British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jul 31, 1953

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Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
Willard E. Ireland,
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
Madge Wolfenden,
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings,
Victoria, B.C. Price, 50tf the copy, or $2 the year. Members of the British
Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the Quarterly without
further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical Association
assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors to the magazine.
The Quarterly is indexed in Faxon's Annual Magazine Subject-Index and the
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. XVII Victoria, B.C., July-October, 1953 Nos. 3 and 4
" Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden.
By D. A. McGregor—  161
The Church of England in the Old Oregon Country.
By Thomas E. Jessett  197
Perry McDonough Collins at the Colonial Office.
By John S. Galbraith    207
John Nobili, S.J., Founder of California's Santa Clara College:
The New Caledonia Years, 1845-1848.
By John Bernard McGloin, S.J     215
The Klondike Gold-rush: A Great International Venture.
By Stuart R. Tompkins  223
Notes and Comments:
British Columbia Historical Association    241
Okanagan Historical Society  247
South Cariboo Historical Museum Society  249
Sproat Lake Petroglyphs      249
Plaque to Commemorate the Commencement of the Survey of Vancouver
Townsite by L. A. Hamilton, 1885_ .     250
Presentation of the Douglas Documents  251
Fort St. James Memorial Cairn  251
Plaque Commemorating Samuel Black  253
Clinton Cairn  254
Plaque Commemorating Walter Moberly  254
Alberta Historical Review  255
Contributors to This Issue   256 Page
The Northwest Bookshelf:
St. Michael and All Angels' Church, 1883 to 1953.
St. Mark's Church, Parish of Salt Spring Island, Diamond Jubilee,
Hendy: St. Paul's Church, Nanaimo: A Brief History Since Its Foundation, 1859-1952.
Sangster:   75 Years of Service:  A History of Olivet Baptist Church,
By Willard E. Ireland  257
Duff:   The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia.
By T. F. Mcllwraith  259
Papers Read before the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba;
Series III, No. 8.
By Willard E. Ireland     260
Hulley: Alaska, 1741-1953.
By W. W. Bilsland  261
The Seventeenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1953.
By Willard E. Ireland  264 Peter Skene Ogden.
(From a portrait in the Archives of B.C. by John Mix Stanley.) "OLD WHITEHEAD "—PETER SKENE OGDEN*
When our good friend Kaye Lamb was among us, before he was
translated to more important spheres,1 he had a lecture which he gave
several times in Vancouver and Victoria entitled " Peter, James, and
John." Peter, James, and John were the three great apostles of the fur
trade on this coast—Peter Skene Ogden, James Douglas, and John McLoughlin. To their acts and epistles Dr. Lamb devoted his lecture.
Douglas and McLoughlin have long been figures of controversy. Books
have been written about Douglas and libraries about McLoughlin, but
Ogden is less well known. He has been treated more as an incidental
than a central figure, yet he was the most energetic, the most dynamic,
the most far-ranging, and, in many ways, the most attractive character
of the three. Though a fur-trade apostle, he was no saint; rather, he
was a very human sinner, whose career is found to be strangely fascinating. It will be the purpose of this paper to take you over some of
his trails, crossing, as we go, the trails of various other men of character
who knew New Caledonia and the Columbia when the Great West was
young. But before following trails, let us have a flashback to see where
we are.
It will be remembered that in 1670 King Charles II granted a charter to the Hudson's Bay Company giving the Adventurers of England,
who were the Company's shareholders, the exclusive right of trading
with the Indians in the territories which drained into Hudson Bay. The
French, who held the valley of the St. Lawrence, paid little attention to
the franchise granted by King Charles and penetrated the Great West
on their own account, reaching as far as the foot-hills of the Rockies.
When the French were ousted in 1759, a number of independent traders,
some French, but mostly Scottish or of Scottish descent, picked up the
business they dropped. The new traders found independence and free
competition dangerous and not very profitable; so, after a few tries,
they formed a loose amalgamation or partnership known as the North
* The presidential address delivered before the annual meeting of the British
Columbia Historical Association, held in Vancouver, B.C., January 16, 1953.
(1) Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, editor of this Quarterly from 1937 to 1946, and now
Dominion Archivist and National Librarian.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
161 162 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
West Company, and this was for many years the great and vigorous
competition of the Hudson's Bay Company in the West. As W. Stewart
Wallace has put it, the North West Company was " one of the first
examples of ' big business' in the New World."2
Each of the rival companies enjoyed certain advantages and laboured
under certain disabilities. The Hudson's Bay Company could bring its
goods by water into the very heart of the fur country and take its cargoes
of skins out the same way. The Nor' Westers had to follow the tremendously long and laborious canoe route up the St. Lawrence and
Ottawa Rivers, along the northern edge of Lakes Huron and Superior,
and then through a chain of small lakes and rivers to Lake Winnipeg;
thence up the Saskatchewan to its headwaters and via the Athabaska
and various portages across to the Columbia and down to the Pacific
Coast. The Hudson's Bay Company had the advantage of close organization and long experience, but it was an absentee concern with headquarters in London. It paid its servants poorly, and these had small
incentive to exert themselves. The Nor' Westers, on the other hand,
were partners—bourgeois they called themselves, never dreaming what
an evil sound their chosen name would one day have in millions of ears.
The partners went into the West themselves, managed posts there, and
conducted business on the spot. They were working for themselves and
were, naturally, more enterprising and energetic than their competitors.
There was another fur company in the West. John Jacob Astor, of
New York, had established himself at the mouth of the Columbia River,
had set up various posts in the Columbia Valley, and got as far north
as the Thompson River. But the War of 1812 ended his venture, and
the Nor' Westers took over his business and many of his men.
By this time rivalry between the two fur companies had sharpened.
Lord Selkirk, who had bought control of the Hudson's Bay Company,
had plans for establishing a colony of Scottish farmers on the Red River
in the buffalo country and proceeded to carry them out. The Nor'
Westers could not permit that threat to go unchallenged, for the new
colony was right athwart their trade route, and if it succeeded it would
frighten the buffalo away. The Nor' Westers depended on the buffalo
for pemmican, the staple food of the fur trade.   Lacking pemmican they
(2) W. Stewart Wallace, Documents Relating to the North West Company,
Publication of the Champlain Society, Vol. XXII, Toronto, 1934, p. 1. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 163
would have to transport their food laboriously by canoe from Montreal,
and what that would do to their profits may readily be imagined.3
So the war was on.4 But is was a strange and intermittent war—
in many ways a phoney war.5 It must be remembered these rivals were
conducting their campaign in a vast and hostile country. It was easy
to starve there and the Indian population was none too friendly to either
side, so for mutual protection the fur-trade enemies were obliged to
huddle together.6 Their posts were built quite close to one another, in
a few instances even behind the same stockade. It was safer and more
practical that way. It is easier to watch your enemy when he is your
next-door neighbour. The rival traders were always fraternizing7 and
were in and out of one another's posts. They played cards together;
they entertained one another.    But that did not prevent their cutting
(3) "If the [Selkirk] colony succeeded, it would gradually cut off the buffalo,
from which the pemmican is made, and ultimately oblige the Company to import
from Canada, at an enormous expense, a great portion of the provisions necessary
for their travelling parties." Ross Cox, Adventures on the Columbia River, London, 1831, Vol. II, p. 230.
(4) The story of the fur-trade war is told by W. Stewart Wallace, op. cit., and
by G. C. Davidson, The North West Company, Berkeley, 1918.
(5) Ross Cox, op. cit., p. 229 states: "The opposition between the Hudson's-
Bay and North-West Companies was for many years carried on without any violent
breach of the peace on either side."
(6) " Many [of the posts] were built within sight of the opposition post."
Douglas Mackay, The Honourable Company, Toronto, 1936, p. 129. This is confirmed by Daniel Williams Harmon, A Journal of Voyages and Travels, Andover,
1820, p. 138: " Riviere a la Souris or Mouse River. . . . Here are three establishments, formed severally by the North West, X.Y. and Hudson Bay Companies."
This entry is under date May 27, 1805, and refers to the area at the confluence of
the Souris and Assiniboine Rivers.
■ (7) D.W. Harmon, op. cit., p. 138, recorded: "Last evening, Mr. Chaboillez
invited the people of the other two forts to a dance; and we had a real North West
country ball. When three fourths of the people had drunk so much, as to be
incapable of walking straightly, the other fourth thought it time to put an end to
the ball, or rather bawl. This morning, we were invited to breakfast at the
Hudson Bay House, with a Mr. McKay, and in the evening to a dance. This,
however, ended more decently, than the one of the preceding evening." Harmon's
entry for September 11, 1806, at Cumberland House reads: "The Hudson Bay
people have a fort within a hundred rods of ours, in charge of Mr. Peter Fidler."
[Ibid., p. 154.] Still later, on January 30, 1807, he recorded: "Two of the Hudson Bay people arrived from Fort des Prairies, who were so obliging as to bring
me letters from several gentlemen in that quarter. The greater part of the North
West and Hudson Bay people live on amicable terms; and when one can with
propriety render a service to the other it is done with cheerfulness."   [Ibid., p. 155.] 164 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
one another's throats when the opportunity offered.8 The throat-cutting
was mostly metaphorical, it is true, but there were murders and cruelties
and kidnappings, and at Winnipeg, to-day, descendants of the Selkirk
settlers will still show visitors the scene of the Seven Oaks massacre.
All this fighting on the western plains and rivers and a series of
costly lawsuits at Montreal9 did not help the business of either company
and it became apparent at last that, if both companies were not to go
under, the war would have to cease. The terms of peace amounted to
an amalgamation of the two concerns. The North West Company
disappeared; the Hudson's Bay Company continued but took over the
personnel of its rival, making the North West bourgeois commissioned
officers; that is, Chief Traders or Chief Factors in the amalgamation.
Incidentally, it should be pointed out that the fur-trade war never
extended to the Pacific Coast, the reason being that the Hudson's Bay
Company had never established itself west of the mountains.
When the amalgamation was complete, George Simpson, who had
spent a winter in Athabasca and had played a part in the fur-trade war,
was made Governor of the Company's enlarged Northern Department,
which included both the Columbia and New Caledonia districts. In this
territory west of the mountains and stretching from the Russian holdings
in the north to the Spanish colonies in the south, the Hudson's Bay
Company had no exclusive trading rights, but it soon arranged to get
them. There was, however, a difficulty, for the British Government,
which in 1821 gave the Company a twenty-one-year exclusive licence
to trade west of the Rocky Mountains, could not grant a complete
monopoly because it did not have complete sovereignty. The boundary
between the United States and the British territories extended only as far
west as the Rockies and westward of them the territory was held jointly.
The Hudson's Bay Company's licence did not exclude American traders,
and this circumstance led to a lot of things.
(8) W. Stewart Wallace, op. cit., pp. 24-25, says: " The ' ancient North West
spirit' was marked by admirable courage and fortitude; but was capable on occasion of a decided form of Schrecklichkeit."
(9) Most of the lawsuits were won by the North West Company, partly, it was
alleged, because of the influence the partners were able to exert on the Governments of Upper and Lower Canada. However, the strenuous Hudson's Bay competition reduced the North West profits or cut them away altogether, and as the North
West Company had no reserve—its profits were divided among the partners each
year—it was soon in a bad way. The Hudson's Bay Company suffered as well,
for in the forty-two years between 1783 and 1824 there were no dividends at all
during nine years, and in the other thirty-three the dividend was oftener 4 per cent
than higher. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 165
Having now set the stage, let us go back and gather up the actors.
Peter Skene Ogden,10 who is to play the lead in our drama, was the
youngest son of Isaac Ogden, a Judge of the District Court at Montreal.
The Judge was a Loyalist who had lost all his property in the American
Revolution and had been given a judicial appointment in Canada. He
was sixth in line from pilgrim John Ogden who had settled on Long
Island about 1640.11 Peter was born in Quebec and grew up in
Montreal, where he had four elder brothers, three of whom became
(10) The boy was named for his father's brother Peter and for Andrew Skene,
his godfather. At the time of the American Revolution the family of Judge David
Ogden, then settled at Newark, N.J., divided. The Judge and three sons—Isaac
(Peter Skene's father), Nicholas, and Peter—took the royalist side and lost their
property; Abraham and Samuel took the revolutionary side. The City of Ogdens-
burg, N.Y., is named for Abraham's son, David, who owned much of the land on
which the city is built. [WiUiam Ogden Wheeler, The Ogden Family, Philadelphia, 1907, pp. 101, 104, 186.] Properly, Peter Skene Ogden's middle name is
spelled " Skene," but in his letters, Ogden spelled it " Skene" or " Skeen " or
"Skein." According to T. C. Elliott, Ogden felt it looked better this way and
he enjoyed a bit of variety. [T. C. Elliott, " Peter Skene Ogden, Fur Trader,"
Oregon Historical Quarterly, XI (1910), p. 233.]
(11) W. O. Wheeler, op. cit., is a massive genealogy giving the story of the
Ogden family down to 1906.
(12) Ibid., pp. 102-103, 175, 176. The brothers were David (born after 1772,
died before 1823), Henry (1782-1858), Isaac G. (1783-1868), and Charles
Richard (1791-1866). Peter Skene was born in 1794. David became a leading
Montreal lawyer, one of the chief counsel for the Nor' Westers in their litigation
with Lord Selkirk. Charles Richard represented Three Rivers in the Legislative
Assembly of Lower Canada. He became Solicitor-General in 1823 and Attorney-
General in 1833. In the latter office, which he held until the union in 1841,
he had the unpopular job of prosecuting the rebels of 1837-38. His signature
is on the proclamation bringing the union of Upper and Lower Canada into
effect. After the Union, he again became Attorney-General for Lower Canada
and, it is said, was the first victim of the new device of responsible government.
He went on leave of absence, and while he was away the government changed, and
he returned to find himself out of office. He protested that he had been appointed
" during good behavior " and not " during pleasure." But he was not reinstated.
In 1844 he went to England, was called to the Bar there, and became Attorney-
General of the Isle of Man, retaining the office until his death. Donald Creighton
says in John A. Macdonald, the Young Politician, Toronto, 1952, p. 69, that it is
a curious fact that the members of the pre-Rebellion generation of Canadian public
men "whether they were comparatively young, or middle-aged, or old, failed,
with astonishing uniformity, to survive very long in the new political atmosphere.
For them, the adjustment was too difficult." Charles Richard Ogden belonged to
the pre-Rebellion generation. Isaac was a captain in the 56th Regiment and for
forty years Sheriff of Three Rivers. 166 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
It is said that Peter's mother wished him to go into the church and
that his father wanted him to take up law as two of his brothers had
done. It is certain he read some law, for he was fond of flinging legal
maxims about and quoting Latin tags. But the law did not attract him;
it was dull, and young Peter had exciting things to think about. Alexander Caulfield Anderson,13 who in later years worked closely with Ogden
in Oregon and British Columbia, has left it on record that he was
attracted to the fur trade by reading the Indian stories of Fenimore
Cooper. Ogden could not have been drawn that way, for he was in
the trade before the first of the Leather-stocking Tales was published.
Nor was there any need for him to be influenced by fiction. He was
living in the full flow of the very stories the fiction-writers would have
given their ears to hear, for Montreal was the heart and centre of that
part of the fur trade conducted by the Nor' Westers, and that was the
exciting and colourful part. Think for a moment what strange tales of
adventure and romance flowed down to Montreal in the wake of the
There was the romance of wealth. In our day we talk of oil and
uranium and the fortunes to be made from them. At the beginning of
the nineteenth century at Montreal the talk was all of fur. Fortunes
had been made and were being made in fur. Montreal was the financial
centre of the fur trade. The wealth of the trade flowed there and was
spent there. The big men of the city—the men people talked about
and envied—were fur-traders—the MacTavishes, the McGillivrays, the
McGills, the Chaboillez, the Frobishers.14 Theirs were the best houses.
Their turnouts were the finest. They gave the grandest entertainments.
These fur-traders, too, were credited with running the country and hold-
(13) James Robert Anderson, Notes and Comments on Early Days and Events
in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, Transcript, Archives of B.C., p. 8.
Hereinafter referred to as Notes and Comments.
(14) For biographical sketches of these men, see W. Stewart Wallace, op. cit.,
pp. 432, 446-447, 467-472, 484-485; E. E. Rich (ed.), Journal of Occurrences
in the Athabasca Department by George Simpson, 1820 and 1821, and Report
(Hudson's Bay Record Society, Vol. I), London, 1938, pp. 438-439, 450-452,
456-457; E. E. Rich (ed.), Minutes of Council of Northern Department of Rupert
Land, 1821-31 (Hudson's Bay Record Society, Vol. Ill), London, 1940, pp. 451-
452; E. E. Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin from Fort Vancouver to
the Governor and Committee: Second Series 1839-44 (Hudson's Bay Record
Society, Vol. VI), London, 1943, pp. 397-398. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 167
ing the government in their hand.    Certainly a good many of them were
members of the Legislature.15
Very soon it will be possible to reach Montreal from the Pacific
Coast in a matter of eight hours by jet plane. A century and a half
ago it took five months or more by canoe,16 and there was adventure
all the way. It was from Lachine, just outside Montreal, that the fur
brigades started for the Upper Country. It was at Ste. Anne's, just
up the Island, that the voyageurs paused to Ught a candle in the Uttle
church and, perhaps, sing a parting hymn. It was back to Lachine that
the weary canoemen brought their heavy peltries. It was in Montreal
that the partners and their servants regaled themselves after their months
of labour and privation in Le Pays d'En Haut. It was in Montreal's
saloons and clubs and at its dinner tables that the men who had seen
the West and lived in it told their tales of adventure and boasted how
they had met dangers and triumphed over them. After more than a
hundred years the hospitality of the Beaver Club,17 where the Nor'
Westers received strangers of distinction and gave them unique entertainment, is still a legend. It was on St. James Street and Notre Dame
and Beaver Hall Hill and the Champ de Mars that the peacocks of the
fur trade showed their fine feathers on parade days.18
(15) Among these may be mentioned Roderick McKenzie, cousin of Sir
Alexander; Nicholas Montour; Jules M. Quesnel, who was with Simon Fraser;
John Richardson; and Colin Robertson. Biographical data is to be found in
W. Stewart Wallace, op. cit., pp. 478-479, 487-488, 493, 494.
(16) Ross Cox, on his way east with the fur brigade in 1817, crossed the continent from Fort George on the Columbia to Montreal in five months and three
days.   Ross Cox, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 330.
(17) G. C. Davidson, op. cit, p. 244; George Bryce, The Remarkable History
of the Hudson's Bay Company, Toronto, 1900, p. 191.
(18) Ross Cox, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 335-336, tells the story of Louis La Lib-
erte, a canoeman from the Indian country who met his old bourgeois in Montreal
and was brushed off too brusquely, or so he thought. Louis thought himself a man
of importance, for he had married in the West and had a number of fine daughters,
no fewer than three of whom had married North West partners. He decided to
get even and ordered a very elaborate outfit—a coat of green cloth with silver
buttons, a vest of crimson velvet with cornelian buttons, braided sky-blue pantaloons, Hessian boots with silver heels and gold tassels, a hat with a feather, and a
silk sash. So attired Louis met his former boss on the Champ de Mars while the
latter, with a number of friends, was watching a regimental parade. Pushing into
the group he accosted the fur-trader, pointed to the latter's sober dress and then
to his own silver and gold, crimson and green. Then, before he was pushed away,
he shouted the names of his prosperous sons-in-law and cried "Je suis le beau-
pere de Monsieur M'Dinnill; Monsieur Mackenzie est mon gendre.   .   .   ." 168 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
There was the romance, too, of far places and of discovery. The
Nor' Westers were interested in much more than making money. They
were curious about what lay beyond the horizon and were among our
greatest explorers. Alexander Mackenzie, David Thompson, and Simon
Fraser19 were all Nor' Westers. Their stories, of course, came down
to Montreal and were told and retold by the men who had shared their
adventures. Under the circumstances, what boy with red blood in his
veins could resist the pull of such highly charged propaganda, the tug
of these far frontiers?   Certainly Peter Skene Ogden could not.
His first business contact with the fur-trade was as a clerk in the
office of John Jacob Astor, who maintained an estabUshment in Montreal. Peter was in his early teens then, and, most Ukely, was nothing
more than an office boy. But he was breathing the atmosphere. Then
at 1620 he was off to the West.
The first record of him beyond the Great Lakes is at the post of
Isle a la Crosse in the Saskatchewan district. This was in 1810, just
when the fur-trade war was changing from the phoney to the violent
period. Ogden was young, active, daring, keen, full of mischief, and
fond of rough practical jokes. With him was Samuel Black, a very
bitter enemy of the Hudson's Bay Company, and one whom Douglas
Mackay has described as " the very personation of a reckless North
West trader." The two young men apparently gave their rivals in the
other fort on the island a pretty hard time. Peter Fidler,21 who was in
charge of Isle a la Crosse for the Hudson's Bay Company, tells how the
pair assaulted and threatened him in his own post yard. According to
another report, this strangely matched pair—Black was a very big man
and Ogden was small—found amusement in setting Hudson's Bay Company fish-nets adrift or having them cut to pieces.22
Ross Cox, who met Ogden at Isle a la Crosse, when Cox was on his
way east with the fur brigade in 1817, describes him as " the humorous,
honest, eccentric, law-defying Peter Ogden, the terror of Indians, the
(19) For biographical sketches of these men, see W. Stewart Wallace, op. cit.,
pp. 445-446, 474-475, 502.
(20) There is some confusion as to the exact date of Ogden's leaving for the
West. T. C. Elliott, op. cit., p. 235, maintains: "In the year 1811, that is, at
the age of seventeen, in the Spring he entered the service of the Northwest
Company as a clerk.   .   .   ."
(21) For a sketch of Peter Fidler and his remarkable will, see George Bryce,
op. cit., pp. 282-285.
(22) Donald Gunn, History of Manitoba, Ottawa, 1880, pp. 121-126. 1953     " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden      169
deUght of all gay feUows."23 Cox and his party remained at Isle a la
Crosse for a couple of days and were entertained hospitably " on excellent whitefish and tea without sugar." But in the Hudson's Bay Company fort near by, Ogden and his companion, McMurray, were holding
prisoner twenty men, mostly Orkneymen, and upwards of 120 women
and children; and these were dejected, emaciated, and wretchedly sup-
pUed with provisions. Their chief support was fish from the lake, and
when these failed they depended on tripe de rocher. Ogden, according
to Cox, beguiled the stay of the visitors with stories of the Indian country and of clashes with the Indians and Orkneymen, which, " if reduced
to writing," Cox says, " would undoubtedly stagger the credulity of any
person unacquainted with the Indian country." Unfortunately he did
not attempt to reduce them to writing, so they are gone.24
After seven years' apprenticeship in Saskatchewan the young fur-
trader was transferred to the Columbia. Apparently he had made himself so obnoxious to the enemy in the fur-trade war that a biU of indictment had been issued against him or was about to be issued, and it was
thought desirable to put as many miles as possible between him and the
law.23 Two notes in old letters administer a parting kick. CoUn Robertson, who had been a Nor' Wester, transferred to the Hudson's Bay
Company and fought his former associates tooth and nail and with great
resourcefulness. In August, 1819, writing from Fort Cumberland to
William WilUams, he noted: "Haldane and that fellow Ogden have
gone to the Columbia by way of Beaver river. . . ,"26 Again ten
days later Robertson, now writing from Isle a la Crosse, reported: " Haldane and that vagabond Ogden have gone across the Mountains."27
(23) Ross Cox, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 245.
(24) Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 228-243 passim.
(25) Arthur S. Morton, A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71, London,
1939, p. 711.
(26) Colin Robertson to William Williams, August 26, 1819, in E. E. Rich
(ed.), Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, September 1817 to September
1822 (Hudson's Bay Record Society, Vol. II), London, 1939, p. 257. Williams
was the local Governor at York Factory. [W- Stewart Wallace, op. cit., p. 505.]
For a sketch of Haldane, see ibid., p. 453. John Haldane subsequently retired to
England, and some of Ogden's letters are addressed to him there.
(27) Robertson to Williams, September 6, 1819, in E. E. Rich (ed.), Colin
Robertson's Correspondence Book, p. 258. There was another connection between
Robertson and Ogden. When certain charges were preferred against Robertson by
the North West Company, they came up for trial at Montreal, and Mr. Justice
Isaac Ogden, Peter Skene's father, refused to sit on the case, as did Mr. Justice 170 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
Ogden and his party had a brush with the Indians at the mouth of
the Walla Walla River but got safely through to Fort George, the old
Astor post which had been renamed by the Nor' Westers. From headquarters at Fort George during the next few years he led trapping parties into the district between the Columbia and Puget Sound. He worked
out of Spokane House and the Flathead post for a time and seems to
have been in the Shuswap country.28 In 1820, after ten years in the
service, he was made a bourgeois, or partner. He had done very weU
and must have been pleased with himself. But late in 1821 word reached
the Columbia of the amalgamation of the two companies. Nearly all
the other partners had been given commissions in the new concern, but
not Ogden and Black. They had fought the Hudson's Bay Company
too effectively, and this was their punishment.
As the news spread there were protests from various old bourgeois,
and Ogden himself started on the long trip to London. He had two
purposes in going. One was to find a job and the other was to see his
father, who had retired from the Bench and had gone to England for
medical treatment. He spent some time in London, putting up at the
London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill. Before leaving he received a
letter from his father and, in view of the sort of life the son had been
Uving and was to live again, the lines read strangely.
Let me recommend you to be careful of your health and not expose yourself to
danger unnecessarily. You will of course be exposed to many in the discharge of
your duty, but let me entreat you not to court them or to be a volunteer in any
hazardous enterprise for which you will get little thanks & credit.2'
Isaac Ogden died in 1824, leaving Peter one-eighth of his estate,
but by that time he was on the Columbia again. We find the story of
his trip in a Journal kept by John Work. Peter was coming back as a
chief clerk in the new company, and apparently he felt that he had
prospects.   John Work,30 too, was a clerk who had been nine years with
Reid, whose wife was a sister of William McGillivray, one of the North West partners.   W. S. Wallace, op. cit., pp. 290-291.
(28) John McLeod, in a letter written in 1823 about certain Indians on the
Thompson River, wrote: "Mr. Ogden three years ago made an attempt to send
free men up this river, but in consequence of some dispute that arose among them
they returned, having been forty miles up the river." Quoted by J. H. Mosgrove
in an article in the Vancouver Daily Province, February 15, 1931.
(29) Quoted in T. C. Elliott, op. cit., p. 243.   Original in Archives of B.C.
(30) At the time of the amalgamation of the two companies, Nicholas Garry
had described John Work as " a most excellent young man in every respect." For a
sketch of Work, see H. D. Dee, "An Irishman in the Fur Trade:   the Life and 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 171
the Hudson's Bay Company and was destined to have a notable career
in the fur trade. The two men met at York Factory and left for the
West on July 18, 1823. They had two Ught canoes with four men in
each. The express, with Ogden in charge, travelled Ught, taking only
sufficient provisions to supply the men until they could get more. It was
fly-time and they were worried by mosquitoes.31 Some of the bags of
pemmican with which they started out proved to be mouldy and useless.
Four hundred pounds of dried meat taken on at Isle a la Crosse proved
so tough the men could hardly chew it. The Indians and freemen they
met had no provisions to seU. Their shot gave out and they could not
get ducks. At Moose Portage, where they expected to find a cache of
food, there was none. Consequently, we find entries in the Journal like
[August 27]   We had no breakfast this morning and only two small ducks among
us for supper, which except a few berries was our days subsistance.   When we
stopped for the night we had not a drop of water.
[August 31]   Some rain in the night and blowing strong & very cold with weighty
rain the greater part of the day.
[September 2]   We had no breakfast this morning and only 9 small ducks and a
Muskrat for supper, but we found some berries in the course of the day.32
Ogden fell iU. This sort of fare was different from that he had known
on Ludgate HiU, and he attributed his misery to poor Uving and anxiety
of mind. For ten days or more there were entries similar to the foUowing: " Mr. Ogden was iU the greater part of the night and appeared at
times in some measure deUrious. . . ."33 But the party kept moving
and at last it reached Boat Encampment, where the east-bound express
was waiting for it.   From that point onward the way was smoother.
Ogden and Work spent the winter of 1823-24 at Spokane House,
which, from aU accounts, was a lively place.34   In 1824 Governor Simp-
Journals of John Work," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VII (1943), pp.
(31) Work spells the word "muscatoes "; Ross Cox spells it " musquitoes."
(32) John Work, "Journal: York Factory to Spokane House, July 18-October
28, 1823," MS., Archives of B.C., passim.
(33) Ibid., under date September 14, 1823.
(34) "Spokane House was a retired spot: no hostile natives were there to
disquiet a great man. There the Bourgeois who presided over the Company's affairs
resided, and that made Spokane House the centre of attraction. There all the
wintering parties, with the exception of the northern district, met. There they
were all fitted out: it was the great starting point. ... At Spokane House, too,
there were handsome buildings:  there was a ball room, even; and no females in 172 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
son came through to the Columbia, and the same year Ogden received
his commission as a Chief Trader.35 Simpson had secured the promotion for him, but not for nothing—he had work for Ogden to do (a lot
of work as it turned out), and the various jobs were to last him the rest
of his life. The first thing the Governor wanted the new Chief Trader
to undertake was to head a trapping expedition into the Snake River
country. This, as Simpson put it himself, was the " most hazardous and
disagreeable office in the Indian Country,"36 and none of the commissioned gentlemen had volunteered for this service. Ogden had built up
a reputation for courage, toughness, resourcefulness, and tact, and these
quaUties got him the job.
For a moment let us take a look at the young man who was issuing
the orders to Ogden. George Simpson37 was probably 32 years of age
at the time. He was two years older than Ogden, but whereas Ogden
had had fourteen years in the fur trade, Simpson had had only four.
However, Simpson was Governor and Ogden only a Chief Trader.
When Simpson took over as Governor, he was confronted by an immense
amount of detail work in consolidating the affairs of the two companies.
As Dr. Lamb has put it, he found himself with " two of everything "38—
too many posts, too many people, too extravagant a set-up. He had to
close posts, reduce personnel, make economies, adopt conservation
measures. It was three years, therefore, before he could get across the
mountains and make a personal examination of the affairs on the
Columbia. At that time he had had to alter his personal plans and
postpone the trip he had counted on making to the Old Country to be
married.   He had laid aside, he told his patron and superior, Andrew
the land so fair to look upon as the nymphs of Spokane; no damsels could dance
so gracefully as they; none were so attractive. But Spokane House was not celebrated for fine women only; there were fine horses also. The race-ground was
admired, and the pleasures of the chace [sic] often yielded to the pleasures of the
race. Altogether Spokane House was a delightful place, and time had confirmed
its celebrity." Alexander Ross, The Fur Hunters of the Far West, London, 1855,
Vol. I, p. 138.
(35) The commission is dated March 3, 1824, MS., Archives of B.C.
(36) Frederick Merk (ed.), Fur Trade and Empire: George Simpson's Journal
.   .   .   , 1824-1825, Cambridge, Mass., 1931, p. 45.
(37) For a life of Simpson, see A. S. Morton, Sir George Simpson, Toronto,
(38) E. E. Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin from Fort Vancouver
to the Governor and Committee: First Series, 1825-28 (Hudson's Bay Record
Society, Vol. IV), introduction by W. Kaye Lamb, London, 1941, p. xii. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 173
Colvile, " all feelings or consideration in respect to my own ease and
comfort . . . and . . . alone consulted the wehare of the Company & Colony."39
But if Simpson had not visited the Columbia, it had been much in
his mind and in the minds of the Governor and Committee. What
should be done about the Columbia? Was it worth keeping or should
it be abandoned? Even in the days when the Nor' Westers had had
a free hand there it had never made them any money. It had been
tremendously far from the Montreal headquarters; there had been no
possibiUty of adequate supervision and it had been run expensively—
even extravagantly. There were other considerations than money.
There were questions of high policy. If there was no profit in holding
the Columbia, there was profit in New Caledonia, and New Caledonia
was in danger. At the time four nations were interested in the largely
unexplored Great West. The Russians were in the north, the Spaniards
in the south, and Great Britain and the United States claimed the middle
ground. The Hudson's Bay Company, which was close to the British
Government, was satisfied that when the middle country came to be
divided, the line would certainly not run south of the Columbia. It
might run north, and it decided, therefore, to pull back to the north side
of the river and to hold the country there. If it would not yield a profit
itself, it would safeguard the more valuable fur lands to the north.
The truth is that the Hudson's Bay Company was faced with competition again, and no monopolist likes competition. The competition
was threatening from two quarters—both American—and consequently
not proscribed by the Company's licence. The Boston men were already
on the coast, and the Mountain men were at the headwaters of the
Missouri and would presently be over the mountains following the trails
of Lewis and Clark and the Astor overland party or beating out new
trails of their own. For many years a new fur-trade war was to be
waged between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Americans. It was
to be waged on both land and sea, and Ogden was to have a part in
both campaigns.
Even when concerned with matters of high policy, Simpson never
forgot that his real job was to make money for the shareholders in
London and the commissioned gentlemen at the posts.    On his first
(39) Simpson to Colvile, May 20, 1822, in F. Merk, op. cit., p. 243. Douglas
MacKay, op. cit., p. 182, states: " The object of the visit to England was marriage
to his cousin, Frances Ramsay Simpson, but the event had to be postponed seven
years in the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company's efficiency." 174 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
visit to the Columbia he had been appalled at the sloth and extravagance
and lack of enterprise he had found there. The traders did not know
anything about the coast and had made no effort to learn, and he considered their ignorance a disgrace.40 Prodigious costs were being incurred, and the system foUowed was little short of ruinous. " The good
people of the Spokane District," he wrote, "... have been eating
gold."41 By this he meant that they were too fond of European foodstuffs, which had to be transported across the continent by canoe or
half-way round the world by ship. He determined to change aU that—
to tighten up the business, to force the Hudson's Bay people to live on
the country42—and to get some profit from the Columbia. Under his
urging and encouragement, farming was started, first on the Columbia
at Fort Vancouver, Nisqually, and CowUtz, and later in New Caledonia
at Alexandria, Kamloops, and Fort Langley.
Ogden was sent to trap the Snake country. In giving him this
assignment, Simpson had two purposes. The country was full of beaver
and other fur animals, and the fur would make a profit for the Company.
The beaver were a quick-profit crop, and if they were aU caught—the
country trapped bare—there would be less temptation for the American
traders to come across the mountains and to make trouble for the Hudson's Bay Company by offering the Indians higher prices in trade goods.
Ogden had his orders. As a fur reserve, the Snake country was to be
(40) F. Merk, op. cit., p. 39. " Everything appears to me on the Columbia
[to be] on too extended a scale except the Trade," the Governor had remarked
rather bitterly.   Ibid., p. 65.
(41) " The good people of Spokane District and I believe of the interior of the
Columbia generally have since its first establishment shown an extraordinary predilection for European Provisions without once looking at or considering the enormous price it costs; if they had taken the trouble they would have had little difficulty in discovering that all this time they may be said to have been eating gold;
such fare we cannot afford in the present times, it must therefore be discontinued."
Ibid., p. 47. Again and again Simpson reverts back to the folly of importing
European foods. One unfortunate post officer roused the Governor's wrath by
requisitioning some mustard: " One would think from the quantity you order that
it is intended to be used in the Indian trade."   Ibid., p. xix.
(42) Ibid., p. 266.
(43) " The greatest and best protection we can have from opposition is keeping the country closely hunted as the first step that the American Government will
take toward Colonization is through the Indian Traders and if the country becomes
exhausted in Fur bearing animals they can have no inducement to proceed thither.
We therefore entreat that no exertions be spared to explore and Trap every part of 1953     ' Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden     175
The Snake River, the principal southern branch of the Columbia, is
a great river in its own right. It has been said of it that "... it flows
farther than the Ohio, trenches a deeper canyon than the Colorado,
drains a larger basin than the Hudson and in its swift reaches lurks more
potential hydroelectric power than in the Tennessee."44 Great as the
river's basin is, the fur-traders made it much larger. To them the Snake
country was the whole vast and indefinite district lying west of the
mountains, south of the Columbia, and north of the Spanish territories.
Ogden himself, after being into it, described it as " bounded on the North
by the Columbia Waters On the South by the Missourie [sic], On the
West by the Spanish Territo[ries] and on the East by the Saskatchewan
It was a vast territory but not entirely new. Lewis and Clark had
been through it and so had Astor's men. Wilson Price Hunt, their
leader, after trying conclusions with its current, had named it the Mad
River. The Astorians had sent a trapping party of seven into the region
and not one had returned.46 The Nor' Westers had been in several times
and had come out with much beaver. Donald McKenzie, an old
Astorian and an old Nor' Wester, who had spent the previous winter at
Red River with Simpson, had led an expedition into the country and was
enthusiastic about it.47    So Simpson knew the Snake country by repu-
the country."   Simpson to McLoughlin, July 9, 1827, quoted in E. E. Rich (ed.),
Minutes of Council, Northern Department 1821-31, p. lxviii.
(44) Richard L. Newberger in a review of Ogden's Snake Country Journals in
the September 9, 1951, issue of The New York Times Book Review, p. 14.
(45) E. E. Rich (ed.), Peter Skene Ogden's Snake Country Journals, 1824-25
and 1825-26 (Hudson's Bay Record Society, Vol. XIII), London, 1950, pp. xxv,
(46) "A party of six men, under a Mr. Reid, had been fitted out by the Astor
Company for the Snake country. ... It was afterwards discovered that Mr.
Reid and his party were all murdered by the Indians." Alexander Ross, op. cit.,
Vol. I, pp. 7-8.
(47) "There animals of every class rove about undisturbed; . . . the red
deer were seen grazing in herds about the rivers; . . . where there was a sapling,
the ingenious and industrious beaver was at work. Otters sported in the eddies;
the wolf and the fox were seen sauntering in quest of prey; ... In the woods,
the martin and black fox were numerous; the badger sat quietly looking from his
mound; and in the numberless ravines, among bushes laden with fruits, the black,
the brown, and the grisly [sic] bear were seen. The mountain sheep, and goat white
as snow, browzed on the rocks and ridges; and the big horn species ran among the
lofty cliffs. Eagles and vultures, of uncommon size, flew about the rivers. When
we approached, most of the animals stood motionless; they would then move off 176 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
ration. He knew its dangers—how it was possible to starve there if
game became scarce and shy, how war parties of Bloods and Piegans
were continuaUy roving through it except in winter, and how the Snakes
were always skulking about, ready to steal an unguarded horse or scalp
an unwary hunter. AU the same, he sent Ogden in with orders to trap
the country clean.
Year after year, for six years, Ogden led expeditions into the country
south of the Columbia. He did not always trap on the Snake, but he
touched it or its tributaries each year in his rovings. He poked into
aU sorts of wUd and unexplored places, looking always for beaver but
taking less important furs if he found them. He traversed or visited
the States that are known to-day as Washington, Oregon, Idaho,
Montana, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and CaUfornia. On his first expedition he pushed eastward across the Great Divide and had his knuckles
rapped by the Governor and Committee,48 for Their Honours of Fen-
church Street had no wish to stir up trouble with the Americans. On
his last expedition he pushed southward, east of the high Sierras, and
reached the GuU of California.49 He trespassed on Mexican territory
that time, but the Mexicans were not important. It was more serious
that, on that occasion, he did not bring back much fur.50 More than
once he got east of the Great Salt Lake.
He threaded unknown areas, making his own trails. He crossed
dreary wastes of burning sand and scrubby wormwood.    He stormed
a little distance, but soon came anew to satisfy a curiosity that often proved fatal
to them." This description given by McKenzie is in ibid., pp. 202-203. For biographical details on McKenzie, see W. S. Wallace, op. cit., p. 477.
(48) "We have repeatedly given direction that all collision with the Americans should be avoided as well as infringements upon their Territory, it appears
however . . . that Mr. Ogden must have been to the southward of 49 degrees
of latitude and to the Eastward of the Rocky Mountains which he should particularly have avoided . . . [Further] inattention to this instruction . . . will be
attended with our serious displeasure." Governor and Committee to Simpson,
June 2, 1826, quoted in E. E. Rich (ed.), McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters:
First Series, p. lxiv.
(49) "I was not so successful in my last years Trapping as the preceding
although I extended my trails by far greater distance to the Gulph of California
but found beaver very scarce, and unfortunately below the main Dalls [sic] of the
Col[umbia]. my own Boat was engulphed in a Whirlpool and 9 men were drowned.
I had a most narrow escape. . . ." Ogden to John McLeod, March 10, 1831,
Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(50) McLoughlin to Simpson, July 13, 1830, printed in Burt Brown Barker
(ed.), Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin, Portland, 1948, p. 120. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 177
mountain passes deep with snow or sUppery with slush or barricaded
by great tangles of fallen timber. He forded torrents and swam icy
streams. Provisions faUed and he endured hunger and thirst—privation
in every form. He faced all sorts of dangers. Small wonder he cursed
the Indians who were hanging always on his flanks, his own indolent
and untrustworthy freemen, and the adverse fate which drove him without cessation " like a baU in a tennis court."51 No wonder he was constrained to write, " This is the sort of life that make a young man 60 in
a few months."
It would be impossible at this time to deal fuUy with all the expeditions, so only the high-spots wiU be touched upon. The first, which
set out late in 1824, was probably the most exciting. Ogden was new
to the country, but he was given the largest and best-equipped expedition
ever sent to the Snakes. While Ogden himself Usted his complement as
58 freemen, servants, and engaged men, with 61 guns, 268 horses, and
352 traps,52 WiUiam Kittson, who was with Ogden and also kept a
journal, in his entry for December 20, 1824, gives the foUowing information on the expedition: "The party is now together consisting of 22
lodges which contain besides Mr. Ogden and myseU, Charles McKay
an interpreter of the Piegan Language 10 Engages 53 Fremen and lads,
30 Women and 35 Children, aU weU furnished in arms ammunition
Horses and Traps, able in aU appearances to face any War party brought
into the plains."53 It might be thought that women and children were
mere excess baggage, but an Indian wife on such an expedition was
a distinct asset. She more than paid her way, for she sewed and
gummed the canoes, when canoes were used; she made snowshoes and
helped make traps; she skinned the catch and prepared the furs; when
in the buffalo country she prepared the pemmican and did her share
generaUy of the heavy work of travel. The expedition had to have her,
and she had to have her children, so the lodges went along.54
Most of Ogden's men were freemen—men who could be led but not
commanded.55   They were of various races—French-Canadian, Iroquois,
(51) Traits of American Indian Life and Character, by a Fur Trader, London,
1853, p. 70.   This work generally is attributed to Ogden.
(52) E. E. Rich (ed.), Ogden's Snake Country Journals, pp. 2-3.
(53) Ibid., pp. 209-210. Alexander Ross, who was at the Flathead post when
the expedition set out, gives a slightly different description of the size of the party.
See Alexander Ross, op. cit., passim.
(54) E. E. Rich, " Colonial Empire," Economic History Review, Vol. XI,
p. 318.
(55) McLoughlin to Simpson, March, 1830, printed in B. B. Barker (ed.),
op. cit., p. 83. 178 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
plains Indians, half-breeds. Simpson described them as " . . . the
very scum of the country and generaUy outcasts from the Service for
misconduct." They were, he added, " the most unruly and troublesome
gang to deal with in this or perhaps any other part of the World."56
Alexander Ross, who knew the freemen weU, was even more severe:
"A more discordant, headstrong, Ul-designing set of rascals that form
this company God never permitted together in the fur trade."57
AU the same, there was something to be said for the freemen. If
they were at loose ends in the Indian country, it was the fur companies
that had brought them there. They were mostly old servants of the
companies whose terms of service had expired. They had no ties elsewhere, had got used to the Indian country, and preferred to remain there.
Simpson himself had thrown a lot of them on the country by his economies. The freemen did not Uke the Hudson's Bay Company and made
no secret of their dislike. They felt the Company had exploited them,
paying them low prices for their furs, exacting top prices for suppUes,
keeping them always in debt and therefore discontented. The Company,
on its side, insisted that it was the freemen's own indolence and gambUng
instincts and not the Company's desires that kept them in debt. The
Company outfitted them because it did not wish to see them starve.
Ogden set out with high hopes and, in spite of bad weather and
adverse circumstances, was doing fairly well. Alexander Ross, who had
led the expedition the previous year, had brought back 4,900 beaver,
and the Governor had not been satisfied.58 Ogden aimed at 6,000, but
as things turned out he only brought back haU that number, and more
than once it seemed to him that he would not even get back himself.
Disaster came when the expedition feU in with a party of American
traders and twenty-three of Ogden's freemen deserted to them, a number
of the freemen taking their furs as weU as horses and traps that belonged
to the Company. Worse than that, John Gardner, leader of the Americans, camped near by, hoisted the Stars and Stripes, and told Ogden's
men that they were free of their debts and his engaged men that they
were free of their contracts. He then ordered the Hudson's Bay man
out of the territory, which, he said, was American. Ogden stood his
ground and stood off the disaffected Iroquois who threatened to piUage
the camp, but he realized the danger of his position, for the desertions
(56) F. Merk, op. cit., p. 45.
(57) T. C. Elliott, " Journal of Alexander Ross," Oregon Historical Quarterly,
XIV (1913), p. 376.
(58) F. Merk, op. cit., p. 45. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 179
had so shorn him of strength that if he should meet an Indian war party
he would have no chance whatever.59 " Here I am now," he wrote in
his Journal, May 25, 1825, " with only 20 Trappers Surrounded on aU
Sides by enemies & our expectations & hopes blasted for returns this
year, to remain in this quarter any longer would merely be to trap Beaver
for the Americans."60 Writing to Simpson from the field a little later
he added: " You need not anticipate another expedition ensuing Year
to this Country for not a freeman wiU return, and should they, it would
be to join the Americans."61
In the depth of his disappointment Ogden wrote many bitter things
about the freemen in his Journal.62 But when he got back he made it
his business to get fairer treatment for these people. McLoughlin helped
and the Governor and Committee wrote Simpson on the foUy of endangering the goose that was laying golden eggs for them. " By attempting
to make such expeditions too profitable," they said, " the whole may be
lost. . . . We can afford to pay as good a price as the Americans
and where there is risk of meeting their parties it is necessary to pay as
much or something more."63 Simpson feU into Une, too, and wrote to
McLoughlin: " Trap every part of the country and as the service is
both dangerous and laborious we wish our people to be treated with
kindness and Uberality."64 Simpson went even further and when reporting to his superiors admitted his error: " We now when too late perceive
that our former system of trade with these people [freemen] was bad."65
The freemen, as it turned out, were not as bad as they had been
painted. On his second expedition when near Klamath Lake, Ogden
learned there were some Americans in his vicinity and tried to avoid
them. He wanted no more desertions, but he was surprised to find in
the American party some of the men who had deserted him the year
before, and stiU more surprised when several of them came forward,
paid instalments on the debts they owed the Company, and traded skins
with him at Hudson's Bay Company rates.66   In the end he learned not
(59) E. E. Rich (ed.), Ogden's Snake Country Journals, pp. 51-53.
(60) Ibid., p. 54.
(61) E. E. Rich (ed.), McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters: First Series,
p. 299.
(62) E. E. Rich (ed.), Ogden's Snake Country Journals, p. 79.
(63) E. E. Rich (ed.), Minutes of Council, Northern Department, 1821-31,
pp. lxvii-lxviii.
(64) Ibid.
(65) Ibid., p. lxviii, foot-note 2.
(66) E. E. Rich (ed.), Ogden's Snake Country Journals, p. 154. 180 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
to fear the Americans at aU, for he could give them as good as he got.
On this expedition, too, he had an experience which showed the stuff
his freemen were made of. It was May 6, 1826, and he was on the
main branch of the Raft River—near the south-east corner of modern
Idaho—when he made the foUowing entry in his Journal:—
... it began to Snow and continued the greater part of the night Many of the
Trappers came in almost froze and without setting their Traps Naked as the
greater part are and destitute of Shoes it is surprising to me how they can resist,
and to their Credit be it said not a murmur or Complaint do I hear such men as
these are well worthy of following Franklin, for they certainly are now well inured
to suffering two thirds of them without a Blanket or any shelter and have been
so for the last six months.6?
Inclement weather was not the only difficulty. Starvation was always
a threat. On Christmas Day, 1825, the party was down to less than 20
pounds of food. On New Year's Day Ogden gave aU hands a dram,
remarking sardonicaUy, " I have only to observe there was more fasting
than feasting." The days foUowing were almost tragic as the Journal
Friday 6th. ... we raised camp to facilitate the Trappers as their Horses
are in a low state many of them can scarsely crawl not from the want of Grass but
from the froze state of the ground, but march they must or we starve.   .   .   .
Saturday 7th. ... so many starving in the Camp that they start before day
to steal Beaver out of their neighbours Traps if they find nothing in their own. . . .
Sunday Sth. . . . We had the Pleasure of seeing a Raven this day he appeared to be a Stranger in this quarter.
Saturday 28th. . . . many in the Camp are Starving and have been so more
or less for some time past indeed as far as it concerns my mess we have been for
the last ten days with only one meal every two days.   .   .   .
Friday 10th. . . . two of the men who attempted to go in advance to set
their Traps could not from weakness, we have certainly been on short allowance
almost too long, and resemble so many Skeletons.   .   .   .68
The third expedition confined itself mostly to eastern and southern
Oregon. But again the same conditions were encountered. The following extracts from the Journal give a clear picture of what was to be
encountered in a trapping party in the winter:—
[Saturday, November 5, 1826] My provisions ... are fast decreasing. The
hunters are discouraged. Day after day from morning to night in quest of animals;
but not one track do they see.   .   .   .
[Sunday, November 27] One horse killed for food to-day. My provisions are
nearly exhausted.   .   .   .
(67) Ibid., p. 162.
(68) Ibid., pp. 110-126 passim. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 181
[Saturday, December 3rd] 2 horses killed for food; terrible storms of snow
and sleet!   What will become of us?
[Sunday 25th, Christmas] I did not raise camp and we are reduced to one meal
a day.  .   .   .
[Saturday 31] Our hunters have no success. Discontent prevails. I gave
rations to all. This closes the year; and my stock of provisions also. They have
been measured out with a sparing hand. We have yet 3 mos. of winter. God grant
them well over and our horses escape the kettle! I have been the most unfortunate
man; but the Lord's will be done!   .   .   .
[January 18th]   I am wretched!   No beaver!   .   .   .
[January 22nd] Late last night two of my Iroquois came in with 7 deer. This
news caused joy in camp.   .   .   .
[March 9th] Huts no sooner made than rain came in torrents. Our leather
tents are in a rotten state and I can swear our blankets have not been dry for 20
days.   .   .   .
[March 13th] All obliged to sleep out in pouring rain and without blankets.
Not one complaint. This life makes a young man sixty in a few years. . . .
A convict at Botany Bay is a gentleman at ease compared to my trappers. Still
they are happy. A roving life suits them. They would regard it as a punishment
to be sent to Canada.   .   .   .69
It was on this expedition that Ogden discovered and named Mount
The fourth and fifth expeditions took the wandering fur-trader to
Nevada, where he discovered a stream which he caUed the Unknown
River, which his trappers sometimes caUed Ogden's River, sometimes
Mary's River, after Julia Mary, Ogden's wife, and sometimes St. Mary's
River. But General Fremont, when he came by in 1848, brushed aU
the old names aside and caUed the river the Humboldt, after the German
geographer. This is the river which Dale L. Morgan says ". . . challenged men, not to Uve upon it but to Uve without it. . . . necessary
river, unloved river, barren river—Desert River of the West. There is
no minstrelsy to celebrate it except the song of hate."71 Even the
weariest river, the poet says, runs somewhere safe to the sea, but for
the weary Humboldt there is no such happy consummation. It dries up
in the desert and dies miserably in the Carson Sink.
After his visit to the Gulf of CaUfornia and the loss of his Journals
and nine men at the DaUes when almost home,72 Ogden went no more
(69) T. C. Elliott, op. cit., pp. 211-217 passim.
(70) Ibid., p. 214.
(71) Dale L. Morgan, The Humboldt, New York, 1943, p. 338.
(72) V. supra, foot-note 49.   The details of this disaster are to be found in
Traits of American Indian Life, pp. 165-169. 182 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
to the Snake country. Simpson had expressed the utmost satisfaction
with the zeal, activity, and perseverance his Ueutenant had displayed,
but he had realized for some time that the hardships were telling on the
health of the Company's aggressive and far-ranging officer, and that
other occupation would have to be found for him.73 As a result, John
Work was assigned to replace Ogden on the Snake brigades,74 and
Ogden, withdrawn from the mountains, the deserts, and the rivers, was
assigned to another of the " little Governor's " campaigns against the
American traders. In his years with the Snakes, Ogden had brought
back many thousands of beaver-skins and had left mementoes of his
visits in many quarters. They are to be found to this day south of the
Columbia—Ogden River, Ogden City, Ogden VaUey, Ogden Canyon,
Ogden's Bridge, Ogden's Hope. Later on in British Columbia he was
to be remembered in Ogden Point near Victoria, Ogden Mountain in
the Cariboo, and Ogden Passage. There are other features caned for
other Ogdens, possibly relatives.
Long before either the Nor' Westers or the Hudson's Bay people
had crossed the mountains, American traders were operating on the
Pacific Coast. Theirs was an adventurous and profitable trade. Leaving
New England ports early in the year, they would round the Horn and
in the spring and summer trade on the coast from California north.
They would drop anchor near the shore at some likely spot and wait for
the Indian canoes to come out. When they had exhausted the trade at
one place, they would move on. By autumn they would be weU up
north and from there would make a direct run to the Sandwich Islands
for the winter. In the spring they would be back off the California coast
and follow the trade north again. Then, with holds fuU of furs, they
would head for Canton, trade off their peltries for tea, silk, and other
(73) Simpson to Governor and Committee, March 1, 1829, as printed in E. E.
Rich (ed.), Simpson's 1828 Journey to the Colombia [sic], p. 65: "I cannot quit
the subject of our Trapping Expeditions, without expressing my utmost satisfaction with the zeal, activity and perseverence manifested by Chief Trader Ogden,
in the very arduous service on which he has been employed for some years past,
while I am sorry to intimate, that the injury his constitution has sustained, by the
privations and discomfort to which he has been so long exposed, will render it
necessary to relieve him as soon as we can find a Gentleman qualified to fill his
place with advantage."
(74) John Work not only succeeded Ogden in command of the Snake brigades,
but he also succeeded him on the coast in 1834 when Ogden went to New Caledonia. Still later he was associated with Ogden on the board of management at
Fort Vancouver after McLoughlin retired. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 183
exotic goods, and carry their new cargoes home to Boston. Many a
New England fortune was founded on this trade, but by 1821 it had
dwindled, largely owing to the exhaustion of the sea-otter. StiU there
was trade there. The Hudson's Bay Company was not getting much
of it, and Governor Simpson thought something should be done.
McLoughlin's idea was to buUd posts at strategic points, fortifying
them because there was real danger. Simpson, however, favoured ships
rather than posts. McLoughlin thought ships costly—it was easy to
find gentlemen to command the posts but difficult to find reUable naval
officers to handle the ships.75 The masters either drank too much or
they did not know the coast or they were incompetent. " Capt Davidsons talent as a Navigator I know nothing about," wrote the old White
Eagle, " but his talent as a Grog Drinker I understand is without parallel. . . ."76 And there were others. So the disagreement between
McLoughlin and Simpson began and widened with the years, and in the
end it became one of the causes of the bitter quarrel that broke out.
In practice, both ships and posts were used. Fort Langley, the first of
the posts, had been established in 1827. When Ogden got back from
his California venture in 1830, he found instructions awaiting him to
establish a post on the Nass River,77 but a violent attack of intermittent
fever in the posts on the Columbia delayed action for a year. McLoughlin needed a man like Ogden on the coast because, as he told the Governor, " the Natives of the place are reported to be very numerous and
very Hostile to the Whites."78 The Nass post was built in 1831 and
named Fort Simpson for Captain Aemelius Simpson, who had died
during its construction. Fort McLoughUn on MiUbank Sound was
built in 1833.
A post on the Stikine, 30 miles up or more, was to be next, but when
Ogden and his party tried to enter the mouth of the river in June, 1834,
they found the way barred by a crude Russian redoubt and a couple of
smaU war vessels.    Baron WrangeU, Governor of Alaska, had been
(75) E. E. Rich (ed.), McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters: First Series,
p. 315.
(76) Ibid., pp. lxxvii-lxxviii. Others were Captain Hayne of the Ganymede
and Captain Minors of the Dryad. McLoughlin also thought that the William
and Ann, the Isabella, and the Vancouver had all been lost owing to the incompetence or negligence of their commanders.
(77) Ogden to John McLeod, March 10, 1831, Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(78) McLoughlin to Governor and Committee, October 11, 1830, in B. B.
Barker (ed.), Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin, p. 139. 184 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
watching Ogden. He knew aU about his record on the Snake—how he
trapped the country bare—and the Governor perhaps thought he might
do the same on the coast. He had noted Ogden's aggressive methods
on the coast, too, and had reported:—
Mr. Ogden injured the Americans quite considerably this year. ... he sends
three vessels to the straits to such localities where the Americans are putting in and
begins to pay twice or three times as much as the Americans who never hold out
very long but hasten to leave the place and proceed to another, where they are
immediately followed by Ogden's ships.79
This, of course, was quite in Une with McLoughUn's poUcy and
instructions.80. If you deprive the Americans of profit, the good doctor
insisted, they wiU not come near you, or if they do they wiU not stay
long. WrangeU perhaps thought the same poUcy would be used against
the Russians.81. At any rate he set his armed vessels to bar the way to
the Stikine and absented himself from Sitka so that he could not be
argued with. Ogden, who was accompanied by quite an array of Hudson's Bay commissioned officers—Dr. WiUiam Fraser Tolmie, James
Birnie, Alexander Caulfield Anderson, and Dr. John F. Kennedy—had
quite a time making out what the Russians meant, for none of his men
could speak Russian and none of the Russians knew EngUsh. Dr. Tolmie makes quite a story of it in his Journal82 with his descriptions of the
dress and appearance of the Russian officers, the fondness of one of
them for Hudson's Bay brandy, their comings and goings, and so on.
(79) E. E. Rich (ed.), McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters: First Series,
p. lxxxvii. The following letter from McLoughlin to Captain Thomas Sinclair,
master of the Cadboro, June 4, 1831, is enlightening: "You will Trade with the
Natives at the rate of three skins for a 2V4 pt Blanket and twenty skins for a Gun
However if you should see an American Coaster in that quarter you will sell at
the rate of one made Beaver per Blanket." B. B. Barker (ed.), Letters of
Dr. John McLoughlin, p. 197. McLoughlin did not hesitate to fight opposition
to the limit when called upon to do so. The common asking price for a blanket
was five or six large beaver-skins, but under competition with the Americans on
the coast he dropped his price to a blanket for one beaver and he went so far in
writing to the Governor and Committee as to say he would give two blankets for
one beaver if necessary to drive the Americans out of the trade.   Ibid., p. 26.
(80) "... our policy ought to be to collect a sufficiency of Furs to make
our opponents lose money ... as they are mere adventurers they will not and
indeed cannot afford to carry on a losing business." McLoughlin to Governor
and Committee, April 9, 1836, quoted in E. E. Rich (ed.), McLoughlin's Fort
Vancouver Letters: First Series, p. 145.
(81) For Dr. W. Kaye Lamb's comments on this, see ibid., p. cv.
(82) Dr. Wm. Fraser Tolmie, Diary, under date June, 1834, MS., Archives
of B.C. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 185
One of the Russians, who had a few words of EngUsh, threatened to
" boxum " the Hudson's Bay men if they tried to go up the river.
Another could speak a Uttle Spanish, and Tolmie and Anderson tried
to work out his meaning from their knowledge of Latin. At last the
language difficulty was more or less solved, or seemed to be, by bringing
together a Finn from the Russian ranks and a Swede who was a member
of Ogden's crew. It was made plain then—at least that was the opinion
on Ogden's ship—that the Russians were in earnest and would use force
to prevent an entry into the Stikine. Chief Seix of the Stikine Indians
also made it known that he would resist any attempt to build a post on
the river. He was a fur-trader himseff, deaUng in skins brought down the
river by the Interior Indians, and had no intention of allowing a competitor to gain a foothold.
FinaUy, Ogden held a councU of war—should he try to force the
entrance to the Stikine against the Russians and the Indians. His officers
were unanimously against this idea, so the party hoisted saU and turned
south. So that there would be at least some gain from the expedition,
they decided to move Fort Simpson, built in 1831, to a more favourable
site a few miles down the coast. The site for the new fort was selected
and the buildings within the pickets taken down, one by one, and moved
to the new position. Last of all, the bastions, with their heavy squared
timbers, were moved and temporary defences had to be provided. The
Indians, who did not approve of the move, were gathered in large
numbers round the old fort. Many of them were drunk and boisterous,
and for the last haff-day the Hudson's Bay men were under arms constantly. The Indians outside the pickets were armed with guns, boarding pikes, and knives. Within the old fort was a 25-gaUon cask of Indian
rum. Dr. Kennedy, in charge at Fort Simpson and responsible for the
Company's property, wanted to take the cask to the new fort. The other
gentlemen beUeved it was too difficult to move and too dangerous and
would better be left to the Indians. As soon as the gates were opened
and the Hudson's Bay people were out, the Indians rushed in and the
whites were able to reach the shore unmolested and board the Dryad.
Then from the shore came a hail. Chief Caxetan wanted the Dryad to
send a boat ashore for the rum. Ogden refused, and told the Indians
they could have the rum. But the chief was serious. If Ogden would not
send a boat for it, the Indians would take it out themselves, and they did.
It was not that they did not want the rum, for actuaUy they wanted it very 186 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
much, but they wished to have the Hudson's Bay people divide it.   They
knew it would be divided fairly and there would be no quarrels or fights.
Ogden had nothing further to do with the Stikine venture, but the
Company did. When the news of the failure reached Fort Vancouver,
McLoughlin sat down to figure the cost of the expedition and make out
a bill of damages against the Russian American Company. He put
everything in, and the bill when finished amounted to £22,150/10/11.83
This biU, aU itemized and duly certified, went to the Governor and Committee in London. They were glad to get it, for they had been trying for
some years to arrange a trade agreement with the Russian American
Company but had only met with polite evasions. Perhaps the bUl could
be used as a lever. So the biU was pushed gently into diplomatic channels
and in due time reached Lord Durham, the British Ambassador at St.
Petersburg—the same Lord Durham, by the way, who a few years later
was to make a notable report on Canada. The Russians coolly denied
that Ogden's party had been prevented from ascending the Stikine, as
they had a right to do, or that any threats had been made. It must have
been incompetent interpretation that gave rise to any such ideas. Just
as cooUy the Russians refused to pay any damages.84 This reply did not
satisfy the Hudson's Bay Company, and negotiations dragged on. At
last Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary, suggested that the
heads of the two companies should get together and settle the matter.
It was a brilUant suggestion. Simpson and WrangeU met and buried the
hatchet. The Hudson's Bay Company dropped its claim and the
Russians gave the Company a lease of the Alaska "panhandle." In a
supplementary agreement, the Hudson's Bay Company undertook to
supply the Russian posts with provisions, and thus began a profitable
trade in foodstuffs which the Company supplied from its farms at
NisquaUy, Cowlitz, and Fort Langley,85 a trade which went on until
Russia sold Alaska to the United States, and which did not even stop for*
the Crimean War.   So the Stikine adventure paid off after aU.
By this time Ogden had been transferred to other fields. He had left
Fort Simpson early in October, 1834, but rough weather and contrary
(83) J. H. Pelly to Lord Palmerston, October 24, 1835, in O. Klotz, Certain
Correspondence of the Foreign Office & the Hudson's Bay Company, Ottawa,
1899, p. 12.
(84) J. Backhouse, writing at the direction of Lord Palmerston, to J. H. Pelly,
January 28, 1836, ibid., p. 15.
(85) See Donald C. Davidson, " Hudson's Bay and Russian American Relations," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, V (1941), pp. 45-48. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 187
winds had so delayed the Dryad on which he was sailing that she did not
reach the Columbia until December 14—two months to cover a distance
usuaUy covered in eight days.86 On leaving the coast, Ogden, now a
Chief Factor,87 was given charge of aU the posts in New Caledonia. His
headquarters were at Fort St. James on Stuart Lake, and as this was
considered to be a very pleasant place to Uve, he took his family with
When Ogden was young, he was described as a Uttle below medium
height but broad in shoulders and hips, and very muscular and quick in
action. In the Snake country, where the freemen and engages caUed
him " M'sieu Pete," he complained that the hard life he led had reduced
him to skin and bone.88 He had changed a lot by the time he got to
New Caledonia, for there the Carrier Indians thought they had never
seen so fat a man, and the word got about that " Na'kwoel," a very
rotund legendary hero of theirs and the personification of old age, had
come back to them.89
In New Caledonia, Ogden was the great " Poo-Bah," and his post
was the capital of the vast area.90 It was both the administrative and
economic centre, for Ogden was both law-giver and chief merchant.
He was head of the social service, too, for one of his jobs was to see
that his people did not starve, and as the district was not very productive,
starvation was an ever-present possibiUty.91 In 1841, the year the
Thompson River district was added to his territory, he requisitioned
30,000 salmon from Fort Babine.92   Salmon was the great staple food—
(86) It is amazing how the Hudson's Bay Company's ships got through in the
rough Pacific waters. These little craft plied along the coast, as far north as Sitka,
as far south as Monterey, and to sea as far as Hawaii, with their cargoes of logs and
deals, shingles and rafters, dry and salted salmon, bringing back hides from California, molasses, sugar, and salt from the Islands. On occasion they even rounded
the Horn to England. The Dryad was one of the largest of them, and she was
a brig of only 200 tons. The others ranged down to the Broughton of 30 tons.
The Cadboro, of 70 tons, was one of the smallest. Simpson claimed that she was
quite unfit for the trade as there were hundreds of war canoes on the coast longer
and higher out of the water than she.
(87) The commission is dated January 1, 1835, MS., Archives of B.C.
(88) E. E. Rich (ed.), Ogden's Snake Country Journals, under date February
16, 1826, p. 129.
(89) Rev. A. G. Morice, O.M.I., History of the Northern Interior of British
Columbia, Toronto, 1905, p. 172.
(90) Ibid., pp. 176-177.
(91) Ibid., p. 177.
(92) Ibid., p. 186. 188 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
dried, it would keep for two or three years, getting less and less palatable
as it got older, but stiU not to be despised. To help feed his people,
Ogden encouraged the growing of potatoes and wheat and had a smaU
flour-miU at Alexandria—perhaps at Kamloops, too. Thus he became
British Columbia's first manufacturer of flour and first large-scale
To his subordinates in the other posts of the district, to the employees
at Stuart Lake, and to the Indians round about, Ogden was the embodiment of authority. Father Morice, who writes the story of New Caledonia of that day, describes him as "Lively and yet dignified with his
subordinates, imperious though kind-hearted, he was generous while
remaining a vigilant guardian of his corporation's interests."94 Where
there was a dispute, he acted as judge or arbiter, and his decisions were
" generaUy on the side of justice, even though the corporation he represented had to suffer thereby."95 At times he stiU indulged his fondness
for practical jokes.96
One of Ogden's neighbours at Fort St. James for several years was
Kwah, the great chief of the Carriers. Kwah was an old man by this
time and not in very good health. He and Ogden visited back and forth.
Sometimes Ogden borrowed the old man's fishing-traps, and Kwah,
(93) " Regarding our farming operations I have done all in my power with the
slender means at my disposal to encourage them and I would strongly advise you
to follow the example, two years following from the scarcity of Salmon that prevailed over the District we had convincing proofs of the great benefit arising from
farming, at Ft. George ten men were solely supported on grain and at Alexandria
even more in proportion, independent of these advantages which are not of minor
importance. I have within the last year reduced our demand on Colville twenty-five
bags of flour less in itself again no small object when we take into consideration
the long transport with Horses. ..." In W. N. Sage (ed.), "Peter Skene
Ogden's Notes on Western Caledonia," British Columbia Historical Quarterly,
I (1937), p. 52. During the several years Ogden was in charge of New Caledonia,
the post at Fort Alexandria was commanded by A. C. Anderson, whose son, James
Robert, spent six years at that post as a boy and has this to say in his memoirs:
" My father being of an agricultural turn of mind devoted a great deal of the men's
time to the growing of crops and the rearing of cattle . . . and most successful
he was in his endeavors: the production of wheat was phenomenal and so a grist
mill was constructed and flour produced; where the mill stones came from I cannot
say, but the motive power was horse power. A marvel it appeared to me of
complicated machinery." J. R. Anderson, Notes and Comments, Transcript,
Archives of B.C., pp. 50-51.
(94) Rev. A. G. Morice, op. cit., p. 172.
(95) Ibid., p. 180.
(96) Ibid., p. 173. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 189
when he had it, would send some game to the fort. Ogden would
respond with a bit of sugar or flour or an onion or turnip from the
garden. " Qua sent a whole beaver by a young man," reads the fort
Journal, " at the same time he requested a turnip to refresh himself
after his trip down the river."97 But not aU the Indians were friendly
like old Kwah. Some were dangerous, and Ogden did not think any
of them were particularly trustworthy. During his stay at Fort St. James
three Hudson's Bay men, including his old Isle a la Crosse friend
Samuel Black, were murdered by Indians.98 In each case the murder
was in supposed revenge for the death of a relative.
Each year, during his stay at Stuart Lake, Ogden led the brigade
down to Fort Vancouver to take out the furs and bring in the suppUes.
He left usuaUy about April 22,99 took the boats down the Fraser to
Fort Alexandria, and then followed the trail on horseback by way of
Kamloops and Grande Prairie and through the Okanagan VaUey to
Fort Okanagan, where the Columbia boats were waiting. He had quite
a load going down, for the profits of his district reached something Uke
£10,000 a year.100 By the middle of September he would be back at
Fort St. James with his suppUes for the coming year.101
Ogden liked it in New Caledonia. " I would not exchange my
Dry Salmon with you," he wrote his old friend John McLeod, who had
retired to Lower Canada.102 But in the summer of 1844 he went out
and did not return. He had a furlough coming to him, which he spent
in Eastern Canada and Europe.   In 1845 he was back on the Columbia
(97) Ibid., p. 197.
(98) The story of Black's murder is told by Ogden in Traits of American
Indian Life, pp. 187-195, in the chapter entitled " The Shewappe Murder."
(99) W. N. Sage (ed.), "Notes on Western Caledonia," loc. cit., p. 55.
(100) T. C. Elliott in the Portland Oregonian, December 19, 1909, claims that
Ogden was eminently successful in New Caledonia, bringing out furs to the value
of $100,000 each spring. Writing to John McLeod on February 25, 1837, Ogden
recorded: " This year we have been far more fortunate in every respect than last
as our profits will exceed ten thousand Pounds last year little more than seven
and if I can only manage to keep it up to ten I shall be very pleased & so ought
all interested for independent of the opposition on the Coast the Country is not so
rich as it was a few years past however, it still fully repays us for our trouble
& I may also add there is not a District in the Country to equal it. in a word
I am well pleased with my present birth [sic]." Quoted in Washington Historical
Quarterly, II (1907-8), pp. 259-260.
(101) W. N. Sage (ed.), "Notes on Western Caledonia," loc. cit., pp. 50-51.
(102) Ogden to McLeod, February 25, 1837, quoted in Washington Historical
Quarterly, II (1907-8), p. 259. 190 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
and on the way acted as guide to two British officers who were making
a reconnaissance, Lieutenants H. J. Warre and M. Vavasour. He did
not like them, and they, as it turned out, did not like him, but that is
another story.103 Simpson needed Ogden on the Columbia, for he was
now the Chief Factor closest to the Governor. The Company's days
south of the 49th paraUel were numbered, and McLoughlin's days with
the Company were also numbered. A board of management was set
up—McLoughlin, Ogden, and Douglas. McLoughlin retired in 1846,
and Ogden and Douglas carried on, none too happily it would appear.
In 1849 Douglas moved to Fort Victoria, and Ogden became virtually
master of the Company's affairs at Fort Vancouver.
Before that, however, one of the great adventures of his adventurous
life came. In the end it was not the American traders whom Simpson
feared that pushed the Hudson's Bay Company out of Oregon, but the
missionaries and settlers whom the big-hearted McLoughlin had befriended. Among the missionaries was Dr. Marcus Whitman and his
wife, Narcissa. They had established a mission among the Cayuse
Indians at Waulatpu, 25 miles east of Walla WaUa. The mission grew
and the Whitman home became an orphanage, and round it a church,
a school, and a hospital were buUt. Whitman was a propagandist for
settlement, and his propaganda brought in large numbers. Unfortunately, with the 1847 migration came measles, dysentery, and typhus
fever. The measles was of a particularly virulent type and carried off
Indians in hundreds. They had their own cure-all—a steam bath and
then a plunge into cold water. Whatever the merits of the cure, it did
not work in this instance.   The Indians died, and Whitman, who had
(103) "I had certainly two most disagreeable companions and I almost doubt
you could have selected another that would have so quietly submitted as I did, but
from a sense of duty I was determined not to loose [sic] sight of the object of our
voyage and was silent to their constant grumbling and complaining not only about
their food which was as good and abundant as any Man could wish for or desire
but also in regard to promises made by you. ... I should not however trouble
you with further particulars, suffice it to say I would rather for ever forego the
pleasure of seeing my Friends than submit to travel over the same road with the
same companions." Ogden to Simpson, March 20, 1846, quoted in E. E. Rich (ed.),
McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters: Third Series, pp. 146-147, foot-note 3.
These officers' opinion of Ogden is found in James R. Anderson, Notes and Comments, p. 337, in a letter written by James Anderson, a Hudson's Bay officer who
met the officers after their return to the East from their visit on the Pacific Coast,
to his brother, A. C. Anderson: "These gents seem to be partial to the Dr.
[McLoughlin] and Worth [Work] but dislike Douglas, Ogden and Sir George." 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 191
been treating them wherever he could, was blamed. The Indians always
held their own medicine men strictly to account. Consequently, one
night in November the Cayuse young men took matters into their own
hands and for several days the fury raged. When it calmed down,
Whitman, his wife, and a dozen associates were dead, and about fifty
white persons had been captured and carried off.
It was a week before a messenger reached Fort Vancouver with the
news. Ogden and Douglas heard the story, but what should they do?
They were Hudson's Bay officers, but Oregon had been American territory for a year and they had neither authority nor responsibiUty. The
dead were aU Americans; they had been warned of their danger but
had paid no heed. Why should the Company worry? Ogden and
Douglas thought not of the dead, but of the fifty captives. They knew
that if the American authorities at Oregon City made one move against
the Indians, the first thing they would do would be to butcher the fifty.
By dawn Ogden was off up-river with two bateaux.104 In his days on
the Columbia he had made the acquaintance of aU the tribes, and he
was known among them as " Old Whitehead " and was much respected.
It took nearly a fortnight, pulling against the current, to reach WaUa
Walla. There Ogden circulated word through the tribes that he was
among them and would like to talk to them. The chiefs gathered, and
to the Indian council Ogden went unarmed and alone. He spoke to
the chiefs in their own tongue and in their own fashion, leisurely,
beating about the bush as much as protocol required. But he spoke
plainly, too. Their hot-headed young men had killed white people and
to kiU white people was very " bad medicine " for the Indians. They
knew that from their thirty years' experience with the Hudson's Bay
Company. If the Americans began war, it would not end until there
were no Indians left. This was none of the Company's business and
he could make no promises, but if the chiefs would deUver the captives
to him he would pay them a ransom. To Ogden one of the Cayuse
chiefs replied. " Your words are weighty. Your hairs are gray. We
have known you a long time. You have had an unpleasant journey to
this place. I cannot therefore keep the captives back. I make them
over to you, which I would not do to a younger man than yourself."
The other chiefs had to be convinced, and it was days before the
prisoners were aU deUvered and ready to start down the river with the
(104) The story is told by Douglas MacKay, "Men of the Old Fur Trade,"
The Beaver, June, 1939, pp. 7-9; and by Herbert Dank, " The Spirit of the Fur
Trade," The Beaver, June, 1930, pp. 18-19. 192 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
man who had saved them. There was great rejoicing when they reached
Portland and a salute was fired. There was another salute at Oregon
City. Ogden was thanked by the Governor, but himseff made Ught of
his achievement. Telling his friend Donald Ross of the massacre, he
merely remarked that he had had the good fortune to rescue the captives.105 To the Company he made a brief report of the incident and
added that if the Governor and Committee thought he had exceeded
his authority in charging the costs of the rescue expedition to the Fort
Vancouver account, he would meet the expense himself. One of those
taken down the river by Ogden was John Mix Stanley, the well-known
American portrait-painter.106 In gratitude, perhaps, he painted the
Chief Factor's portrait and, if you are interested, you may see it on
the waU in the Provincial Archives in Victoria.
Ogden was often in a pessimistic mood during his last years at
Fort Vancouver and complained to old friends with whom he corresponded. He was in poor health and often laid up. He seemed
afraid that he might end his days in poverty after his long years of
toil.107   He thought the Company's dividends too low.108   Douglas did,
(105) Ogden to Ross, March 10, 1848, MS., Archives of B.C.
(106) Stanley was born in New York State in 1814 and was a wagon-maker
by trade. He was with General Kearny in California in 1846 as a draughtsman
to the corps of topographical engineers. He had done considerable painting, both
landscapes and portraits, and at the end of his army career decided to make a tour
in the Pacific Northwest, reaching Oregon in July, 1847. In October he was at
Tshimakain, the mission of Cushing Eells and Elkanah Walker. From this place
he went to Waiilatpu, where he intended painting the portraits of the Whitmans.
When a few miles from Waiilatpu he heard of the massacre, and with the aid of
an Indian guide escaped to Walla Walla. See Nellie Pipes, "John Mix Stanley,
Indian Painter," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXIII (1932), pp. 250-258.
(107) " . . . I have been very unwell and one day confined to my bed—I am
indeed harrassed to death this I attribute my illness to. . . ." Ogden to W. F.
Tolmie, July 18, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C. " Mr. Hardisty arrived here safely
on Saturday Evng and del'd me your letter but I am too weak at present to make
reply to it. . . ." Ogden to Tolmie, August 25, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.
". . . the Fur trade still continues in a most depressed state and unfortunately
no prospect of improvement and altho most anxious to retire so long as it remains
so I dread to pronounce the word for once uttered it cannot be recalled and to die
in poverty after having so long toiled would tend to make me wretched for the
remainder of my days. I therefore submit to my fate with resignation the Gold
mines will enrich many but not the Fur traders they are truly a doom'd race.
.   .   ."   Ogden to John Haldane, April 21, 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.
(108) ". . . you can form very little idea of the state of anxiety we have
endured for the last three Months and still endure and when I take into consider- 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 193
too, and wrote " just about enough to keep us in tobacco money."109
Ogden did not have much hope that the Red River colony would ever
amount to much, and he had about the same opinion of Vancouver
Island, where even the coal mines left him cold.110 He had troubles,
too, at the time of the California gold-rush. His workers on the farm
and even the commissioned officers deserted, leaving the harvest uncut
and the stock untended. There was a compensation, however, for the
Company was able to buy gold dust at $12 an ounce, giving goods in
return on which it took " precious good care to place 300 p c on prime
Cost." The gold-rush set Ogden moralizing a Uttle: "... Gold
has a charm about it that is irresistible ... we poor Indian Traders
have never experienced it for the plain reason we see none of it in the
present days in any shape whatever for alas we no longer have any
placed to our Credit."111
In 1852 Ogden went east. He spent most of the year in Lower
Canada and about New York, where there were many Ogdens. He
visited Washington, D.C, and helped Simpson with some business.
Returning by way of Panama, he took passage on the steamship Tennessee, which was wrecked near San Francisco. This was his final
adventure. The overexertion and exposure proved too much for his
failing strength, and the next September he died.112   He was only 60
ation the low state of our Dividends it is to those who suffer no great inducement
to remain and did I not expect soon to see an end to the Columbia I would this
year send in my resignation. . . ." Ogden to Donald Ross, March 6, 1849,
MS., Archives of B.C. " Let us have a few words on the subject of Dividends year
after year they are fast diminishing never is there the slightest appearance of
a reaction in our favour and to beguile us we are assured with experiments . . .
but not a word is said on the subject of reducing expences [sic] on the contrary
the expences [sic] of Red River are annually on the increase and last year thanks
to Lord Lewis and Mr. Gladstone considerably so and we must pay the Pipers.
.   .   ."   Ogden to Ross, March 18, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.
(109) Douglas to A. C. Anderson, October 28, 1850, quoted in J. R. Anderson,
Notes and Comments, Transcript, Archives of B.C., p. 192.
(110) "We shall soon have I fear have [sic] another Bill of Expenditure
should their Honors pawn their bargain of Vancouver Island on the Fur trade as
they did in regard to Red River then we got for our trouble and Money wild
Plains and discontented Settlers and Vancouver Island is probably likely to obtain
Rocks no Settlers . . . and the rich Coal Mines will in all probability prove
a failure and loss to all concerned." Ogden to Donald Ross, March 18, 1850,
MS., Archives of B.C.
(111) Ogden to Ross, March 6, 1849, MS., Archives of B.C.
(112) An article by T. C. Elliott in the Portland Oregonian, December 19,
1909. 194 D. A. McGregor July-Oct.
years old, but he had crowded enough activity and adventure into his
life for a fuU century. In its many years west of the mountains, the
Hudson's Bay Company had no more resourceful, vigorous, or courageous officer than Peter Skene Ogden. His tact, sense of responsibiUty,
his fortitude in the face of adversity, his constant good humour and
gaiety were quaUties that paid dividends to the Company if not to
There is much that could be said about Ogden's family, but only
a few paragraphs wiU be added about the remarkable woman who was
his companion through most of his roving. In Saskatchewan Ogden
had had a Cree wife but she had died. On the Columbia he had married, fur-trade fashion, the daughter of a Spokane chief whom he caUed
Princess JuUa. There is a story—the truth of which is not known—that
Ogden had bought her from her father for fifty horses, Julia herseU
having set the price. According to the tale, the transaction was something of an auction; one after another Ogden sent the horses to the
old chief's lodge, thus upping the bid each time, and when the fiftieth
had been sent Julia came riding it back.   That was the wedding.
If even half the stories told about her are true, Julia was a woman
of unusual courage and capacity and helped materiaUy in making
Ogden's fortune. Like the other Indian wives, she foUowed her husband
on his expeditions, enduring the same hardships and privations as he,
facing the same dangers. She lived with him at Fort St. James and at
Fort Vancouver and every spring, when in New Caledonia, came south
with the brigade. In his letters, Ogden speaks of her affectionately as
"the Old Lady." Once in the Snake country, according to the story
Joe Meek told,113 while Ogden was camped not far from a party of
American trappers, the Hudson's Bay horses were stampeded and some
of them ran to the American camp. Among these was a pack-horse
loaded with beaver-skins and Princess JuUa's own saddle-horse with
her baby slung in a sack from the saddle. It was not long before Julia
missed the baby and traced the horse to the American camp. Without
fear, she entered, seized her horse by the bridle and mounted it. Then,
as she spurred out, she caught sight of the pack-horse and seizing its
halter puUed it along. The Americans did not want the baby, but they
did want the beaver-skins, for it had been in the hope of getting some
of Ogden's skins that they had camped so near.   Some shouted out to
(113) This story is related in Frances Fuller Victor, The River of the West,
Newark, 1870, pp. 95-96. 1953 " Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden 195
shoot the rash woman who was running off with the prize, but most of
the men admired JuUa's pluck and she rode out in safety. There is
another story of Julia's swimming the Snake River in March to get
a goose for her sick child and returning with a necklace of icicles where
she had held her head above the water.
JuUa moved to British Columbia some years after her husband's
death and died at Lac la Hache in January, 1886, aged 98. Her
daughter, Sara JuUa, the baby she saved from the American camp, had
married Archibald McKinlay of the Hudson's Bay Company and died
at Savona, B.C. There must be scores of descendants of this notable
couple in British Columbia—Ogdens, McKinlays, Hamiltons, Fergusons, Alexanders, Mansons, McDougalls, Halls, and others of the current generation.114 They should all be proud, and no doubt are, that
the blood of Old Whitehead and Princess JuUa runs in their veins.
D. A. McGregor.
Vancouver, B.C.
(114) Peter Skene Ogden had eight children: Peter, born January 17, 1817,
died at Fort St. James, October, 1870; Charles, born September 5, 1819, died at
Lac la Hache, 1880; Cecilia, born April 2, 1822; Michael, born September 29,
1824, died in Montana Territory; Sara Julia, born January 1, 1826, died August 4,
1892, at Savona, B.C.; David, born February 1, 1828, and died in his youth;
Euretta Mary, born July 29, 1836, at Fort St. James, died at Champoeg, Oregon,
February 10, 1861; Isaac, born June 6, 1839, at Fort St. James, and died at
Champoeg in 1869. His eldest son, Peter, who had married Phrisine Brabbant
and had eleven children, had a tragic end. He had been educated at Red River and
entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. As a Chief Trader he was in
charge of Fort St. James, where his father had served before him. His eldest son,
Peter Skene, a clerk in the Company's service and a noted hunter, was at Fort
St. James with him. One day the young man went out hunting with dogs and
Indians; the hunters roused a bear, and young Ogden, following the dogs, left the
Indians far behind. When they finally came up, they found Peter and the dogs
lying on the ground beside the dead bear. Overheated, the young man caught
a cold and died a week later. The shock was too much for his father, and he died
the same day. Cecilia married Hugh Fraser. Michael was twice married and left
a number of children. Sara Julia married Archibald McKinlay, long with the
Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia. In the sixties the McKinlays suffered
heavily from floods on the Columbia and moved to Savona, B.C., where they died.
They left ten children. Isaac married Anne Manson, daughter of Chief Trader
Donald Manson, and left one son and two daughters. The remaining children did
not marry.   See W. Ogden Wheeler, op. cit., pp. 183 ff. THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IN THE OLD
Most historians of the Pacific Northwest attribute the beginning of
Christian missions in the old Oregon country to the appearance at St.
Louis in the faU of 1831 of four Nez Perce Indians. According to
Protestant sources, these Indians were seeking the "Book of Life";
according to Roman CathoUcs, they sought the " Blackrobes," as the
Jesuit missionaries were known. Some modern historians, unable to
account for the Indians' interest in Christianity, have even asserted that
they had no reUgious interest at ah.1 The publicity given this event
caused the Methodist Church to send out Rev. Jason Lee in 1834, and
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to send out
Rev. Samuel Parker in 1835. As a result of these exploratory trips, the
Methodists estabUshed themselves in the Willamette VaUey, and the
American Board sent Marcus Whitman, Henry Spalding, and W. H. Gray
in 1836, and Cushing EeUs, Elkanah Walker, and A. B. Smith in 1838
into the area of Eastern Washington and Idaho now caUed the Inland
Empire. The Roman CathoUc priests Fathers De Smet and Blanchet
arrived at Fort Vancouver in the fall of 1838.
To what must have been their amazement, these missionaries found
the Indians of this region akeady engaged in Christian worship and
practices. Furthermore, the missionaries found that these Indians had
a common form of worship which they were loath to exchange for the
forms brought by the new-comers. Father NobUi, S.J., in June, 1847,
"gave it as his opinion that the hope of a successful work among the
WaUa WaUa, the Nez Perce, the Spokanes, and the Cayuse were
slender,"2 and the American Board missionaries had made almost no
converts when their work was closed with the Whitman massacre of 1847.
From where and from whom did these Indian tribes receive their
Christian instruction? And why did it make them so unresponsive to
the initial efforts of both Roman CathoUc and Protestant missionaries?
* The substance of this article was prepared for submission to the meeting of the
Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association held at the University
of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., December 28 to 30, 1952.
(1) Ray A. Billington, Westward Expansion, New York, 1949, p. 515.
(2) Gilbert J. Garraghan, The Jesuits in the Middle United States, New York,
Vol. n, p. 343.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
197 198 Thomas E. Jessett July-Oct.
The search for an answer to these questions leads us across the
continent and the Atlantic Ocean to the London headquarters of the
Church Missionary Society of the Church of England. In 1819 the
North West Company drew the attention of the Society to the desirability
of estabUshing missionary work among the Indians in the area "lying
between the high ridge caUed the Rocky Mountains and the North Pacific
Ocean, and extending from about the 42nd to the 57th degree of North
Latitude." The same year the Hudson's Bay Company proposed to the
Society that it undertake work among the Indians Uving between the
" Rocky Mountains and Hudson's Bay."3
The Hudson's Bay Company appointed Rev. John West as chaplain
to its settlement on the Red River, now Winnipeg, and the Society gave
him £100 to make a trial at establishing a school for Indians. West
arrived there in October, 1820, and soon had his school, where Indian
chUdren were taught agriculture as well as religion. He wrote to the
Society urging it to establish another mission at the mouth of the
Columbia " on the banks of the WiUammette [sic] River."4
West's school was so successful that at the January, 1822, meeting
of the Society—at which time Benjamin Harrison and Nicholas Garry,
both directors of the Hudson's Bay Company, were present—it was
decided to appropriate £800 for Indian work at the Red River settlement
and to organize the work there as a post of the Society, thus removing
West from under the control of the Company.5
West returned to England in 1823 to become the secretary of the
Society. His successor, Rev. David T. Jones, carried on the work he
had begun very effectively. Jones decided to bring thirty Indian chUdren,
one half boys and one half girls, from distant tribes to his school to
educate them in Christian ways at the expense of the Society. He asked
George Simpson, Governor of the Northern Department of the Company,
to aid him in securing the children. Although Simpson did not favour
educating Indians, he agreed to help, influenced undoubtedly by the
attitude of the directors in London.6
(3) Church Missionary Society Proceedings, 1819-1820, quoted in J. O. Oli-
phant, " George Simpson and Oregon Missions," Pacific Historical Review, VI
(1937), pp. 224-225.
(4) J. O. Oliphant, op. cit., pp. 223-231 passim.
(5) An Historical Account of the Formation of the Church Missionary's North
West America Mission and Its Progress to August, 1848, London, 1849, pp. 8-9.
(6) J. O. Oliphant, op. cit., pp. 230-233. 1953 The Church of England in Oregon 199
WhUe on his way to Fort George at the mouth of the Columbia in
the faU of 1824, Simpson asked Alexander Ross, a trader for the Company on the Upper Columbia, to select two Indian boys to go back to
the school with him in the spring. Ross did this, and the two lads, named
by Simpson, Spokane Garry and Kootenai PeUy, arrived at Spokane
House on April 12, 1825, to join the east-bound brigade.7
At the Red River school, where they spent more than four years,
Garry and Pelly learned to read and write, to speak EngUsh with a Scotch
accent, and a little about agriculture. They were given a good grounding
in the Book of Common Prayer, with its daily offices of Morning and
Evening Prayer, and a knowledge of the Holy Bible, and there they were
In the summer of 1829 the two young men returned home and told
their tribes and others about the religion they had studied and practised
at the school. According to reports sent back to Jones by officers of the
Hudson's Bay Company, the Indians on the Upper Columbia "paid
the utmost attention to the information conveyed to them through the
boys . . . and readily received whatsoever instruction or doctrine
they thought proper to inculcate . . . and ever since they assemble
every Sunday to keep the Sabbath in the ways they [sic] boys had
So enthusiastic were these two young men about the school and its
teachings that when they returned in the spring of 1830 they took with
them five additional young lads—Spokane Berens, possibly a brother of
Garry;  a Kootenai named CoUins;  two Nez Perces given the names
(7) Alexander Ross, Fur Hunters of the Far West, London, 1855, Vol. II, pp.
158-160; Frederick Merk (ed.), Fur Trade and Empire, Cambridge, Mass., 1931,
p. 138.
(8) Some confusion exists as to the date of the baptism. Presumably Spokane
Garry was named at a ceremony on April 12, 1825, and was later baptized by Rev.
D. T. Jones on June 24, 1827, according to the parish register at St. John's
Cathedral, Winnipeg. Drury is in error when he gives the date June 27. On this
point see J. O. Oliphant, op. cit., p. 238; Clifford M. Drury, "Oregon Indians
in the Red River School," Pacific Historical Review, VII (1938), p. 54; and
Sarah Tucker, Rainbow of the North: A Short Account of the First Establishment
of Christianity in Rupert's Land by the Church Missionary Society, London, 1851,
p. 70.
(9) D. T. Jones to the Secretary, Church Missionary Society, July 25, 1832,
MS., Church Missionary Society Archives. 200 Thomas E. Jessett July-Oct.
of Ellis and Pitt; and a Cayuse caUed Halket.10 These names given the
boys were those of directors of the Company and were attached to the
name of their tribe.
It was the enthusiasm stirred up by a visit of Garry to the Nez Perces
to secure these two lads for the school that caused that tribe to send the
"delegation" to St. Louis in the faU of 1831 to secure "Christian
teachers," Lawyer, a prominent Nez Perce chief, told a missionary in
1839.11 The Foreign Missionary Chronicle of August, 1834, stated that
the four were sent east to learn how " white men talk to the Great Spirit"
after they had heard from one of their number who had visited Canada.12
The Roman CathoUc Bishop of St. Louis, Right Rev. Joseph Rosati,
who himself received these Indians, wrote that they ", . . received
some notions of the CathoUc reUgion from two Indians who have been
to Canada . . ."13 The only Indians known to have gone to Canada
from whom the Nez Perce could have received any such notions were
Garry and PeUy, and because of sinularities between AngUcanism and
Roman Catholicism, the bishop's mistake was a natural one.
In the meantime, back at the Red River Mission, Kootenai PeUy had
been injured falling from a horse and died April 6, 1831. Gary was
sent back with the sad news that fall, and the foUowing summer the five
others returned also. ColUns died shortly after his return, and Pitt does
not appear to have done any rehgious teaching, but Spokane Garry,
Cayuse Halket, and ElUs of the Nez Perce aU conducted services and
gave instruction to their tribes. The basis of their teaching was the
Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England and the Holy Bible.14
In 1836, before any Roman CathoUc or Protestant missionaries had
visited them, John K. Townsend spent some time among the Cayuse.
He found them holding divine services twice every day—in the morning
(10) An Historical Account of the Formation . . ., pp. 17-18; William
McKay, " Early Missions," Oregon Churchman, December 15, 1873. Dr. William
McKay, himself part Indian, was born at Astoria, Oregon, in 1822 and was a
physician on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
(11) Clifford M. Drury, Henry Harmon Spalding, Caldwell, 1936, pp. 78-79.
(12) Clifford M. Drury, "The Nez Perce 'Delegation' of 1831," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XL (1939), pp. 286-287.
(13) Clifford M. Drury, Henry Harmon Spalding, p. 80, quotes this letter.
It is also reproduced in G. J. Garraghan, op. cit., Vol. HI, p. 237.
(14) Ibid., p. 78; see also Clifford M. Drury, " Oregon Indians in the Red River
School," op. cit., p. 57. 1953 The Church of England in Oregon 201
and after supper—and his description of an evening service he attended15
bears a remarkable resemblance to the Office of Daily Evening Prayer
in the Book of Common Prayer.   Halket's labours were bearing fruit.
That same year Samuel Parker on his exploratory tour stopped
among the Nez Perce, where he observed Christian practices. When he
prayed during a service for them, they aU repeated " amen " in their own
tongue after him,16 an AngUcan practice. EUis's labours were bearing
Spokane Garry buUt a school and a church buUding and taught
EngUsh and agriculture to his people, as weU as holding services and
instructing them in the Christian faith.17 Testimony to his efforts was
given by Parker18 hi 1836, Gray19 in 1837, and Walker and EeUs20 in
1838. Garry's efforts reached other tribes also, and Father Joset, one
of the first Jesuits to visit the Coeur d'Alenes, stated in 1845 that Garry
was responsible for Christianizing that tribe.21 Walker describes a
Christian service he heard conducted by the Coeur d'Alenes in 1839.
It was not the intention of the Society that this work among the
Indians of the Far West should be left to partly educated young Indians,
but insufficient funds to answer the many caUs upon it made it impossible
to open a new work there. As early as 1825 Simpson had notified the
Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company that it would
cost from £500 to £700 annuaUy to maintain a mission on the Columbia.22 Five years later the Company notified Simpson of its intention
to send a chaplain west of the Rockies. Two appointments were
subsequently made but both clergymen declined.23
(15) John K. Townsend, Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky Mountains,
to the Columbia, and a Visit to the Sandwich Islands, Philadelphia, 1839, pp.
(16) Samuel Parker, Journal of an Exploring Tour beyond the Rocky Mountains, New York, 1838, p. 98.
(17) William S. Lewis, " The Case for Spokane Garry," Bulletin of the Spokane
Historical Society, January, 1917, pp. 14-16.
(18) Samuel Parker, op. cit., pp. 289-290.
(19) "The Unpublished Journal of William H. Gray from December, 1836,
to October, 1837," Whitman College Quarterly, Vol. XVI, p. 77.
(20) Clifford M. Drury, Elkanah and Mary Walker, Caldwell, 1940, p. 101.
(21) G. J. Garraghan, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 314.
(22) F. Merk, op. cit., p. 107.
(23) G. Hollis Slater, "New Light on Herbert Beaver," British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, VI (1942), p. 17. 202 Thomas E. Jessett July-Oct.
Finally, in 1836 Rev. Herbert Beaver,24 a former British Army
chaplain in the West Indies, accepted appointment, and with his wife,
Jane, arrived at Fort Vancouver on September 16, only a few days before
the Whitman party of American missionaries arrived. Supplies for a
church and for his work having arrived in May, Beaver expected to find
a church and rectory ready for him. When he arrived there was no
evidence of any preparation, and the Beavers were placed in temporary
quarters, and he given the use of the mess-hall for services.25
Dr. John McLoughUn, the Chief Factor in charge, had petitioned
the Company for Roman CathoUc priests and was obviously disappointed
in having to accept an Anglican. McLoughlin, whose sister was a nun,26
had a Roman Catholic mother and an Anglican father. Baptized a
Roman Catholic, the Chief Factor had been brought up largely by an
Anglican uncle.27
In England, Beaver had been led to believe that he was to exercise
all the rights and privileges of a parson of the estabUshed church in the
Department of the Columbia. According to this usage, McLoughlin
turned the direction of the school at the fort over to Beaver, but when
the latter insisted upon teaching the catechism of the Church of England
to aU the pupils, McLoughlin withdrew the charge from him.
This started a conflict between McLoughUn as a virtual dictator in
the name of the Company and Beaver as a zealous upholder of the rights
of the clergy—a conflict which spread to include the food served to the
Beavers, the allowance of wine given the chaplain, the practice of slavery
at the fort, the treatment of the indentured Hawaiians, and, most serious
of all, the matrimonial situation.
With the exception of Jane Beaver, all the wives at the fort were
Indian or part Indian, and almost aU had been married to their husbands
fur-trade fashion.28    While the officers at Fort Vancouver and their
(24) For further biographical data on Herbert Beaver see Thomas E. Jessett,
" Herbert Beaver, First Anglican Clergyman West of the Rockies," Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, XVI (1947), pp. 413-432.
(25) Hudson's Bay Company Archives, B223/b/14. (Grateful acknowledgment is made of the permission of the Governor and Committee to use material
made available from their Archives.)
(26) "Letter of John McLoughlin, March 1, 1833," Washington Historical
Quarterly, II (1907-08), pp. 167-168.
(27) W. Kaye Lamb in his introduction to E. E. Rich (ed.), Letters of John
McLoughlin from Fort Vancouver to the Governor and Committee: First Series,
1825-1838, London, 1941, p. xxx.
(28) Fur-trade marriages were sometimes conducted along Indian tribal customs, sometimes very informally.    At this time they had no legal standing. 1953 The Church of England in Oregon 203
wives were a splendid group who led exemplary Uves, the experience
of the Society and the Company elsewhere had led them to beUeve that
something ought to be done about these frontier unions which were
generaUy taken rather Ughtly. The abandoned children from these
unions were often a charge upon the Company and the Society for their
Undoubtedly under instructions, Beaver began a campaign to get
those married fur-trade fashion to have their unions regularized by
marriage ceremonies performed by him. The second in command at
the fort, James Douglas, and his wife, Amelia Connally, were so married
by him in February, 1837; but McLoughlin, the Chief Factor, refused
to consider such a course though Beaver was extremely desirous of
having him set an example. Annoyed at McLoughlin's refusal, Beaver
commenced to refer to those married only in the fur-trade manner as
" Uving in adultery." He finally went so far in a letter to the Company
as to refer to Mrs. McLoughUn, a fine lady, as " the kept mistress of the
highest personage in your service."29 McLoughlin read aU letters leaving
the post and was so angry at this insult to his wife that he gave Beaver
a thrashing with his own walking-stick.30
McLoughUn left for England immediately after this quarrel reached
its climax, and James Douglas assumed charge of the fort. Although
things improved for a time, Beaver wrote another of his indiscreet letters
and was reUeved of his post by Douglas,31 after which he left for England
in November, 1838.
Although he Umited his efforts to the officers, employees, and
ex-servants of the Company, Beaver officiated at 124 baptisms, 9 marriages, and 12 burials during his two-year stay at Fort Vancouver.
ChUdren were brought to the fort for him to baptize by the settlers on
the Willamette and Cowlitz Rivers, from Nisqually, from Fort George,
and from Fort ColviUe.32   Pierre Pambrum, the weU-known Roman
(29) Hudson's Bay Company Archives, B223/b/19.
(30) For details of the dispute between McLoughlin and Beaver see Thomas E.
Jessett, " Origins of the Episcopal Church in the Pacific Northwest," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XLVII (1947), pp. 225-244.
(31) W. Kaye Lamb (ed.), "The James Douglas Report on the 'Beaver
Affair,'" Oregon Historical Quarterly, XLVII (1946), pp. 16-28.
(32) Register of baptisms, marriages, and burials performed by Rev. Herbert
Beaver at Fort Vancouver. The originals are in the possession of Christ Church
Cathedral, Victoria, B.C., and photostats were made available to the author. 204 Thomas E. Jessett July-Oct.
CathoUc clerk at WaUa WaUa, had Beaver baptize his son, Alexander,
on March 3, 1837.33
Beaver made no effort to reach out to the Indian tribes near by or
farther up the Columbia River. Had he been a different sort of person,
more adaptable to frontier conditions so that he could have traveUed
up the Columbia and made contact with the Indians Christianized by the
young lads educated at the Red River Mission, the whole story of that
effort might have been very different.
Instead, when the British relinquished claims to territory below the
49th paraUel in 1846 and the Hudson's Bay Company withdrew from
American territory, the bonds with the Red River Mission were broken,
and, lacking fresh inspiration, the movement among the Indians began
to decline. As late as 1853 Governor Stevens of Washington Territory
saw some Spokane Indians at worship in a service which he describes
in a manner adequate to show its prayer-book origin,34 but the end was
in sight.
In 1872, annoyed at the efforts of Jesuit missionaries from the
neighbouring Coeur d'Alene reservation to convert the Spokanes, Garry
began a revival of his former efforts. He was quite successful, but
knowing of no clergyman of his own church, he sent to Lapwai for the
Presbyterian missionary, Rev. Henry Harmon Spalding, to baptize his
converts. That same year the Government Inspector for Indian Affairs
on the Pacific Coast, Colonel E. M. Kemble, an EpiscopaUan, visited the
Spokanes and talked with Garry about the Church of which both were
members. Kemble forwarded a letter from Garry to the Domestic and
Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the
United States at New York requesting a teacher for his people.35 Lack
of funds prevented compUance with this appeal, and the Spokanes were
divided between the Presbyterians and the Roman CathoUcs. When
Garry died in 1892, the Presbyterian minister in Spokane buried him.36
Thus ended the noble dream of Rev. John West of an AngUcan
mission among the Indians of the Inland Empire.
(33) Ibid.
(34) N. W. Durham, History of the City of Spokane and Spokane County,
Washington, from the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Spokane, 1912,
Vol. I, pp. 153-154.
(35) Spirit of Missions, 1873, pp. 623-624, 754-755, as quoted in Thomas E.
Jessett, "Anglicanism among the Indians of Washington Territory," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XLII (1951), pp. 238-240.
(36) W. S. Lewis, op. cit., p. 52. 1953 The Church of England in Oregon 205
Beaver's successor on the coast, Rev. Robert Staines, did not arrive
until 1849 and was sent to Victoria, B.C. He crossed to the American
side in 1850 and 1851, when he visited the Company's post at NisquaUy
and officiated there. He also officiated for the United States Army
garrison at Fort SteUacoom.37 Staines was drowned while on his way
to England in 1854, and with his death ended the efforts of the Church
of England in the Old Oregon country below the 49th parallel.38
Although this project of the Church Missionary Society of the Church
of England in the Old Oregon country appears to have been a failure,
it was not entirely so. The efforts of the Indian lads educated at the
Red River mission undoubtedly made easier the task of Protestant and
Roman Catholic missionaries when the tribes they partiaUy Christianized
finally realized that no more help was going to come from that direction.
The first American AngUcan missionaries on the Lower Columbia made
contact with those to whom Beaver had ministered. When Right Rev.
Thomas F. Scott, the first Episcopal bishop to the Pacific Northwest,
held his initial confirmation service, it was at Cathlamet, Washington, in
1854. Seven of those confirmed were members of the famUy of James
Birnie, whose marriage to his part-Indian wife Beaver had solemnized,
and six of whose chUdren he had baptized.39 Thus, in fact, the Protestant
Episcopal Church in the United States began its work in this region upon
the foundations laid by Beaver.
Thomas E. Jessett.
Seattle, Wash.
(37) Victor J. Farrar (ed.), "The Nisqually Journal," Washington Historical
Quarterly, XI (1920), p. 228; XIII (1922), pp. 63-64.
(38) G. Hollis Slater, "Rev. Robert John Staines: Pioneer Priest, Pedagogue,
and Political Agitator," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, XIV (1950), pp.
(39) Proceedings of the Third Annual Convocation of the Clergy and Laity of
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Territories of Oregon and Washington, 1855. PERRY McDONOUGH COLLINS AT THE
Fame touched Perry McDonough CoUins only briefly; he emerged
from obscurity in 1856 and returned to obUvion a decade later. Yet in
that ten years he was the leading spirit in one of the great projects of
the nineteenth century—the transcontinental telegraph to link Europe
with America via Siberia and Bering Strait. Had the Atlantic cable
broken again in 1866 or had his project begun only a few years earher,
his name would perhaps enjoy the renown now accorded to Cyrus
Field. The cable held, his incomplete telegraph was left to rust in
the wilderness of British Columbia, and Perry CoUins again disappeared
into the limbo of forgotten notabiUty.1
The idea of a transcontinental telegraph may have occurred to
CoUins during a journey from St. Petersburg through Siberia to the
Amur River in 1856, although the motivation for his journey appears
to have been solely to examine the commercial prospects of the Amur
River area in his capacity as commercial agent of the United States.2
CoUins had been appointed to this position at the suggestion of the
California delegation in the United States House of Representatives,
who had expressed to the Secretary of State their desire to promote
commercial intercourse between the Pacific Coast of the United States
and the Amur River, and nominated CoUins to investigate potentiaUties
of the Amur River country.3
The earUest mention of a telegraph in his communications to the
Department of State was in a letter of March 6, 1858. He wrote to
Secretary of State Lewis Cass:—
This country [the Amur area] provided by nature with a natural road to the
ocean, heretofore closed by barbaric powers, it is hoped will ere long, awake to the
scream of the steam engine and the lightning flashes of the telegraph, and to be
(1) A good account of the Collins telegraph is provided by Corday Mackay,
"The Collins Overland Telegraph," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, X
(1946), pp. 187-215. See also Perry McD. Collins, Overland Explorations in
Siberia, Northern Asia and the Great Amoor Country, New York, 1864; James D.
Reid, The Telegraph in America, New York, 1879; and Robert L. Thompson,
Wiring a Continent, Princeton, 1947.
(2) United States, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., H.R. Ex. Doc. No. 98.
(3) United States, 35th Cong., 2nd Sess., H.R. Ex. Doc. No. 53.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
207 208 John S. Galbraith July-Oct.
received in the embrace of commercial states as a worthy, though heretofore rather
a sleeping partner.*
The telegraph route which CoUins originally conceived as the most
practicable means of linking the continents was one which would have
passed through Siberia, Russian America, British Columbia, the Hudson's Bay territories, and Canada to Montreal, where it would have
joined the American system. As a first step to the construction of this
Une, he secured a Canadian charter for the Transmundane Telegraph
Company, and in September, 1859, visited Montreal to confer with
his Canadian backers, among whom was Sir George Simpson, Overseas
Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. Simpson, who was actively
involved in Canadian railroad and steamship projects, had consented
to allow his name to be used to secure the charter for the telegraph
company, but he was skeptical of Collins's ability to fulfil his promises.
Collins, styling himself as " a merchant of San Francisco and American
Commercial Agent on the Amoor River," had informed his Canadian
backers that Russia had promised to guarantee the payment of interest
for the Russian section of the Une, but before Simpson would invest his
capital, he desired further information on Collins, whom the Hudson's
Bay Governor believed to be less influential than he represented himself
to be. Simpson, therefore, asked his friend Royal Phelps, the agent of
the Hudson's Bay Company in New York, to provide him with further
information on ColUns.5 Phelps consulted with American businessmen and with the Russian legation, and on September 23, 1859, reported
to Simpson that Collins was much esteemed by the Governor of Russian
America, General Mouraviev, and by the Russian Minister, Baron
Stoeckel. Phelps also consulted with Cyrus W. Field, who had heard
of Collins but who could provide no specific information.6
No further action was taken to bring to reaUty the Transmundane
Telegraph Company, probably because American plans to build a Une
through the United States were far advanced, whereas the line across
British North America had not proceeded beyond the visionary stage.7
(4) United States, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., H.R. Ex. Doc. No. 98.
(5) Simpson to Phelps, September 10, 1859, H.B.C. Archives, D. 5/79. The
writer acknowledges his obligation to the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's
Bay Company for their permission to cite correspondence preserved in their
(6) Phelps to Simpson, September 23, 1859, H.B.C. Archives, D. 5/50.
(7) Congress authorized construction of a telegraph-line to San Francisco on
June 16, 1860. The line was completed on November 15, 1861, four months and
eleven days after its commencement.   James D. Reid, op. cit., pp. 491, 496. 1953 Collins at the Colonial Office 209
Also, the superiority of American capital resources to those of Canada
dictated that the intercontinental telegraph be joined with the western
terminus of the American system. In 1860 CoUins petitioned the
Government of the United States for assistance, and from this time the
projected Une was conceived as a junction between the United States
telegraph system and that of Russian Siberia. To procure the active
assistance of the Governments of the United States, Russia, and Great
Britain became from this tune the objective of ColUns and his backers,
most prominent of whom was Hiram Sibley, president of the Western
Union Telegraph Company.8
The United States Executive and Congress, though preoccupied with
imminent and, later, with actual, sectional conflict, gave ColUns every
encouragement short of financial assistance. On February 18, 1861,
the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives reported
favourably on a bUl to appropriate $50,000 for a survey of the North
Pacific area " having reference to telegraphic connection with Russia,"9
and on February 17, 1862, the Senate Committee on MUitary Affairs
advised the passage of an appropriation of $100,000 for similar purposes. Through the construction of the telegraph-line the Committee
declared, " We hold the ball of the earth in our hand, and wind upon
it a net work of Uving and thinking wire tiU the whole is held together
and bound with the same wishes, projects, and interests."10
Despite such professions of support for the ColUns telegraph and
endorsements by such powerful groups as the New York Chamber of
Commerce,11 the United States took no action to assist CoUins, probably
because of the war.12
Meanwhile, Collins on May 23, 1863, negotiated an agreement with
the Russian Government by which his company agreed to establish
continuous telegraphic communication within five years on condition
that it be granted exclusive privUeges for thirty-three years. Russia
would grant no subsidies but promised to grant a rebate of 40 per cent
on the net profits of dispatches transmitted along the Russian telegraph-
lines solely to America and back. Russia agreed to extend its line to
the mouth of the Amur, and it was the responsibility of CoUins's com-
(8) Robert L. Thompson, op. cit., p. 371;  United States, 36th Cong., 2nd
Sess., Congressional Globe, p. 999.
(9) United States, 36th Cong., 2nd Sess., H.R. No. 82.
(10) United States, 37th Cong., 2nd Sess., Sen. Rep. Com. No. 13.
(11) United States, 38th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Misc. Doc. No. 16.
(12) Robert L. Thompson, op. cit., p. 398. 210 John S. Galbraith July-Oct.
pany to build the connecting-link between the Amur and the American
telegraph system,13 which in 1864 reached New Westminster, British
Since the goodwUl and eventual support of the United States seemed
assured, the major remaining task to be accomplished was to secure
the co-operation of the British Government. In the autumn of 1863,
he, therefore, sought and was granted an interview with the Prune
Minister, Lord Palmerston, who referred him to the Colonial Office.15
The Colonial Secretary, the Duke of Newcastle, was an enthusiastic
supporter of projects for the improvement of transportation and communication faciUties, always provided that they involved no charge
upon the Imperial Treasury. The formidable Gladstone kept the keys
to the exchequer, and he had earUer in the year emphaticaUy declined
to commit British revenue to a land telegraph. With Newcastle's support, Edward Watkin, president of the Grand Trunk RaUway system,
had conceived the Atlantic and Pacific Transit and Telegraph Company,
for the purpose of providing telegraphic and, later, road communications from Canada through the Hudson's Bay territories to the Pacific.
When Newcastle asked Gladstone whether he would support an Imperial
grant for such a project, Gladstone rephed that to make such a grant
for a land telegraph would not only be unprecedented, but unwarranted.
For subsidies to a maritime cable, he contended, a stronger case could
be made, but even here demands on the Treasury were so extreme
that shortly after the Palmerston Government was formed it was decided
to Umit assistance to the Une between Great Britain and India. He
concluded: " I do not think the House of Commons as at present
minded would assent to such a vote if it was proposed, as I trust it wUl
not be."16
Gladstone's views were decisive where expenditure was concerned,
but, short of such commitments, Newcastle's energetic advocacy of
projects for the improvement of communications in British North
America could have free rein. With proper credentials, CoUins would
undoubtedly have been cordially received, but hi his first communica-
(13) Melnikoff (lieutenant-general of engineers) to Collins, May 23, 1863, in
United States, 38th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Misc. Doc. No. 126.
(14) The California State Telegraph Company extended its line in 1864 to
Victoria and New Westminster.    James D. Reid, op. cit., p. 502.
(15) Collins to Newcastle, October 8, 1863, CO. 6/38.
(16) Gladstone to Newcastle, February 16, 1863, Gladstone Collection, British
Museum, Addtl. MSS. 44263. 1953 Collins at the Colonial Office 211
tion with the Colonial Office he presented no evidence beyond his
affirmation of the support of the United States and the agreement with
Russia. Sir Frederic Rogers, the permanent Under-Secretary of State
for Colonies and the department's leading expert on American affairs,
to whom Collins's letter was referred, granted CoUins an interview, but
neither this nor the letter convinced Rogers of the truth of Collins's
assertions.17 Rogers, therefore, was at first cool to CoUins, informing
him that the power to grant a right-of-way rested not with the British
Government, "but with the governments of the different colonies
through which the proposed telegraph must pass."18
Within a month Newcastle and Rogers were converted from skepticism to enthusiasm. In November, 1863, Edward Watkin and Charles
J. Brydges, of the Grand Trunk RaUway system, had an interview with
Newcastle on the subject of the telegraph-line which they aU hoped
would be buUt across British North America, the Atlantic and Pacific
Transit and Telegraph project. During the convention, Brydges or
Watkin mentioned that they had recently met General Guerhard, the
director of telegraph communications for the Russian Government.
The report of that interview, which they presented to Newcastle, gave
the Duke new respect for ColUns and his plans. The interview to which
they referred had been held in the office and in the presence of Paul J.
Reuter, head of Reuter's Agency. General Guerhard had told Watkin,
Brydges, and Reuter of the Russian agreement with Collins and had
assured them that Russian experience indicated that the Une could be
laid at relatively Uttle expense and without necessity of a preliminary
survey. Both Guerhard and Reuter, who had the reputation of authorities on telegraph questions, were of the opinion that a successful submarine cable across the Atlantic was unlikely and agreed that the only
certain and practicable means of communication between Europe and
America was by way of Siberia. If the telegraph system conceived by
CoUins became reality, Esquimalt or New Westminster, British Columbia, would become the focal point of the world's telegraph system, for
it would be at one of these two cities that the American Une from San
Francisco would join the CoUins telegraph, and also that the telegraph
projected by Watkin across Hudson's Bay territory would reach the
(17) Note by Rogers appended to Collins to Newcastle, October 8, 1863, CO.
(18) Rogers to Collins, October 13, 1863, CO. 6/38. 212 John S. Galbraith July-Oct.
Pacific.19 When CoUins outiined his proposals in a letter of November
18, 1863,20 they met with a very different response from the Colonial
Office.   Newcastle now wrote:—
The project is one of the greatest interest and importance—and whilst England
for her own sake ought to give it every encouragement every care should be taken
not to lose the great advantage which Nature has given her. She holds in British
Columbia the key to the position—the one indispensable link in telegraphic communication between the New and Old World until it is found practicable to lay,
and maintain efficient, a cable under the Atlantic.21
The concessions requested by CoUins on November 18, 1863, were
as foUows: (1) A right-of-way and the use of unappropriated Crown
lands, and timber thereon; (2) roadways to be constructed, presumably
at the expense of the British Government; (3) permission to import
suppUes free of duty; (4) the right to establish block houses; (5) the
right to use harbours for the landing of suppUes; and (6) a thirty-three-
year monopoly.22
The proposals were referred to the Lords Commissioner of the
Treasury, who in turn transmitted them to the Board of Trade. Both
bodies agreed that Collins should be granted all reasonable facilities
and encouragement for the construction of his Une. They were, therefore, wUling to allow his company to use unappropriated lands and to
cut timber on the condition that the soil remain the property of the
Crown. Also, they insisted that aU road-building be at the telegraph
company's expense. As to the use of harbours, they were not wUling
to grant to a telegraph company control of important anchorages, but
were willing to allow it to use landing-places in remote and unpeopled
districts where the absence of roads rendered supply difficult. Such
a concession, however, they felt should be subject to the jurisdiction of
the British Columbia Government. They objected to the proposal that
the company be secured from competition for thirty-three years after
completion of the Une. With all of the other requests of Collins they
were willing to make the appropriate concessions, but they insisted on
the additional provision that, as in the Russian agreement, aU privUeges
should cease if the line was not completed within five years, and that
(19) Brydges to Newcastle, November 14, 1863, and enclosure thereto,
"Memorandum of Interview with General Guerhard," November 2, 1863, CO.
(20) Collins to Newcastle, November 18, 1863, CO. 6/38.
(21) Note by Newcastle, November 30, 1863, appended to Collins to Newcastle, November 18, 1863, CO. 6/38.
(22) Collins to Newcastle, November 18, 1863, CO. 6/38. 1953 Collins at the Colonial Office 213
British and colonial messages should receive equality of treatment with
those of Russia and the United States.23
In all of this discussion, Uttle attention had been paid to the prospective views of the Government of British Columbia, beyond a note from
T. Frederick ElUot of the Colonial Office that " ultimately we shaU have
to write to the Government of British Columbia."24 On January 14,
1864, Rogers informed Collins of the decision to accept his proposals,
subject to the reservations suggested by the Treasury and the Board of
Trade.25 CoUins was not entirely satisfied with these terms, protesting
that the capitalists who supported him would desire assurance of exclusive control for at least ten years and requesting a form of grant from
the British Government which he could show to his backers and to the
other governments concerned, but on being informed that the terms
were final, he agreed to accept the stipulations without modification.
One minor change was made—the specific statement was added that
the privileges conceded would cease on January 1, 1870, unless the
line had been completed prior to that time.26
Fortune seemed to smile on Perry Collins. He had won the support
of the British and Russian Governments. On March 16, 1864, the
Western Union Telegraph Company agreed, on Hiram Sibley's recommendation, to a proposal Collins had submitted for the sale of his rights
in exchange for a liberal proportion of the stock in a new satellite of
Western Union, created for the specific purpose of constructing and
operating the Russian-American Une, and payment of $100,000 in cash
for his efforts in securing the grants.27 On July 1, 1864, the United
States Government granted the company the right to construct and
maintain a Une or lines from the American Pacific telegraph to the
boundaries of British Columbia and a permanent right-of-way over
unappropriated public lands.28
(23) Rogers to Hamilton (Treasury Department), December 8, 1863; Neil
(Treasury Department) to Elliot, December 28, 1863, and enclosure, Booth (Board
of Trade) to Secretary, Lords Commissioner of the Treasury, December 22, 1863,
CO. 6/38.
(24) Note of T. F. Elliot, appended to Neil to Elliot, December 28, 1863,
CO. 6/38.
(25) Rogers to Collins, January 14, 1864, CO. 6/38.
(26) Collins to Newcastle, January 29, 1864; Rogers to Collins, February 9,
1864; Collins to Rogers, February 2, 1864, CO. 6/38.
(27) Western Union, Statement of the Origin, Organization and Progress of the
Russian-American Telegraph   .   .   .   , Rochester, 1866.
(28) United States, 38th Cong., 1st Sess., Public Act 171 (approved July 1,
1864). 214 John S. Galbraith
When on January 26, 1865, the Legislature of British Columbia
passed the biU embodying the agreed terms between the Colonial Office
and CoUins,29 the last major obstacle seemed to be removed. Judge
O. H. Palmer, secretary of the Western Union Company, secured the
co-operation of the Hudson's Bay Company for the use of the services
of Hudson's Bay personnel in the construction of the line.30
In the winter of 1865 the first surveys were made of the route of
the line, and in the spring of 1866 construction began. By autumn
the line was in operation to the Skeena River, 850 mUes north of New
Westminster, when the news was received which destroyed the hopes
of the promoters and investors in the overland telegraph-line—the Great
Eastern had successfuUy laid the trans-Atlantic cable, which began continuous operation on August 26, 1866.31 On March 25, 1867, WiUiam
Orton, vice-president of the Western Union Company, in a letter to
Secretary of State Seward, officially confessed the end of the project
which a few months before had appeared close to success:—
The proof that the basis of revenue had been removed, was only needed to be
complete, to make the duty of at once stopping the whole work a stern and peremptory necessity. That proof we have been month to month receiving. So clear and
cumulative has that evidence been, that we have been compelled, though with great
reluctance, to acknowledge its completeness and power. All doubts concerning
the capacity and efficiency of the ocean cables, are now dispelled, and the work of
construction on the Russian line, after an expenditure of $3,000,000 has been
ColUns and those who supported him with their capital had recognized throughout the progress of his negotiations that the completion
of the Atlantic cable might reduce their plans to a nulUty, yet they had
been wiUing to gamble. In pursuing their interests, for their Une would
have been a satisfactory substitute for the transmission of international
messages in the event of the continued failure of the efforts to lay the
oceanic cable. When their plans were frustrated, only the investors
suffered loss, for none of the participating governments had committed
funds or resources. Collins's energetic activity on behalf of his telegraph
deserves an accolade as one of the illustrious faUures in the history of
communications. JoHN s Galbraith.
University of California,
Los Angeles, Calif.
(29) British Columbia, Legislative Council, Ordinance No. 5 of 1865 (passed
by the Council, January 26, 1865; assented to by the Governor, February 21,
(30) Head to Palmer, November 7, 1865; Fraser to Tolmie, November 11,
1865; Fraser to Tolmie, April 7, 1866, H.B.C. Archives, A. 6/40.
(31) James D. Reid, op. cit., p. 404.
Sunday, December 11, 1949, was a memorable day in the history
of the Jesuit Fathers in San Francisco. On that day they were joined
in their large St. Ignatius Church of the University of San Francisco by
a capacity congregation as they commemorated the passing of a fuU
century since the arrival in gold-rush San Francisco of two Jesuit priests,
Michael Accolti and John NobUi. The actual centennial date, December
8, had been the occasion of another commemoration when a stirring
sermon had been preached by a distinguished orator of the Order, Father
Zacheus J. Maher, and those present had Ustened with interest as the
speaker recaUed that—
. . . the movement was again westward and northwestward, into the wilderness,
across the plains, over the mountains and then, in God's good time, California. From
the Potomac to the Mississippi, from the Mississippi to the Columbia, from the
Columbia to San Francisco runs the trail of the Blackrobe.i
It was but natural that much of what was written and said at the time
of this Jesuit centennial in San Francisco should have revolved mainly
around the name and fame of Rev. Michael Accolti, S.J. (1807-1878),
since he had been the leading spirit in the Jesuit arrival in California in
1849; less attention, accordingly, was given to Rev. John NobiU, S.J.
(1812-1856), the companion of Father Accolti in the pioneer venture.
However, Father Nobili looms large in the educational history of CaUfornia, for it was he who founded Santa Clara CoUege in 1851, and it is
this institution which has developed into the University of Santa Clara,
situated about 50 mUes south of San Francisco. It is not commonly
known that there is an earlier phase of Nobili's career which is not
without significance in his complete story; it revolves around the fact
that, for several years, 1845 to 1848, and before his going to California,
* The substance of this article was prepared for submission to the meeting of
the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association held at the
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., December 28 to 30, 1952.
(1) "A Grain of Mustard Seed Becometh a Tree," a sermon preached in
St. Ignatius Church of the University of San Francisco, December 8, 1949, and
printed in the Monthly Calendar of St. Ignatius Church, December, 1949.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
215 216 John Bernard McGloin July-Oct.
the Italian Jesuit was a missionary among the aborigines of New Caledonia, which is the general area now known as British Columbia, Canada.
Here, then, it is proposed to recount this interesting phase of Father
NobUi's career.
There are two notable disadvantages which confront anyone who
would endeavour to work in Nobili material. The first stems from the
fact that Father Nobili died much too young; he did not Uve out his
normal life-span, for he died in 1856 at Santa Clara, and at the early
age of 44, as a result of an infection which had resulted from his stepping
on a rusty nail while supervising some building operations there. Then,
too, it would seem that, at the time of his death, Nobili was much too
young to be of interest to the portrait-painters, if any such existed in the
California of his day. Consequently, there had long been an empty
niche above the entrance-way of NobiU Hall on the modern University
of Santa Clara campus, for no one knew or yet knows what John Nobili
looked like.2 This is but an example of the perplexities which confront
the student who would work in the field of NobUiana. However, it is still
possible to put him in focus and to place his missionary apostolate in the
Canada of a century ago in perspective.   First, then, the focus.
John Nobili was born in Rome in 1812, and April 8 of that year was
his natal date. With development he was recognized as a youth of quite
some natural talents, and he was welcomed into the ranks of the Jesuit
Order on November 14, 1828, at the early age of 16. His preliminary
clerical studies at the Roman College were successful even to the point
of brilliance, and he was successful, too, in the teaching duties which he
fulfilled, as a scholastic of the Jesuit Order, in the CoUeges of Loretto
and Fermo; his theological studies, upon which he entered in 1840,
resulted in his elevation to the priesthood in 1843 after fifteen years of
Ufe in the Society of Jesus. In that same year the justly celebrated
Peter John De Smet (1801-1873) entered into his life, for Father Nobili
tells us that he left Rome in September, 1843, as a volunteer for the
missionary apostolate which De Smet was preparing in the Oregon
country. August of 1844 saw the young priest at Fort Vancouver in
Oregon, where, he teUs us, he spent ten months before entering upon the
more interesting phase of his labours among the aborigines of New
Caledonia.   As wUl later be indicated more fully, his work among these
(2) Several years ago authorities at the University of Santa Clara decided,
in lieu of any representation of Nobili, that the empty niche should be filled
with a statue of Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order. 1953 John Nobili, S.J.. 217
primitives lasted from 1845 to 1848, when, at the decision of his superior
in the Jesuit Order, he relinquished this apostolate and in 1849 went to
California as companion to Father Accolti. His founding of Santa Clara
CoUege in 1851 or, better, his endeavours to transform an almost ruined
Franciscan mission into some semblance of a place where an education
could be obtained—aU of this adds stature to the man who accompUshed
so much with so Uttle. His premature death came in 1856, and it was
the occasion of an outpouring of genuine grief among his many friends.
It may help here to summarize, in briefest compass, the earUer
Catholic history of New Caledonia before the years of the NobiU
apostolate there. Catholicism came early into the land, for the first
white inhabitant, Lamalice, professed this religion, as did the significant
Simon Fraser and one of his two lieutenants, Quesnel, as well as some
other French-Canadian companions. It is commonly considered, then,
that these men gave the natives of the sections in which they trapped and
explored their first contacts, however tenuous, with Christianity. In
1842 Father Modeste Demers (1809-1871), a French-Canadian secular
priest, made an extended visit through the land inhabited by the inland
tribes and got as far north as the country of the Porteurs or Carriers
around Stuart Lake. The always interesting Demers, later first Bishop
of Vancouver Island, appears to have undertaken this first missionary
tour with the explicit encouragement of the Jesuit De Smet and, indeed,
with the assurance that the work would be supported and carried on with
Jesuit help. In this journey of 1842 Demers visited the Kamloops, the
Atnans, and the Porteurs, and he administered baptism to 436 infants.
Rev. Gilbert J. Garraghan, S.J., who, in the second volume of his
competent The Jesuits of the Middle United States, furnishes interesting
details of the Demers journey, records the fact that at Fort Langley on
the Fraser the Demers baptisms are said to have numbered 700. The
Demers journey served as a prehminary visit to these people before the
advent of John Nobili among them.
In a chatty letter which Father Nobili wrote to a Missouri Jesuit
from the "Mission of Upper California, March 12, 1852," wc are
given an account of his missionary travels of several years before his
arrival in El Dorado and the beginning of an entirely different life
there. Nobili tells his Jesuit friend of his first ten months in Oregon,
1844 to 1845, which he spent at Fort Vancouver in the capacity of parish
priest to the numerous Canadians hi the service of the Hudson's Bay
Company;   only a portion of his time was he able to devote to the 218 John Bernard McGloin July-Oct.
spiritual care of the many Indians of the neighbourhood. He goes on
to relate how, in August, 1845, Father De Smet gave him the " different
task of exploring New Caledonia. Accompanied only by a half-breed,
I visited and instructed the Indian tribes as far as Fort Alexandria and,
in the May following [1846] I came down to ColvUle to give an account
of my progress to Father De Smet, who sent me back again. So I spent
there another year. I went as far as Ft. Stuart and Ft. Kilmars on Babine
Lake, nearly the boundary Une between the British and the Russian
possessions."3 No better preparation could be imagined for a rugged
missionary apostolate, which was to last, presumably, for many years,
than these preliminary journeyings of Father NobiU. He gives his reader
in Missouri some more details:—
I was there alone among 8 or 9 thousand Indians of different languages and
manners. In all, I think I baptized and gave the other sacraments to nearly one
thousand three or four hundred Indians, many of whom had the happiness to die
soon after, including about five hundred children carried off by the measles. In
May 1847, I founded the first residence of St. Joseph among the Okinagans, two
days journey from Thompson's River, and resided there the following year with
Father Goetz, given me as a companion. Then, I will not say for what motive,
I was with deep sorrow snatched away from my dear Indians, in the midst of
whom I had hoped to die, and called South to the residence of the Flatheads.
Here I passed the winter in a very precarious state of health and would undoubtedly
have died were it not the will of God that the good and charitable Father Mengarini
and Father Ravalli restored me with their fostering care.4
Thus far Father NobUi's account which was written just seven years
after he had inaugurated his work among the inland tribes of New
Caledonia. In this same connection, we have a cryptic but revealing
note which Nobili wrote to Father Jenkins, an English Jesuit in London,
it was dated March 15, 1847, and was written at Fort Alexandria:—
I take again the liberty of sending you some letters for our V. Reverend Father
General. There is an account of my priesthood through the New Caledonia during
the last winter, when I added 140 persons to the number of about 600 already
baptized. I am quite alone in " terra deserta et invia " and, for this very reason,
I am in need of your prayers and holy sacrifices to which I recommend myself and
my dear natives earnestly.   .   .   .5
(3) John Nobili, S.J., to William Stack Murphy, S.J., March 12, 1852. The
English copy of this letter was consulted by the author in the Missouri Province
Jesuit Archives, St. Louis, Mo.
(4) Ibid.
(5) John Nobili, S.J., to Rev. C. Jenkins, S.J., March 15, 1847. The author
was furnished with a copy of this letter from the original in the Archives of the
Jesuit Order of the Oregon Province, Mount St. Michael's, Spokane, Wash. 1953 John Nobili, S.J. 219
Further detaUs may be added to the somewhat incomplete NobiU
accounts as a result of the researches of Father Garraghan. Thus, for
example, we learn that the Jesuit had first welcomed the assignment to
New Caledonia with these Unes of enthusiastic response addressed to
De Smet:—
I received your precious letter at Walla Walla and through it was made acquainted
with my new destination. May the good God be blessed! ... I go, then,
encouraged by your words, and, in going, I forget my weakness, my defects, my
lack of virtue and experience for an enterprise which is beyond my strength.
I abandon myself entirely to the care of Divine Providence.6
NobiU was hardly unduly pessimistic in his anticipation of the
difficulties which he felt sure would soon be upon him. Father Accolti
later wrote to De Smet, under date of February 9, 1846, and described
how NobiU, travelUng with a certain Battiste who sought membership
in the Jesuit Order, had had the experience of being deserted by an agent
of the Hudson's Bay Company who had travelled with them for a few
days. There is an indignant yet sympathetic note in Accolti's Unes as
he relates how the agent had " quit them villainously without Ustening
to Father NobiU's entreaties not to abandon them. On his horses he had
the Father's tent and sack of provisions. The result was that they
had to remain without food or shelter on an entirely unknown traU.
Then they got lost and lack of water and nourishment brought them
within an inch of perishing. Two Indians from the Cascades, whom
Father NobiU had known at Vancouver, rescued them from the peril."7
Despite this inauspicious beginning, it would appear that NobUi's genuinely apostolic spirit was not dampened, for he continued the work
without discouragement. He was responsible for the erection of several
smaU chapels in the forts or trading-posts of the Hudson's Bay Company
which he visited. The faU of 1845 saw him penetrating as far north
as Fort St. James on Stuart Lake, and he returned there the next year.
Garraghan adds these details:—
. . . Father Nobili . . . was surprised at Fort Alexandria on the Fraser to
find a frame church built apparently in the interval that had elapsed since Demer's
departure. Here some marriages among the Canadian employees of the Fort were
set right and twenty-four children and forty-seven adults were baptized.    On
(6) John Nobili, S.J., to Peter J. De Smet, S.J., n.d., from the original in the
Missouri Province Jesuit Archives, St. Louis, Mo.
(7) Michael Accolti, S.J., to Peter J. De Smet, S.J., February 9, 1846, from
the original in the General Archives of the Society of Jesus, Rome, Italy. 220 John Bernard McGloin July-Oct.
December 12, 1846, he was at Fort George at the confluence of the Nechoco with
the Fraser.   .   .   .8
NobiU must have been made happy when he found fifty Sekani
Indians at Fort George, where they had awaited his arrival for nineteen
days after coming down from the Rocky Mountains to meet the Black-
robe. Twelve of their children were baptized and twenty-seven adults,
of whom six were of advanced age. NobiU celebrated the event by
erecting a missionary cross at the fort, and this, indeed, was his custom
wherever he remained for any length of time. Christmas season found
him at Stuart Lake, where he vigorously campaigned against the pagan
customs of the Indians who centred there. Fort Kilmars, on Babine
Lake, near the Alaskan border, next saw Father Nobili, and there the
peripatetic padre administered some baptisms in October, 1846.
Garraghan adds:—
Early in January, 1847, he was back at Fort St. James, where he remained, carrying
on a vigorous campaign of instruction, until the beginning of Lent. In October
... it would appear that he was among the Chilcotins, a troublesome Dene
tribe ... he was the first priest to visit the Chilcotins. He blessed a cemetery,
visited several of the native villages and baptized a number of the adult Chilcotins
whom, comments an historian, he would have left longer under probation had he
possessed more experience of their native fickleness. . . . The map accompanying the first edition of De Smet's Oregon Missions indicates four missionary
stations in New Caledonia—namely, at Fort St. James, Fort George, Fort Alexandria and Fort Thompson in addition to the residence among the Okinagans.
At Kamloops near old Fort Thompson in British Columbia, tradition still witnesses
to the missionary labors of Father Accolti in that remote corner of the New
World.   .   .   .»
Here, then, in a brief survey is an overview of the aboriginal apostolate inaugurated by John Nobili, Jesuit missionary among the New
Caledonian natives. It compares favourably with many of the equally
stirring missionary pages written by his Jesuit brothers in the history of
their society. Many were the inconveniences suffered by Nobili during
these years, and his eagerness in suffering is attested to by the fact
(8) Gilbert Garraghan, S.J., The Jesuits of the Middle United States, New
York, 1938, Vol. n, p. 328.
(9) Ibid., pp. 328-329. Father Garraghan here makes reference to the
authoritative work of A. G. Morice, O.M.I., History of the Catholic Church in
Western Canada from Lake Superior to the Pacific, Toronto, 1910, and adds:
"A considerable body of Nobili's unpublished correspondence descriptive of his
missionary experiences is extant in the Jesuit General Archives, Rome. De Smet,
Western Missions and Missionaries, New York, 1863, p. 513, has a sketch of
Nobili." 1953 John Nobili, S.J. 221
that he wished to Uve and to die among his converts and neophytes.
It has never been considered ideal among Catholic missionaries that one
priest should be completely isolated from the companionship and help
of another, and this would seem to be the reason why Nobili's religious
superior, Father Joseph Joset (1810-1900), sent him Father Anthony
Goetz to be his companion. The Jesuit General, Father John Roothaan
(1785-1853), wrote to De Smet from Rome in 1846: "I should not
have approved the sending of poor Father Nobili alone among the
Porteurs; still, the necessity of so doing must have been unavoidable."10
But even the assignment of a companion to NobiU did not make the
New Caledonia missions a venture worth supporting in the opinion of
Joset, and so it was that he summoned Fathers NobiU and Goetz to return
to civUization. Although each obeyed as expected, so far as Nobili was
concerned there was an obvious reluctance to abandon the work which
had already cost him so dearly. In retrospect, it is entirely understandable that such an attitude should be his, for he must have promised
various tribes that he would return to them whenever feasible, and now
he rightly conjectured that neither he nor anyone else of his Order would
do so, at least in the foreseeable future. Naturally, then, the young
Italian Jesuit must have felt that the tenuous foundations which he had
laid were destined to be in vain. But return he did, even though dragging
his feet a bit; Father Joset felt confirmed in his decision when he saw
the appearance of Father NobiU. He thus wrote to Roothaan in Rome:
" When I saw him at the Sacred Heart [mission] I said to myself at once
that he was by no manner of means made to Uve among the Indians."11
Mid-May of 1849 saw John NobiU officially accepted as a member of the
Society of Jesus, when, twenty-one long years after his admission to the
Order in Rome, he made his final profession as a Jesuit in the hands of
Father Joset. It was not to be long after this pivotal event in the life
of the Jesuit that he was to accompany Father Accolti to CaUfornia; he
was never to see his dear Indians or New Caledonia again. To California
he went, and in California he stayed, and in California, it would seem,
his heart ever felt the hurt which had been his when the decision had
been made to abandon New Caledonia in so far as his work there was
concerned. We know this because of his explicit statement on the matter
in a letter which he penned to the one who had first sent him there,
Father De Smet.   Nobili's letter was written in San Francisco under date
(10) Gilbert Garraghan, S.J., op. cit., Vol. II, p. 329.
(11) Joseph Joset, S.J., to John Roothaan, S.J., August 2, 1850, from the
original in the General Archives of the Society of Jesus, Rome, Italy. 222 John Bernard McGloin
of March 28, 1850, and it was sent to the famous Missouri Jesuit at
St. Louis, Missouri:—
. . . But, you say, is it possible for you to finish this letter without even a short
word or two about my New Caledonia Mission? Ah, infandum! Jubes renovare
dolorem!    O poor missions which gave such fruit and promised even more.
0 unhappy people! Why, Reverend Father, did you leave Oregon so quickly?
' Si fuisses ibi,' my mission would not have died, and I would rather have died with
my mission. But the good God has only allowed my mission to last three years
and that I should not die, as I hoped, in the midst of my dear Indians. Dominus
dedit, Dominus abstulit; sicut Domino placuit, ita factum est. Fiat Voluntas
Ejus! When Father Joset received the letter from Father General making him
superior of the mission, he recalled me from New Caledonia with all my belongings
and ordered me to quit the residence of St. Joseph already established by the great
lake of Okinagan. He ordered us under a precept of holy obedience to abandon
the mission, residence, savages and belongings to Divine Providence and to return
to the Rocky Mountains.   Behold what has been the fate of new Caledonia where
1 labored for three years in the midst of privations, of all kinds of dangers, even
that of losing my life. The answer to my letters to Father General—with a positive
order not to abandon this mission, has at last arrived—but too late, i.e., during
the past autumn, when I had already been called to the Flatheads of Willamette
and, from there, to California.12
With this epistolary lament of Father NobiU, not without its poignancy, we may finish this account of a significant period in his life and,
indeed, hi the earUer CathoUc missionary history of New Caledonia.
Not that land, but El Dorado to the south was eventuaUy to claim him,
and his remains rest to-day in the Jesuit cemetery in Santa Clara, CaUfornia, rather than in a missionary's grave in New Caledonia. These
pages have not pretended to be anything like a complete account of what
Nobili did in the Canada of his day; rather, they are intended as a humble
tribute of praise of the CaUfornia Jesuits of to-day to the memory of the
man who did great things in the New Caledonia of his day and who
would have, undoubtedly, done even greater things there had circumstances permitted. NobUi wrote a fine page in missionary history in his
apostolate hi New Caledonia of over a century ago. His attempt to
evangeUze the Indians there was never resumed by the Jesuit Order;
however, at a later period, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate succeeded
NobiU, and, where Demers and NobiU had sown, the Oblates reaped
substantial results as a result of their own devotion and zeal coupled
with the pioneer efforts of their predecessors.
John Bernard McGloin, S.J.
University of San Francisco,
San Francisco, Calif.
(12) John Nobili, S.J., to Peter J. De Smet, S.J., March 28, 1850, original in
the Missouri Province Jesuit Archives, St. Louis, Mo. Quoted in Gilbert Garraghan, S.J., op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 330-331. THE KLONDHCE GOLD-RUSH—A GREAT
The terrain of the northern gold-rushes which took place at the
turn of the century is of almost continental proportions, aU but coinciding with the basin of the Yukon River and, except on its western seaward side, shut off from the rest of the world by imposing mountain
barriers. Even to-day it is a remote and lonely land; at the time of the
purchase of Alaska it was unknown to aU save the fur-trader and perhaps the missionary. " There is neither law of God or man, north of
fifty-three," as the poet Kipling wrote. This was almost UteraUy true
at the time, for despite the Organic Law of 1884 there was no authority
in the whole Yukon Valley. The Canadian part of the Yukon Valley
was officiaUy a part of the Northwest Territories and subject to the
territorial government at Regina.
Beyond easing the Hudson's Bay Company out of its post at Fort
Yukon in 1869, the United States Government had done as Uttle to
implement its claims or assert its authority as had Canada. It was left
to the gold-miner to breach the barriers and to explore these vast soU-
tudes, without the benefit of government and law. The same international band of gold-seekers who had broached the placer-fields of the
Cariboo and had penetrated the remote fastnesses of the Cassiar and
the Omineca could hardly fail to turn their attention to these northern
solitudes once the diggings on the Fraser, the Stikine, and the Finlay
Rivers were exhausted. It was at the end of the sixties and the beginning
of the seventies, when the word of the purchase of Alaska spread through
the goldfields of Interior British Columbia, that the new land began to
beckon the gold-seekers. Miners from the Omineca, travelling by way of
the Peace, the Halfway, the Sikanni Chief, the Fort Nelson, the Liard,
the Mackenzie, the Peel, and the Porcupine crossed the mountain barrier
and reached the Lower Yukon to try their fortunes. These men, such
as McQuesten, Harper, Mayo, Hart, and the others, were twenty years
ahead of their time. At that time the Yukon VaUey was reached only
by the yearly trips of steamers from St. Michael on Bering Sea, which
* The substance of this article was prepared for submission to the meeting of
the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association held at the
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., December 28 to 30, 1952.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
223 224 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
suppUed the scattered trading-posts of the Alaska Commercial Company
solely for trading with the Indians. In point of time, posts on the
Upper Yukon were a year or more away from their sources of supply
on the Pacific Coast, and the high prices involved in transportation over
these great distances were prohibitive for the prospector, who scraped
what gold-dust he could from the river-bars in the few short months of
the mining season, looking perforce to some unknown future for his
reward. Easier access and quicker and cheaper transport was needed
before their resources could be exploited. Most of the original band of
gold-seekers were forced by dwindling resources to give up their quest
and turn to trading with the Indians to make a livelihood.
By 1879 the overflow from the Stikine goldfields was working up
the coast, through the intricacies of the passages of the Alexander Archipelago. One daring prospector, George Holt, induced the Chilkoot
Indians of the coast to allow him to cross the Chilkoot Pass and prospect
the upper courses of the Lewes and the Teslin Rivers.1 The opening-up
of the goldfield on Gastineau Channel and the founding of the town of
Juneau2 provided a convenient base of operations that enabled others,
once the first breach had been made, to follow up this humble start.
Thereafter the numbers increased steadily; Joseph Ladue led a party
over the Chilkoot in 1882 to prospect on the bars of the Yukon and
the Stewart;3 Ed Schieffelin, of Tombstone, Arizona, brought a smaU
steamer up the Yukon River in 1883, in search of ore deposits;4 the
most readily accessible bars were examined, but the operations of these
miners were restricted to a few short weeks of summer owing to the need
to return each winter to Juneau for supplies.
Not till 1885 did mining make appreciable progress. Prospectors
returning to Juneau for the winter encouraged others to venture across
the divide into the interior. The old-timers, McQuesten, Harper,
though they had abandoned the life of the mine for the trading-post,5
never lost interest in prospecting, and there can be Uttle doubt that they
kept their friends outside posted on developments and were to some
extent responsible for the influx of newcomers.   It was the bars of the
(1) W. B. Haskell, Two Years up the Klondike and Alaskan Gold-fields, Hartford, 1898, p. 48. Haskell gives the date for Holt's venture as 1878 rather than
(2) Miner W. Bruce, Alaska, New York, 1899, pp. 38-39.
(3) William Ogilvie, Early Days on the Yukon, Ottawa, 1913, p. 110.
(4) Ibid., p. 70.
(5) Miner W. Bruce, op. cit., p. 15. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 225
Stewart River that yielded the greatest returns during the early eighties
and led to the establishment of a post at its mouth by Harper and
McQuesten.6 But the most sensational event was the discovery of gold
at bedrock on the Forty MUe in 1886. That topped everything so far
and led to such a rush to these new diggings that Harper and McQuesten
moved their post from Stewart to the mouth of the Forty MUe, which
shortly became a real gold camp.7 Thereafter mining activity was
rapidly expanded to take in the tributaries of the Forty Mile and
extended across the divide into the valley of the Sixty Mile, then downriver to Birch Creek. It was this first influx that led the Canadian Government in 1887 to dispatch parties into the interior to report on the
geology of these unknown regions and to estabUsh the frontier between
Canada and the United States.8 These first tentative explorations found
a rather intensive mining activity established on the Upper Yukon, but
beyond marking the frontier on the Forty MUe9 and on the Yukon,
nothing was done to assert the Dominion's authority. Indeed, Mr. WU-
liam OgUvie recommended that in view of the fact that most of the
miners were United States citizens and used to managing affairs in their
own way, the Canadian Government should not interfere.10
The opening-up of these goldfields and the reports of the new finds
soon reached the coast and the outside world and started a stampede.
Claims on Forty Mile and its tributaries, Chicken and Jack Wade
Creeks, were taken up by scores, and by 1894 the annual output had
risen to $300,000.n Prospectors who passed over the divide to the
Sixty Mile found gold in its tributaries, MUler and Glacier Creeks; then,
hi 1894, came the discoveries on Birch Creek12 and the estabUshment
of a supply-post at Circle City on the Yukon.13 The greatly increased
mining activity led to one great advance in mining. This was the use
of fires to thaw the frozen gravel, which apparently was a discovery hit
on by Fred Hutchinson on Franklin Gulch in the Forty MUe district in
(6) William Ogilvie, op. cit., p. 66.
(7) Ibid., pp. 66-67.
(8) " Report of the Minister of the Interior  .   .   .   1887," Part H, pp. 64-69,
and Part III, pp. 5-10, in Canada Sessional Papers   .   .   .   1888, Ottawa, 1888.
(9) William Ogilvie, op. cit., p. 60.
(10) Ibid., p. 143.
(11) Joseph Ladue, Klondyke Facts, New York, 1897, p. 18.
(12) W. B. Haskell, op. cit., p. 52.
(13) William Ogilvie, op. cit., p. 67. 226 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
1887.14 Artificial thawing shortly became general. This enormously
extended the miner's working season by aUowing him to continue operations in the winter months when he had hitherto been idle. Indeed,
most of the miners had heretofore planned on going out in winter,
returning in the spring. The increase in the population of the gold-
fields, now more or less permanent, demanded greater transportation
faculties to supply the miners with food and led to the formation with
the aid of Chicago capital of the North American Transportation and
Trading Company by Captain J. J. Healy, formerly of Dyea.15
It was this great accession of population that led Bishop Bompas,
of the Diocese of Selkirk, to address a request to the Dominion Government urging it to take steps to introduce law and order to prevent the
debauching of the Indians through increasing contacts with the whites.16
The result was orders addressed to Captain Constantine (Inspector), in
charge of the detachment of the North West Mounted Police at Mooso-
min, to proceed to the new goldfields to report on the situation. Constantine, going over Dyea Pass and proceeding down the Yukon River
by small boat, reached Fort Cudahy (the North American Transportation and Trading Company's post at Forty Mile) on August 7,17 where
he collected customs duties on stores imported from the United States
and gathered information for his report before proceeding down-river
for the outside via St. Michael. On the basis of the latter, the Government in 1895 dispatched Constantine and twenty men and N.C.O.'s via
St. Michael to Forty Mile, where a post was built and the administration
of the country taken over.18
This task had hardly been completed when gold was discovered on
tributaries of the Klondike some 50 miles south of Forty MUe. Here,
on what was locaUy known as Rabbit Creek, George Carmack, a drifter
who had linked his fortunes with an Indian wife and her relatives and
made a somewhat precarious hvelihood by fishing and cutting timber
for the miners, on August 17, 1896, uncovered coarse gold on rimrock
(14) It is to be noted that Ogilvie, op. cit., p. 140, claimed that he suggested
thawing the gravel.
(15) Ibid., p. 68.
(16) H. A. Cody, An Apostle of the North, Toronto, 1931, p. 267.
(17) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1894, Ottawa, 1895, pp. 70-85.
(18) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1895, Ottawa, 1896, pp. 7-10. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 227
in the banks of the stream.19 As was the custom of the country, he
staked two claims, his Indian companions two more, and they hurried
back to the mouth of the Klondike and floated down the river to Forty
MUe to register their claims at the newly opened mining recorder's
office.20 The unusuaUy rich find, though regarded somewhat scepticaUy
by the miners, none the less started a stampede for the new fields.21
The stampeders at first found their way up in whatever smaU craft were
avaUable. A river-boat coming along about this time, Forty MUe and
the neighbouring creeks were aU but deserted. The result was that the
ground on Rabbit Creek (shortly named Bonanza) and its tributary
Eldorado was quickly staked. Miners in the Sixty MUe region did not
hear of the strike till the arrival of the steamer, which had already
brought the Forty MUe miners up to stake, so that most of them were
disappointed in their hopes of getting in on the original creek and had
to go farther afield for claims. Miners at Circle City heard of the strike
but did not take it seriously till a miner named Rhodes, who had staked
No. 21 above Discovery on Bonanza, reported that he had recovered
$65.30 from a single pan.22 This find was confirmed by agents of the
trading companies at Circle. Then Circle City in turn was emptied, but
this time the stampeders had to make their way up over the ice, since
the river by this time had frozen over. Captain Constantine, of the
North West Mounted PoUce, reported on November 20 to his superior
at Regina that 38 claims had been registered in the new fields and that
150 remained to be entered, though the highest yield that he had heard
of, from Carmack's claim, was $3 per pan.23
The speed with which the two creeks—Bonanza and Eldorado—
were staked is illustrated by the fact that Bob Henderson, working over
the Bonanza divide on Gold Bottom Creek, heard nothing of the strike
for weeks afterwards, and was unable to secure a claim on either creek.24
Since he had drawn Carmack's attention to the possibilities of the new
field and induced him to make the trip to Gold Bottom, which led to the
(19) William Ogilvie, op. cit., pp. 125-130.
(20) Ibid., p. 130.   See also Miner Bruce, op. cit., p. 151.
(21) William Ogilvie, op. cit., p. 133.
(22) W. B. Haskell, op. cit., p. 284.
(23) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1895, Ottawa, 1896, p. 234. Constantine reported that other claims were
yielding higher unspecified amounts.
(24) William Ogilvie, op. cit., pp. 124, 132. 228 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
discovery, he is regarded by many as responsible for the find.25 Nevertheless, whUe at Gold Bottom, Carmack had promised to let him know
of any find he made, but the promise was forgotten and Henderson was
left out in the cold. His claims, as having pioneered the field, were
finaUy recognized by the Canadian Government, who rewarded him
with a pension of $200 a month.26
Since the discovery had been made late in the season, the miners
had to exert themselves to erect cabins for shelter and assemble from
Forty Mile the necessary food-suppUes for the winter. Work on the new
claims, however, gradually got under way. Shafts were sunk and drifts
extended along bedrock, and before the winter was over the pay-streak
was disclosed. Some of the dumps were panned with the scanty
resources of water (probably obtained by melting snow) with phenomenal results. Yields per pan ran to hundreds of doUars; one case is
reported by Haskell of $800 in a single pan.27 Nevertheless, though the
richness of the field was demonstrated, the shortage of labour and other
difficulties (weather, etc.) prevented any really tangible proof of the
extent of the finds. It was not till the spring clean-up that the astounding yields began to be reported, some taking from their claims as high
as $80,000;28 Clarence Berry, on No. 6 above on Eldorado, took out
$130,000.29 Much of the spring clean-up was shipped down-river to
St. Michael to be transhipped to ocean-going vessels for the Pacific west
coast ports. It was the arrival of these vessels at San Francisco and
Seattle in the summer of 1897 that set off the real gold-rush.
Looking back from the vantage point of 1952, we can see that it
was not inevitable that the arrival of a shipment of gold from the North
should have had the spectacular results of these of 1897. It is true,
the election of 1896 had passed and the cry of " free silver " had died
down, while the Spanish-American War was stiU in the future. Times
had been hard, but things were better than they had been at the beginning
of the nineties, and it would not seem that the discovery of gold offered
prospects of expanding prosperity. Could it have been the midsummer
lull, with Congress no longer in session and most of the people who
(25) Ibid., p. 125.   See also Miner W. Bruce, op. cit., pp. 150-151.
(26) Francis Aldham,  " Bob o' the Klondike  .   .   .   ," Vancouver Daily
Province, September 4, 1932.
(27) W. B. Haskell, op. cit., p. 319.   Joseph Ladue, op. cit., p. 128, mentions
a figure of $1,800 a day as being yielded by a claim.
(28) W. B. Haskell, op. cit., p. 323.
(29) Ibid., p. 322. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 229
made news disporting themselves on the beaches or in the country, that
induced the public to seize on this bit of news from a far-away part of
the continent? Why did it catch the popular imagination? After aU,
not inconsiderable shipments of gold had been coming out of the North
for years.
It so happened that of the two important San Francisco papers, the
Call, probably for lack of competing news, spread it over the front page
on July 15, 1897,30 in true yellow-journal style in the most sensational
manner. Its account was telegraphed to the New York Tribune with
which it had associations. The other New York paper, the Journal,
belonged to WiUiam Randolph Hearst, who also owned the San Francisco Examiner. Hearst was enraged that his papers had been scooped
and wired the Examiner to do something to make amends. The latter
paper sought the next day to outdo its rivals by stiU more sensational
stories, and it was these highly spiced accounts that caught the popular
imagination and were flashed over the wires by Associated Press to
every community in the United States and by cable to the great cosmo-
poUtan centres of Europe. Three days later the Portland, of the North
American Transportation and Trading Company, docked with gold at
Seattle;31 this gave the papers in that city a chance to get in on the
story, and they made the most of the opportunity. Not aU of the
accounts of the discovery were roseate, but those which attempted to
give an indigo hue to the picture did so with just as heavy a hand. AU
this was but fuel to the flames. And the fact that not one person in ten
miUion reaUy knew anything of the North made it the easier to give free
rein to the imagination.
Mr. WiUiam Ogilvie, Dominion Government surveyor who had been
some years in the North, was on the Excelsior, yet no one was interested
in his sober accounts, whUe the reporters were fed the most sensational
stories by the ignorant crew and others as iU informed on board. OgUvie
was disgusted at the exaggerated accounts concocted in the papers. He
did not realize that he was witnessing one of the great achievements of
sensational journaUsm in modern times, the launching of a stampede
which was to reach to the far ends of the earth.
If one stops to think about it, there was nothing in the summer of
1897 to justify the extravagant stories or to rouse the fantastic hopes
(30) The Victoria Colonist, July 16, 1897, reported the arrival of the steamer
Excelsior at San Francisco on July 14.
(31) Ibid., July 18, 1897. 230 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
of persons outside inexperienced in mining. In the scramble for claims
that developed after the discovery, not even aU those in the country had
any chances of securing ground. Eldorado and Bonanza were staked
by the miners from Forty MUe; the Sixty MUe men did not hear of it
for weeks, and it was then too late to get in on the original creeks. The
Circle City people did not hear of it tiU November, when many days
were required for the trip over the ice to the goldfields. Both of these
groups had to go farther afield. In the spreading-out, some new and
unique finds were made—Big Skookum and Little Skookum Gulches,
the terrace and hiUside claims, Hunker Creek, and even over the Klondike divide on Dominion and other tributaries of Indian River. Moreover, since the Excelsior reached San Francisco on July 14, not much
of the spring clean-up could have reached the outside. Mr. Ogilvie
states that he remained in Dawson awaiting the boat for St. Michael
till the middle of July, 1897, when the first arrivals from up-river reached
Dawson in the wake of the ice going out, and that he reached St. Michael
toward the end of July. One can only surmise that he meant June,
since the ice goes out early in May and the lower river (from Dawson
down) is clear by the end of that month, so that the boat must have
reached Dawson by the middle of June and St. Michael toward the end
of that month to enable him to reach San Francisco on July 14.32
It is true that long before that the first rush of stampeders had
begun. OgUvie reported that passengers off the first ocean-going vessels
of the season were then waiting at St. Michael for the up-river boat.
As we have seen, the first arrivals at Dawson that year had already
reached there just behind the running ice. But since Lake Laberge
does not go out tiU June, these must have been persons caught by winter
along the upper river who had simply holed up where they were to wait
for the ice going out. Of course, news of the richness of the goldfields
had begun to reach the outside world, for an Ottawa syndicate arranged
for the dispatch of an expedition of reconnaissance. Its leader, Secretan,
reported some 400 people at the head of Lake Bennett when he reached
there on June l.33 On approaching Dawson, June 17, 1897, he found
miners already stampeding up-river for an obscure tributary of the Sixty
(32) " Mr. Ogilvie left Dawson City on July 15, and making his way on a river
steamer to St. Michaels sailed thence on the Excelsior to San Francisco on her last
trip, a short time ago."   Ibid., October 1, 1897.
(33) J. H. E. Secretan, To Klondyke and Back, a Journey down the Yukon
from Its Source to Its Mouth, London, 1898, p. 65. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 231
MUe, though this area had already been thoroughly prospected.34 The
fact is that the rich ground had long since been taken up and new
arrivals were scrambling for possible new finds in outlying areas.
Dawson was running fuU blast as a mining camp, though it was stiU
without a post-office.35 Steamers of the Alaska Commercial Company
and the North American Transportation and Trading Company had
arrived from the lower river and provided the only means of egress for
passengers or mail.
Already in the autumn of 1897 Dawson and the creeks were running
short of food for the miners who rushed into the country with scant
supplies, in the belief that these could easUy be replenished from the
corner grocery in Dawson.36 Thus the crowds of prospectors continued
to grow and the trading companies, while making heroic efforts to meet
the needs of the country as they appeared in the spring of 1897, were
quite unequal to dealing with the situation as it developed in the late
summer with the ever-increasing arrivals, mostly without supplies. The
situation might have been reheved if the river steamers had been able to
bring up-stream from St. Michael the stores that had been assembled
there. But the Yukon is a tricky river in the autumn. The run-off of
early summer had receded and the melting glaciers in the far south at
the headwaters hardly affected the middle and lower courses of the
river; moreover, the first frosts check the discharge of the tributaries,
and even if the river remains clear of ice, navigation in some stretches
of the river, owing to the low stage of water, becomes hazardous; the
boats of the Alaska Commercial Company and the North American
Transportation and Trading Company on their last trip (probably their
second) just could not aU make it. One or two got through; the rest
were held up in the Flats, and Dawson faced the prospect of a famine,
a prospect met by the Mounted PoUce by doing everything possible to
induce those without supplies of their own to leave on the last boat or
else to float down-river in smaU boats to where it was assumed that the
steamers had put in for the winter. By every kind of pressure and inducement in the way of offering free passage, Dawson was gradually
emptied of its surplus population, and those who remained behind, while
on somewhat reduced rations, managed to Uve through the winter.37
(34) Ibid., pp. 106-108.
(35) Ibid., pp. 109-116.
(36) Ibid., p. 117.
(37) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1898, Ottawa, 1899, Part III, p. 97. 232 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
We can see now, with the country already swarming with experienced miners and some inexperienced would-be miners, what the chances
were for those who were to come in a year later. Yet the needs of the
daUy newspaper for sensational news impeUed editors to whip up the
arrival of the Excelsior and the Portland with the first considerable shipment of gold from the North into a world-wide migration that was to
converge on the Yukon VaUey during the foUowing spring. The caU
was to go out over the Associated Press wires throughout the length
and breadth of the United States and Canada; and by cable to aU parts
of the EngUsh-speaking world, to Europe, and to remote outposts of
civUization. Looking back, it is an almost incredible phenomenon how
it caught the popular imagination and induced otherwise sane people
to risk their all in the aU but hopeless gamble of securing some share
in the flood of gold. Public officials, normaUy restrained, made Uttle
or no effort to calm this madness; cities and Boards of Trade of communities that thought to profit began to advertise themselves as the
gateway of the North; Edmonton, on the North Saskatchewan, offered
two routes—one, a back-door route, held to be suitable for taking live
stock, by the Peace, the Finlay, the Liard, and the Pelly, only discredited
by the Mounted PoUce after more than one group of stampeders had
come to grief by foUowing it, and there was the Athabasca, the Slave,
the Mackenzie, the Peel, the Rat, the Porcupine, fairly easy for experienced river-men but requiring a good part of two years to traverse.
There was the route by the Stikine and the old Cassiar goldfields to
Lake Teslin and the Hootalinqua River. Alaska communities were not
to be outdone; Valdez on Prince WUUam Sound, a mere cluster of huts,
suddenly acquired publicity as a jumping-off place for the Yukon VaUey
via the Valdez Glacier, the Copper River, thence over the Alaska Range
to the Upper Tanana, and thence across to Eagle on the Yukon. In
1896 OgUvie had reported on a trail blazed by Jack Dalton up the
Chilkat and Alsek Rivers,38 over the divide to the waters of the Upper
White, and through the interior vaUey behind the St. Ehas Range northeast to the Yukon at Five Finger Rapids. This trail attracted those
driving in stock in preference to the Chilkoot and White Passes, all but
impassable for stock and devoid of pasture, even in summer.
Thus the stage was set for the epic rush of 1898. From the far
corners of the earth—the United States and Canada, from AustraUa,
(38) " Report of the Minister of the Interior  .   .   .   1896," in Canada Sessional Papers  .   .   .  1897, Ottawa, 1897, pp. 48, 51. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 233
from the gold-beaches of the South Island of New Zealand, from South
Africa, from the British Isles, from France and Germany and the Scandinavian countries—there were few countries that had not heard the
caU. The short advance warning railways and ports on the west coast
and coastal and river steamship lines had had was quite inadequate to
handle the tide that flowed westward. CUfford Sifton, writing in March,
1898, informs us:—
The Canadian Pacific Railway train going west yesterday consisted of five
sections, about half of them loaded with intending prospectors, so you will have
all the people you can take care of.39
And in the vanguard were the newspaper-men, sent out to get the stories
of hardship, of suffering, of success and failure, of the humour and
pathos of this great migration of peoples they had set off. It is to be
noted that these newsmen were a cosmopohtan lot, brought together
from aU parts of the civilized world by the wide pubUcity with which the
news of the strike had already been acclaimed, and that among them
Canadians were a negUgible minority. This was so apparent that it drew
from Major Walsh in his report to the Minister of the Interior in 1898
the foUowing comment:—
It is to me a matter of surprise that the business men of Canada have not
taken greater interest in this question. In fact, it appears to me that our people
have given little, if any, attention to the district. It may surprise you, but it is
nevertheless a fact that until the arrival of Col. McGregor in July there was not
an accredited representative of the Canadian press in the district. No one commissioned by any of our leading newspapers to examine into the conditions of the
country as they existed, or its wants, and to report the result of his investigation
to the Canadian people, has visited the territory. By that means the people of
Canada could have obtained reliable and worthy information regarding the
country and its means. All the information sent out from the country was left
to the representatives of English and foreign newspapers to supply. Last spring
and summer there were in the Yukon in the neighborhood of two hundred representatives of newspapers, sent there for the express purpose of examining into the
resources and wants of the district. Of these about thirty-five represented English
papers, about ten represented papers published in Paris, ten papers published in
Germany, and about one hundred and forty represented newspapers of the United
States. . . . There is, however, this to be said—that while the American papers
have heaped upon us a great deal of abuse, our thanks are certainly due to them
for advertising our country, as without the assistance of their press and population,
comparatively little would be yet known of the British Yukon.40.
(39) John W. Dafoe, Clifford Sifton in Relation to His Times, Toronto, 1931,
pp. 179-180.
(40) " Report of the Minister of the Interior . . . 1898," in Canada Sessional Papers  .   .   .   1899, Ottawa, 1899, p. 330. 234 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
The spring of 1898 saw the almost unbehevable phenomenon of
masses of humanity converging on this remote locaUty. Probably 95 per
cent were concentrated on the two landing-beaches on Lynn Canal and
the grim passes that led across the coast ranges to the headwaters of the
Yukon River. Every craft, no matter how cranky, that could float,
whose engines could propel her through the Inside Passage, was pressed
into service; one was even raised from the bottom of the sea; ancient
river-boats that had long since been superannuated and were slowly
rotting on their ways were floated, caulked, their engines overhauled;
then, after inviting passenger and freight business, either under their own
steam or more probably in tow of some ocean-going vessel, they made
their perilous way across the Guff of Alaska, through the Aleutian
Islands into Bering Sea to St. Michael to go into river service. Considering the age of these craft, the indifferent and ignorant and inexperienced
crews, the largely uncharted nature of these waters, there is Uttle wonder
that many came to grief. The ascent of the river and passage through the
Yukon Flats alone was beyond the skill of the inexperienced river pilots
who had to pick their way through these perilous waters by trial and
error. But the worst hardships were endured by those who surmounted
the mountain barriers and built and launched their crazy craft on the
Yukon. Here inexperience took its worst toU; the storms on the upper
lakes, especiaUy Tagish, adverse winds, the racing torrent of MUes Canyon, and White Horse Rapids were only some of the hazards, not to
speak of the running ice of early winter. It is safe to say that most of the
fataUties from natural features or climate were to be credited simply to
lack of the proper gear and experience. But at best the gold-rush was a
mad race after a wiU o' the wisp, for a claim which not one in a hundred
would be able to stake, for a fortune that beckoned yet that would elude
the grasp.
Up till now we have had a mass movement, spontaneous and undirected, but the two chief governments involved, Canada and the United
States, were now becoming interested. Tales of impending famine had
stirred Congress to appropriate money for reUef, and an expedition was
being organized to convey it.41 Canada had called into existence the
Yukon Territory and organized at least a provisional administration,
headed by Major James Morrow Walsh, who crossed the summit with
his party in early autumn of 1897, but was overtaken by the freeze-up
on the Upper Yukon and had spent the winter months at the Big
(41) John W. Dafoe, op. cit., p. 161. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 235
Salmon River and Lake Bennett.42 Difficulties were now developing at
the coastal end of the traU where boundary questions came up. Even
more disturbing was the conflict of interests developing between the great
coastal cities, Seattle and San Francisco, to whom this gold-rush was to
be an unusuaUy luscious windfaU. The tales that set the gold-rush off
had originated in those cities, and their merchants and supply-houses
saw golden opportunity to be seized. Vancouver had hardly come into the
picture at all. Victoria, having some previous experience of gold-rushes,
did reap some benefits. But the efforts to exclude their rivals from the
profitable trade did much to stimulate ill feeling over the frontier. Men
and goods had to land at Skagway and Dyea and pass through United
States territory to reach Canadian territory;43 there was no authority at
first to pass goods through in bond; a horse or mule would be passed
through, if not used for moving goods over the mountains, and it took
considerable protests to secure the lifting of this absurd ban. But even
then the frontier was unmarked; United States authorities claimed that
the summit was at Bennett and insisted that goods going through in bond
had to be convoyed through to Tagish, the owner of the goods to pay the
cost of convoy.44 The talk of the coming United States relief expedition
apparently led to rumours that the United States would occupy the disputed area by force, and the Canadian authorities took two measures:
the Mounted PoUce under Superintendent Sam Steele were directed to
occupy the summits of the Chilkoot and White Passes, and set up frontier customs posts.45 Later on, to meet any possible use of force by 14th
Infantry camped at Dyea,46 it was decided by the Canadian Government
to organize the Yukon Field Force of the permanent mUitia, consisting
of 203 officers and men, and dispatch it into the country by the Stikine
River-TesUn Lake route. Though this force reached the Upper Yukon
by June 1, it was not tiU September 11 that they finaUy reached their
future headquarters, Selkirk, whUe the Dawson detachment did not reach
(42) Ibid., p. 176.
(43) Ibid., p. 164.
(44) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1898, Ottawa, 1899, Part HI, pp. 47-48.
(45) Ibid., p. 6. This action was decided on by the Minister of the Interior,
the Honourable Clifford Sifton, directly without consulting Major J. M. Walsh,
a special detachment of the North West Mounted Police being sent in for this
purpose under Superintendent Sam Steele. It led to a request from Major Walsh
that he be relieved forthwith.   See John W. Dafoe, op. cit., p. 180, foot-note 1.
(46) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1898, Ottawa, 1899, Part III, p. 48. 236 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
Dawson tiU October 1.47 But international tension graduaUy eased, and
good sense and the feelings of comradeship in the face of natural perUs
graduaUy asserted themselves and the crisis passed. The order issued by
Major Walsh in the spring of 1898 that no one was to be aUowed to
proceed down-river without at least one year's supply of goods,48 whUe
it may have exceeded the powers conferred on him, undoubtedly was a
salutary measure; whUe it might cause individual hardship, it removed
the possible repetition of the near famine of the faU of 1897.
Almost at once the unprecedented congestion of population gave rise
to almost insuperable obstacles. It is no fault of the Canadian Government that it had completely underestimated the problems that would be
created. Clamour arose over the inabiUty of the officials to cope with
the registration of claims; a cause of even greater dissatisfaction was the
totally inadequate mail service. Complaints on these and a score of
other matters assailed the ears of Major Walsh on his arrival in Dawson
in the early summer and pressed for immediate solution. The Commissioner gives an account of these in his report to the Minister and comments on them:—
The introduction and enforcement of law and taxation naturally made us
unpopular with the older residents, who were unaccustomed to that sort of thing.
Added to this, some twenty thousand people of all nationalities had flocked into
the district in a few weeks. They did not find things as they were in their own
country and, as might be expected, in a few weeks everyone was dissatisfied with
everything around him. The Englishman from South Africa wanted things carried
on as he had been accustomed to have them carried on there; the New Zealander,
as they had been carried on in New Zealand; the German and Swede as in their
motherlands. Those who came from the United States wanted the mining laws
and regulations adopted which are in force in that country, and the British
Columbian called out for the regulations of his province, with this exception, that
in his case he preferred the 500-foot claim of the Yukon to the 100-foot claim of
British Columbia. When regulations could not be made to suit all these various
elements of population, the officials and the law had to be abused, and, therefore,
the crusade that was started against both.49
The matter that caused most headaches at first was the difference in
mining laws between the United States and Canada. The PoUtical Code
of Alaska provided that mineral claims in the District of Alaska should
(47) G. F. G. Stanley, Canada's Soldiers, 1604-1954, Toronto, 1954, pp. 275-
277. See also "The Yukon Field Force, 1898-1900," Canadian Army Journal,
TV (November, 1950), pp. 30-34.
(48) " Report of the Minister of the Interior . . . 1898," in Canada Sessional Papers  .   .   .   1899, p. 319.
(49) Ibid., p. 331. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 237
be subject to "such reasonable rules and regulations as the miners in
organized mining districts may have heretofore made or may hereafter
make governing the temporary possession thereof."50 This was not only
taken to apply to mining claims but, owing to the absence of any law-
enforcement officers, was extended to aU kinds of disputes, with the
result that mining camps were run by miners' meetings caUed to settle aU
kinds of controversies. Authorities agree that this worked weU in the
early days of gold-mining in Alaska, but the surveying of the frontier
and the discovery that some of the gold-producing areas were in Canada,
and thus subject to Canadian mining laws, changed the picture. Order
in CouncU of November 9, 1889, had fixed the size of claims at 100
feet, as provided by British Columbia laws, and it was not till May 21,
1897, that this was amended, providing for 500 feet for creek and 100
feet for bench claims, as contrasted with rules on Forty Mile that aUowed
1,320 feet.51 Moreover, with the advent of the Mounted PoUce, the
commanding officer was named mining recorder, and all claims to be
legal had to be in accordance with Canadian laws and recorded with him.
The miners on Glacier Creek were inclined to be indignant with this
interference with their estabUshed practices of settling these things by
miners' meetings.52 But the latter were often swayed by prejudice and
passion, and the realization to which the miners quickly came, that their
just claims were safeguarded by laws which were impartially administered by the police, soon reconciled them to the new order. Yet even as
late as 1896 on Bonanza an effort was made to organize the miners and
to take over the registration and surveying of the miners' claims. The
new survey, an extremely rough and, as it turned out, very inaccurate
survey, imposed on the original staking, admittedly rough as these inevitably were, caused such inextricable confusion and led to such hard feelings that the Dominion surveyor, Mr. WiUiam Ogilvie, was appealed to
to establish the correct lines and proper ownership. While many of the
new stakers (really claim jumpers) were squeezed out in the new survey
(50) Printed in Eugene McElwaine, The Truth about Alaska, Chicago, 1901,
p. 398.
(51) This Order in Council furnished an additional grievance by imposing
a 20-per-cent royalty on all gold produced. The Canadian Government, however,
finally yielded to the importunities of the miners and reduced this to 10 per cent,
then to 5 per cent, and later to 2Vi per cent, and finally abolished it altogether in
favour of an export tax.    John W. Dafoe, op. cit., p. 187.
(52) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1895, Ottawa, 1896, p. 234. 238 Stuart R. Tompkins July-Oct.
and the new recording, it proved a salutary lesson, and no miners' meeting thereafter undertook to interfere with the claims as registered with
the Dominion Government recorder.53
One other divergence in the mining laws of the two countries remained to be adjusted. United States laws refused aliens the right to
stake a claim on United States soil. Canada, foUowing British tradition,
aUowed aUens the same rights as citizens.54 WhUe the ban on British
subjects was not strictly enforced, the difference in treatment was so
glaring that Congress finaUy agreed to reciprocate hi this matter.
The gold-rush continued into 1899, when the pushing of the White
Pass railway through to Bennett eliminated the worst hardships. Passing
into the Ulterior now became a routine matter. The trails were now
blazed, the dangers known and, for the most part, avoided. Dawson and
the goldfields now plunged into the business of digging out gold. But,
of the 30,000 estimated to have camped on the flat at Dawson in the
summer of 1898,55 few could hope to find claims. Most were soon
bankrupt and had recourse to work for others or went into business;
the others, disappointed and disUlusioned, left the country. It is estimated that $3 were brought into the country for every one taken out.
The total gold production of the Yukon eventuaUy, by 1952, reached
$229,601,006.56 It did bring a flood of people to the North from aU
lands, many of whom stayed—Americans, Canadians, Australians, South
Africans, New Zealanders, aU of whom left their mark in the country.
One great tradition that has persisted in the country is that feeling of
comradeship that overleaps aU barriers of race and language; this is
embodied in the watchword of the secret order known as the Arctic
Brotherhood, founded during the gold-rush:  "No frontier here."
The native Canadian element was lost in the mass of humanity that
struggled over the passes and down the Yukon River in 1898. Major
Walsh estimated in the spring of that year 30,000 persons reached the
goldfields, of whom a bare 4,000 were Canadians and perhaps 8,000
were British subjects.57   In the great avalanche that buried some fifty
(53) William Ogilvie, op. cit., pp. 160-171.
(54) Eugene McElwaine, op. cit., p. 394.
(55) " Report of the Minister of the Interior . . . 1898," in Canada Sessional Papers . . . 1899, Ottawa, 1899, p. 331. Actually Major Walsh stated
that this number was " in the district" and not only in Dawson.
(56) Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Gold Mining Industry, 1952, Ottawa,
1954, Table 5.
(57) "Report of the Minister of the Interior . . . 1898," in Canada Sessional Papers   .   .   .   1899, Ottawa, 1899, p. 331. 1953 The Klondike Gold-rush 239
stampeders under snow on April 3, almost all were Americans hailing
from California.58 On that year, July 4, Independence Day, was celebrated with greater gusto that first year than July 1, Dominion Day.59
Likewise, the Spanish-American War was followed, albeit at a distance
of some months, with the interest natural to American citizens.60
Part of the surplus population of the Klondike goldfields was absorbed by the gold-rush to Nome in 1899.61 The year 1903 saw also the
stampede to the new fields on the Tanana at Fairbanks, and Dawson
contributed its quota.62 Dawson was graduaUy cleared of aU but the
professional miner, the business-man, and the government official. In a
very real sense, therefore, the Yukon goldfields were the funnel through
which passed the miners who opened up the Alaska goldfields at Nome,
Fairbanks, and a dozen other points.
Next to the Americans and possibly the Canadians, the Australians,
New Zealanders, and Newfoundlanders perhaps left the most lasting
impression. In fact, in the traditions that have persisted, the AustraUans
still bulk very large, a good proof, it seems to me, that the men from the
Antipodes formed a very substantial element in the gold-rush. The
cosmopoUtan nature of the original stampeders is to-day reflected in the
second-generation Yukoners, whose names indicate their diverse national
origins, however attached they may be to their birthplace and to the
country of which they now form a part.
Stuart R. Tompkins.
University of Oklahoma,
Norman, Oklahoma.
(58) Canada, Report of the Commissioner of the North-west Mounted Police
Force, 1898, Ottawa, 1899, Part III, p. 90. The Report of the Minister of the
Interior for the same year, p. 319, claims that seventy-five persons were killed.
(59) R. A. Bankson, The Klondike Nugget, Caldwell, Idaho, 1935, pp. 161-
(60) Ibid., pp. 109-110.
(61) Eugene McElwaine, op. cit., pp. 217-237.
(62) John Scudder McLain, Alaska and the Klondike, New York, 1905, pp.
Victoria Section
A joint meeting of the Victoria Section of the British Columbia Historical
Association and the B.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society was held in the Provincial Library on Thursday evening, April 16, with the Chairman, Mrs. J. E.
Godman, presiding and over 100 persons in attendance. The speaker on that
occasion was Dr. Charles E. Borden, of the University of British Columbia, who
chose as his subject Aluminum and Archaology. Dr. Borden had been placed in
charge of the archaeological survey undertaken in the Tweedsmuir Park area prior
to the flooding consequent upon the development of the Aluminum Company of
Canada's project, and his lecture constituted a report on the work and findings of
the survey. As a preliminary to his subject, Dr. Borden gave a very rapid summary
of the status of archaeological study in general in British Columbia. Many years
ago there had been some intensive work done by men such as Harlan I. Smith
and under the aegis of organizations as the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, but
until relatively recent years little further had been undertaken and that mainly in
the delta of the Fraser River. Now the archaeological importance of other parts
of the Province, and in particular of the Northern Interior, has been recognized
and careful investigation undertaken. The agreement between the Government
of British Columbia and the Aluminum Company of Canada, involving the damming of the Nechako River, constituted a real threat to our knowledge of the
prehistory of our Province, and the Government provided funds for a preliminary
reconnaissance in the summer of 1951, and the following year the company joined
with the Government in supporting a more detailed examination. As a result, from
July to mid-September, 1952, a group of fourteen, including anthropological
students from the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington,
as well as from Columbia and Toronto, were in the field undertaking detailed
examination of selected area. Their findings are now being analysed, and detailed
reports will ultimately be made public. A very beautiful set of coloured slides
were shown to illustrate the work at the various points of the survey. A sincere
vote of thanks was tendered to Dr. Borden by Mr. A. F. Flucke, President of the
B.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society.
A regular meeting of the Section was held on Friday evening, May 29, in the
Provincial Library, when Mr. Russell Potter, an active member of the Association,
read a paper entitled A Good Word for Juan de Fuca. Mr. Potter, a civil engineer,
is a member of the Public Utilities Commission and has long been interested in the
early exploration of this coast. In the course of his address Mr. Potter analysed
much of the evidence available concerning the voyage of Juan de Fuca and came
to the conclusion that to classify it as an apocryphal venture is unwarranted. The
lecture was illustrated with sketches and maps and aroused considerable interest
among those present.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4.
241 242 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
The meeting of the Section held on Thursday evening, June 25, in the Provincial
Library was planned as a prelude to the annual field-day and also as an opportunity
for the members to become aware of the work being undertaken by the Special
Committee on Old and Historic Homes. The speaker on that occasion was Mr.
J. K. Nesbitt, who, through the columns of the Victoria Daily Colonist, has done
so much to arouse interest in the pioneer homes. He had chosen as his subject
Some of Victoria's Oldest Homes. In particular he dealt with " Duvals," the
Barnard residence; "Point Ellice," home of the O'Reilly family; "Wentworth
Villa," the Ella residence; and the James Bay residences of the Trounce and
Pendray families. During the evening a number of photographs, many in colour,
of houses recently photographed by the Committee were shown and the points of
architectural interest pointed out. In addition, Miss Madge Wolfenden, who has
been of inestimable assistance to the Committee, gave an outline of the history
of Beckley Farm in James Bay.
The annual field-day of the Victoria Section was held on the afternoon of
August 22 and took the form of a caravan tour of many of the old historic houses
of the city of which the Committee is attempting to secure a photographic record.
In addition to private cars, a large bus was chartered, and mimeographed notes
prepared by Miss Madge Wolfenden, Assistant Provincial Archivist, were provided,
giving information about the homes visited. The route covered most sections of
the city, and stops were made at five homes of particular interest and concluded
at the manor house of Craigflower Farm, where tea had been arranged. This was
particularly appropriate, as this was the year of the centenary of the establishment
of the farm. Both the manor house and the school-house were open to inspection,
and nearly 100 persons availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting the old
The first meeting in the fall season was held on Tuesday evening, October 27,
in the Provincial Library, with Mrs. J. E. Godman in the chair. On that occasion
the speaker was Mr. E. G. Hart, a member of the engineering staff of the British
Columbia Electric Company, who had chosen as his subject Tofino to Sooke.
Mr. Hart has long been familiar with the West Coast of Vancouver Island and was
able to add many personal recollections. He had prepared a large-scale map of
the region and spoke briefly on the origin and development of the numerous small
communities dotting the coast. Particular emphasis was laid on the problem of
communication, which still remains unsolved, and the various proposed routes for
a West Coast road were indicated.
Vancouver Section
A general meeting of the Section was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday
evening, April 14, with Mr. D. A. McGregor in the chair. The speaker was
Dr. Frank G. Roe, whose monumental study on The American Buffalo won him
well-merited recognition among historians and led the University of Alberta to
confer upon him an honorary degree. Dr. Roe very rapidly sketched the background of the story of the buffalo as substantiated from the records of early
explorers in the American mid-West and dealt particularly with the problem of
their migrations. The Indian method of capturing the animal was also described.
At one time, it has been estimated, there were 60,000,000 buffalo, and the question 1953 Notes and Comments 243
of their destruction was considered, the suggestion being put forward that American
military authorities, despairing of conquering the West as long as the Indians
remained economically secure because of the prevalence of the buffalo, were largely
instrumental in having the herds wiped out. The various attempts to domesticate
the animal were also mentioned. Captain C. W. Cates proposed the vote of
appreciation to the speaker.
At a meeting of the Section held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday evening,
May 19, Mrs. Mildred Valley Thornton spoke on the subject Indian Trails in
British Columbia. Mrs. Thornton is a well-known friend of the Canadian Indians
and has painted them, written extensively about them, and lectured. Her address
was illustrated with many Kodachrome reproductions of her paintings of famous
Indian men and women, about whom Mrs. Thornton told their story. Into her
narrative she introduced many interesting accounts that she had gathered during
her travels throughout the Province making her paintings. Mr. Noel Robinson
tendered the appreciation of the meeting to the speaker.
The summer outing of the Section took the form of a picnic to the Oblate
shrine at Mission on Saturday afternoon, June 27. At the shrine, dedicated to
Our Lady of Lourdes, Father George Forbes, O.M.I., gave an interesting account
of its foundation by the first Roman Catholic Bishop of British Columbia and told
of the work of other members of the clergy connected with the Order. A visit
was also made to the small cemetery wherein are buried many of the pioneers,
laymen as well as priests and brothers, of the Church who served in the area.
The first meeting of the fall season was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday
evening, September 15, and drew a large attendance to hear Captain C. W. Cates
speak on the subject When North Vancouver Was Young. Captain Cates is First
Vice-President of the British Columbia Historical Association and, having lived
nearly all his life in North Vancouver and having attended the school at Moodyville, was well qualified to speak on the history of North Vancouver. From his
great store of personal anecdotes he was able to re-create much of the spirit and
temper of the forgotten days. From his association with the Indian peoples he
learned many of their names for the regions along the shores of Burrard Inlet and
told several of their legends pertaining to the region. The great stands of timber
first drew the white men to the inlet, and the beginnings of settlement were about
the mill constructed at Moodyville. In the old days great sailing-ships came into
the inlet to load the lumber for export the world over. North Vancouver proper
began as a dairy-farm and gradually a town grew up, a process that was hastened
by the coming of the shipyards. In passing, Captain Cates also dealt with the
history of such things as the Second Narrows Bridge and told the stories of many
of the early ships on the inlet—the Sudden Jerk and Spratt's Ark. Mr. E. G.
Baynes expressed the thanks of the meeting to Captain Cates for the delightful
story he had told.
A regular meeting of the Section was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday
evening, October 13. The speaker on that occasion was Mr. Norman Hacking,
marine editor of the Vancouver Daily Province and a frequent contributor to this
Quarterly of articles on steamboat history in this Province. His lecture, entitled
From Beaver to Princess, traced the story of the beginning and development of
a coastwise steamship service in British Columbia.   In the course of his address 244 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
Mr. Hacking pointed out that the present coastal service of the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company is a lineal descendant of that commenced by the Hudson's Bay
Company in 1835, when the pioneer steamer Beaver first put in her appearance.
In the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, which was taken over by the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company in 1901, the Hudson's Bay Company was
a large stockholder, along with Captain John Irving, one of the most colourful of
steamboat captains. Mr. Hacking recounted many of the interesting stories of
marine history—the Premier and her part in the " smallpox war " and subsequent
difficulties after her collision with an American steamer, as a result of which she
could never again cross the boundary-line and ended her days as the steamer
Charmer. The story of the Spanish privateer hoax of 1898 was recounted—a
colourful if unholy scheme to transfer some of the Klondike gold-rush trade from
American to British ships. In 1894 the Canadian Pacific Railway built in Scotland
the Prince Rupert, ostensibly to compete with the Canadian Pacific Navigation
Company on this coast. It was while off the Azores en route to this region after
being commissioned that her orders were cancelled, and instead she went into
operation in the Bay of Fundy service. At the conclusion of the address Mr. Mark
Lumley presented to the Section a souvenir from the Beaver—a soldering-iron
which he had made from metal taken from the ship as she lay a wreck on Prospect
West Kootenay Section
For the first time in many years a new section of the British Columbia
Historical Association has been organized. Largely through the enthusiasm of
Mrs. A. D. Turnbull, Second Vice-President of the Association, Section No. 4 has
been organized in the Trail-Rossland area. A preliminary meeting was held on
Monday evening, March 30, in the home of Mrs. Turnbull, when a paper on the
History of Fort Edmonton was read by Mr. Alan Jenkins, manager of the Canadian
Bank of Commerce. While living in Edmonton he had become interested in the
history of the old fort and had collected together all the facts available. His
address traced chronologically the history from the founding of the post in 1795
to the incorporation of the city in 1892, and in his researches he had consulted
maps, journals, newspapers, published histories, and had secured information direct
from the Archives of the Hudson's Bay Company in London. Fort Edmonton
occupied an important position in the Company's operations, for it became the
jumping-off point for traders crossing the Rocky Mountains to Boat Encampment
on the Upper Columbia River. It was also strategically located on the boundary
between the warlike Blackfeet and more peaceable Cree Indians. The appreciation
of the members was tendered to Mr. Jenkins by Mr. Gordon German.
The second meeting of the group was held on Thursday evening, April 29, in
the home of Mrs. A. D. Turnbull on the occasion of a visit of the Provincial
Librarian and Archivist to the West Kootenay District. Mr. Ireland spoke on the
subject The Place of the Kootenays in the History of British Columbia. Far from
being isolated, in the old days it was on the direct route of the fur brigades and
was actually in use years before comparable activity developed on the coast.
Subsequently, it became significant in the efforts to build up a defence against
anticipated American expansion. The building of the Dewdney Trail in gold-rush
days was a direct attempt to cut off American economic penetration, a plan 1953 Notes and Comments 245
repeated years later in the building of the Crowsnest-Kettle Valley branch line of
the Canadian Pacific Railway as an offset to the American Great Northern Railway. In like manner, Fort Shepherd was established in the hope that it would
divert trade from Fort Colville to British territory. After the address considerable
discussion took place on the proposal of formal organization into an historical
society, and the decision to join with the British Columbia Historical Association
was reached. A committee of five, comprising Messrs. Alan Jenkins, Gordon
German, and F. Etheridge, and Mesdames James Armstrong and A. D. Turnbull,
was elected to arrange for the organization of the Section.
The third meeting of the Section was held on Monday evening, June 20, at the
home of Mrs. A. D. Turnbull, with Mr. Alan Jenkins acting as Chairman. Election
of officers took place, and resulted as follows:—
Chairman James Armstrong.
Secretary-treasurer Mrs. A. D. Turnbull.
The speaker at the meeting was Mr. Gibson Kennedy, who had chosen as his
subject Steamboating on the Kootenays. The story began with the Forty-nine in
1865, which ran up the Columbia River from Eort Colville taking miners to the
Big Bend gold-rush. It was not until twenty years later that steamboats really
came into their own with the mining boom in the Kootenays. A leader in this
development was the Columbia and Kootenay Navigation Company. Mr. Kennedy
mentioned many of the old sternwheelers—Despatch, Lytton, Kootenay, Kokanee,
to name but a few—and had photographs of many of them. To-day only two are
left in active service—the Moyie and the Minto—for the completion of the Kettle
Valley line of the Canadian Pacific Railway spelled the end of steamboating, but
with their passing a great deal of colour has gone out of life on the lakes and
rivers of the Kootenay country.
Late in September this Section held an afternoon field-day at Rossland,
exploring many of the old mine-sites in the district and also visiting the Rossland
Museum that is in process of organization. On October 18 several of the members
of the Section drove to St. Paul's Mission, near Kettle Falls, Washington, to
participate in the dedication of a marker commemorating the centenary of the
arrival of Governor I. I. Stevens of the Territory of Washington at that site.
On Tuesday evening, October 20, the Section sponsored a public meeting in the
City Council chambers, at which the guest speaker was Mr. Willard E. Ireland,
Provincial Librarian and Archivist. The subject of his address was Trail-Rossland
Backgrounds, which dealt with developments from the coming of the first white
man to the building of the original smelter. Mr. Ireland divided the subject into
six broad periods—the age of exploration, the fur-trade era, the gold-mining boom,
the period of neglect, the base-metal boom period, and the age of improved
communications. Anecdotes and facts illustrative of each period were given, and
emphasis paid to the work of such men as David Thompson and Edgar Dewdney
and to such events as the building of Fort Shepherd and the opening of the LeRoi
mine. In many instances it was remarkable how significantly West Kootenay
history was linked with that not only of British Columbia, but frequently with
that of Canada as a whole. 246 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
Nanaimo Section
Another new section of the British Columbia Historical Association, Section
No. 5, has been organized at Nanaimo, thanks in large part to the enthusiasm of
a small group in that city including Miss Patricia Johnson and Messrs. W. E. Bray
and J. C. McGregor. An organizational meeting was held in the Parish Hall of
St. Paul's Anglican Church on Saturday afternoon, June 20, in conjunction with
civic celebrations commemorating the centenary of the building of the Bastion.
This meeting was attended by Mr. Bruce McKelvie and Mr. Willard E. Ireland,
Provincial Librarian and Archivist, both of whom commended the proposal to
organize as a section of the British Columbia Historical Association. To this end
a temporary executive was elected, as follows:—
President J. C. McGregor.
Secretary Miss Patricia Johnson.
Treasurer F. W. Robinson.
Arrangements were made for a meeting in mid-July.
A regular meeting of the Section was held in St. Paul's Parish Hall on Tuesday
evening, July 14, when the affairs of the Section were discussed and the temporary
executive confirmed in office. Programme plans for the year were discussed, at
the conclusion of which the Venerable Archdeacon Albert E. Hendy read a paper
on the History of St. Paul's, Nanaimo. An expansion of this paper has recently
been published in Nanaimo and is reviewed in this Quarterly. The formal application for recognition as a section was passed at this meeting.
Formal recognition of the Section was made known at its meeting held on
Wednesday evening, October 7, when four reports on researches into Nanaimo
history were read. Mr. W. E. Bray reported on the location of many of the early
settlers in Nanaimo; Mrs. M. A. Kenny prepared an excellent report on early
buildings in Nanaimo, which was read by Archdeacon Hendy; Miss Patricia
Johnson gave a preliminary report on the burials in the old cemetery on Comox
road; and Mr. Robert Davison discussed the first coal mines in Nanaimo. All
reports were received with considerable enthusiasm, and the members present
contributed much additional information. Membership of the section stood at
Fort St. James and Central B.C. Section
The sixth section of the British Columbia Historical Association was organized
with the assistance of Dr. W. N. Sage, who was present at Fort St. James at the
time of the festivities on the occasion of the unveiling of the cairn erected by
the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. The inaugural meeting was
held on Tuesday, June 30, in the Fort St. James school-house, when the following
were elected as officers:—
Honorary Patron   -       -       -        George Ogston, Vanderhoof.
Honorary Chairman  -       -       -    W. D. Fraser, Fort St. James.
Chairman      ...       -        Mrs. David Hoy, Fort St. James.
Vice-Chairman -       -       -       -   E. D. Vinnedge, Fort St. James.
Secretary-Treasurer        -       -        John M. Lowe, Fort St. James.
D. Forsyth. Rev. M. Silk. E. Moirs.
Constable T. Garvin. Dr. E. McDonnell. 1953 Notes and Comments 247
For the first time since its inception in 1925 the annual meeting of the Okanagan
Historical Society was held in Penticton on Friday afternoon, May 29, on board
S.S. Sicamous. President J. B. Knowles was in the chair, and there were representatives present from the following communities: Okanagan Mission, Kelowna,
Canoe, Westbank, Penticton, Vernon, Naramata, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos,
Okanagan Falls, Armstrong, Okanagan Centre, and Princeton. The various annual
reports indicated that the affairs of the Society were in a flourishing condition.
There was a membership of over 700 and a bank balance of $364.42. A new
system of accounting and recording had been instituted during the year. Reports
were received from all the branch societies, and Mrs. R. L. Cawston gave a special
editor's report on the history of the Annual Reports. Silent tribute was paid to
three prominent deceased members—the Rt. Hon. Grote Stirling, P.C, H. H.
Whitaker, and Harry D. Barnes. During the course of the afternoon a resolution
that the Society itself establish a central museum was defeated, but the membership
expressed its willingness to encourage and assist any organization interested in the
establishment of historical museums in the valley.
In the evening 150 persons sat down to a banquet on board the steamer. His
Worship Mayor Rathbun welcomed the visitors to Penticton, as did Mr. R. N.
Atkinson, Chairman of the Penticton branch of the Society, and Captain J. B.
Weeks. The principal speaker on this occasion was Mr. O. L. Jones, M.P., who
spoke on the national and local responsibility in the preservation of historical
records and data. In it he referred to the findings of the Massey Royal Commission, wherein a great interest was revealed but as yet financial support remained
inadequate. He deplored the funnelling-off in many instances to Ottawa and elsewhere of material that should have been retained in the local region. He was
warmly commendatory of the efforts of the Okanagan Historical Society in so far
as its efforts to preserve the history of the valley were concerned. Many old-timers
were present, and a period was given over to their reminiscences, one of the most
outstanding being provided by Mr. George M. Watt, of Okanagan Mission, who
years ago brought a bicycle over the Hope-Princeton Trail and told of his
experiences on the journey.
The election of officers resulted as follows:—
Honorary Patron       -       -        His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor.
Honorary President       -       -    O. L. Jones, M.P.
President -       -       -       -        J. B. Knowles, Kelowna.
First Vice-President       -       -    J. D. Whitham, Kelowna.
Second Vice-President        -        Mrs. R. B. White, Penticton.
Secretary      - Dr. J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton.
Treasurer -       -       -        W. R. Pepper, Vernon.
Auditor        ...       -    Sidney Spyer, Vernon.
Editor      - Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby, Vancouver.
Assistant Editor    - Mrs. R. L. Cawston, Penticton.
Burt R. Campbell, Kamloops. J. G. Simms, Vernon.
G. C. Tassie, Vernon. 248
Notes and Comments
Mrs. D. Gellatly, Westbank.        Dr. Frank Quinn, Kelowna.
James Goldie, Okanagan Centre.
George J. Fraser, Osoyoos. G. J. Rowland, Penticton.
Captain J. B. Weeks, Penticton.
At large—
Miss K. Ellis, Penticton. Mrs. G. Maisonville, Kelowna.
A. K. Loyd, Kelowna. F. L. Goodman, Osoyoos.
J. H. Wilson, Armstrong.
A meeting of the Penticton Branch was held on April 23, at which Mr. D. A.
McGregor, Past President of the British Columbia Historical Association, was the
guest speaker and his subject Peter Skene Ogden. The officers of this branch
President R. N. Atkinson.
Vice-Presidents H. Cochrane.
Mrs. R. B. White.
Secretary Mrs. C. G. Bennett.
Treasurer -       -    Captain J. B. Weeks.
R. L. Cawston. J. G. Harris.
E. Bentley. J. T. Leslie.
Mr. McGregor also addressed the Kelowna Branch on the same subject at its
April meeting.   The officers of this branch are as follows:—
President        -       -       -       -       -       -        R. C. Gore.
Vice-President J. B. Knowles.
Secretary-Treasurer -       -       -       -       L. L. Kerry.
Mrs. D. Gellatly. Nigel Poole.
Mrs. G. D. Fitzgerald. E. M. Carruthers.
Mrs. G. Maisonville. J. D. Whitham.
Other Branch Societies' officers are as follows:—
President        - S. J. Morton.
Secretary-Treasurer    -----    George Falconer.
A. E. Berry. Burt R. Campbell.
G. E. McMahon.
President J. H. Wilson.
Vice-President   -       -       -       -       -       -    J. E. Jamieson.
Secretary-Treasurer ...       -       Arthur Marshall.
Mrs. D. G. Crozier. Mrs. Myles MacDonald.
Arthur Young. 1953 Notes and Comments 249
President - Vernon Simpson.
Vice-President  -    Mrs. E. J. Lacey.
Secretary  R. Butler.
Treasurer  A. Kalten.
L. Ball. A. Miller.
Mrs. A. Miller. A. McGibbon.
The South Cariboo Historical Museum Society was organized at a meeting held
in Clinton on Monday evening, July 6, when the following officers were elected:—
President Harold Mainguy.
Vice-President S. E. Robertson.
Secretary-Treasurer ...       -        Mrs. Avis L. Choate.
Plans were discussed for the immediate development of a museum, and a garage
with a cement floor was rented for that purpose and material collected for exhibit
purposes. The official opening of this museum took place on Friday morning,
September 4, as an integral part of the Clinton Rodeo. This ceremony was presided over by Mr. Harold Mainguy and opened with the singing of " O Canada."
Mr. R. D. Cumming, an old-time resident of the South Cariboo District and long
associated with the Ashcroft Journal, was called upon to give an address, and in
his remarks he spoke of pioneer days and in particular of the establishment of early
grist and flour mills. Mrs. Charles E. Robertson, Clinton School Trustee, was also
called upon and stressed the value of preserving the lore and history of the region
and paid tribute to the encouragement afforded the project by Mrs. G. Maisonville.
The official opening was performed by Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian
and Archivist, who commended the Society and the community for the effort that
had been put forward. In a very limited period of time a most impressive collection had been assembled and arranged for display that was representative of all
phases of the history of the region. At the conclusion of the ceremony the group
proceeded to the unveiling of the Clinton cairn, after which visiting guests were
entertained for lunch at the Cariboo Lodge.
In November, 1952, the Department of Trade and Industry presented a plaque
which was mounted on the shores of Sproat Lake in a park which has been established by MacMillan & Bloedel Limited that has within it a very fine example of
early Indian rock carving. Gilbert Malcolm Sproat knew of the existence of this
carving in the 1860's, for he described it in his Scenes and Studies of Savage Life,
published in London in 1868: "The only rock carving ever seen on this coast is
on a high rock on the shore of Sproat's lake behind Alberni. It is rudely done, and
apparently not of an old date. There are half-a-dozen figures intended to represent fishes or birds—no one can say which. The natives affirm that Quawteceht
made them.   .   .   .   The meaning of these figures is not understood by the people; 250 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
and I dare say, if the truth were known, they are nothing but feeble attempts on
the part of the individual artists to imitate some visible objects which they had
strongly in their minds" (pp. 268-269). Sproat's opinions have not been supported by later anthropological investigation. In 1890 Dr. Franz Boas examined
the petroglyph, photographed it, and had a cast made of the carving. Subsequently,
he described it in a German anthropological journal, a condensed translation of
which provides the following information: "The accompanying rock picture is
found on the eastern shore of Sproat lake, near its southern outlet. ... In
former times this region was the territory of the Hope-tschisath, a tribe of the
Nootka or Aht. . . . The present inhabitants of the region know nothing concerning the origin of the rock picture. According to their legends, the rock on
which it is carved was once the house of Kwothiath. Kwothiath is the wandering
divinity in Nootka mythology, and corresponds approximately to the raven of the
Tlinkit and Haida, the Qals of the Kowitchin. The picture is found on a perpendicular rock wall about 7 metres high, which drops directly into the lake, so that
it was necessary to make the copy while standing in the water. The rock is traversed in the middle by a broad cleft, narrowing below, from which blocks have
fallen out which bore part of the drawing. . . . The lines of the drawing are
flat grooves, about two or three fingers' breadth, and in many places are so weathered as to be hardly recognizable. They have been scraped into the rock probably
by the points of sticks rubbing moist sand against it. No marks of blows of any
kind are found. . . . The objects represented are evidently fishes or marine
monsters. The middle figure to the left of the cleft may be a manned boat, the
fore part of which is probably destroyed." [Garrick Mallery, " Picture-writing of
the American Indians," Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1888-89,
Washington, 1893, pp. 44-45.]
The inscription on the plaque is as follows:—
Sproat Lake Petroglyphs
These petroglyphs or rock carvings were made many centuries ago
by early Indian inhabitants.   Their meaning has long been forgotten
but similar carvings often commemorated supernatural occurrences
or social events of great importance to the carvers.
In commemoration of the sixty-seventh anniversary of the incorporation of
Vancouver as a city the Board of Park Commissioners of that city tendered a
dinner on Monday evening, April 20, to all pioneers of Vancouver resident in the
city before the arrival of the first passenger-train on May 23, 1887. The dinner
was held in the Stanley Park Pavilion, and the highlight of the evening was the
unveiling of a bronze panel commemorating the precise spot where Mr. Lauchlan
Alexander Hamilton drove the first stake at the edge of the forest and commenced
the survey of the townsite in the autumn of 1885. The panel is the work of Sydney
March, of Farnborough, Kent. Miss I. O. Hamilton, only child of the pioneer
surveyor, who as a child of 7 lived with her parents in their cedar-shake cottage in
what is now the Fairview District while the survey was progressing, travelled from 1953 Notes and Comments 251
her home in Toronto to unveil the panel, which was ultimately erected on the southwest corner of Hamilton and Hastings Streets in Vancouver. The inscription is
as follows:—
Here stood Hamilton, first land commissioner, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1885, in the silent solitude of the primeval forest. He drove a
wooden stake in the earth and commenced to measure an empty land
into the streets of Vancouver.
On the eighty-second anniversary of the entry of British Columbia into Confederation, July 20, an interesting ceremony took place at Government House,
Victoria, when five valuable documents belonging to Sir James Douglas—the
Father of British Columbia—were formally presented to the Government by Mr.
John Douglas, acting on behalf of himself and his elder brother, Mr. James
Douglas, of London, England. The documents were the original parchment
commission with attached Great Seal of the Realm, dated September 2, 1858,
appointing James Douglas Governor of British Columbia; the manuscript Order
in Council embodying a draft of the Commission; the official instructions under
the Privy Seal to Douglas as Governor; a letter from the Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Bulwer Lytton, Colonial Secretary, to Douglas, dated December 16, 1858; and a
manuscript testimonial address to Governor Douglas upon his retirement, signed
by various members of the Civil Service in the colony at that time.
Many years ago these documents had been taken to England by members of
the family and placed for safe-keeping with the B.C. Land and Investment Agency
Limited in London. There they remained and almost miraculously survived the
bombings of World War II. Recently they were discovered in the company's
vaults, and the suggestion was put forward that they be presented to the Provincial
Archives. In this Mr. James Douglas, a grandson of Sir James, concurred, and
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, then in London to attend the Coronation,
graciously consented to bring the documents to British Columbia. Upon his return
to Victoria, His Honour arranged for the formal transfer of the documents to Mr.
John Douglas, who expressed the appreciation of his family for His Honour's
interest in the documents and then obtained permission to request the Prime Minister of British Columbia to accept the documents on behalf of the Government.
The Hon. W. A. C. Bennett in a few well-chosen words of acceptance thanked
Mr. Douglas for the generous gift to the Province and then committed the documents to the care of Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and Archivist.
Other members of the Government present included the Hon. Wesley D. Black,
Provincial Secretary, and the Hon. Tilly J. Rolston, Minister of Education. Mr.
Robert Shanks, manager of the Victoria office of the B.C. Lands and Investment
Agency Limited, officially represented his company. In addition to Mr. John
Douglas and family, another grandson of Sir James Douglas was present in the
person of Colonel Chester Harris.
Elaborate plans had been made for the unveiling of the memorial cairn and
tablet erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada at Fort St. 252 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
James on July 1, 1953. Unfortunately, heavy rains prevented holding the ceremony at the site of the cairn overlooking Stuart Lake, and instead over 250 persons
gathered in the Community Hall. Mr. William D. Fraser, a former manager of
the Hudson's Bay Company's post at Fort St. James and a pioneer of the district,
presided. The proceedings commenced with the singing of the national anthem,
after which Rev. Father M. Silk, O.M.I., pronounced an invocation. Mr. George
Murray, M.P., was introduced and brought greetings on behalf of the Government
of Canada. In his remarks he emphasized the importance of Dominion Day and
the foresight of the Fathers of Confederation and made special reference to the
work of the early fur-traders and pioneers. Mr. Don Fraser, present manager of
the Hudson's Bay Company's store, brought greetings from the company and
expressed the regrets of Mr. C. P. Wilson, editor of the Beaver, at his inability to
be present. There was also present Chief Louis Billie, hereditary chief of the
Fort St. James Indians, who is now inactive, but the former chief, Felix Antoine,
and the newly elected chief, Edward Moise, both spoke in commendation of what
had been done for their people.
Dr. W. N. Sage, British Columbia and Yukon representative on the Historic
Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was then called upon to deliver an address
on New Caledonia. Before he did so, Dr. Sage conveyed greetings from the Board
he represented and from the University of British Columbia. He also read letters
from Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and Archivist, and from Mr.
Harry Gilliland, President of the British Columbia Historical Association. Dr.
Sage explained why Simon Fraser named the district New Caledonia and indicated
the geographical limits of the territory. He then commented on the native tribes—
Carriers, Babines, Chilcotins, Sikani, and Nehanni—all of whom belonged to the
Athapaskan language group and were collectively known as the Western Den6s.
He stressed the influence of the Coast Indians and the intrusion of their customs,
including the potlatch. The arrival of the Nor' Westers, Sir Alexander Mackenzie,
Simon Fraser, John Stuart, and others was discussed and also the building of the
fur-trading posts—McLeod's Lake (1805), Fort St. James (1806), Fort Fraser
(1806), Fort George (1807), and Fort Alexandria (1821). Simon Fraser's descent
of the great river which bears his name, in 1808, was next described, and the
beginnings of agriculture at Fort St. James in 1811 by Daniel Williams Harmon
were mentioned. After the union of the Hudson's Bay and North West Companies
in 1821 the reorganized Hudson's Bay Company took over New Caledonia, and
Fort St. James became the recognized fur-trading centre of the district. Dr. Sage
then mentioned the officers in charge of Fort St. James, from John Stuart to Alexander C. Murray. In conclusion, he dealt briefly with the coming of the missionaries and the Fraser River gold-rush of 1858, which resulted in the creation of the
new colony of British Columbia.
At the conclusion of the address, the gathering adjourned to the cairn, where
Chief Louis Billie spoke of the old days as he recollected them, as did Mr. George
Ogston. The latter had joined the Hudson's Bay Company as an apprentice in
1903 and came to serve at Fort St. James in 1905 under Alexander C. Murray.
He recalled the great celebration in 1906 on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the post, and he then unveiled the tablet which had been 1953 Notes and Comments 253
covered fittingly enough by a Hudson's Bay Company's flag.   Dr. Sage then read
the inscription, which is as follows:—
Fort St. James
Founded in 1806 by Simon Fraser of the North West Company,
has been the chief fur trading post in north-central British Columbia,
formerly known as New Caledonia. Since 1821 it has been in continuous operation by the Hudson's Bay Company. As early as 1811
the Nor-Westers began to cultivate the soil.
Fort St. James has been a most important link in the water, land
and air communication with northern British Columbia.
The Proceedings ended with the singing of " God Save the Queen."   In the
afternoon the weather cleared and a regatta and sports day—both aquatic and
field—was held, followed by an evening dance in the Community Hall.
As an integral part of the three-day celebration marking the diamond jubilee
of the incorporation of Kamloops as a city and the coronation of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II, on Sunday afternoon, May 31, a public ceremony was held
in Riverside Park under the chairmanship of His Worship Mayor J. E. Fitzwater.
At the conclusion of a religious ceremony arranged by the Ministerial Association
to commemorate the Coronation, the plaque commemorating the life and death
of Chief Factor Samuel Black was dedicated. Rev. the Hon. P. A. Gaglardi,
Minister of Public Works, made the presentation of the plaque on behalf of the
Department of Trade and Industry. Mr. B. A. McKelvie, popular newspaper-man
and historian, was the principal speaker and outlined the career of Samuel Black
up to his tragic murder at Fort Kamloops on February 8, 1841. A native of
Aberdeen, where he was born in 1785, Samuel Black entered the service of the
XY Company in 1802 and remained on after its absorption by the North West
Company, which he served with distinction. At the time of the union in 1821
with the Hudson's Bay Company, Black was passed over in the promotions, but
he was a faithful servant of the new company and successfully undertook for it
in 1824 a hazardous expedition to the headwaters of the Finlay River. For a time
thereafter he served at various posts in the southern part of the Columbia District
and in 1830 was sent to assume charge of the Thompson River District, with
headquarters at Fort Kamloops, and there he remained until his death through
treachery by an Indian. Plans were made to take his body to Fort Vancouver for
burial, but this was never accomplished, and he was buried somewhere on the hill
overlooking Monte Creek near the Bostock residence. The unveiling was performed by Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Truchot, of Oswego, Oregon, the former being a
great-grandson of the famous fur-trader. Special mention was also made of the
effort of Burt R. Campbell, President of the Kamloops Museum Association, in
having the tablet erected.   The inscription is as follows:—
In memory of Chief Factor Samuel Black, Hudson's Bay Company,
in command of Fort Kamloops 1830-1841. Treacherously murdered by an Indian at the establishment across the river from this
site, February 8, 1841.
Discoverer, Explorer, Fur Trader. 254 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
A very impressive ceremony was held at noon on Friday, September 4, at
Clinton to unveil the historic marker at the junction of the two routes to the
Cariboo goldfields. The proceedings were chaired by Mr. Cedric Durell, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, who paid particular tribute to Mr. Bruce
McTavish, who donated the land upon which the cairn was erected; to Mr. Der-
ward Smith, who built the cairn that is made from local stone from all over the
area; and to the Provincial Department of Trade and Industry, who prepared the
bronze tablet for the cairn. Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and
Archivist, was called upon to deliver an address, and he very rapidly sketched out
the early history of the routes to the mines and the significant position that Clinton
came to occupy. The actual ceremony of unveiling was performed by William
Young, deputy chief of the local Indians.   The inscription on the tablet reads:—
This cairn marks the junction of two routes to the Cariboo Gold
Mines; the original 1859 Cariboo Trail from Lillooet and the Cari- -
boo Road through the Fraser Canyon built in 1863 by the Royal
Engineers. Originally called Cut Off Valley, renamed in 1863,
honoring Henry Pelham Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle, Colonial
Secretary, 1859-64.
A feature in the Golden Spike Days celebration held at Revelstoke was the
dedication of a plaque to commemorate the work of Walter Moberly. The
unveiling took place on Sunday, July 5, in the former Central Park, now renamed
Moberly Park. The ceremony was presided over by His Worship Mayor Walter
Hardman, who called upon Mr. W. J. Fraser, first white boy to be born in Revelstoke, to perform the unveiling. Mr. Fraser, who now resides in Vancouver,
spoke briefly of the arrival of his family at " Second Crossing " in 1885 on the
first work-train and of their early associations with the community. His mother,
Mrs. Catherine Maud Fraser, now 97 years of age, resides in Vancouver.
The inscription on the plaque, presented by the British Columbia Department
of Trade and Industry, is as follows:—
Walter Moberly, C.E.
Pioneer Surveyor, Engineer and Road Builder, came to British
Columbia in 1858. When leading the government sponsored
Columbia River exploration in 1865 he discovered Eagle Pass
through the Gold Range, a vital link in the route of Canada's first
transcontinental railway. 1953 Notes and Comments 255
It is a pleasure to call the attention of our readers to the appearance of The
Alberta Historical Review, Volume I, No. 1 of which is dated April, 1953. With
its appearance Alberta becomes the last of the Western Canadian Provinces to
have embarked upon publication in the local history field. The Review is published quarterly by the Historical Society of Alberta and is printed through the
courtesy of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Government of Alberta.
This publication aims to print first-hand accounts interpretative of the life of the
Province and hopes to encourage the collection and preservation of historical
material relating to Alberta and the Canadian West. Editor of the Review is
Mr. W. Everard Edmonds, 11146 Ninety-first Avenue, Edmonton, and subscriptions at $2 per annum are handled by the Treasurer of the Society, Mr. E. S.
George, 9817 One Hundred and Seventh Street, Edmonton.
The first issue contains three interesting articles as well as a summary of the
history of the Historical Society of Alberta. Dr. George Douglas Stanley, a medical practitioner in Southern Alberta since 1901, has written on Medical Pioneering
in Alberta. John W. Shera, retired Collector of Customs at Edmonton and only
surviving member of the old North West Territorial Assembly, has contributed
his personal reminiscences on Poundmaker's Capture of the Wagon Train in the
Eagle Hills, 1885. The final article, The Edmonton Hunt, was written by Colonel
Frederick C. Jamieson, well-known Edmonton barrister.
The Historical Society of Alberta was incorporated by Provincial Statute in
1907, with members of the Legislature and a number of prominent citizens as
charter members. Early in 1919 the Society was reorganized and carried out
effective work in securing the marking of a number of historic sites in the Province.
During World War II the Society's work remained dormant and was not revived
until 1947. One of its major objectives is the restoration of Fort Edmonton, torn
down in 1915, and there would appear to be hope that this might be accomplished.
Present officers of the Society are as follows:—
Honorary President       ...       -   Hon. J. J. Bowlen,
Honorary Vice-Presidents -       -       -        Hon. A. J. Hook.
Rev. W. E. Edmonds.
Colonel F. C. Jamieson.
Rev. R. E. Finlay.
Dr. D. G. Revell.
Dr. A. B. Watt.
Mrs. Annie Gaetz.
President J. G. MacGregor.
Vice-President   -       -       -       -       -        Dr. W. C. Whiteside.
Secretary       ------    Bruce Peel.
Treasurer E. S. George.
Executive Committee—
Mrs. E. H. Gostick. Professor M. H. Long.
Mrs. C. E. Learmouth. Dr. P. R. Talbot.
Miss Marjorie Sherlock. S. A. Dickson.
Miss Bertha Lawrence. W. S. Searth.
J. W. Sherwin. Rev. Father Breton.
7 256 Notes and Comments
contributors to this issue
D. A. McGregor, immediate Past President of the British Columbia Historical
Association, is an editorial writer on the Vancouver Daily Province and a keen
student of the history of this Province.
Thomas E. Jessett is the historiographer of the Diocese of Olympia of the
Protestant Episcopal Church.
John S. Galbraith, Ph.D., has contributed previously to this Quarterly and is
Associate Professor of History at the University of California at Los Angeles.
John Bernard McGloin, S.J., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of History at the
University of San Francisco and the author of Eloquent Indian: The Life of James
Bouchard, CaUfornia Jesuit, published in 1949 on the occasion of the centennial
celebration of the arrival of the Jesuit Order in California.
Stuart R. Tompkins, Ph.D., is a member of the Department of History of the
University of Oklahoma and an authority on the history of Alaska. He has contributed previously to this Quarterly and is the author of Alaska: Promyshlennik
and Sourdough.
T. F. Mcllwraith, Ph.D., is Head of the Department of Anthropology at the
University of Toronto and the author of a definitive work on the Bella Coola
W. W. Bilsland is a member of the permanent staff of the Provincial Archives
of British Columbia.
Willard E. Ireland is Provincial Librarian and Archivist of British Columbia
and Editor of this Quarterly. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF
St. Michael and All Angel's Church, 1883 to 1953.   Victoria [1953].   Pp. 20.   LI.
St. Mark's Church, Parish of Salt Spring Island, Diamond Jubilee, 1892-1952.
Victoria [1953].   Pp. 12.   Ills.
St. Paul's Church, Nanaimo:  A Brief History since Its Foundation, 1859-1952.
By the Venerable Albert E. Hendy.   Nanaimo:  1953.   Pp.36.   Ills.
75 Years of Service: A History of Olivet Baptist Church, 1878-1953.   By J. Lewis
Sangster.   New Westminster: Smith-Reed Printers, 1953.   Pp.78.   Ills.
Hitherto one of the more neglected fields of historical research and publication
in British Columbia has been its religious history. The discovery and political
evolution of the Pacific Northwest has now been fairly well worked over, and some
serious efforts have also been made to provide us with data on our economic
development. The social aspects of our history have not fared nearly so well, and
within that general field religious or ecclesiastical history has suffered most. In
comparison with other regions in the Pacific Northwest perhaps this is not surprising, for in the era of early settlement missionary activity was much more restricted
in British Columbia and is not personalized to the same degree by great names
such as Jason Lee, Elkanah Walker, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. That is not
to say, however, that there is no necessity for activity in this field. If a truly
balanced picture of the social development of our Province is to become a reality,
the role of the clergy and of religious institutions must be examined and integrated.
There will, of necessity, have to be a great deal of preliminary " spadework."
The careers of some of the pioneer clergy have already been made available through
this Quarterly and similar journals. The four items under review suggest that perhaps the next step—namely, the collecting of parish or congregational histories—
is now being taken. It is perfectly true that all four booklets are studies in
minutiae, but they are a fundamental preparation for the writing of the ultimate
general survey.
Three of the booklets deal with parishes within the Diocese of Columbia of
the Anglican Church. St. Michael and All Angel's Church is located on the West
Saanich Road not far from Royal Oak, some 6 miles from Victoria. While mis-
sioners served the district from 1864 onwards, the parish dates its history from the
consecration of the church on September 20, 1883. Rev. W. W. Malachi was the
moving spirit in the venture, and one of the more celebrated incumbents of the
parish was Rev. G. W. Taylor, F.R.S., a keen naturalist and biologist, who later
founded the Dominion Biological Station at Departure Bay, near Nanaimo. The
brochure on this parish follows a strictly chronological pattern and provides many
details.   It owes its origin to a seventieth anniversary expansion project.
St. Mark's Church, located at Ganges on Saltspring Island, was the first Anglican
church to be built on the island.   Rev. J. Belton Haslam was the first resident
clergyman, and his church was consecrated on May 15, 1892.   It was in connection
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVII, Nos. 3 and 4,
257 258 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
with the sixtieth anniversary of that event that the brochure was prepared under
the guidance of the present incumbent, the Venerable Archdeacon G. H. Holmes.
The illustrations in this publication are numerous and exceptionally well reproduced.
St. Paul's, Nanaimo, is much the oldest of the three parishes to produce a
history, for it dates back to colonial days, with the appointment of Rev. R. L. Lowe
in 1859 as the first incumbent. Religious services had, of course, been conducted
previously, for there is a record of a visit by Rev. Edward Cridge in May, 1857, but
it is difficult to accept the statement that this was the first service in a community
that was then several years old. The first church was opened by Bishop George
Hills on Whitsunday, 1862, and that edifice served until April 11, 1907. The present
church was opened on January 3, 1932. Archdeacon Hendy has pieced together
not only a chronological history of his parish and its rectors, but has quite successfully introduced much of the history of the development of Nanaimo generally.
The fourth booklet is a welcome addition, for it is the congregational history
of the first church on the Mainland of British Columbia of the Baptist denomination, a denomination about which little information of a historical nature has ever
been published. This is a more ambitious undertaking, for, unlike the other three
histories, this one has been bound in hard covers. Again it is extremely well
illustrated. Its author, J. Lewis Sangster, a former Mayor of New Westminster,
has been associated with the church from childhood; indeed, his family association
very nearly covers sixty of the seventy-five years under consideration. Official
recognition of the congregation was taken in August, 1878, at which time there
was neither a church building nor a resident pastor. The latter want was not met
until 1885, when Rev. Robert Lennie came from Dundas, Ontario, and under his
leadership the first church building was built and dedicated in the fall of 1886.
Since that time there have been thirteen regular pastors and two new church
buildings. The original church, enlarged in 1891, was destroyed in the disastrous
New Westminster fire of September 10, 1898, which wiped out approximately
eighteen city blocks. In 1899 a new Olivet Baptist Church was dedicated on a new
site—one that is to-day occupied by still another building dedicated September 16,
1938. 75 Years of Service has a tremendous amount of detail concerning the
expanding life of a robust congregation. Mr. Sangster has a delightful sense of
humour and has included many anecdotes that relieve what might otherwise be
the tedium of detail. It is obvious that he has had access to many official records
in compiling this history. It is only to be regretted that the careful checking of
fact in so far as the congregational history is concerned was not followed in so far
as the few pages of general historical background are concerned. The capital of
the colony of Vancouver Island was always Fort Victoria or Victoria, never
Queensburg, and when that colony and its Mainland counterpart were united on
November 19, 1866 (not November 21), New Westminster and not Victoria became
the capital of the united colony (page 9).
The four congregations whose histories have in this way been so well recorded
are to be congratulated on the efforts they have undertaken.    It is to be hoped
that they will serve as a stimulus to other churches and other denominations to
undertake similar efforts to preserve their own story.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C. 1953 The Northwest Bookshelf 259
The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. (Anthropology in
British Columbia, Memoir No. 1, 1952, British Columbia Provincial Museum.)
By Wilson Duff.   Victoria:  Queen's Printer, 1953.   Pp. 136.   Maps & ills.
The appearance of the first volume of a new anthropological series in Canada
is an event of scientific importance. It marks the growing recognition of the
importance of anthropology in British Columbia, where the Department of Education has shown a commendable interest in the study of the Indian tribes of the
Province. Writing from the East, the reviewer wishes to express his whole-hearted
commendation and admiration for this policy. It is to be hoped that it will be
followed elsewhere in Canada.
The basis upon which anthropological conclusions depend is the accurate and
thorough recording of the culture of non-European peoples. Fifty years ago it
was assumed that such records could be obtained only at the time of European
contact, or within a few years of that period. Since the rich life of the Indians of
British Columbia had largely disappeared in the last century, it was generally
believed that the field investigators of 1900 to 1910 were collecting the last available
data in all fields except archaeological and linguistic. Such views took little cognizance of the stability of human culture, and of the amount remaining as oral
tradition. It is worth remembering that the most comprehensive studies of British
Columbia Indians have appeared since 1930. As the field investigator of to-day
works among Indians whose way of life is essentially that of the white man, he
may sigh for the opportunities of his predecessors who witnessed the rituals and
occupations which he knows only through oral description, but he may take comfort in the fact that his patient interviews with old men and women are recording
a culture with greater detail and understanding than can be found in the writers
of the last century.
Duff's Upper Stalo Indians is a good example of this general thesis. Under the
term Stalo he groups and describes the scattered groups of Indians from the mouth
of the Fraser to a few miles above Yale, with descriptions of the Upper Stalo who
centred around the Fraser Canyon. Much has been written about these people,
yet Duff has succeeded in collecting new facts. Even more important, he has gone
through earlier publications and manuscript material, identifying " tribal" groups
and ascribing descriptions to the relevant areas. The result is a compilation of
data on the peoples of the Fraser which can never be repeated. It can properly
be described as definitive.
It must not be thought that Duff has given a complete picture of Upper Stalo
life. Much of their culture disappeared a century ago, and just as the Indians of
New England, whose culture was the first to disappear before the white man in
the East, are less known than tribes in the hinterland, so in British Columbia we
know more of marginal tribes than of those living on such a thoroughfare as the
Fraser. His descriptions of marriage ceremonies are meagre, as are examples of
guardian-spirit quests. Few folk-tales are given, and there is little to indicate the
importance of these as monitors of native thought and action, as is common elsewhere in British Columbia. A Duff making the same study in 1850 would have
written a more comprehensive work; the Duff of 1950 has shown what can still be
learned in a community where the culture seems to have decayed almost completely. 260 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
Such material is scientifically important. It enables the anthropologist to trace
the distribution of customs. For example, although Duff has added little to our
knowledge of the potlatch, he shows the area in which this ceremonial distribution
of goods occurred. The same is true for underground houses, canoes, or shaman
quests. Contact between coastal and interior peoples is shown in the blending of
culture traits. If Canada is a melting-pot to-day, similar interactions are shown in
native culture, and the principles are often more easily recognized in a setting that
is not our own. Then, too, the survival of some elements and the disappearance
of others are a guide to the whole question of cultural stability, and, conversely,
to decay. Not least important are the facts themselves, set out logically and with
meticulous care and accuracy.
This is a satisfactory book, a credit alike to the author and the British Columbia
Provincial Museum.
T. F. McIlwraith.
University of Toronto,
Toronto, Ont.
Papers Read before the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba: Series III,
No. 8. Edited by J. A. Jackson, W. L. Morton, and P. Yuzyk. Winnipeg:
Stovel-Advocate Printers Ltd., 1953.   Pp.47.    $1.
No. 8 of this the third series of Papers of the Historical and Scientific Society of
Manitoba contains three of the papers read before the Society during its 1951-52
season as well as the Archaeological Report of Mr. C. Vickers for 1951, which
hitherto have been published in mimeographed form only. The four items make
a well-rounded addition to Manitoban local history.
The first paper, entitled Pioneer Trails in Education between the Lakes, was
contributed by Mr. E. D. Parker, Superintendent of Schools for the School District
of St. James. From 1911 until 1949 he was an Inspector of Schools for the
Manitoba Department of Education in the region that lies north of Winnipeg
between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg, and he was able to draw from a rich
field of anecdote to illustrate the problems and difficulties to be faced in organizing
schools in that area.
Mrs. Irene L. Richards is a school-teacher in Norwood and the daughter of
a pioneer in the Beautiful Plains region, the history of which she has chronicled in
her article The Story of Beautiful Plains. Originally this region, drained as it is
by the White Mud River, was in the Northwest Territories and became a part of
Manitoba only after the westward extension of its boundaries in 1881. To-day it
is centred by the thriving town of Neepawa. Mrs. Richards has undertaken a very
careful research project and, in addition to printed sources, secured information
from many of the pioneer families, from the advent of the first settler, Adam
McKenzie, in 1872. She was also able, fortunately, to draw upon personal sources
of information, for her father and maternal grandfather were pioneers of 1879.
The summer and fall of 1951 marked the sixtieth anniversary of Ukrainian
settlement in Canada and was observed with due ceremony in Ukrainian communities across the country. There are now over 400,000 persons of Ukrainian
origin in Canada, and nearly one-quarter of them reside in Manitoba, where they 1953 The Northwest Bookshelf 261
constitute nearly 13 per cent of the population. Mr. Paul Yuzyk, Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavonic Studies of the University of Manitoba, and
himself of Ukrainian descent, was active in these celebrations and also in the
Ethnic Group project sponsored by the Manitoba Historical and Scientific Society.
His paper The First Ukrainians in Manitoba tells the story of the beginnings of
this very significant migration and is a real contribution to our knowledge of the
ethnic grouping within our country. It is a detailed account of the first scattered
arrivals down to the appointment of Cyril Genik as immigration agent by the Canadian Government and his arrival in Winnipeg in the early fall of 1896 and the
visit of Father Nestor Dmytriw in the spring of 1897.
The final article, The Assiniboines of Manitoba, by Mr. Chris Vickers, is an
attempt to locate more specifically the region occupied by the Assiniboines. Mr.
Vickers first musters all the evidence from historical sources that have survived—
explorers', fur-traders', and missionaries' reports—and then examines the evidence
provided by the archaeological investigations that have been undertaken in the
Province in recent years.
It is unfortunate that maps were not provided for some of the articles, particularly that by Mrs. Richards. In addition, the odd typographical error (notably on
page 44) has crept in. All in all, this is a creditable production for a society that
is sadly handicapped for want of funds.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
Alaska, 1741-1953.   By Clarence C. Hulley.   Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort,
1953.   Pp.406.   Ills.    $5.
" Geographically Alaska is a land set apart from the United States. Its location, isolation, and inaccessibility have retarded its development. To-day it is a
frontier but not a new frontier. It was a Russian colony of exploration rather
than a colony of settlement for over a century. It remained that for many years
after it became an American possession. With the outbreak of the Second World
War, the location, which has been so great a liability in the past, brought world
prominence to the territory. To-day with its strategic importance accentuated by
the balance of power struggle with the Soviet Union, Alaska is a focal point of
world interest. The land where Europeans from the East met those from the
West has now, as in the eighteenth century, a unique geographical and political
significance."   (P. 13.)
Such significance, therefore, renders Clarence C. Hulley's book, Alaska, 1741-
1953, a timely piece of historical scholarship. Canadian-born, Dr. Hulley attended
the University of British Columbia before studying at the Universities of Wisconsin
and Washington, at which latter institution he earned his doctoral degree. Since
1945 he has been Head of the Department of History and Political Science at the
University of Alaska near Fairbanks. Believing that there was a need for a new
history of Alaska to describe past and recent developments in the Territory, Dr.
Hulley wrote his book to satisfy this need and has admirably accomplished his
goal.   Laying the groundwork for his historical research with a geographical and 262 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
climatic description of the country, he then outlines the habitats and customs of
Alaskan natives before beginning his broad sweep over the whole range of Alaskan
history from the first timid uncertain Russian explorations of the north-western
coast of America to the background of the contemporary problem of statehood.
Because of its geographical position, Alaska was late to receive white men on
its shores. When Europeans finally penetrated to the region, they came from all
directions: eastward, over the Siberian wastes and the Pacific Ocean; westward,
across North America by land; and northward, by sea from present-day United
States. It was the Russians, the " most eastern and least maritime of all European
peoples," who first discovered and settled Alaska as the last phase of Russian expansion eastward across Asia to the Pacific; and it is to the Russians, to their explorations, their fur-trading activities, their settlements, their mode of life in Alaska,
and their eventual withdrawal from the Northwest Coast that Dr. Hulley devotes
approximately one-half of his work.
In 1725 Peter the Great set into motion a project to discover whether or not
Asia and America were joined by land. Sixteen years later Vitus Bering, the man
to whom the scheme was entrusted, died after reaching Alaska, after satisfying for
the moment the original purpose of the expedition and after revealing the rich
wealth to be gleaned in the pursuit of furs in the newly discovered Alaskan region.
" Through the invasion of the northwest Pacific by Russian fur hunters following
in the wake of Bering . . . the islands adjacent to Alaska and eventually the
shores of the Alaskan mainland were opened to Russian exploitation " (p. 53).
At first the Russian Government made little effort to regulate the fur trade, permitting many small merchants in privately outfitted vessels to venture to the
Aleutians. Gradually, however, large and well-equipped expeditions, with extensive
capital investments, replaced the small traders and inevitably the large concerns
engaged in a bitter struggle to secure a monopoly of the lucrative trade. Men
such as Gregory Shelekhov, intrigued by the dream of a personal empire, founded
permanent Russian colonies in the new land in order to secure for themselves vast
fortunes and to prevent other nations from securing too great a share of the wealth
of the fur trade. Thus began the first Russian settlements in Alaska. Other
, nations, particularly Britain and the United States of America, soon had explorers
and traders on the Northwest Coast to gain a share of the Alaskan fur trade.
With the coming of these western maritime fur-traders, there began a new epoch
in the history of Alaska.
In 1799 Czar Paul I granted a charter to the newly formed Russian American
Company, giving the organization a twenty-year monopoly of the Alaskan area,
to the complete exclusion of all other traders, but retaining a strong hold over the
activities of the company. When the second and third charters were officially
granted in 1821 and 1844 respectively, the Russian Government completed the
process of transforming what originally had been intended as a private firm into
a Governmental institution for the purpose of ruling the Russian American colonies
and extending Russian activities in the region. Adding to the difficulties imposed
by the rigid control of the Czarist bureaucracy was the competition of the English
and American traders who, by sea and by land, with ever-increasing frequency and
efficiency, sought out the lucrative fur trade of Alaska. Russian attempts to meet
the competition were unsuccessful.   The depletion of the returns of the fur com- 1953 The Northwest Bookshelf 263
pany, the competition of the Hudson's Bay Company, the realization by successive
Russian Czars of the diplomatically bothersome aspects of a Russian empire in
America, and growing Russian preoccupation with events in Europe and the Far
East finally led to the sale of Russian interests in Alaska to the United States in
1867, and to the end of Russia's dream of a North American empire.
When the United States Government completed the negotiations for the purchase of Alaska, it was not prepared to assume the direction of a colonial empire.
To a bewildered War Department was entrusted the task of maintaining law and
order in the newly acquired territory. When all American military forces in
Alaska were withdrawn in 1877 to combat an Indian uprising in Idaho, the Revenue
Cutter Service of the United States Treasury Department assumed the responsibility of administration of the region and retained those duties until Congress
passed the " Organic Act" of 1884, giving Alaska the status of a district with some
judicial rather than legislative privileges, but, nevertheless, starting Alaska along
the road toward civil government. In 1906 Congress approved the "Alaska
Delegate Bill," thereby permitting the district to elect one delegate to Congress,
with no power to vote, but with permission to serve as a " board of information "
on things Alaskan. At this moment, says Dr. Hulley, Alaskan politics were born.
In 1912 Alaska secured a Territorial Legislature with legislative powers over local
matters only, and thus equipped could begin her long struggle, still not consummated, for statehood.
Alaska's fight for constitutional development has been obscured by more
glamorous phases in her story, particularly the fabulous gold-rushes. Russian
explorers had noted the presence of deposits of copper, coal, and gold in the
region but had failed to develop their discoveries. Gold-mining in Alaska really
began with such pioneers as Leroy Napoleon McQuesten and Arthur Harper in
1873, and from that year until the 1890's these and other men scrambled up and
down the banks of the tributaries of the Yukon, paving the way for the flood of
gold-seekers in the late 1890's. In 1892 the origins of the subsequently fabulously
wealthy Treadwell concession on Douglas Island, near Juneau, were located.
In 1893 the Circle City-Birch Creek mining fields were discovered. The reports
of the succeeding Forty Mile and Bonanza Creeks and other discoveries soon
led to the influx of thousands of gold-hungry miners into Alaska and the Yukon
and to the beginning of the Klondike gold-rush. Later finds drew thousands of
people to the Nome area and the tributaries of the Tanana River. Like gold-
fields the world over, the Alaskan and northern Canadian diggings eventually
subsided into big company operations, and the thousands of miners, prospectors,
and hangers-on gradually dwindled in numbers. Alaska turned to other fields of
endeavour—to her lucrative fisheries; to farming experiments, such as that of the
much-debated Matanuska Valley settlement of the New Deal era; to the development of mineral deposits other than gold; to her oilfields; and to the building of
roads, railways, hospitals, schools, a university, and the other essentials of civilization. The participation of the United States in World War II and the subsequent
deterioration of Russian-American relations has given Alaska a new strategic
importance in world affairs, emphasizing Dr. Hulley's contention that Alaska's
growth has always been dominated " by political and economic factors completely
outside the Territory. This state of affairs is not likely to change for some time."
(P. 370.) 264 The Northwest Bookshelf
Dr. Hulley has produced a good piece of historical research into the geographical, economic, political, cultural, and social fields of Alaskan history from
1741 to 1953. He has enhanced his work with an extensive bibliography, some
fine illustrations of Alaskan life (past and present), some useful statistical and
chronological data, and a good index. In several places, unfortunately, there are
some instances of careless printing errors. Dr. Hulley, however, is to be congratulated for producing a readable, comprehensive history of Alaska.
W. W. Bilsland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
The Seventeenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1953. Edited by
Margaret A. Ormsby. Kelowna: Kelowna Courier, 1953. Pp. 148. Map
& ills.   $2.50.
Since its inception in September, 1925, the Okanagan Historical Society has
gained for itself a well-merited position as one of the leading local history associations in Canada. Not a little of this prestige has accrued to the Society as a
consequence of the Reports which began to appear in 1926, and of which this is
the seventeenth. As might be expected, in the earlier days the printings were
small, and, as a result, the decision was made that the Seventeenth Report would
be a reprinting of the first two Reports. Collectors of Pacific Northwest materials
who lack these early issues will doubtless welcome this decision, although it should
be pointed out that most of this material, sometimes with alteration, was also
reprinted in the Sixth Report. In this instance, however, the articles as they
originally appeared have been reproduced and only one omission was made, since
most of that article had reappeared as recently as last year's Report.
There are a few new items—notably a biographical sketch and tribute to the
Society's former Honorary President, the late Hon. Grote Stirling, P.C. In addition, the Report is admirably illustrated and, in format, a vast improvement over
the two earlier Reports. Commendable and all as is the decision to reprint, it is
a matter of some regret that more new material was not introduced. It is sincerely hoped that there is no feeling that there is no new grist for the mill, for an
area as significant and as diversified in interest as the Okanagan Valley should
have little difficulty in discovering many topics suitable for investigation and
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C. THE
Published by the Archives of British Columbia in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association EDITOR
Willard E. Ireland,
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
Madge Wolfenden,
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton, B.C. T. A. Rickard, Victoria, B.C.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver, B.C.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. CONTENTS OF VOLUME XVII
Articles: Page
Walter N. Sage and History in British Columbia.
By F. H. Soward       1
The Trials and Tribulations of Edward Edwards Langford.
By Sydney G. Pettit       5
Some Notes on the Douglas Family.
By W. Kaye Lamb      41
The  United Farmers of British  Columbia:   An  Abortive  Third-party
By Margaret A. Ormsby       53
The Choosing of the Capital of Canada.
By James A. Gibson        75
Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant:  Vancouver Island's First Independent
By Willard E. Ireland      87
A Bibliography of the Printed Writings of Walter Noble Sage.
Compiled by Helen R. Boutilier  127
"Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden.
By D. A. McGregor _ -    161
The Church of England in the Old Oregon Country.
By Thomas E. Jessett   . 197
Perry McDonough Collins at the Colonial Office.
By John S. Galbraith    207
John Nobili, S.J., Founder of California's Santa Clara College: The New
Caledonia Years, 1845-1848.
By John Bernard McGloin, S.J  215
The Klondike Gold-rush: A Great International Venture.
By Stuart R. Tompkins   223
Notes and Comments         139, 241
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Ravens and Prophets.
By Vera Drury    _     153
Toil and Peaceful Life.
By Alexander W. Wainman _ 155
Tales of the Alberni Valley.
By Madge Wolfenden    156
He Wrote for Us.
By A. F. Flucke        158
St. Michael and All Angels' Church, 1883 to 1953.
St. Mark's Church, 1892-1952.
St. Paul's Church, Nanaimo, 1859-1952.
75 Years of Service: A History of Olivet Baptist Church, 1878-1952.
By Willard E. Ireland    257
The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia.
By T. F. Mcllwraith     259
Papers Read before the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba.
By Willard E. Ireland     260 The Northwest Bookshelf—Continued Page
Alaska, 1741-1953.
By W. W. Bilsland  261
The Seventeenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1953.
By Willard E. Ireland  264
Index  265 INDEX
Accolti, Michael, 215, 217, 219
Agricultural Advisory Council, 62
Agriculture, 174, 188
Alaska, 186, 223
Alaska Commercial Company, 224, 231
Alaska, 1741-1953, review of, 261-264
Alberta Historical Review, The, 255
Allen, James Douglas Bow, 49
Alston, E. G., 27, 28
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions, 197
American Historical Association, Pacific Coast
Branch of the, 146, 147
Amur River, 207, 209, 210
Anderson, Alexander Caulfield, 166, 184, 185,
Anderson, James, 190
Anderson, James Robert, 120, 188, 190
Arbuthnot, William, 49
Arctic Brotherhood, 238
Armishaw, J. E., 69, 70, 72, 73
Assiniboine River, 163
Associated Growers of British Columbia, 69
Astor, John Jacob, 162, 168
Atlantic   and  Pacific  Transit   and  Telegraph
Company, 210, 211
B.C. Farmer, 60
B.C. Fruit and Farm, 58
Bagot, Sir Charles, 76
Barclay, Archibald, 102, 110, 111
Barnes, C. E., 60
Barrow, E. D., 60
Battiste, 219
Beaver, Rev. Herbert, 201-203, 205
Beaver, Mrs. Jane, 201, 202
Beaver, 174, 176, 178, 179, 182, 184
Beaver Club, 167
Begbie, Sir Matthew Baillie, 13, 21, 23, 28-30,
32 35—38
Benson, Dr. A. R., 107, 112, 113, 120
Berens, H. H., 11-13
Berens, Spokane, 199
Berry, Clarence, 228
Berry, J. W., 63, 64
Bibliography of the Printed Writings of Walter
Noble Sage, A, 127-137
Big Skookum Gulch, 230
Bilsland, W. W., Alaska, 1741-1953, review by,
Birch Creek, 225
Birnie, James, 184, 205
Black, Samuel, 168, 170, 189, 253
Black, Samuel, Plaque Commemorating, 253
Blair, Mrs. Neil-James-Fergusson, 49
Blanchet, Father, 197
Blanshard, Richard, 7, 8, 87, 103, 114, 115
Bompas, Bishop, 226
Bonanza Creek, 227, 230, 237
Bowser, W. J., 54, 68, 71
Brabbant, Phrisine, 195
Brewster, H. C, 55, 58
British Columbia Dairyman's Association, 63
British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association,
54, 57, 58, 60, 64, 66
British Columbia Historical Association, 139-
144, 241-246
British Columbia Social Credit League, 73
Brodie, Margaret, 89
Broom, Vancouver Island, 114
Brown, George, 84
Brown, John R., 59
Brydges, Charles J., 211
Bushby, Mrs. Arthur, 43
Cairn, Clinton, 254
Cairn, Fort St. James Memorial, 251-253
California State Telegraph Company, 210
Cameron,  David, 9,   10,   14,   16, 20, 24, 25,
30-34, 46, 47
Cameron, Edith Rebecca, 47-51
Canadian Council of Agriculture, 54, 56, 59,
61, 63-66, 71
Capital of Canada, The Choosing of the, 75-85
Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant:   Vancouver
Island's First Independent Settler, 87-125
Cariboo Historical Society, 146
Carmack, George, 226-228
Cary, George Hunter, 17, 24, 26-31, 34, 37, 38
Cass, Lewis, 207, 208
Caxetan, Chief, 185
Chaboillez, 163
Cheney, Martha, 117
Chicken Creek, 225
Chinese in British Columbia, 58
Choosing of the Capital of Canada, The, 75-85
Church Missionary Society of the Church of
England, 198-205
Church of England in the Old Oregon Country,
The, 197-205
Circle City, 225, 227
Clark, George, 58
Clinton Cairn, 254
Coal, Vancouver Island, 193
Coats, Robert Hamilton, 41
Coles, John, 16, 26
Collins, 199, 200
Collins, Perry McDonough, 207-214
Collins,   Perry   McDonough,   at  the   Colonial
Office, 207-214
Colonial Office, Perry McDonough Collins at
the, 207-214
Columbia District, 172, 173
Colvile, Andrew, 11-13, 172, 173
Colwood Farm, 8, 9, 11-13, 21, 29
Connally, Amelia, 203
Constantine, Capt, 226, 227
Cooper, James, 7, 10, 11, 13, 32
Copeland, R. A., 61, 64-66, 69
Courts  in Vancouver  Island,  9,   10,   19,  20,
24-28, 32, 33, 38
Cowan, 46, 47
Cowan, Cecilia Eliza, 47
Cowichan Creamery Association, 55
Cox, Ross, 163, 167-169
Cromie, R. J., 66
Dallas, A. G., 13, 16, 18, 37, 51, 88
Dalton, Jack, 232
Davidson, Capt., 183
265 266
Davidson, J., 109
Davidson, Thomas, 110
Dawson City, 230, 231, 235, 238, 239
de Cosmos, Amor, 20, 22, 29, 39
Demers, Modeste, 217, 222
Doughty, Charles, 50
Doughty, Charles Montagu, 49
Doughty, Henry Montagu, 48, 49
Doughty, Henry Montagu, 50
Douglas, Alexander, 42, 46
Douglas, Archibald, 42, 44, 49
Douglas, Barbara Elrington, 49, 50
Douglas, Cecilia, 49
Douglas, Cecilia Eliza, 42-44, 46-48, 51
Douglas, Georgiana, 44, 51
Douglas, James, 42, 44
Douglas, James, 51
Douglas, Sir James, 2, 5-7, 161, 190-192; and
E. E. Langford, 9, 10, 13, 16-20, 28, 31, 32,
37, 38;   and W. C. Grant, 100-105, 108-111,
113-117;    genealogical   information,   41-51;
marriage, 203
Douglas, Jane, 51
Douglas, Jane Hamilton, 44, 50, 51
Douglas, John, 42-46
Douglas, Sir John, 51
Douglas, John, Jr., 42
Douglas, Sir Neill, 41, 42, 44, 49
Douglas, Neill, 42
Douglas, Mrs. Robert, 51
Douglas, Susanha, 49
Douglas, Thomas Dunlop, 42, 44, 49, 51
Douglas, William, 51
Douglas Documents, Presentation of the, 251
Douglas Family, Some Notes on the, 41-51
Drake, M. W. T., 26
Drury, Vera, Ravens and Prophets, review by,
153, 154
Duff, Wilson, The Upper Stalo Indians of the
Fraser Valley, British Columbia, review of,
259, 260
Dunning, Charles A., 61
Durham, Lord, 186
Edgett, Col. C. E., 63, 64, 69
Eells, Cushing, 197, 201
Eldorado Creek, 227, 230
Elections, in British Columbia, 71; in Vancouver Island, 13-16, 19-23, 28
Elliot, T. Frederick, 213
Ellis, 199-201
Esquimalt Farm, see Colwood Farm
Farm and Home, 66-69
Fanners' Alliance and the Grange, 54
Farmers' Institutes, 54, 55, 60, 62, 63, 71
Farmers of British Columbia, The United, 53-73
Farmers' Platform, 54, 56, 57, 59, 65
Fidler, Peter, 163, 168
Finlay, Mrs. F. D., 49
Finlayson, Roderick, 121
Fitzgerald, James Edward, 92
Fitzwilliam, 39
Flour-mill in British Columbia, 188
Flucke, A. F., He Wrote for Us, review by,
158, 159
Fort St. James Memorial Cairn, 251, 252
Fortescue, Chichester, 31, 39
Forts and trading-posts, Alexandria, 174, 188,
189, 218-220; Babine, 187; Colville, 203;
Cowlitz; 174; Cudahy, 226; Cumberland
House, 163; Des Prairies, 163; George, 170,
188, 199, 203, 220; Isle a la Crosse, 168, 169,
189; Kamloops, 174; Kilmars, 218, 220;
Langley, 174, 183; McLoughlin, 183; Nisqually, 174, 203, 204; Okanagan, 189; St.
James, 187, 189, 194, 195, 219, 220, 251, 252;
Simpson, 183, 185, 186; Spokane House, 171,
172; Steilacoom, 204; Stuart, 218; Thompson, 220; Vancouver, 100, 174, 182, 186, 190-
192, 194, 201; Victoria, 6, 7, 100, 101, 105,
108, 113, 190; Yukon, 223
Forty Mile River, 225, 227, 228, 230, 237
Franklin Gulch, 225
Fraser, Major C. I., 88
Fraser, Donald, 19, 20, 29
Fraser, Hugh, 195
Fraser, Simon, 168, 217
Fraser, William, 94
Fraser Valley Milk Producers' Association, 54
Galbraith, John S., Perry McDonough Collins
at the Colonial Office, 207-214
Gardner, John, 178
Garraghan, Rev. Gilbert J., 217, 219, 220
Garry, Nicholas, 170, 198
Garry, Spokane, 199-201, 204
Gibson, James A., The Choosing of the Capital
of Canada, 75-85
Glacier Creek, 225, 237
Gladstone, W. E., 210
Glendinning, Janet, 46
Goetz, Father Anthony, 218, 221
Gold Bottom Creek, 227, 228
Good, Charles, 12, 21, 23, 27-32, 35, 38
Gosnell, R. E., 41
Grand Trunk Railway, 210
Grant, Alexander, 88
Grant, Archibald, 88
Grant, Colquhoun, 89
Grant, Duncan, 88, 90
Grant, Duncan, 88
Grant, Elizabeth Anne, 88
Grant, Sir Francis, 88
Grant, Hugh, 88
Grant, James Robert, 88, 97, 99
Grant, Jean Duff, 89, 90, 111
Grant, Lewis, 88, 89, 95-97, 99, 110
Grant, Mary, 88
Grant, Robert, 88
Grant, Walter, 88
Grant, Walter Colquhoun, 87-125
Grant, Captain Walter Colquhoun:  Vancouver
Island's First Independent Settler, 87-125
Gray, W. H., 197, 201
Grey, Col., 81
Grey, Sir George, 10
Guerhard, Gen., 211
Haldane, John, 169, 192
Halket, 199, 200
Hamilton, Jane, 44 Index
Hamilton, Jessie, 44
Hamilton, L. A., 250, 251
Hamilton, Ontario, 78-80
Hancock, Samuel, 119, 120
Hardinge, Sir Arthur, 77
Hardisty, 192
Hardwick, Edward E., 72
Hargrave, Letitia, 43, 45
Harmon, Daniel Williams, 163
Harold A. Innis, 1894-1952, 149-151
Harper, 223-225
Harrison, Benjamin, 198
Hart, 223
Haskell, W. B„ 228
Hayne, Capt., 183
He Wrote for Us, review of, 158, 159
Head, Sir Edmund, 76-81, 83
Head, Sir Francis, 80
Healy, Capt. J. J., 226
Hearst, William Randolph, 229
Helmcken, Dr. John Sebastian, 8, 9, 11, 14, 46,
107, 111, 120
Henderson, Bob, 227, 228
Hendy, Albert E., St. Paul's Church, Nanaimo,
review of, 257, 258
Hill, Hazel A. E., Tales of the Alberni Valley,
review of, 156, 157
Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba:
Series III, Papers Read before the, review of,
260, 261
Historical Society of Alberta, 255
Hodgson, Frederic Mitchell, 48
Holt, George, 224
Hudson's Bay Company, and Missionaries, 198,
201-204; and North West Company, 161-164,
168, 170; and Vancouver Island, 5-7, 10, 13,
90-95, 105,  115;   in Oregon, 173, 174, 178,
183, 186, 189
Hulley, Clarence C, Alaska, 1741-1953, review
of, 261-264
Humboldt River, 181
Hunker Creek, 230
Hunt, Wilson Price, 175
Hutchinson, Fred, 225
Indian River, 230
Indians, and Missions, 197-201, 217-222; at
Sooke, 115, 116
Innis, Harold A., 149-151
Ireland, Willard E., Captain Walter Colquhoun
Grant: Vancouver Island's First Independent
Settler, 87-125; Papers Read before the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba:
Series HI, review by, 260, 261; St. Mark's
Church Parish of Salt Spring Island, Diamond Jubilee, 1892-1952, review by, 257,
258; St. Michael and All Angel's Church,
1883 to 1953, review by, 257, 258; St. Paul's
Church, Nanaimo, review by, 257, 258; The
Seventeenth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1953, review by, 264; 75 Years
of Service: A History of Olivet Baptist
Church, 1878-1953, review by, 257, 258
Irving House, New Westminster, 147, 148
Jack Wade Creek, 225
Jenkins, Rev. Father C, 218
Jessett, Thomas E., The Church of England in
the Old Oregon Country, 197-205
Jesuits, 215-222
Jocelyn, Augustus G. F., 49
John   Nobili,   SJ.,   Founder   of   California's
Santa Clara College:   The New Caledonia
Years, 1845-1848, 215-222
Jones, Rev. David T., 198, 199
Joset, Father Joseph, 201, 221, 222
Juneau, 224
Kamloops Museum Association, 144, 145
Kemble, Col. E. M., 204
Kennedy, Dr. J. F., 14, 184, 185
King, Capt. Edward Hammond, 23, 24, 26-28,
30, 35, 36
Kingston, Ontario, 75, 76, 78-80
Kittson, William, 177
Klondike, 223-239
Klondike Gold-rush, The—A Great International Venture, 223-239
Kwah, 188, 189
Labouchere, Henry, 13, 20
Ladue, Joseph, 224
Laidman, W. F., 62
La LaberW, Louis, 167
Lamalice, 217
Lamb, W. Kaye, 161, 172; Some Notes on the
Douglas Family, 41-51
Lambert, Norman, 65
Land, Vancouver Island, 6, 90, 92-95, 100-103,
108, 109, 117, 121
Langford, Edward Edwards, 7-40
Langford,  Edward Edwards,   The  Trials  and
Tribulations of, 5-40
Lawyer, Indian chief, 200
Lee, Jason, 197
Legislative Assembly, Vancouver Island, 13-15,
Legislative Council, Vancouver Island, 10, 13,
14, 19, 20
Lewis, Commander, 69, 70
Little Skookum Gulch, 230
Lowe, Thomas, 116
Lytton, Sir Edward Bulwer, 81, 82
Macaulay, Donald, 11, 12
MacDonald, W. A., 66
McDonald, William, 94
McEwen, Tom, He Wrote for Us, review of,
158, 159
Macfarlane, Alexander, 91, 111
McGillivray, William, 170
McGloin,   John   Bernard,   John  Nobili,  S.J.,
Founder of California's Santa Clara College:
The New Caledonia Years, 1845-1848, 215-
McGregor, Col., 233
McGregor, D. A.,   "Old Whitehead "—Peter
Skene Ogden, 161-195
McGrigor, Sir James, 88 268
Mcllwraith, T. F., The Upper Stalo Indians of
the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, review
by, 259, 260
Mcintosh, Col. J. W., 63
McKay, Charles, 177
Mackay, G. G., 56
McKay, Joseph W., 14, 116, 121
McKay, Joseph W., Walter Colquhoun Grant—
A Reminiscence, 122-125
McKay, Dr. William, 199
McKelvie, J. A., 64
McKenzie, Sir Alexander, 167
McKenzie, Donald, 175, 176
McKenzie, Kenneth, 9, 11-13, 38
McKenzie, Roderick, 167
McKenzie, Roderick, 56
McKinlay, Archibald, 195
McLeod, John, 170, 189
McLeod, John, 94
McLoughlin, Dr. John, 161, 179, 182-184, 186,
190, 202, 203
McMurray, 169
MacPhail, Angus, 122
McQuesten, 223-225
McRae, Major-Gen. A. D., 68-71
Mad River, 175
Maher, Father Zacheus J., 215
Manson, A. M., 60
Manson, Anne, 195
Manson, Donald, 195
Mary's River, 181
Mayo, 223
Meek, Joe, 194
Mengarini, Father, 218
Metchosin, 116, 117
Methodist Church, 197
Meyers, 25
Miller Creek, 225
Mining laws, 236-238
Minors, Capt., 183
Moberly, Walter, 254
Moberly, Walter, Plaque Commemorating, 254
Monck, Viscount, 84
Montour, Nicholas, 167
Montreal, 76, 78-81
Morice, Father A. G., 188
Morrison, James, 94
Mouraviev, Gen., 208
Muir, John, 14, 108, 114, 117, 122
Munro, Thomas, 94, 114
Murphy, William Stack, 218
Musselman, J. B., 65
Nass River, 183
Nelson, John, 68
New Caledonia, 173, 174, 187-189, 216-222
New Westminster Historic Centre, 147, 148
NewcasUe, Duke of, 31-33, 38, 39, 210-212
Nobili, Father John, 197, 215-222
Nobili,   John,   S.J.,   Founder   of   California's
Santa  Clara  College:   The  New   Caledonia
Years, 215-222
North American Transportation and Trading
Company, 226, 229, 231
North Saanich Conservative Club, 58
North West Company, 46, 161-170, 173, 175,
182, 198
North West Mounted Police in Yukon, 226,
227, 231, 235, 237
Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 222
Ogden, Cecilia, 195
Ogden, Charles, 195
Ogden, Charles Richard, 165
Ogden, David, 165
Ogden, David, 195
Ogden, Judge David, 165
Ogden, Euretta Mary, 195
Ogden, Henry, 165
Ogden, Isaac, 165
Ogden, Isaac, 195
Ogden, Isaac G., 165
Ogden, John, 165
Ogden, Julia,.194, 195
Ogden, Michael, 195
Ogden, Nicholas, 165
Ogden, Peter, 165
Ogden, Peter, 195
Ogden, Peter Skene, 100, 161, 165, 166, 168-195
Ogden, Peter Skene, 195
Ogden, Peter Skene—" Old Whitehead," 161-195
Ogden, Sara Julia, 195
Ogden Canyon, 182
Ogden City, 182
Ogden Mountain, 182
Ogden Passage, 182
Ogden Point, 182
Ogden River, 182
Ogden Valley, 182
Ogden's Bridge, 182
Ogden's Hope, 182
Ogdensburg, N.Y., 165
Ogilvie, William, 225, 226, 229, 230, 232, 237
Okanagan Historical Society, 145, 146, 247-249
Okanagan Historical Society, 1953, The Seventeenth Report of the, review of, 264
Okanagan United Growers, 66
"Old Whitehead "—Peter Skene Ogden, 161-
Oliver, John, 58, 71-73
Olivet Baptist Church, 1878-1953, 75 Years of
Service, review of, 257, 258
Orientals, in British Columbia, 58, 59, 63, 65
Ormsby, Margaret A., The United Farmers of
British Columbia—An Abortive Third-party
Movement, 53-73
Orton, William, 214
Ottawa, 78-85
Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, 146, 147
Pacific Great Eastern Railway, 55, 67, 71
Painter, 111
Palmer, Judge O. H., 214
Palmer, R. M., 55
Palmerston, Lord, 39, 186, 210
Pambrum, Alexander, 203
Pambrum, Pierre, 203
Papers Read before the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba: Series III, No. 8,
review of, 260, 261 Index
Papps, John Smith, 92
Parker, Rev. Samuel, 197, 200, 201
Parliament Buildings, 76, 81-84
Paterson, W., 55
Pearse, B. W., 15, 18
Pelly, Sir John, 93, 95, 96, 101, 104, 106, 115
Pelly, Kootenai, 199, 200
Pemberton, A. F., 26, 27, 34
Pemberton, J. D., 14-18, 26, 27, 31, 108
Pemmican, 162, 163
Perry McDonough CoUins at the Colonial Office, 207-214
Petroglyphs, Sproat Lake, 249, 250
Pettit, Sydney G., The Trials and Tribulations
of Edward Edwards Langford, 5-40
Phelps, Royal, 208
Pitt, 199, 200
Plaque Commemorating Samuel Black, 253
Plaque Commemorating Walter Moberly, 254
Plaque   to   Commemorate   Captain   Edward
Stamp, 148, 149
Plaque to Commemorate the Commencement
of the Survey of Vancouver Townsite by
L. A. Hamilton, 1885, 250, 251
Poustie, Mrs. Susan, 91
Poustie, Thomas, 91, 94
Presentation of the Douglas Documents, 251
Pridham, J. L., 55, 56, 69, 70
Protestant  Episcopal  Church  in  the  United
States, 204, 205
Provincial Council of Agriculture, 62
Provincial Progressive Party, 66, 67, 69-72
Puget Sound Agricultural Company, 6-8,  11,
12, 16, 21, 22, 24, 29, 35-37, 115, 116
Quebec, 75-79, 81, 83, 84
Quesnel, Jules M., 167, 217
Rabbit Creek, 226, 227
Ravalli, Father, 218
Ravens and Prophets, review of, 153, 154
Red River Settlement, 193, 198
Reiben, S. F., Toil and Peaceful Life—History
of the Doukhobors  Unmasked, review of,
155, 156
Redman, John, 67
Reid, 175
Reuter, Paul J., 211
Rhodes, 227
Rice-Jones, C, 61, 65
Richards, George Henry, 16
Richardson, John, 167
Robertson, 102, 106
Robertson, Colin, 167, 169
Rogers, Sir Frederic, 34, 38, 211, 213
Roman Catholic Church, 197, 200, 217, 218
Roothaan, Father John, 221
Rosati, Rev. Joseph, 200
Rose, James, 94
Ross, Alexander, 177, 178, 199
Ross, Donald, 192
Routes of travel, to Klondike, 232
Russian American Company, 186
Sage,  Walter Noble,   1-3,  43;   bibliography,
Sage, Walter Noble, Harold A. Innis, 1894-
1952, 149-151
Sage, Walter Noble, A Bibliography of the
Printed Writings of, 127-137
Sage, Walter N., and History in British Columbia, 1-3
St. Mark's Church, Parish of Salt Spring Island,
Diamond Jubilee, 1892-1952, review of, 257,
St. Mary's River, 181
St. Michael and All Angels' Church, 1883 to
1953, review of, 257, 258
St. Paul's Church, Nanaimo: A Brief History
since Its Foundation, 1859-1952, review of,
257, 258
Sangster, J. Lewis, 75 Years of Service: A History of Olivet Baptist Church, 1878-1953,
review of, 257, 258
Santa Clara College, 215, 217
Sapiro, Aaron, 68, 69
Sawmill, Sooke, 100, 108, 109, 122
Schieffelin, Ed, 224
Schofield, H. E. H., 72
Schwartz, N. H., 72
Scott, Sir Richard, 81, 83
Scott, Rev. Thomas F., 205
Seaton, Gen. Lord, 80
Secretan, J. H. E., 230
Seix, Chief, 185
Selkirk, Lord, 162-164
75 Years of Service: A History of Olivet Baptist Church, 1878-1953, review of, 257, 258
Shasta, Mount, 181
Ships, H.M.S. Agincourt, 50; Broughton, 187;
Cadboro, 184, 187; Cowlitz, 102, 111, 112;
Dart, 113; Dryad, 183, 185, 187; Excelsior,
229, 230, 232; Ganymede, 183; Great
Eastern, 214; Harpooner, 92, 94-96, 100,
101, 111; H.M.S. Inconstant, 98, 99; Isabella, 183; Norman Morison, 106, 107, 111,
112; Portland, 229, 232; Prince of Wales,
46; Tennessee, 193; Tory, 47, 97; Vancouver, 183; William and Ann, 183
Sibley, Hiram, 209, 213
Sicotte, L. V., 82, 83
Sifton, Clifford, 233
Simpson, Capt. Aemelius, 183
Simpson, Sir George, 44, 97, 101, 110, 164,
171-176, 178, 179, 182-184, 186, 187, 190,
193, 198, 199, 201, 208
Sinclair, Capt. Thomas, 184
Sixty Mile River, 225, 227, 230
Skene, Andrew, 165
Skinner, Thomas, 9-11, 13, 14, 25
Smet, Pierre Jean de, 197, 216-221
Smith, A. B., 197
Snake country, 174-184
Snake River, 175, 195
Some Notes on the Douglas Family, 41-51
Sooke, 87, 108, 114-116, 121-123
Souris River, 163
South Cariboo Historical Museum Society, 249
Soward, F. H., Walter N. Sage and History in
British Columbia, 1-3 270
Spalding, Rev. Henry Harmon, 197, 204
Sproat, Gilbert Malcolm, 41
Sproat Lake Petroglyphs, 249, 250
Staines, Rev. Robert John, 7, 10, 11, 13, 19, 32,
Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British
Columbia, The Upper, review of, 259, 260
Stamp, Capt. Edward, Plaque to Commemorate, 148, 149
Stanley, John Mix, 192
Steele, Sam, 25
Stevens, I. I., 204
Stewart, B. G., 69, 70
Stewart, J. B., 66
Stewart River, 225
Stikine River, 183-186
Stoeckel, Bron, 208
Stuart Lake, 187-189
Survey, Vancouver Island, 97, 101-108, 111,
Tales of the Alberni Valley, review of, 156, 157
Tariff on agricultural products, 57, 59, 61, 65
Telegraph, 207-214
Tener, J. F., 67
Thompson, David, 168
Tod, John, 19, 42-44, 100, 106
Toil and Peaceful Life—History of the Doukhobors Unmasked, review of, 155, 156
Tolmie, Thomas, 94
Tolmie, Dr. William Fraser, 112, 184, 185
Tompkins, Stuart R., The Klondike Gold-rush
—A Great International Venture, 223-239
Toronto, 75, 76, 78-80
Townsend, John K., 200
Transmundane Telegraph Company, 208
Trego, W. D., 56, 57
Trials and Tribulations of Edward Edwards
Langford, The, 5-40
United Farmer, 68
United Farmers of Alberta, 54, 56, 57, 59,
United Farmers of British Columbia, 53, 56-73
United Farmers of British Columbia, The—An
Abortive Third-party Movement, 53-73
United Farmers of Canada, 71-73
United Farmers of Ontario, 60, 61, 66, 68, 71
University of British Columbia, 1, 2
University of Santa Clara, 216
Unknown River, 181
Upper Canada, 75, 80
Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, The, review of, 259, 260
Valdez, 232
Vancouver Island, colony of, 5, 6, 193
Vancouver Island Fanners' Union, 55
Vancouver Island's First Independent Settler,
Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant, 87-125
Vancouver Townsite, Plaque to Commemorate
the Commencement of the Survey, by L. A.
Hamilton, 1885, 250, 251
Vavasour, M., 190
Vernon Fruit Union, 62
Wainman, Alexander W., Toil and Peaceful
Life, review by, 155, 156
Walker, Rev. Elkanah, 197, 201
Wallace, Dr. Peter W., 15, 17, 18
Walsh, Major James Monow, 233, 234, 236,
Walter N. Sage and History in British Columbia, 1-3
Warre, H. J., 190
Watkin, Edward, 210, 211
Webster, 9
West, Rev. John, 198, 204
Western Union Telegraph Company, 209, 213
Whitman, Dr. Marcus, 190-192, 197, 201
Whitman, Narcissa, 190, 191
Wight, George John, 24
Williams, William, 169
Wolfenden, Madge, Tales of the Alberni Valley, review by, 156, 157
Wood, Henry Wise, 56, 59-62
Woodbridge, P. P., 59, 60
Woodcock, George, Ravens and Prophets: An
Account of Journeys in British Columbia,
Alberta and Southern Alaska, review of,
153, 154.
Woodward, Charles, 72
Work, John, 170, 171, 182, 190
Wrangell, Baron, 183, 184, 186
Wright, Samuel Henry, 92
Yates, James, 14, 16, 25, 26
Young, Joseph Alfred Karney, 48
Young, Mary Alice, 48
Young, William A. G., 47, 48
Young, Sir William Douglas, 48
Young, William James, 48
Yukon Field Force, 235, 236
Yukon Territory, 223, 234-236
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
Organized October 31st, 1922
His Honour Clarence Wallace, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
Hon. Tilly Jean Rolston - Honorary President.
H. C. Gilliland  President.
D. A. McGregor  Past President.
Captain C. W. Cates 1st Vice-President.
Mrs. A. D. Turnbull        .... 2nd Vice-President.
Dr. F. H. Johnson ..... Honorary Secretary.
Mrs. J. E. Godman    ..... Honorary Treasurer.
Miss Helen R. Boutilier.       Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, D.D.       J. K. Nesbitt.
Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby. Dr. W. N. Sage. Miss Madge Wolfenden.
Willard E. Ireland D. A. McGregor Mrs. J. E. Godman
(Editor, Quarterly). (Vancouver Section). (Victoria Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history; to
promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics, natural
features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to publish historical
sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of January. All members in good standing receive the
British Columbia Historical Quarterly without further charge.
Correspondence and fees may be addressed to the Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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