British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Oct 1, 1940

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OCTOBER,  1940 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Associate
W. Kaye Lamb.
J. C. Goodfeixov F. W. Howay, A'
Robie L. Reid, Va T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor, Provincial
Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Subscriptions should  be sent to the Provincial  Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C.    Pj the copy, or $2 the year.    Members
of the British Columbia Hist eceive the
ut further cha
ither the  Provinc: ritish  Columbia  Historical
Association assumes an; -rnents made by contributors
to the magazine. We
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. IV. Victoria, B.C., October, 1940. No. 4
Articles: Page.
David Douglas in British Columbia.
By A. G. Harvey  221
The Discovery of the Fraser River: the Second Phase.
By F. W. Howay  245
The Pedigree and Prospects of Local History:
By Sylvia L. Thrupp  253
Documents :
The Annexation Petition of 1869.
With an introduction by Willard E. Ireland  267
Notes and Comments :
British Columbia Historical Association  289
Similkameen Historical Association  292
New Provincial Archivist  292
Contributors to this Issue  293
My story comes from an early period of British Columbia
history, the period which followed the coastal explorations of
Cook and Vancouver and the cross-country expeditions of Alexander Mackenzie and Simon Fraser, and which preceded the
gold-rush. It was the rather dull intervening period when fur-
traders ruled the country and their forts were the only outposts
of civilization. The largest post in the territory now comprising
British Columbia was then Fort St. James, far north on Stuart
Lake, founded in 1806, the second oldest permanent settlement
in this Province.
Let us go back then to the year 1833—four years before the
coronation of Queen Victoria. One day in June there arrived at
Fort St. James, with the Hudson's Bay Company's annual brigade
from the south, a young Scotsman. There was nothing unusual
in that, for many of the fur-traders were Scottish. But this
Scotsman did not look like a fur-trader. He carried flowers and
weeds in his hands and had more in a tin box (vasculum) slung
over his shoulder. At his heels trotted a shaggy little Scotch
terrier. He had a white man-servant and some Indians to help
him with his horses and baggage. He was laden with botanical
equipment and with instruments for taking geographical and
astronomical observations. Quite clearly he was not a fur-
Instead, he was a nature student and a collector of botanical
specimens and birds. That was unusual. Fort St. James never
before had been visited by a man of science. In fact, this was
the first white man of any kind, other than a fur-trader, to visit
the posts of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Pacific Northwest.
But before dealing with his journey to Fort St. James, let us
sketch briefly his earlier life.
(1) General authorities: David Douglas: Journals, London, 1914;
David Douglas: Journal and letters, in Companion to Botanical Magazine,
London, II. (1836)—reprinted in Hawaiian Spectator, Honolulu, II. (1839),
and Oregon Historical Quarterly, Portland, V. & VI. (1904-1905); Edward
Sabine: Report on Douglas' Observations, MS., Royal Society, London.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 4,
221 222 A. G. Harvey. October
David Douglas, for that was the visitor's name,2 was born in
1799, of humble parentage, at Scone, the little village in Perthshire which had been the ancient capital of Scotland. Early in
life he became interested in nature study, and preferred rambling, fishing, and bird's-nesting to school-work. The high
spiritedness, inquisitiveness, and determination which marked
his later life and which led to his tragic death, already were in
evidence. He collected all sorts of birds, and sometimes had
difficulty in finding food for them. At one time he had some
young owls which he fed with mice—when he could catch the
mice—but when the mice were too elusive, as frequently happened, he fed his pet owlets with beef liver bought with the
daily penny provided him for buying bread for his own lunch.
At the age of ten he was apprenticed in the palace gardens
at Scone. His diligence and enthusiasm led to steady advancement. Obtaining a position in the Glasgow Botanic Garden, he
became a pupil of Dr. W. J. (later Sir William) Hooker, afterwards famous as Director of Kew Gardens, and was recommended by him to the Royal Horticultural Society of London for
a plant-collecting mission to the United States and Upper Canada.
This mission was so successful that the Horticultural Society
sent him on a similar mission to North-west America, where the
Hudson's Bay Company had offered the facilities of its trading-
posts and travel routes.
After a voyage of eight and a half months, around Cape Horn,
Douglas landed at the mouth of the Columbia River in April,
1825. His botanizing began even before he landed. From the
ship he spied three kinds of trees: a hemlock, a balsam fir, and
one he could not identify. Little did the enthusiastic young man
think, as he studied the forest-covered shore, that the strange
tree he saw was to be given his name and become the world's
greatest producer of structural timber.
Douglas was enraptured with the country. The scenery he
found sublime: the profusion of flowering plants, the natural
meadows, the grand forests of giant trees and the snow-capped
mountains. As botanist and nature-lover he found it a virgin
field, and plunged into his work with desperate zeal.    Archibald
(2)  David Douglas was no relation to Sir James Douglas, Hudson's Bay
Company Chief Factor and first Governor of British Columbia. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 223
Menzies, the surgeon who had accompanied Captain Vancouver,
had done some plant collecting, but Douglas was the first to
specialize in the botany of the North-west, and systematically
comb the territory for specimens. Making his headquarters at
Fort Vancouver (now Vancouver, in the State of Washington,
opposite Portland), he travelled up and down the Columbia by
canoe or on foot, sometimes with an Indian guide, sometimes
with the Hudson's Bay Company's men, but often alone with his
The young explorer endured terrible hardships. He had to
" live off the country " as he travelled, his food being largely fish,
birds, and berries. He became an expert shot and surprised the
•Indians by his ability to shoot birds on the wing. His journal
he wrote by the light of his camp-fire or his " Columbian candle "
—a stick containing rosin. Several times his canoe upset, resulting in loss of precious botanical specimens. Frequently he was
famished, exhausted, ill; but he persevered.
He laboured at his plant collecting under great difficulties.
During the early part of the summer the almost continual rains
caused the loss of many of his specimens, for in spite of oilcloths
he was unable to keep his plants dry or to preserve a single bird.
Before he could lie down to sleep it took an hour to dry his
blanket. Sometimes he ran short of food and was so weakened
by hunger and fatigue that he could only crawl.
The change from the wet climate of the lower Columbia to the
dry climate of the Interior was equally distressing. A walk of
19 miles across a dry, barren plain at 97° in the shade without a
drop of water caused much suffering; at night his feet burned
like the hot sand, and the upper part of them was in one big
blister. Nevertheless, it was here that he discovered the beautiful Clarkia pulchella and the gaudy mariposa lily, both of which
he introduced into England.
The natives, too, were troublesome. Like children, they were
very inquisitive and took up much time with questions and
palaver. Their fleas were not only inquisitive, but "pestiferous"
and hard to avoid. Often dependent on the Indians for food or
canoes or travel directions, he learned the Chinook language.
Often they were treacherous, and would steal or murder if they 224 A. G. Harvey. October
thought they would not be punished. Douglas had several narrow escapes from bad-tempered or suspicious Indians.
They placed strange interpretations on the white man's inventions. When Douglas made an effervescent drink his canoe-
men and guides were much surprised to see him drink it "boiling,"
as they thought. For this, and for lighting his pipe with the
sunlight and a magnifying-glass, they, classed him with the bad
spirits, and called him olla-piska, the Chinook words for fire.
But beyond all their comprehension was his putting spectacles
on his nose, leading them immediately to place their hands tight
over their mouths in indication of fear or astonishment. Afterwards, as they came to know him better and understood his
earnestness in gathering plants, shrubs, and grasses to send to
England, the Indians regarded him as one of King George's
chiefs and gave him the title of " The Grass Man."
Nevertheless he continued his work undaunted; he had a
robust constitution and a merry heart; fresh difficulties brought
forth fresh enthusiasm and determination, and few seemed insurmountable.
Difficult and exhausting as were his journeys, he was happy
in the rich harvest of plants which he obtained. His expectations were fully realized. During the six months following his
arrival in the country he collected about 500 different specimens
(499 to be exact), obtaining as far as possible from twelve to
twenty-four samples of each specimen.
All of these he carefully dried in paper brought from England
for the purpose, and classified and minutely described in his
diary. This work he did at Fort Vancouver during the intervals
between his journeys. Some of the plants were of peculiar
interest. There was the salal, some berries of which Douglas
preserved in spirits for sending to England, but which were
stolen at Fort Vancouver " by some evil-disposed person—f or the
sake of the spirits." There was the camas, an onion-like root
baked by the Indians and forming a substantial item of their
food. There was the musk-scented monkey flower, which quickly
naturalized itself in Great Britain " and so won the hearts of the
people that even our grandmothers deemed it old-fashioned,"3
and which has been of particular interest to botanists because of
(3)  F. J. Chittenden, in Gardener's Chronicle, London, 88 (1930), p. 457. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 225
its loss of scent.4 Most important of all was the collection of
seeds—over a hundred varieties—which were packed in a chest
by themselves. These, soon to bloom in European gardens, included the clarkia, the different species of pentstemons, lupines,
Oenotheras, ribeses, and a host of other ornamental plants.
Little escaped the keen observation of the young student of
natural history. His attention was not confined to vegetation;
specimens of birds, insects, and animals were also obtained.
The fir which he called pinus taxifolia, but which was afterwards
named after him, he found nearly everywhere. Its great height
proved an obstacle to obtaining cones: his buckshot would not
reach them; and the trees were too large to cut down with his
hatchet. As to climbing, he had " already learned the propriety
of leaving no property at the bottom of a tree." It was some
time before he succeeded in getting cones. The gigantic size and
compact uniformity of the tree led him to call it " one of the most
striking and truly graceful objects in nature." He anticipated
its future commercial value, saying:—
"The wood may be found very useful for a variety of domestic purposes;
the young, slender ones exceedingly well adapted for making ladders and
scaffold poles, not being liable to cast; the larger timber for more important
purposes, while at the same time the rosin may be found deserving
After two years' painstaking labour in the Columbia River
region, and a very hard journey south towards California to find
the sugar-pine he returned to England. He had travelled more
than 7,000 miles through what is now Washington, Oregon,
Idaho, and British Columbia.
He went home by way of Hudson Bay, making the tedious
overland journey with the Hudson's Bay Company's annual
express, travelling up the Columbia to the head of the Big Bend
and crossing the Rocky Mountains through Athabaska Pass.
This introduced him to our British Columbia terrain (April 19
to May 2, 1827). The journey is described in detail in his published journals and need not be dealt with here.
The most noteworthy incident was his climb of one of the
Rocky Mountains—the first peak in the Canadian Rockies of
(4) See Gardener's Chronicle, London, 45  (1909), p. 267;   75  (1924),
p. 79; 88 (1930), pp. 259, 349, 399, 457, 520-1.
(5) David Douglas:  Journals, 1914, appendix VIII., p. 340. 226 A. G. Harvey. October
which there is any recorded climb. He named this peak Mount
Brown and another one near-by he named Mount Hooker, in
honour of eminent English botanists.6 His estimates of their
altitudes were excessive and led to their being prominently shown
on the maps of North America as the most stupendous mountains
on the continent. Their true heights were not determined until
many years afterwards.
After a two years' sojourn in England, during which he was
feted and lionized for his botanical discoveries, he came back
to Western America in 1830. This time he came trained and
equipped for doing work quite different from that formerly
On his previous expedition Douglas had realized that his
limited education prevented him from rendering service to the
geographical and physical sciences in keeping with the excellent
opportunities afforded by his travels. He regretted particularly
his inability to determine geographical positions. The Oregon
boundary dispute remained unsettled, and an accurate record
of the longitudes, latitudes, and directions of rivers and mountains which might serve as natural boundaries would be valuable
from a national standpoint. Accordingly, during his stay in
England he underwent a short but arduous course of study in
the use of instruments for fixing geographical positions, and the
methods of computing the results of observations made with
them, together with the essential knowledge of plane and spherical trigonometry and of logarithms. His instructor was Captain
(afterwards General Sir Edward) Sabine, Secretary of the Royal
The result was that upon his return to America he added the
taking of geographical and astronomical observations to his
former pursuits. A year and a half was spent in California,
many of whose beautiful flowers he introduced into England.
He was back on the Columbia River again in 1832, and wintered
there. Then followed the journey into the interior of what is
now British Columbia, to which reference has already been made.
His plan was to go to Fort St. James, then westward to some
(6) Robert Brown (1773-1858), first keeper of the botanical department
of the British Museum; the greatest botanist of his day. William Jackson
Hooker (1785-1865), famous teacher and writer on botany; first director
of Kew Gardens. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 227
of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts on the sea-coast. He
hoped to make his way up the coast to the Russian headquarters
in Alaska, at Sitka; then cross the Pacific to Siberia, and proceed
overland across Asia and Europe back to England, thus completing a journey round the world. His purpose was to compare
the vegetation and the astronomical phenomena of America with
those of similar latitudes in Asia. He had conceived this ambitious plan while in England.
" What a glorious prospect," he wrote Hooker, " thus not only the plants,
but a series of observations may be produced, the work of the same individual
on both Continents, with the same instruments, under similar circumstances
and in corresponding latitudes! I hope I do not indulge my hopes too far.
. . . People tell me that Siberia is like a rat-trap, which there is no
difficulty in entering, but from which it is not so easy to find egress. I
mean at least to put this saying to the test. And I hope that those who
know me know also that trifles will not stop me.'"?
He submitted the plan to the Russian ambassador in London,
who referred it to his government. Four years later, while in
California, Douglas received a letter from the Governor of
Alaska, extending a warm welcome and offering a passage from
Sitka to Siberia on one of the Russian naval vessels.
But while the prospects for the Russian part of the journey
were encouraging, those for the journey north and west to the
Russian settlements were just as discouraging. New Caledonia,
as the territory now comprising the Northern Interior of British
Columbia was then called, had a bad reputation among the fur-
traders. The climate was (and still is) severe, the temperature
sometimes reaching 55° below zero. Food was scarce, the staff
of life being salmon, fresh or dried—chiefly the latter—and
starvation was not unknown.8 The trading-posts were isolated
and the Indians troublesome. Altogether it was a territory to
be avoided. Indeed, the fur-traders had such a dread of being
sent there that they looked on it as another Botany Bay.9
(7) Companion to Botanical Magazine, II. (1836), p. 143 (reprinted in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 223).
(8) See A. G. Morice: History of the Northern Interior of British
Columbia, Toronto, 3rd edition, 1905, pp. 177-8; John McLean: Notes of
twenty-five Years Service in Hudson's Bay Territory, London, 1849, I.,
p. 251; W. N. Sage: " Peter Skene Ogden's Notes on Western Caledonia,"
in British Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), p. 52.
(9) John Tod: New Caledonia, MS., Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California, p. 52. 228 A. G. Harvey. October
Another discouragement was the terrible epidemic of intermittent fever which was raging in the territory along the
Columbia. Its ravages amongst the natives were awful. Whole
villages were wiped out; the houses being left empty, with famished dogs howling about, while dead bodies lay strewn around
in every direction. Whites as well as natives were struck down.
Twenty-four of the Hudson's Bay men died; and for a time,
the Company's entire business on the Columbia was tied up.
Only three whites escaped it altogether, Douglas fortunately
being one of that small number.
Greatest discouragement of all was his failing eyesight.
Exposure to the glare of the sun on the snow while mountain-
climbing, and to sun glare on the burning sands of the Interior
and California, had seriously affected the sight of both eyes—
that of the right eye being gone almost entirely. Such had
been his devotion to science that he had become half blind at
the age of 33.
But again his determination brushed aside his discouragements; he decided to make a start and go as far as he could,
even though he was forced to return. Leaving Fort Vancouver
on the 20th of March, 1833, he travelled with the express as far
as Fort Okanagan. From here the journey was over territory
new to him. Horses were used to ascend the Okanagan Valley
—along the east side of the river, and the west side of the lake.10
From the head of Okanagan Lake they crossed over to the junction of the Thompson and North Thompson rivers at Fort Kamloops, or Thompson's River Post, as it often was called. Here
the horses were changed and the journey continued along the
north shore of Kamloops Lake, up the Bonaparte River11 to
Green Lake and Horse Lake, and then northwesterly along the
general route of the present Cariboo Road via Lac la Hache and
(10) The name now is spelt Okanogan in the United States; Okanagan
in Canada. It has the distinction of having been spelt in no less than
forty-five different ways. See L. Norris: "Some Place Names," in Sixth
Report, Okanagan Historical Society, Vancouver, B.C., 1935, pp. 133-6;
W. I. Symons: Report on Upper Columbia River, Washington, D. C, 1882,
p. 130.
(11) Later, the fur brigade route was up Deadman's Creek. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 229
Williams Lake to the Fraser River.12 The east bank of the
Fraser was then followed to Fort Alexandria,13 where the horses
were left. Boats were taken for the remainder of the journey
up the Fraser, Nechako, and Stuart rivers to Fort St. James
on Stuart Lake, although frequently a portage was used by the
fur-traders for the last portion of the journey between Fraser
Lake and Stuart Lake.14
Although Douglas began the journey with some trepidation
he was well provided as to equipment; and in this there was
marked difference from his expeditions of earlier years. For
food he had rice and biscuit, with tea, coffee, and sugar, and
even a gallon of wine. He had a small tent, and his clothing
included a straw hat, a pair of deer-skin trousers, and twelve
pairs of moccasins, as well as two pairs of shoes. As presents
for the Indians he took a supply of Irish roll tobacco, scalping
knives, beads, coat buttons, and hair ribbon.16 Moreover, he
went well attended. According to a letter which he wrote to
Dr. Hooker, there were
my faithful servants, several Indians, ten or twelve horses, and my old
terrier, a most faithful and now, to judge from his long gray beard,
venerable friend, who has guarded me throughout all my journies, and
whom, should I live to return, I mean certainly to pension off on four
pennyworth of cat's-meat per day.16
(12) Later, an alternative route went up the North Thompson to Mount
Olie, then westerly along the shores of Lac des Roches and Bridge, Sheridan,
and Horse Lakes to Lac la Hache, where it joined the old trail.
(13) Fort Alexandria afterwards was moved to the west side of the
Fraser.    Morice, op. cit, p. 194.
(14) On the route in general see F. M. Buckland: " The Hudson's Bay
Brigade Trail," in Sixth Report, Okanagan Historical Society, Vancouver,
B.C., 1935, pp. 13-4; McLean, op. cit, I., p. 307; A. C. Anderson: History
of the Northwest Coast, MS., Bancroft Library, pp. 4, 42-4; George Barns-
ton : " Abridged Sketch of the life of Mr. David Douglas, Botanist, with a
few Details of his travels and discoveries," Canadian Naturalist and Geologist, Montreal, V. (1860), pp. 277-8; F. W. Howay: "British Columbia
Brigade Trails," in The Beaver, Winnipeg, Outfit 269, No. 1 (June, 1938),
p. 50.
(15.) Transfer Book B 239 CC2, 1831-5, Hudson's Bay Company's
Archives, London, fol. 897-901.
(16) Companion to Botanical Magazine, II. (1836), p. 158 (reprinted in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 306). 230 A. G. Harvey. October
As his personal servant he had William Johnson, an employee
of the Company, who afterwards became the first permanent
settler on the site of the City of Portland, Oregon.17
After a few days at Fort Okanagan, the horse journey with
the New Caledonia brigade was begun. They travelled slowly,
and Douglas was able to botanize and take astronomical observations and fix geographical positions along the way. Regularly
during the whole of the journey he never allowed twelve hours
to pass without taking an observation of the sun or stars. A list
of the positions is given at the end of this article, together with
the modern positions furnished by Major G. G. Aitken, Chief
Geographer for British Columbia, as far as lie has been able
to identify Douglas's observation points. Major Aitken tells
me that,
speaking generally, the Douglas latitude observations are exceedingly good,
considering the instruments and difficulties he had. Naturally, the longitude observations are not so close; although, speaking generally, they are
surprisingly near the present-day positions we have.
Douglas also undertook the making of field-sketches along
the route and did a continuous series of the country travelled
from Fort Okanagan to the Quesnel River, showing the natural
configuration, with notes on trees, vegetation, and soil. I succeeded in finding Douglas's note-book containing these sketches
in England in 1938, and it has since been deposited in the British
Columbia Archives.
Fort Kamloops, established by the Astorians in 1812, was
the half-way house of the northward journey, and here the horses
were changed for new ones. During the few days' stay, Douglas
had a very serious altercation with Chief Trader Samuel Black,
who was in charge of the Post. The incident is related by the
historian, H. H. Bancroft, in his History of the North West
Coast,18 as follows:—
For one who had received from the Hudson's Bay Company nothing but
kindness, David Douglas was somewhat free with his comments. He did
not like to see that powerful organization which was so ready at all times
to sacrifice human life on the altar of their own avarice, so cold and selfishly
indifferent outside of their money-making to anything affecting the weal or
(17) George B. Roberts: Recollections, MS., Bancroft Library, p. 11;
Henry E. Reed: " William Johnson," Oregon Historical Quarterly, Portland,
XXXIV. (1933), pp. 314-23.
(18) San Francisco, 1884, II., pp. 510-511. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 231
woe of their fellow-creatures. And the shaggy Scotchman was not afraid
to tell them so.
Samuel Black was then in command of Fort Kamloops, and thither
David Douglas in his wanderings repaired. While enjoying the lonely
hospitality of his brother Scot, and discussing the affairs of the company,
Douglas, who was more fiery than politic, exclaimed: " The Hudson's Bay
Company is simply a mercenary corporation; there is not an officer in it
with a soul above a beaver-skin."
Black was up in arms in a moment. He informed his guest that he was
a sneaking reprobate, and challenged him to fight. As it was then dark the
duel was postponed until next day. Bright and early in the morning Black
tapped at the pierced parchment which served as a window to the guest-
chamber, and cried out, " Misther Dooglas! are ye ready? " But the man
of flowers declined the winning invitation, and saved his life only to yield
it not long after in that luckless wild-cattle pit. Black was formerly of the
Northwest Company, and on the coalition was presented a ring on which
was engraved:  " To the most worthy of the worthy Northwesters."
Though a fur-trader he was not at all indifferent to science, being
therein an exception to the fur-worshippers so scourged by Douglas. Black
was an educated man of no small attainments, geology and geography being
specially interesting to him. At all events he managed to command the
respect of his associates, if not by his learning, then by his enormous stature,
his powerful swing of limbs, and his slow, sonorous and imposing speech.
His death was no less sad than that of David Douglas; indeed, many a
brave man went hence from this quarter for whose profitless taking off the
angels never gave adequate excuse. Samuel Black was killed by an Indian
boy for having charmed away the life of his uncle.
Black was a man of great physical and mental ability—he was
a brother of Dr. Black, editor of the London Morning Chronicle19
—and being used to having his own way, even though he had to
fight for it, he had a stormy career.20 The fur-traders were not
accustomed to criticisms by visitors (Douglas was the first man
other than a fur-trader or an Indian to travel through the
country) and it is easy to imagine how his criticisms nettled
a man of Black's temperament.
Leaving Fort Kamloops the brigade went on to Fort Alexandria, where the horses were changed for boats. Douglas,
however, evidently continued on horseback or afoot to a point
a little beyond the Quesnel River, where his field-sketches cease.
The strong steady current of the upper Fraser was a severe
obstacle to the loaded boats and necessitated the constant use
(19) Anderson, op. cit, p. 35.
(20) See J. N. Wallace:   "The Explorer of Finlay River in 1824," in
Canadian Historical Review, Toronto, IX. (1928), p. 25. 232 A. G. Harvey. October
of the pole and tracking-line.21 The journey was also up-stream
on the Nechako and Stuart rivers. Douglas went up the Nechako
to Fort Fraser, on Fraser Lake, and probably went overland
from there to Fort St. James, where he arrived about June 6.
Here he was the guest of Chief Factor Peter Warren Dease,
the Company's superintendent in New Caledonia, and one of
the kindest and most considerate of men.22
But Fort St. James was a disappointment; not in itself, but
in the unfavourable conditions for continuing his journey. He
found that a party was preparing to leave on an exploring expedition down Simpson's (now the Skeena) River, and at first was
disposed to accompany them. However, as it was doubtful
whether and when they would reach the sea or any Company
post there, he decided not to go with them. He had come an
arduous 1,150 miles from Fort Vancouver on what he hoped
was his way home to England. He now found himself in the
wilds of New Caledonia, about 500 miles from the nearest Hudson's Bay post on the sea-coast (Fort Simpson, at the mouth of
the Nass River), with another 300 miles to the Russian headquarters at Sitka. To reach there meant weeks, if not months,
of travel through new country, along little known rivers and
waterways and over difficult portages. Moreover, the natives
were hostile, especially towards the coast, where they were too
plentifully supplied with liquor by American trading vessels.23
For once his determined spirit was beaten. Reluctantly he
abandoned his plan of travelling home by Siberia, and decided
to return to the Columbia. Accordingly, after a very brief stay
at Fort St. James, during which he took some observations, he
and Johnson embarked in a small birch-bark canoe and descended
the Stuart and Nechako rivers. At Fort George they stayed
a day or two with George Linton, clerk in charge there, and then
began descending the Fraser.
And now disaster was added to disappointment. On June
13, at the " Stony Islands," as he called them, they were wrecked
in the rapids; the canoe was smashed to pieces, and they barely
(21) Anderson, op. cit, p. 44.
(22) McLean, op. cit, I., pp. 244, 249.
(23) See Frederick Merk: Fur Trade and Empire; George Simpson's
Journal, 1824-5, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1931, pp. 301, 309, 311, 314;
Bancroft, op. cit, II., pp. 623, 693. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 233
escaped with their lives. Douglas was carried down the rapids
and into the whirlpool below, and he was swept about in the
turbulent waters for an hour and forty minutes, before being
washed on to the rocky shore. He lost everything he had except
his instruments, his astronomical journal, notes and charts, and
his barometrical observations. Food and blankets—all were lost;
also botanical notes, and a collection of about 400 species of
plants, 250 of which were mosses, some of them new. What
concerned him most was the loss of his diary, which he had been
writing daily for Hooker, and which could not be replaced.24
Two years ago, after considerable inquiry, I succeeded in
finding the exact spot where Douglas was wrecked. His " Stony
Islands " are small rocky islets in what now is known as Fort
George Canyon, between Quesnel and Prince George.
Fort George Canyon, it may be noted, is a notoriously dangerous place and many persons have lost their lives there. Soon
after Douglas's misadventure, Linton himself, with his wife and
three children and three other persons, the entire party, were
drowned between Fort George and Fort Alexandria—probably
at this spot.25 Before steamboats could pass through it the
Canadian Government had to blast out a channel. Even as late
as the year 1937, two visitors from California who were descending in a small boat were wrecked there and nearly drowned,
losing practically everything—an experience similar to that of
Douglas and Johnson more than a hundred years before.
Making their way as best they could back to Fort George,
Douglas and Johnson obtained another canoe from Linton26 and
this time descended the Fraser safely to Fort Alexandria, where
they obtained horses and proceeded on to Fort Kamloops and
Fort Okanagan by the same route as they had come. There is
no record of any further quarrel at Kamloops. After his recent
hardships, Douglas no doubt appreciated better the rude comforts afforded by the Company's posts, and was not in the mood
for criticism;  while Black probably was pleased at the turn of
(24) On this disaster see the letter, David Douglas to W. E. P. Hartnell,
November 11, 1833, in Madrono (Journal of California Botanical Society),
Berkeley, II. (1933), p. 98.
(25) Archibald McDonald, letter to W. J. Hooker, April 15, 1836, MS.,
Kew Gardens;  Morice, op. cit, p. 193.
(26) Ibid. 234 A. G. Harvey. October
events or else inclined to pity. Getting two Indian canoes at
Okanagan, they descended the Columbia to Fort Walla Walla,
where Douglas stayed some days. He again visited the Blue
Mountains and botanized more sedulously than ever, to try to
make up for his recent heavy losses.
He returned to Fort Vancouver in August, worn out in body
and broken in spirit. The hopes for the journey home by Siberia
which he had been building up for years had been shattered
in the first stage of the journey; and following that came the
river disaster. He had suffered severely from hunger and
exposure, and had been faced with " indeed, nearly utter starvation.""
" I cannot detail to you," he wrote Hooker, " the labour and anxiety this
occasioned me, both in body and mind, to say nothing of the hardships and
sufferings I endured. Still I reflect, with pleasure, that no lives were
sacrificed. - - - This disastrous occurrence has much broken my strength
and spirits."28
Then, too, besides the loss of his collections, journals, and
other belongings, he had lost four months of the best part of the
year for travel. Yet despite his cruel experiences he blamed no
Such are the not unfrequent disasters attending such undertakings. On
the whole I have been fortunate, for considering the nature and extent of
the Country I have passed over (now 8 years here) and the circumstances
under which I travelled my accidents have been few.29
Nor had he any harsh feelings against New Caledonia. Instead, he uttered an encouraging note of prophecy as to its future,
The interior, north of the Columbia, for the space of nearly 4° of latitude
and 7° of Longitude, is a beautiful and varied country; the soil is generally
fertile;  and even to a much higher Latitude it is well worth looking
Another remark:—
The country over which I passed was all mountainous, but most so towards
the Western Ocean—still it will, ere long, be
(27) Douglas to Hartnell, November 11, 1833.   See note 24, supra.
(28) Companion to Botanical Magazine, II. (1836), p. 159 (reprinted in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 308).
(29) David Douglas, letter to W. F. Tolmie, September 25, 1833, MS.,
British Columbia Archives, Victoria.
(30) Sabine, Report on Douglas' Observations, p. 12.
(31) Companion to Botanical Magazine, II. (1836), p. 159 (reprinted in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 308). 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 235
One noteworthy incident of his journey Douglas failed to
record—an incident which was an augury of the country's future.
It is said that on the shore of Okanagan Lake Douglas found
enough gold to make a seal.32 Just where or when is not stated;
but the only occasions on which he visited the lake were on his
journey to Fort St. James and back, his route being along the
west side. Probably the discovery was made at the mouth of
some creek entering the lake.33 In later years placer-mining has
been carried on with more or less success at several places in the
region. On Naswhito (Siwash) Creek, operations antedate the
settlement of the Okanagan Valley,34 and it may have been there
that Douglas found his gold.35
Still another mineral discovery is credited to Douglas: not
gold this time, but a great deposit of carbonate of lead, galena,
and copper situate on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, in British
Columbia, and now known as the Bluebell Mine. The story has
been told often, and apparently is taken from a report made in
1887 by G. M. Dawson, Director of the Geological Survey of
Canada, which states that the ores " are said to have been discovered by the botanist Douglas in 1825."36 One writer has
amplified the story by adding that Douglas " sent a specimen or
(32) W. C. Grant: "Remarks on Vancouver Island," in Journal of the
Royal Geographic Society, London, XXXI. (1861), p. 213.
(33) See T. A. Rickard: " Indian Participation in the Gold Discoveries,"
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, II. (1938), p. 5.
(34) Canada, Geological Survey, Report, 1931, p. 73A.
(35) Douglas's name is also linked with the discovery of gold in California; for it seems that one of the tales he told upon his return to the
Columbia River was that he had found enough gold about the roots of
plants in California to make a watch seal (Roberts, Recollections, MS.,
Bancroft Library, p. 11). He does not seem to have written home about
it at the time, probably because he did not deem it of sufficient importance.
Furthermore, after news of the great discovery in California in 1848 reached
England, some one remembered that the roots of some of the pines sent
home from California by Douglas in 1831 were found to have small flakes
of gold held together in the clotted earth still attached to them. And there
was a tendency to blame the early botanists for being so engrossed with the
flora and fauna that " they had not an eye to the main chance and saw no
gold." (Quarterly Review, London, 87 (1850), p. 416.) But neither did
those whose business it was to see it: Fremont, the American explorer, and
Dana, the skilled mineralogist and geologist of the Wilkes expedition, who
even made a geological report on California.    (Ibid., pp. 417—418.)
(36) Canada, Geological Survey, Report, 1887, p. 62R. 236 A. G. Harvey. October
two of the glittering ore home with his report. In 1831 these
and other samples were assayed and their low grade established."37
How the story and its amplifications originated is a mystery,
for Douglas never was on any part of the shore of Kootenay
Lake. His carefully written journal, with its daily entries and
a detailed list of his travels during 1825-27, makes no mention
of it, and, in fact, leaves no room for it. Nor is it shown on the
map of his route in Hooker's Flora Boreali Americana. On his
return to the Columbia in 1830 he went only as far as Fort
Walla Walla and the Blue Mountains; while in 1832-33 his
travels were on the lower Columbia, and to Puget Sound, New
Caledonia, and again to Walla Walla and the Blue Mountains.
Except for his overland journey to Hudson Bay in 1827, in
the course of which he passed the mouth of the Kootenay (or
McGillivray's) River,38 his nearest approach to Kootenay Lake
was at Kettle Falls (Fort Colvile). He was there three times in
1826, spending altogether seven weeks, and on one occasion
walked 20 miles up the Columbia and back. That was the closest
he got to Kootenay Lake.
However, while at Kettle Falls he may well have heard of
the great ore deposit. No doubt it was known to the Indians.
They afterwards called it Chicamen (metal) Mountain,39 and ore
was used by them and by the Hudson's Bay men for making
bullets.40 Douglas was known to be interested in minerals as
well as plants, as he was collecting rocks from various places
along the Columbia, and he would almost certainly be told about
it. Kittson, his travelling companion, himself had been up the
Kootenay River during the previous summer.41 Possibly he was
Douglas's informant.
(37) W. A. Baillie-Grohman: Sport and Life in the Hunting Grounds of
Western America, London, 1900, p. 232. The writer has searched diligently
and written many letters of inquiry in an effort to find where Dawson and
Baillie-Grohman secured their information, but without success. Possibly
there is something hidden away in some old book or scientific journal which
search has not yet brought to light.
(38) Douglas, Journals, 1914, p. 249.
(39) R. E. Gosnell, in Vancouver Daily Province, November 21, 1908.
(40) Canada, Geological Survey, Summary Report, 1928, Part A, p.
129A;  British Columbia, Sessional Papers, Victoria, 1909, p. J 95.
(41) See Washington Historical Quarterly, 5 (1914), pp. 177-8;   186-7. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 237
Douglas carried his collection of rocks all the way home to
England, and presented them to the Geological Society of London.
The collections of this society were transferred to the British
Museum (Natural History) in 1911, but Douglas's specimens
were not amongst them. No trace of them can be found at
either place, although the museum has the list of them written
by Douglas. This list does not mention any from Kootenay
To add the climax to Douglas's troubles, the intermittent
fever seized him. However, he fought it off, and " being something of a leech, had an early recovery, and recruited perfectly
by following his wonted healthful perambulations."42
The season of 1833 was an unhappy and unfortunate one for
him: everything seemed to have gone wrong. Nor did Northwest America look promising to him for the immediate future.
The fever epidemic continued. Travel northward along the coast
was unsafe, not only on that account, but also on account of the
hostility of the natives. He therefore gave up entirely his idea
of the Alaskan-Siberian journey.
The Sandwich Islands beckoned him—those tropical islands
whose enchanting beauty and opportunities for botanical and
astronomical observations had drawn him more and more
strongly whenever he visited there. Instead of going home by
Siberia he decided to go by the Islands; so on October 18, 1833,
he left the Columbia, as it turned out, for the last time: " A land
where his discoveries had furnished him frequently with the
brightest moments of the purest joy, and where also his losses
had caused him days of the most poignant sorrow and regret."43
While Douglas was away on his New Caledonian journey, two
interesting persons arrived at Fort Vancouver from England:
Doctors Meredith Gairdner and William Fraser Tolmie, two more
of Hooker's students, who, upon his recommendation, had been
sent out by the Hudson's Bay Company to help Dr. McLoughlin,
the Company's head officer in the Northwest, in combating the
fever epidemic.    Gairdner brought Douglas a long letter from
(42) Barnston, op. cit, p. 214, from which it appears that the illness was
in 1830. However Douglas's letter to Hooker of April 9, 1833, states he
has escaped the disease so far.
(43) Barnston, op. cit, p. 329. 238 A. G. Harvey. October
Hooker, and upon Douglas's return from the north the two young
men spent much time in discussing matters of mutual interest.
Tolmie, who was one of Hooker's most zealous botanical students,
had brought with him some acacia seeds, which he planted at
Fort Vancouver. Some of the trees are still standing. Later,
Dr. Tolmie took some of their seeds to Victoria, on Vancouver
Island, and from them grew the beautiful trees now at the old
Tolmie homestead. Dr. Tolmie had been sent to Fort Nisqually
before Douglas returned from New Caledonia, but Douglas wrote
him indicating the most favourable fields for botanizing and
urging his attention to seaweeds.44
Douglas looked on Gairdner and Tolmie as his successors on
the Columbia. Writing to Hooker regarding his recent misfortunes, he says:—
It reconciles me somewhat to the loss, to reflect that you now have friends
in that country, who will probably make up the deficiency. I have given
Dr. Gairdner my notes on some more new species of Pinus. This gentleman and Mr. Tolmie will have a good deal to contend with. Science has
few friends among those who visit the coast of North-West America,
solely with a view to gain. Still with such a person as Mr. McLoughlin
on the Columbia, they may do a great deal of service to Natural History.*B
Again his prophecy proved true: both men did render a great
deal of service to natural history, in spite of their multifarious
duties and in spite of the early death of Gairdner, who survived
Douglas by only three years.
Gairdner's situation at Fort Vancouver turned out to be
quite different from what he had been led to expect. Besides
the duties of medical officer, those of Indian trader were allotted
to him, so that he had little or no leisure to devote to natural
history pursuits. He complained bitterly of the close confinement to the Company's service, saying: " Scientific researches
are quite out of the question in their service however liberal they
may be in encouraging them in persons unconnected with them."
The former part of this remark confirms the sizzling criticism
Douglas offered Samuel Black at Kamloops. The latter part
shows envy of Douglas's freedom, as also does another remark:
" The true method of examining this country is to follow the plan
(44) Letter,  Douglas  to  Tolmie,   September  25,   1833,   MS.,   British
Columbia Archives, Victoria.
(45) Companion to Botanical Magazine, II. (1836), p. 160 (reprinted in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 309). 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 239
of Douglas, whether with the view of investigating the geognos-
tic, botanical or zoological riches of the country."
Gairdner brooded over his disappointment so much that it
affected his health; he began to have haemorrhages from the
lungs—symptoms of tuberculosis. Temporary benefit was obtained from a visit to the Interior and from bleeding himself by
opening veins in his arms, but the disease continued. As a last
resort he got leave to visit the Sandwich Islands, hoping their
equable climate would arrest the disease. But it was in vain;
he died there in 1836.46
Tolmie was more fortunate, being sent to outlying posts
where he had leisure for botanical and other pursuits. His
complaint was of loneliness and monotony of trading-post life in
the pays du sauvage; but his rugged constitution and philosophical
nature enabled him to survive and to attain prominent positions
in the Hudson's Bay Company and in Vancouver Island, where he
afterwards lived for many years.47 The late Premier of British
Columbia, Dr. Simon Fraser Tolmie, was his son.
The last months of Douglas's life were spent in the Sandwich
Islands. He arrived in Honolulu in December, 1833, and spent
the next few months in exploring the island of Hawaii. He
collected a large number of ferns. The two great volcanic peaks
attracted him and he climbed both, being the first white man to
do so.    As usual, he endured terrible hardships.
In August, 1834, while crossing the island alone with his dog
he fell into a pit used for trapping wild cattle, and was gored to
death. Some say he was pushed in, and in this way murdered
for his money. Whichever it was, it was a horrible death, and
an untimely one, for he was only 34 years old.
Douglas was a votary of science. From the long, hard days
of his youth as a garden boy, his whole life was devoted to scientific pursuits. Strong, enthusiastic, self-reliant, and resourceful,
he faced dangers, overcame difficulties, endured hardships, and
(46) See A. G. Harvey: "Chief Concomly's Skull," Oregon Historical
Quarterly, Portland, XL. (1939), pp. 161-7.
(47) Bancroft: op. cit, II. pp. 615-6; Dorothy O. Johansen: "William
Fraser Tolmie, " The Beaver, Outfit 268, No. 2 (September, 1937), p. 29;
William Fraser Tolmie: Journal, MS., British Columbia Archives, Victoria
—partially published in Washington Historical Quarterly, Seattle, I. (1906),
pp. 77-81, III. (1912), pp. 229-41, XXIII. (1932), pp. 205-27. 240 A. G. Harvey. October
made sacrifices such as have been the experience of few men.
Over and over again he had driven his body beyond the safe limit
of human endurance. He became racked with rheumatism, his
eyesight was seriously impaired, and his mind confused. So he
met his end. His work was done. His devotion to science was
so great that he prematurely wore himself out in its service.
As the pioneer botanist of North-west America and California,
Douglas made their flora known to the world. The number of
plants which he introduced to England in the form of root, seed,
or cutting is remarkable. Other collectors have contributed more
to botanical knowledge or made more extensive collections, but
none has contributed more to our stock of beautiful and hardy
plants than he. A list of them published by the Royal Horticultural Society shows 254. " There is scarcely a spot deserving
the name of a garden, either in Europe or the United States, in
which some of the discoveries of Douglas do not form the chief
attraction," says an English admirer; " To no single individual
is modern horticulture more indebted than to David Douglas."48
Hardly a garden exists that does not contain the clarkia, mari-
posa lily, California poppy, or some of the lupines, phlox, pent-
stemons, mimulus, or others of his beautiful flowers.
Towering over all is the great tree, the Douglas fir, and it is
for introducing this that he is chiefly remembered. From
1827 (the year Douglas returned to England from North-west
America), when John Lindley, Assistant Secretary of the Horticultural Society, received two planks, each about 20 feet long,
to test its durability49—one wonders whether Douglas had anything to do with it—it has come to be the world's greatest structural timber. Growing over a great range of territory and
thriving under diverse conditions, it is the most important tree
in the American lumber trade.
Outstanding also as an ornament, this "King of the Conifers"
is a favourite with garden lovers and tree planters. It has been
introduced into gardens and estates wherever climatic conditions
permit its growth. Nowhere, outside its original habitat, has it
grown to greater perfection than in Douglas's native county of
(48) An unnamed writer,  quoted by  Neville   Cooper,  in  Gardener's
Chronicle, London, September 25, 1926.
(49) See R. C. Mayne:  Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver'
Island, London, 1862, p. 409. 1940 David Douglas in British Columbia. 241
Perthshire, where it is deservedly popular. The Earl of Mansfield, at Scone, his old employer, was one of the earliest planters,
and to-day in the palace grounds near Douglas's birthplace may
be seen a sturdy Douglas fir raised from the first seeds brought
home by him in 1827.
It is also distinguished for the large number of names, scientific and common, by which it is or has been called—more than
any other American tree. Oregon pine, red pine, Puget Sound
pine, Oregon spruce, red spruce, Douglas spruce, red fir, yellow
fir, Oregon fir, spruce fir, are some of the common names. Scientists have fought over the name more than lumbermen or laymen.
The name given by Lambert in his great work on pine trees, The
Genus Pinus, 2nd edition, 1832, Pinus Douglasii, came to be
Pseudotsuga Douglasii (Carriere), and that is the name in general use in Great Britain. However, according to the code of the
International Botanical Conference of 1905, and subsequent conferences, the name is Pseudotsuga taxifolia (Lambert) Britton;
and this is the scientific name officially recognized in Canada and
becoming generally adopted in the United States.50
So, wherever we go, whether to his Scottish birthplace, or
whether to the wilds of Hawaii half-way round the world where
he was killed, or whether to some forest, field, or garden somewhere in between, we may find trees and plants that David Douglas
made known to the world.    By them let him be remembered.
A. G. Harvey.
Vancouver, B.C.
(50) John Davidson: Conifers of British Columbia, London, 1927,
pp. 39-40; E. H. Finlayson: Native Trees of Canada (Forest Service Bulletin 61), Ottawa, 1933, pp. 6, 61; Journal, Royal Horticultural Society,
London, XIV. (1892), pp. v., 12-3, 245. 242
A. G. Harvey.
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appendix b.
Douglas's Itinerary.
1833. Going.
March 20   Left Fort Vancouver.
April 13-7 Fort Okanagan.
April 25 Head of Okanagan Lake.
Ap. 28-May 1 Fort Kamloops.
May 11-8  Fort Alexandria.
May 20 Quesnel River.
June 2-4   Fort Fraser.
June 7-9..    Fort St. James.
June 12 Fort George.
June 23 Fort Alexandria.
July 11  Fort Okanagan.
July 15-25 Fort Walla Walla and
Blue Mountains.
August 7    Fort Vancouver. THE DISCOVERY OF THE FRASER RIVER:
At first blush it may appear like threshing the straw to offer
anything on the discovery of the Fraser River. Every schoolboy, to use Macaulay's oft-quoted expression, knows that in 1793
Sir Alexander Mackenzie found its headwaters and traced its
course as far as Alexandria, and that Simon Fraser in 1808
explored it to the mouth of the North Arm. But the story of the
discovery of its main channel—the approach to the mouth of the
Fraser River by water—is one not so generally known. It is
the purpose of this article to set forth in detail (and, where
possible, in the words of the actors) the steps by which that end
was accomplished.
From 1792 to 1794 Captain George Vancouver was engaged in
the exploration of the mainland coast-line from the Strait of
Juan de Fuca northward to ascertain if there existed any navigable channel either to the Atlantic Ocean or reaching far inland.
In June, 1792, he passed the mouth of the Fraser River three
times: twice in his boats and once in the Discovery. It is frequently asserted that he did not see it, and he is sometimes
criticized by arm-chair explorers for this alleged failure. It
must be remembered, first of all, that in his instructions he was
told that his work was to be carried on " without too minute and
particular an examination of the detail of the different parts of
the coast laid down by it" -,1 and, secondly, that he was to seek
arms of the sea leading to the eastward; thirdly let us see what
he actually wrote. On June 13, as he, in his boats, approached
Point Grey, the position of which he fixed as being seven leagues
from Point Roberts, he said:—
The intermediate space is occupied by very low land, apparently a swampy
flat, that retires several miles, before the country rises to meet the rugged
snowy mountains, which we found still continuing in a direction nearly along
the coast. This low flat being very much inundated, and extending behind
point Roberts, to join the low land in the bay to the eastward of that point;
gives its high land, when seen at a distance, the appearance of an island:
(1) George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific
Ocean, London, 1801,1., Introduction, p. 65.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 4.
245 246 _. W. Howay. October
this, however, is not the case, notwithstanding there are two openings
between this point and point Grey. These can only be navigable for canoes,
as the shoal continues along the coast to the distance of seven or eight miles
from the shore, on which were lodged, and especially before these openings,
logs of wood, and stumps of trees innumerable. 2
Menzies, the Scottish botanist who was with the expedition
but did not accompany the boats, reports that they
met with an extensive shoal laying along shore the outer edge of which they
pursued for about 15 miles in a North West direction & found it much
indented with small Spits; its greatest extent from the Shore was about
3 leagues & the land behind was low & woody; in two places they saw the
appearance of large Rivers or Inlets but could not approach them even in'
the Boats.s
Neither Bell, in A New Vancouver Journal,4- nor Manby, in
his manuscript account of Vancouver's voyage, makes any reference to the matter.
At almost the same time the Spanish expedition of the Sutil
and Mexicana, under Galiano and Valdes, was in these waters.
These- commanders were particularly interested in the discovery
of the Fraser River, for in the preceding year a Spanish officer,
Eliza, had seen Point Roberts and Point Grey, and regarded them
as islands lying in the mouth of Floridablanca (Fraser River).
They had searched for the canal or river, whichever it might be,
trying to find its mouth by way of Boundary Bay. This effort
proving futile, they had rounded Point Roberts, having difficulty
with the Sandheads and noticing the discoloured water, as Vancouver had done, and they had sailed across the Strait of Georgia,
eventually reaching the vicinity of Nanaimo.
On June 19 they recrossed the Strait of Georgia to examine
the mysterious Floridablanca Canal. In the night they collided
with a large, drifting tree, brought down by the freshet then
running, and early the next morning they reached Point Grey
and anchored in 2V_ fathoms. The Indians from the village on
the south-west side of the point came out to meet them and traded
a canoe and some salmon. The current ran, at this time, 4^
miles an hour, and was supposed to be more rapid in the so-called
canal, inside the point.
(2) Ibid., II., pp. 188-189.
(3) Menzies' Journal of Vancouver's Voyage, edited by C. F. Newcombe,
Victoria, 1923, p. 60.
(4) In Washington Historical Quarterly, V. and VI. (1914-15). 1940 The Discovery of the Fraser River. 247
" We were now," say they, " in almost fresh water, and we saw floating
thick logs; these indications confirming our idea that the mouth that we
called Floridablanca was that of a river of great volume.''^
The vessels soon shifted their position and finding the depth
of water very changeable: 70 fathoms, then 25 fathoms, and
finally shallowing to 10 fathoms, they cast anchor near Spanish
Bank in English Bay. The Indians tried to induce them to enter
the North Arm, promising them refreshments, but for some
reason the Spaniards did not comply. That ended the Spanish
effort to solve the mystery of Floridablanca. Thus, for the
second time the Fraser River " was nigh found but was not, for
reasons which are said or sung."
While they lay at anchor, on June 22, Captain George Vancouver, returning in his boats from Jervis Inlet, saw them and
came on board. The commanders compared the maps of their
discoveries, and, says Vancouver:—
. . . They seemed much surprized that we had not found a river said
to exist in the region we had been exploring, and named by one of their
officers Rio Blancho, in compliment to the then prime minister of Spain;
which river these gentlemen had sought for thus far to no purpose.*
Sixteen years later Simon Fraser arrived at Musqueam, near
Point Grey, the terminus of his exploration of the river whose
mouth had evaded both Vancouver and the Spaniards. He had
come from the interior, and had a dream of crossing the Strait
of Georgia in the hope of reaching the " sea coast," but the
hostility of the Indians prevented him from putting the plan into
execution. After Fraser's departure no European was near the
mouth of the baffling river until 1824. In that year James
McMillan, under instructions from the Hudson's Bay Company,
led an expedition from Astoria to the Nicomekl River, ascended
that river, crossed overland to the Salmon River, dragging his
boats with him, descended the Salmon, and reached the Fraser,
which he called the " Coweechin " River, near the present Fort
Langley. After two days spent in examining the river with an
eye to the location of a trading-post, McMillan and his party, on
December 19,1824, began their return journey.    They descended
(5) Viage hecho por las Goletas Sutil y Mexicana, Madrid, 1801, p. 65.
Quoted from a translation kindly made for me by V. D. Webb, Esq. See
also A Spanish Voyage to the North-West Coast of America, London, 1930,
p. 54.
(6) Vancouver, Voyage of Discovery, II., p. 212. 248 F. W. Howay. October
the Fraser, but when they reached the site of New Westminster
instead of taking the North Arm, as Fraser had done, they chose
the South Arm and passed out of the river by the main channel.
John Work, whose journal of the expedition is in the Provincial
Archives, says:—
There were two other channels on the south side and a large one supposed
to be on the N. side. The channel through which we came was sounded in
several places towards its discharge and found to be from 7 to 3% fathoms
about high water.7
From the main channel McMillan and his men rowed along the
edge of the Sandheads, called by Vancouver " Sturgeon bank,"
12 miles to Point Roberts, and we follow no farther the first
European that passed out of the Fraser. In his report on the
expedition, McMillan calls the river " Frazer's " stating that,
though called by the natives " Cowitchens," it was without doubt
that explored by Messrs. " Frazer and Stewart," as one of his
party who had been with those explorers identified and described
several parts of it. McMillan describes it as " a fine large River
emptying itself by various channels, but in none of which do
I conceive there is a draft of Water for a Vessel exceeding 150
to 200 tons burthen."8
As McMillan's expedition was connected with the plan of the
Hudson's Bay Company to establish a trading-post on Fraser
River that should, if possible, become its headquarters on the
coast, so the next visit appears to be linked with the same scheme.
In August, 1825, the Company's barque William & Ann, Captain
Hanwell, was at Point Roberts on a trading voyage, but it would
seem with instructions to ascertain whether there was a navigable channel into Fraser River. Dr. John Scouler, the botanist,
was on board, and in his journal under date of August 23, as the
vessel sailed along the edge of the Sandheads, he wrote:—
The fresh taste of the water, although we were three miles from the shore,
seamed [sic] to indicate the vicinity of large rivers. As this was the grand
object of our enquiries, the long boat was dispatched & on its return in the
evening confirmed our suspicions.    The river is shut up from the access
(7) " Journal of John Work, November and December, 1824," edited by
T. C. Elliott; in Washington Historical Quarterly, III. (1912), pp. 198ff,
at p. 223.
(8) Frederick Merk, Fur Trade and Empire, Cambridge, Mass., 1931,
p. 249. 1940 The Discovery of the Fraser River. 249
of vessels for a great way by sand banks & has not more than 6 feet water
at its mouth.9
Though Captain Hanwell had not entered the river he appears to
have proclaimed himself as having discovered it, for in Stephen
Reynolds's manuscript journal under the date of April 29, 1827,
he states:—
Captain Swan of the Hudson's Bay Company's ship William & Eliza [sic]10
pointed the position of the new river discovered a year or two since by
Capt. Hanwell of the brig William & Eliza [sic] just to the north of Point
Roberts in about latitude 49° 07'.    Vancouver overlooked it.11
So far the story of the approach to the Fraser by water has
covered thirty-three years, yet no vessel has entered the river.
McMillan's boats had, it is true, passed out in December, 1824,
and the long-boat of the William & Ann had perfunctorily examined and sounded the supposed channel in August, 1825. Now
comes the pioneer vessel, the schooner Cadboro. The Hudson's
Bay Company had determined to build a trading-post: Fort
Langley, on the Fraser River. In pursuance of that purpose,
McMillan with a party of twenty-five men left Fort Vancouver on
June 27, 1827, and met the schooner Cadboro at Whidby Island.
They embarked on July 12, and three days later were at the
mouth of the river. For nine days the effort to find the channel
continued; the schooner was constantly dragging her anchors
or going aground on one sand-bar or another. The trials and
difficulties of the Cadboro in pioneering the route through the
Sandheads of the Fraser are set out baldly in the Fort Langley
Journal.    A copy of its entries follows:—
Sunday 15th July, 1827 .... We got under weigh for Fraser's River,
but the wind being from the North west, and the tide against us, we
made little or no progress, and came to an anchor not far from that of
last night.
Monday 16th. Wind still unfavorable—with the morning flood Tide, hove
anchor and stood out into the Gulf. At change of tide cast anchor on
the edge of Sturgeon Shoal.    In the afternoon the same was repeated
(9) " Journal of a Voyage to N.W. America, by John Scouler," in
Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 203.
(10) Reynolds has made a mistake in the name and rig of the vessel.
He has written " William & Eliza " for " William & Ann " in both instances.
She was a barque. The William & Ann was wrecked at the mouth of the
Columbia River in February, 1828.
(11) From the manuscript copy of Reynolds's Journal in the possession
of George Carter, Esq., of Honolulu, Hawaii. Reynolds served for some
years as harbour master and pilot of Honolulu Harbour. 250 F. W. Howay. October
but we made little or nothing out of it. Shashia came on board again,
and remained all night. Scenawa who has contrived to follow us thus
far was also on board but went away in the evening.
Tuesday 17th. Another attempt was made this morning to beat up to the
entrance of the Channel into Fraser's River but without proceeding any
distance, for the wind fell and about 7 A.M. anchor was again cast on
the edge of the south Sturgeon Shoal. Captain Simpson and Mr.
Annance were off twice in a Boat during the day to sound for the
channel;  but returned after 9 at night without having discovered one.
Wednesday 18th. Mr. Sinclair the first Mate was sent off to Sound; and
upon his return reported that there was a good channel into the River,
and that two Fathoms were the least Soundings he had in the fair way.
Thursday 19th. This morning stood across the mouth of the Channel, and
anchored on the edge of the North Shoal. About 11 at night the vessel
was discovered to be drifting, her anchor having lost hold of the steep
Bank on which it had been cast. The Cable was let loose with the idea
that the water was not deep, and that the anchor would still catch.
This however did not happen—the cable was dragged out to its full
length 80 or 90 Fathoms, and with difficulty checked at the end. All
Hands called, Ship's Company, & Canadians, to heave upon the Windlass.
Friday 20th. By two in the morning the Cable was got in, and all sail
set to beat up again for the entrance of the Channel. At Break of
day we found that we had drifted considerably to the North West.
A Fresh Breeze during the day from the South East. In the afternoon
the wind shifted to the Southward and we succeeded before night in
again anchoring near the Entrance of the Channel.
Saturday 21st. Weighed Anchor early—made across to the Southward till
we had on the Bearings for entering the River, and then stood in. At
7 A.M. we got aground upon the Shoal which forms the south side of
the Channel—no damage done. Were again afloat at 2 P.M. Half Tide.
It now blew a light air from the South East, and we anchored a mile
within the river, at 3 O'clock, close to the Black Bluff of Woods on the
north side.
Sunday 22nd. Went down at 12 O'clock to the north Point of Entry, which
Captain Simpson has named Point Garry, and by a Meridian Observation made the Latitude 49.5.30. This is hardly however to be depended
on as the observation was but an indifferent one on account of the
shoals that extended themselves to a great distance along the Horizon.
Mr. Sinclair was sent up the River in Boat to Sound, and returned in
the evening saying that he had found deep water as far as he had gone
which was a considerable way up. During his absence, the Cadboro
was put under weigh, but as it was still uncertain on which side the
Channel ran, and the wrong one being unluckily taken, we got into
shoal water and were obliged to return to our anchorage to await the
arrival of the Sounding Party. 1940 The Discovery of the Fraser River. 251
Monday 23rd. All hands employed towing across to the other side. At
3 P.M. a breeze springing up from the South West, Sail was set, and
we passed the Cowitchen Villages Saumm Pinellahutz & Quonutziu
about 6 O'clock, and anchored about a mile above, 200 Yds. from the
north Bank. Scanawa was on board all day but went on shore at night.
The Population of the Cowitchen villages may be at a rough guess
1500 Souls.12
In conclusion, a few words may be added in regard to the
Cadboro. This vessel, sometimes called a schooner, at others,
a brigantine, was a small craft of about 72 tons burthen, built
at Rye, England, in 1824. She was only 56 feet in length; her
greatest width was 17 feet; she had two masts, mounted six
guns, and carried a crew of thirty-five men. She was, says
Bancroft, the pride of the Pacific. She arrived at Fort Vancouver in the spring of 1827. Almost as historic as the pioneer
steamship Beaver, she was the first vessel to enter Victoria
Harbour, Cadboro Bay, and Fraser River. She had a long life;
her end came in October, 1862, when, lumber-laden, she was
driven ashore near Port Angeles, Washington, and became a total
wreck; but she had lived to see the route she had pioneered
through the Sandheads of the Fraser become well-marked and,
if the expression be allowable, way-worn.
F. W. Howay.
New Westminster, B.C.
(12)  Quoted from the original journal in the Provincial Archives. THE PEDIGREE AND PROSPECTS OF
The writer of local history is to-day deservedly receiving
more and more recognition. Thanks to the part that his more
dramatic findings can play in arousing the historical imagination of children at school, and to the attention that is paid to
his subject in research-work directed from universities, a growing number of people now take an interest in the background of
the communities in which they live. The subject has always a
certain romantic colour; it appeals to local patriotism, and it
has also, to students of history and sociology, a more serious
This serious interest in the evolution of community life is
essentially modern. The writing of history was for many centuries guided by quite different ideas. One can therefore best
appreciate and understand the position and importance of the
study of local history by looking backward over the long procession of writers and thinkers who throughout the ages have
sought to interpret past experience.
Men's outlook upon history has always been conditioned by
the attitudes and interests of their own time; this has been so
from the very beginning. When a consciousness of the past
first began to dawn within our Western civilization warlike and
predatory peoples were playing a dominant role. Tales of adventure—recited either in prose, or in verse, which was more easily
memorized—were everywhere popular. In the circumstances
any one who wished to arouse interest in the past naturally
tended to fasten upon the adventures and deeds of great heroes
and leaders. Memories of the past were inevitably shaped into
stories, and were handed down in the form given them by the
more dramatic story-tellers.
When professional story-tellers and poets appeared, another
influence was brought to bear upon the shaping of historical
traditions. For the audiences best able to reward these men
were to be found at the courts of kings and chieftains, and here
the subjects most in favour were the valour of the leader and
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 4.
253 254 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
his nobles and their ancestors. Since in all warlike and aristocratic societies people have held blood and ancestry in more or
less superstitious reverence, the minstrel who could spread
abroad the fame of a leader's ancestors might very greatly
enhance his prestige. Thus early written history inevitably came
to focus upon the fortunes of the great, the holders of power.
Historical narrative was not at first clearly distinguished
from mere story. It was only very gradually and painfully that
the idea of founding history upon what had actually occurred
assumed the force of an ideal; and had the relating of history
been left entirely to the poets and minstrels of the courts, this
ideal might never have arisen at all. But fortunately, early in
the development of the great kingdoms and empires of the
ancient world, the poetic monopoly was broken by prosaic competitors, for it became the duty of certain officials to compile
a record of major public events as they took place, year by year.
Such annals made dull reading, but their value grew with their
length. They preserved and symbolized, for governments and
dynasties, the accumulating dignity of age and lineage; besides,
they were of practical use. To be able to refer back to exact
records was a convenience, and sooner or later a necessity, in the
work of government. Hence a care for truthful records of many
kinds arose.
Mythology and religion also exercised an immense influence
in moulding the traditions of the historian's craft. Indeed, it
was through mythology that the historical imagination was
originally stimulated. The idea of supernatural intervention in
human affairs was carried over from mythology and remained
for many ages the chief means of explaining critical turns in
the course of events. Priesthoods in many cults had much the
same attitude towards the past as noble families and royal dynasties, feeling that records enhanced their dignity. They made
efforts, with varying degrees of success, to develop the science
of chronology. Moreover, the priests, unlike the kings, could
embrace a vision not only of the past but of the future. The
Hebrew and the Christian religions gave to the whole sweep
of history one single meaningful pattern. As early Christian
writers viewed it, the history of the world was that of a sequence
of empires rising and falling in turn; of these the Roman Empire 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 255
was to be the last, and in some form it would endure until the
world's end, when men would be gathered in for judgment upon
the fate of their immortal souls. In this vast prospect all issues
but moral issues were dwarfed into insignificance. Such a
philosophy of history obviously gave little direct encouragement
to concentration upon accuracy of detail for its own sake. Nor
did it have any tendency to turn attention to the study of local
In the Greek and Roman worlds a number of intellectual and
emotional interests opened on to the past. Among the wealthy
nobility, family pride fostered the art of constructing flattering genealogies, that sometimes ran back to divine ancestors.
Religious cults kept a medley of myths in circulation. Nevertheless, an educated and sophisticated reading public gradually
emerged, among the ruling classes, that was deeply interested
in the political history of its own time. Both in Greece and in
Rome the art of tracing the fortunes of empire in vivid political
narrative was carried to a high point of excellence. History
came in fact to be viewed as a way of studying politics. As such
its scope was limited by the scope of popular political theory.
And since political theory as yet took little account of economic
and social problems, there was no need to delve into the details
of local history, as is the fashion to-day. The histories of Rome
deal less with the city itself than with the successes of its armies
and the expansion of its power. The pages of most of the
classical historians echo, often monotonously, with the clash of
arms and the ringing periods of great political orations.
Like all other intellectual pursuits in Western Europe, the
art of writing history sank to a low ebb during the early Middle
Ages. With the decline of Roman civilization the sophisticated
reading public disappeared. A limited circle of ill-educated
readers remained, confined for the most part within the ranks
of the clergy and the monks. These kept alive among themselves
some knowledge of ancient historical writing and of Church
history with its Biblical background. But new historical composition was inevitably conditioned by the tastes of the public at
large, consisting now mainly of a boorish military and landowning aristocracy and an utterly ignorant and superstitious
mass of peasants.    In such an environment historical traditions 256 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
could live and develop only in story and epic form. Ancient
times were viewed through the curious perspective of the poetry
of Virgil, and memories of more recent times tended to recede
into a kaleidoscopic confusion of romantic adventure, abounding
in supernatural occurrences and supernatural creatures, both
pagan and Christian. A few men of superior intellect — a
Gregory of Tours, a Bede—wrote faithful accounts of the careers
of kings and bishops, but their work was not nearly so popular
as the dramatic short stories, encrusted with legend, that told
of the lives of saints, or the long poetic romances about the
exploits of Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, King Arthur, and
their warriors. On so colourful a stage there was no room for
the drab figures of the humble and obscure, with which truthful
local history would largely have had to deal.
In time the Church succeeded in gradually raising the level
of education among the clergy, and from the tenth century
onward, with reviving prosperity and longer periods of peace,
more and more members of the richer laity found leisure to
read or to listen to reading. Romances, religious treatises, and
legends of the saints were still their chief fare, but there was
some demand for genuine history. Interest centred naturally
in matters which the nobility best understood, and in which they
or their ancestors had played a part; that is, in political conflicts and in the fortunes of aggressive leaders. Writers among
the clergy supplied what was wanted, producing lively narratives
of the Crusades, biographies of kings, and national chronicles.
The chronicles grew out of the files of notes on important
events which many monasteries made it their business to keep.
It became customary for the abbot to assign a capable monk
the task of working the notes into a connected narrative. The
monastic writers were often well-read in scriptural and classical
history, and well-informed on contemporary politics. In any
case their interests tended to stretch far beyond their monastery
walls, for the property which monasteries accumulated through
the gifts of the pious was often widely scattered. Furthermore,
the chances of retaining the whole of the property securely
depended upon the state of law and order, and this depended
increasingly upon the power of the king, his character, and
ability.   At the same time there were religious and moral reasons 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 257
why churchmen should follow the fortunes of monarchy with
eagerness, for it was regarded as an institution divinely sanctioned, and each king at his consecration was sworn to the maintenance of justice. For the one reason or the other most of the
monk-historians followed the plan of concentrating upon the
development of royal power.   Thus they created national history.
Some of the monks who were assigned to historical writing
attempted little more than the compilation of a history of their
own house. The result was a kind of local history, but a kind
that suffered from the defects of a narrow and partisan spirit.
The purpose of this type of chronicle was simply to magnify
the importance of a monastery and the power of its abbots.
The writers took no interest in their neighbours outside the
precincts of the cloister, and rarely mentioned them except when
they proved to be unsatisfactory or rebellious tenants. In the
Peterborough chronicle, for example, one learns of the development of industry in the district only through an account of the
abbot's action in seizing the stones of mills that had been set
up by tenants in defiance of his monopoly rights as feudal lord.
The monk always took the point of view of a lord intent on his
feudal rights. In short, he was incapable of viewing local developments objectively.
The cult of local history grew up among the bourgeoisie of
the mediaeval towns. The people of the mediaeval towns, crowding together for security, century after century, behind their
encircling walls and moats, generated among themselves an
extraordinarily intense spirit of community. It grew and found
expression in long and tenacious struggles to win rights of self-
government from feudal overlords, in the adoption of laws and
customs different from those of the countryside, in the triumphant enforcement of the custom that all residents of the town
acquired the status of free men. Pride in local traditions was
in the very atmosphere. Every street and market-place, every
church tower, had its dramatic associations with the past. For
a time these traditions would be handed down orally. But those
townsmen who were engaged in trade were obliged for business
reasons to learn to read. Hence there was sooner or later—
sooner in the South of Europe, later in the North, which was 258 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
economically more backward—a bourgeois public eager to read
histories in which the bourgeoisie would figure.
The earlier town chronicles can scarcely be regarded as
models of good historical writing. They are crude in form and
unpolished in style. Their authors, who were usually of the
merchant class, the ruling class in the towns, looked down upon
the humbler inhabitants. They often concentrated rather narrowly upon the fortunes of the town government, and they were
not free from bias in discussing quarrels among the magistrates.
Their interest in national development, like that of the monk-
historians, was restricted to the surface of political events.
Although they were obviously more sceptical of stories of miracles than were the monks, they were not above relating entertaining fables about the founding of their city by the descendants
of gods or mythical heroes. Yet, despite all these limitations,
the vigorous and neighbourly sense of community which was a
part of their character as townsmen enabled them to portray
a wider sector of local life than any other historians had yet
had the power to describe.
For example, here and there they would fill in a few lines
with journalistic jottings of matters of human interest that had
evidently been the talk of the town. They note the bolder local
crimes, crimes committed by women, sensational damage done by
storms in the neighbourhood, the nature of local epidemics, as
how one summer many people were ill of a flux that came from
eating too much fruit. They introduced anecdotes of eccentric
characters, such as the story of a musician in London who superintended his own funeral, coming to the service and making
offerings at masses sung for his soul, because, as he said, he
could not trust executors to do this for him liberally enough.
With all their faults, the town chroniclers had their feet planted
squarely on the common earth on which the common people lived.
From another point of view their work became of the highest
importance. The interest in town history that had been aroused
in Italy by the time of the Renaissance helped to make possible
a marked improvement in historical writing. One of the results
of the vogue that classical studies enjoyed at that period was
a renewed enthusiasm for the writing of history. Scholars were
anxious to prove that they could write in as elegant a style, and 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 259
with as much political shrewdness, as had historians in ancient
Greece and Rome. They chose to write of their own cities,
partly because they could often obtain commissions to do so,
and could therefore be assured of readers and pecuniary reward,
and also because the wars and revolutions in which the Italian
cities so constantly indulged made them a fascinating field in
which to study political rivalries and factions. The Italian
scholars sought, in the spirit of the ancient Greek and Roman
historians, to produce books that would be useful to rulers by
pointing out mistakes made by their predecessors. As Machia-
velli expressed it in his own book on Florence, rulers might be
" thus taught wisdom at the cost of others." Whether or not
the new histories achieved this end, the emphasis that they laid
upon the political development of the Italian city-states had the
effect of giving educated people a better historical perspective.
The way was opened for scholars to modify the early Christian
view of world history, which had been based upon exaggeration
of the role played by the ancient empires and by the Hebrews,
and upon a faulty chronology; and the old pessimistic assumption that all hope of progress on earth had died with the decline
of Rome began to yield before a new spirit of optimism. Wherever the culture of the Italian Renaissance radiated, these new
views of history spread.
Outside Italy, historians in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were naturally more preoccupied with the writing of
national history. Intelligent kings, realizing that knowledge of
and pride in a people's common traditions could be of invaluable
help to them in the work of national unification, wisely encouraged the scholars. The cult of local history also received a fresh
impetus from the growing sentiment of national patriotism, for
it was soon realized that only through the winnowing of local
traditions and records could sound and reliable national history
be written. John Leland, who was appointed official historiographer by Henry VIIL, toiled up and down England amassing
notes on local institutions of all kinds—monasteries, churches,
families, towns. So ambitious was his programme and so
severely did he drive himself that he ruined his health and
collapsed into insanity before his researches were nearly completed.    But a succession of scholars arose to carry on the labour 260 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
of research in the same spirit of excitement, inspired partly by
local patriotism, by love for their own city or county, and partly
by national feeling. John Stow, who, to quote his own word,
" consecrated " forty-five years of his life and much of a modest
bourgeois fortune to research, is best known for his Survey of
Elizabethan London and its monuments, which he felt himself
" bound in love " to undertake, but he worked also to popularize
the reading of national chronicles. It is evident that history,
both local and national alike, was a means of enriching and
widening the sense of citizenship.
No one nowadays could sit down and read very far at one
time in the books of John Stow and his successors for pleasure.
Their works are still indispensable to the specialist, but they
were compiled for the most part with complete disregard of
literary style or artistic form; they were in essence merely
encyclopaedias of local antiquities. Modern scholarship, having
at its command a much greater volume of sources, can pick out
inaccuracies, but the authors were unquestionably guided by
scrupulous zeal for accuracy of detail. In setting themselves
this ideal, as also in their indifference to artistic canons, the
early English antiquaries breathe the Puritanism of their age.
The heavy yoke of discipline under which they bent their shoulders, however, was lightened daily by the sheer delight that they
experienced in the turning-up of ancient yellowed records and
in the exploration of the long-forgotten details of past events.
John Stow liked to think of himself as one of the great explorers:
" I have attempted the discovery of London, my native soyle and
Countrey," he wrote.
In course of time this first enthusiasm waned. It received
little encouragement from the universities and less and less, as
the years wore on into the eighteenth century, from the reading
public. It was not that the reading public of the eighteenth
century was uninterested in the trend of history. Gibbon's
philosophical and controversial manner of treating the story of
the Roman Empire and the Church won him sensational success,
and partisan political histories of England found a ready market.
The antiquaries were neglected because they lagged behind contemporary thought; they were not discovering or discussing
anything that appeared to bear upon vital interests of the day. 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 261
They became absorbed in detail for its own sake, never pausing
to consider whether one fact was not more significant than
another in illustrating the direction of social change. Moreover,
they busied themselves chiefly with the Middle Ages, a period
which the fashionable wits and intellectuals of the day, following
the lead of Voltaire, chose to view as an era of ridiculous and
debased superstition, best buried in oblivion. Yet under the
banner of the Society of Antiquaries, founded in 1717 with barely
two dozen members, a small group of enthusiasts ploughed obstinately on in the observation and study of miscellaneous mediaeval
antiquities. Monumental county histories, representing monumental labours and of immense value to later historians, continued to appear at intervals until late in the nineteenth century.
For a long period, however, there was little progress in the art
of writing local history.
The cultivation of local history did not come into its own
again until the rapid social and economic changes of the nineteenth century aroused an interest in the social and economic
aspects of the past. In many places amateur historians had
come to realize the great importance of economic changes in their
own localities long before the professional historians had grasped
their importance in the national life. Societies, such as the
Camden Society and county archaeological societies, were formed
for the publication of documents and descriptive notes bearing
on local questions, and were increasingly active from the third
decade of the century. Their work gradually made available
a great variety of records that dealt in one way or another with
economic life, or with gossipy details of private social life in
past generations. Thus when some of the professional historians finally decided to turn aside from political and constitutional history to consider economic matters, they found quantities
of raw material conveniently at hand in print, and it was clear
that there were masses more in manuscript. It is probable that
without the work of pioneer local historians the appearance of
any satisfactory interpretations of national economic development would have been very considerably delayed.
It is not merely in connection with specialized economic
studies that historians have found it necessary to take account
of local changes.    The old idea that the political and constitu- 262 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
tional history of a nation could be written satisfactorily on the
basis of the records of its wars and its laws, its parliaments,
revolutions and reforms, died hard, but is now safely in its coffin.
New laws are a clue to the wishes of those who framed them,
but one cannot necessarily assume that they were enforced.
Much of the legislation of mediaeval and early modern times fell
as far short of its aim as the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution of the United States. Local opposition decided its fate.
Nor, even when enforced, did it necessarily produce the effects
that its architects intended. Local conditions again were decisive.
Even the significance of important constitutional changes has
often been dependent upon the state of repair of the machinery
of local government.
Even the more popular type of historical writing, the kind
that bases itself on biography, cannot afford to ignore the work
of the local historian. The notion that the gist of a nation's
story is contained in the life and character of its great statesmen
and generals is true only in a superficial way. It is true that
the lives of such men as Cromwell, Danton, Robespierre, and all
the great colourful leaders of movements, not only changed the
course of many other men's lives but also expressed in some
degree the spirit of their time, since they would not have become
leaders had they not been capable of dramatizing the aspirations
and hopes of many of their contemporaries. Yet, since great
numbers of their fellows hated, loathed, and despised them, one
may still ask why such men were thrown upon the central stage
of power. And to answer that question one must turn to the
little country towns and villages, to scenes where there were
probably no great figures at all, but where the impact of unwise
government policies, of official corruption, of sacrifice in war,
or of gradually changing conditions—the rise of new occupations,
new families and classes, and the decadence of old, were creating
social tension and cutting channels for new ideas. Every aspect
of general history is inevitably bound up with the slow currents
of change at work in the local community.
Most modern corrections of the errors in fact or interpretation that are to be found in the work of the older historians are
based upon increased knowledge and understanding of the diversity of local conditions.    Scholarly modern accounts of the rise 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 263
of the great national states of Western Europe rest upon hundreds of patient investigations into the duties and efficiency of
local officials, the organization of local industries, the trade of
ports, the fortunes of the peasant under the different agrarian
systems of different regions, the spread of education and ideas
among different sections of the people. Every type of record
that survives from the past is pressed into service—not only the
vast files of government and municipal records in public archives,
but the intimate letters and diaries of private people; family
housekeeping accounts; the business letters and accounts of merchants, bankers, industrialists, and stewards of landed estates;
wills, inscriptions on tombs; the inventories of old libraries long
scattered; ecclesiastical records; school and hospital records;
not to mention early newspapers and handbills and literary
material of every kind. It is beyond the powers of a single
scholar to master all the materials that are needed to illustrate
truthfully the varied aspects of life in any historical period.
The writing of history is therefore now essentially a co-operative
enterprise. It progresses only by virtue of a working partnership between the general historian and the specialist in local
Looking back over the evolution of his craft, the local historian may well feel proud of the long cultural traditions that
he inherits and represents. Mediaeval townsmen, politicians and
patriots of the Renaissance, seventeenth and eighteenth century
seekers after truth, and nineteenth century social philosophers,
have each in turn practised it with similar and perpetual delight,
but guided by ever-widening horizons of thought and aspiration.
On this continent the local historian has had the advantage
of enjoying the whole of this heritage with almost none of the
trouble that was involved in creating it. He has been spared the
heavy labour of research in damaged mediaeval records written
in bad, semi-legible abbreviated Latin, and has been spared the
reproaches of those who have no patience save for modern history. He has been able to avoid the antiquary's temptation to
concentrate upon the genealogy of long-dead aristocrats or the
architecture of ruined buildings. It has been much easier for
him to gain the respectful co-operation of the general historian
because the striking diversity of different regions on this conti- 264 Sylvia L. Thrupp. October
nent has made it essential for the latter to seek the assistance
of his special knowledge. Again, economic factors have played
so obvious a part in shaping national life that the value of the
economic and social data which form so large a proportion of the
local historian's stock-in-trade is readily recognized. Although
a very great amount of work remains to be done, it should not,
in these circumstances, take very much longer to round out the
history of national development. But when this task is approximately finished, when all the documents in all the archives have
been made to yield up all the economic, political, constitutional
or biographical facts that bear upon the national development,
when all the important sources now mouldering in the cupboards
and basements of lawyers' offices and business firms have been
tapped, what will the local historian do? What will become of
him?    Will he be regarded as a useless relic of the past?
It is sincerely to be hoped that he himself will never take
this view, for there will always be vital and absorbing work for
local historians. New horizons and new goals will always be
appearing. The idea of writing national history will in all probability be succeeded by the idea of writing international history.
This will entail far more than the analysis of diplomatic negotiations and the conduct of foreign policies. It will have to include
a study of all those movements that transcend national boundaries, not matters of world trade alone, but also cultural changes,
currents of opinion, the rise of new attitudes and ideologies, new
objects of ambition, changes in the social structure.
Rapid changes of this order in many quarters of the world
have been reshaping the lives of our own generation. We live in
a day of mass movements, of unprecedented possibilities for good
or evil through the mobilization of public opinion. The study of
shifting attitudes, opinions, and values is already of far more than
abstract academic interest: it is essential for any one who professes to have a realistic approach to the political problems of
the day. As time passes it will become more and more necessary
for those who are in charge of the planning and administration
of government policies to understand the forces that are at work
in the formation of public opinion. To whom will they turn for
guidance? The journalists, no doubt, will be at hand with
advice.    We have already floods of journalistic comment on such 1940        Pedigree and Prospects of Local History. 265
questions. But journalistic generalizations about the ideas and
interests of the average man in this or that corner of the world
are of necessity often based on haphazard guesswork, and often
biased by prejudice and the desire to be impressive. What is
needed is expert intimate knowledge of local conditions. The
sociologists, again, will offer help in the form of detailed surveys
of social conditions in typical communities. These are useful
and important. Yet what is needed is not only a knowledge of
the material conditions under which people live, but a grasp of
the varied elements in the traditions of their community which
will help to determine their attitude to new ideas and policies.
For this reason a full understanding of local conditions can only
be gained through an historical approach.
It is not likely, therefore, that the local historian will wish
to fold his hands when present tasks are completed. He will
find instead more and more occasion to cultivate the skill and
insight of the gifted sociologist. It may be that enlightened
governments of the future will find work for him. He may
become able to develop the art of forecasting, as it were, the
social and political weather. In any case, his unique understanding of tradition, of its lasting influence and its ways of
change, cannot fail to find useful application.
Sylvia L. Thrupp.
University of British Columbia,
The emergence of an annexationist movement in British
Columbia was not a political phenomenon peculiar to our Province. Movements, very similar in character, existed elsewhere
in British North America. In Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,
for example, dissatisfaction with the newly-organized Canadian
Confederation for a time assumed the form of a distinct agitation
for annexation to the United States. Even in the Red River
Settlement the same spirit existed among some of the leaders in
the insurrection. It was, therefore, only natural—indeed, almost
inevitable—that in British Columbia such a sentiment should
arise during the crucial years which witnessed the transformation of a federation of eastern British American colonies into a
transcontinental dominion.
British Columbia's American heritage dates from the influx
of miners drawn from California by the lure of Fraser River gold
in 1858. Long after the main body of the rush had withdrawn
there still remained a large proportion of Americans in the permanent population of the colonies. This was particularly true
of Victoria, the commercial metropolis. Geographical isolation
from the mother country, as well as from Canada, successfully
hindered the augmentation of the British element in the population by any considerable immigration. In consequence, it was
almost inevitable that within the colony there should be evinced
a sympathetic response to the increasingly insistent propaganda
of the " manifest destiny " school of American expansionists.
Moreover, there was much to dishearten even the most patriotic of the British residents of the colonies. Political discontent
and economic depression were widespread. The union of the
colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in 1866,
designed as an economy measure, had been bought at a high price
—the loss of the representative assembly, and of the free port
system on Vancouver Island. And, unfortunately, it had failed
to act as a panacea for the ills of the country. In addition, the
anti-imperialist statements of the " Little Englanders " then current gave rise to the uncomfortable idea that possibly the mother
country was not desirous of retaining her colonial possessions.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 4.
267 268 Willard E. Ireland. October
In direct contrast to this, the United States had given tangible
proof of its interest in expansion in the North Pacific by the
purchase of Alaska from Russia, in 1867.
Such, then, was the background for the annexationist movement. Its history has often been told,1 but now for the first time
it is possible to analyse more fully its significance. The erroneous
rumour of a negotiation pending between Great Britain and the
United States, which contemplated the cession of British Columbia, or at least a portion of it, in settlement of the Alabama
Claims,2 followed closely the receipt of the news of the acquisition
of Alaska by the United States3 and brought the latent annexation sentiment to a head. In July, 1867, a petition to the Queen
circulated in Victoria, which sought:—
Either, That Your Majesty's Government may be pleased to relieve us
immediately of the expense of our excessive staff of officials, assist
the establishment of a British steam-line with Panama, so that
immigration from England may reach us, and also assume the debts
of the Colony.
Or, That Your Majesty will graciously permit the Colony to become a portion
of the United States.4
In all probability the petition was never transmitted to the
Queen, certainly not through the regular channels. Its existence, however, was not unknown to the Colonial Office, for in a
private letter to the Duke of Buckingham, Governor Seymour had
There is a systematic agitation going on in this town in favor of annexation
to the United States. It is believed that money for its maintenance is provided from San Francisco. As yet, however, nothing has reached me
officially on the subject, and should any petition on the subject, I will know
how to answer it before I transmit the petition to your Grace. On the Mainland the question of annexation is not mooted    .    .    .6
(1) Sage, W. N., " The Annexationist Movement in British Columbia,"
Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 3rd ser., XXL, sec. ii. (1927),
pp. 97-110; Sage, W. N., " The Critical Period of British Columbia History,
1866-1871," Pacific Historical Review, I. (1932), pp. 424-443; Keenleyside,
Hugh L., " British Columbia—Annexation or Confederation," Canadian Historical Association Report, 1928, pp. 34-40.
(2) British Colonist, April 25, 1867.
(3) Ibid., April 3, 1867.
(4) Annexation Petition, July, 1867, enclosed in Allan Francis to F. H.
Seward, July 2, 1867, Consular Letters from Victoria, Vancouver Island,
Department of State, Archives, Washington, D.C., vol. 1.
(5) Seymour to Buckingham, June 26, 1867, private, CO. 60/28. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 269
The reaction of the Colonial Office to the situation is to be
gathered from a minute by Frederic Rogers, permanent Under-
Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated September 16, 1867.
As to the future it is no doubt true that high taxation, distress and want of
assistance from home, will probably cause the American population of these
colonies to keep for annexation, a purpose wh wd soon become irresistible
except at a cost far greater than the worth of the fee simple of the Colony.
On the other hand if the Colonists ever find that the annexation threat is
satisfactory in extracting money from us, they will plunder us indefinitely
by it. . . . I suppose the question to be (in the long run) is B.C. to form
part of the U.S. or of Canada; and if we desire to promote the latter alternative what form of expenditure or non-expenditure is likely to facilitate or
pave the way for it.6
Within the Colonial Office the decision favoured amalgamation of
British Columbia with Canada, and from that time every effort
was made to facilitate that end.
Annexation sentiment, however, died hard in the colony. The
apathy of Governor Seymour to the cause of Confederation did
little to destroy it. Moreover economic conditions were still far
from satisfactory. Consequently there was an occasional resurgence of the movement; a typical example of which is to be found
in a letter to the editor of the British Columbian, dated April 20,
1869, and signed " Anglo Saxon."
With a depleted treasury, revenue falling off, and the Colony suffering from
a depression beyond all precedent, with no prospect, either present or remote,
of immigration, what are we to do? . . . Were the inhabitants of British
Columbia a thriving community, the question of annexation would not be
popular; for the people are loyal and patriotic. The force of circumstances
alone compels them to advocate a change of nationality. ... I am a
loyal Briton, and would prefer living under the institutions of my own
country, were it practicable. But I, like the rest of the world of which we
are each an atom, would prefer the flag and institutions of the United States
with prosperity, to remaining as we are, with no prospect of succeeding as a
British colony.''
Economic dissatisfaction was the basis of the movement. To
many the alternative of confederation with Canada offered little
hope of a satisfactory solution of the problems facing the colony.
Just as twenty years earlier, in Montreal, discontent, bred of
economic and political disillusionment, had resulted in the signing
(6) Minute, signed F. R., September 16, on Seymour to Buckingham,
July 15, 1867, CO. 60/28.
(7) British Columbian, April 30, 1869. 270 Willard E. Ireland. October
of the famous Annexation Manifesto,8 so, in British Columbia,
similar conditions produced similar results.
In the fall of 1869 there circulated in Victoria another petition, this time to the President of the United States, seeking his
assistance in facilitating the annexation of British Columbia.
In the issue of November 13, 1869, the British Colonist reported
that the document had been entrusted to General Ihrie, a passenger on board the U.S.S. Newbern, for delivery to President
Grant, and asserted that it had " less than forty signatures,
principally those of foreigners." In addition it was claimed that
the chief agent in circulating the petition was a "naturalized
foreigner."9 Actually, however, the petition appears to have been
handed to Vincent Collyer, special Indian Commissioner for
Alaskan tribes, judging from an item in the San Francisco
Morning Bulletin of November 17, 1869.
Vincent Collyer, special Indian Commissioner for Alaska tribes, who arrived
here from Alaska and British Columbia this morning, carried with him a
petition signed by forty prominent business men of Victoria, addressed to
President Grant, praying for the annexation of British Columbia to the
United States. Another petition of similar import is to be forwarded to the
Queen. The petition is very strongly worded, setting forth with much force
and cogency of reasoning, the isolated and helpless condition of the colony,
and the imperative necessity for forming a political alliance with its powerful and more prosperous neighbour. Mr. Collyer represents the feeling in
favor of annexation as having received new impulse from the recent note
of Earl Granville, urging the British Columbians to affiliate with the Canadian Dominion. This they regard as little less than insulting, as it would
increase their burdens without affording them either political protection or
material relief. Mr. Collyer is on his way to Washington and has promised
to present the petition in person to the President with a statement of what
seems to be the prevailing sentiment of the people.1"
On December 29, 1869, the petition was formally presented to the
President. The press dispatch announcing the event merits
Washington, Dec. 30. Vincent Collyer yesterday handed to the President a
memorial signed by a number of property holders and businessmen in Victoria to be followed by another which will contain the names of all the
British merchants and others at Victoria, Nanaimo and other places, in
favor of the transfer of British Columbia to the United States.    The Presi-
(8) Allin, C. D., & Jones, G.M., Annexation, Preferential Trade and
Reciprocity, Toronto [1911], passim.
(9) British Colonist, November 13, 1869.
(10) San Francisco Morning Bulletin, November 17, 1869. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 271
dent to-day returned Collyer a verbal reply that he had received it with
great interest and sent it to the Secretary of State. Collyer also showed a
memorial to Senator Sumner, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations, who, after reading it, said the movement was important and could
have but one termination. Meanwhile the government waits the movement
of England, which is fast seeing the uselessness and impracticability of
European empire on this hemisphere. Both the President and Sumner
desired their replies to be made known to the memorialists.1!
The petition itself was found in the Miscellaneous Letters to
the Department of State in the Archives of the Department of
State, Washington, D.C.12   It is herewith printed for the first
time, complete with forty-three signatures.
His Excellency, the President of the United States of America.
Your Memorialists beg leave most respectfully to represent, that
we are residents of the Colony of British Columbia—many of us british
subjects and all deeply interested in the welfare and progress of our
adopted country.
That those that are british Subjects are penetrated with the most
profound feelings of loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty and Her
Majesty's Government and that all entertain for Her, feelings of the
greatest respect as well as attachment to the country.
That while we thus indulge such feelings, we are constrained by the
duty we owe to ourselves and families, in view of the contemplated
severance of the political ties which unite this Colony to the " Mother
Country ", to seek for such political and commercial affinity and connection, as will insure the immediate and continued prosperity and
wellbeing of this our adopted home.
That this Colony is now suffering great depression, owing to its
isolation, a scarcity of population and other causes too numerous to
That we view with feelings of alarm the avowed intention of Her
Majesty's Government to confederate this Colony with the Dominion
of Canada, as we believe such a measure can only tend to still further
depression and ultimate injury for the following reasons, viz:—
That confederation cannot give us protection against internal
enemies or foreign foes, owing to the distance of this Colony
from Ottawa.
That it cannot open to us a market for the produce of our lands,
our forests, our mines or our waters.
That it cannot bring us population, (our greatest need) as the
Dominion itself is suffering from lack of it.
(11) British Colonist, January 11, 1870.
(12) Now in the National Archives, Washington, D.C. A photostat
copy of this petition was presented by the writer to the Archives of British
Columbia. 272 Willard E. Ireland. October
That our connection with the Dominion can satisfy no sentiment
of loyalty or devotion.
That her commercial and industrial interests are opposed to
That the tariff of the Dominion will be the ruin of our farmers
and the commerce of our chief cities.
That we are instigated by every sentiment of loyalty to Her Majesty,
by our attachment to the laws and institutions of Great Britain and
our deep interest in the prosperity of our adopted country, to express
our opposition to a severance from England and a confederation with
Canada. We admit the Dominion may be aggrandized by confederation, but we can see no benefit either present or future, which can
accrue to us therefrom.
That we desire a market for our Coal, our lumber and our fish
and this the Dominion seeks for the same produce of her own soil, she
can take nothing from us and supply us nothing in return.
That confederating this Colony with Canada, may relieve the
mother country from the trouble and expense of fostering and protecting this isolated distant Colony, but it cannot free us from our long
enduring depression, owing to the lack of population as aforesaid and
the continued want of home markets for our produce.
The only remedy for the evils which beset us, we believe to be in a
close union with the adjoining States and Territories, we are already
bound to them by a unity of object and interest; nearly all our commercial relations are with them; They furnish the Chief Markets
we have for the products of our mines, lands and waters; They supply
the Colony with most of the necessities of life; They furnish us the
only means of communication with the outer world; and we are even
dependent upon them for the means of learning the events in the
mother Country or the Dominion of Canada.
For these reasons we earnestly desire the acquisition of this
Colony by the United States.
It would result at once in opening to us an unrestricted market for
our produce, bring an influx of population and with it induce the investment of capital in our Coal and Quartz Mines and in our forests.
It would insure us regular Mails and communication with the
adjoining States and Territories and through them with the World at
It would lessen the expense of Government, by giving us representative Institutions and immediate control of our domestic concerns,
besides giving us protection against foreign enemies. And with all
these, we should still be united to a People of our own kindred, religion
and tongue and a people who for all time, must intimately affect us
in all our relations for weal or woe.
That in view of these facts we respectfully request, that Your
Excellency will cause this Memorial to be laid before the Government
of the United States, that that in any negociations which may be 1940
The Annexation Petition of 1869.
pending or undertaken between Your Government and that of Her
Most Gracious Majesty, for the settlement of territorial and other
questions, that you will endeavor to induce Her Majesty to consent to
the transfer of this Colony to the United States. We believe that Her
Majesty earnestly desires the welfare and happiness of all Her People,
in view of the circumstances that for years she has consented to the
annual exodus of tens of thousands of her subjects to the United States
and that she will not let political traditions and sentiments influence
her against a Measure, which is so earnestly desired by the People of
this poor isolated Colony.
British Columbia
November   1869.
H. F. Heisterman
Emil Sutro
Jacob Morris
Ld Lowenberg
W. H. Oliver
Hry. Wolff
Lewis Lewis
J. L. Jungermann
A. de Neuf
Thomas Geiger
P. Brady
Archd. Turner
John G. Wirth
Louis Vigelius
Thos. Fowlis
A. Martin
William H. McNeill
B. Ronssin [?]
I. Oppenheim (Yale)
Frank Sylvester
Joseph Joseph [s]
G. W. Boardman
David F. Fee
M. W. Waitt
Samuel Stubbs
Tulino Seitz
Anton Vigelius
G. C. Keays
H. M. Cohen
David Shirpser
William Wale
G. R. Fardon
John Swanson
Jno. Dickson
Louis Wolff
J. Kriemler
Thos. Chadwick
R. H. Adams
C. W. Kammerer
W. Farron
Henry Rudolph
P. Feuchs
Joseph Loewen
The press dispatch mentioned the probability of further
signatures being forwarded. This was actually done, for in
Washington, D.C, an additional list of sixty-one names was
found. This supplementary list was forwarded to President
Grant in a letter from T. G. Phelps, of the Collector's Office, San
Francisco, California, dated September 1, 1870, which read, as
I have the honor to enclose a letter from Mr. Heisterman to W. H. Olliver
[sic], Esq., a very prominent resident of Victoria, British Columbia, temporarily stopping in this city, relative to the resources of British Columbia,
annexation, &c, also some additional names to a copy of the petition presented
to you by Vincent Collyer, some time since. I trust Sir, you will not deem me
too importunate in this matter. I feel that the advantages which would
accrue to us from annexation are very great, and that this is the golden
moment for bringing it about. That the great majority of the people are
favourable to it, there is no doubt, but the office-holders—those who have a
chance to make themselves heard and felt, will, and do oppose it. These
men to retain their positions and power, are doing everything they can to 274 Willard E. Ireland. October
forward confederation with Canada. Should Confederation take place, I
greatly fear it will postpone annexation for many years, if it does not
defeat it altogether. I am informed that copies of the petition enclosed
were sent through British Columbia and very generally signed, but with
the exception of the one enclosed, were destroyed by parties in the interest
of confederation, is
The enclosed letter from Mr. H. F. Heisterman, dated August
17, 1870, at Victoria, was an eloquent attempt to convince the
Government of the United States, by detailed references to the
agricultural and mineral resources of British Columbia, of the
excellent bargain to be had in the acquisition of the colony. It
read, in part:—
Understanding that you are likely to have His Excellency President Grant
among you some time this month and that you will likely have an opportunity, I herewith hand you a further list of names to the memorial presented in December '69 by Vincent Collyer, Esqr. It would have been sent
then, but owing to the hostility shown to it by the Canadian Newspaper here
it was not sent. I therefore transmit it to you, to make whatever use of it
you see fit in the premises. It is exasperating to me and to many of my
fellow citizens, to see a country aggregating 405,000 square miles, of which
11,000 square miles come upon Vancouver Island and 6,000 square miles
upon Queen Charlotte Island and the balance of 388,000 square miles upon
the mainland of British Columbia, shut out as it were from the prosperity
around it. The people of the Colony are too few to make an armed resistance to Confederation which seems from all accounts intended to be forced
on us unless some countenance were given to parties who desire annexation
to the United States by the Government of President Grant, in a proposal to
settle the Alabama Claims by the transfer of this Colony, I don't see how we
can move in the matter.1*
The additional list contained the following signatures:—
Charles Meloy B. La Bel W. Hoffman
Edwin T. Percy Wm. C. Bryant John Glassy
W. D. Lyts Henry La Fleur Andrew Vigelius
P. W. Scully Thomas Holden H. Passerard
Wm. Wolff Wm. Shepherd J. Valentine
James Burns Henry Calbraith Oliver Sweney [?]
Collin Rankin [?] George Henderson Eli Harrison
Peter Walsh Thomas La Vuz H. Laihauf [?]
Joseph Dwyer George Wilson Joseph Lovett
(13) T. G. Phelps to President Grant, September 1, 1870, Miscellaneous
Letters to the Department of State, Department of State, Archives, Washington, D.C.
(14) H. F. Heisterman to W. H. Oliver, August 17, 1870, enclosed in
T. G. Phelps to President Grant, September 1, 1870, ibid. 1940
The Annexation Petition of 1869.
Andrew Patten
L. A. Davis
Robert Snelling
Henry N. Simpson
Bart. Dooling
George Stelly
John J. Murphy
J. W. Williams
T. J. Burnes
J. F. Becker
Thos. Golden
Thomas H. Currie
T. N. Hibben
M. W. Waitt
B. S. Armstrong
J. A. Williams
D. W. Chauncey
John Fenerty
C. B. Sweeney
Henry Grunbaum
Edward Grunbaum
David Jenner
Henry Malery [?]
Peter Ousterhout
Emil A. Mihin [?]
Alex. Hendry
John Stanoviz
H. T. Shepherd
John Montebi
Charles Loring Reed
Wm. Davis
Edward Holman
John Sinclair
Aime Leclair
The true significance of such a memorial depends upon the
status of its signatories. Of the forty-three signatures on the
original petition, forty-one have been identified. Wherever possible the attempt has been made to ascertain the nationality of
the signatory, his occupation in 1869, and his ultimate relation
to the colony. The result of an extensive research reveals the
following information.16
H. F. Heisterman;
Born July 22, 1832, in Bremen, Germany; removed to England in
1853, where he was naturalized in 1861. He arrived in Victoria in
August, 1862, and after an unsuccessful effort at mining in the
Stickeen district established a reading-room in Victoria and later a
wholesale paint and glass business. In 1864 he established the real-
estate business which he conducted until shortly before his death on
August 29, 1896. In 1869 he was president of the Germania Sing
Verein, and Grand Secretary of the Provincial Grand Lodge of British
Columbia, A.F. and A.M.
Emil Sutro:
A German Jew, who arrived in the colony probably late in 1859. He
was a partner of G. Sutro & Co., cigar and tobacco dealers and importers.    He removed to San Francisco in November, 1875.
Jacob Morris:
Partner of Wolff & Morris, boot and shoe dealers and clothiers, who
presumably left the colony about 1871.
(15) Biographical information was obtained principally from the following sources: Scholefield, E. O. S., and Howay, F. W., British Columbia,
Vancouver, 1914, III. and IV.; Kerr, J. B., Biographical Dictionary of well-
known British Columbians, Vancouver, 1890; Mallandaine, Edw., First
Victoria directory, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th issues, Victoria, 1868, 1869, 1871,
respectively;  and Victoria British Colonist. 276 Willard E. Ireland. October
L[eopol]d Lowenberg:
Born in 1818, a native of Potsdam, Prussia. He was involved in an
extensive law suit with the Hudson's Bay Company over a land purchase in 1861. He was a real-estate agent and a man of considerable
means. He died in Victoria, December 22, 1884, and Sir Matthew B.
Begbie acted as one of his pall-bearers.
W. H. Oliver:
Probably arrived in the colony about 1863. He acted as agent of the
Victoria Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco to disseminate information regarding the Big Bend gold district in 1866. Of him the
British Colonist, June 23, 1870, wrote: " Mr. Oliver is one of our
oldest and most respected American citizens and has given palpable
evidence of the confidence he reposes in the future prospects of our
beautiful city by the heavy investments he has made."
H[en]ry Wolff:
Known to be in the colony in July, 1869, when he was arrested on a
charge of assault with a deadly weapon.
Lewis Lewis:
Born in 1828 in Poland, removed to England in 1837 and thence to
New York in 1845. After residing in Brazil and Peru he reached
California in 1849 and came to British Columbia in June, 1858. After
visiting Yale, he opened a grocery business in Victoria in 1859, and in
1861 started the clothier's establishment which he operated as late as
1890. He was a Mason and Oddfellow and a member of the Hebrew
J. L. Jungermann:
Born in 1820, a native of Hesse Cassel, Germany. He arrived in Victoria in 1861, and established himself as a watchmaker and jeweller.
He died in Victoria, May 28, 1879.
A. de Neuf:
An employee of J. L. Jungermann in 1869, who presumably left the
colony in 1871.
Thomas Geiger:
A partner in Geiger & Becker, barber-shop.
P. Brady:
An employee of H. Mansell, bootmaker.
Arch [ibal] d Turner:
Also an employee of H. Mansell, bootmaker.
John G. Wirth:
A trader, resident of Hope, who was in the colony at least as early as
1860, and who, in 1870, was appointed postmaster at Hope.
Louis Vigelius:
A native of Bavaria, Germany, who arrived about 1866, and established the St. Nicholas hair-cutting saloon. In 1886 he became an
alderman of the City of Victoria. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 277
Thos. Fowlis:
An employee in the store of Fellows & Roscoe, iron merchants, who
presumably left the colony in 1871.
A. [J.] Martin:
A general dealer and mariner. He was included in a list of " many
old Victorians on board the Prince Alfred " in the British Colonist,
August 17, 1871.
William H. McNeill:
A retired Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, born in Boston,
Mass., in 1801. He first arrived on the coast in 1816 from China, and
returned in 1826 on the brig Convoy, a trader for a Boston fur company. In 1832 he returned to the coast in command of the American
brig Llama, and in April of that year entered the Hudson's Bay Company's service when his vessel was acquired by that company. He
remained with the company until 1865 when he retired as a farmer,
but evidently returned to command the steamer Enterprise for a time,
from which position he retired in 1874. He died in Victoria, September 4, 1875.
B. Ronssin:
Signature indecipherable, no such person known.
I. Oppenheim:
A member of the famous firm of Oppenheimer Bros., dry-goods merchants, established at Yale in 1858. Signed his name variously as
" Oppenheim " or " Oppenheimer."
Frank Sylvester:
Born in New York in 1835, of Jewish parentage. He came out to
California in 1853 and on to British Columbia in the gold-rush of
1858. After several years of mining in the Interior settled in Victoria. In 1869 he was employed by H. M. Cohen, clothier, but he
. later joined the firm of J. P. Davis & Co., auctioneers. Ultimately
he established himself as a private accountant. In 1869 he was
secretary of the Board of Delegates, Victoria Fire Department. He
died in Victoria, December 25, 1908.
Joseph Josephs:
Born in 1810, a native of Liverpool, England, of Jewish extraction.
In 1869 he was messenger, City Council Chambers, and continued as
such until his death, September 10, 1872.
G. W. Boardman:
A miner, known to have been in Victoria 1869 to 1871.
David F. Fee:
Born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. In 1851 he removed to California and came north to Victoria in 1861 on the Enterprise and continued on her as engineer at intervals until 1883. He also had charge
of the engines of the Beaver, Otter, Yosemite, and Wilson G. Hunt at
various times. 278 Willard E. Ireland. October
M. W. Waitt:
In 1869 an employee of T. N. Hibben & Co., booksellers and stationers,
and S.G.O., Provincial Grand Lodge of British Columbia, A.F. and
Samuel Stubbs:
A foreman, employed by H. Mansell, bootmaker.
Tulino Seitz:
Anton Vigelius:
Born on September 24, 1847, at Kaiserlautern, Bavaria, Germany.
He arrived in Victoria, June 15, 1868, and was employed by his
brother in the St. Nicholas hair-cutting saloon.
G. C. Keays:
An employee of Fellows, Roscoe & Co., iron merchants, and later
mined in Omineca.   He was a Past Master of the Vancouver Lodge,
No. 421, A.F. and A.M.
H. M. Cohen:
Arrived in the colony about 1862, and operated a clothier's establishment. In 1869 he was Vice-President of the French Benevolent
Society and manager of the Jewish Cemetery.
David Shirpser:
Of Jewish extraction, came to the colony as early as 1860. He entered
the dry-goods business in Victoria in 1862, and in 1867 opened a store
in New Archangel, Alaska. The British Colonist, July 13, 1869,
records that Major-General Thomas, then inspecting the American
military stations on the coast, passed through Victoria en route to
Sitka, and that " Mr. Shirpser, formerly of this city, is interpreter for
Gen. Thomas."
W. Wale:
An employee of G. C. Gerow, wagon and carriage builder.
G. R. Fardon:
A native of Staffordshire, England, born in 1806. He migrated to
New York and in 1849 to San Francisco, as a daguerreotypist, and is
credited with the introduction of photography to that city. He came
to Victoria in 1858 and established himself as a photographic artist
and made important investments. He was a half-brother of Mr. A. J.
Langley, J.P.    He died in Victoria, August 20, 1886.
John Swanson:
A native of Rupert's Land, who joined the Hudson's Bay Company as
a lad of 14 and came out to British Columbia about 1843 as an
apprentice on the schooner Cadboro. He helped clear the site of the
old Hudson's Bay Company's fort and stockade in Victoria. He was
elected the first member of the Vancouver Island Assembly for
Nanaimo in 1859, his constituency having only one qualified elector.
He became a Chief Trader of the company in 1860 and commanded 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 279
many of their vessels, including the Labouchere and Otter. He was
a member of the B.C. Pilot Board in 1866 and Pilot Commissioner in
1867. In 1866 he assumed command of the Enterprise, on which he
continued until his death October 21, 1872.
Jno. Dickson:
Born in 1827, a native of Dungannon, County Tyrone, Ireland. He
claimed in 1862 that he was an American citizen. He was a stove
and hardware dealer in Victoria, and one of the founders of the Fire
Department, in which organization at one time or another he held the
positions of foreman, treasurer, chief engineer, president, and delegate. In 1869, after two terms as chief engineer, he became head of
the Board of Delegates. Later he was purser and part owner of the
Stickeen river steamboat Glenora. He died at Wrangel, Alaska, June
2, 1875.
Louis Wolff:
A partner in Wolff & Morris, boot and shoe dealers and clothiers,
which had a branch store in Barkerville.
J. Kriemler:
A native of Switzerland, who was in the colony as early as 1862. In
1869 he was a partner in Spratt & Kriemler, Albion Iron Works, and
also chief engineer of the Victoria Fire Department and Treasurer
of the French Benevolent Society. He was naturalized, July 5, 1872,
and in 1874 removed to Guatamala where he established himself in
a very lucrative business.
Thos. Chadwick:
A saloon-keeper, formerly proprietor of the International. In 1868
he opened Garrick's Head Saloon, and in 1871, the Blue Post.
R. H. Adams:
A partner of Robert Beaven, general outfitters, who arrived in the
colony as early as 1863. In 1869 he was Sub Grand Master, Provincial Grand Lodge of British Columbia, A.F. and A.M. In 1870 he
removed to San Francisco, where he entered the hat business.
C. W. Kammerer:
An employee of T. N. Hibben & Co., booksellers and stationers, and
later a member of the firm. He took out naturalization papers along
with T. N. Hibben, August 4, 1880.
W. Farron:
Born in 1840, a native of County Down, Ireland. He came to British
Columbia in 1858 and was one of the holders of rich claims on Hill's
Bar, and subsequently went to Williams Creek and owned in the
Aurora and other claims. He acquired considerable wealth which he
invested in real estate in Victoria. In 1869 he owned the Yates Street
Saloon. He was also a pioneer of the Omineca and Cassiar mines.
He was drowned en route to Cassiar aboard the steamer Grappler,
passing Ten-mile Point, May, 1877. 280 Willard E. Ireland. October
H. Rudolph:
A native of Germany, and pioneer watchmaker and jeweller in Victoria, where he died, December 20, 1879.
P. Feuchs:
Employed by Wm. Lohse in the Bank Exchange Saloon.
Joseph Loewen:
Born in Ediger, Prussia, in June, 1832. He moved to New York in
1850 and to California in 1856 and arrived in British Columbia, July
4, 1858. In 1869 he was a partner with Joseph Lovett in the Bank
Exchange Saloon, and also librarian of the Germania Sing Verein.
In 1871 he became a partner in Erb & Loewen, Victoria Brewery, in
which business he continued until his death in 1906.
Of the sixty-one signatures on the supplementary list, it has
been possible to identify only forty, but of these it can be said
that they are representative of much the same elements of the
population of the colony as is indicated by the preceding analysis
of the original signatories. A few of the more important are
singled out for special note.
George Stelly:
Born in Bettlach, Switzerland, in 1829. He went to New Orleans in
1852 and eventually to California by way of Illinois and Iowa. In
May, 1858, he arrived in Victoria, and after mining unsuccessfully at
Hill's and Emory's Bars, returned to Victoria and commenced business as a contractor and transfer agent. He was also a pioneer
farmer of Saanich district.    He died in Victoria, May 28, 1913.
J. W. Williams:
Born in 1830, a native of New York, who came to Victoria in 1859.
He possessed considerable property in Victoria and San Francisco,
and served four years on the City Council, and represented Victoria
City in the local legislature from 1878 to 1882. He was naturalized
in November, 1872. He died in San Bernadino, California, January
24, 1887.
T. J. Burnes:
A native of Dublin, Ireland, born about 1832. He came to Victoria in
1858 from San Francisco where he had resided since 1854. For some
time he was a member of the Customs House staff of the colony, but
later engaged in the hotel business, owning the American Hotel in
1869, at which time he was also foreman of the Tiger, No. 2 Company
of the Victoria Fire Department. As late as 1907 he re-entered the
Customs service.
Thos. Golden:
Proprietor of the Brown Jug saloon and Treasurer of the I.O.O.F.
Victoria Lodge, No. 1, in 1869.    In 1871 he removed to San Francisco. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 281
Eli Harrison:
Born in September, 1822, in Cheshire, England. He went to Macon,
Georgia, in 1850, and shortly afterwards removed to San Francisco
and to Victoria, June 18, 1858, where he established himself as a
house- and sign-painter. From 1878 to 1881 he was Grand Master of
the Masonic order in the Province, and served for several years as a
Justice of the Peace in Victoria. He died in Victoria in September,
T. N. Hibben:
A native of Charleston, N.C., born in 1828. He went to California in
the gold-rush of 1849 and subsequently established a stationery business in San Francisco which he sold to H. H. Bancroft, the historian,
in 1858, on his departure for Victoria, where he established himself as
an importing stationer and bookseller. He was naturalized, August
3,1880.    He died in Victoria, January 10, 1890.
D. W. Chauncey:
Born in 1830, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He went to San Francisco in the
rush of 1849 and on to British Columbia in 1858. He was a carpenter
and joiner by trade and at one time was considered a wealthy man.
He was a brother of the Chaunceys who were extensive steamboat
operators on the Hudson River.    He died at Victoria, May 2, 1887.
Because of the relatively small number of signatures, it could
hardly be maintained that the petition was representative of the
opinion of the majority of the residents of British Columbia.
Certain observations, however, can be made with reasonable
accuracy. There can be no doubting the sincerity of the signatories of the petition,16 nor is it reasonable to levy the charge of
disloyalty against the signers of the petition. They were motivated by the conditions in the colony and considered annexation
to the United States a preferable solution to the alternative of
confederation with Canada. It is to be noted that most of those
signing remained in the colony long after Confederation was
accomplished, some rising to positions of considerable importance.
From the petition it is apparent that the annexation sentiment
was confined mainly to Victoria, and even there drew its main
support from the non-British element in the population. Indeed,
most of those concerned were not even Americans. Germans and
Jews provided the main support for the movement and lead one
(16) Some of the leading signatories of the petition were also active in
a movement amongst the Masons, the object of which was to secure an
independent Grand Lodge for British Columbia. The point is of some
interest, and will be dealt with in a subsequent issue of this Quarterly. 282 Willard E. Ireland. October
to suspect that it was a foreign move purely and simply. It
did, however, have a broad base, for the signatures are a fairly
adequate sampling of the various elements of the population,
constituting, as they do, a curious blend of prominent and public-
spirited businessmen and inconsequential characters of doubtful
reputation. Moreover, the petition is remarkable for the absence
of the signatures of certain Victorians who might have been
expected to sign, notably Dr. J. S. Helmcken, who gained the
reputation of being annexationist in sympathy, though actually
there is little to substantiate the accusation, and J. Despard Pemberton, ex-Colonial Surveyor of Vancouver Island, whose three
letters on separation from the mother country,17 appearing in the
British Colonist on January 26 and 29, and February 1, 1870,
provoked such a storm of controversy in the colonial press.
In the colony itself the petition did not arouse a great deal of
interest. The Victoria Evening News reproduced it in its issue
of November 15, 1869, and continued to moot the subject—a
policy which contributed greatly to its demise in June, 1870, after
a precarious existence of only fourteen months. The British
Colonist, strong advocate of Confederation, dubbed the movement
a " sublime bit of cheek," but none the less recognized the urgency
of the local conditions which had given rise to the spirit of
We cannot say we are surprised that some colonists should desire annexation
to the United States. The loyalty of British subjects in this colony has been
submitted to far too severe a test, one under which the loyalty of most
persons in the Mother Country would long since have broken down; and all
that can be said regarding the present movement is that the fruits of mis-
government and neglect have made their appearance in a less harmful form
than open revolt. The feasibility of the movement and the advantages
promised by the sought for change are, however, a very different affair.^
From an official point of view the cause of annexation was
hopeless. Governor Musgrave had been appointed to British
Columbia for the specific task of bringing about Confederation.
By the publication of Lord Granville's dispatch of August 14,
1869, in the Government Gazette on October 30, 1869,19 he had
revealed to the people of British Columbia that the Colonial Office
(17) British Colonist, January 26, January 29, February 1, 1870.
(18) Ibid., November 18, 1869.
(19) British Columbia Government Gazette, October 30, 1869, reprinted
in the British Colonist, October 31, 1869. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 283
was irrevocably determined upon seeing Confederation accomplished. Governor Musgrave chose to ignore the whole question
of annexation. His only report on the incident occurred in a
dispatch to Sir Edward Thornton, British Minister in Washington, who had been shown the petition by the American Secretary
of State, Hamilton Fish.20 Musgrave wrote (it is to be noted
none too accurately) :—
I am not aware that any such memorial was ever forwarded. It was known
some time ago that a foolish Petition to the President of the United States
was said to have been entrusted to Mr. Colyer (sic) from about forty
foreign residents in Victoria, but the matter was indeed of so little importance that I did not think it necessary even to mention it to the Secretary of
State in my despatches. The names you give are known here but they are
not those of British subjects or of persons of any standing or influence whatever in the Community. I do not believe that a single British subject signed
the Petition. The frequent notice of this matter in the American Papers
have been a fruitful source of pleasantry in the Colony.21
With the imprimatur of the Colonial Office on Confederation,
with Canada anxious to obtain a Pacific outlet, and with the
mainland of British Columbia strongly advocating the cause of
Confederation, it is not to be wondered that the British Colonist
should counsel:—
Knowing, as we do, that Annexation is impossible, even if it were desirable,
and that Confederation is inevitable, even if it were undesirable, would not
all of us be more profitably employed in seeking to secure the best possible
terms for this Colony as a province of the Dominion.22
(20) Thornton to Musgrave, January 12, 1870, enclosed in Musgrave to
Granville, March 7, 1870, confidential, CO. 60/88. Thornton reported there
were forty-three signatures, but having only seen it for a moment only
remembered that the first name was Heisterman and that the names of Wolff
and Adams also occurred.
(21) Musgrave to Thornton, February 23, 1870, enclosed in Musgrave to
Granville, March 7, 1870, confidential, CO. 60/38. In the covering dispatch
Musgrave wrote: " My reply to him contains all that really need be said
upon a matter, which I believe to be of no importance." The whole correspondence arose from Granville to Musgrave, February 3, 1870, confidential,
CO. 898/5 in which were forwarded two letters from the Foreign Office containing Thornton's reports on matters in Washington. Similar information
was sent to Canada, vide, Granville to Monck, February 5, 1870, confidential,
CO. 43/156.
(22) British Colonist, November 20, 1869.
5 284 Willard E. Ireland. October
The advice thus tendered was evidently taken to heart, judging
by the terms of confederation finally agreed upon.23
In the United States, however, the petition aroused a more
sympathetic response. Numerous press references are made to
the movement in all parts of the country,24 and the petition was
frequently printed in full. In Washington Territory considerable interest was evoked.26 The Olympia Pacific Tribune became
particularly belligerent over a rumour to the effect that the ruling
powers in British Columbia planned to arrest the leaders of the
movement, which act, it prophesied, " would fan into flame a fire
long smouldering in our midst, and bring upon the people of
that country a force of filibusters who, under the pretext of
releasing the prisoners, would really seek the overthrow of
British Dominion on this coast."26 The British Colonist, moreover, reported that the Legislature of Washington on November
23, 1869, had passed a memorial relative to the annexation of
British Columbia.27
The receipt of the petition by the President was a signal for
the renewal of the legislative schemes for the annexation of at
least a portion of British America in settlement of the " Alabama
Claims." This fact was made apparent to the Foreign Office
by a dispatch from the British Minister in Washington, who,
referring directly to the British Columbia annexation petition,
This circumstance, the existing disturbance in the Hudson's Bay settlement,
and the asserted disaffection in Nova Scotia, are much commented on by
(23) Vide, Ireland, W. E., "Helmcken's Diary of the Confederation
Negotiation, 1870," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, IV. (1940), pp.
(24) Cf., Detroit Free Press, January 2, 1870; St. Paul Press, December
23, 1869 (which reprinted the earlier petition to the Queen); New York
Tribune, January 6, 1870; New York Times, December 31, 1869; San Francisco Alta California, January 21, 1870. Even the London Times, January
1, 1870, carried the news dispatch. The Toronto Leader, January 5, 1870,
mentioned the petition and returned to deprecate its importance in the issue
of January 20, 1870.
(25) Olympia Transcript, November 20, 1869; Seattle Weekly Intelligencer, November 22, 1869; Olympia Washington Standard, February 5,
(26) Olympia Pacific Tribune, November 20, 1869.
(27) British Colonist, December 1, 1869. No further reference to this
memorial has been found at the time of writing. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 285
the newspapers of this country, and are looked upon as the beginning of a
separation of the British Provinces from the mother country, and of their
early annexation to the United States. This view of the matter is put in
connexion with the settlement of the differences with us arising out of the
" Alabama " affair, and Senators are evidently indulging in the [i]llusive
hope that England has it in her power, and might not be unwilling to come
to an amicable settlement of those differences on the basis of the cession of
our territory on this Continent to the United States.28
The resolutions introduced to this effect by Senator Corbett, of
Oregon, on January 10, 1870, made an extensive quotation from
the petition,29 and the subsequent resolutions of Senator Ramsey,
of Minnesota, on February 1, 1870,30 probably were much encouraged by its publication.
The American Government, however, was more loath to take
direct official notice of British Columbia's plea. To be sure, a
copy of the petition was forwarded to the American Minister in
London, John L. Motley, but the accompanying instructions as to
the action he was to take were extremely vague.
I enclose a copy of a paper purporting to be a memorial from Inhabitants
of British Columbia urging the transfer of that colony to the United States,
which has been presented to the President, and which has already been
printed in the public papers of this city and elsewhere through the agency
of the parties charged with its presentation.
In an informal conversation with Mr. Thornton, he referred to this petition, and I showed him the original. As Mr. Thornton had very frequently
and very openly, not only to me, but in the presence of others, expressed the
willingness of the British Government to terminate its political connection
with the Provinces on this Continent, whenever it should appear that a
separation was desired by its present dependencies, I took occasion to suggest that possibly the desire indicated by these petitioners, taken in connection with the troubles in the Red River or Selkirk Settlement, and the
strong opposition to confederation manifested in the Maritime Provinces,
might induce his Government to consider whether the time was not near
when the future relations of the colonies to Great Britain must be contemplated with reference to these manifestations of restlessness, and to some
extent, of dissatisfaction, with their present condition.    .    .    .
It is not impossible that Mr. Thornton may have communicated to Lord
Clarendon, the substance of the conversation to which I have referred.
Should the subject of the Red River troubles, or of the petition before
mentioned be referred to, at any time, by Lord Clarendon, you will express
the anxiety of this Government that the Indians remain quiet.    .    .    .
(28) Thornton to Clarendon, January 3, 1870, F.O. 5/1191.
(29) Congressional Globe, 41 Cong., 2 Sess., part I., pp. 324-325.    Cf.
also, Thornton to Clarendon, January 11, 1870, F.O. 115/506.
(30) Congressional Globe, 41 Cong., 2 Sess., part I., pp. 931-934. 286 Willard E. Ireland. October
You will exercise your discretion in reference to this question availing
yourself of every opportunity to obtain information as to the real sentiments
of the British Government on the question of the separation of the colonies
from the Mother Country, and when opportunity offers, indicating the facts
which seem to make such separation a necessity.31
Such an opportunity did arise on February 19, 1870, at the home
of the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Clarendon, on which
occasion an interview took place " so informal, intimate and
unrestrained " that Motley thought it " improper to record the
conversation, even if I could report it accurately, in an official
despatch, which might come before the public." Of the substance of the conversation relative to British Columbia he
We talked fully of the Red River Insurrection, the annexation petition
from British Columbia and the opposition manifested by the Maritime provinces of British America to Confederation.
I did not find his views materially different from those which are set
forth in your despatch and from the opinions which I have myself always
entertained on these grave subjects. Substantially he said that the British
government would never use force to retain them whenever they decided
to set up for themselves and assert their independence. He observed that a
pro-colonial feeling had of late got up in certain quarters and rather energetically manifested; but I gathered from the tone of his remarks that he
had no great sympathy with it; considering it rather a transient than a
permanent symptom of the public humor.    .    .    .
On the general subject of independence and annexation I talked very
unreservedly; expressing my conviction that the natural course of events
within a period that is rapidly diminishing in extent must bring about the
independence of all the British Colonies in North America and that furthermore independence would lead naturally to amicable annexation to the
An independent, separate confederacy stretching across the continent
and conterminous with our own Republic would have no special reason for
existing. So soon as the slight and much-relaxed cord which now bound
these colonial possessions to the far distant Crown had been voluntarily
severed, they would gravitate to the Union through a community of interests
and circumstances.
He expressed no dissent whatever from these views and contemplated such
a fortune without regret;  observing however that attempts at conquest and
(31) Fish to Motley, January 14, 1870, Instructions to the United States
Minister in London from the Secretary of State, Department of State,
Archives, Washington, D.C, vol. 22. 1940 The Annexation Petition of 1869. 287
violent annexation of those territories by the United States were much to
be deprecated.    .    .    .32
Whatever may have been the personal views of both the
British and American statesmen on the question of the future
position of the British colonial possessions in North America,33
there were foreshadowings of an important shift in opinion. No
clearer statement of the new attitude is to be found than that
offered in the editorial columns of the New York Times.
The future political and material destinies of the vast region lying to the
north of the United States, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, have
long been topics of no ordinary interest to the advanced thinkers of both
countries. . . . Sooner or later the whole continent must be brought to
the recognition and adoption of one harmonious policy, in which not only the
general interest but the allied championship of all by all shall be assured.
. . . Such a policy by no means implies absorption into the United States,
so far as Canada is concerned. We are believers in " manifest destiny," but
our faith does not necessarily carry us to that extent. We are content with
the assertion of a purely American civilization, in which the principles upon
which our institutions are based shall be established and perpetuated from
the Pole to the Isthmus. Outside our own boundaries we should not presume
to dictate in the matter of details beyond the point of European interference
or aggression.   In that respect we stand frankly upon the Monroe doctrine.3*
The wise policy, thus advocated, was adopted and has become a
guiding principle of Canadian-American relations.
The Treaty of Washington of 1871 rang down the curtain
on the issue of annexation by removing the many diplomatic
problems which had troubled British-American relations since
the American Civil War. But of far greater significance than
its actual clauses, is the fact that the Treaty of Washington gave
the tacit consent of the American Government and people to the
right of the British possessions in North America to pursue their
own national destiny.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives^
Victoria, B.C.
(32) Motley to Fish, February 21, 1870, confidential, Despatches from
the United States Minister in London to the Secretary of State, Department
of State, Archives, Washington, D.C, vol. 102.
(33) For a recent detailed discussion of this question, vide, Shippee, L. B.,
Canadian-American Relations, 1849-1874., New Haven, 1939, pp. 180-212,
472-478, in particular.
(34) New York Times, April 1, 1870. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
The annual meeting of the British Columbia Historical Association was held
in the Provincial Library, Victoria, on the evening of Friday, October 11, with
the President, Dr. T. A. Rickard, in the chair. The report of the Secretary,
Mrs. M. R. Cree, showed that the year just closed had been a particularly
successful one and that the membership was still increasing. The number
of paid-up members was 480, which compared with a total of 462 on the
corresponding date in 1939, and 444 in 1938. The Treasurer, Mr. G. H.
Harman, was able to report a substantial balance on hand, as his department reflected the increased membership. Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, Editor of the
Quarterly, stated that the paid circulation of the magazine had risen to the
gratifying total of 501, which compared with a total of 485 on the corresponding date in 1939. In view of world conditions, the Association's record
is a remarkable one, and the unfaltering support which the membership has
accorded the Council and the executives of the various Sections throughout
the year has been most encouraging.
The report of the scrutineers showed that the following officers and
councillors had been elected for the year 1940-41:—
President Mr. Kenneth A. Waites, Vancouver.
1st Vice-President  „...J_r. B. A. McKelvie, Victoria.
2nd Vice-President  _.. Mr. E. M. Cotton, New Westminster.
Honorary Secretary Miss Helen R. Boutilier, Vancouver.
Honorary Treasurer „.Mr. W. E. Ireland, Victoria.
Archivist Dr. Robie L. Reid, Vancouver.
Members of the Council  Mrs. M. R. Cree, Victoria.
Mr. J. R. V. Dunlop, Vancouver.
Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton.
Judge F. W. Howay, New Westminster-
Major H. T. Nation, Victoria.
Dr. Rickard chose as the subject of his presidential address The Strait
of Anian. The topic was dealt with in a most comprehensive manner, and,
in addition to the Strait of Anian proper, Dr. Rickard traced at length the
search for a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, either by the north or
south, and the successive stages by which men gradually became aware of
the physical extent of the Americas. The narrative was carried down
through the ages to the work of such nineteenth century explorers as
Franklin, and the expeditions of Amundsen and others in more recent days.
Dr. Rickard's paper will be printed in the near future.
The new President, Mr. Kenneth Waites, and the new Secretary, Miss
Helen Boutilier, who were in attendance, and who brought greetings from
the Vancouver Section, were introduced at the conclusion of the meeting.
A vote of thanks was accorded the retiring executive, and particular men-
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 4.
289 290 Notes and Comments. October
tion was made of the work of Mrs. Cree, who had been Secretary of the
Association since its reorganization in 1936. Mrs. Cree had been urged to
stand once again for re-election, but had declined because she felt that, as
the new President was a resident of Vancouver, the work of the association
would benefit if its Secretary were also on the Mainland.
The meeting closed with the singing of the National Anthem.
Victoria Section.
The field day held annually by the Section took the form of a box-picnic,
and was held in the Goldstream Canyon, which is some 20 miles from Victoria, on the afternoon of July 20. Between 80 and 90 members attended,
and perfect weather added to the success of the gathering. Mr. B. A.
McKelvie, President of the Section, addressed those present, and recounted
the fascinating story of the gold-rush to the Goldstream district which took
place in 1863-64. It all began, Mr. McKelvie explained, on October 19, 1863.
The next day the Victoria Colonist reported that a hundred men had gone to
the new diggings. He recalled that the discovery of the deposits at Gold-
stream resulted from one of the last official acts of Governor Douglas, who
had sent out a party of four prospectors to look for gold and silver in the
vicinity of Victoria. Sir James was among the first to go out to the diggings
after they were reported. At the height of the excitement about 300 men
were at work on the creek. One of the richest claims staked assayed no less
than $430 to the ton, and so positive were the good people of Victoria that an
extensive and profitable field had been found at their very door, that a
crushing and recovery plant to treat Goldstream ore was constructed at the
Albion Iron Works. Unfortunately the workings did not prove as remunerative as had been expected, though wages could be made. The majority of
the miners in the country at the time were placer-miners, and when the rich
gravels of Leech River were discovered in July, 1864, by Dr. Robert Brown's
expedition, Goldstream was abandoned, and it has never been worked since.
Some twenty-two mines had been worked between the first discovery in the
Goldstream area and the discovery of the placer wealth of the Leech River.
The first meeting of the autumn season was held in the Provincial
Library on September 23, when the Section was addressed by Mr. George
Naden. His subject was Early Days in the Kootenays. Mr. Naden,
formerly Deputy Minister of Lands, first went to the Kootenays in 1891,
and was later Mayor and Member of the Legislature for Greenwood. He
played a prominent part in public affairs during the colourful days of early
mining activities in the Boundary and Kootenay districts, and told many
interesting anecdotes which threw light upon persons and events of the time.
Among those mentioned were John Houston, one time Mayor of Nelson and a
pioneer journalist of note, whom the speaker characterized as having been
" one of the ablest paragraphers that British Columbia ever had "; Fred
Hume, who later became Minister of Mines; John Oliver, later Premier of
British Columbia; Pat Burns, who became one of the big names in Western
Canada as head of the firm of P. Burns & Company, and the famous and
beloved " Father Pat," the Anglican clergyman whose service to the Province in early days is commemorated by a monument erected in Rossland. 1940 Notes and Comments. 291
Miss C I. Alexander contributed an interesting sketch of the life of her
brother, the late J. Stephen Alexander, who served for some years as Government Agent at Fernie, and handed to the Archives, for copying, a number of
Mr. Alexander's letters concerning his work from 1885 until the time of his
Mrs. Michael Jamieson presented to the Archives a miner's pickaxe,
which had been found at Goldstream, and which was of special interest to
members in view of the fact that the Section's field day had been held at
Goldstream only a few weeks previously.
Mrs. Curtis Sampson, Vice-President, presided in the absence of the
President, Mr. B. A. McKelvie. Members stood in silent tribute to the
memory of the late Charles H. French, former Chief Factor and Fur Trade
Commissioner of the Hudson's Bay Company, and a past president of the
The annual meeting of the Section will be held in the Provincial Library
on Monday, October 28.
Vancouver Section.
The Section met in the York Room of the Hotel Georgia on September 18.
The President, Mr. J. R. V. Dunlop, presided. The speaker of the evening
was Rev. J. H. White, D.D., who had chosen as his subject Recollections of
Pioneer Days in British Columbia, 1859-1871. Dr. White, a retired minister
of the United Church, commenced his first journey to British Columbia from
Ontario, where he was born, at the age of four. The date was December 30,
1858. The Methodist Church had decided to send missionaries to the gold
mines which were then opening up, and Dr. White's father, the Rev. Edward
White, was one of the first party to travel by way of the Isthmus of Panama
to Victoria, and thence to Queenborough, as New Westminster was then
called, which was reached in April, 1859. Mr. White went to New Westminster a few days before his family, and when they finally joined him there,
he recorded in his diary: " What a blessing to be home again "—home at the
time being a tent which the Whites shared with another family.
Life was interesting for a small boy who was on the alert for adventure.
The little community was surrounded by forests, and a young lieutenant
found that the growth was so dense that it took two hours to cover 1 % miles.
Dr. White's aunt was the only unmarried young white woman in the entire
community, so the family met most of the eligible bachelors of the district.
The speaker seems to have enjoyed the contacts, and his stories were many
and amusing. The first school for white children in New Westminster was
a private venture conducted by Mrs. White's sister.
From 1863 to 1866, Rev. Edward White's duties took him to Nanaimo,
where his family became friends of the Dunsmuirs. Almost the entire population of the town was interested in the coal-seams, and the mines were
operating on three shifts at the time. The family returned to New Westminster in 1866, and that city formed the centre for Methodist activity
extending as far as Chilliwack. From 1864, settlers began coming from
Yale, where they had been placer-mining, to the Chilliwack Valley, and the
first religious services in the district were held in the homes of Isaac Kipp, 292 Notes and Comments. October
at Chilliwack, and David Miller, at Sumas, in June of 1865. Regular Sunday activities included services at Langley, Maple Ridge, and New Westminster. Life in a pioneer community, where travel was difficult and
communication slow, left little time for either clergy or laity to rest.
The annual meeting of the Section will be held on Monday, October 28,
when Dr. Robie L. Reid will speak on The Komagata Maru Case.
The election of officers for the year 1940-41 was held in July, when the
following were elected:—
Honorary President Mr. Perley Russell.
Honorary Vice-Presidents.   Mrs. H. Tweedle.
Mr. P. Y. Smith.
President   Mr. A. Gould.
Vice-President  Mr. J. D. Saunders.
Secretary-Treasurer Rev. J. C. Goodfellow.
The annual supper meeting was held in Princeton on the evening of
Wednesday, October 2. The gathering was well attended, 126 persons being
present for this, the ninth annual banquet of the Association.
At the quarterly meeting held on October 29, reports were received, business transacted, and Rev. J. C. Goodfellow read a paper on A. C. Anderson
and his Explorations in Similkameen.
Mr. Willard E. Ireland was appointed Provincial Archivist of the Province as from September 1, in succession to Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, who resigned
in August to accept the position of Librarian of the University of British
Columbia. Mr. Ireland, who is a native son, is admirably qualified for his
new position, both by training and experience. He graduated from the
University of British Columbia, with first-class honours in history, in 1933,
and received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Toronto in
1935. The same year he was awarded the Alexander Mackenzie Research
Scholarship in History, which enabled him to pursue his studies in many of
the great archives collections. These included the manuscript collection of
the Library of Congress and the National Archives of the United States, in
Washington, D.C; the Public Archives of Canada, in Ottawa; and the
British Museum and the Public Record Office, in London, England. In addition Mr. Ireland enjoyed for several months the privilege of access to the
archives of the Hudson's Bay Company, in London, and his personal
acquaintance with and knowledge of the papers relating to British Columbia
in all these collections is unique. The Government is to be congratulated
upon Mr. Ireland's appointment, and there is every reason to expect that the
Archives Department will prosper under his direction.
For the present at least Dr. Lamb will retain the editorship of the British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, but Mr. Ireland will become Associate Editor
and share with him responsibility for the publication of the magazine. 1940 Notes and Comments. 293
contributors to this issue.
A. G. Harvey will be remembered as the author of the article entitled
The Mystery of Mount Robson, which appeared in this Quarterly in October,
1937. Readers will find his present paper equally interesting. Mr Harvey
has devoted several years of careful search to the task of compiling a
definitive biography of David Douglas, and the article here published is
based upon two chapters of the longer work, which has now been completed.
It is to be hoped that the book will be printed at an early date.
His Honour Judge F. W. Howay, LL.D., F.R.S.C, is the leading authority
on the history of British Columbia, and the author of the standard history of
the Province.
Sylvia L. Thrupp, Ph.D., is a member of the Department of History of
the University of British Columbia. She received her doctor's degree from
the University of London, England, and is the author of A Short History of
the Worshipful Company of Bakers (London, 1933), and other studies and
articles. INDEX.
Acacia trees, 238
Adams, R. H., 279
Adamson, James, 35, 92, 94
Alsop, Richard, 145, 146, 184, 149
An Account of the Establishment and subsequent progress of Freemasonry in the Colony
of British Columbia, 141
Annexation Petition of 1889, The, 267-287
Archibald, Capt. Rupert, 35, 82, 83, 92, 94, 100
Armourer's Escape, The, 155, 158-160
Armstrong, W. J., 6
Astronomical instruments, early, 65-69, 71-76
Astronomy of the Explorers, The,  63-78
Auld, William, 95
Ball, H. M., letter from, 19, 20
Barker, James Nelson, 152
Barr, I. E., Early Locomotives on Vancouver
Island, 134-136
Baynes, Rear-Admiral, letter to, 14
Beatty, Henry, 31
Beetham, Capt. Edward, 39, 93, 94, 100
Birch, A. N., 10, 190, 191; letter to, 14, 16;
letter from, 15-17
Bishop, R. P., 73
" Bits," 21-28
Black, Samuel, 230, 231, 233, 234, 238
Bluebell Mine, 235, 236
Boardman, G. W., 277
Boston Steamship Co., 87, 98
Boundary, International, locating of, 76, 77
Brady, P., 276
Brew, Chartres, 183-185
British Columbia — Immigration Board, Assisted Immigration, 139
British Columbia—Legislative Assembly, Rules
and Regulations, issued in conformity with
the Gold Field Act, 1859, 139
British Columbia and Confederation, 111-128
British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar,
Lumber and Sawmill Co., 7
British Columbia and Victoria Steam Navigation Company, Act of incorporation, 139
British Columbia Coal Mining Company, Limited, 5-10, 16, 18;   letters to, 17-20
British Columbia Historical Association, 59-61,
129-134, 217-219, 289-292
British Columbian, 203-207, 209, 210, 212, 213
Brown, D. E., 98
Brown, J. C, 206
Brown, Mount, 225, 226
Burnaby, Robert, 4
Burnes, T. J., 280
Burrard Inlet, Coal^mining on, 1885-66, 1-20
Canadian Northern Railway, 164, 167
Canadian Pacific Railway, 164,165,167 ;  house-
flag, 84;   trans-Pacific trade, 29-50, 79-110
Carrall, R. W. W., Ill, 116
Census of Vancouver Island, 1855, The, 51-58
Chadwick, Thomas, 279
Chauncey, D. W., 281
Checklist of Crown Colony Imprints, A Second, 139-141
Chicamen, Mount, 236
Clarkson, William, 6
Clute, J. S.. 9
Coal, Burrard Inlet, 1-20
Coalmining on Burrard Inlet, 1865-66, 1-20
Cohen, H. M., 278
Collyer, Vincent, 270, 271, 274, 283
Colonial Bank of British Columbia, Prospectus, 140
Colonist, 205-208, 210, 211
Confederation Negotiations, 1870, Helmcken's
Diary of the, 111-128
Construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in British Columbia, 163-181
Cook, Capt. James, 65-68
Cooper, Capt. A. O., 89
Cooper, Harry, 134
Cooper, Capt. James, 6
Copper City, 174
Coulson, H. L., 39
Cox, W. G., 184-187, 193, 199
Cranford, J. P., 6, 6, 9 ; letter from, 6 ; letter
to, 16, 17
Crease, Sir Henry P. P., 126; letter from,
17, 18
Cridge, Edward, " Spiritualism ": or Modern
Necromancy, 140
David Douglas in British Columbia, 221 248
Davison, Capt., A. W., 86, 94, 108
Dease, P. W., 232
DeCosmos, Amor, 137, 138, 203
de Neuf, A., 276
Dick, John, 8, 9;   letter from, 8, 9
Dickson, John, 279
Dictionary of Indian Tongues, 1862, 1865, 140
Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, A, 140
Dietz, George, 4-6, 9; letter from, 14, 16;
letter to, 15-17
Dominion Pacific Herald, 206, 209
Douglas, A. D. Bryce, 31-33
Douglas, David, 221-243
Douglas, David, in British Columbia, 221 243
Douglas, Sir James, census of Vancouver Island, 51;   letter to, 12
Douglas fir, 222, 225, 240, 241
Drumheller, Daniel, 190
Dunsmuir, Robert, 136
Eliza, Francisco de, 246
Ellis, Thomas, 196
Ellis, Mrs. Thomas, 198
295 296
Ellison, 177, 178
Elwyn, Thomas, 184
" Empress to the Orient," 29-50, 79-110
Fardon, G. R., 278
Farron, W., 279
Fee, David F., 277
Feuchs, P., 280
Finlayson, Roderick, 196
Flag, C.P.R. house-flag, 34
Floridablanca, 246, 247
Fort George canyon, 233
Forts and trading-posts, Alexandria, 229;
George, 232 ; Kamloops, 230-233 ; Kootenae
House, cairn at, 62; St. James, 231, 232 ;
Shepherd, 192, 194
Fowler, James, 32, 40, 95
Fowlis, Thomas, 277
Fraser, Simon, 73-75;  245, 247
Fraser River, The Discovery of the: the Second Phase, 245-251
Freemasons, 281
Fullerton, J. A., 100
Gairdner, Dr. Meredith, 237-239
Galiano, D. A., 246
Geiger, Thomas, 276
Gold,  discovery, California,  236;   Okanagan,
235;   mining.  Big Bend,  192,   194;   Rock
Creek, 186-188;  Wild Horse Creek, 189
Golden, Thomas, 280
Good, Charles, letter from, 19
Grand Trunk Pacific Branch Lines Co., 179
Grand Trunk  Pacific British  Columbia  Coal
Co., 181
Grand Trunk Pacific Coast Steamship Co., 180
Grand Trunk Pacific Development Co., 179
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, 163-181
Grand Trunk Pacific Telegraph Co., 181
Grand Trunk Pacific Town and Developm nt
Co., Ltd., 179
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in British Columbia, The Construction of, 163-181
Grand Trunk railway, 165, 167 169
Great Northern Steamship Co., 85, 87, 98
Green, A. R., 4
Grieve, William, 9
Hailey, Capt. A. J., 94, 101, 102
Hanwell, Capt., 248, 249
Harrison, Eli, 281
Harvey, A. G-, David Douglas in British Columbia, 221-243
Haynes, Fairfax Moresby, 198, 201
Haynes, Hester Emily, 199
Haynes, Irene Margaret, 200
Haynes, John Carmichael, 183-201
Haynes, Mrs. J. C. (Charlotte Moresby), 196-
Haynes, Mrs. J. C. (Emily J. Pittendrigh),
198, 200, 201
Haynes, John Sherman, 200
Haynes, Susan Jane, 200
Haynes, Valentine Carmichael, 198, 199, 201
Haynes, William Barrington, 200
Hays, Charles H., 165, 167, 173, 174, 179
Heisterman, H. F., 273-275
Helmcken, Dr. 3. S., 111-128, 282
Helmcken's Diary of the Confederation Negotiations, 1870, 111-128
Hibben, T. N., 281
Hibben & Carswell, Dictionary of Indian
Tongues, 1862, 1865, 140
Hibben & Company, A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, 140
Higgins, D. W., 203, 205
Hill, James J., 85, 87, 98
History, The Pedigree and Prospects of Local,
Holland, Capt. A. J., 94, 104, 105
Homer, J. A. R., 6
Hooker, Mount, 226
Hopcraft, Capt. W. Dixon, 94, 103-105
Howay, F. W., Coalymining on Burrard Inlet,
1865-66, 1-20 ; The Discovery of the Fraser
River:  the Second Phase, 245-251
Hudson's Bay Company, relations of David
Douglas with, 230, 231
Hughes, J. C, 6
Ihrie, General, 270
Ireland, Willard E., 292 ; The Annexation Petition of 1869, 267-287; ed., Helmcken's
Diary of the Confederation Negotiations,
1870, 111-128
Irving, Capt. John, 135
Jerram, Rear-Admiral, 103
Jewitt, John R., 143-161;  bibliography, 161
Jewitt, John R., The Later Life of, 143-161
John   Carmichael   Haynes,   Pioneer   of   the
Okanagan and Kootenay, 183-201
John Robson versus J. K. Suter, 203-215
Johnson, William, 230, 232, 233
Josephs, Joseph, 277
Jungermann, J. L., 276
Kammerer, C. W., 279
Keays, G. C, 278
Kelliher, H. B., 178
Kootenay Lake, 236-237
Kriemler, J., 279
Kruger, Dora, 199
Kruger, Theodore, 196, 198, 199
Ladner, W. H„ 204, 205
Lamb, W. Kaye,  " Empress to the Orient,"
29-60, 79-110
Lamken, Victor, 105 Index.
Laperouse, J. F. de G., 71
Later Life of John R. Jewitt, The, 143-161
Lee, Capt. George A., 39, 44, 93, 94
Lewin, Walter, 83
Lewis, Lewis, 276
Linton, George, 232, 283
Locomotives on Vancouver Island, Early, 184-
Loewen, Joseph, 280
Lowe, W. H., 195, 198
Lowe, Mrs. W. H., 198
Lowenberg, Leopold, 276
Lower, J. A., The Construction of the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railway in British Columbia,
McDonald, Ben, 194
McFarlyn, Andrew, 196
McGown, James, 95
McInnes, Thomas R., 10, 11
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander, 71-75, 246
Mackin, Annie Ellen, 197
McMillan, James, 247-251
McNeill, William H.. 277
Macrae, James E., 85, 86, 88
Main, A. F., 4
Mainland Guardian,  203,  206,  207,  209,  210,
212, 214, 215
Marshall, Capt. O. P., 35, 36, 92-94, 96
Martin, A. J.. 277
Mathieson, D. H., 96
Meany  (jr.), Edmond S., The Later Life of
John R. Jewitt, 148-161
Menzies, Archibald, 222, 223, 246
Money, B. C, 21-28
Montserrat, E. G., 35
Moody, Col. R. C. 1-4, 12
Moody,  S.   P.,  4-6,  9;   letter from,   14,  16;
letter to, 16-17
Moresby family, associations with B.C., 217,
Morris, Jacob, 275
Morton, John, 2
Mowatt, Capt. H., 83, 84
Murphy, E. O., 44, 94, 95
Musgrave,  Sir Anthony,  111,  117,  118,   126,
128, 282, 283
National Transcontinental railway, 168
Naval Club, Esquimalt, Rules, 140
Necessity of Reform, 137-139
Neish, James, 95
Nelson, Hugh, 4
New Vancouver Coal Company, 135
New Westminster Public Library, Rules and
Regulations, 141
New Westminster Times, 206, 207
Newspapers, B.C., 203-215
Nicholson, Capt. C. H., 180
Nippon Yusen Kaisha, 85, 87. 99
Oliver, W. H., 273, 276
Oppenheim, I., 277
O'Reilly, Peter, 192
Osoyoos, 187-189, 192-200
Pacific Mail Steamship Company, 85-87
Pacific Northern and Omineca Railway, 176
Parry, Capt. H., 88
Parsons, Capt., 2
Parsons, R. M., Abstract of meteorological
observations, 141; Report of a journey
from New Westminster to Lake la Hache,
Pat, Father, 200
Pearce, Sir William, 31
Peck, Thomas E., 184
Pedigree and Prospects of Local History, The,
Pemberton, J. D., 282
Penty, J. B., 88
Piers, Arthur, 98
Pittendrigh, Mabel, 201
Plaskett, J. S., The Astronomy of the Explorers, 63-78
Point Grey, 246-247
Point Roberts, 246-247
Police, B.C.. 183-193
Poor Armourer Boy, The, A Song, 146-149,
153, 164
Port Moody, 1, 11
Prince Rupert, 173
Pybus, Capt. Henry, 40, 44, 60, 83, 93 96
Railroads, B.C., 168-181
Reed, Capt. A. H., 89
Reid, R. L., Why " Bits " ? 21-28
Reynolds, Stephen, 249
Richards, Capt. G. H., 1-3 ;   letter from, 12,
14;  letter to, 13
Richardson, H. T., 95
Roberts, J. N. L., 38. 39
Robinson, Capt. Samuel, 88, 93, 94, 101
Robson, John, 2, 3, 9-11, 203, 215
Robson, John, versus J. K. Suter, 203 216
Rock Creek, 186-188
Ronssin, B., 277
Rudolph, H., 280
Sanders, E. H., 185
Scindia Steam Navigation Co., 102
Scouler, Dr. John, 248
Sealy, 177, 178
Second Checklist of Crown Colony Imprints,
A, 139-141
Seelye, H. E.. 116, 121
Seitz, Tulino, 278 298
Seymour, Frederick, 5, 10, 18-20, 268, 269;
letter to, 17
Shaughnessy, T. G., Baron, 31, 46, 80
Sherman, General, 200
Ships, Abby Palmer, 95, 105;   Abyssinia, 30,
35, 36;   Alaska, 31;   Amethyst, 180;   Arizona, 31;   Athenian, 82-84, 86, 88, 89, 93
107,   108;    Batavia,   30,   85;    Belt on,   106
Benjamin Sewell, 81; Boston, 144, 146, 147
Bruno,   180;    Cadboro,  249-251;    Charmer,
89, 97;   H.M.S. Chatham, 68;   China, 33,
86;   City of New York, 44;  City of Rome,
32,  83;   Conveyor,  170,  176;   Dakota,  87,
98;    Danube,   136;    H.M.S.   Discovery.   67
68, 245; Distributor, 176; Emden, 102, 103
Empress of Asia, 93, 95, 100, 101, 103, 104
Empress of Australia, 104-106 ; Empress of
Britain,   97-99;   Empress  of Canada,   104.
106;   Empress of China, 34, 35, 39-42, 48,
49, 79-97, 99, 100;   Empress of India, 34-
39,   41-43,   45,   48,  49,  79-97,  99,   101,   102
Empress   of   Ireland,   97-99;    Empress   of
Japan, 34, 35, 37-39,  41-45,  48,  49,  79-95
97,  99,  101,   103-106;   Empress of Russia
44, 92-94, 100, 101, 103, 104;   Etruria, 31
Exford,   103;    Forty   Nine,   194;    H.M.S,
Forward, 2;   Fremont,  87;   H.M.S.  Grap-
pler,  2;   Henrietta,  176;   Hsin-Tien,  106
Huang-Tai, 96;   Hupeh, 81;   J. B. Walker,
81;     Kaga    Maru,    85;     Korea,    86,    87
Loyalty, 102, 103;   Lydia, 144;   Manchuria,
87; Mexicana, 246; Minnesota, 87, 99, 100
H.M.S. Minotaur, 103; Mongolia, 87 ; Monteagle, 88, 89, 91, 93, 94, 100, 104-106, 108
U.S.S.  Newbern,  270;   Nippon Maru,  86
86;   Northwest,  176;   U.S.S. Olympia,  45
93 ;  Omineca, 176 ; Operator, 170 ;  Oregon,
31;   Parthia, 30, 39, 85;   H.M.S. Plumper,
1,  3,  13;   Port Simpson,  176;   Prince Albert,   180;    Prince   George,   180;    Prince
John, 180;   Prince Rupert, 180;   Princess
Kathleen, 33 ; Robert Kerr, 96 ; Salvor, 97 ;
H.M.S. Satellite, 184;   Shamut, 87;   Shark,
12;   Siberia, 87;   Sutil, 246;   Tacoma, 85;
7-rtar, 82-84, 86, 89, 93, 94, 97, 108;   Tir-
pitz, 104;   Umbria, 31;   Victoria, 85;   William & Ann, 248, 249
Shirpser, David, 278
Shotbolt, Thomas, An account of the Establishment and subsequent progress of Freemasonry in the Colony of British Columbia,
Similkameen Historical Association, 292
Sinclair, Capt. P., 105
Smith, Hiram F., 196
Smith, R. T., 204, 206
Sooyoos, 187-189, 192-200
Southgate, J. J., 4
Stamp, Capt. Edward, 7, 8, 17, 18
Stanley Park, 2
Stelly, George, 280
Stewart, W. M., 75, 76
" Stony Islands," 232, 233
Stubbs, Samuel, 278
Suter, J.'K., 203-215
Suter, J. K., John Robson versus, 203-215
Sutro, Emil, 275
Swanson, John, 278
Sylvester, Frank, 277
Terms of Union with Canada, 111-128
Thompson, David, 74-76
Thompson, John, 144, 150
Thrupp,  Sylvia L.,  The Pedigree and Prospects of Local History, 253-265
Tillett, Capt. A., 40, 92, 94
Tod, Thomas, 39, 94
Tokens, 27, 28
Tolmie, Dr. William Fraser, 237-239
Toyo Kisen Kaisha, 85, 98
Traffic to and from the Orient, 79, 86, 109-110
Trutch, J. W., Ill, 116, 121, 123
Turner, Archibald, 276
Turner, George, 2, 9
Tyrrell, J. B., 75
Upton Line, 85
Utz, John,  194
Valdes, C, 246
Van Bramer, James, 6, 9
Van Horne, Sir William, 29, 31, 37, 79, 86
Vancouver, Capt. George, 67-70, 246-247
Vancouver Coal Company, 134, 136
Vancouver Island, 1855, The Census of, 51-58
Vigelius, Anton, 278
Vigelius, Louis, 276
Waddington,   Alfred,   Judicial   Murder,   139;
The Necessity of Reform, 137-139
Waitt, M. W., 278
Wale,  W.,  278
Western Fuel Company, 135
White, Hester E., John Carmichael Haynes,
White Pass & Yukon Railway, 135, 136
Why "Bits"? 21-28
Wild Horse Creek, 189-193, 195, 197
Williams, J. W., 280
Wireless, first on Empresses, 99
Wirth, John G., 276
Wolff, Henry, 276
Wolff, Louis, 279
Wood, Dr. C. B., 1;   letter from, 13
Wood, Capt. F. A., 92
Wood, F. W., 35
Work, John, 248
Young, William, 189, 192 VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by Chables F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour Eric W. Hamber, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
OFFICERS, 1940-41.
G.  M.  Wkii;
B. A.
. f.I/VIE    -
L. Reid
(Vancouver Section)
To encouraj.
jmotc th lion and marking o
jblic interest in history;
c sites, buildings, reiics,
ish 1
natural featur- iier objects and places of historical interest, and to
laily in u- The fiscal year
in good standing receive
rical Q \it further ch;p
the fi
Parliament Buildi<


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