars per ounce to that from Kootenai worth eighteen. Again,
there was not a little counterfeiting of gold dust, against which
laws were enacted in the Colony and the Territories. The Chinese were charged with adeptness in this practice in British
Columbia; and in southern Idaho the matter became so serious
as to impair the welfare of laborers and lead to meetings of merchants for fixing prices of debased dust. Hence, many factors
must be taken into account and many sources drawn upon, in
order to arrive at an approach to accuracy in estimating the
product of the mining regions which we are studying.
We have, however, two series of estimates, which, after study
of various reviews and collecting of fugitive notices, I have come
to believe well within the truth. The one for British Columbia
is by Mr. George M. Dawson, who was helped in his compilation
foy the Provincial Department of Mines ; the other by Mr. J. Ross
:Browne, United States Commissioner for the mining regions west
«of the Rocky Mountains, who drew from a great number of as- :
pistants and informants. Mr. Dawson's estimate for British Columbia is as follows :
Total  |  $26,110,000'
Mr. Browne summarized the yields in the American fields from
the beginning of their working to the close of 1867 as follows :
.     $705
Washington    .
». 1887
Rpt, p. f
3 R.
2 Geol. Sur. of Ca
Part of the Oregon yield, however, belongs to western Oregon,
but it would probably be safe to credit eastern Oregon with
$10,000,000. Deducting this amount from the total, we have
$130,000,000. Adding now, the yield of British Columbia we
have a grand total of $156,111,000 as the product of these northern interior mines in a decade, the average being at least
$15,000,000 per annum.4
Rightly to value this production, moreover, one should consider
that it was nearly all surplus. In agricultural communities, especially in their- earlier stages, a very large proportion of the
product is consumed by the producer or his family, and comparatively little, particularly at first, left as surplus; and it is
mainly the surplus, of course, that brings into being trade and
means of transportation and most of the instruments and appurtenances of civilization. In mining communities it is evident that the product must necessarily be practically all surplus,
and a surplus, moreover, in such form as to be readily transmutable into the various commodities and activities of civilized life.
Gold dust circulated as money. Each merchant had his scales
and every miner carried his pouch, from the contents of which
he bought his food, clothing, tools, newspaper, and drink; paid
his postage, express charges and fares; attended the theatre
or the hurdy-gurdy, perchance gambled, remunerated his
lawyer in litigation, paid his taxes, or bestowed his contributions at church.5 Civilization sprang forth full-panoplied. Merchants came rushing in ; buildings were erected and towns sprang
up ; newspapers were established ; lawyers, dentists, and doctors
4 It seems to the writer that these gentlemen, in reaction against exaggeration, arrived at estimates somewhat too low. In support of this criticism it
may be noticed that Mr. O'Reilly, Commissioner at Cariboo, a very careful and
reliable observer, places the yield of that district, north of Quesnelle River, for
1863 at $3,904,000, (Supra, p. 42), whereas Mr. Dawson's estimate for the
whole of British Columbia for that year is $3,913,563; surely the aggregate
yield of the numerous scattered bars and camps of British Columbia, outside of
. Cariboo, was for that year more than $9,563. Cf. also totals of $2,500,000,
shipped from Portland in 1861, practically all from the Nez Percés Mines, Or.
His. Quar. Sept. 1908, pp. 289-90.
■While it is true that gold dust readily circulated as money, still there wag
considerable loss in exchange, and some cheating. Consequently, there was a
distinct demand for coin. Transmission to San Francisco, however, was attended by heavy charges ; and so in British Columbia Governor Douglas ordered
- coinage of ten and twenty dollar gold pieces, and in the Territories there was
insistent demand for local mint, which was finally established at Boise.
hung out their signs ; churches and schools were projected and in
many cases erected ; transportation thrilled from the pack trail,
the stagecoaeh, the steamboat, through the railroads of the east
and the ocean routes of the west, clear to New York and London.
It is this aspect of the mining advance (often overlooked now-a-
days as we look back over the slow progress of mining communities after the first flush years) which gives it an intensity, a
vitality, a compellingness out of all proportion to the actual numbers of population participating. This conception of radiating
economic intensity is basic in the just gauging in history of a
great mining movement, or in understanding society built upon
such a movement.
A comparison with the amount of surplus product of some agricultural regions will help us to understand the true significance
of an average annual surplus of $15,000,000 in the first decade
of civilized occupation of the Inland Empire. Kentucky in 1832,
two generations after its settlement, produced an estimated surplus of $5,250,000, Ohio, about 1834, $10,000,000 and Tennessee
in the same year, $6,120,000. The surplus of the whole Mississippi-Ohio valley was estimated in the latter year at $30,000,000."
The two states, accordingly, which produced a surplus available
for stimulation of commerce approximately equal in amount to I
the average annual surplus of the Inland Empire, 1858-1867,
(viz., Ohio and Kentucky) had in 1830 a combined population
of over a million and a half ; the entire population of the Inland ■■
Empire, white and Chinese, in 1867 was less than 100,000.7 The
comparatively small population of a mining region, therefore,
because of the availability of its product as surplus may produce I
an effect on commerce and transportation, for the time being,
equal to that of a much greater agricultural population.8
The production of so large a surplus, of immediate availability I
by so small a population, helps us to understand the largeness of
« These figures are from Pitkin, Statistics for 18S5, p. 534, 536.
'Ohio, 937 + thousand, Kentucky, 687 + thousand, Rpt. of Twelfth Census.
Pop. Vol. I; British Columbia, 13800. (1866), Despatch of Governor Seymour,
Feb. 17, 1866, in Churchill and Cooper, Br. Col. & Van Id.; Idaho, 21725,
Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 512; Montana about 32,000, Id., p. 487; counties-
of eastern Wash. 4170, id. p. 565-7 ; counties of eastern Oregon not over 10,000,
id. 576-7.
■Mining society, moreover, becomes highly functionalized more quickly thai»
that of agricultural regions.
immigration to the mining regions from the eastern states, from
Canada, and from England. A man's chances were better in
the mining regions. When common labor in the East was paid
$1 to $1.25 per day in depreciated greenbacks, $5 to $10 a day
in gold—and the chance of making much more—loomed large.
There was at this period great labor discontent in the East due
to the high prices of commodities paid in paper currency, such
prices unaccompanied by proportionate increase of wages.'
Even in California a skilled miner could make not more than
$3.50 to $4 per day.10 Men at a distance (particularly if unacquainted with mining localities) overlooked the high prices
and discomforts of mining camps—a fact peculiarly true of the
general run of immigrants from England. After all, moreover,
the average annual earnings may not have been so high as they
seemed. Dawson computes that the average annual earnings of
miners in British Columbia (1858-68) was slightly under $700,
but his computation does not take account of the exchange of
product for labor in the mines.11 But mainly it was the chance
at the great prizes, the chance to make a fortune in a few months,
that drew men feverishly on. There were many cases where
men within a year or two cleared from $2,000 to $100,000, and,
when we reflect on how such sums now are regarded by the average laboring or professional man, we can see what it meant to the
ordinary man in the sixties. To the poor man the mines held
out the hope of a competency.
If we inquire, however, what were the total net profits in the
production of the surplus above discussed, after the deduction of
money brought into the country, that is a question impossible to
answer. The charge was often made, with regard to any particular mining community (a charge oftenest made by some older
community which was losing population) that there really was
no net profit, or a positive loss. We may observe, however, that
even if this were true, the stimulus to business and the impulse
to various forms of social activity were not therefore the less intense, although, perhaps, accompanied with loss to many indi-
'Fite, Social and Industrial Conditions during.the Civil War, Chap. VII.
10 Wages in 1867 were $2.-$3.50 per day ; Mineral Resources, 1867, p. 21.
aGeol. Survey of Canada, 1887-8, Rpt p. 23R.
viduals. Moreover, besides investments in mining improvements
directly, as ditches, mills etc., much both of the money brought
into a country and of the surplus produced was invested in various permanent forms of capital, such as the opening up of farms,
the building up of towns and communities, and the eapitilization
of trade and transportation.12
One of the most important permanent improvements, attributable largely to the precious metal product, was the development
of agriculture. Prices for all sorts of provisions were very high
in the mines, and at the towns and stations on the way thither,
and this was particularly true with regard to butter, milk, fresh
vegetables, etc.—after a man had lived for weeks on bacon, bread
and coffee, he would give almost any price for the tonic of butter
and vegetables. The economic inducement of high prices was
needed in order to settle remote valleys, which, but for the mines,
would have waited long for settlers. As it was, agricultural
activity was conspicuous both north and south of the Line.13
In the mining regions south of the Line the most noticeable
agricultural activity occurred in the Walla Walla, Grande Ronde,
Payette, Boise, and Gallatin valleys. Cattlemen and farmers
had begun to enter the Walla Walla valley before 1860, and the
census of that year showed a population in the county of 1,318.
In 1866 it was estimated by The Statesman that 555,000 bushels
of wheat had been raised in that year and 250,000 bushels of oats ;
flour was beginning to be exported from Walla Walla to San
Francisco (there were six mills in the valley), and in June 1867
M The charge that "more money and labor has been spent to get out the gold
than it was worth" was especially prominent in the case of British Columbia
immediately after the Fraser River rush. In meeting it a defender of the
Colony specified the following valuations, although less than a year had elapsed
since the beginning of the rush :
Stock of goods on hand Nov. 1, 1858 $250,000.
Real  estate in  Victoria,  one thousand town  lots at $100 each,  cost
Price  100,000.
Two hundred more valuable lots together with all the property sold here
or at Esquimault, present value, $200,000   500,000.
Wharves, new buildings and other improvements in Victoria 400,000.
Buildings in the interior, all other improvements having been made at
government expense       50,000.
Waddington, Alfred, Fraser Mines Vindicated, pp. 4 & 5.
"In localities of scanty rainfall it was an easy transition from miners
ditches to irrigation ditches.
[242] five hundred tons were shipped out.14 The settlement of the
Grande Ronde valley started in 1861, and by 1866 it was producing almost as much as Walla Walla." In Boise City visitors
were astonished at the fine vegetables that came from the Boise
valley and from'the Payette. The settlement of the Gallatin
valley, which began in 1863 and in which John M. Bozeman was
prominent, was of unique importance in that it led to the attempt
to open a celebrated road, the Bozeman cut-off, through the heart
of the Sioux hunting grounds to Ft. Laramie.16 In other valleys, also,—as the Powder River, the Bitter Root, and the Col-
ville,—agriculture was enabled to get a secure foothold. Conse-
quently, when the trying time of decline of placer mining came,
the territories were enabled to live through, and commodities
were furnished for outward transportation.
The stock business flourished even more than farming. While
stock raising had long been pursued in the Willamette valley
and had begun in the upper country a few years before the mining period, nevertheless, it is from this time that the stock raising
in both regions begins as a distinctly important business.17 Many
cattle, sheep, and horses were shipped from Oregon to British
Klnmbia ; in 1861 there were imported into Victoria alone 7,081
head of cattle valued at $313,797, most of them from Oregon.18
The deputy collector of customs at Little Dalles, on the Columbia,
reported that in 1866 there had been shipped through that point
from Oregon and Washington Territories 2,754 head of sheep,
2,260 beef cattle, 483 horses, 43 mules, 1,132 pack animals, and
264 saddle horses,—the total valuation being $348,292.19   The
mines in the interior south of the Line furnished a market not
only for the stockmen of Walla Walla, but also of the Willamette.
Some idea of the importance of the stock business in the Walla
Walla valley may be derived from the estimate that 5,000 head of
cattle were driven to the mines in 1866 and that stockmen still
held 6,500 head ; in addition 1,500 horses were sold to persons en-
route to the mines and 6,000 mules were used in packing and
freighting.20 In 1868, from March 1st to July 15th there were
shipped on steamboats from Portland to The Dalles, 12,191 head
of cattle and horses, 6,283 head of sheep and 1,594 head of hogs,
and it was thought that an equal number during the summer
had been driven across the Cascade Mountains.21 This stimulation of the cattle business contributed to agricultural settlement;
for stockmen soon began to turn to the vast bunch-grass plateaus,
and from the stock business the transition was made in the seventies and eighties to the great wheat production of the present
The beginnings of agriculture in British Columbia in connection with the mining advance present some interesting features.
Here too, all along the roads leading to the mines, particularly in
the upper country, farms were opened up.22 This development
was noted with great interest in England, where it was thought
that the climate and soil of British Columbia were such as to
make that colony peculiarly fit for immigration of the poorer
population of the mother country. One of the things that is distinctly noticeable in the books published in England during this
period concerning British Columbia is the background of distress
at home and the desire to relieve this distress. All of these books,
therefore, (and they were quite numerous) devote considerable
space to the discussion of the agricultural possibilities of British
Columbia and the advisability of people from Britain emigrating
Perhaps the most interesting aspect- of the starting of agricul-
20 Wall
i Walla Statesman, quoted in Idaho World, Dec. 15, 1866.
ral Resources, 1868, p. 580.
from the
the Thon
Davidson,  near Pavilion,  had  175 acres  under  cultivation.    Another
rove thirty head of milch cows into Cariboo and netted $75.00 per day
m for four months.    Packers wintered their stock in the valleys of
pson and Bonaparte.    Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col., pp. 284-292.
tore in British Columbia, however, from the point of view of our
study, is the method of the disposal of the public lands. In
working out a method there were some comparisons instituted
with other English colonies, particularly with Canada, but the
most decisive formative influence was competition with and imitation of the land system of the United States.™ At first in
British Columbia there was a disposition on the part of the government to hold land at comparatively high prices, to sell it at
auction, and to require that only surveyed lands be sold. Lytton
believed in a high upset price, "but", he wrote, "your course
must in some degree be guided by the price at which such land
is selling in neighboring American communities."24 The price
was set at first at ten shillings ($2.50) per acre, and "squatting"
was not to be tolerated—it was outside of law and not British."
The same policy, in general, was followed in Vancouver Island.
Against this policy discontent and opposition began to develop.
The petition of a public meeting held at Victoria, July 2, 1859,
reads as follows: [The petitioners] "having viewed with alarm
the departure of many of Her Majesty's loyal subjects and others
from this colony to the neighboring republic ; and having learned
that their departure has been induced by the difficulty of obtaining agricultural lands at once, on application, and by not being
obtainable on such terms as would afford equal encouragement
to actual settlers in this colony as are offered in the neighboring
republic ; believing that we shall lose many more, and that except
the land system of the colony is materially modified, the prosperity and settlement of the country will be seriously retarded,
petition :
a. That Crown lands of this Colony may be opened at once to
actual settlers ;
■ b. That a preference may be given to them in the choice of the
public lands, surveyed or unsurveyed, over capitalists ;
s in the colony of British
j the Imperial government
ssioner of Crown Lands in
c. That they may be secured in a preemptive right ;
d. That the highest price to actual settlers may not exceed
$1.25 per acre, or such price as will barely cover the expenses of
survey. ' '28 Another meeting at Victoria on Aug. 22,1859, placed
among its resolutions the following clause: "That the practice
of making the public lands a source of revenue is unwise and impolitic; that instead of attracting to, it repels population from
the country; and that the better policy, grounded on the experience of new countries, is to donate the public domain to bona
fide settlers rather than exact a high price with a view to revenue ;
that the taxable property of a country whose land system is liberal so rapidly increases that it soon yields a revenue which far
exceeds the proceeds of the sale of land at any price."27
The attitude of Governor Douglas,' perhaps because of the
pressure brought to bear upon him, underwent a change in the
two years from 1858--60. At first on application for preemptions
he refused them, quite properly, on the ground of lack of au-*
thority.28 Later (in 1858) he allowed town lots to be leased at
Yale, Hope, and Port Douglas, under the conditions of right of
resumption by the Crown, a rental of $10 per month (payable in
advance), and with a preemption right in the lessee at an upset
price of $100, the monthly rent to be reckoned as part of the purchase money.28 A letter of the Governor from Ft. Hope in the
fall of 1859 forecasts a general preemption law : he wrote that
there was a very general inquiry for rural lands and that the gen- •
eral impression had gotten abroad, "which I am altogether at a
loss to account for", that the Government was not willing to sell
land; he caused the registry of applications for 1,500 acres and
proposed to "authorize applicants to enter on land without de-
M McDonald, British Columbia and Van. Id. P. 217. This meeting may have
been inspired partially by hostility to Governor Douglas. McDonald himself wa»
a bitter critic of Douglas. On the other hand, he shows great perspicuity in
the discussion of the land system and reveals thorough acquaintance with the I
land systems of the United States and of Canada. In commenting on that of the
United States he says that "it has done more towards the promotion of, settlements and the development of their agricultural resources, than all other
causes combined." (p. 58) He noted also the passage of the American homestead law.    His book was published in 1863.
"Id., p. 349.
er, MS. May 24, 1858.
rs, I, MS. p. 222.
[246] lay and make improvements" ; payments of land, where surveyed,
weTé to be at the rate of ten shillings per acre.30
Finally, on Jan. 4, 1860, came the preemption proclamation.
According to its terms British subjects and aliens who took the
oath of allegiance could "acquire unoccupied, and unreserved,
and unsurveyed Crown land in British Columbia, (not being the
site of an existent or proposed town, or auriferous land available
for mining purposes, or an Indian Reserve or settlement), in fee
simple." The conditions were that the claim be of 160 acres, of
rectangular form, that it be marked by four posts and that it
should be recorded ; that the occupation of the land be continuous
and that improvements to the value of ten shillings per acre be
made; and that road, mineral, and ditch rights be reserved.*1
The price was not to be in excess of ten shillings per acre, this
statement showing the liberalizing advance over the attitude of a
few months previous. As a matter of fact the price was finally
set at 4s. 2d per acre.32 Thus we see that in the first stage of
the administration of the lands of British Columbia the land system was perforce conformed to that of the United States.
Another permanent form in which the mining surplus manifested itself was in the upbuilding of towns and communities.
In the interior of the American territories there were founded
in five years Walla Walla, Lewiston, Boise, Virgina City, Helena,
and a score of smaller centers. The Dalles became a thriving
entrepot.33 In British Columbia there were Hope, Yale, Douglas, Lillooet, Lytton, Barkerville, and others of less importance.34
The population of these towns, in numbers varying from a few
score to perhaps ten thousand as the extreme limit in flush times,
appears, in comparison with that of eastern towns, of little importance.   But anyone familiar with frontier conditions knows
"Douglas to Moody, Correspondence Book, MS. Sept. 20, 1859.
81 McDonald, Van Id. and Br. Cot, pp. 205-209.
32 Id. p. 214.
w The Dalles, ''key to the upper country", in 1862 had about 1000 population.
San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Nov. 13, 1862.
"Concerning Lytton Douglas wrote to Tràvaillot that the town "lately
founded at the Forks of Thompson River should be named after the present
Secretary of State for the Colonies, a gentleman distinguished alike as a brilliant
writer, a profound statesman, and a warm and energetic friend of British
Columbia".    Miscl. Letters, MS. I, 35, Nov. 10, 1858.
that such outposts of civilization are of many fold more consequence than villages of like size in the East. They became outfitting posts for vast regions and their trade was out of all proportion to their size; from them went forth prospectors, merchants, packers, stock men, travelers—all the assailants and
viewers of the wilderness—and to them from time to time they
returned. Such frontier towns were ganglia of civilization, comparable to Roman colonies. Moreover, in the period to come,
when railroads were to be projected and built, the existence of
such communities was of very considerable moment.35
Of the Coast communities, the towns of Puget Sound were less
directly in the path of the mining advance than were those of the
Fraser and Columbia ; consequently the Sound region was of
relatively lesser importance during the mining decade. Nevertheless, it was greatly interested in the mining advance and drew
from it a measure of prosperity. Governmentally, in particular,
as the mining regions developed before the formation of Idaho,
the Sound regions of Washington began to fear that they would
be outvoted in the legislature by the representatives from the
eastern parts of the States. But in material prosperity, also, the
effects of the mining advance were plainly in evidence. The
Fraser River movement especially benefited the Sound. "The
gold excitement has not been without a good result," said the .
Puget Sound Herald, "so far as the Territory at large is concerned. If we may judge of other towns and counties by our
own [Steilacoom], there must certainly have been, in the aggregate, a large accession of wealth and population— we mean a
permanent, not a transient accession. ... A few short
months ago no mechanical business of any kind, save carpentering and blacksmithing, was carried on here, now there are some I
half dozen workshops. Six months ago there was not a single
light pleasure vehicle of any description, although our roads are
of the best. Now there are six or eight, together with a couple
of express wagons recently purchased in Victoria."38 Not only
many miners who came during the Fraser River rush, but also
*» On this point consult Smalley, E. V., History of the Northern Pacific Railroad, p. 181.
™ Puget Sound Herald, Sept. 24th, 1858.
some who from time to time arrived during the after course of
the mining advance, took a liking to the Sound country, settled
down and became valuable citizens.37 Thus in general effect a
mining rush in a way, like an exposition, served to make a region
known and to bring in settlers.88
New Westminster, the capital of British Columbia was founded
by governmental fiat in 1859, and emerged rapidly from the
great primeval forest into a busy town on a noble site. In 1861
its imports amounted to $1, 414, 000, in 1862, $2,800,000. and in
1863, $2,109,000.39 Still, New Westminster was by no means content. She felt that the commercial element in Victoria was
fattening on British Columbia trade which belonged rightfully
to her. Other measures and grievances were thus formulated by
the British Columbian: (a) A resident governor and responsible
government; (b) Improvement in the navigation of thé Fraser
River ; (c) Early survey of the public lands ; (d) A system by
which miners could make local laws; (e) An export duty on
gold.40 The latter measure was especially desired in order to
decrease the tariff duties, with a view to eliminating Victoria as
much as possible. Another measure with the same end in view,
which was passed when British Columbia obtained a governor
separate from Vancouver Island, was to levy tariff duties on the
value of goods at the port of export. As a third step in this
policy, New Westminster wanted direct steam communication
with San Francisco.41 But it remained for a future city on Burrard Inlet, Vancouver, to accomplish in part what New Westminster meditated.
At that time, however, Victoria was clearly in the lead. Here
was a remarkable example of a thriving city whose growth and
prosperity depended little upon its near surroundings, but almost
entirely upon mines hundreds of miles away in the distant interior of the mainland.   One of the most interesting phases of
. Bagley, of Seattle, emphasized the point presented in the
** It is worth noticing that the University of Washington was founded in t
period of the mining advance, Jan. 28,  1861.
s» Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 217.
" British Columbian, Feb. 13, 1861. The bar at the mouth of the Fraser »
a hindrance to the entrance of ocean ships.
a Id. Aug. 15, 1861.
the history of Victoria, however, in the period of our study, was
the way in which the city was regarded in English books and
papers of the time. She was to be the Liverpool of the Pacific.
It was admitted that her own harbour was somewhat shallow, but
near at hand was the magnificent harbour of Esquimault.42 With
such an harbour and in SO/commanding a portion on the Pacific,
Victoria surely would become a great emporium for trade. In accordance with this ideal the city's revenue laws were shapelM
money was collected from direct taxation, and Victoria was made
a free port, like Singapore and Hong Kong.43
The Willamette Valley, as we have before noted, looked somewhat askance upon the movement to the mines for the reason that
they took from the valley laborers and farmers. This resentful-
ness is somewhat humourously revealed by a correspondent of the
San Francisco Bulletin, who writes from Portland as follows:
"While our venture-loving population are hurrying on the backs
of spare-rib Cayuses to the new found Dorado, the plowshare
will rust in the weedy furrow, the sickle hang idly from the deserted roof tree, and the obstreperous old sow and her nine small
squeakers will root maintenance out of the neglected garden.
Next fall those who survive disease, vagrancy and corn juice will
come back moneyless to winter. With arable land enough to feed
the Pacific Coast, many of us will be compelled to swap old Pied,
that nursed us across the plains, for California and States
flour. ' '44 Such dismal prognostications, however, were dissipated
by the higher prices for wheat and the greater market for cattle
which the mines furnished.46
In the prosperity of the mining advance Portland emerged
from a mere village to the promise of the city it has since become. Forces generated in that period have profoundly affected
the city's development. We have before noted the beginnings of
capitalization of the city in the debt of the Indian war of 1856,
'■ Esquimault was an important rendezvous for the British fleet
48 This policy of a free port was one of the reasons why union of Vancouver-
Island with British Columbia was difficult.
"May 9, 1862.
45 From Portland there were shipped in Feb., Mch., and April, 1861, 6,032 sacks,
of flour up the Columhia, 25,418 to Victoria, and 63,097 to San Francisco. Oregonian, May 4, 1861.
but it was during the period from. 1861 to 1865 when the successive waves of migration and trade swept through the city and up
the Columbia to Oro Fino, Salmon River, Boise and Alder Gulch,
that decisive growth came. By 1862 the population had doubled,
wharves were built, steamboats puffed busily on the Willamette, and hotels, eating houses, stores, and saloons were
thronged. Long lines of drays unloaded their goods at the
wharves.46 Gas and water mains were laid. The firemen were
well organized, numbered a large proportion of the male population, and were influential in politics.47 A board of stock brokers
was formed which included such growing capitalists as R. R.
Thompson (President), J. C. Ainsworth, and D. F. Bradford, men
who were then developing the Oregon Steam Navigation Company and speculating in the mines48 Miners liked to return to
Portland to winter. The portion of the surplus from the placer
mines, which was expended in Portland, seems to have been quite
well distributed in all kinds of business, but it was noticed that,
as the placer mines passed their zenith, "the quartz mines, controlled by capital send their product abroad through narrow
channels, so that little reaches the general public."49 Still, the
city had received such a marked accession of population, business.
and wealth as to insure permanent and steady growth.50
But the emporium of the northern mining movement, as she
was the metropolis of that movement, was San Francisco.
"Three-fourths of the great trains penetrating these gloomy forests," said the Idaho World, "and skirting the dreary deserts.
* "I remember in 1861 when the dray» were loaded going to the boats of
the Oregon Steam Navigation Co. and stood in line it seems to me half a mile-
: long ; unloading at night so as to go on in the morning up the river." Deady,.
His. of the Progress of Oregon after 1845, MS. p. 37.
41 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Sept. 3, 1862. The firemen's organizations
were important also at The Dalles and at Virginia City.
"Id., April 8,  1864.
"Id. June 8, 1865.
60 In 1866 a careful census estimated the permanent population at 6000. Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 581.
. There was considerable rivalry between Portland and Victoria with regard to
the trade of the interior, but Portland had decidedly the advantage because of
better routes, particularly in the matter of grass. • Victoria never succeeded in
getting trade south of the line in the interior, while Portland sent goods far
Into British Columbia. On this see an editorial of Victoria Gazette in S. V.
Daily Bulletin, Sept. 9, 1860.
[251] 116
with the rising sun in their eyes, are Californians. "51 San Francisco had a trade with Victoria far exceeding that of England
with the latter city; in the interior of British Columbia her
goods were everywhere to be found; in Boise Basin her hold,
though not undisputed by Chicago and St. Louis, was uppermost; and on the far confines of her commercial domains, at
Virginia City and Helena, she did battle with St. Joseph and St.
Louis.52 The quality of her goods was of the best and the goods
were well adapted to the miners; her woolens and mining machinery were particularly in demand. In accordance with this
demand, we may note that in 1867 the Pacific Rolling Mills were
established at a cost of $1,000,000 and that the Pacific Woolen
Mills turned out annually a product worth $500,000. The
growth of the trade with the northern mining region was noted
with satisfaction and its importance clearly seen.
In the matter of mining machinery San Francisco had some
«clear advantage over competitors. Machinery shipped from that
•city arrived at its destination much earlier in the season than
.than shipped across the plains. Of greatest advantage, however,
-was the fact that her machinists were personally familiar with
anines and that improvements which were demonstrated successes
could be much more quickly adopted there than in the East.
San Francisco machinery, therefore, had little to fear from eastern competition in Idaho, but in Montana the great advantage
of freight shipments by the Missouri gave her rivals, Chicago
and St. Louis, the lead.53
We perceive, therefore, that the product of the mines of the
northern interior was very important in the upbuilding of wide
trade and of many communities on the Pacific Coast.   Let us :
51 Oct. 14, 1805.
52 The imports into Victoria from San Francisco in 1861 were valued at
91,151,000 as against $457,000 from Great Britain ; in 1862 the amounts were
respectively, $2,387,000 and $703,000; in 1863, $1,940,000 and $1,294,000.
Macfie, Van Id. and Br. Col., pp. 106-7. The direct trade with the mother country was on the increase, but for these three years the totals were, respectively,
$5,478,000 and $2,454,000.
San Francisco goods could compete in the early spring and late fall to advantage in Montana, but when the heavily laden steamers arrived competition
was restricted to woolens, teas, and a few other articles. See thoughtful lettef
from Helena to the Idaho World, Feb.  3, 1866.
53 Ibid ; also, Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, p. 507.
I now inquire the national significance to the United States of this
product and movement.
Of the wide effect of the development of these mining regions
upon transportation I shall treat in the next chapter. It is a
fact certainly worthy of attention, also, that during the progress
of so great a struggle as that of the Civil War, vigorous new
communities should have come into existence under the control
of the Federal Government.
But I wish now especially to consider the significance of the
treasure production upon the national welfare.54 The opening
up of new treasure fields was looked to with very great interest
at the time, because their product was regarded as aiding the
credit of the nation, helping to restore a specie basis, and; possibly, as directly contributing to the payment of the national debt.
"The production of gold and silver in the United States", said
the Banker's Magazine, "is one of the important financial and
social questions of the day. We look to California and other
states of the Pacific to yield, for some years to come, an abundant
supply of these metals, with which to restore the country to a
specie basis in its commerce with other portions of the world."55
We can commence our calculations advantageously in the year
1861, when receipts of treasure in San Francisco from the mines
of the northern interior began to be appreciable, and we can
continue them through 1867, the year in which the United States
Mining Commissioner, J. Ross Browne, aggregated estimates.
The following table will give a general idea of the yields:
M I am conscious of the danger that a student of sectional history may overrate the importance of the section that he is studying. Not only may he be
somewhat influenced in his judgments by the bias of special investigation, but^
also, possibly, by an unconscious promotive tendency. While this sort of study
helps to bring into needed relief the history of sections, it nevertheless may over
accentuate them. It may be, therefore, that after our American history has been
sufficiently worked out by special sections and in special periods, re-valuation
will be necessary by comprehensive historians.
MVol. XX. 1865-6, p. 606. A thoughtful financier wrote that it was impracticable for the United States to carry on international exchanges when its money
was depreciated currency, and suggested that one of the ways in which the
United States was trying to overcome the evils of its currency in relation to
foreign trade was by continuous augmentation of tariff rates; letter from
Kobert J. Walker, Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 664.
Total Gold Gold Product Silver Product Total Bullion
Product                 of of Product of
Year                            of U. S. California U. S. U. S.
1861            $43,000,000 $40,000,000 $2,000,000 $45,000,000
1862   39,200,000 34,700,000 4,500,000 43,700,000
1863   40,000,000 30,000,000 8,500,000 48,500,000    .
1864   46,100,000 26,600,000 11,000,000 57,100,000
1865   53,225,000 28,500,000 11,250,000 64,475,000
1866   53,500,000 25,500,000 10,000,000 63,500,000
1867   51,725,000 25,000,000 13,500,000 65,225,000
Total  ...    $326,750,000    $210,300,000      $60,750,000    $387,500,0005»
Now, as we have seen, the total bullion product of the mining
regions which we are studying, to the close of 1867, with some
confidence may be estimated at $156,111,000. In comparing this
amount with the total product of the United States, however,
some deductions must be made. British Columbia produced
previous to 1861, $4,648,000 ; moreover, not quite all of the British Columbia product was manifested through San Francisco
although far the greater part was.67 We have then, a total accretion of $151,463,000 as the contribution of these mines to the
national stock of bullion out of a total increase of $387,500,000.
That is, they produced in the years when the nation most needed
increase of treasure production, not quite 40 per cent, of the
total increase. Furthermore, tins percentage is still higher, when
gold alone is considered. Far the larger part of the increase
in silver came from the phenomenal output of Nevada, and question was already being raised as to the effect upon values. But
the product of the Inland Empire in these years, with the exception of the silver of Owyhee, was amost entirely gold; and
the silver of Owyhee probably did not amount to over $1,500,000,
since much of the quartz was gold. We are reasonably safe, :
therefore, in saying that somewhat over 40 per cent, of the total
gold product of the United States, at a trying financial period,
came from the mining regions which we are studying.58
w These figures are from Mineral Resources, 1874, pp. 543 & 4, by R. W. Raymond. He says that they are compiled from various sources and that the "aggregates are believed to be approximately correct". Some further figures from
the same report in regard to silver production are startling : From 1848-1861
the U. S. produced silver to the value, of $800,000; from 1868 to 1873, inclusive, $124,500,000. In the latter year the silver production lacked only $250,000
of being equal to that of gold.
"There is no way to arrive at the exact amount of this deduction, and to
that extent allowance should be made in our conclusions.
M It is significant, moreover, that this product came as reinforcement at a
time when California's yield was steadily and markedly decreasing.    See table
The subject of transportation might well have been treated
under the heading of the preceding chapter, because the establishment of means of transportation and the capitalization of
transportation were among the most important permanent forms
in the utilization of the mining product. However, the subject
is so large as to demand a separate chapter.
That the building up of transportation lines was a part of the
permanent production of the mines is apparent when we consider that trade rushed to mining centres not because of high
prices, but because of difference of price levels ; and that the cost
of transportation represented a large part of this difference. For
example, a moderate difference is disclosed between Portland
and Oro Fino in 1861 in the following figures :
Portland Oro Fine
Bacon   N.... 8-9c 35-40C
Flour    $3.75-4.50 $16-18
Tea  50c-$l $1.25
Candles     28-30c $1.00
Nails  5%-6c 33-37c
Beans   6c             25c
Sugar    lie             40c
Coffee      20-25c 45-50C1
The larger share of such difference in prices between Portland
and the upper country, paid for out of the treasure product, fell
to the principal intermediary, the Oregon Steam Navigation
Company, and helped to capitalize that important instrument of
To remote places the charges for transportation were enormous.
For example, the statement is made that a trader in 1862 took
to the mines of Cariboo goods costing in Victoria about $15,000,
upon which the customary and unavoidable charges before they
reached their destination amounted to $70,000. The charges
from San Francisco to Cariboo, excluding customs duties, merchants' commissions, and retailers' profits, it was said, cost in
1863 $1628 per ton, of which $1440 was for land transport.2 In
view of such charges it was a wise policy in the British Columbia
government to collect heavy revenues and to spend large sums
on the roads. When the great trunk road from Yale to Cariboo,
was opened in 1864, freight fell from 60 cents to 30 cents per
pound and in the next year to 15 cents.3 These figures give some
conception of the heavy charges paid from the product of the
With such returns in the transportation business, it is easy to
understand that an army of packers, freighters, and stagecoach
men were needed to carry passengers and goods from the heads
of steamboat navigation to the widely scattered mines. Into the.
most remote localities and over trails of all grades and conditions
came the pack animals with the tinkle of their bells and the
shouts of their Mexican drivers.4 Packing Was a trade, which
required skill and strength. To swing a heavy pack upon an
animal's back and to make it stay there was no light accomplish- I
ment.5 The pack animals were generally wintered in the lower
and warmer valleys.6 It was not at all unusual for packers, as
their business declined, to become stockmen and farmers. This I
business always weakened, when the improvement   of   roads,
2 London Times, Aug. S, 1863.
'Harvey, Arthur, A Statistical Account of British Columbia, p. 11.
* Trains were generally owned by Americans ; but Mexicans, because of special I
skill, were generally, though not always, the packers.
• "I must plead guilty to a sneaking admiration of 'packers' (muleteers) and :
teamsters. These men are wondrous results of the law of demand and supply ;
for the work demanded they have become thoroughly capable and that work
demands strength, skill, daring, endurance and trustworthiness * » * Having to lift heavy weights sheer from the ground on to the pack saddle, 'packers'
are very muscular men, with grand chests and shoulders. They have also many
savage accomplishments : are good farriers, can accomplish marvels with the
axe, a screw key and a young sapling for a lever. But they are a godless race
both actively and passively. They earn considerable wages, and after a few
years settle down in some of our beautiful valleys, surrounded by an Indian
clientele." Report of Rev. James Reynard, Occasional Papers of Columbian
Mission, 1869, pp. 63-4.
6 A good idea of Walla Walla as a packing centre may be got from Schafer, I
History of the Pacific Nortliwest, pp. 258-60.
bridges, and ferries permitted the use of freight teams.7 The
tinkle of the bells was replaced by the gee-haw of the "bull-
whackers" and the cracks of the teamsters' whips. From Yale
to Cariboo, from Ft. Benton to Helena and Virginia City, from
Umatilla or Wallula to Boise Basin long trains of slow-moving,
heavily laden wagons were to be seen, carrying to the camps the
wares of civilization.8
As to passenger movement, many of the miners walked from
the heads of steamboat navigation to the mines. Others clubbed
together and bought a horse to carry their impedimenta, while
still others provided themselves with a horse for each individual.
In other cases passengers were carried by saddle train, and this
sometimes became an important business. The owners of a saddle train would furnish riding horses, carry a small amount of
baggage, and provide provisions.8 Stage coaches, of course,
came rapidly into use on all the most travelled thoroughfares.
The main stagelines were those from Salt Lake City to Virginia
City and Helena, from Salt Lake via Boise and Walla Walla to
Wallula, and from Yale to Barkerville. Ben Holladay in Idaho
and Montana, as elsewhere in the west, was dominant, having a
clear advantage because of his contract for carrying the United
States mails. We get a glimpse of the spirit of the times in the
Song of the Overland Stage, written by Nat Steen, one of the
employes of Holladay's Company:
"It's thus you're safely carried throughout the mighty West,
Where chances to make fortunes are ever of the best ;
And thus the precious pouches of mail are brought to hand,
Through the ready hearts that center on the jolly Overland."
coming in
of freighters, b
Umatilla and Be
Basin reduced slow
and twelve cer
ts per
cents, Hailey,
His. of Idaho, p.
gets a suggestion of the
nt of goods trar
by teamsl into
regions fi
of a wholesale
Virginia City,
and Merry,  who in
L864 advertised
500 boxes of
250 bbls.
of liquor, 1500
of flour, 500 lbs
10,000 lbs. of
bacon, 400 cans of lard, 50 bags of coffee and 100 kegs of nails ; Montana Post,
Sept. 24, 1864.
•For a good description of this phase of transportation, as well as running
a stage line, one should not fail to read chapter XII, XIX and XXV of Hailey's
History of Idaho. These chapters are based on experience and show intimate
[257] Chorus.
' « Statesmen and warriors, traders and the rest,
May boast of their profession, and think it is the best ;
Their state I'll never envy, I'll have you understand,
Long as I can be a driver on the jolly Overland."
But Holladay was not without competition. A. J. Oliver and
Company started the first stage from Virginia City to Bannack,—
"A weekly affair, not much good, but a long way ahead of nothing. ' '10 This line was extended to Helena, and, when Holladay
came on the scene, the rivalry was intense. For awhile the fare
between the two places was one dollar, and the distance, one
hundred and ten miles, was made in twelve hours or less, the
horses being kept at a hard gallop-11 Some of the best staging
in the United States was done between Virginia City and Helena.12 There was competition, also, on the southern route,
where Ish and Hailey carried on a careful and prosperous line
between Boise and Umatilla.13
One of the most interesting and important aspects of transportation in the mining regions was the express business. Into
every most remote camp, months before the mail was established,
pushed hardy carriers bearing with them the longed for news,
of the war and the letters "from the dear ones in the distant
homes—letters in which the kisses are yet warm and the heart
beats yet audible."14 The life of the expressman was particularly hard in the winter time, when, guiding himself often by
compass, risking snow blindness, often camping for the night in
the snow, he made his way with the utmost fidelity to the lone
10 Remarks of Judge W. Y. Pemberton, of Helena.
11 Ibid.
""The best staging in the United States", Richardson, Our New States and I
Territories, p. 70.
13 Other local lines were those of Greathouse & Co. from Boise City to Idaho
City and of Hill Beachy from Boise City to Silver City. Later a stage was
run from Silver City to Virginia City, Nevada, and another (by Capt. iJohn
Mullan) from Silver City to Red Bluffs, California. There was a good deal of
effort to get a feasible direct connection between Idaho and CaUfornia, and it
was partially successful.
|    " Goulder, Reminiscences of a Pioneer, p. 216. camps. Such a man was David D. Chamberlain, who carried
letters at a dollar apiece from Walla Walla to East Bannack
during the winter of 1863-4.15 Another was Joaquin Miller,
afterwards to become famous as poet, who rode express from
Walla Walla to Salmon River.16 This business was soon taken
up, by companies. There were a number of small concerns such
as that of Ballou in British Columbia.17 But the great company,
whose offices were to be found in every large town, whose messengers travelled on almost every steamer, or sat by the driver on *
almost every stage, was Wells, Fargo and Company. They were
ubiquitous in the mining regions, both north and south of the
Line, and a very large proportion of the treasure reached the
outer world through them.18
For the mail, of course, there was very great urgency. Petitions from territorial legislatures for establishment of new mail
routes as new camps were formed, were very numerous. The
government of British Columbia was more tardy in responding
to the need for mail facilities than were the United States authorities.19 But in both regions the mail served to tie the new
communities to the old seats of civilization. A thousand tendrils ran back to friends, relatives, and sweethearts in the East.
and in Britain and kept alive sentiments in danger of being
blurred in the new life. The over-emphasis upon the adventurous, rough, romantic side of the miners' lives has neglected this
very strong influence ; one who reads some of the letters to the
miners telling the little nothings of neighborhood doings, or
sometimes bringing solemn announcement of death of loved ones
ttlers in Montana by Col. W. F. Sanders, MS.
of Miller  see  a  Pioneer Pony  Express  Rider,  Chap.
X of Illustrated History of Montana, published by Lewis Pub. Co.    The first part
of this book was written by him.
"Ballou's Adventures are found in MS. iu the Bancroft Library. They may
be fairly trustworthy as to the express business, but in other matters they are
evidently gasconade.
"The student of history longs to get at the records of Wells, Fargo & Co.
Its history would make excellent material for a monograph.
"There were eight post offices in British Columbia, Dec. 31, 1863. The total
expenditure was 3291 pounds and the total income 749 pounds. One half of
the mail carried was that of the Government. The Post Master General wanted
a monopoly in the Government in order to restrain private carriage ; Report of
Post Master General, Govt. Gazette, Feb. 5, 1864.
[259] i' WISCONSIN
back home, gets a finer conception of the real life of the minera
than that typified by the six-shooter. There was demand, also,
for the telegraph, and before 1870 the principal towns both north
and south of the line were connected with the outer world by
this means. Thus the constant tendency in these far-away communities was towards better facilities of communication.
For land transportation of every species roads, ferries, and
' bridges were very necessary. We who are so accustomed to such-
conveniences now can scarcely imagine under what difficulties
the pioneers labored in trying to provide them in a country of
great distances, swift streams, and mountainous grades. We have
noted how manfully and successfully Governor Douglas attacked
the great problem of roads to Cariboo. In British Columbia
there was less resort to private parties, with special charters,
than there was in the territories to the south. Every legislature
in these territories was besieged for special charters for roads,
bridges, and ferries, and they were granted in large numbers.
Men who obtained a monopoly of ferriage over a stream otherwise
impassable, and on the main road to a large mining camp, were
sure of making money.20 On the other hand, as on old pioneer
expressed it to me, "We had to have roads and bridges and
ferries, we had no money, and how were we to get them ?"21 The
construction of roads and trails was often very expensive and
the season for heavy travel short.22 Still, the aggregate of toll
charges was a serious expense. For example, the tolls for the
round trip from Umatilla to Boise cost ten dollars for each animal.23 Governor Ashley, of Montana, said in his message of
1869 that the tolls from Helena to Corinne, Utah, were forty
dollars for each team.24
Important as was the land transportation, however, it had not
the significance of the steamboat navigation. Steamboating entered upon a new phase in its efforts to serve the wants of the
20 At Craig's Ferry at Lewiston in 1662, Mrs
Schultze found waiting "500 men,
much freight, and hundreds of mules and ho
rses."—Anecdotes of Early Settle-
ment of northern Idaho. MS. p. 2.
» Remark of Judge W. Y. Pemberton.
«Hailey, His. of Idaho, p. 30.
M Contributions to His. Soc. of Mont. Vol. VI
, p. 279.
[260] mines of the Inland Empire. Never" before in history had steamboats penetrated so far from lands of settled habitation, nor encountered such risks, as they did on the long stretch of the upper
Missouri, with its bare and tortuous channels, or on the swift
waters of the Columbia and the Fraser, with their snags and
Let us consider separately the navigation on each of these
On the last named, navigation may be said to have extended
from Victoria to Yale.23 A steamboat was also placed upon the
upper Fraser from Quesnelmouth to Soda Creek. Men were
charmed then as they are now by the beauty of the scenery—the
islands of the Gulf of Georgia, Mount Baker towering in the
distance, the thickly wooded banks of the lower Fraser, and the
increasing majesty of the bluffs further up. Still more beautiful
was the trip up Harrison Lake. So matter-of-fact a man as J. C.
Ainsworth, chief organizer of the Oregon Steam Navigation Co.,
wrote concerning the first steamboat trip into this lake: "We
were running along just at dusk of a warm day in July—it
■must have been nine o'clock in the evening—when all at once
we opened into this great lake twenty-four miles long and four
or five miles wide, surrounded by those beautiful mountains
and the full moon was rising right from the lake. Well, I never
saw men so affected by excitement in my life.26 They were
greatly affected by the grandeur of the scene. Well, it would
have excited anybody. I partook of some of the excitement myself."27 As captain and owner of the vessel, however, he prudently restrained himself and ran this first passage cautiously.
It was Americans, indeed, who owned and ran most of the
Fraser River steamboats. The Hudson's Bay Company at the
commencement of the mining advance had two small steamers,
which ran to Hope; but they were dirty, and the meals were
poor.28 It was an American steamer, the Umatilla, that first dared
to encounter the swift current between Hope and Yale.    The
Feb. 6, 1861.
strength of the current in this stretch of about fifteen miles is
revealed by the fact that it took six hours to go up, and half an
hour to come down.29 British travelers marveled at the recklessness of the Americans. The vessel on which Mr. Macfie journeyed
from Hope to Yale, although the steam pressure was way beyond
that allowed by law, for twenty minutes at one place appeared
to make no progress ; the captain and other Americans on board
made bets as to the issue and coolly discussed the chances of an
explosion.30 The characteristic indifference of Americans with
regard to human life came out in a conversation shared by Mr.
Macfie, when the inquiry was put to a Yankee as to the safety
of a certain steamer: "She may do very well for passengers,"
was the reply, "but I wouldn't trust treasure in her."31 On the
other hand, the British admired the cleanliness of the American
boats, the abundance and goodness of the provisions, the superiority of the service, and the comfort of the cabins.32
The history of steamboat navigation on the Columbia River
during the period of the mining advance is the history of the
Oregon Steam Navigation Company. And the history of this
company is of a peculiar interest and importance both from the
point of view of the development of the great mining area whose
transportation it controlled, and as a concrete and simplified
example of monopolistic methods; but the details of its history
have been so adequately presented elsewhere, that I shall attempt to touch only salient features.33 The sine qua non of the
company was the control of the portages at the Cascades and the
Dalles. At first various individuals and groups owned what
facilities there were at these places and also the steamboats be-
29 Macfie, Van Id. and Br. Col, p. 232.
30 Id.
a Hazlitt, Cariboo, p. 78. A noted American boat was the Wilson G. Hunt,
which had before seen service on the Sacramento and was later transferred to
the Columbia. The steamer on which Ainsworth went into Lake Harrison
had been built on the Columbia above the Cascades, but by misadventure had
gone over. Ainsworth bought an interest in her and took her to British Columbia.    Statement, p. 14.
38 Poppleton, Irene Lincoln. Oregon's First Monopoly, Quarterly of the Or. His.
Soc. Sept. 1908, Vol. IX, No. 3, pp. 274-304. A bibliography is appended, to
which may be added the Statement, of Capt. J. C. Ainsworth, MS. in the Bancroft Collection and item in Mineral Resources, 1868, pp. 579,-80.
[262] low, above, and between. Far sighted individuals emerged from
these contending groups, who by patience, tact, and pressure
brought about consolidation into one company. Then we have
clearly the characteristics of monopolistic control: deft, though
not clearly blameworthy, handling of legislatures ; extremely high
rates, all that the traffic would bear ; strong attempt at competition, and obnoxious methods of stifling it; popular resentment
and distrust; swift aggregation of capital, as civilized society
took possession of the vast tributary area; prudent and skillful
management, notable efficiency and enterprise:—in fact, real
industrial leadership. Steamboat navigation of the time reached
its highest point in the powerful boats, nicely responsive to the
steersman's touch, which surmounted the rapids of the Columbia
and the Snake.34 The appointments of the boats were first class,
the meals good, and everything was clean and neat. The enterprise of the company is shown in Hhe way in which it put boats
on remote navigable stretches. On the upper Columbia it owned
the Forty Nine; on the Clark's Fork of the Columbia and Lake
Pend d' Oreille it had the Mary Moody and two other boats;
on the upper Snake in southern Idaho it built the Shoshone at an
expense of $100,000, in order to try to get some of the Salt Lake
trade.35 Far-reaching enterprise, efficiency, and monopolistic
grasp were, therefore, the outstanding characteristics of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.
There could be no such monopoly in the steamboat navigation
which served the mining regions by way of the upper Missouri.
Starting with the Chippewa in 1859, from two to eight boats
ascended the river each year from 1860 to 1865 (except 1861) ;
then the Sioux hostilities on the Bozeman Road from 1866 to
1868, coinciding with much industrial activity in western Mon-
MA Trip from Portland to Boise, S. F. Daily Bulletin, June, 25, 1864, gives
some interesting facts about these steamers and their work.
"Statement of Ainsworth, p. 24.
The Mary Moody was built in 1865. In four months from the time the first
tree was felled for her, she was launched. "She was 108 feet in length, 20
feet beams, and was 85 tons burden and constructed entirely of whipsawed lumber." Sketch by Judge Frank H. Moody, Contr. His. Soc. Mont. Vol. II, p. 104.
TMs attempt to navigate the Upper Snake failed, and the Shoshone ran the
frightful caSons to Lewiston. In the history of. steamboating in the United
States it would be hard to parallel this perilous feat. 128 BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
tana, suddenly raised the number to thirty-one in 1866, thirty-
nine in 1867, thirty-five in 1868 and twenty-four in 1869.38 These
years marked the high tide of the river traffic, for it swiftly sank
as the Union Pacific arrived at competing distance. Some idea
of its dimensions are gained from statistics. In 1867, 8061 tons
of freight were carried to Ft. Benton and some 10,000 pasengers.
As the latter paid $150 fare each, the total for passenger transport alone amounted to $1,500,000.37 The profits were so great
as to more than make up for high rates of insurance and the
occasional loss of a steamer—Captain La Barge in the Octavia
is reported to have cleared $40,000 from one trip in 1867 and the
profits of other vessels in the previous year are reported at from
$16,000 to $65,000.08 The dangers and trials of the steamboat
men, however, were many and various. From St. Louis to Ft.
Benton the distance was 2300 miles, and there stretched from the
verge of the settlements (near Ft. Randall) over 1300 miles of
little known river.39 Snags forbade running at night, except at
great risk; numerous bars had to be "grasshoppered" over by
sparring ; wood was hard to get and very expensive ; boilers and
pilot houses had to be bulwarked ; constant guard had to be kept
against Indian attacks ; there were dangerous and trying delays
due to falling water. Sometimes throngs of buffalo crossing the
river caused a halt.40
The destination to which these steamboats struggled was a
straggling village near the old adobe fort of the American Fur
Company, Ft. Benton. On the crowded levee of this village
(called, also, Ft. Benton) was piled a mass of varied merchan-
" Contr. Mont. His. Soc. Vol. 1, 317-325.
Sioux war along the Bozeman Road is found
Frontier, Chap. XVI.
"Report of Capt. C. W. Howell, Ex. Doc, House Rep. 3d. Sess. 40th Cong.,
Report Sec'y. War, p. 622 ff ; reprinted in N. Dak. State His. Soc. Collections,
Vol. II, pp. 379-91.
38 Chittenden, H. M. History of Early Steamboat Navigation on the Missouri-
River, Vol. II, pp. 275-6.
» Hanson, The Conquest of the Missouri, p. 64. Chap. IX of this work is
particularly commendable.
« Journal of Capt. C. W. Howell, Ex. Doc. H. R. 3d. Sess. 40th Cong., pp. 634-
54 ; reprinted in N. D. His. Soc. Col. Vol. 11, pp. 392-415.    To the
on the navigation of the upper Missouri, which have been mentioned in our
should be added logs of various steamers, found in N. Dak. His. Soc. Col.,
II, pp. 267-371.
[264] i dise. For the interior points there were boxes of drygoods and
clothing, barrels of liquor, sacks of provisions, cases of mining
tools, and quartz mills ; for the down trade there were buffalo hides
and peltries of all sorts. Every warehouse was jammed with
goods, and private dwellings were used as warehouses. The safes
of the town were taxed to their utmost capacity to store gold
dust as it was brought in, and precious packages were sometimes
carelessly left in stores. One steamer bore away $1,250,000 in
gold. In the streets of the town was a throng of varied and
tojjjeturesque humanity: lumbermen from Minnesota and farmers
from many parts of the great valley; confederate sympathizers
from Missouri and Union men from the Western Reserve ; miners
from the Pacific Coast and "fur-traders and hunters of the vanishing Northwestern wilderness", Indians of many tribes; desperadoes and lovers of order ; miners, traders, clergymen, speculators, land-seekers, government officials—all the exuberant array
*of the American frontier. Freight wagons, consisting of two
or three wagons coupled together, and drawn by a dozen or more
oxen or mules, rumbled ceaselessly through the streets. Not less
thai! six hundred outfits participated in this traffic. The area
to which it ministered was extensive; not only did the Ft. Benton trade supply.the wide semicircle of the camps of Western
Montana, but in its outer limits it touched British Columbia,
Calgary, and Edmonton.
Another interesting phase of the business of Ft. Benton, the
mackinaw fleet, is described by an able writer as follows:—"The
steamboat season over and the freight distributed, the mackinaw
season set in. At all seasons of the year when the river was
open mackinaws were to be found descending it; but it was in
September that the great rush commenced. Then, as winter approached, the successful miners who had accumulated wealth and
the unsuccessful who were discouraged and disheartened bestirred themselves to escape from the country. Thronging to
Ft. Benton they rendered the levee the scene of renewed activity.
Scores of rough boats sprang into existence and day after day
they would push off with a crew of from half a dozen to thirty
and forty souls, sometimes single, sometimes in flotillas, and drop
down the river to various points from Sioux City to Saint Louis.
"In the neighborhood of 200 boats and 1200 passengers would
thus sail from Benton annually. These boats were usually broad,
flat-bottomed crafts, with square sterns and roughly built, to be
sold as lumber or abandoned at the end of the voyage. They
were supplied with oars and sometimes sails, but the rapid current of the river was relied upon for the main progress * * *
Under favorable circumstances a hundred miles a day was accomplished in these vessels. Frequent running aground, danger
from Indians and occasional shipwrecks were among the incidents of the voyage, and the party was fortunate that got through
without any mishap."41
In addition to the emigrants who went to the mining regions
from the East on the Missouri steamboats, there was a very large
movement by the overland trails: "It was estimated that the
migration in 1864 from the one town of Omaha amounted to
75,000 people, 22,500 tons of freight, 30,000 horses and mules,
and 75,000 cattle, while all authorities seem to agree that the
total migration from all the Missouri River towns, through Kansas and Nebraska by all routes, equaled 150,000 people."42 Of
this number certainly a very considerable proportion was^des-
tined for the northwest mines. Rev. Jonathan Blanchard
thought that two-thirds of the twenty-four thousand immigrants .
who had preceded him in 1864 on the trail to Laramie were bound
for Idaho.43 While thus the old Oregon trail, because of its
« Bradley, Lieut. Jas. H., Effects at Ft. Benton of the Gold Excitement in
Montana, MS. Besides this article, I have used for the last two paragraphs,
Hanson, The Conquest of the Missouri, Chap. X and Ferguson, H. A. V., Ft. Benton Memories, MS. Mention should also be made of Chittenden, H. M., The
Ancient Town of Ft. Benton in Montana. See also Campbell, J. S. ; Six Months
in the New Gold Diggings, who says, "During the past season (1864) an Immense
emigration, precendented by none save the early rush to the Eldorado of the-
Pacific, has swelled the mountain gorges and valleys of Montana." .It was
thought that between 75,000 and 100,000 persons visited Virginia City in 1864,
of whom probably .four-fifths returned to the States, (pp. 4 & 5) The advertisements in Campbell give an idea of the far-reaching stimulus to eastern
commercial ganglia and to railroads which the. mining regions gave. Merchants
of Council Bluffs, Omaha, St. Joseph, St. Louis and Chicago advertise their
facilities for outfitting or for furnishing manufactures ; while the Hannibal and.
St. Joseph, the Chicago and St. Louis, the Michigan Central and the Pennsylvania Lines call attention to the advantage of making the first part of the-
trip to the mines over their routes.
a Fite, Social and Industrial Conditions in the North during the Civil War,
43 Id., p. 38.
[266] good grass and comparatively easy grades, maintained a clear
supremacy among the overland routes, two other routes are of
^ special interest from the point of view of this study. These are
the northern route to Montana and the route to British Columbia.44
It was the Salmon River excitement of 1861-2 that first started
migration by the northern route from Minnesota. In that
year two large parties made their way over the plains from
rendezvous on the Red River of the north. The first started
from St. Joseph (now Walhalla, N. D.), and the other from Ft.
Abererombie ; both went by way of Ft. Union.45 f The second
was under the command of Capt. Jas. L. Fisk, to whom this duty
was assigned by the Secretary of War, and one of Fisk's assistants was N. P. Langford.46 Fisk's work was of the same nature
as that performed by Capt. Medoram Crawford in the same year
on the southern route : "To afford protection to these emigrants,
and at the same time test the practicability of this northern route
for future emigration", were stated to be the objects of the expedition. It consisted«of 140 persons, most of whom were Minnesota frontiersmen. In constructing bridges these expert lumber-
men would swim the streams, hats on head and pipes in mouth,
in order to float the logs to place, and handled the axe and the
spade-like playthings. The numbers of buffalo seen on the way
were prodigious, Fisk estimating the number seen in one day
at 100,000. The party arrived safely at Ft. Benton, but instead of proceeding to Salmon River scattered to the newly discovered diggings of western Idaho-47
In spite of the Sioux outbreak of 1862 another successful expedition under Capt. Fisk was made in 1863.48 The expedition
of 1864, however, failed to go through, being attacked by Indians
in the Bad Lands, from whom it was rescued by troops of General Sully.   Another under Fisk, unsupported by the govern-
" The Bozeman road may be regarded as a branch of the Oregon trail.
"Author of Vigilante Days and Ways and important promoter of Yellowstone
No. SO, 37th Cong., third Sess.)
ment, took the shape of an imposing scheme for the promotion of
town-building and mining on the Upper Yellowstone, but this
expedition failed to materialize. The last of Fisk's expeditions,
that of 1866, "was different from any of the preceding in its
larger size, in the absence of government aid and from the fact
that for many it was a commercial venture, not a gold hunting
trip. ' '49
In all Of these expeditions St. Paul took an active interest.
Indeed, from the very beginning of the mining rushes the business men of this city planned for overland routes, for connection
with the Red River of the North, and for development of trade
with the Selkirk settlements and the regions beyond. The Chamber of Commerce of St. Paul "declared that the city's whole
commercial future was projected with the far Northwest in
When we consider the overland route to British Columbia, we
come likewise upon large conceptions and the beginnings of great
things. Immediately upon the organization of British Columbia,
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton "proclaimed in the name of the government, the policy of continuous colonies from Lake Superior
to the Pacific and a highway across British America as the most
direct route from London to Pekin or Jeddo. ' '51 From this time
onward there was constant discussion in British Columbia, Can-,
ada, and Great Britian concerning the Great Inter-oceanic Railway.52 Attention was called to the possession of fine ports at
either end of the line—Halifax and Esquimault—and to great
coal deposits near them. At least one man, however, with remarkable prescience, thought that Burrard's Inlet, the present
49 Id., p. 450. Original documents concerning the last three expeditions are
found in works cited, pp. 442-461. In addition to the desire to hunt gold, immigrants from Minnesota were impelled by general discontent of the border
counties in the years following the Sioux outbreaks and the Civil War. On
this aspect consult Hilger, David, Overland Trail, Con. His. Soc. Mont., Vol.
VII, pp. 257-270.
MFite, Social and Industrial Conditions during the Civil War, p. 69. See
also Puget Sound Herald, Sept. 10, 1858.
51 Relations between the United States and N. W. British America, Ex. Dec,
53The titles of two books of the time are suggestive: Rawling's America
from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Milton and Cheadle, The Northwest Passage
by Land.
location of Vancouver, was destined to be the great port of the
Pacific, rather than Victoria.03 Rivalry with the United States
in the building of a transcontinental line was a conspicuous motive, and mention was made of the desirability of the railroad
in case of war with the United States. The designs of France
in Mexico, also, were regarded with suspicion and it was suggested that one object of the French Emperor in acquiring Mexico was to bid for the Oriental trade by building a railroad from
Vera Cruz to Acapulco and putting on a line of steamers from
the latter port to China and Japan.54 The importance of the
Red River settlements and of the great country westward from
them was dilated upon, and Lytton wanted to erect these into
an independent colony; but the Hudson's Bay Company possessed these lands by charter (not by license to trade, as in the
case of British Columbia), and the Company naturally was slow
to fall in with changes which might interfere with the fur trade.55
A project more generally favored than that of making the Selkirk settlements a Crown colony was that of incorporating them
into a union of all the British North American possessions. All
of these plans received fresh impulse when, in 1862, the magnificent Cariboo field put British Columbia finally on its feet, and
the announcement was made of the discovery of gold on the upper Saskatchewan. British Columbia was to be another California and the Saskatchewan field another Colorado. It is important for the student of the history of these movements to>
realize in addition to the really remarkable achievements of the
period, the glamour and enticement of the seemingly roseate immediate future.
While full fruition of these aspirations was to be postponed
for another generation, some interesting and important steps.
have m
once dis
e feasibiUty
of this grand
loyal E
in which he
His  fi
: Burrard's
Inlet,  from
depth of wate
ind other nati
destined to
>e  the g
on the P
1, Trav
ish Colu
■ PP
i. and
Br. Col.
nd Head
r of the Company, Macfie,
Van. Id.
Br. Col
rer, shipped
wire to the Selkirk se
ment fc
r a tel
iph li
le to British
were taken in the decade following the founding of British
Columbia. The year 1859 witnessed the beginnings of steamboat transportation on the Red River of the North, when a steamboat was brought across from the upper waters of the Mississippi
and launched in Red River as the Anson Northrup. In the
same year the Hudson's Bay Company established a town on the
Minnesota side about fifteen miles north of the present Fargo,
North Dakota, and named the new town Georgetown in honor
of Sir George Simpson, then Governor of Rupert's Land. A
stage line was put on by Burbank & Company between Georgetown and St. Paul. A second boat, The International, was built I
at Georgetown and launched in 1862. Its motto was "Germi-
naverunt speciosa deserti, ' ' and on its first trip it took 150 miners
enroute for Cariboo.56
For the organization of the overland route two interesting companies were promoted and chartered. The one, whose chief projector was Mr. W. M. Dawson, was called The Northwest Transportation Company. Its mainspring was in Canada, where there
vras eager desire for participation in the traffic with British
Columbia.57 This company proposed to establish steam communication with Ft. William, at the head of Lake Superior, and then
to place half-a-dozen small river steamers on the chain of rivers
and lakes which run from that to the foot of the Rocky Mountains
with a few easily surmounted portages.58 The last phase suggests
the inadequacy of the conceptions with regard to the new regions
which was even more conspicuous in the English plans of the
time than in the Canadian. In England there was largeness
and elaborateness of projection in regard to the new countries
and the ways of getting there, but also a certain fumbling incapability of execution or of grasping real conditions, which was in
marked contrast to the straightforward, quickly adjustable enterprise of Americans.   It was simply the difference, of course,
M The foregoing data are from a Sketch of the Northwest of America by Mgr.
Tache, Bishop of St. Boniface in 1868. We should not over rate the part of the
mining country in bringing about these beginnings of transportation because
the time had about arrived, anyhow, when the Selkirk settlements had to hav*
better communications with St. Paul.
61 Canadian News, Mar. 20, 1862, quoted in Hazlitt's Cariboo, pp. 92-3.
MHazlitt's Cariboo, pp. 105-6.
between those who were familiar with conditions and those who
were not. This characteristic was well illustrated in the British
Columbia Overland Transit Company, Ltd., which was organized
in London with a proposed capital of half a million pounds and
an imposing directorate of "eminent" and "respectab.
The object was "to establish a transport system for mails and
passengers by carts and relays of horses" to British Columbia.
The route was to be by Montreal, St. Paul, Pembina, Carlton
House, and Edmonton. The time from England to the gold
diggings was to be about five weeks. In regard to this time a
correspondent of the Times, "Canada West", wrote that the
shortest time would be three months, more likely four or five,
and perhaps all winter. To this Secretary Henson, of the <
pany, replied that " 'Canada West' proves that his calculations
are based on thorough ignorance. For instance, he gives ten days
from St. Paul to Red River-; whereas two days is the time now
occupied by the steamers which run on the Red River from
Georgetown to Ft. Garry." [The Secretary seemed to think
the distance from St. Paul to Georgetown negligible.] "Canada
West" replied that last season he had journeyed from St. Paul
to Georgetown, that the trip occupied four days, and that thence
to Ft. Garry by steamer took three or four days more. Still
another correspondent sent a letter from his brother stating
that he had made the trip from Red River to Victoria, but that
it had taken seven months and that he had nearly starved to
death on the road.59 Several parties of considerable size did
go through to Cariboo from St. Paul by the overland route, most
with success, but some with death and suffering. The Victoria
Colonist, however, summarized the route by saying that the way
was easy to the Rockies, but extremely difficult thence to Cariboo,
and that there was a tendency to go down the Columbia via Colville and Portland.60 The Overland Transit Company i
to have vanished without accomplishing anything.    The signifi-
i These letters are republished in McDonald, Br. Col. and Van. Id. pp. 403-417.
Their details seem unimportant, but they illustrate the interest taken in England in the projected route.
«° Barret-Lennard, Travels in British Columbia, pp. 187-198 ; London Times,
Jan. 1, 1863; San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Aug. 1, 1863; McNaughton, Margaret, Overland to Cariboo, (a Journey of 1862).
cance of all these attempts and aspirations lies in their realization
in the great railway system which, in a unified Canada, stretches
from the Atlantic to the Pacific,—the only complete interoceanie
There remains to be considered the ocean routes by which
immigrants went from England to British Columbia. Most of
the many books published in the mother country at this time
concerning the new colony discuss the routes thither, compare
cost of passage and give detailed directions.61 In this respect
they were like the numerous emigrants' guides in the United
States. The two routes most favorably mentioned were the one
by way of St. Thomas, Panama, and San Francisco, which was
held to be the shorter, but the more expensive; and the other
around the Horn, which was thought to be the cheaper and more
suitable, therefore, for families. Alternative routes were to go
to New York and thence to Aspinwall, or to proceed from the
former city across the continent. The whole transportation business from Panama to San Francisco and from there to Victoria
was controlled by Americans—a fact deplored in the British
Colonies, particularly with respect to the mails.62.
The effects of the mining advance into the Inland Empire, it
may be safely asserted, were widely distributed among agencies
of trade and transportation. Perhaps the movement in this
respect might be.likened to an immense spider's web, throwing
out from a central area of intense activity far reaching cords.
«For example, Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col. pp. 519-26; Rattray, Van. Id.
and Br. Col pp. 177-82.
62 The cost of transportation to British Columbia was greater than to any
other British Colony. Passage from London to New Zealand or Cape of Good
Hope cost £20 and to Australia £16, whereas to Victoria, via the Horn it cost
£30 and via Panama £77 ; colonization circular issued by Her Majesty's Emigration Commissioners, in McDonald, Br. Col. and Van. Id., p. 469.
The elements of population which composed the mining advance will be the first subject of inquiry in this chapter.
One fact stands out prominently, and that is that the population was very heterogeneous. In addition to an original basis
of French half-breeds and of mountain-men, representatives
from all parts of the United States and from every quarter of
the globe were to be found,—Americans, Canadians, Englishmen,
Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, Spanish, Chinese, Mexicans,
Chilanos, Australians, Hawaiians. One observer of the throngs
wrote: "Within a few hours, I have met in the streets of Victoria persons who had respectively crossed the Andes, ascended
Mont Blanc, fought in the Crimea, explored the Northwest ]
age, seen Pekin, ransacked Mexican antiquities, lived on
coast of Africa, revelled in the luxuries of India, witnessed Sepoys blown from British guns, wintered in Petersburg, and engaged in buffalo hunts on the great prairies of North America. 'n
In estimating the intelligence of the mining population account
should be taken of the extensiveness of the miners' travels and
of the diversities of their contacts.
As to the proportions of the different elements in the population we may gain some general ideas, but we can arrive at no
precise figures. When the first steamer from San Francisco
arrived at Victoria in the Fraser River rush, she had on board
400 men enroute for the mines ; of this number there were about
sixty British subjects, with an equal number of native-born
Americans, the rest being chiefly Germans, with a smaller proportion of Frenchmen and Italians.2   The Victoria Gazette stated
'Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 412.
"Despatch of Gov. Douglas, Cornwallis, New Eldorado, p. 357.
that, of the whole number of passengers carried up to July, 1858,
by the Surprise—the principal steamer then running up Fraser
River—nearly one-half were Irish and a large proportion Italian j
and French, but added that in July more Americans were com- j
ing. The proportion of Irishmen was particularly noticeable,!
also, in southern Idaho. The population at The Dalles (which,
was an index to that of the upper country) was said to have been!
composed of "Saxon, Celt, Teuton, Gaul, Greaser, Celestial and;
Indian".3 Statistics from Port Douglas, in British Columbia,
give the following data for a population numbering 206.
Coloured men * 8
Mexicans and Spaniards  29
Chinese    37
French and Italians 16
Central Europe  4
Northern Europe    4
Citizens of the United States 73
British subjects    354
A census of Ft. Hope in 1861 showed 55 British subjects and
111 foreigners. It is certain that in British Columbia during!
the mining period the British element in the population wasi
greatly in the minority, and that the largest single ingredient of
population was furnished by citizens of the United States.5 More-1
over, a very large proportion of the men engaged in the mining i
rushes—possibly not far from one-half—were not Americans or
Britons ; and, furthermore, of those styled Californians, (and i
hence Americans) a very large proportion were of other than i
Anglo-Saxon nativity. If these facts be true, then we may
fairly raise the question whether the enterprise, adventurous-
ness, and adaptability which were characteristics of the mining
population—and, especially the spontaneity which was shown
«San Francisco Bulletin, Nov. 13, 1862.
4 Paper by Rev. Mr. Gammage quoted by McDonald, Br. Col. and Van Id., p.
5 "Our American friends especially are our pioneer miners, our principal traders and our chief packers."    Colonist, Jan. 2, 1862.    "The tone of society I
become decidedly more British since 1859; but still, as then the American element prevails."    Macfie, Van. Id. & Br. Col, p. 379.
[276] in working out the laws of the mining camps,—were quite so
peculiarly Anglo-Saxon as has been thought.6
While the mining camps were very heterogeneous in population, still, certain elements are more conspicuous in some places
than elsewhere. In British Columbia, after the opening of Cariboo, English, Cornish, Scotch and Welch were to be met with
more numerously than in other parts of the mining areas. So,
too, Oregonians (and men from the Sound) were distinguished
in the Nez Percés mines, Missourians and Pike's Peakers in Boise
Basin, and people from Minnesota in Montana. This does not
mean, of course, that other elements were not present in all these
camps. In the Montana camps, in particular, there was a curious
mingling of eastern "tenderfeet" and western "yon-siders",
who were amused at each others' lingo ; the tapaderas of the latter were to the former toe-fenders—maehiers, saddle-scabbards—
cantinas, handy-bags.7 But whatever elements of population
prevailed in one or the other place, there was one everywhere
present, everywhere respected, everywhere vital—the Californian.
To Fraser River, Cariboo, Kootenay; John Day, Boise, Alder
Gulch, Helena, went the adopted sons of California—youngest
begetter of colonies,—carrying with them the methods, the customs, and the ideas of the mother region, and retaining for it not
a little of love and veneration. "Idaho", said the World, "is
but the colony of California. What England is to the world,
what the New England states have been to the West, California
has been and still is to the country west of the Great Plains.
Her people have swept in successive waves over every adjacent
district from Durango' to the Yellowstone. She is the mother
of these Pacific States and Territories. ' '8
•It seems to the author that, while the British people have shown marked
efficiency in seizing new lands for colonies and in governing them, they have
shown no special aptitude as colonists. From 1660 onward the immigration to
the colonies now forming the United States was largely continental ; and the
Amerllan frontiersman was not an Englishman, although often of English antecedents. The western Canada of today would lack much in its population, if
the American pioneers were not there.
'Owyhee Avalanche, Nov. 11. 1865.
"Idaho World, July 15 and Oct. 14, 1865. The career of Henry Comstock,
who gave his name to perhaps the greatest lode known in history, was typical
in wanderings of that of many Californians; though, we may hope, not typical
in its ill-fortune.    Comstock in 1862 struck a quartz lead at John Day (S. F. 142 BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
Another element of population represented everywhere, but
often entirely overlooked in characterizing the mining population, was that of the women—and we mean here respectable
women. It is true that a large majority of the population was
made up of men, especially at the beginning of a rush, but always some women began soon to arrive and formed in many
districts an appreciable element. Some of the women were survivors of the fur-trading regime and were to be found at the
old posts ; as a general thing, also, there were pretty sure to be
women at the road houses and stopping places. So, early in the
winter of 1862-3, in the region now known as Montana, out of a
total listed population of 670, 59 were respectable females ; and in
the years immediately succeeding numbers of the most venerated
of the pioneer women of Montana came.9 Southern Idaho, as
has been mentioned before, was conspicuous for the number of
families residing there, many of which had left Missouri because
of war troubles.- In the Grande Ronde Valley and at Auburn
a young single man had quite good chances of getting a wife
from immigrant girls. At Victoria, besides ladies in the families of citizens, a cargo or two of young women, according to the
custom of new colonies, was brought from England. Even in
far-away Cariboo there was a kindly Mrs. Lee to extend help to
the minister's wife in her time of greatest need, and ever and
anon on his travels the minister found it pleasant to see a
"sonsie" Scotchwoman beaming a welcome and to hear her
Scots tongue.10 Another indication of the presence of women
was that a good many divorces were granted by legislatures ; but,
on the other hand, that in all the papers almost from their first
issues were notices of marriages.    It is true, however, that most
Daily Bulletin, Aug. 29, 1862) ; at Christmas he was in Auburn (Id. Jan. 2,
1863) ; the next fall found him at Alturas, near Boise, where he was running
five arastras and a saw mill. (Id. Aug. 30, 1864.) In 1868 he resided in Butte
City, his intellect darkened, but his hand still skilful and His heart sympathetic
for the poor. He worked a small claim, but imagined that he still owned the
Comstock lode (Mineral Resources, 1868, p. 505.) At last, 1870, he shot himself at Bozeman, and his body was found in a hole back of the jail, not a cent
in his pocket. He was buried at the county expense (Anaconda Standard,
Dec. 16, 1900).
» Contributions Historical Society of Montana, Vol. I, pp. 334-54.
10 Occasional Papers, Columbian Mission, Report for 1869, pp. 64 and 69.
ladies were to be found in the families of professional men, merchants, and farmers, because the miners themselves were too
roving to get married, but there were some exceptions. At any
rate, it seems worth calling attention to the fact that the dearth
of good women in the mining regions was not so complete as is
often assumed.
There are two classes of the population, the negroes and the
Chinese, to which I wish to give separate treatment ; to the one
a brief statement, to the other more extended discussion.
The negroes were seldom, if ever, found in the mining camps,
but about four hundred of them came early in the mining movement to Vancouver Island and British Columbia, the majority
of them settling in Victoria. They came from California, and
their purposes as explained by one of themselves, were as follows :
(1) To better their political conditions, since in California they
were disfranchised and without legal protection of life
and property.
(2) Not to seek "particular associations", but to "enjoy those
common rights which civilized, enlightened and well-regulated communities guarantee to all their members."
(3) To make this country the land of adoption for themselves
. and their children.11
By working at draying and like'employments and investing
their savings in land, many of these colored people became well-
to-do. Clergymen fresh from England or Canada, took high
philanthropic and religious grounds toward them, although the
Bishop noted that the negroes found it difficult to get used to the
ways of the Church of England, since they had been reared Baptists and Methodists. But trouble arose with the white Americans, notwithstanding that most of these in British Columbia
were, during the war, ardent supporters of the Union ; and there
was a serious riot in a theatre. The whites remonstrated, also, at
admitting colored people to the churches, and, when one zealous
divine took up the cause of Africa and coloured people flocked to
him, the whites left—promptly to be followed by the r
[279] order to be in a more fashionable church.12 But the latter were
treated by the English officials as any other citizens were treated.
The Chinese were a very important economic part of the mining advance, but not of it socially. Sooner or later they were
found in every town, along every trail, in every mining camp.
Debarred from the camps so long as claims paid "wages" or better, they were welcomed later to buy the claims, once washed,
which no white miner would consent to touch. There was great
hostility to them because of their lowering wages and living
hardly, but the time was sure to come when the miners ' meeting
of every district would admit these patient, quiet, laborious men,
clothed in cheap garments. It was seldom that the Chinaman
worked for the white man, but he often paid large sums for his
claim—as high in some cases as $8,000—and he paid in cash, or
the white owner of the claim took out of the sluice boxes each
Saturday night a certain amount until paid. The Chinese were
not so skillful as the Americans in the use of machinery, but
their industry enabled them to extract much gold from the
abandoned claims. Undoubtedly America owes considerable to
them for saving treasure which might otherwise have been wasted.
Of their numbers it is hard to get a just estimate. In Montana
they were thought to number 800 in 1869, and in British Columbia in 1866 they numbered 1800 out of a total population of
13,800 and in Vancouver Island 200.13 As camps waxed old in
the American territories, the Chinamen generally outnumbered
the whites. A pioneer states that twelve hundred of them came
into Warren's Diggings, when they were allowed to come.14
Many of them came direct from China, but many also from
California They were generally brought in droves by some
Chinese contractor; for example, forty Chinese were sent to
Idaho from Virginia City, Nevada, at one time by Yong Wo and
Company.15 The men sometimes were contracted, sometimes
v bought, and sometimes kidnapped.16   The masters, provided the
iho County, MS., p. 4.
ulletin, May 19, 1865.
i Br. Col, pp. 299-30C -TRIMBLE—MINING ADVANCE 145
outfit and required both repayment of expenses and profits for
themselves.17 Not all, however, were coolies, for there were not
a few fine looking and independent men. Numbers of the
Chinese, as usual, engaged in the laundry business, and some in
other forms of business or in farming. A flourishing colony of
them congregated on Pandora Street, Victoria. A good many
of them everywhere became well-to-do and some wealthy, but
others lost fortunes gambling after the fashion of the whites.18
In the treatment accorded them by the whites there was a fair
measure of equality before the law. In British Columbia, of
course, the Chinaman was treated with perfect civic equality,
and in American territories there are records of white men being
brought to trial and convicted for assaulting or killing them.19
But in the matter of taxation there was a decided difference: in
British Columbia a Chinese miner paid the same tax as any other
miner, while in the American territories he was singled out for
exceptional and heavy taxation. In Idaho a law was passed
(styled a law for taxing foreign miners and copied directly from
the California law) which required every Mongolian to pay a tax
of~$5.00 per month ; if the tax were not paid, the property could
be sold on three hours notice.20 Moreover, the law included as
foreign miners all Mongolians, whatever their occupations,—a
provision, however, later declared invalid by the courts.21
Yet the Chinese miners were forced to pay the exceptional tax
and, moreover, were sometimes robbed by officials under guise of
"watchmen" and "collectors."22 For the regular tax, on the
other hand, there was some justification, from the fact that Chinamen acquired comparatively little property which could be
reached by ordinary taxation. In Montana Chinamen were
taxed by a law compelling all male persons engaged in the laundry
business to pay a tax of fifteen dollars per quarter ; "It is admitted," said Gov. Ashley, "that this section is oppressive and was
intended to compel the Chinaman to pay an unjust tax. ' '2S
"Idaho Worl
es, March 25, 1862.
1, Nov. 18, 1865.
n at Yale, M
miniscences, Chap. 49 ;
daho World,
" Idaho Worlt
= Knapp, Sta
ement of Events in Idah
o, MS. p. 6.
The white miners always looked on the Chinamen as inferiors.
When the latter were admitted into the John Day diggings, the
Dalles Mountaineer said: "It is to be hoped that by another
year each honest miner in this country will have his dozen coolies
delving in his claims. There is an eminent fitness in this relation
of the races."24 Indeed "foreigners" to the miners did not
mean the "unnaturalized Russian, Greek, Finn, Frenchman, or
Irishman," but the Mongolian.25 In Montana it was thought
that the public was undemonstrative either for or against them ;
although, occasionally "we hear of outrages inflicted upon some
one of them in the same manner, and perhaps as frequently, as
dogs or cattle are maltreated."28 From the first contact with
the Mongolian in the mining regions, therefore, whether justly or
unjustly, there has been a feeling with regard to him on the part
of the whites, different to that held toward other races. But
that his part in the economic development of those regions was an
important one admits of no doubt.27
Having now considered the various elements of the population,
let us next see how the white portion of it lived.
The characteristic abode in the mining regions was a log cabin,
roofed with shakes or (particularly in Montana) with dirt. In
storms the latter roof leaked, much to the distress of lady housekeepers. Green cow-skins were often nailed on the floor in lieu
of carpets. A cabin of one of the bachelor miners, as it appeared
at the beginning of winter is thus sketched : "To the left of the
stage road leading to Idaho City, stands a log cabin, ten by
twelve feet in size, the roof extending eight feet from the main
building, a pile of pitch wood to the left of the door ; over the
wood hangs a fore and hind quarter of a beef. Under the same
porch is seen a hand sleigh used for sledding wood and articles
from town.    We open the door and go in.    Description is almost
S in Mining a
nd Scientific Pr
ss, Vol. 12,
1866, p. 259.
ÎT, Reminisce
ices, p. 354.
il Resources,
869, p. 40.
field for inve
the history of the Chine
e on the Pacific
particularly if o
ne could get at
Chinese sou
rces.    A still
wider field pre-
f in the activ
ity of this race
in all the
s of the Pacific
ber of Chines
e to be met with all over
lys Barret-Leon.-'
ever gold has
, is a singu:
ar and characteristic fact."—
Van I
I. a
id British Co
., pp. 147-148.
impossible, but I will endeavor to depict the scene. On the left
of the room is stored any amount of provisions, over which are
fixed two bunks one above the other. To the right of the fireplace stands a small table on which are piled books, papers, and
many other small articles too numerous to mention ; and still to
the right is à goods box nailed to the wall for a cupboard, which
is filled with all kinds of cooking traps. On the right hand side
of the room is the window, one pane of glass constitutes the size,
under which is placed the dining table. The right-hand side of
the room is ornamented with a large mirror and pictures : among
them are seen Abraham Lincoln and his secretaries, generals,
forts, battles, etc."27a In respect to these latter ornaments, it
may be observed, many miners would probably have preferred
pictures of Jefferson Davis and of Southern generals; but the
description is fairly characteristic of the ordinary miner's cabin
: tin the winter time.
Places of business, also, were for the most part of logs, although
in the first stages of towns tents were often used; as a town
prospered, substantial buildings of sawed lumber or of stone
were usually erected. Owners of general stores often built cellars as warehouses for storing goods, a precaution against the
fires which many times swept mining towns. Frequently several
firms carrying on different lines of mercantile business occupied
the same store, which very likely served also as office for some
doctor or lawyer; and at night the various occupants (with
probably a guest or two) quite generally used the scene of their-
day-time endeavor as sleeping quarters.28 The appearance of one-
such store, thus used, reminded an English traveler in the interior of British Columbia of the robber's cave in the Arabian
The staple foods were bread, bacon, beans, coffee, and (in.
British Columbia) tea. In the towns, of course, there was;
greater variety; but a man, by paying a good price, could generally get such luxuries as eggs and butter. Fresh meat was;
usually obtainable at reasonable prices in the summer time, when
«a Mullan, John, Miners' and Travelers' Guide, pp. 126-128; cf. also, description of cabin in Diary of J. H. Morley MS., May 22, 1863.
" Sanders, Col. W. F., Sketches of Early Settlers in Montana, MS.
drovers brought cattle and sheep on foot to the camps. Fish,
also, were often used, there being fine trout in Montana and
salmon on the west side of the mountains ; but miners who could
make $5.00 per day or more could not profitably spend much
time in fishing or hunting. Still, prospecting parties, in particular, found game useful. Fresh vegetables and potatoes were
much sought, in order to avoid the terrible scurvy. Miners at
Oro Fino in the winter of 1861-2 packed potatoes on their backs
fifteen or twenty miles through deep snow, in order to stay the
ravages of this disease. ' ' Uncooked potatoes sliced up and
soaked in vinegar were far from affording a very appetizing dish,
but it proved a sovereign remedy for the scurvy."28 Far the
greater portion of the food stuffs were imported from outside the
mining regions—from California, the Willamette Valley, Utah,
and the States. Consequently, when insufficient supplies were
laid in, and winter snows blocked the trails, miners in lone camps
were sometimes reduced to boiling ferns, or oats, or the inner
bark of trees in order to stave off starvation ; while merchants in
town often ran flour up to monopolistic prices, $1.50 per lb. or
higher,—a procedure which generally produced flour riots.30
There were many restaurants and hotels in the town and road-
houses along the trails, but except when traveling (and often
then) experienced miners did their own cooking.
Amusements and companionships the miner had to have, and,
in reaction from the hard labor on the claim, he generally sought
eagerly those forms of amusement offered to him in the towns.
He was bound of course, to be attracted by horse-racing and
prize-fighting; there were always men around.who wanted to   •
match their favorite colts, or to aspire to pugilistic honors.
Saloons abounded in all towns, and generally sold villainous I
concoctions; but they were the only places where a man could I
freely find companionship, and "some of them were kept by men
of intelligence whose general impulses were excellent."31   .Other
were like the one at Yale, who when the miners
80 It was  considered very  creditable  to  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company,   when
nerican speculators at Victoria had cornered the market, that the Company
81 Sketches of Early Settlers in Montana, Col.- W. F. Sanders, MS.
■were well "slewed", would dispense with the scales and take
goodly pinches of gold from the extended pouches.82 Nearly
everybody drank, and getting drunk was a venal transgression:
the members of the Philipsburg, (Mont.) Pioneer Association—
composed of "those who have assisted in opening up for settlement and civilization" California, Idaho, and Montana—in their
resolutions "Reserve the right to get decently drunk." Liquor
was generally taken straight and at one gulp. Vigorous men
with the health of pure mountain air surging within them could
I drink safely an amount of liquor that would have crazed an office denizen. On the other hand, the ill effects of drink were by
no means escaped : the "Miners' Ten Commandments" speaks of
men broiling in the sun, or emerging half drowned from prospect
holes and ditches, of gold dust and the comforts it might have
purchased lying at the bottom of a damaged stomach, and of ' ' all
■$he unholy catalogue of evils, ' ' that follow in the-train of excess.33
Some of the men who played heroic and conspicuous parts in the
ranks of the Vigilantes of Montana afterwards went to pieces
to through drink. Billiard tables were to be found in almost every
aaloon, and were much patronized—British travelers wondered
at the numbers of these tables in Victoria.
j Gambling was exceedingly common and open. In almost every
town could be heard the cry that brought back to Californians
the times of '49 : "Make your game, gentlemen, make your game—>
all down—no more—game's made." The men who ran the
gambling houses were not all the sleek, lizard-eyed villians which
^çccasional writers portray, but some of them conducted their
business with fairness and would tolerate no crooked work. As
a class they were brave, virile, and generous-hearted.   A man
'knew-when he went into the game that there was a percentage in
favor of the house. Still, a number of games regarded as legally
unfair are enumerated in a law of Montana which forbade "three
card monte, strap game, thimble-rig game, patent safe game,
black and red, any dice game, two card box at faro." Undoubtedly much of the terrible wastage that left many of the miners
exposed to an impecunious old age was produced by the g
An innocent form of diversion was the theaters, one or more of
which were to be found in every town of any importance.
Troupes of players, male and female, were often encountered by
travelers, making the long journeys from town to town. A-
glimpse of a theater at Walla Walla is given by a newspaper
correspondent. The room was a dismanteled barroom, and the
platform was flanked by blankets. Mrs. Leighton and a troupe
presented the play "Naval Engagements" to the "highly marine
population of Walla Walla. Thirty-five ladies graced the dress
circle and 162 gentlemen laughed with delight on board benches
at the expense of one dollar each. ' '35
The hurdy-gurdy or dance houses were features of every
center. One of them is described as follows: "At one end of a
long hall a well stocked bar and a monte bank in full blast; at
the other a platform on which were three musicians. After each
dance there was a drink at the bar. The house was open from 9
P. -M. until day-light. Every dance was $1.00—half to the
woman and half to the proprietor. Publicly, decorum was preserved ; and to many miners, who had not seen a feminine face for
six months, these poor women represented vaguely something of
the tenderness and sacredness of their sex. ' '3G Most of the hurdles were German women, who followed the business for gain—the
majority homely enough, but some good dancers. It is a mistake to confuse these dance halls with houses of prostitution;
seldom did one of these women become a prostitute, and some of
them settled down in the country and became good wives.38 The
lighter side of the dancing was sung in Cariboo Rhymes :
' ' Bonnie are the hurdies 0 !
The German Hurdie-Gurdies 0 !
The dâftest hour that e'er I spent
Was dancing wi'the hurdies 0 ! "30
84 Montana Post, Jan. 21, 1865.
85 San.Francisco Daily Bulletin, June 25, 1864.
88 Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, p. 480.
88 A very much respected pioneer told me that he had known a number of these
women and had been acquainted with their later careers, and that all had turned
out well.
v Jeames' Letters to Saicnie, quoted in Bancroft, His. Pac. States, Vol. XXVII,
p. 519.
[286] The othe
r side
was presen
serted th
at the 1
llarly in th
too ofter
they \
rere scenes
the Montana Post, which as-
es exercised a most pernicious
arreling, violence, and drunkenness. There seemed to be a "desire to run everything in the
shape of amusements beyond all safe limits. ' '40
There were houses of prostitution in practically all towns, and
vice flaunted itself more openly than in older communities. "A
bespangled and flounced woman of costly garments" was not infrequently seen on the streets, while on the trails might occasionally be met small companies of "things calling themselves
women", dressed in men's clothing and with revolvers strapped
to their waists, and some of these even dared the rugged trails to
For the steady part of the population there were gathering
places seldom taken into account in the history of mining communities. Quiet citizens would gather in some store, as that of
George Chrissman at Bannack City and of Pfouts at Virginia
City,—and there, seated on stools, benches, and boxes, would tell
strange experiences or discuss grave questions. But generally
the talk fell naturally on mines; for, to "find mines, to plant
mining communities occupied industrial attention."*2 There
were halls where fraternal organizations might gather, or a
neighborhood dance be held. Miners of studious tastes might
form public libraries, as at Helena.*2* Church buildings, also,
were early erected in most of the larger towns, and in them Sunday schools were carried on, more or less regular preaching serv«
ices held, and occasional special meetings called.
In trying to find out the characteristics of the population, at
whose amusements we have glanced, two extremes are to be
avoided: The one is the view of those superficial writers who,
o the gold regidns in 1864, MS. entry
i, 1863. *
2ol. W. F. Sanders, MS.
The Historical Society of Montana
C. P. Higgins, John Owen, James
;  M.  Thompson,   William  Graham,
e, and Charles Baggs.—Contr. His.
seizing on the unusual, unconventional, or abnormal features of
the life of the mining communities, and especially regarding the
exploits of desperadoes, conclude that ruffianism and violence
were the normal qualities of these communities ; the other (and
the more forgiveable) is that of some of the pioneers who, looking back through mellowing years, and remembering the good
and true men who formed the majority of the mining populace,
forget some of the undeniably bad blots upon the society of the
In truth, for the observer wishing to be impartial, a great deal
depends upon one's point of view. If he undertakes to apply to
mining communities the conventional standards of conduct which
ruled in the sixties in quiet villages of the East, he will find
sufficient transgressions to shock him ; and these standards were
precisely those that were applied by some of the writers of the
time. They inferred that, since miners generally were profane
and reckless and did not keep the Sabbath, often gambled and
drank, and wore weapons habitually, therefore they were violent,
ignorant, and depraved, ready for any depth of sin or crime.
Moreover, the impressions given by such witnesses are sometimes confirmed by some of the pioneers themselves who, finding
the outrageous side of life most eagerly listened to, put to the
fore in their accounts murders, robberies, and brawls. On the
other hand, the impartial student, without in the least denying
or seeking to palliate what was ugly, will not overlook essential
traits of manhood, but will remember that most of the mining
populace were young men, far from the restraints of home ; that
they had come, many of them, from the less exhilarating atmosphere of lower altitudes, to the splendid invigoration of mountain air and outdoor life, and, consequently, effervesced with
energy; that their excesses were often reactions against the
monotony of their toil ; and that many of them earned large sums
of money quickly and, feeling certain that they could replace
them easily in the apparently endless succession of new fields,
spent their treasure prodigally. Above all, he who seeks a just
estimate of mining populations, as of any other, will make general statements cautiously.
Perhaps the best way of approaching the matter is to start with TRIMBLE—MINING ADVANCE 153
the observation of a careful and experienced participant in the>
mining advance, who wrote that "Society was divided into two
classes—the good and the bad."*3 This observation is, of course,
true of society in general, but to that of mining camps it is particularly apropos, since ties of friendship and associations, in the
absence often of more defined regulations of society, were peculiarly close.
The "bad" classes were represented in some camps by an inferior lot of hangers-on who were lazy and unenterprising ; but a
lazy man stood a good chance of starving, and the hobo class was
conspicuously absent.** It took a man to face the long journeys-
to the mines and the vicissitudes of life there. There were also
some mere rowdies who might participate in a riot at times, but
who were easily cowed by Judge Begbie in British Columbia or
by the mere mention of a vigilante committee in the territories.*5
But the really bad class, the class that did so much to give a bad
name to mining communities, were the desperadoes. These were
often brave men gone wrong, who had formed criminal tendencies
and associations in California, and who continued their evil associations in the various camps of the northern interior, until
finally they were graduated into very bad, overbearing, and
dangerous criminals. Many of the murders so often mentioned
in characterizations of mining communities, were simply killings
of one or the other of these men by another of the same class ; but
not infrequently, allured by large amounts of treasure carried by
travelers, or by a rancher's scattered horses (both a form of
plunder not hard to dispose of), and emboldened by the unorganized and unprotected condition of society, these villains
banded themselves together for most atrocious rapine and murder, directed against quiet citizens. The numbers of this class,
however, were very small compared to the whole population.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of the miners as a
class, on the other hand, was that they were law-abiding and orderly. The very nature of their occupations made them that.
Men who were seriously working rich claims, or making large
«Butler, Life and Times in Idaho, MS., p. 9.
"Conversation with Judge W. Y. Pemberton, of Helena.
"Pemberton. J. D., Van. Id. and Br. Col., pp. 130-1.
wages, could not afford to commit crimes, if they wanted to.
Most of the miners, moreover, were men of good antecedents, a
fact as truet of the large foreign element as of the Anglo-Saxon.
The Germans and Frenchmen who came to the mining regions
were not. gutter spawn, but often younger sons of good families,
or peasants; and they were well trained to obedience to law.
Moreover, the men who came from California had had good
training in participating in the evolution of customs and laws of
the mining camps ; and, besides, being now older than when they
had first gone to California, they were the more inclined to ways
of steadiness.*6 The testimony of the sources in regard to the
law-abiding instincts of the miners is clear and practically unanimous, and this is especially true of the sources dealing with
British Columbia. Although the officials there had been warned
• that these men were the ragtags and off-scourings of the universe,
they were surprised to find, like Judge Begbie, that the miners
"manifested a great desire to see justice fairly done and great
patience with the difficulties which the magistrates and the judiciary have had to contend with."*7 Again, the same distinguished judge observed, ' ' There was on all sides a submission to
authority, a recognition of the right, which, looking to the mixed
nature of the population, and the very large predominance of
the Californian element, I confess I had not expected to meet."48
The proportion of the law-abiding element in the American territories is probably fairly expressed by Mr. Hailey, who says, "I
think I may truthfully say that ninety-five per cent of these
people were good, industrious, honorable and enterprising, and
to all appearances desired to make money in a legitimate way."*9
The law-abiding instincts of the miners—and as well another
chief characteristic, their virility,—are interestingly brought out
in a letter, tinged perhaps with idealism, to The London T»m$|^H
46 These considerations with respect to the foreign element, were earnestly
presented to me by Dr. James S. Helmcken, son-in-law of Sir James Douglas
and Speaker of the first Assembly of Vancouver Island. He had every opportunity to observe the miners closely and had no reason to be prejudiced in their
«Quoted from Judge Begbie in Pemberton, J.  D.,  Van Id.  and Br   Col, p.
"Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XXXI, p. 247.
« His. of Idaho, p. 91.
[290] "All who come to British Columbia, be they gentle, be they
simple, whatever their class or previous calling, must be men,—
true men, resolute, persevering, cheerful, temperate men, men of
dauntless character. They need not be strong men, particularly,
but if not strong in body, nor particularly inured to hardship as
to constitution, they must be hardy in mind. They must be of
the stuff on which England's glory is founded. If they are
puny, or complaining, or talkative, imaginative fellows, they had
better stay at home where they are. In a state of society more
or less artificial they may find a living, but not here. They will
die, and scarcely, if at all, be regreted by anybody. Here we
revert to first principles in all things ; and I am happy to say the
miners of British Columbia as a body are the very finest fellows
I ever came across—hardy fellows, heroes, in a kind of way. Of
course there are exceptions, but I speak of the mass, and I make
no distinction of nation. We have British subjects, English,
Scotch, Irish, Welsh, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand,
French, German, Dane, Swede, Norwegian, Spaniard, Italian,
Mexican, United States, Confederate States—in fact bone and
sinew, life and energy, skimmed as the cream from the manliness
of all nations.. That is my opinion of the miners of British Columbia, and I would wish it to be openly declared as against all
who may gainsay it; don't let anybody believe they are a people
unsafe to live among. I mention this because absurd tales are
told (and I am sorry to say the foolish practice among them of
carrying revolvers gives a sort of color to it) of the wild recklessness and violence of the miners. If a person will mind his
own business, keep a civil tongue in his head, look straight into a
man's eye, and fear nobody, he will lead as quiet a life as he can
desire. As a body the miners are above average intelligence,
and fully recognize the value of law and order, and are always
ready to maintain it."50 The virile qualities of the miners are
emphasized, also, by another English observer, as follows: "Intent on speedy gain they are ready to brave every risk, face every
hardship and privation. Dauntless, fearless, and restless, they
will brook no opposition nor restraint, but with a wild self-de-
pendence of character plunge wherever gold attracts them, defying everything, and surmounting all obstacles."51
Besides being law-abiding and virile, the average miner was intelligent. In a population ' ' coming from all parts of the world,
drawn from every social grade, animated by the most diverse
ideas and principles, differing in every essential particular necessary to social or moral organization", the abrasions of society
were themselves educative.62 Not a few of the miners were men
of education. Books, magazines, or newspapers were found
commonly in the cabins, and were often conned to good advantage in winter. One of the first things that Morley did on settling down at Bannack (Montana) was to order magazines from
Salt Lake; Goulder at Oro Fino (Idaho) in the long winter evenings read Scott's novels to his comrades; in British Columbia the
Bishop found miners at Cariboo possessing copies of Gibbon,
Maeaulay, Shakspeare, and Plutarch.53 Since the miners, however, were rough in appearance, travelers sometimes misjudged
them. Mrs. Leighton, journeying on the upper Columbia in the
'49, looked with suspicion on the miners aboard, but found them
interesting on acquaintance: one of a company collected for a
wagon trip "looked like a brigand with his dark hair and eyes";
but when—in addition to showing thorough knowledge of the
country through which they were passing—he talked about the
"soft Spanish names of places in California", and of "the primitive forms in which minerals crystallized", and told of the gallantry of the miners when the ' ' Central America ' ' was wrecked,
she concluded that he would have been "interesting anywhere."5*
The Bishop of Columbia thought that his congregations at Victoria contained a "larger proportion of shrewd, thinking, intelligent educated gentlemen than any in England out of London. ' '5*a
The characteristic most dwelt upon, however, by participants,
in the mining rushes was enterprise.    This characteristic is em-
83 Morley, J. H., Diary, MS., Sept. 21, 1S62 ; Goulder, W. A., ReminiscencesM
221-2 ; Extracts from the Journal of the Bishop of British Columbia, 1862-3.
"Leighton, Caroline C, Life at Puget Sound, with SketcJies of Travel, pp , few lines of rhyn
"I'm standing now upon the hill
That looks down on the town.
I'm thinking of that mighty will
Which never can bow down ;
I mean the will of Enterprise
That made our nation grow,
And from these Indian wilds built up
The town of Idaho."55
Enterprise is placed foremost by the Montana Post in an estimate of the mining population—an estimate which mentions,
also, some other interesting characteristics. ' ' The great features
of our people, ' ' it said, ' ' are enterprise, restless activity and contempt of danger or privation. Hospitality is general and unaffected. There is a sort of rough, though genuine courtesy much
in vogue among mountaineers, that makes them" excellent companions in danger or hardship. Men of education may meet
their fellows here. Majors, colonels, judges, and doctors include about one-third of the adult males, but the reverence
usually accorded to those high-sounding cognomens is left at
home ; and in the gulch Major Blank wheels, while Colonel Carat
Nicknames were often used, "extemporized from some personal eccentricity, some notable expression, or event of experience." If a man seemed educated, he might be called "doc" or
"cap", a large man would be called Big Bill or Big Jim. Frequent reference to place whence he had come might result in
"Rattlesnake Jack" or "Oregon Bob". One man who was fond
of displaying an array of initials and titles was called "Alphabet
McD—". These designations were sometimes especially handy,
in cases where an individual had some delicacy about his real
«Boise News, Aug. 20, 1864.
* Montana Post, June 28, 1865.
*' Material for this paragraph is found mostly in Macfie, Van Id. and Br. Col,
Isewhere, when he says that the "intense pitch to which the feelings of people
ire strung in a gold-producing country is a frequent cause for insanity", p. 410.
The mining population was one extremely nomadic—often
disastrously so to the individual. The old wander-lust stirred
the blood mightily, and especially so in the spring. The call of
new and rich diggings, even though deceptive, was seldom resisted. "What a clover-field is to a steer," wrote the Oregonian
with somewhat crude humor, "the sky to the lark—a mudhole to
a hog, such are new diggings to a miner. Feed him on a success-
sion of new diggings, and his youth would be perennial. ' '38 Forgotten were rheumatism, toil, and disappointments when reports
of big strikes circulated. An old miner on being asked by the
Bishop of Columbia why the old-time miners had not realized
fortunes, answered that they were "always agitated by news of
rich diggings" and that they gave up good paying claims on
hear-say reports, and often came back impoverished. "I myself," he added, "if I hear of anything better cannot keep quiet;
I must be off."58
That humor lightened many of the troubles of the miners and
played over and through their experiences, is suggested by a few
specimens that glimmer through our sources. The humor was
sometimes irreverent and grotesque; as, for example, concerning
a supposedly conceited nominee for the Legislature, an unfriendly
critic remarked, "If that chap is elected to the Legislature,
God '0 mighty's overcoat wouldn't make a vest pattern for hrrMMI
It was generally picturesque, descriptive, and full of slang, as
"two squaw-power," concerning two Indian women paddling a
canoe; "Boston jackasses," applied to men labouring under
packs to Salmon River; "jawbone" (signifying credit) and
"gumticklers" and "flashes of lightning"—different kinds of
liquors.' Sometimes the humor was grim; as talk of a vigilante
organization for a "mid-air dance", or, on rumor of the assertion of Indian titles to miners' claims, the remark that the Indians would need to be " armor-plated. ' ' A pun might crop out ;
as in commenting on lack of interest in education on the part of
a quartz community, it was remarked that "a large majority of
the fathers prefer the development of feet to the head." A
more subtle form appeared in the case of a miner who by re-
68 Oregonian, July 12, 1862.
"Journal of Bishop of Columbia, p. 15. ,
peated experiences having found an acquaintance of no account,
characterized the unfortunate by saying, "I have panned him
out clear down to bed rock, but I couldn't raise the color."
The profanity of the miners was omnipresent, exuberant,
"diabolical", and habitual. Men were not unlikely to swear
unconsciously when their thoughts were really of higher things.
One miner was over-heard by the Bishop of Columbia swearing
roundly as he defended the Church; "What would society be
without it?" he asked with an oath, "I tell you it has a refining
Lack of observance of Sunday was everywhere prevalent. On
that day the miner, (if he discontinued usual labor) washed and
patched his clothing, cooked up food for the next week, mended
broken tools; or he went to town to get his pick sharpened, get
the mail, settle his accounts, meet his fellows, and have a good
time. Sunday, indeed, in the towns was generally the liveliest
day of the week. Dance halls, saloons, and gambling houses ran
full blast, and usually there was a horse-race or prize-fight.
Business plaees were all open. The rector at Cariboo had hard
work getting church officers from among the business men, because any one accepting an office would be expected to close his
store on Sunday and would thus be at a disadvantage. An Idaho
law which forbade court procedures on Sunday had to be modified so as to permit taxation of packers who waited until Sunday
to bring in their trains, and to allow issuance of attachments on
that day, in order to stop absconding of debtors.61 In extenuation of this Sabbath-breaking, it may be said that the men really
had few, except reminiscent, motives for observing the day, and
that in the mining season it was necessary to push all work hard ;
another reason for Sunday work appealed to steady men like
J. H. Morley, who writes, "Thinking of loved ones at home, it
seems no sin in this savage country to exert oneself on their behalf, on the Sabbath."62
In addition to what has been said in preceding pages in regard
to the relations of miners to women, two or three other phases
a Occasional Papers, C<
82 Diary, July 19, 1863.
need to be presented. In the American territories there seems to
have been a clearly marked antipathy to miscegenation, while in
British Columbia this feeling was less clear. In Idaho, the legislature passed a law forbidding cohabitation with Indians, Chinese, or Negroes. In British Columbia, if we are to believe the
reports of the clergy, there was noticeable resort to concubinage
with Indian squaws, or "klootchmen," as they were there called.
s ' In all these settlements, ' ' writes the Rev. James Reynard on a
trip in the interior, "the great, the crying evils are Indian concubinage, and the poor neglected half-breed families." Again,
as he comments on the degradation, which the Indian connection
at lasf produced, he exclaims, j ' English mothers and sisters ! do
you know how your sons and brothers live away from you?"63
There was, however, little abandonment of Indian families by
white fathers. One fact stands out conspicuously through absence of literature of the time, whether north or south of the
line: namely, there is no mention, so far as the author's reading
extends, of any outrages committed upon white women by men
of the mining advance, although, as we have seen, women were
present in all mining communities.
Rough society undoubtedly was, and in many respects, unattractive ; individuals there were who were sordid, mean, violent,
disgraceful. But taken as a whole, for qualities of real manhood—chivalrousness toward women, hardihood, industry, intelflgji
gence, enterprise, and submission to law—the mining population
was worthy of respect.
Mining society, however, was very heterogeneous and incoherent—a fact which made formal organization difficult; yet
there were certain interesting bonds of union.
In the first place, men from a given locality naturally grouped
themselves with other men from that locality. Thus CaliffflM
nians, Pike's Peakers, and Minnesotians—especially at the start
in any camp—were inclined to act together. These groupings,
however, made more difficult the establishment of law and increased the opportunities for the lawless classes to make trouble,
since law-abiding citizens were not at first acquainted with the
men of like mind from different sections.
88 Occasional Papers, Columbian Mission, Report of 1870, pp. 62-3 and 65.
Again, friendship in the mines formed a very real bond of
union. In the midst of dangers and trying experiences men
were drawn together into peculiarly close and enduring relationships. A man could count on his friends standing by him and he
by them through every vicissitude of fortune. In sickness
friends nursed a man ; if he got lost or was in danger of freezing,
they hunted for him and succored him, or buried him ; if he was
out of money, friends "staked" him. If he, on his part, found a
new prospect, he would surely let his friends know of it and
stake off claims for them ; if a friend got into a fight, he would
see that there was fair play; and, if that friend were in great
danger, would hazard his own life in his defense. One of the
very essentials of manhood was violated if fidelity to friends
was lacking. It was the strength of such associations as these
that helped to make more difficult the task of establishing law
and order; for criminals themselves had their friends, some of
whom might be well-intentioned citizens. It took a high degree
of daring and determination for leaders on the side of law, in
trying to bring criminals to justice, to confront not only the
criminal, but his friends. On the other hand, when desperadoes
shot down a good citizen, they would have to reckon with the latter's friends; as in the case of Lloyd Magruder, of Lewiston
whose murderers were followed from Lewiston to San Francisco
by Magruder's friend, Hill Beachy, and brought back to the gallows.64
Another tie that tended to unite separated "units of society"
was Masonry. Brother Masons soon became known to each
other, and lodges were formed in a number of places. T. M.
Reed of Florence, elected Speaker of the Assembly of Washington Territory in 1862, was a leading Mason.65 The claim has
been made that Masonry was an active, though quiet, force in
bringing about order in Montana, and it is undoubtedly true
that many of the leaders in that work were Masons.68
"'For an account of this case, see Hailey, His. of Idaho, Chap. 14. Other
.sources for this paragraph are CornwaUis, The New El Dorado, p. 207 ; Contr.
His. Soc, Mon., Vol. I, p. 124; remarks by Judge W. Y. Pemberton. Leaving
a friend as narrated by Goulder in the case of some Jew traders, was an exception to usual custom, Reminiscences, pp. 224-227.
85 San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Jan. 2, 1863.
" Contr. His. Soc. Mon., Vol. VII, p. 186 ; Langford, Vigilante Days and Ways,
[297]-- Of peculiar interest was another organization, which could
not exist in British Columbia, but which in the Territories was
conspicious and active. This was Fenianism. Local circles of
Fenians were formed in many mining towns. The Owyhee circle
numbered one hundred; strong organizations existed at Idaho
City and Virginia City, and in Helena when, on St. Patrick's
Day, 1869, twelve hundred men paraded, Fenian sentiment was
rife.67 These circles were given definite organization, having as
officers a Center, Treasurer, Secretary and Committee of Safety.
In Idaho there was, also, a territorial organization, of which
John M. Murphy was Head Center, and a territorial convention
was held in 1866 at Idaho City in the Hall of the Fenian Brotherhood.68 The Brotherhood in Idaho was affiliated with the
national organization ; when a rupture occurred in that, however,
the territorial Council was instructed "to adopt a line of policy
in consonance with our brethern of California."69 The TeifU
torial Council and Center had entire control of the organization,
save for the convention, and could act at any moment.70 Each
local center was to report monthly the number of members,.their
age, and whether married or single. The object was to be ready
to co-operate in the grand simultaneous rising of Irishmen in
Canada, England, and Ireland. England was vulnerable to the
Fenians of Idaho and Montana, it was thought, in the possible
seizure of British Columbia and the Hudson's Bay Company's
territories. Strong and brave Irishmen would hew their way
through the provinces and cross the sea, while their brethren at
home were keeping England busy. Money was collected, and
military training was carried on. It was sought to include in
the ranks all Irishmen and, also, those who sympathized with
their cause; the result of the latter classification being the inclusion of many not Irishmen. Participation in American politics was disavowed, but The Idaho Statesman charged that in
Idaho Democratic politicians made use of Fenianism.71   The so-
67 Owyhee Avalanche, Jan. 16, 1869 ; Idaho World, June 30, 1866 ; Contr. His.
Soc, Mont., Vol. VI, p. 107.
88 Idaho World, May 28, 1866.
71 Idaho Weekly Statesman, April 22, 1866. ial !
not pa
s war-like brotherhood; a
occasion at Idaho City by
close, it may be profitable to give
immigration to British Columbia
notable Fenian ball was givl
the Emmett Life Guards.72
In bringing this chapter t<
some special attention to th
from Great Britain.
British Columbia, it was asserted, was especially suited to Eng-
I lishmen. "With respect to the colony", wrote a correspondent
of The London Times, "I can safely say from some experience
in these things in my many years of wandering service and knowledge of several colonies, that of all in the wide range of British
empire not one is so well adapted for Englishmen in every respect and to found a family in. All may, with ordinary industry and prudence, gain a comfortable independence at an early
period and many may make fortunes. The climate is that of
Surrey or Kent—rather earlier and safer in the spring as to
agriculture}—and always with a thoroughly grain ripening summer."73 The crags and dells of some parts of British Columbia
seemed to Scotchmen very like those of their native land, and to
English wanderers Christmas at Victoria, much more than at
. Melbourne or Calcutta, seemed like a Christmas at home. These
considerations, intensified by the reports of the marvelous riches
of Cariboo and promulgated in the columns of the greatly respected Times, produced early in 1862 a furore for migration to
I this splendid land of promise.74
In England at this time, in addition to the usual poverty and
ptaisery among the poorer classes, there was the distress caused
by the Civil War in the United States.    In books on British
I Columbia written by Englishmen at this period, there constantly
recur references to the crowded condition in England, the little
(pjhanee that there was to rise in the world, and the hopeless outlook for old age. "The subject of emigration," wrote Mr. Macfie, "ought to be regarded by the Government and philanthropists as the most important national question that can engage
public attention, for there is none more vitally connected with
the amelioration of poverty and the reduction of crime. You
can have all sorts of societies, etc., but people ought to be taken
out of debasing conditions."75 In the old world, it was asserted,
society was overburdened with the numerical strength of the
labouring class. In new society conditions were reversed; the
laborer there was "welcomed, not repulsed. His strong frame
there represents one added unit of production from a boundless
and untouched field of wealth which would otherwise be fallow,
not an additional supplicant for the alms of society, derived from
a circumscribed and over-farmed enclosure."76 "If it were possible," wrote Hazlitt, "to show many of those who are there [at
Coventry] in a state of actual distress a high road by which they
' may secure for their industry and skill a sphere in a new land,
by which they may find a home, and a vigorous one, in this dis- I
tant colony—great good would no doubt be done."77
In order to enlighten the distressed classes and to assist them
to go to the new colony, it was suggested that emigration lecturers should be provided by the Imperial Government for giving
instruction in the advantages of colonization. "Young criminals," it was urged, " susceptible of reform, might be sent with
the consent of the colonists. ' '78 Since the Government of British
Columbia was straining all its resources to construct roads, it
had no money for free and assisted passages (such as were
granted by other distant colonies) nor for taking care of immigrants on arrival, and it was felt that the mother country ought
to help pay the expenses for these objects; but the Imperial
Government was following a policy of economy in the founding
of British Columbia, and no aid was given.' Private philanthro-
phy was more generous, and the Columbian Emigration Society I
was formed as an adjunct of the Columbian Mission. Considerable money was contributed to the cause, among the prominent
contributors being Miss Burdett-Coutts, the Hudson's Bay Company, and Cavan, Lubbock, and Company, each of whom gave
18 Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 514.
78 Johnson,  Very Far West Indeed,  pp.  275-6.
77 Hazlitt, Cariboo, p. 80-81.
78 Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 516.
[300]   1 one hundred pounds.   Under the auspices of this society two
ship-loads of female emigrants were sent to the colony.79
A noticeable feature of the attitude of British philanthropic
workers toward emigrants to British Columbia, as revealed in
the various books of the time, is paternalism—one might almost
say grand-motherliness. Emigrants were to be incited to go.
and were to be assisted and directed at every turn. Some of
the directions were sufficiently ludicrous; as when one author
includes in a long list of "necessaries" eighteen white or printed
shirts, six coloured shirts, three dozen collars, and twenty-four
pocket handkerchiefs.80 At the ', auctions on the street corners
in Victoria, one might see put up articles utterly useless to men
expecting to face the rough up-country—dress-suits, dressing
cases, and even, in one instance, an elaborate wash-stand.81 Men
who knew conditions, however, advised very simple outfits, such
as those used by American frontiersmen.
The large emigration of 1862, while it contained a sprinkling
of experienced Welsh and Cornish miners and of veteran colonists from Australia and New Zealand, for the most part was
made up of-men without capital and utterly unused to manual
labor—clerks, impecunious university men, "prodigal sons, and
a host of other romantic non-de-scripts who indulged in visions
of sudden wealth obtainable with scarcely more exertion than
is usually put forth in a pleasure excursion to the continent of
fe^urope."82 Governor Douglas was besieged by applicants for-
positions, who bore letters from influential persons in England.
^Answering a letter of a member of Parliament, who had mentioned two emigrants he wrote as follows : ' ' The number of respectable young men now arriving from England and other
parts of the world is very great and many of them I fear will
be disappointed, unless they are prepared for the roughs and
smooths of Colonial life and have a command of capital sufficient
to embark in farming or in the opening and working of mining
claims ; either of these pursuits being highly lucrative, and would
™ Hazlitt, Cariboo, pp. 80-82 ; Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col., pp. 493-7 ; Sir
James Douglas, Correspondence Book, pp. 64-67, MS.
» Hazlitt, Cariboo, p. 86.
[301] s7 OF THE UNIV
afford a profitable return, but without pecuniary resources or
the capacity to labor their condition will be deplorable. ' '83
The dreams of these immigrants faded, when, on arrival at
Victoria, they found themselves still hundreds of miles from Cariboo, and facing a journey which involved endless privations and
discomforts on the way and hard manual labor at the end. Many
went part way and turned back, but a few went through and did
well. Hundreds of young gentlemen who had arrived at Victoria with jaunty air and much luggage were reduced in the
following winter to chopping wood and grubbing stumps to escape starvation. They found that the class distinctions, to which
they were accustomed at home, were of no avail in the vigorous
and impartial life of the new, colony ; Oxford or Cambridge mm
might be found laboring for servants—now prosperous butchers,
draymen, or returned miners—on whom they had looked down
at home.84
Such men, naturally, were bitterly disappointed in the country, and their letters and narratives complained greatly of the
privations which they endured in this uncivilized part of the
-world. In commenting on these complaints, The London Times I
printed a suggestive editorial, part of which read as follows:
i ' The emigrant to British Columbia would find a soil as fertile
and a climate as agreeable as those left behind him. The colony,
in fact, was precisely what so many people have sighed for in the
struggles of a home career. It was a Britain without competition and without social difficulties, where, the land was still unappropriated and men were worth more than money. What
might have been done in England before the landing of Julius
Caesar might be done in British Columbia at the present day.
It could only be done, however, at the same cost and that fact
should never be forgotten.   When England was all common,
88 Sir James Douglas to Hon. C. Fortesque M. P., Correspondene Book, MS.,
p. 67. A different kind of British participation in the life of the new colony
at this period was manifested when British capital began to come into the
colony more freely. The Bank of British Columbia was founded by English
capitalists and had, besides the main office at Victoria, agencies at Nanaimo,
New Westminster, Yale, and Cariboo.    Id., p. 33 ; Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col,
«Macfie,  Van. Id.
even if the immlgrî
was prepared to rece:
I Br. Col, p. •
luthor observes (p. 77), that
it suited to a new country,
th a deficient supply of roads
[302] and any man might have an estate for the choosing, England was
without roads or bridges, or the other adjuncts of civilization.
It was just as hard to get from the Thames to the Humber as
it is to get from Victoria to Cariboo. Improvements and property came together. No accommodations can be expected on No
Man's Land. * * * British Columbia is open to occupiers
only because it has never been occupied, and a country which
has never been occupied cannot be traversed without difficulty
or settled without hardships.85
Through trials, indeed, a process of selection was going on.
Authors who wrote before 1862 urged immigration indiscriminately, but those who wrote after that time are careful to point
out classes which might come and those who should stay at home.
It was to be remembered that the problem of life was simplified
in the colonies, and that there were no aristocratic middlemen
who spring forth from the "luxurious habits and super-abundant
wealth of thickly-populated districts.86 Hence, educated men
could not expect patrons. Indeed, "clerks, poor gentlemen of
education and breeding in quest of government appointments,
governesses, school masters, and adventurers without funds and
trained to no particular employment," stood small show for
success, for the colony was not far enough advanced for them.81
But men accustomed to physical labor and strong in will might
come, and, particularly, the small farmer. Female domestic
servants were in great demand at high wages, and would find
good chances for marriage. Small manufacturers and merchants,
millers, pitch and resin manufacturers, and fishermen with small
capital and pluck would do well. Retired officers of the army
and navy would find Victoria a lovely place in which to live,
could utilize their land bounties, and could get high rates of
interest for their money. Capitalists were especially welcome,
for they were needed to develop the resources of the country
and "to open the way for the wider and steadier employment of
labor".88 Capitalists would get large returns for the use of
their money, and if, through misadventure, they lost it, a fresh
start would be easy.
86 Quotation from the London Times in the San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Dec.
While, as compared with new agricultural settlements, there
were few children in the mining communities, nevertheless
families gathered in all well-established camps; and there
arose demand for some sort of educational facilities. This demand was voiced both in British Columbia and the American
territories, but was responded to in different ways in the two
In the American territories schools sprang quickly and spontaneously from the people, and in simple forms. Private, or
subscription schools were usually the first to start; such were
those of Professor Dimsdale in Virginia City, of Miss Dunlap in
Nevada City, and of Miss Darling in Bannack.1 The first public
school in Montana was started in 1866 in Virginia City, the
school-house being the Union church.2 One of the perplexities;:
of both public and private teachers was the almost amusing diversity of text-books, due to the fact that the parents of the
children had come from almost every state in the Union and
brought text-books with them. The only text-book which could
be bought in Virginia City was Webster's "little blue-backed
speller", which cost one dollar each, and the supply was soon
exhausted. The interest of the eastern counties of Oregon in *;
education is shown by the fact that in 1864 there were seven
school districts in Baker County and six in Umatilla County.*
nMiss Darling was an Ohio lady, a niece of Governor Edgerton, of Montana.,to
An interesting account of the school taught by her, including valuable note» to
on other schools, may be found in Contr. His. Soc. Mon., Vol. V, pp. 187-197.
'Id., pp. 198-9.    Mr. W. I. Marshall, afterwards principal of the W. E. Gladstone School in Chicago and well known for his contributions to the Oregon   I
question, was for four years principal of this school.
3 House Journal of Oregon, 1864, Appendix, Report of County School Superintendents.
In Idaho the beginnings of a common school system were almost
contemporaneous with the founding of the Territory. At the
second session of the legislature an act was passed establishing
the system and providing that 5 per cent of all moneys paid
into the county treasuries and all moneys from fines should be
used for schools.4 One percentum, also, of the gross incomes of
toE roads, bridges, and ferries, was to be applied to school purposes.5 J. H. Chittenden, an energetic assayer of Silver City,
who had been a teacher in his former home, was appointed Terri-
torial Superintendent. His report of 1865 mentions that there
were in the Territory 1239 children of school age, that there
were three school houses, and that twelve schools had been held.
In 1866 there was expended on education in,the four leading
counties $6,685.8 These beginnings seem not discreditable to
communities just sprung up in the wilderness, but there are
many comments in the literature of the time on the indifference
shown to education, and there was constant urging to greater
It is noticeable that in the starting and carrying on of the
schools in the American territories religion and religious organizations had little direct part. A bill was reported to the Idaho
legislature, it is true, which provided for the "issuance of bonds
for $30,000, bearing interest at 10 per cent, and payable to the
order of Right Rev. Francis Blanchett, Archbishop of Oregon,
mat of the proceeds of the sales of certain school lands, to enable
|pis reverenee and the Sisters of Mary and Jesus at Portland,
Oregon, and the Sisters of Providence, at Vancouver, Washington Territory, to establish and maintain schools within  this
■fFerritory upon an extensive scale." In advocacy of the measure
it was claimed that in Idaho there was a peculiar situation, in
that the male population of the mining districts was fluctuating,
and that this arrangement would enable the parents to live in
fphè mines and still would allow the children to be educated. The
opponents objected that the manner of disposing of the lands de-
4 Laws of the Territory of Idaho, Second Session, pp. 377-83.
•Report  of  J.   H.   Chittenden,   Supt.   of  Public   Instruction,   1865,   Owyhee
pended upon Congress, and that such schools would be aristo*
cratic.7 The.bill failed to pass, and public schools in the American Territories remained free from religious patronage.
In the English Colonies, however, the participation of the
church in education was stimulated by the precedence of Roman
Catholic schools at Victoria, and by 1863 two collegiate schools
of the Episcopal church were in existence there having
eight teachers and sixty-one pupils. The desire for schools on
the mainland was voiced in a petition from Yale to the Bishop
of Columbia, in which the married inhabitants stated that the
previous summer they had tried to form a school, but that it
"had succumbed to the strife for gold"; that now they hoped
for the establishment of schools, as well as churches, in the vari-:
ous townships; and that such institutions would encourage individuals to bring wives and children.8 The bishop promised a
schoolmaster. A like petition came from Hope. An address
from New Westminster praised the Bishop's ideas in regard to
schools.9 There was an address also, from the ' ' Clergy, Churchwardens, Members of the Church of England and Inhabitants of
Vancouver's Island", which expressed pleasure at the "intention to form and maintain schools for the education of the rising generation and of Indians.10
One of the marked features, indeed, of the educational work^i
inaugurated in the British Colonies under the auspices of the
church was the inclusion of Indians, and even of Chinese. The
addresses, mentioned above, signify the desire for education of
Indians, and English rectors formed classes for Chinese.11 In
the American territories, on the other hand, education of Indians was not thought of as â duty on the part of the local'^pdp^H
7Journals of the Council and House of Representatives of Idaho Territory,'-
Fourth Session, pp. 351-7. In connection with the beginnings of education In
the Inland Empire, we may note that, in 1861, Rev. Mr. Eells was at the Old
Mission at Walla Walla, worn with teaching, and purposing to form at that
place an institution of higher learning ; Oregonian, Aug. 17, 1861.
8 Columbian Mission, Occasional Papers, 1860, App. I, p. 37-8.
8 Id., App., II and III, pp. 38-41.
10 Id., App., IV, p. 42-3.
11A remarkable school and Indian settlement was founded by Wm. Duncan at
Metlakkathlah, about twenty miles from Ft. Simpson ; on this see Holcombe,.
Rev. J. J., Stranger than Fiction.
lation and the instruction of Chinamen, so far as the author has
been able to learn, was not considered.
But the process of establishing public schools in British Columbia lacked the instantaneousness and spontaneity which were
exhibited in the American districts. In 1855, indeed, three
schools of a semi-public character, the expense of which was met
from the colonial treasury, were established on Vancouver Island
by the Hudson's Bay Company. These were under the supervision of Rev. E. Cridge, M. A. Early in 1861 need was felt
for additional public schools, but it was not until 1865 that the
Vancouver Island House of Assembly set aside ten thousand
dollars for public school purposes. Mr. A. Waddington became
superintendent, and there was an attendance of four hundred
pupils. At the union with British Columbia, however, in 1866,
these schools were practically defunct, though some were kept
open for a year or two longer. After the union a Common
School Ordinance was passed in 1869, which, was amended in
1870 ; under this ordinance a few new schools were established,
chiefly on the mainland. The system, however, did not provide
for absolute free schools, and experience demonstrated that these
were necessary. Finally, on entering the confederation, a free
Public School Act was passed, under which the public school
system of British Columbia has steadily progressed-12
The establishment of religious .institutions was early put in
train both in the colonies and the territories, but, as in the case
of education, the process exhibits characteristic differences.
In the American region churches were sometimes initiated by
local efforts, but more often at the impulse of representatives of
eastern missionary societies. At Silver City a union church
building was erected, for the most part from local funds. At a
Christmas festival in 1866 it was filled with "the youth and age
of both sexes" and many Christmas gifts were exchanged; the
local paper said that it was "pride inspiring and a retaste of
God's country."13   At Boise City The Statesman mentioned that
!;7iools of British Columbia, John Jes-
•ia, 1872. p. 2. "There had been a
lout 1863, supported by fees from the
nt."—Note from Judge F. W. Howay.
three clergymen had held services on one Sunday, and in the
Boise Basin Father Paulin was accustomed to hold services in
all the important towns.1* Though there were doubtless in
Idaho, as elsewhere among the miners, a good many assertive ;
skeptics, yet respect was paid to such representatives of religion
as Bishop Tuttle of the Episcopal Church: "The Bishop was
loved and respected by the men of the Basin, no matter what
their creed or nationality, and no matter how crowded the streets
might be, if the men saw the Bishop coming, the way was cleared
and as he passed, hats were lifted and kindly greetings given".15
Bishop Tuttle labored long, also, in Montana, although ministers
of other denominations preceded him. In 1864 there were at
work in Montana, Rev. Jonathan Blanchard, D. D., president of
Wheaton College, (Illinois), Rev. A. M. Tarbet, Baptist; Rev.
George Grantham Smith, Presbyterian, and Rev. A. M. Hough,
Methodist.18 Sometimes, as in the case of Mr. Blanchard and
of Mr. Smith, ministers were sent out as exploring missionaries
by eastern societies—in mining parlance one might call such,
clergymen prospectors. Within a few years following 1864
chureh buildings of different denominations were erected in all
the important towns.
Biographical notes from some of the early preachers in the
mining communities give glimpses of the life in these communities.
The Rev. George Grantham Smith arrived in Bannack in June
of 1864, and his trunk was eighteen months in following him,
"So that I was in my first parish for eighteen months with no
book save my small English Bible without note or comment ; and
I have the most intelligent and wide-awake congregation I have
ever ministered unto." On his arrival the sight of his umbrella,
in a country of very little rain, brought forth shouts up and down
the street of "tenderfoot" and "pilgrim." Since board at the
hotel cost one hundred dollars per week in legal tender, Mr.
Smith erected a rude cabin and boarded himself. But even then
when, speculators sent flour to five hundred dollars per barrel
"Idaho Weekly Statesman, Nov. 19, 1865; Idaho World, April 14, 1862.
"Hailey, His. of Idaho, p. 117.
18 Contr. His. Soc. Mont., Vol. VI, pp. 292-4.
(legal tender), he had to live on meat straight. He preached
in an unused store room, "organized a Sunday School and commenced regular Sabbath services with good and attractive audiences". ' Later he went over to Virginia City. There the room
in which he preached was next door to a big gambling establishment, which had a brass band. When the band struck up, the
miners in Mr. Smith's audience began beating time so loudly with
their heavy boots, that the minister was compelled to stop ; then
a "long lank, lean fellow in buckskins called out, 'Boys never
mind the music. The elder has the floor. You listen to him.
Elder, go on; you shall not be disturbed again'. I was not.
The text was ' Godliness is profitable unto all things. ' Still my
subject was scarcely grave enough to keep me from laughing
when I dismissed the congregation, for the seats of the pants of
those men, who had not laid aside their American trousers and
come into the full-fledged native buckskin, were patched with all
the varied brands from flour sacks, such as 'Superfine', 'I. X.
L.', 'Superior', 'Excelsior' or 'Gilt Edge".17  ]
The work of the Episcopal Church in Montana was well begun
by Bishop Daniel S. Tuttle; (mentioned above) who preached
at Virginia City, Deer Lodge, Missoula, Helena, Butte, Bozeman,
and many other places. It was typical of his work in Montana,
he wrote, that many people, "who were not churchmen or church-
women, nevertheless cast their lot with us and heartily, loyally,
and generously supported our work." Contributions were comparatively large for new communities ; at Virginia City the congregation paid a fixed salary of $2,500, and at Helena $3,000.
One singular contribution came, characteristic of miners' ways,
when men urged a certain Scotchman, who thought himself a
poet, to give a public reading in a hall. They industriously sold
tickets and then at the reading guyed the poor fellow unmercifully. The proceeds, $102, were given to the Bishop for the use
of the poor. Although living in a rude cabin, the Bishop wrote
concerning the first year in Virginia City: "I am loth to lay
by my pen in writing of my first year in Montana. My letters
to Mrs. Tuttle from the cabin are filled with enthusiastic outbursts over the sunniness and pleasantness of the winter.   And
" Contr. His. Soc, Mont., Vol. VI, pp. 295-299.
that, too, though more than once the thermometer registered into :
the twenties below zero, and though the winds piled some snow ;
through the crevices of my abode. So, also, spite of the wild-
ness and wickedness with which I knew I was surrounded, and
spite, too, of a loneliness which would make itself felt, there were
great stretches of sunniness and pleasantness in my Virginia
City experiences for which then, and all along after and now, I
have thanked God and take courage." At Helena the Bishop
helped vigorously in fighting the great fire of February 15, 1869,
and marveled at the "buoyancy and pluck" of the people in at
once starting rebuilding. His first experience in Butte was described as follows: "Butte was an infant quartz town, struggling with its swathing bands. No church of any kind was there,
or minister either. We secured the use of an unfurnished new
store on Main street, fitted up a big dry goods box for a pulpit;
stretched boards on carpenter's 'horses' for seats, and held our
services in the evening. Sleeping quarters were hard to find.
Some one gave us two the privilege of betaking ourselves to his
cabin. There was no floor. Rolled in our blankets we went to
sleep on the soft earth. And we thought ourselves alone. When
we awoke next morning eleven fellow sleepers were with us,
packed almost like the occupants of a sardine box." Sojourning thus in rough quarters, driving often long distances, the
young Bishop through many years performed the kindly ministrations of burial, wedding, baptism, and preaching-18
The following notice chronicled the dedication of the first
Methodist church in Montana: "Providence permitting, the first
Methodist Episcopal Church of Montana Territory in Virginia
City, will be dedicated to the worship of God, Sabbath, Nov. 6,
1864. * * * a general attendance of all lovers of Zion is
invited."19 The building was made of logs split in two with
saws, muslin was used for windows, and there was a dirt roof
which gave much trouble. There were thirty members at V|^H
ginia City. Of these "Brother Ritchie was a laundrvman—clalM
leader, Sunday School superintendent, trustee, chorister, and
18 Tuttle, Bishop Daniel S., Early History of the Episcopal Church in Montana,
Contr. His. Soc, Mont., Vol. V, pp. 289-324.
«Montana Post, Oct. 29, 1864.
sexton." Brother Geo. W. Forbes was "our financier"; he
had come in with the first rush, having a few hundred dollars
and returned home three years later worth $75,000. Brother
M B. Weeks was a quartz enthusiast, sturdy in frame, who spent
most of his time prospecting. Rev. A. M. Hough was the minister. At one time, Mr. Hough, on a trip to Prickly Pear had to
stop for a night at Daly's Ranch. All were compelled to stay
in the bar-room, where there was gambling, drinking, and "huge
profanity." "I confess I was afaid as I saw every man with a
large knife and revolver strapped about him. I did not know
the character of those rough mountaineers as well then, as I
did afterwards. ' ' At bed time Mr. Hough read from the Bible
aloud and prayed; there was perfect silence, a number knelt
in-prayer, and profanity ceased. In Prickly Pear Valley he
preached once in a saloon, and "everything was done to make
it comfortable, by the gentlemanly proprietor." Another saloon-keeper at Nevada City offered the use of his saloon on any
evening of the week, but could not afford to let it be used on Sunday. The people were generous in contributions, the collection
plates usually being gold pans; "Men drew out their buckskin
purses, and either poured out a quantity of gold dust on the
plate, or took out a pinch between the thumb and finger, which
would be equal to 25-50 cents." "Funerals were sometimes
simplified to the last degree. I saw one where the coffin was
made of 'shakes,' a wheelbarrow served as a hearse, and the procession consisted of one man." An interesting observation is
made by Mr. Hough concerning enforcement of law. "One of
the things I could never understand", he says, "was that in communities where the population was ready to rise en masse and
hang men guilty of great crimes or sustain an organized Vigilance Committee in doing it, a legal conviction and execution
will not be sustained."20
In the activities of the Roman. Catholic Church in Montana
the Society of Jesus was conspicuous. This Order had long had
well-conducted establishments for the Indians at St. Ignatius,
Coeur d' Alene, and St. Mary, though the latter was now aban-
mshment of our Mission in Montana—Notes from
doned. At these stations white miners were often entertained
and, sometimes, in times of danger from the Indians, received
shelter. But the Jesuits felt that their first duty was to the
Indians, and it was difficult to get priests for the whites—a
difficulty increased by the great dearth of clergymen caused by
the rapid rise of new communities throughout the West. A
chapel for whites was, however, erected in 1863 near Hell's Gate
Village, and Father Giorda in the same year visited Virginia City.
The first church at that place, All Saints, was dedicated about
Christmas time, 1865, and at Helena the next year a church was
dedicated to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.21
It would be a mistake, of course, to think that the mass of the
American mining population was composed of men who conformed to the requirements of religion ; but it is equally a mistake
to think of this population as entirely oblivious of religion, or to
think of the agencies of religion as entirely neglected. Indeed,
it is surprising that the people of the East, engaged in the Civil
War, should have been as active as they were in trying to found
institutions of religion in these far-off camps.
In the founding of religious institutions in the British colonies
the efforts of the motherland to reproduce the main features of
its own society were particularly earnest, conscious, and systematic.
Churches of several denominations were started in Victoria
and on the mainland. Congregationalists were assisted by the
British Colonial Missionary Society, and Presbyterians by the
Presbyterian Church of Ireland. The Jews had a good synagogue in Victoria, presided over by an intelligent and respected
rabbi. A minister of the Church of Scotland, also, held services.
Methodists were composed largely of Canadians, a fact which-
may help to explain the early activity of that denomination in
Cariboo. The Roman Catholic Church was first in the field, and
it possessed at Victoria a "commodious church and extensive
schools." A Roman Catholic Bishop in Victoria had served
among the Indians nearly thirty years.    It was said that a "eon-
siderable portion of the means by which that Church is sustained comes from the Propaganda of Lyons."22
In the establishment of these various denominations in the
British Colonies, there was'nothing particularly distinguishable
in the process from that which was going on in the American territories ; but in the planting of the Church of England there were
elements characteristically British.
There was an earnest desire in England that this promising
colony should not be the scene of such disorder and bloodshed
and cruelty to Indians as, it was reported, had occurred in California, and that the institutions of England should be early reproduced in the Colonies. The Diocese of Columbia, accordingly,
was created, and the Rev. George Hill was appointed Bishop.
The revenues of the new diocese were large ; collections and subscriptions from various congregations in England amounted to
£15,220, and Miss Burdett-Coutts gave an endowment of £25,000.
In 1862 the contributions from various sources were as follows t
Columbian Mission  £4700
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel £1100
" Church Missionary Society  £300
Congregational efforts    £2000
Besides, there was raised in the Diocese itself in the first three
years the sum of £6232.23
The interest taken in England in the starting of the Mission,
is shown in the Report of the Proceedngs at a Public Meeting,
Held in the Egyptian Hall, Mansion House, London, November
16, 1859. The meeting was called at the request of "various
Merchants, Bankers and Traders" and The Right Honorable the
Lord Mayor was in the chair.   In his speech the Lord Mayor
31 It the above report were true, it is interesting to think of a
Church being
nourished in these distant regions by the ancient community wh
in the times of Marcus Aurelius were persecuted.
The account in the paragraph is based for the most part upoi
Macfie, Van.
Id. and Br. Col, pp. 77-90.    This author makes a classification <
f churchmem-
toers in Victoria according to business engaged in : Methodists, he says were
«mall retailers and jobbers; Presbyterians and Congregationalists, jobbers and
larger store keepers; Church of England men, whole-salers, bankers, and lawyers.    P. 417.
" Columbian Mission, Occasional Papers, i860, p. 32 ; Id. 1863, i
■dresses, p. 5.
said : "By this discovery of gold it appears patent and palpable
to me that the Anglo-Saxon race have had opportunities given
them of extending themselves yet more widely, and of peopling
countries that but a few years ago were mere deserts. But
there is something more than that. The Anglo-Saxon race, remembering the religion of their fathers, are anxious to maintain,
implant, and support that religion on the distant shores of the
other side of the globe." The Bishop of Oxford spoke as follows: "Now, My Lord Mayor, I can hardly conceive a more
important matter to be done by a Christian people than that of
founding a new colony. (Hear, hear.) England I think, has
been for the most part guilty in this matter. She has thrown
as it were the seed of men upon this and that part of the earth
without any further consideration than that she relieves some I
temporary press at home, or gets rid of some inconvenient members of the home society. She has seldom contemplated * * * •
what it was indeed to be the foundress of a nation. . Of course
the first conditions, My Lord Mayor, of carrying this great work ;;
out faithfully must be this : that provision must be made by the
founding nation for reproducing itself, in its own characteristic
elements and in its own special institutions, in the distant land
to which it sends its sons. * * * This great responsibility
this nation is now undertaking in the settlement of British Columbia". At this meeting there was announced a contribution from
Her Majesty of £250 to the Mission, and from the Marquis of
Westminster of £200.2*
The Bishop landed at Victoria in January of 1860. With him
were seven clergymen and three ladies. His diocese comprised
both Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
A serious. question confronted him at the start. This was
whether there should be an attempt to establish in the diocese a
State Church. For some time there had been very warm discussion of the subject in the colonies, and Governor Douglas had
been bitterly assailed for having -given some grants of land on
which to erect church buildings and for alleged favoring of a
24 Columbian Mission, Occasional Papers, 1860, pp. 17-30.
[314] State Church.23   It had been anticipated that the Bishop would
favor an Establishment, but in his first sermon he distinctly
The Bishop made a number of long journeys on the mainland,
on one of which he endured the terrible toil of a trip to Cariboo,
when the trails were still unimproved. Brave, energetic, and
patient, he adapted himself well to the new strange life, mingled
easily with all classes of men, and keenly observed the country
and its people. He dedicated a new church at New Westminster (the site for which was cleared by the Royal Engineers),
and preached in a saloon at Antler Creek. Communicants were
few, but audiences were good and of every religious complexion—
"Wesleyans, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Socinians; Jews
and Deists, Tom Painists, Phrenological Materialists, Atheists."
It.was remarkable, as an old major of the United States Army
commented in Cariboo, "how those brought up in the Episcopal Church retained their affection for it, and how adherence
was continued from father to son". There seemed a marked
difference in the respect paid to religion by Canadians and those
from others of "our colonies", as compared with other miners—
not a few of whom were abusive of religion. The Bishop's life
in the new world often contrasted strangely with his life in
England: "On this my 44th birthday", he wrote in his journal, "I awoke on the floor of a log hut, in the wild and almost
inaccessible recesses of the Cascade Mountains, the Frazer (sic)
flowing at my feet." But the Bishop rejoiced in the glorious;
-scenery of the Fraser and made no word of complaint. He liked.
ito talk with miners and packers, and admired the enterprise, ingenuity, and versatility of the Americans. To the condition of the
Indians he gave sympathetic attention. In his work he had
earnest helpers, such as the reverend gentlemen, Brown, Sheepshanks, Reynard, and Knipe. By 1863 there were in the diocese
eleven churches, six mission chapels, and eighteen stations,
served by fifteen clergymen and three eatechists.   The work
» Columbian Mission, 1860, p. 13 ; A petition to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies,—The British
Columbian, Feb. 28, 1861 ; Pemberton, J. D., Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 132.
"•Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 354-5.
was carried on in the towns, the rural districts, and the mines,
and among the Indians and in education.27
The work in Cariboo, for years "the very heart and center
of the whole colony", was especially significant. Rev. Mr. Garrett and others laboured there for a number of summers ; but in
the summer-time when the water was running, the miners were
so intent on their work that they would pay little attention to
religious services. By 1866, however, many miners and merchants had come to winter in Cariboo, and the resident population was estimated at 2000. These men were idle during the
winter, and then was the opportunity for getting hold of them.
It was felt that a resident clergyman was needed. But it was
perceived, also, that this field demanded an able man—"active,
affable yet self-contained, wise, prudent, patient." "This emphatically", wrote the Rev. Mr. Garrett, "is not the place for an
inferior man".
To this difficult field Rev. J. Reynard, Principal of the Indian
Mission at Victoria, volunteered to go with his wife and family,
and he was assigned the post. When it was known that they proposed to stay the winter in Cariboo, there were emphatic remonstrances: "They will starve," telegraphed Chief-justice Begbie
to the Bishop. Nevertheless, Mr. Reynard and his family arrived in Barkerville in August 1867 and settled down in a two-
roomed cabin at a rental of $60 per month.
The ideal of this ministry may be given in Mr. Reynard's own
words. "I hope," he wrote, "to live amongst my flock the
simple, straight-forward life of a ' Country Parson, ' exercising a
frank and cheerful hospitality; showing to many, sundered by
years and thousands Of leagues from early influences, that homes
do still exist. I purpose to carry to the outlying creeks and
lonesome settlements of this wild land the kindly ministrations
of religion; to help and direct all innocent amusements, and to
afford to the frugal and industrious Chinese some light of schooling and Christian truth. ',2S Again at the end of his third year
Mr. Reynard wrote as follows:    "I look back on the past winter
"The sources for this paragraph are the Journals of Bishop Hill from 1860
and for 1862-3. These are found in Occasional Papers, 1860 and 1863 ; also
extracts from that of 1860 in Hazlitt's Cariboo, pp. 158-165.
28 Occasional Papers, Report,  1869, p. 56.
[316] "f^nth great satisfaction. Every step in advance has been honorably striven for,—won by. unstinted unslackening effort.    I hope
fjistill, with God's help, to go on: reasoning of 'righteousness,
temperance and judgment to come', helping on all that is 'honest
and of good report', turning to the service of Christ men hard
indeed to impress, but so well worth the effort".29
The trials of the work were severe. Hardly was Mr. Reynard
well settled, when a mining-camp fire swept over the settlement,
destroying one hundred houses. The old church by which he
hoped to pay for a cottage, was burnt. "Lamps, benches, books,
robes"—articles hard to replace in Cariboo—were gone. Most
people advised him to leave, "but this I cannot do, dare not, will
not think of". There was a good deal of bold and brutal infidelity among the miners; some asserted that "religions are all
alike—useless and purposeless". "It has been a cruel time,"
he wrote, "hopeless and bookless"; but the "old Yorkshire
tenacity of purpose" held true. Solace came with the arrival
of some books, and once more he felt, in his own words, "totus
teres atque rotundus". Soon after, however, came a spell of
severe cold when the mercury "at one leap" went to thirty-eight
degrees below zero and then froze. The parson, unskilled as
most Englishmen in the use of the axe, cut his hand badly.
While suffering from this wound, he took his son along to the
place where he held meetings, in order to distribute books, and
the boy's foot was so badly frozen that the skin peeled off. ' ' And
now, my lord, I felt beaten, tyrannous, cold, maimed hand and
foot—for the first time incapable of the world's work—my 'hands
hung down', and I felt as I think I should had I been another
sort of soldier, and, stricken down at the beginning of some great
battle, heard my comrades pass on 'shouting' for the victory".
In another time of extreme cold, "a fifth little recipient of our
Saviour's grace and tender pity was born unto us. We were
poor then, my lord, and the cold made life all the harder * * *.
What wonder, then, that the mother's maternal 'joy that a man
was born into the world was attempered with emotions of pure
tenderness, and piteous moans of 'My poor baby, thou'rt come to
a cold world.' "   In the bed near the stove the port wine froze.
[317] But, "We had a true neighbor in Mrs. Lee. My hand was better
and we pulled through". "That poor baby, blue with cold",
Mr. Reynard wrote the next summer, "is now a great hearty lad
all smiles and dimples."
One of the main efforts of Mr. Reynard's work in Cariboo was
to keep the young men away from the saloons and dance houses.
To this end he organized a "Church Institute" and advertised
it in the Cariboo Sentinel. On Monday evening instruction in
Latin and English was offered, and on Tuesday evening there was
band practice; on Wednesday and Saturday evenings the room
was opened for reading, chess, etc., the magazines available being
Blackwood, Cornhill, the Edinburg Quarterly, and the Pall Mall
Budget ; on Thursday evening there were algebra and arithmetic,
and on Friday choir practice. An offer, probably often accepted, was that more elementary instruction Vould be given, if
required. Some Chinese studied under Mr. Reynard, among
whom were four Tartars "men of remarkable concentration";
the Chinese proper he found full of fun and more simplehearted.
Mr. Reynard appears to have been a man of wide culture with a
taste for teaching, and with something of genius for music. The
classes in music were well attended, and "a good 'hearty, joyful
noise' my Cariboo chorus makes." "Often I have felt repaid
for all this exertion", he wrote, "when going home I have seen
the gleam of a cariboo lantern going up and up the snow-clad .
hillside, and heard from the distant heights phrases of quaint
madrigals or melodious glees. Then the cheery 'good nights' I
would be heard, as one by one the tenants of the lonely cabins
reached home, and the manly bass of the last man having farthest I
to travel was heard fainter and fainter. 'Music made the winter I
fly' they said".30
A mission journey of some six hundred miles one summer re- I
lieved the tedium of Cariboo. The country on the road to Lil-
loet appeared "most attractive in its varied beauty" after
"long experience of the creeks and sombre pine clad mountains
of Cariboo". In the course of the journey on one occasion he
preached to some sturdy lads about being "good soldiers 'fight-
ing a good fight', by being brave, honest, simple, pure in heart",
and contrasted such with cowards, deserters and traitors ; on another he told an Indian beating his wife, "God hates anger
* * *. Give the wife good words, and untie her hands ; a wife
is not a slave." At Clinton he held service in the hotel parlor
on Sunday afternoon, "but a party of Oregon horse-dealers having advertised a race only a few attended. ' '
In Cariboo the church service, especially the music, attracted a
varied congregation. At one service the minister caught sight
of the jack of clubs peeping from a gambler's pocket; and an
Even Song Service brought in strangers of "all nations: Europeans, two Chinamen, and a few Indians. In the remotest
«orner was a Lascar, his dark oriental face, lean figure and gleaming eyes in contrast to the rest. ' ' A main purpose of Mr. Reynard in Cariboo was the building of a church "worthy of our
system", "a decorous church that can give strength to thé parson as well as influence to the people. ' ' But in this project he
met much discouragement and ridicule. "The Barkerville
people at this time grieved me much", he wrote. "Cruel people
du pays! ready to worship success with mean adulation, ready to
' think one defeated and then, voe victis." It was only with diffi-
"eulty that men could be found willing to serve on the Church
Committee, this unwillingness arising in part, however, from disinclination to give up Sunday labor. Material for building was
expensive, the carriage of glass from Victoria costing $127, which
was six times the original cost. But, finally, the following notice
appeared in the Cariboo Sentinel of September 24th, 1870: "St.
-Saviors Church". "Rev. James Reynard formally opened the
new church bearing the above name in Barkerville on Sunday
last. A larger number of people than usual attended the service,
and the completion of the church was the occasion of much congratulation toward Mr. Reynard, who has shown a great deal of
patience, energy and industry in the work he undertook. ' '
Mr. Reynard acknowledged that his work in Cariboo was not
a great numerical success, but "It has gathered round me the
young, the intelligent—the better sort every way : it is an influence to strengthen all that is good, honest, true ; to help the wavering by frank companionship, and profference of the solid for the
doubtful ; an influence to warn the fallen; while it is an undying
protest against all that is reckless and wanton".
Mr. Reynard stayed one more winter in Cariboo, and then, his
health having failed, he was transferred to Nanaimo. "The
loss", said the report of 1871, "is great for Cariboo, and no one
has been found to take his place".81
It would seem clear, we may say in conclusion, that, though
there were characteristic differences in forms of religious action
in the colony and in the Territories, the mining advance in both
regions was accompanied by early, vigorous, and, in a measure,
successful efforts to plant in the new fields the institutions of religion.
"The  material for this account of the Cariboo mission has been  derived
from the Occasional Papers and Reports of the Columbian Mission, 1868-71.
I have not had access to a wider range of sources, which might reveal other I
[320] PART IV
In considering the establishment of government and law in
British Columbia, we shall limit our study to the period preceding union in 1866 with the Colony of Vancouver Island, and, for
the most part, to the administration of Sir James Douglas.1
Sir James Douglas stands out as the most significant figure in
the history of the mining advance. He had in British Columbia,
it is true, able and distinguished coadjutors, and south of the
Line there arose in many localities energetic and determined
leaders, greatly worthy of respect; but in neither region was
there any one person whose life was so broadly, essentially, and
commandingly impressed upon his time as was that of the first
governor of British Columbia.
Douglas was born on the island of Demarara in the West Indies in 1803. As a lad of seventeen he took service with the
North West Fur Company and, on the merging of that company
into the Hudson's Bay Company, continued in the employ of the
latter, his field of activity being the region west of the Rocky
Mountains. A young man of energy and decision, Douglas rose
rapidly in the company's ranks until finally he became Chief
Factor. In addition to this office, he was appointed in 1851 Governor of the. Colony of Vancouver Island, and these two offices
he held when in the spring of 1858, as has been narrated in a
former chapter, came the great influx of miners which brought
about the founding of the Colony of British Columbia.2
'It would be inter
esting to trace the important proc
ess of unificatio
1  with
I then of confederation in the Do
minion, but such
would digress from 1
1 Chapter III.
For two years before the great movement to the Fraser River,
as we have there noted, Mr. Douglas had kept gathering information in regard to the discoveries of gold on the mainland and
had transmitted this information to the colonial office and to the
officials of the Hudson's Bay Company in London. In his
letters to the home authorities there is constant recurrence to the
danger to be apprehended from trouble between the Indians and
whites, in case of large numbers of the latter coming into the
country; to the necessity for keeping order and the need of a
military force for that purpose; and to the requirement, consequently, of adequate revenue from some quarter.3 Even before
the coming of the miners in large numbers, on December 28th,
1857, Mr. Douglas issued a proclamation (which he caused to be
published in the newspapers of Oregon and Washington), in
which he asserted that "by Law all mines of Gold and all Gold
in its natural state of deposit within the Districts of Frazer
River, and of Thompson River, commonly known as the Quaat-
lan, Couteau, or Shewshap countries, whether on the lands of
the Queen or any of Her Majesty's subjects, belong to the
Crown". All persons were forbidden to search, dig, or take
gold without being duly authorized by "Her Majesty's Colonial
Government"; such authorization (announced in "Regulations"
issued the next day) was to be conferred by license obtainable
at Victoria and was dependent upon the payment of twenty-one
shillings per month.4
In asserting the ownership in the Crown of precious metals
whether found in Crown lands or in those privately owned, Mr.
Douglas was acting in conformity to English law and precedent,
but in contrast to the customs which held sway in the American
8 Cop
es of a number of these letters are printed in C
ornwallis, The New El
pp. 341-368.
sh Columbia Proclamations, pp. 1-3.    So late as
May 8, 1858, however,
this   sy
stem  had  not  come  into  operation.    (Dispatch
to   Right   Hon.   Henry
ere, May 8, 1858).    In June, however, the requirements were decisively
put in
at the Fort to obtain
and H. B. M's steamer Satellite was stationed
at the mouth of the
with orders to allow no one to proceed up river
without a license.    On
aslon  some fifty  passengers, mostly  Irishmen,  o
i  board the American
Surprise, refused to take out licenses, but were
cowed by a file of ma-
(Victoria   Gazette,  June   30,   1858).    Still,  mine
s  who   came  overland
the license, and few paid for more than one  m
onth.    (De Groot, Br.
territories. The principle on which the American miners acted
was expressed-by Governor Stevens when, in protesting against
the British tax, he wrote : " in the absence of positive law prohibiting such occupation and use, it is believed to be the natural
right of every man who enters a totally unoccupied country to
out timber and wood, to consume the fruits of the earth, and
gather all the products of the soil, which have not before been
The authority of Mr. Douglas for issuing the above proclamation and regulations, indeed, was questionable. The form used
in making the proclamation was "By His Excellency James
Douglas, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony of
Vancouver's Island and its dependencies, and Vice Admiral of
the same, etc." Douglas himself wrote on this point: "My
authority for issuing that proclamation, seeing that it refers to
certain districts of continental America, which are not strictly
speaking within the jurisdiction of this Government, may perhaps be called in question; and I trust that the motives which
have influenced me on this occasion, and the fact of my being
invested with authority over the premises of the Hudson's Bay
Company, and the only authority commissioned by her Majesty's
Government within reach, will plead my excuse. Moreover,
should her Majesty's Government not deem it advisable to enforce the rights of the Crown, as set forth in the proclamation,
it may be allowed to fall to the ground and become a mere dead
letter."6 Her Majesty's Government, however, through Sir E.
Bulwer Lytton approved the course of Douglas "in asserting
both the dominion of the Crown over this region, and the right
I of the Crown over the precious metals."7
Another proclamation, however, was distinctly disallowed by
the home Government, and was bitterly assailed by many persons in the colony and in the American territories. This was
the proclamation of May 8, 1858, heretofore discussed, which
3 Letters from Isaac I. Stevens, Congressional Delegate from Washington
Territory, to Hon. Lewis Cass, Secretary of State, July 21, 1858, found in Corn-
wallis, New El Dorado, pp. 322-337.
8 Douglas to Labouchere, Dec. 29, 1857, Cornwallis, New El Dorado, p. 348-9.
7 Secretary Sir E. Bulwer Lytton to Governor Douglas, July 1, 1858, id., p.
[325] forbade trade and navigation on the Fraser River except on
sufferance of the Hudson's Bay Company. It was claimed that
the miners were deprived of supplies badly needed, that the
whole mining population was forced to pay toll, that the profits
from furnishing supplies from California, Oregon, and Wash-
intgon would be diverted to the coffers of the company, and that
trade with London would be stifled.8 Indeed, the restriction»
sought to be imposed were sufficiently rigorous, especially when.
contrasted with the free-for-all attitude in the American territories. A sufferance for canoes cost six dollars, and for larger
vessels twelve; the use of any unoccupied Crown land by the
erection of a temporary building or tent for the purpose of carrying on trade, thirty shillings per month, and licenses for selling
liquors, one hundred to one hundred twenty pounds per annum.
In defense of.his course the governor claimed that the Hudson's
Bay Company were not accountable for the prohibitions, but the
customs-law of Great Britian, in accordance with which all
persons not nationals were excluded from trade on the Fraseito
In fact there was a tangle of interests at this time, and Governor Douglas, standing at the central point of the swift whirl of
events and somewhat apprehensive of the American advance^
with strong feeling of loyalty to the great company for whose
interests he had so long planned and toiled, yet with some
promptings of imperialism and with growing ambition for distinction in the Colonial Service,—by no means, indeed, unmindful of the welfare of the miners,—pursued a conservative and
tentative course. All legislation for British Columbia up to
the formal announcement (in November, 1858) of the annulment
of the Hudson's Bay Company's License to Trade and of the
establishment of the new government was exigent and temporary.
On the whole, British Columbia may be counted fortunate that
there was available in her hurried birth throes at the time of a
great mining rush a man who knew thoroughly the country, who
was intimately acquainted with the Indians and with Indian
r £1 Dorado, p. ;
habits, and who was trained in a great administrative system—
a man masterful and firm (if at times, perhaps, mistakenly so)
and at any rate, a man who applied himself with diligence and
devotion and thoughtfulness to a great work. The British colonial administration system did not always have at hand men
of the calibre of Douglas, and so, in any comparison of the governmental systems north and south of the Line, it is at least
fair to make allowance for the happy coincidence, in the case of
British Columbia, of a formative time and a superior leader.
The home government was not dilatory in taking the necessary
steps for the establishment of government in "certain wild and
unoccupied territories on the northwest coast of North America,
commonly known by the designation of New Caledonia." The
act to provide for the government of British Columbia was
passed August 2, 1858. In the preamble it was declared that
"it is desirable to make some temporary provision for the civil
government of such territories, until permanent settlements shall
be thereupon established, and the number of colonists increased".
The most important clause was that which empowered Her Majesty by orders in council ' ' to make, ordain and establish, and (subject to such conditions or restrictions as to her shall seem meet)
to authorize and empower such officer as she may from time to
time appoint as Governor of British Columbia, to make provision for the administration of justiee therein, and generally
to make, ordain, and establish all such laws, institutions, and ordinances as may be necessary for the peace, order and good government of her Majesty's subjects and others therein", provided
that all such orders in council, and all laws and ordinances,
"shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as conveniently may be after the making and enactment thereof respectively." It was to be lawful for her Majesty, whenever
she might judge it convenient by an order in couneil to empower
the governor to constitute a legislature to be composed of a
Council or Council and Assembly, "to be composed of such and
so many persons, and to be appointed or elected in such manner
and for such periods, and subject to such regulations, as to her
Majesty may seem expedient". Appeals in civil suits might be
taken to her Majesty in council in the same manner as suits
in Canada, but subject to such further regulations as her Majesty, with the advice of the Privy Couneil, might enact. No part
of the colony of Vancouver Island was to be comprised within
the new colony, but on the reception of an address from the two
houses of the legislature of Vancouver's Island, her Majesty
might annex that colony to British Columbia. The act was to
continue in force until the end of the then next session of parliament.10
Some interesting features are found in the debates in parliament upon this act. There was very considerable hostility shown
towards the Hudson's Bay Company and, therewith, adverse
criticism of Governor Douglas. Some members showed comprehension of the trials of a young mining community; as, for example, Mr. Roebuck, who declared his belief that lynch law
really might be a beneficial institution. Mr. Gladstone somewhat passionately protested against the mode of founding a colony as outlined in the act, for it allowed too autocratic power,
he asserted, to the Crown and to the governor of the colony. Sir
E. Bulwer Lytton in defense said that the immediate object was
to establish temporary law and order; and added that, besides
the promising outlook in gold mining, "more national, if less
exciting, hopes of the importance of the colony rest upon its
other resources * * * and upon the influence of its magnificent situation upon the ripening grandeur of British North
The position of governor was conferred upon Mr. Douglas on
strict condition of his giving up all connection with the Hudson's Bay Company; but he still continued to be governor of
Vancouver Island. Matthew Bailie Begbie was appointed Judge
of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and other officials
were named by the Crown for the positions of Colonial Secretary,
Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Lands and Surveyor General, Collector of Customs, Chief Inspector of Police,
Register General and Harbor Master.12   The new colony was
"British State Papers, 1858-9, pp. 739-42; a copy of the Act is i
In Cornwallis, New El Dorado, pp. 317-22.
u Hansard, Parliamentary Debates, pp. 1096-1121 and 1762-1770.
12 The London Times, March 24, 1859 ; British Columbia Proclamatioi
formally declared at Langley, November 19, 1858. Proclamations were issued at the same time which declared English law
in force in British Columbia and which indemnified the governor for previous acts.13
Before we proceed to discuss the main features of the administration of Governor Douglas, it may be well to make some
inquiry as to his personality. In stature above six feet and
well-proportioned, he exhibited in his bearing a certain stateli-
ness, tinged, perhaps, with self consciousness. His. face was
clear-cut, though at this period weather-beaten, and his features suggested most prominently intellectuality, determination,
rand quickness of action. His manner was generally austere, but
on occasion agreeable and even jolly. Both by training and
temperament he was masterful, and at times autocratic and
arbitrary.14 But he was a just man, and on the whole managed
to get along well with the miners and to command their respect
and a measure of their affection.15 He worked hard, and even
rhostile critics admitted that he possessed "considerable energy,
with some ability and power of organization." Though these
eritics constantly harp on the idea that he was unfit for office
because of having "lived beyond the pale of civilized life for
more than thirty years", they concede that he was "not in-
--different to mental culture," and that since becoming governor
*'he has read hard for information."16
One of the best ways by which to get a just view of the real
^British Columbia Proclamations, pp. 23-27.
" In the San Juan affair, for example, the conduct of Douglas was precipitate
d arbitrary ; most serious consequences were averted mainly through the mod-
ation of the ofiicers of the British fleet. Governor Douglas had given Cap-
in Hornby authority to prevent the landing of the United States troops and
the  erection  of military work
.    See  letter  to  Cap.  Hornby,  Correspondence
Book, MS., 2nd of Aug.  1859.
Again,  writing to Mr.  Chartres Brew concern-
Ing the  payment of miners' 1
censes  the  Governor wrote,   "The miners must
*e prepared with coin to pay
their dues when  demanded.    The time   of the
officers   cannot  be  taken   up  i
i  weighing  out small portions  of gold  dust."—
■Miscel. Letters, MS., Vol. I, p.
is "The moral habit of the vc
an was justice",-Letter of Mr. G. M. Sproat to
Mr. E. O. L. Scholefield; "The
boys all thought a good deal of him",—Remin-
iscences of Wm. Stout, MS.
18 Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Cc
l, pp. 363-95 ; McDonaid, Br. Col. and Van. Id.,
ivrote  that  "it seems astonishing how he get»
through his work ; but, as he
sticks close, at it early and late, I suppose an
^active life suits him."—The Lo
adon Times, Jan. 19, 18S9.
character of Governor Douglas is by the perusal of the letters
in his Correspondence Book, 1859-1864, which is in the provincial archives at Victoria. These letters were, for the most part,
informal, many of them being written to friends. Humor is
lacking in them, though there is an occasional touch of sarcasm.
But there is in them no trace of lamentation, conceit, maliciousness, or unmanliness. They show constant courtesy, very considerable thoughtfulness and kindliness, rather wide perspective, and some capacity for enthusiasm, together with a measure of characteristic pompousness ; and, in general, they are sincere, vigorous, wholesome. While for the composition of hi»
letters he may have at times relied upon others, often he wrote
them himself, and he had command of plain, direct English."
There was no doubt of the whole-hearted devotion of Governor
Douglas to his work: "I cannot express," he wrote near the close
of his official career, "the interest I feel in the welfare of these
colonies, they have for years been the objects of my tender est
care. Every step in the process of construction has been anxiously studied".1* The estimate of Governor Douglas's work
by the Imperial Government was shown by his being created
Companion of the Bath and later raised to be Knight Commander
of the Bath.
Through most of the career of Sir James Douglas in the service of the Crown, however, he encountered much obloquy and
opposition. This was, in part, due to thé formation in Victoria
of a factious opposition party, headed by James Cooper, Harbour master of Victoria, and Amor De Cosmos, editor of the
British Colonist; in part, to a real grievance of the people of
British Columbia.19
17 For example in a letter, apparently of his own composition, he wrote to
a magistrate : "I must enjoin upon you and all other magistrates in British
Columbia to permit no relaxation in the laws of the land : let their provisions
be rigidly enforced and all the powers of justice arrayed against offenders in
order that rogues and vagabonds of every degree especially thieves and gambler»
may be rooted out of the country".—Letter to Mr. Bevis, Miscl. Letters, MS.,
Vol. I, p. 63. Mr. G. M. Sproat says that he had seen Douglas revise the draft»
of some of his letters five or six times.—Note from Judge F. W. Howay.
» Letter to Mr. Good, Correspondence Book, Dec. 10, 1863.
19 De Cosmos' own account of his warfare against Douglas carries rather a
flippant tone. He was a native of Nova Scotia who had gone to California,
and from there  "sick and tired of the heat of the  interior,"  had  come  to
The people of that colony (whose demands were voiced, in
llparticular, by New Westminster) disliked to be ruled by a
Governor who resided most of the time at Victoria and whose
interests, they thought, would lead him to favor the merchants
of Victoria at the expense of British Columbia.20 Moreover, it
was asserted that a free British people were under an autocratic
rule and were refused representative institutions—how different, they said, was the condition in the American territories—
and that Governor Douglas desired to perpetuate this state of
affairs. The Governor believed that representative government
was not feasible, until the British element in the colony would
become stronger.21 Moreover he was probably not averse to
autocratic rule. "I, James Douglas" was prominent at the
heads of his proclamations. His powers, indeed, were very
extensive: he issued a proclamation enabling the Governor to
convey Crown lands and followed that by an ordinance on the
same subject ; the full power of taxation was in his hands, and
he raised large sums; he incurred an indebtedness of more than
half a million dollars; and he promulgated a code of laws for
I'the mining regions, and created an effective administration
system for carrying it into effect.22 While there was danger
of abuse in such powers if exercised unworthily, and while
Governor Douglas persisted, perhaps, somewhat too long in postponing representative institutions, yet some sound arguments
may be adduced in defense of such a system for newly-formed
mining communities, as he administered. A thoughtful observer wrote as follows concerning conditions in the mining com-
Victoria. He had been but few months in Victoria when he prepared a petition for the removal of Governor Douglas on the ground that he was obnoxious
to the people and that in him the Hudson's Bay Company interests predominated; and he obtained for the petition one hundred seventeen names. "That
agitation", says De Cosmos, "went on from year to year. It did not have any
|  effect."—De Cosmos, Governments of British Columbia.    MS.
»See supra, p. 113. Indeed it did seem strange for the Governor of British
Columbia to issue a proclamation for legalizing acts of His Honor Chief Justice
Begbie, while the latter was in Victoria : British Columbia Proclamations, p. 32.
-'British  Columbian, Feb.  28,  1861.
"British Columbia Proclamations, pp. 55, 67, 121, 129, 139, and 142. One
extreme form of tax was that of $5 upon every load of a pack animal proceeding to the mines ; such an outcry was raised against this tax both by the miners
*nd by the merchants of Victoria, that it was never put into force, Id., p. 73;
San Francisco Daily Bulletin, Apr. 2, 1860. 196 BULLETIN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
munities south of the Line : "The people east of the Cascades are
wanting in some of the most essential elements and conditions
for a successful representative government. They are mostly
scattered about in mining'camps without families or any of the
conservative influences of home, or on the road going to and fro
in search of better luck. The majority of them are in no way
attached to the soil, and may be in Cariboo or Australia a
year hence. Yet of all people, they have most need of a government—not the complex and elegant machinery of a representative one, commencing with a primary meeting and ending
in a legislative enactment a year afterwards, but a simple
executive government with ample power for emergencies and
a somewhat summary method."23 The unprejudiced historian
may, perhaps, wisely sum up the matter in the words of one,
who, while naturally favoring Governor Douglas, yet presents
reasonable considerations: "The necessity of a representative
government has been urged upon arguments which, however
legitimate in themselves, become fallacious under certain circumstances. Indeed, it is difficult to perceive how, with hastily
accumulated population, chiefly consisting of foreigners of
many nationalities, it would have been possible to organize a
system of representation adequate to the end in view. It may
further be questioned whether any purely representative government, hastily convened, could have accomplished so speedily,
and it has proved judiciously, that which has been effected
under a system, which, if less accordant with our constitutional
ideas, has certainly in the present case, answered the desired
One fact, at any rate, stands out prominently in any comparison between the executive government of British Columbia
and those formed on the representative principle in the American territories: namely, that in British- Columbia, crime was
promptly and justly dealt with, and that there never was a lynching nor a vigilante committee, nor occasion for either ; while in the
American Territories there was scarcely one. important camp
which did not have some "statistics of blood" and where there
r Caulfield, History o
was not some sort of lynching or some form of a vigilante
committee.25 Not that there were no murders in British Columbia, for there were such occasionally, and criminals sometimes
escaped across the border; but generally on the committing of
a crime a magistrate was soon on the spot, and instant measures
were taken for bringing culprits to justice without delay and
without interference of the people. It is safe to say, I think,
that order was as well kept and law as well administered in
British Columbia during the mining rushes, as in any older
community having good law and order. It is fair, on the other
hand, to remember that the United States was in the midst of a
trying war, and that the best administrators of the northwest
had been withdrawn for service in the war, but still the difference is so pronounced as to suggest that it arose mainly from
the differences between the systems of government in the two
regions. There was no essential difference in the characteristics
of the mining populations ; Cariboo in the United States would
have been an ideal field for road-agents and vigilante commit-
ties, and Kootenay was near the border. But in British Columbia there was Law, and an Executive, and a Chief Justice,
and a Magistracy that expected obedience, and the mining population rendered obedience willingly.
Of all the forces that in the mining camps of British Columbia
made for law and order none was more potent than the work of
His Honor, Matthew Baillie Begbie, Judge of the Supreme
Court. Something of the character of the man we catch in a
letter to Judge Begbie from Governor Douglas,—-written near
the close of the latter's term of office,—which does honor to both
men: "I may truly say that my official intercourse with you has
been profitable and of the most agreeable character, and when
differences of opinion have arisen, they never gave rise to asperity
of feeling or language, being I am persuaded in every case the
result of honest conviction and of a sincere desire to promote
the public good."26   Active,  indefatigable,  decisive, yet rea-
25 One instance of a lynching in British Columbia is narrated by Johnson,
Very Far West Indeed; but this author, as before mentioned (p. 52, note), needs
corroboration, and in this instance the story is without any corroboration what-
sonable, quick to seize on the most telling mode of punishment,
the judge traversed the great highways and the rough trails,
holding his assizes in every important town, now sentencing a
Chinaman to imprisonment for assaulting another, now cautioning an Indian "very seriously" and sentencing another to have
his hair cut off, again fining heavily a white man for selling liquor
to Indians or giving judgment in some mining dispute. Un-
trammeled by those niceties of legal verbiage which, in the
United States, so often become the mumbo-jumboes of the
lawyers, he dispensed a robust and honest justice which made
him a terror to evildoers and, in the eyes of the law-abiding,
a worthy representative of a great governing race.27
In respect to fostering development of the country, on the
other hand, the American territorial system contrasted favorably
with the English colonial system as applied in British Columbia.
The Imperial Government was willing to furnish protection
from outside powers, but insisted that the colony from the start
should be self-supporting with respect to internal affairs. Lytton repeatedly wrote to Douglas that the colony must not look
to the mother-country for financial help; such help would "in-
-terfere with the healthy action by which a new community
provides, step by step, for its own requirements. It is on the
character of the inhabitants that we must rest our hopes for the
land we redeem from the wilderness."28 An English author
of the time commented on this policy as follows: "The contrast
between the United States and England in caring for the growth I
of new territories is decidedly unfavorable to the latter, England in defining land to be erected into a colony and passing
an act of parliament to.that effect, leaves to the settlers, however few and impotent they may be, the task of establishing
leading communications, executing surveys, and completing
postal arrangements. If the population be unequal to these
undertakings, they must be postponed till colonial finances become capable of sustaining them.    The Federal Government, on
87 Some of the items of this characterization are drawn from the old Police
Record Book from Hope, which His Honour, Judge Frederick W. Howay, of New
Westminster, permitted me to use.
«Quoted by Macfie, Van. Id. and Br. Col, p. 509.
the other hand, assumes the responsibility of giving effect
to all works of magnitude necessary to bring an infant settlement to maturity, and indemnifies itself for the outlay incurred,
by mortgaging the lands and the revenues derivable from the
customs and other territorial sources." "It invariably turns
out that works urgent and useful, thus undertaken, are speedily
made to defray the cost of construction. The Americans have
learned that whatever contributes to augment national wealth
by developing the resources of new territory is not inconsistent
with public economy."29 "The English," wrote General
Harney on a visit to Victoria in 1859, "cannot colonize successfully so near our people; they are too exacting."30 The sentiment in favor of annexation to the United States, which was at
times quite apparent in British Columbia during the colonial
period, was in part due, probably, to the conviction that the
colony would be more prosperous as a territory. Such a colony
as British Columbia, as a matter of fact, had very different
relations with the mother country, as compared with those existing between an American territory and the Federal Government :
the territory was directly dependent upon the central government, and differentiation between the activities and functions
of that government and those local to the territory is difficult
to trace clearly; but the government of the British Colony had
powers and, correspondingly, responsibilities in internal affairs
nearly those of a nation (as, for example, the collection of customs and the establishment of a postal system ) and the operations of the central power and those of the colonial administration are easily distinguishable.
The instrument which the Imperial Government had ever at
hand for the protection of the infant colony was the fleet, but
the fleet, in reality, afforded something more than protection
to against outside powers. One of Her Majesty's vessels, as we
have before mentioned, was stationed at the mouth of the Fraser
to enforce the collection of licenses from the miners. The
marines were available for the prompt aid in case of any serious outbreak,—how effective that aid might be was apparent in
the case of the so-called McGowan riot at Hill's Bar. Moreover,
besides support to the civil authority, other advantages were
derived from the presence of vessels of the fleet, though these-
applied most directly to Victoria. In the first place, there was
the expenditure of money in the colony. Again, "the security
given by the presence or proximity of a strong naval force
inspires confidence in legislation, in Government, in all the
varied interests of life, in short ; while to the success of commerce
this security is peculiarly essential." Then, too, "the good.
effects on social life of friendly intercourse with so many educated men, possessing the manners and habits of gentlemen,
as compose the body of officers in a squadron, need only to be
mentioned to be understood. ' '31
In the process of shaping forms of government both north
and south of the Line there was, in one respect, an interesting
and important similarity. Just as Iowa copied her forms of"
law and administration in part from New York, and Idaho
and Montana imitated California and Nevada, so British Columbia derived perhaps the most important, portion of her law
and administrative system—that having to do with mines—
from Australia and New Zealand. Both the colony and the
territories, moreover, showed some preference for the latest
models; in the case of the territories, for that of Nevada, in
that of British Columbia for New Zealand. The derivation
of the British Columbia code is clearly revealed in a letter of
Governor Douglas, August sixth, 1860, to Sir Henry Barkly,
E. C, Governor of the Colony of Victoria, which reads as
follows: "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
Excellency's Despatch of the 4th of May, 1859, date Melbourne,
Victoria, No. 9, together with ample stores of information '"
which you have been kind enough to enclose.
"It was found imperatively necessary to proceed to legislation here, with as little delay as possible. Accordingly, therefore, before the arrival of the full and minute particulars
which your Excellency has so kindly procured and arranged,
a code of Laws was published on the 31st of August last, and
81 The London Times, Aug. 14, 1863.
the 7th of September last, a few further rules and regulations
being added on the 6th of January last. I have the honor to enclose  copies.
"It will be apparent to your Excellency that these have been
framed on the experience of the Australian Colonies, and principally on that of Victoria. The precedent chiefly followed was
the New Zealand Code, which in fact had, equally with this
Colony, the benefit of the previous legislation in Victoria and
New South Wales.*2 And in addition to the New Zealand Code,
of which a copy had been procured, portions of the Codes in
Victoria and New South Wales were also consulted, although
only portions and those not of the latest dates were procurable. ' '33
Another portion of this illuminating letter reveals a pride in
law and order on the part of the English administrators scarcely
characteristic of American territorial governors. It is as follows :
"I most sincerely congratulate your Excellency upon the condition of the Criminal Calendars in Victoria to which you refer.
It is with heart-felt satisfaction that I can for my part refer
to those in British Columbia, where the only two serious offences committed by white men since the proclamation of the
Colony (19th Nov., 1858) have been one burglary in which the
criminals were seized and delivered up to the regular authorities
by the inhabitants ; and one murder committed at Lytton about a
month ago, in which there is reason to believe that the criminal
immediately escaped beyond the frontier. The only other cases
have been a few petty thefts.
"There are seven Justices of the Peace and about fifteen constables in the entire Colony, scattered over a difficult country,
about five hundred miles in length.
"I venture to think that such a state of circumstances speaks
volumes for the readiness with which a politically disaffected
population acknowledges the general good tendency of the English Law ; and I submit that the very heterogeneous and roving
population of British Columbia may claim to be at least on a par
with that of the Victoria Gold Fields."34