British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jan 31, 1943

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JANUARY,  1943 We
Published by the Archives of British Colu
in he
Brh bia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The Un i British Columbia
jrvicc, R.CA.F.1
T. A. fi
N. Sage.
I communf :iould be addn
Subscriptions should  be rovinciaJ   Ari I aent
Buildings, Victoria, B.C.    Price, 50c. the copy
of the British Columbia Historical A;
irther eh;
Nei .rehives  I ical
Association assumes an. bility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine. THE
Published by the Archives of British Columbia in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association EDITOR.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Wdllard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. F. W. Howay, New Westminster.
Robie L. Reid, Vancouver. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
All communications should be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. CONTENTS OF VOLUME VII.
Articles: Page.
The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow."
By Gilbert Norman Tucker      1
John Hall:  Pioneer Presbyterian in British Columbia.
By J. C. Goodfellow.    31
Early Trails and Roads in the Lower Fraser Valley.
By W. N. Draper    49
The Founding of Fort Victoria.
By W. Kaye Lamb.    71
Sir James Douglas: A New Portrait.
By B. A. McKelvie :.    93
Canada's First Submarines:   CCl and CC2.   An Episode of the
Naval War in the Pacific, 1914-18.
By Gilbert Norman Tucker  147
The Early Government Gazettes.
By Madge Wolfenden  171
Archbishop Seghers:    The Martyred Archbishop  of Vancouver
By Sister Mary Annunciata  191
Thompson Coit Elliott (1862-194S): A Tribute.
By F. W. Howay  197
An Irishman in the Fur Trade:   The Life and Journals of John
By Henry Drummond Dee  229
Modern Developments in History Museums.
By Clifford P. Wilson  271
The Diary of Robert Melrose:
Part I., 1852-53  119
Part II., 1854-55  199
Part III., 1856-57  283
Five Letters of Charles Ross, 1842-44-
Edited with an introduction and notes  103
Notes and Comments 57, 135, 219, 297
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Howay, Sage, and Angus: British Columbia and the United States.
By W. Kaye Lamb.     62
Carr:   The Book of Small.
By G. G. Sedgewick      64
The Letters of John McLoughlin: First Series, 1825-38.
By T, C. Elliott.      66 The Northwest Bookshelf*—Continued. Page.
Brown:  Building the Canadian Nation.
By F. H. Soward     68
Winther:   The Trans-Mississippi West:  A Guide to its Periodical
Literature (1811-1988).
By F. W. Howay-.,  144
Stefansson:   Greenland.
By T. A. Rickard  144
Chevigny:  Lord of Alaska.
By T. A. Rickard  222
Miller:  San Juan Archipelago.
By W. Kaye Lamb r  223
Rothery:   The Ports of British Columbia.
By Eleanor B. Mercer  300
The Minutes of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1671-74-
By Sylvia L. Thrupp  301
Coats and Maclean:  The American-Born in Canada.
By G. F. Drummond  303
.Shorter Notices  69, 225
A Third Checklist of Crown Colony Imprints  226
Index  305 We
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. VII. Victoria, B.C., January, 1943. No. 1
The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow."
By Gilbert Norman Tucker	
John Hall: Pioneer Presbyterian in British Columbia.
By J. C. Goodfellow     31
Early Trails and Roads in the Lower Fraser Valley.
By W. N. Draper     49
Notes and Comments :
Contributors to this Issue    57
British Columbia Historical Association  57
Graduate Historical Society  59
Society for the Furtherance of British Columbia Indian Arts and
Crafts  60
The Northwest Bookshelf.
Howay, Sage, and Angus:  British Columbia and the United States.
By W. Kaye Lamb  _      62
Carr:  The Book of Small.
By G. G. Sedgewick      64
The Letters of John McLoughlin:  First Series, 1825-38.
By T. C. Elliott.        66
Brown:  Building the Canadian Nation.
By F. H. Soward        68
Shorter Notices         69 THE CAREER OF H.M.C.S. " RAINBOW."
" Now the gallant Rainbow she rowes upon the sea,
Five hundred gallant seamen to bear her company."
—Anonymous Ballad.
With the creation of a Canadian naval service in 1910, a need
for training-ships at once arose. To meet this need the Canadian
Government bought from the British Admiralty the obsolescent
cruisers H.M.S. Niobe and H.M.S. Rainbow. An old warship
makes an admirable training-vessel, and on these two ships
officers and men were to be trained for the five cruisers and six
destroyers which it was intended to build. The Niobe was to be
stationed on the east coast and the much smaller Rainbow at
Esquimalt. For the latter, a light cruiser of the Apollo class,
the Government paid £50,000. A ship of the Royal Navy often
has many predecessors of the same name, and on the Rainbow's
hand steering-wheel were inscribed the names and dates of
actions in which earlier Rainbows had taken part: " Spanish
Armada 1588 —Cadiz 1596 —Brest 1599 —Lowestoft 1665—-
North Foreland 1666—Lagos Bay 1759—Frigate Hancock 1777
—Frigate Hebe 1777."
The Rainbow was commissioned as a ship of the Royal Canadian Navy at Portsmouth on August 4, 1910, and was manned
by a nucleus crew supplied by the Royal Navy and the Royal
Fleet Reserve. The Royal Naval personnel were entered on loan
for a period of two years, while the Fleet Reservists were
enrolled in the Royal Canadian Navy under special service
engagements of from two to five years. On August 8 the
Rainbow, which was in charge of Commander J. D. D. Stewart,
received her sailing orders—the first instructions ever given to
a warship by the Canadian naval authorities.1 She left Portsmouth on August 20 for Esquimalt, sailing around South America
by way of the Strait of Magellan, a distance of about 15,000
nautical miles.    At the equator " Father Neptune " came aboard
(1) Naval Service Records, Ottawa (hereafter cited as "N.S.R."),
Folder No. 2-5-2. The account of the Rainbow's cruise to Esquimalt is
based, except where otherwise indicated, on material contained in this folder
and in the cruiser's Log.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII., No. 1.
1 2 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
wearing a crown of gilded papier-mache, attended by his courtiers and his bears, and performed his judicial duties in the
time-honoured way.
Near Callao the German cruiser Bremen was seen carrying
out heavy-gun firing practice at a moored target, and at the
end of the cruise Commander Stewart reported on what had
been observed of this practice firing. The Admiralty knew very
little, at this time, about the German Navy's methods of gunnery
practice.2 Naval Headquarters in Ottawa immediately asked
Commander Stewart for further particulars; but these he was
unable to supply. On the morning of November 7, 1910, the
Rainbow arrived at Esquimalt, which was to be her home thenceforth. Among the ships in port when she arrived were two—
H.M.S. Shearwater and the Grand Trunk Pacific steamer Prince
George—with whom she was to be closely associated four years
later. Having saluted the country with twenty-one guns, the
Rainbow dressed ship and prepared to receive distinguished
visitors.3 .
" History was made at Esquimalt yesterday," wrote a reporter
for the Victoria Colonist of the following day. " H.M.C.S. Rainbow came; and a new navy was born. Canada's blue ensign
flies for the first time on the Dominion's own fighting ship in the
Pacific—the ocean of the future where some of the world's greatest problems will have to be worked out. Esquimalt began its
recrudescence, the revival of its former glories."4 The Victoria
Times reported that " nothing but the most favorable comment
was heard on the trim little cruiser." The same newspaper
stated in an editorial that:—
We are pleased to welcome His Majesty's Canadian ship Rainbow to our
port to-day. We are told in ancient literature that the first rainbow was
set in the sky as a promise of things to come. So may it be with His
Majesty's ship. She is a training craft only, but she is the first fruits on
this coast of the Canadian naval policy, the necessary forerunner of the
larger vessels which will add dignity to our name and prestige to our
(2) See confidential report by the British naval attache in Berlin, in
Gooch and Temperley, British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-
1914, VI., London, 1930, pp. 506-510.
(3) Victoria Daily Times, Victoria, B.C., November 7, 1910.
(4) Victoria Daily Colonist, Victoria, B.C., November 8, 1910.
(5) Times, Victoria, November 7, 19101. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 3
According to the Colonist:—
The event was one calculated to awaken thought in the minds of all who
endeavored to grasp its true significance. The Rainbow is not a fighting
ship, but she is manned by fighting men, and her mission is to train men
so as to make them fit to defend our country from invasion, protect our
commerce on the seas and maintain the dignity of the Empire everywhere.
Her coming is a proof that Canada has accepted a new responsibility in
the discharge of which new burdens will have to be assumed. On this
Western Frontier of Empire it is all important that there shall be a naval
establishment that will count for something in an hour of stress.6
Early in the following month the Rainbow visited Vancouver,
where the mayor and citizens extended a warm welcome. Soon
after her arrival on the coast the cruiser was placed on training
duty and recruits were sought and obtained on shore, twenty-
three joining up during the ship's first visit to Vancouver.7 On
March 13, 1911, the Lieutenant-Governor and the Premier of
British Columbia presented the ship with a set of plate, the gift
of the Province. During the next year and a half the Rainbow
made cruises up the coast, calling at various ports where she
was in great request for ceremonies of all sorts. During some
of these cruises, training was combined with fishery patrol work,
which chiefly consisted in seeing that American fishermen did
not fish inside the 3-mile limit.
Meanwhile the policy of developing an effective Dominion
navy was allowed to lapse. The Borden Government, which
came to power in 1911, was unwilling to proceed with Laurier's
policy, of which it disapproved, and unable to carry out its own.
In the summer of 1912 many of the borrowed Royal Naval
ratings returned to Britain and were not replaced; nor did more
than a few Canadian officers or men come forward to join a
service which seemed to be rooted precariously in stony ground.
The following table,8 which gives the number of cadets who
entered the navy, the number of Royal Canadian Naval officers
and ratings on the strength, and the naval expenditures, in each
of four years, tells the story:—
(6) Colonist, Victoria, November 8, 1910.
(7) Letter of Proceedings, December 2, 1910.    N.S.R., 2-5-1.
(8) Based on statistics contained in a digest by the Assistant Naval
Secretary.    N.S.R., 1001-5-1. GILBERT NORMAN TUCKER.
Number of
Cadets entering
the R.C.N.
Number of
R.C.N. Officers
and Ratings.
Accordingly, during the two years immediately preceding the
first Great War, the Rainbow lay at Esquimalt with a shrunken
complement, engaged in harbour training, except when an occasional short cruise was undertaken for the sake of her engines.
On July 7, 1911, a Convention had been signed by Russia,
Japan, the United States, and Great Britain, which prohibited
pelagic sealing in the Pacific north of a certain line. The
purpose of this agreement was to prevent the indiscriminate
slaughter which was inevitable if the seals were hunted at sea.
Before as well as after 1911 British warships had kept an eye
on the seal-fisheries, and for several years prior to the first Great
War this work had been done by the sloops Algerine and Shearwater. During the summer of 1914 these vessels were performing duties on the Mexican coast: the Canadian Government had
therefore decided to send the Rainbow on sealing patrol, and
on July 9 she was ordered to prepare for a three-months' cruise.
Her extremely slender crew was strengthened by a detachment
from England, another from the Niobe, and by volunteers from
Vancouver and Victoria. She was dry-docked for cleaning and
replenished with stores and fuel.
In May, 1914, the steamer Komagata Maru reached Canada,
carrying nearly 400 passengers, natives of India who were
would-be immigrants. When they found their entry barred by
certain Dominion regulations the Indians refused to leave Vancouver harbour, and staying on and on their food supplies ran
low. On July 18, 175 local police and other officials tried to
board the Komagata Maru, so as to take the Indians off by force
and put them aboard the Empress of India for passage to Hong
Kong.    A storm of missiles which included lumps of coal greeted 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 5
the police, who thereupon steamed away without having used
their firearms.9
By this time the Rainbow was in a condition to intervene.
The Naval Service Act contained no provision for naval aid to
the civil power; nevertheless, on July 19 the Rainbow's commander was instructed to ask the authorities in Vancouver
whether or not they wanted his assistance, and the next day he
reported that: " Rainbow can be ready to leave for Vancouver
ten o'clock tonight .... immigration agent Vancouver and
crown law officers very anxious for Rainbow. . . . "10 The
cruiser was ordered to proceed to Vancouver and to render all
possible assistance, while the militia authorities were instructed
to co-operate with her in every way.11 She left Esquimalt that
night taking a detachment of artillery with her, and reached
Vancouver next morning. Meanwhile the Indians had laid
hands on the Japanese captain of the Komagata Maru in an
attempt to seize his vessel. The warship's presence had the
desired effect, however, without the use of violence: the Indians
agreed to leave, and were given a large consignment of food, a
pilot was supplied from the Rainbow, and on July 23 the Komagata Maru sailed for Hong Kong. The cruiser saw her safely
off the premises, accompanying her out through the Strait of
Juan de Fuca as far as the open sea, and then returned to
In the summer of 1914, when tension developed into crisis,
and crisis into war, the Admiralty's problem off the west coast
of North America was a threefold one. First of all there was
the coast of British Columbia to protect. The greater part of
it was unrewarding to a raider. It offered several inviting
objectives, however, of which Vancouver and Nanaimo were
difficult to get at; while Victoria, Esquimalt, and Prince Rupert
were more or less exposed. In the second place, shipping had
to be guarded. The coastwise trade received some protection
from the configuration of that extraordinary seaboard, and the
(9) For a full account see Robie L. Reid, " The Inside Story of the
Komagata Maru," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, V. (1941), pp.
(10) Hose to Hdq., July 20, 1914.    N.S.R., 1048-3-9 (2).
(11) Henry Borden (ed.), Robert Laird Borden: His Memoirs, Toronto,
1938, I., p. 449. 6 Gilbert Norman Tucker.
fishing-boats were unlikely to invite a serious attack. The Strait
of Juan de Fuca with its approaches, however, formed a focal
area where the ships on two important ocean routes converged.
The routes were those from Vancouver to the Orient and from
Vancouver to Great Britain. The ships on the former run were
mainly fast liners, and were well protected by the immense size
of the ocean on which they sailed, except in the terminal waters.
The ships sailing for Great Britain, carrying for the most part
grain, lumber, and canned salmon, took their cargoes southward
down the coast and around by the Strait of Magellan, or passed
them by rail across the Isthmus of Panama. This traffic lane
was a tempting one for commerce-raiders, because, running
along the coast as it did, merchantmen using it would be easy
to find, while the raider operating along it could remain close
to possible sources of fuel and of information. Moreover, in
addition to receiving the trade to and from Vancouver, this route
was fed by the principal Pacific ports of the United States. On
the other hand, it was easy for a merchant ship on this run to
hug the coast. By doing this, should a hostile cruiser appear
anywhere north of Mexico, the merchantman might have a good
chance to take refuge inside the territorial waters of an exceedingly powerful neutral.
On August 4, 1914, the naval force at the disposal of the
Admiralty in those waters consisted of three units. This number was soon and unexpectedly increased to five, when, a few
hours after the war began, the Canadian Government acquired
two submarines. Although not immediately ready to act effec-..
tively at sea, the submarines afforded considerable protection
to both coast and trade from Cape Flattery inward, by the
deterrent effect of their presence. Two little Royal Navy sloops,
the Algerine and the Shearwater, had also for some years been
stationed on the coast, with their base at Esquimalt. The
Algerine was a seasoned veteran, having taken, in the year 1900,
a prominent and dangerous part in the action off the Taku Forts
in China,12 and the Shearwater was a relic of the once proud
Pacific Squadron.    Their functions were to visit various ports
(12) See Sir Roger Keyes, Adventures Ashore and Afloat, London, 1939,
pp. 210-227; Major F. V. Longstaff, Esquimalt Naval Base, Victoria, B.C.,
1941, pp. 164-166. ■3
K Courtesy Canadian Geographical Journal.
Commander (now Rear-Admiral) Walter Hose, R.C.N., C.B.E.
Commander of H.M.C.S. Rainbow, 1911-17. The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 7
in North and South America, being available to assist British
subjects in times of unrest or revolution, and to discharge Great
Britain's responsibility in connection with the sealing patrol.
These sloops were useful for police work, but they would have
been quite helpless against a cruiser. On the eve of the war
they were on the west coast of Mexico, safeguarding British
subjects and other foreigners during the civil war between
Huerta and Carranza. When Britain declared war on Germany
the Algerine and Shearwater sailed for Esquimalt, and during
the voyage they were themselves in need of protection, a fact
which constituted the Admiralty's third responsibility. The
remaining naval unit in the area, and the only one theoretically
capable of taking the offensive, was H.M.C.S. Rainbow.
The German squadron in the Pacific consisted of two powerful
armoured cruisers, and of three modern-type light cruisers, the
Emden, Nurnberg, and Leipzig, besides several smaller vessels.13
The squadron, which was commanded by Admiral Graf von Spee,
was based on Tsingtau, and had no bases or depots whatever in
the eastern Pacific. When the war began the squadron was at
Ponape, in the Carolines, and von Spee had a wide choice of
objectives. His purposes were, of course, to damage Allied
trade, warships, and other interests, on the largest possible scale,
and eventually to take as many of his ships as he could safely
back to Germany. His two most evident anxieties were the
probable entry of Japan into the war and the very powerful
Australian battle-cruiser Australia. On the morning of August
13 von Spee made the following entry in his diary:—
If we were to proceed toward the coast of America, we should have both
[coaling ports and agents] at our disposal, and the Japanese fleet could not
follow us thither without causing great concern in the United States ana* so
influencing that country in our favour.14
There were no enemy bases there, and the continent was composed of neutral states; consequently von Spee thought that on
that coast it would be comparatively easy for him to get coal
and to communicate with Germany. He evidently meant the
coast of South America, and, in the event, it was there that he
(13) This paragraph is based almost entirely on the German Official
Naval History, Der Krieg zur See, 1914-1918: Der Kreuzerkrieg in den
auslandischen Gewassern [by Vice-Admiral E. Raeder], I., Berlin, 1922.
(14) Kreuzerkrieg, I., p. 80  (translation). 8 Gilbert Norman Tucker.
took his squadron, having first detached the Emden to the Indian
Ocean where she began the most distinguished career of any
German raider.
The civil war in Mexico had some time before resulted in the
formation of an international naval force, under American command, to protect foreigners near the coast. S.M.S. Niirnberg
represented the German Navy until she was relieved on July 7,
at Mazatlan, by S.M.S. Leipzig, commanded by Captain Haun.
On her arrival at Mazatlan the Leipzig found, among other
warships, the Japanese armoured cruiser Idzumo and H.M.S.
Algerine, and while they were in port together friendly relations
were established between the German cruiser and the British
sloop. The Shearwater at that time was stationed at Ensenada.
At the end of July the American, German, and British warships
had co-operated in evacuating the Chinese from Mazatlan and
embarking Europeans and Americans, because the Carranzists
were about to storm the town. On July 31 the Canadian collier
Cetriana arrived at Mazatlan to coal the Leipzig.15 During the
night of August 1 the Leipzig's guns were cleared for action
while she and the Cetriana made ready for sea. In order to
keep the collier as ignorant as possible about current events in
the field of international relations, the Germans took charge of
her wireless set.16
On August 1 the Admiralty asked the Canadian Government
that the Rainbow might be kept available for the protection of
trade on the west coast of North America, where a German
cruiser was reported to be.17 Had it not been for the Government's earlier decision to send her out on sealing patrol, the
Rainbow could not have intervened in connection with the Komagata Maru, nor would she have been fit for sea when war came.
(15) The Cetriana was owned in Vancouver, her master was a Royal
Naval Reservist, and she had been chartered in the spring by the Niirnberg's
commander, to carry coal and other supplies to him from San Francisco.
After the Germans had chartered her, according to the British consul in
San Francisco, the Cetriana had engaged a fresh crew consisting mainly of
Germans and Mexicans. (Consul-General, San Francisco, to Naval Service
Hdq., Ottawa, September 12, 1914.    N.S.R., 1048-10-2.)
(16) This paragraph is based on the account in Kreuzerkrieg, I., chapter V.
(17) Secretary of State for the Colonies to Governor-General's Secretary, n.d.    Copy in N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1). 'Or CTUW
i  i  ii>
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Chart illustrating movements of H.M.C.S. Rainbow and S.M.S. Leipzig,
August and September, 1914. 10 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
As it was, however, she was ready for sea though not for war,
and in accordance with the Admiralty's request Naval Service
Headquarters in Ottawa telegraphed this order the same day to
her captain, Commander Walter Hose, R.C.N.:—
Secret. Prepare for active service trade protection grain ships going South.
German cruiser NURNBURG or LEIPSIG is on West Coast America.
Stop. Obtain all information available as to Merchant ships sailing from
Canadian or United States Ports. Stop. Telegraph demands for Ordnance
Stores required to complete to fullest capacity.    Urgent.
The Rainbow was also ordered to meet at Vancouver an ammunition train from Halifax, which it was hoped would arrive by
August 6.19 The same day the press got wind of a German
cruiser's supposed presence near the coast. " The Rainbow,"
said the Victoria Times, " a faster boat and mounting two six-
inch guns, is more than a match for the German boat. If Britain
engages in war it will be the business of the Rainbow to get
this German boat."20
After receiving her orders the Rainbow was alongside at the
Dockyard or anchored in Royal Roads, preparing for war, and
on August 2 she reported herself ready for sea.21 The railway
and express companies were not organized for war, and their
refusal to handle explosives was a tangle that had to be unravelled before the promised ammunition train could start. In
any case it could not arrive for several days, while the European
crisis was becoming more acute every hour. The cruiser therefore had to meet her needs as best she could from old Imperial
stores in the Dockyard.22 When all possible preparations had
been made, the Rainbow remained weak at many points. Her
wireless set had a maximum night range of only 200 miles,
though this defect her wireless operators were able to overcome
at a later date. An almost incredible fact is that she had no
high-explosive ammunition: all that she had been able to obtain
(18) Hdq. to Hose, August 1, 1914.    Copy ibid.
(19) Hdq.  to   Commander-in-Charge,  Esquimalt  Dockyard,  August  1,
1914.    Copy ibid.
(20) Times, Victoria, August 1, 1914.
(21) Dockyard to Hdq., August 2, 1914.    N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1).
(22) Hdq. to Admiralty, August 3,1914.    Copy in N.S.R., 1046-1-48 (1). 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S." Rainbow." 11
was old-fashioned shell filled with gunpowder.23 She had no
collier and no dependable coaling-station south of Esquimalt.
Less than half the full complement was on board, and more than
a third of these were Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reservists, many of whom knew nothing of the sea or of warships.
There was little likelihood, however, that the enemy would learn
of the Rainbow's deficiencies in shells and men, and the German
official history—which refers to her as " the Canadian training-
ship ' Rainbow ' "—gives no indication that they did so.
In the afternoon of August 2 Commander Hose received the
following message direct from the Admiralty:—
LEIPZIG reported left Mazatlan, Mexico, 10 a.m. 30th July.    RAINBOW
should proceed south at once in order to get in touch with her and generally
guard trade routes north of the equator.24
As Hose did not know whether or not the Canadian Navy had
come under the Admiralty's orders, he repeated the above message to Ottawa with a request for instructions, and ordered the
fires lit under four boilers. Shortly afterwards he wired to
With reference to Admiralty telegram submitted RAINBOW may remain
in the vicinity Cape Flattery until more accurate information is received
LEIPZIG, observing that in event of LEIPZIG appearing Cape Flattery
with RAINBOW twelve hundred miles distant and receiving no communications, Pacific cable, Pachena W[ireless]. T[elegraph]. Station, and ships
entering straits at mercy of LEIPZIG with opportunity to coal from prizes.
Vessels working up the West Coast of America could easily be warned to
adhere closely to territorial waters as far as possible. Enquiry being made
LEIPZIG through our Consult
Headquarters did not approve his suggestion, and at midnight,
August 2-3, this signal arrived from Ottawa:—
You are to proceed to sea forthwith to guard trade routes North of Equator,
keeping in touch with Pachena until war has been declared obtain information from North Bound Steamers. Have arranged for 500 tons coal at
San Diego. United States does not prohibit belligerents from coaling in
her ports. Will arrange for credits at San Diego and San Francisco. No
further news of Leipzig.26-
The Admiralty knew that the  Leipzig was, or had very
recently been, in Mexican waters, and thought it possible that
(23) Copy of diary in the possession of Commander E. Haines, M.B.E.,
R.CtN. Commander Haines was the Rainbow's gunnery officer.
(24) Ibid.
(25) Hose to Hdq., August 2, 1914.    N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1).
(26) Hdq. to Hose, August 3, 1914.    Copy ibid. 12
Gilbert Norman Tucker.
the Niirnberg might also be cruising somewhere near that coast.
Lloyd's thought that both the German cruisers were operating
on the west coast of North America, and warned shipping accordingly.27 It goes without saying that rumours grew thick and
fast along the coast, flourishing in the fertile soil of uncertainty.
For the most part these rumours either consisted of, or had as
their least common denominator, the reported presence and
doings of the Leipzig and the Niirnberg. Though the Leipzig
was actually near the North American coast, the Niirnberg was
not; yet the story of her presence with the Leipzig is still
repeated as a fact, as is the rumour which was current in those
days that one or both of these cruisers operated in the coastal
waters of British Columbia.
A reasonably precise statistical picture of the Rainbow is
afforded by the following figures:—
Launched  1891.
Displacement  3,600 tons.
Length __         300 feet.
Beam           43 V2 feet.
Draught          17% feet.
Horse-power (designed)  9,000.
Designed speed  _ 19.75 knots.
f 2 6-inch, 6 4.7-inch, and
Armament  ^ 4 12-pounder guns,
[ 2 14-inch torpedo tubes.
Full complement     _ —-   about 300.
Twenty-three years old, she was obsolescent, and much inferior
to either the Leipzig or the Niirnberg in speed and type of armament, though she was slightly larger than either of them. On
account of her age her maximum speed was only about 17 knots.
Some features of the other warships which appear prominently
in the story are given in the table below.
Laid Down.
Niirnberg ....
Algerine .	
10 4.1-in.
10 4.1-in.
■2 6-in., 10 4-in.
4 8-in., 14 6-in.
4 4-in.
4 4-in.
(27)  Times, Victoria, August 5, 1914. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 13
At 1 a.m. on August 3, the Rainbow put to sea from Esquimalt, and, according to a well-informed witness, "but few of
those who saw her depart on that eventful occasion expected to
see her return."28 Yet if any protection at all were to be given
to the two helpless sloops and to shipping off the coast, the
Rainbow had to be sent out since nothing else was available.
She rounded Cape Flattery and steamed southward, proceeding
slowly so as to keep in touch with the Pachena wireless station.
With the same end in view, at 4 a.m. on August 4 she altered
course to the northward, having reached a point a little to the
southward of Destruction Island, 45 nautical miles down the
coast from Flattery.29
The same day the Rainbow was informed that war had been
declared against the German Empire,30 and at this time she
became the first ship of the Royal Canadian Navy ever to be
at sea as a belligerent. On this day too, an Order in Council
placed the cruiser at the disposal of the Admiralty for operational purposes.31 Since the early hours of August 3 all hands
had been engaged in preparing the ship for action, exercising
action stations, and carrying out firing practice in order to
calibrate the guns. At 5.30 p.m. on August 4 a southward
course was set, the objective being San Diego; but three hours
later a signal was received to the effect that the inestimable high-
explosive shell had reached Vancouver, and the course was
altered accordingly.32 Off Race Rocks at 6 a.m. on August 5
the following message from Naval Headquarters reached the
Received from Admiralty. Begins—" NURNBERG " and " LEIPZIG " reported August 4th off Magdalena Bay steering North. Ends. Do your
utmost to protect Algerine and Shearwater, steering north from San Diego.
Remember Nelson and the British Navy.    All Canada is watching.33
The cruiser therefore turned about once more and proceeded
down the coast at 15 knots, with no high-explosive shell.    Since
(28) George Phillips, " Canada's Naval Part in the War."    The author
was superintendent of the Esquimalt Dockyard.    MS. lent by Mrs. Phillips.
(29) The Rainbow's movements throughout are based on her Log.
(30) Hose to Hdq., August 4, 1914.    N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1).
(31) P.C. 2049, August 4, 1914-
(32) Diary in possession of Commander Haines.
(33) Hdq. to Hose, August 5, 1914.    Copy in N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1). 14 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
the two submarines which had been bought in Seattle arrived
at Esquimalt that morning, the waters which the Rainbow was
leaving would thenceforth enjoy the protection which their presence afforded. At 6 a.m. on August 6 the cruiser was abreast
of Cape Blanco, and she arrived off San Francisco twenty-four
hours later.
A curse which lies heavily on those responsible for the operations of warships since the age of sails is the relentless need of
fuel. Let the bunkers or tanks be emptied and the propellers
cease to turn, while a reduced store of fuel means a shorter
radius of action. Commander Hose therefore decided to put in
for the purpose of filling up with coal. He also wished to obtain
the latest information from the British Consul-General. At 9.30
a.m. on August 7 the Rainbow anchored in San Francisco harbour. Only an hour and twenty minutes later the German
freighter Alexandria of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, said to be
carrying a valuable cargo, was sighted off the Heads, inward
bound. She had been requisitioned by the Leipzig a few days
before and ordered to discharge her cargo at San Francisco.
After taking in coal and some lubricating-oil, she was to go to
a rendezvous with the Leipzig.3* A richly-laden enemy ship
which was about to become an auxiliary to a hostile cruiser
would have been no ordinary prize.
The Rainbow did not experience much better luck in San
Francisco than she had met with outside.
On arrival in Port was boarded by Consul-General who informed us that
500 tons coal were in readiness. Made arrangements to go alongside when
informed by Naval & Customs authorities that in accordance with the
President's Neutrality proclamation we could only take in sufficient coal to
enable us to reach the nearest British Port. As we already had sufficient
it meant we could not coal at all, but on the plea that we had not a safe
margin we were permitted to take 50 tons. The Consul-General could give
no news of " Algerine " and " Shearwater " and stated that last news of
" Leipsig " was that she coaled at La Paz two days previously. All through
that day various conflicting reports were received regarding the two German
The Consul-General's information before the Rainbow left was
that both the German cruisers had been seen near San Diego
(34) Kreuzerkrieg, I., chapter V.
(35) Extract of Letter of Proceedings, August 2-17, 1914, in possession
of Commander Haines. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 15
steering north.36 Four former naval ratings joined the ship
here, and at 1.15 a.m. on August 8 she weighed and with all
lights extinguished sailed out of the bay.
Instructions had been sent to Commander Hose from Ottawa
early on the same day.
Your actions unfettered considered expedient however you should proceed
at your utmost speed north immediately, order will be given ALGERINE,
SHEARWATER wait Flattery.
The cruiser had sailed, however, before this signal arrived.
She steered northward so as to keep between the enemy who
was thought to be very near San Francisco, and the little sloops,
and also because a store-ship was expected from Esquimalt,
which was to meet the Rainbow near the Farallones Islands.
The morning watch was spent in tearing out inflammable woodwork and throwing it overboard. Flotsam from a warship,
doubtless the Rainbow's woodwork, which was reported to have
been found shortly afterwards near the Golden Gate, caused
some anxiety.37 During the 8th and 9th the Rainbow cruised at
low speed in the neighbourhood of the Farallones, whose wireless station kept reporting her position en clair. By the morning
of August 10 the Rainbow's supply of coal was running low.
No German cruiser, nor British sloop, nor store-ship had been
sighted. It seemed probable that the sloops must have got well'
to the northward by this time, and at 10 a.m. the cruiser altered
course for Esquimalt.38
The Rainbow was operating alone on a very dangerous
mission. In order to reduce to some extent the risks which were
being run by her complement, the S.S. Prince George was hurriedly fitted up as a hospital-ship, and sent out from Esquimalt
on August 11 to meet the Rainbow and accompany her. The
Prince George, a fast coastal passenger liner owned by the Grand
Trunk Pacific Railway, had three funnels,39 a cruiser stern, and
a general appearance not unlike that of a warship. On the 12th,
about 8 o'clock in the morning, a vessel which appeared to be a
(36) Hose to Hdq., August 7, 1914.    N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1).
(37) Hdq. to Admiralty, August 11, 1914.    Copy ibid.;  Times, Victoria.
August 12, 1914.
(38) Extract of Letter of Proceedings, August 2-17, in possession of
Commander Haines.
(39) The Leipzig and Niirnberg each had three funnels.
2 16 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
warship was sighted by the Rainbow's lookouts. The cruiser
immediately altered course about fourteen points, and put on
full speed while all hands went to action stations. A few minutes
later the stranger was identified as a merchant ship which turned
out to be the Prince George. The latter carried an order that
Hose should return to Esquimalt, and both vessels accordingly
proceeded towards Cape Flattery. Early next morning about
20 miles from Esquimalt they found the Shearwater at last:
she had no wireless set, and her first question was whether or
not war had been declared. Shortly after 6 a.m. Esquimalt
was reached.
The Shearwater's commander was unable to supply any news
of the Algerine, and expressed great anxiety regarding her.
Headquarters reported that she had been off Cape Mendocino on
August 11, and Hose now obtained permission to go down the
coast as far as Cape Blanco in order to find and protect her.40
The Rainbow was coaled as quickly as possible and a consignment of high-explosive shell was taken aboard; but the delight
of the gunners was short-lived since there were no fuses.
Twenty of the volunteers on board who had experienced as much
of the seafaring life as they could endure were replaced from
shore. At 5.30 that evening the cruiser set out once more, at
full speed, to look for the Algerine, which was sighted at 3 o'clock
the next afternoon. The little vessel had been struggling northward against headwinds. Having run short of fuel she had
stopped a passing collier, and was engaged in getting coal across
in her cutters. As the Rainbow approached, the Algerine signalled : " I am damned glad to see you."41 When the sloop was
ready to proceed the Rainbow took station astern, and late in the
afternoon of August 15 they reached Esquimalt. The most
pressing naval responsibility in those waters had now been
discharged. Before the Rainbow went to sea again she had
received fuses for her high-explosive shells.
On August 11, 12, and 13, the Leipzig and Niirnberg were
reported to be off San Francisco.42    It was soon rumoured that
(40) Signals in N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (1).
(41) Diary in possession of Commander Haines.
(42) The Leipzig was, in fact, close to San Francisco on the 11th and
12th.   See infra. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 17
they were capturing ships in the approaches to the Golden Gate,
and the stories which travelled up and down the coast paralysed
the movements of British shipping from Vancouver to Panama.43
On August 14 the two cruisers were reported to be headed for
the north at full speed. " Should they continue directly up the
coast," wrote the editor of the Victoria Times, "they will get
all the fighting they want. The Rainbow and the two smaller
vessels will be ready for them."44 Shortly after midnight, on
the morning of the 17th the Leipzig herself sailed boldly into
San Francisco harbour in order to coal, and her commanding
officer, Captain Haun, received a group of newspaper-men on
board. His fighting spirit flamed as brightly as did that of the
Times' editor. " We shall engage the enemy," he told the San
Francisco reporters, " whenever and wherever we meet him.
The number or size of our antagonists will make no difference
to us. The traditions of the German navy shall be upheld."
The Leipzig's captain landed, called on the mayor, presented the
local zoo with a couple of Japanese bear cubs, and put to sea .
again at midnight.45 Meanwhile the Rainbow at Esquimalt had
been preparing to go to sea once more. Although Japan had
not yet declared war on Germany, the powerful Japanese cruiser
Idzumo, which had represented her country in the international
naval force in Mexican waters, was still on the west coast,
and it was reported that her commander intended to shadow
the Leipzig. The Victoria Times offered words of sympathy:
" Unhappy cruiser Leipzig! For the next six days she is going
to be stalked wherever she may go by a warship big enough to
swallow her with one bite."46
From August 4 to August 23, when Japan entered the war,
the warships at the Admiralty's disposal on the Pacific Coast of
North America were incapable of destroying, bottling up, or
driving away, both or even either of the German cruisers, a fact
which was emphasized by the widely advertised entry of the
Leipzig into San Francisco. The waters in question clearly
required more protection.    The Admiralty accordingly ordered
(43) [British Official History] C. Ernest Fayle, Seaborne Trade, I.,
London and New York, 1920, p. 163.
(44) Times, Victoria, August 14, 1914.
(45) Colonist, Victoria, August 18, 1914.
(46) Times, Victoria, August 18, 1914. 18 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
the Admiral commanding on the China Station to send one of his
light cruisers, and on August 18 H.M.S. Newcastle left Yokohama for Esquimalt.47 The Newcastle was a light cruiser of the
Bristol class48—she was a newer ship than either of the Germans
and was faster and more powerfully armed. The same day
Commander Hose asked for permission to take the Rainbow to
San Francisco in order to find and engage the Leipzig. The Admiralty approved the suggestion and the following order was
sent to the Rainbow at sea:—
Proceed and engage or drive off LEIPZIG from trade route; do not follow
after her.   .   .   .   You should cruise principally off San Francisco.49
These instructions, of course, were based on the idea that the
Leipzig might be molesting shipping in the approaches to San
Francisco. The same day, however, the order was countermanded, because both the German cruisers were reported to be
off San Francisco, and the Rainbow returned to Esquimalt to
await the arrival of the Newcastle.
The most exposed town on the British Columbia coast was
Prince Rupert, which had no local protection whatever. The war
had consequently brought a feeling of uneasiness to many of the
citizens, and the mayor had arrived in Victoria a few days after
hostilities began, hoping to obtain some defences for the town.60
Rumours that one or both of the Germans were on their way
northward had been current for some time, and on August 19 a
cruiser with three funnels—the Leipzig and the Niirnberg each
had three funnels—was reported to be in the vicinity of Prince
Rupert.61 Before dawn next day the Rainbow set out for the
northern port, which she reached on August 21, and where
inquiries elicited further evidence that a strange cruiser had been
seen. Two days after his arrival Commander Hose telegraphed
to Ottawa:—
(47) Fayle, Seaborne Trade, I., pp. 154 and 164.
(48) She came to protect waters which Canada had undertaken to
defend, and there was irony in the fact that she belonged to the Bristol
class. The Canadian naval programme of 1910 had included four Bristol
class cruisers, of which two were to have been stationed on the Pacific Coast.
(49) Hdq. to Hose, August 18, 1914 (two signals). Copies in N.S.R.,
1047-19-3 (1).
(50) Colonist, Victoria, August 11, 1914.
(51) Senior Naval Officer, Esquimalt, to Hdq., August 19, 1914. N.S.R.,
1047-19-3 (1). 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 19
Strong suspicions Nurnberg or Leipzig has coaled from U.S. Steamship
Delhi in vicinity of Prince of Wales Island on Aug. 19th or Aug. 20th.62
The carrying of coal to Prince Rupert by water in British ships
was immediately stopped. The suspicions were never confirmed,
and whatever the cause of anxiety may have been, it was not a
German cruiser.
A similar rumour had germinated during the Spanish-
American War. In July, 1898, the Admiralty sent the following
message to the Commander-in-Chief at Esquimalt:—
The American Consul, Vancouver, has reported that a Spanish privateer
of five guns is in the waters near Queen Charlotte Sound, apparent [ly]
on look out for vessels going to and from Klondyke and is suspected of
endeavouring to obtain a British pilot.
Warships of the Pacific Squadron at Esquimalt went north to
look for the Spaniard, but found nothing. In this case the
anxiety was lest a belligerent warship might compromise British
The Rainbow remained in the north until August 30 when she
left for Esquimalt. When Japan had declared war on August 23,
the Japanese armoured cruiser Idzumo had been at San Francisco. Two days later, firing a salute as she came in, the Idzumo
dropped anchor in Esquimalt. The Newcastle reached Esquimalt on the 30th, and the Canadian warships, together with the
Idzumo, came under the orders of her commander, Captain F. A.
Powlett. On September 2 the Rainbow arrived at Esquimalt.
During the month of August she had steamed more than 4,300
On September 3 the Newcastle left Esquimalt to look for the
Leipzig.54 Captain Powlett's first idea had been to take the
Rainbow with him; but after that ship's return from the north
she needed a few days in dockyard hands, and was therefore left
behind to guard the ends of the routes leading to the Strait of
Juan de Fuca. The Idzumo was detailed to watch the approaches
to San Francisco. The Nurnberg had been at Honolulu on September 1, a fact which rendered it unlikely that she would appear
(52) Hose to Hdq., August 23, 1914.    N.S.R., 1047-19-3 (2).
(53) Admiralty to  Commander-in-Chief, July  17, 1898.    "Records of
North Pacific Naval Station," Dominion Archives MS. Room.
(54) The proceedings of the Newcastle described in this paragraph are
based on Fayle, Seaborne Trade, I., pp. 229-230. 20 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
off North America. There were numerous stories which pointed
untrustworthy fingers at the whereabouts of the Leipzig, and
some of these, as so often happens in time of war, seemed to rest
on first-hand evidence, as when a tanker arrived in Seattle on
August 21 and reported that she had been stopped by the Leipzig
150 miles north of San Francisco.56 Since August 18, however,
no certain news of her whereabouts had been received, and the
disturbance to trade which she had caused was rapidly subsiding.
The Newcastle carried out a thorough search along the coast
down to and including the Gulf of California, and on her way she
established a series of improvised lookout and intelligence stations on shore which assured her receiving immediate information
should the Leipzig return to her former hunting-grounds.
Captain Powlett then concluded that the Leipzig had gone too far
south to be followed, and he therefore returned to Esquimalt.
There was a bare possibility that if the other parts of the Pacific
got too hot for them, the German Pacific Squadron might come
to the North American coast, where, in addition to causing havoc
among shipping, they might even attack Vancouver or the coalmines at Nanaimo. With this in mind Captain Powlett suggested
measures of shore defence at these points, and made arrangements for mines to be laid in suitable areas should the need arise.
On September 30 the Newcastle set out on a second reconnaissance of the coast as far south as the Gulf of California,
leaving the Idzumo and the Rainbow behind on guard as on the
previous occasion. While the Newcastle was on her two cruises,
the Rainbow had watched her part of the trade routes, keeping
a lookout for supply ships from United States ports, and engaging from time to time in gun and torpedo-firing practice.
The actual operations of the German cruisers, details of
which are now known to us, remain to be described.66 The Niirnberg left Mazatlan on July 7, called at Honolulu, and joined
von Spee on August 6 at Ponape. She later revisited Honolulu,
and rejoined her squadron on September 6. The same day she
was detached to destroy the Canada-Australia cable and cable-
(55) Colonist, Victoria, August 22, 1914.
(56) Kreuzerkrieg, vol. L, dispels all but a few remnants of the fog
which formerly hid most of the movements of the Leipzig and Nurnberg
during August and September, 1914. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 21
station at Fanning Island. On September 7 she landed a party
there which cut the cable and destroyed the essential installations
on shore. She then returned to von Spee once more. It is almost certain that after the outbreak of war the Nurnberg was
never less than about 2,500 miles from the coast of British
Columbia. She strongly influenced the movements of the Rainbow and other allied warships; but she did so in absentia.
The Leipzig was at Magdalena Bay, when, on August 5, she
received the news that Great Britain had declared war. Her
mobilization orders instructed her to join von Spee in the western
Pacific; but before he did this Captain Haun wanted to make
sure of his coal-supply. The problem of fuel almost stultified all
the German surface raiders, and it seems to have been unusually
difficult on the west coast of North America.
German warships very seldom visited the north-west coast of America, and
it had always been thought that these waters would not be of much importance to Germany in time of war. Accordingly the Naval Staff had
made little preparation for furnishing coal and provisions to warships in this
Of such organization as there was, San Francisco was the principal centre. Captain Haun therefore telegraphed to that port,
asking that arrangements be made to send coal and lubricating-
oil to him at sea. Early on August 5 the Leipzig left Magdalena
Bay for San Francisco, following a circuitous route. On the
night of August 6 she heard the press radio service at San Diego
reporting that the British naval force on the west coast consisted
of the Rainbow, Algerine, and Shearwater, and two submarines
bought from Chile. Captain Haun .hoped that after coaling he
would be able to do some local commerce-raiding before joining
von Spee, and for that purpose the most likely hunting-grounds
in those waters were considered to be the areas off Vancouver,
Seattle and Tacoma, San Francisco, and Panama.
Captain Haun naturally weighed the advisability of winning an immediate
military success by attacking the Algerine and Shearwater on their way to
Esquimalt, by capturing one of the Canadian Pacific liners which could be
fitted as an auxiliary cruiser, or by attacking the Canadian training-ship
Rainbow. Considering the importance of commerce-raiding, however, these
enterprises would scarcely have been justified; for even a successful action
with the Rainbow, which was an older ship but which had mounted a heavier
(57)  Kreuzerkrieg, I., p. 349 (translation). 22 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
armament, might have resulted in such serious damage to the Leipzig as
would have brought her career to a premature end.6^
On August 11, in misty weather and apparently in the forenoon, the Leipzig reached the approaches to the Golden Gate, and
next day, near the Farallones Islands, the German consul came
on board. He told Captain Haun that Japan would probably
enter the war and that the presence of the Rainbow north of San
Francisco had been reported. The consul said that the American
officials were unfriendly in the matter of facilities for coaling,
and also that he had not been able so far to obtain either money
or credit with which to pay for coal.
When the German Consul met the Leipzig, he was not even sure that the
United States authorities would permit her to coal once, in spite of the fact
that no objection had been made to supplying the Rainbow. Such a refusal
would have made it necessary to lay the Leipzig up before she had struck a
single blow. As Captain Haun and his crew could not bear to think of
such a thing, he determined to remain at sea for as long as he could, to try
to hold up colliers and other merchant ships off the Golden Gate, and then
to steam northward and engage the Rainbow. He therefore told the consul
that he would return to San Francisco on the night of August 16-17 and
enter the harbour, unless he should have been advised not to do so.
The Leipzig cruised in territorial waters on August 12, proceeding as
far northward as Cape Mendocino. She then made for the Farallones
Islands, keeping from twenty to thirty miles from the coast. The Rainbow
was not sighted, and all the merchant-ships that came along were American.
These the Leipzig did not interfere with in any way, so as not to wound
American susceptibilities.6^
At the appointed time the Leipzig returned to San Francisco.
She entered the harbour just after midnight, paying a visit which
has already been described, and twenty-four hours later she left
after taking aboard 500 tons of coal.
(58) Ibid.,p. 347.
(59) Ibid., p. 354. In 1917 the Admiralty published a chart which
showed the Leipzig's track running north as far as Cape Flattery. A
British official chart published immediately after the war, however, shows
her as " Cruising off S. Francisco Aug. llth-17th." (See Corbett, Naval
Operations, I. (Maps), no. 14.) There seems to be no reason for doubting
the accuracy of the German official history on this point. It is true that
none of von Spee's ships got home; nevertheless the Leipzig had opportunities of reporting her movements to the German consul at several places,
including San Francisco, and no doubt she did so. Four of her officers,
moreover, survived the battle of the Falkland Islands. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 23
When she had cleared the harbour the Leipzig steamed at high speed towards
the Farallones Islands, without lights and ready for action; but no enemy
ships were seen. After August 18 she proceeded outside the trade routes at
seven knots, steaming on only four boilers while the others were cleaned.
On August 22 she passed Guadelupe. Because future supplies of coal were
so uncertain, it was impossible for her to raid commerce, especially as
British ships were still being kept in port, while the searching of neutral
vessels would merely have advertised the Leipzig's whereabouts.60
The cruiser continued her way down the coast. She left the
Gulf of California on September 9, well supplied with coal, and
proceeded on her southward journey, making her first captures
as she went.61
During the opening weeks of the war Admiral von Speeds
squadron had been crossing the Pacific in a leisurely fashion, far
to the southward.62    In the words of Admiral Tirpitz:—
The entry of Japan into the war wrecked the plan of a war by our cruiser
squadron against enemy trade and against the British war vessels in those
seas, leaving our ships with nothing to do but to attempt to break through
and reach home.6^
Von Spee was able to remain undetected because of the vast
size of the Pacific, and because the strength of his squadron
forced his enemies to concentrate. The Leipzig joined him on
October 14 at Easter Island. His squadron arrived at last off
the coast of South America, where, on November 1, it engaged
and almost completely destroyed a British squadron off Cape
Coronel64—a battle in which the Leipzig took part and in which
the Nurnberg sank the already seriously damaged H.M.S. Monmouth. The arrival of von Spee off the South American coast
had not for long remained a secret, and the Admiralty tried to
(60) Ibid., p. 357.
(61) The Leipzig's movements, September 11-21, are described in a
personal account by the master of a captured British merchant ship. See
[British Official History] Archibald Hurd, The Merchant Navy, I., London,
• 1921, pp. 180-184.
(62) This brief account of the operations of von Spee and his opponents
is based on Kreuzerkrieg, vol. I.; Sir Julian Corbett, History of the Great
War—Naval Operations, revised edition, vol. I., London, 1938; and A. W.
Jose, The Royal Australian Navy (The Official History of Australia in the
War of 1914-1918, vol. IX.), Sydney, 1928.
(63) Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, My Memoirs, London, n.d. [1919], II.,
p. 351.
(64) Four midshipmen of the Royal Canadian Navy, serving in H.M.S.
Good Hope, lost their lives at Coronel. 24 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
bar his path wherever he might go. It was possible that he
might elect to sail northward, in order to go through the recently
opened Panama Canal or to the west coast of North America.
To deal with such a move on his part a British-Japanese squadron
was formed off the Mexican coast, whence it proceeded to the
Galapagos Islands. This concentration proved to have been unnecessary, however, for after Coronel von Spee moved southward. After rounding South America, he ran headlong into a
decisively stronger British force on December 8 at the Falkland
Islands, where all his ships save one were sunk. The Nurnberg
met her end at the hands of H.M.S. Kent, after an epic chase
during which the Kent's stokers, in order to squeeze out a little
more speed, burned up practically all the woodwork in the ship.
The Leipzig was sunk by the Cornwall and the Glasgow, only
eighteen of her officers and men being saved. The very fast
Dresden alone escaped, to remain at large in South American
waters until, on March 14,1915, she too was found and destroyed.
It seems evident that at the outbreak of the war, Captain
Haun's intention had been to obtain coal in order to join von Spee,
seizing or sinking any British merchant ship which he might
meet en route. He probably wanted to take a collier with him
when he should start to cross the Pacific and, apart from this
consideration, the need to fill his own bunkers prolonged his stay
on the coast. The only ports available to him were neutral ones
in which he could not stay for more than twenty-four hours, and
to enter which would tend to defeat his purpose as a raider.
When he did, in fact, enter San Francisco, the news spread far
and wide, and British merchant ships in the neighbourhood went
into hiding or postponed their sailings. Moreover, his presence
in port might have brought up the Rainbow, to force an action
under circumstances which could have been very unfavourable
for him. To remain at sea, on the other hand, meant burning
his precious coal. Operations by the Leipzig anywhere on that
coast were severely hampered by her orders to join von Spee, and
by the fact that the nearest German base was thousands of miles
Did Captain Haun desire to engage the Rainbow? On the
information available, it seems highly probable that he considered
his principal obligations to be, in the order of priority, to join 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 25
von Spee, to damage commerce, and to engage enemy warships.
Of these duties, the two last as well as the first, in order of
precedence, may have been assigned to him by von Spee. If not,
they were prescribed for his case by any orthodox treatises on
naval doctrine with which he may have been familiar. Captain
Haun did not know about the Rainbow's obsolete shells; but he
did know that serious injury to the Leipzig, situated as she was,
would probably have deprived his country of a fine cruiser for
the duration of the war. It is suggested that Captain Haun
would have been very pleased to see the Rainbow, and that had
he done so he would have attacked at once; but that only during
August 13 and 14 did he feel free to search for her.
During her operations between August 4 and September 10,
the Leipzig failed to lay hands upon a single merchant vessel or
warship, or to alarm by her visible presence any Canadian community. Turning to the other side of the ledger, some anxiety
was caused among the coastal population of British Columbia—
banks in Vancouver and Victoria, for example, transferred some
of their cash and securities to inland or neutral cities.66 A serious effect on British shipping was also produced:—
... In view of the frequent reports received as to the supposed movements
of these ships [Leipzig and Niirnberg'], owners were generally unwilling to
risk their vessels until the situation should be cleared up. Chartering was
suspended at all ports on the coast, and most tramp steamers remained in
port, while the liner services were curtailed and irregular .... [but]
within two or three weeks of the Leipzig's departure from San Francisco
trade had become brisk all along the coast.66
Most important of all, the attention of three Allied cruisers, of
which two were considerably more powerful than the Leipzig
herself, was wholly occupied until the German cruiser was known
to have removed herself from the area. It is quite safe to say
that during the first six weeks of the war, from the point of
view of the German Government, the Leipzig was a paying concern. The dividend would probably have been smaller, however,
had it been known on shore that she was operating alone.
(65) Report of the Commissioner concerning Purchase of Submarines
[Davidson Commission], Ottawa, 1917, p. 11.
(66) Fayle, Seaborne Trade, I., pp. 162 and 179. 26 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
After Coronel the Rainbow co-operated for a time with the
British-Japanese squadron which had been formed in order to
meet von Spee should he turn northward, and to which reference
has already been made. She could not keep up with the other
ships, and was frequently used as a wireless link between them
and Esquimalt. At a time when it was thought likely that von
Spee would turn northward, Commander Hose sent the following
signal to the Director of the Naval Service:—
Submit that Admiralty may be asked to arrange with Senior Officer of
Allied Squadron . . . that Canadian ship Rainbow shall if possible be
in company with squadron when engaged with enemy.6?
He received in reply a refusal, with reasons for the same, one of
them being that " if the Rainbow were lost, immediately there
would be much criticism on account of her age in being sent to
engage modern vessels."68 Among the squadron whose lot her
commander wished to share was the battle-cruiser Australia.
After the German squadron had entered the Atlantic the
threat to the Pacific coast of North America was greatly diminished, and with the destruction of the Dresden it ceased altogether as far as German cruisers were concerned. The only
danger thereafter, which was present until the entry of the
United States into the war in April, 1917, lay in the possibility
that German agents might send out merchantmen lying in neutral
harbours, armed as commerce raiders. This threat, though it
never actually materialized on that coast, was a real one none
the less. German sympathizers were at work at various neutral
ports, and attempts were probably made to send out raiders.
The Rainbow was well adapted to the work of intercepting armed
merchant ships. She was less vulnerable than a liner, faster
than any except the swiftest of them, and very adequately armed.
The nature of this problem and some of the means used to deal
with it, are clearly illustrated by the case of the S.S. Saxonia.
On August 1, 1914, the Hamburg-Amerika liner Saxonia was
at Tacoma taking aboard 1,000 tons of hay for Manila. On orders
from her company she unloaded the hay and went to Seattle
where she tied up. Late in October the naval authorities at
Esquimalt learned that the Saxonia would probably be trans-
(67) Hose  to  Admiral  Kingsmill,  November  9,  1914.    N.S.R.,  1047-
19-3 (2).
(68) Kingsmill to Hose, November 10, 1914.    Copy ibid. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 27
ferred to American registry, and that she had been measured
for the Panama Canal, which had been opened for traffic during
the summer. The British Vice-Consul at Tacoma made inquiries
and arranged to have the ship kept under observation. She did
not leave, and in March, 1915, Esquimalt was warned by the
postmaster at Victoria that she would probably try to do so on
the night of March 16, and that guns were awaiting her at Haiti
and gun-mountings in New York. Ottawa was notified, and
spread a wide net by passing the warning on to the Admiralty,
St. John's, Newfoundland, the Embassy in Washington, and the
Vice-Consul at Tacoma. Naval measures were also taken to
block the exit of the Saxonia through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The Vice-Consul went to Seattle on March 16, and after dark he
patrolled the entrance to the port in a motor-launch until 1 a.m.
He then entered the harbour and circumspectly investigated the
Saxonia at close quarters. She had no steam up, and the Vice-
Consul decided that she would not sail that night, and that she
would never be able to raise steam without its being observed by
his agents in a nearby shipyard. It was reported on several
subsequent occasions that she was about to sail. In the end the
United States authorities seized the Saxonia; but not before her
faithful crew had put her engines out of commission by damaging
the cylinder-heads and by throwing overboard various indispensable parts.69
Another part of the Rainbow's task during the rest of her
commission was to assist in preventing German shipping, open or
disguised, from using the coastal waters. By the end of October
she had two hundred and fifty-one officers and men on board.
Of this total, eight officers and forty-five ratings belonged to the
Royal Navy, and five officers and a hundred and thirty-nine
ratings to the Royal Canadian Navy, while two officers and fifty-
two men were Naval Volunteers.70 On December 18 the Rainbow left Esquimalt to superintend the dismounting of certain
guns which had been temporarily placed at Seymour Narrows to
prevent an enemy from entering the Strait of Georgia by the
northern route. The following spring she did useful reconnaissance work off Mexico.    In February, 1916, she set out once more
(69) Telegrams and letters in N.S.R., 1048-10-25.
(70) Hose to Hdq., October 31, 1914.    N.S.R., 1-1-19. 28 Gilbert Norman Tucker. January
for a similar patrol of Mexican and Central American waters, her
freedom of movement being greatly enlarged by the presence of a
collier. During this cruise the Oregon, a vessel on the American
register, was intercepted on April 18 near La Paz. A boarding-
party was sent over to her, and after a search it was decided to
send her to Esquimalt with a prize crew on board. On May 2 the
Mexican-registered Leonor, owned by a German firm, was also
seized. This schooner had taken part in coaling the Leipzig in
the Gulf of California. These prizes were both taken on the
ground that they were actually German ships whose neutral
registry was a disguise for activities which were in the interest
of the enemy. They had to be towed a good part of the way
home, and as a result of the delay provisions ran short. The
Rainbow therefore pushed on ahead of her collier and prizes, and
on May 21 she reached Esquimalt. From August 8 to December 14, 1916, the Rainbow was on a third cruise of the same
kind, during which she went as far south as Panama.71
Early in 1917 the submarine war was entering its most
critical phase, and both the Canadian Government and the Admiralty were working against great difficulties to create an adequate
fleet of anti-submarine patrol-vessels off the east coast of Canada.
The most serious problem was to find enough trained men, and
the Canadian Government suggested that as the Rainbow was
rapidly approaching the time when she would have to be extensively refitted, it might be better to pay her off and transfer her
crew to the patrols. The Admiralty concurred.72 The Japanese
Admiralty had long since assumed responsibility for the whole of
the North Pacific except for the Canadian coastal waters, and
the small remaining possibilities of danger were cleared, away on
April 6,1917, when the United States entered the war. The Rainbow performed her last war service in the training of gunners for
the patrol-vessels, and was paid off on May 8. She reverted to
the disposal of the Canadian service on June 30, 1917, and was
recommissioned as a depot ship at Esquimalt.    She was placed
(71) Extracts of Letters of Proceedings in possession of Commander
(72) See G. N. Tucker, "The Organizing of the East Coast Patrols,
1914-1918," in the Report of the Canadian Historical Association, Toronto,
1941, p. 35. 1943 The Career of H.M.C.S. " Rainbow." 29
out of commission in 1920, and sold for $67,777 to a firm in
Seattle, to be broken up.
What would have happened, during those opening weeks of
the war, had the Rainbow met the Leipzig? Captain Haun
would almost certainly have attacked. The Rainbow was older
and slower than the German cruiser, and less effectively manned.
The type of main armament which she mounted, consisting of
guns of two calibres, was less efficient than that of the Leipzig,
because a mixed armament makes spotting more difficult. The
Rainbow's 6-inch guns were probably inferior in range to the
Leipzig's much smaller weapons.73 German gunnery, too, at this
time, was the best in the world. Even with these great disadvantages, however, the Rainboxo would probably have had a very
uneven chance of disabling or even destroying her opponent, had
all else been equal which it was not. The fact that during the
critical period she had only gunpowder-filled shells on board
made the Rainboxo nearly helpless, and had she encountered the
Leipzig she would almost certainly have been sunk, unless she
could have taken refuge quickly inside the 3-mile limit. Her only
other chance would have lain in a good opportunity to use her
torpedoes—a windfall of fortune almost too improbable to be
The Rainboxo performed useful services during the war.
She afforded a considerable measure of protection to the coast of
British Columbia and the moral effect of her presence there was
very valuable, especially during the first three weeks. After the
arrival of the Idzumo and Newcastle, she played a useful if secondary part. The Rainbow was unable to afford much protection to trade; the Leipzig searched for merchant ships as freely
as her coal-supply and her orders permitted, and temporarily
succeeded in clearing the nearby waters of British ships.
At the same time, the presence pf the Rainbow was even more effective in
putting a stop to German trade. The few enemy steamers on the coast
cut short their voyage at the nearest port, sending on their cargoes under
the American flag, and numerous sailing vessels of large size were held up
in Californian and Mexican harbours.74
The Rainbow's services throughout were more restricted and
much less valuable than would have been the case had she been
(73) Corbett, Naval Operations, I., pp. 426-427.
(74) Fayle, Seaborne Trade, I., pp. 162-163. 30 Gilbert Norman Tucker.
newer, and consequently faster and more powerful. If she had
succeeded in disabling the Leipzig, it is obvious that von Spee's
squadron would have been seriously weakened. The young Canadian naval service would have benefited immeasurably, and in a
host of ways, had the Rainbow been able to clothe herself in a
mantle of glory as Australia's Sydney did; but this, humanly
speaking, she could not hope to achieve. She had been acquired
purely as a training-ship and not in order to fight. Obsolescent
vessels are very useful in time of war, but only for duties which
take account of their limitations. Because of the Rainbow's
outmoded design and defective ammunition, moreover, her officers
and men had to be sent out expecting to face almost hopeless
odds. They had to be placed in a very unfair moral position as
well. Uninformed opinion on shore concerning the Rainbow as
a ship alternated illogically between ridicule and a tendency to
regard her merely as a cruiser and therefore a match for any
other cruiser. Her complement did all that could have been
done with the instrument at their disposal, and cheerfully faced
unequal danger with little prospect of earning the fame which
crowns unqualified success.    They served their country well.
Gilbert Norman Tucker.
Department of the Naval Service,
The beginnings of Presbyterianism in British Columbia date
back to 1861. In the spring of that year an Irish Presbyterian
missionary, the Rev. John Hall, arrived in Victoria to plant the
blue banner of his faith in what was soon to become Western
Canada. He was the first Presbyterian minister west of
At that time Vancouver Island and British Columbia, on the
mainland, were still separate Crown Colonies. The first Presbyterian minister to be established on the mainland—the British
Columbia of those days—was the Rev. Robert Jamieson, who
arrived in New Westminster on March 12, 1862,1 nearly a year
after John Hall arrived in Victoria. But although Hall's work
was confined almost entirely to Vancouver Island, he, as we shall
see, had visited many points on the mainland in the interests of
Presbyterianism before Jamieson reached New Westminster.
Jamieson came west under the auspices of the Canada Presbyterian Church. Hall was sent out by the Presbyterian Church
in Ireland.
Four countries have associations with John Hall: Ireland,
where he was born, and where he died; British Columbia, where
he was the pioneer Presbyterian minister; Hawaii, where he
spent a happy summer; and New Zealand, where he laboured for
nearly twenty years.    His life falls into clearly marked divi-
(1) Dr. William Gregg, in his Short History of the Presbyterian Church
in the Dominion of Canada (2nd edition, Toronto, 1893), gives the date of
Mr. Jamieson's arrival in Victoria as July 16, 1862: " On the 10th December,
1861, he was designated as a missionary to British Columbia. On the 16th
of July, 1862, he arrived at Victoria, in Vancouver's Island ..." (p. 174).
Dr. J. A. Logan gives the date of his arrival in New Westminster as March
12, 1862, and there can be no reasonable doubt that this date is correct. See
E. O. S. Scholefield and F. W. Howay, British Columbia, Vancouver, 1914,
II., p. 645; III., pp. 186-190; British Columbian, New Westminster, March
20, 1862; St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, A Historical Sketch, New
Westminster, 1922, p. 3; Alexander Dunn, Presbyterianism in British Columbia, New Westminster, 1913, p. 24. Strange to say, Dr. Dunn has
nothing to say about the Rev. John Hall.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII., No. 1.
3 31 32 J. C. GOODFELLOW. January
sions, which correspond with his movements from one country to
another. His first thirty-five years were spent in Ireland. Then
came four years on Vancouver Island, followed by four months
in Hawaii, and four years in New Zealand. After these missionary experiences he returned to his native land, where he
remained for twenty-two years. At the end of this period he
sailed again for New Zealand, this time staying there fourteen
years. In 1905 he visited British Columbia on his way back to
Ireland, where he died in 1907. Such in outline is the story to
be told in more detail. We shall dwell at disproportionate length
on the four years' ministry on Vancouver Island, because we are
most interested in this period, covering, as it does, the beginnings
of Presbyterianism in Western Canada.
We turn, then, to John Hall's early years, which were spent
in Ireland. Few facts regarding his parentage, his boyhood, education, or first ministry have come down to us.2 He was born at
Drumague House, Bailieborough, County Cavan, on November 6,
1826. He was the son of Thomas Hall and Agnes Parr; the
eldest in their family of seven boys and two girls. Thomas Hall
had a large farm, on which all the children were brought up.
The Halls attended the First Bailieborough Presbyterian Church.
The baptismal register was accidentally burned, but the fly-leaf
of an old Bible preserves the vital statistics of the Hall family.3
The subject of this sketch was distantly related to his more
famous namesake, Dr. John Hall, for many years minister of
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. The name
Hall is widely spread. Ireland and Virginia are both rich in
memories of the family, which came originally from Westmorland in England, whence branches left for the north of Ireland.4
After the usual life of a boy on the farm and attendance at
the local public school, John was sent to live with his uncle, the
(2) Statements and dates in this account were furnished by Rev. S.
Lewis, of Athy, County Kildare, Ireland. In a letter dated September 24,
1935, he writes: " You can, at any rate, rely on them as correct, because the
data, as far as our own Church is concerned, are taken from official records,
and the others are well authenticated."
(3) Photostat copies in Provincial Archives and in Archives' of the
United Church Conference.
(4) Letter from Dr. Thomas C. Hall, Professor Emeritus, Gottingen
University, Germany, dated November 26, 1935. 1943 John Hall. 33
Rev. John Parr, of Corlea, County Monaghan, who was minister
of the church there. Here he received a good grounding in Greek
and Latin, and here, no doubt, his thoughts were turned to the
ministry. He entered the Belfast Academical Institution in 1844
and received the general certificate in 1847. This was equivalent
to a degree in Arts. In the same year (1847) he entered the
theological classes. There was no Theological College in those
days, but there was a full staff of theological professors. Arts
and Theology covered six years. After due preparation he was
licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Bailieborough
on the last Thursday of May, 1851. He was then in his twenty-
fifth year.   His mother had died on July 26, 1848.
After working for a short time on the Belfast mission the
young minister was invited to supply the newly erected congregation of Athy, County Kildare. Young Hall arrived there on
December 28, 1851. He must have won the hearts of the Scottish colonists who made up the congregation, for on March 27,
1852, he received a call to become their minister; and on September 30 was ordained by the Dublin Presbytery. Writing from
Athy in September, 1935, the Rev. S. Lewis tells us that Hall did
splendid work in organizing the congregation and in building a
new church at a cost of £1,076. On March 21, 1854, the ladies
of the congregation presented him with a pulpit gown and a
purse of ten sovereigns. Of this sum he allocated £5 to the purchase of books for a congregational library and £5 towards a
stove for the church. (The church proper had not been built
then, but this would refer to the room which they had rented for
services.) Such an act of generosity was characteristic of the
man. The ten years spent "at Athy seem to have been happy,
busy, and successful years. On January 16, 1861, Hall resigned
his pastoral charge. In a sketch of Athy congregation, published
in 1886, it is recorded that when he announced his intention of
resigning, and leaving for British Columbia, there were few dry
eyes in the congregation.
The fact of his resignation reveals to us that for some time
the young minister had been thinking of offering himself for
work abroad. The Dublin Presbytery on February 6,1861, designated him as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland 34 J. C. Goodfellow. January
to British Columbia.6 From the late Dr. John A. Logan's correspondence, quoted in his History of Presbyterianism in British
Columbia* we learn that this appointment followed the direction
to " the Standing Committee and Convener of the Home Mission
Board (Rev. William McClure, Londonderry), 10th October, 1860,
to look out for a suitable minister to proceed to this colony, to
whom the Mission will guarantee a salary of £200 annually for
three years." Later, on December 12, 1860, " after hearing a
statement from the Secretary respecting the importance of sending a missionary to this new colony, it was agreed that Mr. Hall
be appointed on the foregoing terms, salary to commence from
the day on which Mr. Hall takes ship on his departure." On
February 13, 1861, the Secretary was able to report to the Board
that the Rev. John Hall, Athy, had been accepted as a missionary
to the new colony and that he was to leave immediately for the
field of his labours, passage and outfit to be paid.
It is but natural that we should wonder how the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland came to interest
itself in British Columbia. How did it come about that in Ireland
was heard the far cry, " Come over and help us " ? And how did
it happen that John Hall was chosen by the Assembly as their
apostle to the Far West? Questions such as these inevitably
suggest themselves. To them there is both a general and a
particular answer.
The general answer is found in the fact that in the year 1841
the Irish General Assembly decided to co-operate with the Church
of Scotland in procuring funds, and sending ministers to supply
the Presbyterians of the British colonies with the ordinances of
religion. In 1842 it was reported that £200 had been raised. The
following year the General Assembly recommended that collections be made in all their congregations, and forwarded to the
Colonial Scheme of the Free Church of Scotland. In 1844 came
appeals from Nova Scotia and New Zealand for ministers and
licentiates to emigrate thither. The Irish Assembly, in 1846,
organized a Colonial Mission of its own, and by 1849 six ministers and licentiates of the Irish Church had come to different
(5) Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in
Ireland, Belfast, July 2, 1861. Certified copy sent by W. J. Lowe, Clerk of
the Assembly.
(6) Manuscript.    Copy in possession of the writer. 1943 John Hall. 35
parts of Canada. These particulars are taken from the Minutes
of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
They were sent by the Rev. S. Lewis, of Athy, who, in a letter
dated November 4, 1935, made this comment: " With ministers
going to Canada from time to time it is quite easy to understand
how Mr. Hall would come to think of going to British Columbia
as a missionary. . . . Besides, pioneer work would seem to
have been his choice, perhaps his lot, through his life."
But from Hall's nephew, Henry G. Hall, we learn that John
had a brother, James, who became a civil engineer, and who came
to Vancouver Island and the mainland before John followed as a
missionary.7 It is quite likely that this brother had an influence
on John's decision to come to Victoria.
Unfortunately we have little information about the journey
from Ireland. He must have travelled by way of Panama—the
fast mail route of the time—as he arrived in Victoria just two
months after his appointment.8 The last stage of the long journey, that from San Francisco to Victoria, was made in the
steamer Cortes, which arrived on Sunday, April 14, 1861.9 The
passenger list printed in the Colonist the next day includes the
names " J. Hall, John Hall . . ." It is possible that the
" J. Hall " mentioned was James Hall, the brother of John.
James may have gone to San Francisco to meet his brother.
Before coming to the personal work of John Hall in British
Columbia, we should indicate briefly what had been attempted by
other denominations before Presbyterianism was established.
(7) Letter from Henry G. Hall, dated " Drumague Ho. Bailieboro, Nov.
8th, 1935."
(8) Local tradition in Ireland apparently has it that he travelled by wa'y
of Cape Horn, for a quotation from an Irish newspaper (neither the name
nor date of which is given) sent by Rev. S. Lewis reads in part: " Mr. Hall
came in a little vessel owned by the Hudson's Bay Company. He sailed
round Cape Horn, and was nearly wrecked by a terrific storm in the Strait
of Magellan." But the annual Hudson's Bay supply ship of the year, the
Princess Royal, arrived in Victoria in January, 1861, before John Hall left
Ireland. Furthermore, one wonders how the vessel could be nearly wrecked
by a storm in the Strait of Magellan when she was making the passage
round the Horn!
(9) British Colonist, Victoria, April 15, 1861. 36 J. C. Goodfellow. January
It is rightly conceded that the Roman Catholic Church preceded the Anglican, Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian
churches in this Province. In the case of the Congregational
Church it is known that the establishment of a mission on our
Pacific Coast was under consideration more than a century ago.
In 1829 a Congregational minister, the Rev. Jonathan Smith
Green, visited various points along the coast. Nothing permanent came of this; but the date, 1829, represents the year of
the first visit of a Protestant minister to the Pacific Northwest. %
By 1859 all the denominations named above had established work
on Vancouver Island—all but one, the Presbyterian Church.
It is on record that when John Hall arrived in Victoria he
was struck with the beauty of the place. His first experiences
there have been described by Dr. Logan:—
Mr. Hall's coming to Victoria was indeed a great event, but in fact it
was most common-place. The people there had not asked for him. They
had not even heard of his appointment. No message had been sent that a
missionary was on the way, bringing to the people of this new land the
bread of life, and so his advent was unexpected, unannounced. Apparently
there was no one to whom he could go—a stranger in a strange land.
He took a look over the town and strayed into the Bank of British North
America. Going up to the accountant (a Mr. Watson) he asked, " Are you
a Presbyterian? "
He said, " No."
" Do you know any Presbyterians here? "
Anxious to find some one of that faith he put the same question to a
sturdy-looking man standing nearby—" Do you know any Presbyterians
here? " It was Alexander Wilson who had just been here two years, and
who was always a warm friend of the minister and missionary of every
Gospel sect. " Yes," he said, as if proud of the distinction, " I am one."
" Well, I am the Rev. John Hall, from Ireland."
If Mr. Wilson was disappointed that the newcomer was not from Scotland he did not show it. They grasped hands, and if the welcome lacked in
formality, it was not wanting in cordiality.i"
That afternoon Mr. Hall's credentials were duly examined,
arrangements were made for services on the coming Sabbath,
and the rest of the week was spent in interviewing those of the
Presbyterian persuasion. The following notice was inserted in
the Colonist for Saturday, April 20, 1861:—
(10) History of Presbyterianism in British Columbia (manuscript). 1943 John Hall. 37
Divine Service will be held (D.V.) in Moore's Hall to-morrow (Sabbath)
afternoon, at 3 o'clock, when the Rev. John Hall, of the Irish Presbyterian
Church, will preach.11
This first Presbyterian service in Victoria is described in Dr.
Logan's History:—
About thirty people attended that first service. It was not an auspicious
beginning. The surroundings were not calculated to foster the worshipful
spirit, but the hearts of that little band were touched, as never before perhaps, as they sang again the old songs of Zion and listened to the earnest
tones of one who had come so far to tell the " old, old story."
Moore's Hall was in the building occupied by Moore's Drug
Store, and adjoined the premises of the Bank of British North
America on Yates Street, just below Government Street.
We need not be surprised that the new missionary determined
to explore the mainland before settling down on the Island. He
had come to seek out and to minister to Presbyterians. This missionary journey took him, first of all, to the islands at the mouth
of the Fraser River. From there he proceeded to New Westminster, and after holding services there he visited points as far
in the Interior as Lytton.
A persistent tradition has crystallized into accepted fact that
the first Presbyterian service on the lower mainland " was held
in the home of Hugh McRoberts on Sea Island, in May, 1861, by
Rev. John Hall." This statement is taken from page six of the
Historical Sketch of Richmond Presbyterian Church, Marpole,
B.C., 1861-1925, issued in June, 1925. Details of the life of
Hugh McRoberts are given by the late Thomas Kidd in his History of Richmond Municipality.12 McRoberts was an Irishman,
born in County Down. At an early age he emigrated to Australia. In 1856 he came to California and from there he joined
in trfe rush to Victoria in 1858. In the early sixties he was
employed building trails for the Government from Spuzzum to
Boston Bar and from New Westminster to Musqueam Ranch, at
the mouth of the North Arm. In 1861-62 McRoberts dyked,
cultivated, and harvested a field of wheat, and planted fruit-trees
for an orchard on Sea Island. That piece of land became part of
the farm of Thomas Laing, but the old McRoberts home was torn
down about 1930.   A photograph of this house is included in the
(11) An almost identical notice is found in the Daily Press, Victoria,
April 19, 1861.
(12) Vancouver, 1927, pp. 100-101. 38 J. C. Goodfellow. January
Historical Sketch of the Richmond Church. Kidd refers to the
fact that in the early years of settlement religious services were
held in private homes by ministers of various denominations-
He is in error, however, in referring to the McRoberts home as
" The Cathedral." This name was reserved for the house built
by Fitzgerald and Samuel McCleery on the bank of the river
about 2 miles below Sea Island bridge. Kidd mentions several
well-known ministers who conducted these " cottage services,"
but does not include the name of John Hall. There is doubt also
as to whether the McRoberts home was built at the time the first
Presbyterian service is supposed to have been held there.
In the diary of Rev. Edward White,13 under date of Tuesday,
July 30, 1861, there is a reference to a Mr. McRoberts having
come from Yale in search of land. We cannot be sure that this
was Hugh McRoberts, but the suggestion forces itself on the
mind. White at that time was minister of the Methodist Church
in New Westminster. In the absence of sufficient evidence we
are tempted to think that the tradition referred to has reference
to a later date, or only to a visit in June, 1861.
The first anniversary service of the Methodist Church in Victoria took place on Sunday, June 9, 1861. The Rev. John Hall
preached at the morning service, Rev. Edward White, of New
Westminster, in the afternoon, and Rev. B. C. Lippincott, of
Olympia, in the evening. It was after this Victoria service that
Hall set out on his journey to the mainland. The following Sunday he preached in the Wesleyan Church, New Westminster, and
after services there left for points in the Interior. He returned
to New Westminster on July 20, preached on Sunday, the 21st,
and that same week left for Victoria.
The British Columbian for June 20, 1861, has this to say
about Hall's visit to New Westminster:—
The Rev. J. Hall, of the Irish Presbyterian Church, arrived here last week,
and preached on Sabbath, morning and evening, to large and delighted congregations in the Wesleyan Church. An address from the resident Presbyterians, welcoming him to this Colony, was presented to the Rev. gentleman
on Friday last. He left on Wednesday by the Str. Douglas for Port Douglas,
en route to Cayoosh, Lytton, Hope, and Yale.14
(13) Manuscript.    Transcript in the possession of the writer.
(14) For this and the following quotation from the British Columbian
I am indebted to His Honour Judge Howay. 1943 John Hall. 39
In a later issue of the same paper is found the following:—
The Rev. J. Hall, of the Irish Presbyterian Church, who has been making a
tour of the upper country, returned to this city on Saturday last. He
appears highly pleased with the country, and speaks in warm terms of the
kind reception accorded him in the different towns he visited; in all of
which he had the satisfaction of addressing large and attentive audiences.
The Rev. gentleman preached to a very large congregation on Sabbath
evening in the Wesleyan Church here, and with general acceptance. He
leaves for Vancouver Island by next steamer.i6
Due allowance must be made for newspaper interviews. Dr.
Logan had a very different story to tell of the results of this
All we know is that he returned disheartened and discouraged, with the
feeling that there was no immediate future for the Presbyterian Church on
the coast. He even suggested the idea of leaving and proceeding on to New
Zealand, a mission field which for years had occupied his thoughts. But his
friends were able to show that the needs of his present field demanded his
presence and his ministry, and finally, to the cultivation of that field he
decided to bend all his energies.
There is no necessary contradiction between the different
reports of the same journey. They represent two different
moods. Hall was a man of great enthusiasms; punctuated now
and again with periods of depression. There was a congregation
to be organized and a church to be built in Victoria. As these
objectives took shape the mood of despondency gave way to one
of enthusiasm, which inspired effort and enlisted co-operation.
Hall had already had experience in organizing a congregation
and superintending the building of a church. This had been his
work in Athy, in Ireland. Now he was to repeat the experience
in Victoria. Later, he was to be an organizer and church-builder
in New Zealand.
Before the congregation was organized and found a permanent place of worship it had a number of temporary meeting-
places. First of these was Moore's Hall. As we have seen, it
was here that the first Presbyterian service in British Columbia
was held on Sunday, April 21, 1861. Following this, services
were held in the Court Room, permission being granted by the
Magistrate, A. F. Pemberton. Still later, Smith's Hall was the
place of worship. This was over offices on Government Street,
and adjoining the old Post Office building.   Here, on February 3,
(15) British Columbian, New Westminster, July 25, 1861. 40 J. C. Goodfellow. January
1862, the first Presbyterian congregation in the Province was
organized, less than a year after Hall's arrival in Victoria. At
this meeting there were fourteen men present: the Hon. David
Cameron, Chief Justice of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island,
Rev. John Hall, John Wright, Robert Carter, John Bastedo,
George H. Sanders, Joseph Kilgour, Thomas Mann, Alexander
Wilson, John Martin, Charles Cochrane, George Reid, Simon
Anderson, and Alexander Loury. Every member of this little
band has long since crossed the Great Divide. We do not doubt
that these were men of vision, and that as they deliberated in
Smith's Hall that night they were conscious that they were at
the beginning of great things as yet hidden from them. It was
the beginning of organized Presbyterianism in Canada west of
Manitoba. In a more limited sense it was the beginning of the
first Presbyterian congregation, which to-day carries the name of
First United Church, Victoria. The foundations were well and
truly laid that night. We of to-day, who see what great things
have grown from such humble beginnings, may well reflect in the
words of William Carey, " What God hath wrought! "; or, in the
words of Alexander Wilson to J. G. Brown, " Man, Broon, wha'
wad ever hae thoucht it ? "16
Alexander Wilson was the last survivor of that pioneer band.
He was the first of the Presbyterians to welcome John Hall to
this new land, and his photograph to-day graces the walls of First
United Church, Victoria. Well might he marvel as he looked
back at that first organization meeting in 1862. After the purpose of the meeting had been stated the first thing to do was to
elect a chairman, and this honour was unanimously bestowed on
Chief Justice Cameron. After discussion there was passed the
following resolution " which brought Presbyterianism in visibility in B.C."   It was
moved by Alex. Loury, and seconded by Alex. Wilson, that this meeting do
organize itself into a congregation to be called the First Presbyterian
Church of Vancouver Island, and that the Rev. John Hall be requested to
act in the meantime as our minister.
Now that the congregation was formed it became imperative
to secure a site for the church building it was proposed to erect.
(16) Part of this, and the succeeding two paragraphs, are summarized
from an address by J. G. Brown, of Victoria, delivered on the occasion of the
65th anniversary of First United Church, Victoria, February 3, 1927. 1943 John Hall. 41
A committee of management was appointed, and on September 8,
1862, it was decided to purchase the property on the corner of
Pandora Avenue and Blanshard Street, at a cost of $1,100. That
same evening Chief Justice Cameron, John Wright, and John
Martin were appointed trustees. Another meeting was held on
December 3, 1862. Messrs. Sanders and Wright, two of the committee, had already prepared plans and specifications. These
were adopted, and instructions given to call for tenders. As a
result it was decided to proceed with the erection of the church
on the site secured, the church to cost $3,120, not including
school-room and vestry. The actual work of construction began
in March, 1863. The corner-stone was laid with due ceremony
on April 9 by Chief Justice Cameron, who was presented with
a silver trowel as a souvenir of the occasion. The trowel bore
the inscription, " Presented to the Hon. Chief Justice Cameron
on his laying the corner-stone of the First Presbyterian Church
of Vancouver Island, 1863." The Colonist for April 10 devoted
half a column to the event. This gives some indication of the
importance with which the ceremony was regarded at the time.
By November, 1863, the building was completed and the
church was formally opened for divine service on Sunday,
November 15. At the dedication services Rev. John Hall was
assisted by Rev. James Nimmo, of Nanaimo, missionary of the
Church of Scotland. At the forenoon service Mr. Nimmo
preached the dedication sermon, taking for his text a portion
of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple:—
The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave
us, nor forsake us: that he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all
his ways and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.    (I. Kings 8:57-58.)
At the evening service Dr. Ephraim Evans preached from the
words of St. Paul, " I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ."
The formal opening of the church was a proud moment for John
Hall and the occasion of great rejoicing for the happy band of
Presbyterians whom he had gathered around him.
In all these events we have few glimpses of the minister himself. He was not the man to enjoy the limelight. During these
months of superintending the building of the new church we
know that he was constant in his labours. He had the gift of
communicating the enthusiasm of the moment, and in his own 42 J. C. Goodfellow. January
genial way he did much to guide the committee of management,
and to secure, and assist others in securing, the funds necessary
for the undertaking.
Although there were few ladies present at the organization
meeting in Smith's Hall in 1862, they later played an important
part. At the annual congregational meeting in February, 1927,
J. G. Brown told of their efforts in 1863 to raise funds for the
new church. Speaking of a tea which they held in September,
1863, he said:—
Now, to we moderns a tea meeting would seem a tame sort of thing, and not
likely to produce very tangible results for the building fund, but it must be
remembered that Victoria at that time was a very small place, there being
practically no building outside of the section bounded by Humboldt Street on
the south, Wharf and Store streets on the west, Discovery Street on the
north, and Quadra Street on the east. Of course in James Bay there were
the old Parliament Buildings some of which are still in use, and a few scattered houses, and the same prevailed in other portions named, but the city
proper was confined to those boundaries. There were no movies, and very
few entertainments of any kind. The tea meetings of the churches were
red-letter events for many more than members and adherents of the congregation concerned. The ladies in those days could not be small-minded
in any way. They charged a dollar for admission, but they gave value
for it. The tea was really a banquet at which all in attendance sat down
at 6 p.m., and enjoyed a splendid dinner, followed by speeches, songs, instrumental selections, and an anthem or two by the choir. The church halls
and school rooms were too small so these events were held in the Philharmonic Hall, long since torn down, and replaced by a substantial brick
building known as Devonshire House on Fort Street, between Douglas and
Blanshard streets. The first tea meeting cleared for the ladies the sum of
§647.50. The only other big event of the year in the congregation was the
Sunday School picnic.17
In those days church seats were rented. A whole seat on the
side of the church, accommodating four persons, cost $25 per
annum. The price of half of the centre seats (accommodating
six persons), was $30.   A single seat cost $6.
The bell for the church was presented to the congregation by
Messrs. Sanders and Wright, the architects. It was procured by
a Mr. Bell, of the firm of Faulkner & Co., San Francisco, who
contributed $50 towards the cost of the building.
Work was started on the new school-room and vestry in February, 1864.   This had been provided for in the original plans.
(17)  J. G. Brown, address delivered February 3, 1927. 1943 John Hall. 43
The Sunday School began with two teachers and seven pupils.
A silk banner, suitably inscribed, is to be seen in the school-room
of First United Church, Victoria, commemorating the beginning
of the school.
The church built in 1863 served the growing needs of the
congregation for half a century. It was vacated in 1913, when
the new church on Quadra Street was completed. The congregation was received into the Presbyterian Church in Canada in
1882, and on June 10,1925, entered the United Church of Canada.
We need not pursue further the story of the congregation.
We are concerned with John Hall's work in British Columbia,
and this seems to be the natural place to sum up the character of
the man and the extent of his work. A. H. Anderson, who knew
him during his ministry at Westport, New Zealand, described him
as " a very able man. He was of average height, and wore a
pointed beard." That was in the nineties. We have a photograph, taken during his Westport ministry; also one of him as
he appeared to thdse who knew him in Victoria in the early
sixties. The face is kindly and pensive. The eyes suggest a
hidden fire that could lead to great enthusiasm for any work once
undertaken. Hall was married before he came to Canada, but we
have no details of life in the manse. We are told that he was a
good mixer, that he had the gift of making himself at home with
miners in their camps or with the wealthy in their homes. He
had his share of Irish wit and was a welcome visitor wherever
he went. He seems to have had average gifts as a preacher. In
the diary of Rev. Edward White, under date July 21, 1861, we
have this reference: " Mr. Hall preached for me this P.M.—
a very good sermon." The Gospel he preached in the early sixties
was constantly declared—risen by the fall, redemption through
the blood of Christ, and regeneration through the Holy Spirit—
and seemed as effective then as are the more sophisticated themes
of to-day.
Unpracticed he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise.
After the congregation had been organized and the building
of the church completed, Hall felt that his work on Vancouver
Island was done.    His thoughts had long been turned to New 44 J. C. Goodfellow. January
Zealand and he felt an inner call to proceed thither. An article
in the Colonist suggests that he was under orders from the Mission Board in Ireland, that he had completed the work he was
sent to do, and hence was ready for new ventures in establishing Presbyterianism elsewhere. Be that as it may, in 1864 he
announced his intention of severing his connection with the congregation in Victoria. An item in the Colonist of the time
The congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of this city have decided
to ask the Rev. Dr. Ormiston, M.A., the celebrated Canadian divine, to
become their pastor, in place of the Rev. John Hall, who has given notice
of his intention of resigning his charge.1^
Again quoting Dr. Logan:—
The congregation at Victoria did not permit Mr. Hall to leave without giving
him many tokens of their affection and regard. Among these was a gold
watch suitably inscribed, and a purse of £100. He was their first pastor
and had been with them over four years during the period of perilous and
pioneer life, cheering men in the moments of their disappointment, rejoicing
with them in their days of prosperity, ever leading them in the pathway of
righteousness and peace, laying carefully and firmly the foundation on
which future generations were to build, i*
Hall's successor in First Presbyterian Church was not Dr. Ormiston, as was at first intended, but the Rev. Thomas Somerville,
of Glasgow, Scotland.
After the strenuous years on Vancouver Island, Hall enjoyed
a few months in the Sandwich Islands, now known as the
Hawaiian Islands. He arrived at Honolulu in the brig Domitila
on April 17, 1865.20 There is a reference to his arrival, and stay
in the islands, in The Friend (Honolulu), for May, 1865:—
Rev. John Hall.—By a late vessel from Victoria, this gentleman came passenger. He represents the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
of Ireland. About four years ago he was sent out to establish a Presbyterian church at Victoria.   Having accomplished his mission, he is pro-
(18) British Colonist, Victoria, March 4, 1864.
(19) History of Presbyterianism in British Columbia.    Manuscript.
(20) Miss Bernice Judd, of Honolulu, kindly supplied the following
quotations from the Honolulu Pacific Commercial Advertiser referring to
the Rev. John Hall:—
April 22, 1865, p. 2:  " Arrivals—April 17—Brig Domitila, [Captain]
Webb, 15 days from Victoria."
" Passengers—From Victoria—per Domitila—
April 17—   .   .   .   Rev. J. Hall." 1943 John Hall. 45
ceeding on the same errand to New Zealand. During his sojourn on the
islands he intends visiting different localities so far as his limited time will
permit. He sailed in the steamer for Hawaii last Monday. He preached
an interesting discourse at the Bethel Sabbath morning, April 23rd.
A letter to the Colonist, written on board the barque Tyra,
and dated September 19, 1865, tells of his stay in the Sandwich
Islands and that he hoped to reach Sydney in about two days.
A later letter, dated at Auckland, October 26, 1865, describes
conditions as he found them on his arrival in New Zealand.21
Hall had arrived in Auckland under instructions from the
Home Mission Board to minister to the people of Waikato West.
After a few months there, and at Wanganui, he proceeded to
Hokitika, on the west coast of South Island, about 100 miles south
of Westport. Here, as in Victoria, he organized a congregation
amidst all the excitement of a gold boom. Like Paul, he established the church and then moved on to new fields. During the
months he was at Hokitika he won the hearts of the people, and
they desired him to remain as their first minister, but he felt that
his mission was to establish new congregations in new fields. In
this he was successful. In less than a year the church at Hokitika was erected at a cost of £700. This cost did not include the
spire, which was added later. Before the church was opened the
builder was already organizing a congregation elsewhere. He
continued as supply minister wherever there was most need,
among other places at St. John's Church, Wellington.
Early in 1869 he left New Zealand for the Home Land. We
find him at a meeting on June 9, 1869, of the General Assembly
of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The adoption of the
report on the Colonial Mission was seconded by " the Rev. John
Hall, one of the ministers sent out by the Colonial Mission, and
lately returned from New Zealand and Vancouver's Island."
Once again, after an absence of eight years, he was home in
The years spent in New Zealand had been unsettled years.
He had had no abiding place. It had not been his intention to
settle there. He had a mission to perform, and when this was
done his hope was to return to his native land and stay there.
(21)  For details of Hall's New Zealand ministry I am indebted to Rev.
S. W. Webber, Westport, New Zealand. 46 J. C. Goodfellow. January
But he was to discover that New Zealand meant more to him than
ever he knew so long as he remained in that country.
From 1869 to 1872 he appears to have been content with ■*
occasional supply. From then on his time was divided between
two ministries—Magheraf elt, County Londonderry, 1872-76; and
Waterford, where he remained for fifteen years (1876-91). His
father, Thomas Hall, died on January 11,1875. In 1891, Portlaw
was included in the Waterford charge.
The reason for his resignation in 1891 is not far to seek. New
Zealand was calling, and the call was not to be denied. Although
in his sixty-fifth year he still felt young, and was full of vigour.
At a time when most men would have been thinking of settling
down comfortably, he was planning new enterprizes in the
Master's vineyard.
So it comes about that the next mention we have of John Hall
tells of his induction to the charge of Westpprt, in New Zealand,
which took place on November 6, 1892, about a year after he left
Ireland for the second time.
During his second stay in New Zealand Hall's ministry was
almost wholly confined to Westport. This is the centre of a coalmining district in Buller County, towards the north end of South
Island.22 In the souvenir booklet of St. Andrew's Presbyterian
Church, Westport, Jubilee Celebrations (1879-1929), there is a
photograph of John Hall, and this paragraph about his ministry
Mr. Burnett was followed by Rev. John Hall, who had already done valuable
pioneer work on the Wesfc Coast. Mr. Hall supplied for a time and receiving
a hearty call was inducted to the pastorate of Westport on 6th November,
(22) A word regarding the history of the Westport congregation may be
of interest. In 1879 the growing number of Presbyterians in the district
made representations to the Assembly of the Northern Church, with the
result that Rev. David Bruce, of Auckland, visited Westport, and held the
first Presbyterian service there in the Masonic Hall on November 16, 1879.
Within three weeks the Rev. J. M. Fraser arrived. He was succeeded in
1881 by P. R. Munro, a divinity student, who on completion of his studies
was ordained in Westport in 1883. During the two years of his student
supply a church was built in Palmerston Street, and this served the needs
of the congregation for twenty-nine years, until 1910, when a new church
was opened. Rev. H. P. Burnett followed Mr. Munro, and remained in
charge from 1886 until 1891. The following year Rev. John Hall was
inducted, and he remained till 1903. 1943 John Hall. 47
1892. He exercised a useful ministry in Westport till he resigned in 1903,
and has left an excellent impression which remains to this day. He took a
keen interest in work among the young and acted for some years as Sunday
School examiner for the Presbytery.
At the time of his resignation Hall was in his seventy-eighth
year. We can readily understand how age, and growing infirmity,
caused him to resign. The years spent in Westport seem to have
been among the happiest in his life. The older residents of the
city still speak of him in terms of warm appreciation.
Between the time of his resignation and his departure from
New Zealand more than a year elapsed. " The evening embers
were turning from red to grey." More and more he thought of
the Home Land, and desired to be again with his own people. In
1905, on his way home to Ireland, he visited British Columbia.
Dr. J. T. McNeill simply states that " he returned to visit the
transformed scenes of his early mission."23 The late Dr. Logan
gives a more intimate picture:—
In June, 1905, it was my privilege to meet Mr. Hall, and to have him preach
for me at Eburne, a place he had visited in 1861. He was an old man,
eighty years of age, keen, alert, mellowed with years, returning to the Old
Land to spend in well-earned rest the evening of his life.24
The picture that Goldsmith draws in The Deserted Village
comes unbidden to the mind:—
In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs—and God has given my share—
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting by repose:
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to show my book-learned skill,
(23) The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1875-1925, Toronto, 1925, p.
103. Dr. McNeill gives the date of John Hall's death as 1911, but the
inscription on his tombstone is quite clear in a photograph in the possession
of the writer:— jn
To Vancouver Island and New Zealand
Died 7th Octr. 1907
aged 81.
(24) History of Presbyterianism in British Columbia.    Manuscript. 48 J. C. Goodfellow.
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
And, as the hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexation past,
Here to return—and die at home at last.
Among the memories that were cherished during the last few
years in Ireland were pictures of Vancouver Island, the Rocky
Mountains, and the Canadian prairies. Hall would arrive home
in July, 1905. That summer he went to stay with his sister
in Corwillis, near Bailieborough. In this house he had been
brought up, and here he spent the closing years of his long and
useful life. From time to time he conducted services in Corglass,
Corlea, Glassleek, and Trinity Church, Bailieborough. He passed
away peacefully in the old home on October 7, 1907, and was
buried in Corglass (First Bailieborough Presbyterian) churchyard.   He was 81 years of age when he died.
J. C. Goodfellow.
Early settlement in New Westminster District, as elsewhere,
was altogether governed by the means of access to the land. The
first pre-emptions and purchases were invariably of lands which
had some means of access at the time. First, and most important, was that provided by nature: the Fraser River, with its
sloughs and tributaries, and the Nicomekl and Serpentine rivers,
and Oliver Slough, affording ingress from Mud Bay. Next in
order came the trails that were in existence when settlement
The first trail appearing on any map is one shown from Fort
Langley to Hope in A. C. Anderson's well-known Hand-book and
Map to the Gold Region, published in San Francisco in May, 1858.
Strangely enough, in spite of his great familiarity with early
travel routes, Anderson does not seem to have had a persona]
knowledge of this trail, as he sketches it close to the river—a location which the mouths of streams and overflowed land plainly
made impracticable. Indeed, without other evidence its existence
might be doubted; but in August, 1861, the Royal Engineers prepared a map which also shows the trail. The portion from Fort
Langley to the vicinity of Abbotsford is there correctly shown,
being placed well south of the river, on the higher ground. From
that point the trail passed along Vedder Mountain to Chilliwack
and beyond. One of the few contemporary references to this trail
appears in the Puget Sound Herald of April 16, 1858, which,
in speaking of the Whatcom Trail, states that the latter was
expected to reach Sumas Prairie. "At this point the road intersects with the Hudson Bay Company's Brigade road leading to
Fort Hope . . ."* Apparently it was along this trail that Lieutenant C. W. (afterwards Sir Charles) Wilson, R.E., of the British Boundary Commission, " marched back to Fort Langley " a
few months later.2
(1) Cited in R. L. Reid, " The Whatcom Trails to the Fraser River
Mines," Washington Historical Quarterly, XVIII. (1927), p. 202. See also
Victoria Gazette, September 14, 1858.
(2) Charles M. Watson, The Life of Major-General Sir Charles Wilson,
London, 1909, p. 25.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII., No. 1.
49 50 W. N. Draper. January
A number of trails from the south met this Hudson's Bay
Brigade Trail in the vicinity of Sumas Lake. The Californian
miners of 1858, being determined to reach the Fraser River
mines through American territory, planned and built trails from
Whatcom (now Bellingham) to Hope and also constructed one
from Semiahmoo (Blaine) to Fort Langley. The Royal Engineers' map of 1861 shows the Whatcom Trail from the Nootsack
River to the mouth of the Sumas. It crossed the International
Boundary about one-half mile east of the present Huntingdon
townsite, on the west bank of the Sumas River. A branch of this
trail from Whatcom crossed the boundary near the southwest
corner of the Huntingdon townsite. It joined the main Whatcom
Trail at Sumas Lake, and being on high land was probably used
when the prairie was flooded. Portions of this trail were in
passable condition as late as 1890, when the writer walked over
them for about a mile. It seems remarkable that it survived for
more than a generation, as it had never come into general use.
Still another trail crossed the boundary-line at boundary
monument No. 32, but as it merely led from Sumas River to some
lakes or ponds, which at the time the writer made the subdivisions of that quarter-section were a resort for wild ducks, it
was probably only an Indian trail.
The De Lacy trail from Whatcom to Hope crossed the boundary-line east of Vedder Mountain, a location chosen probably in
order to avoid the high water of Fraser River.8
On July 25,1858, the public was notified that a trail was to be
built from Semiahmoo to Fort Langley, and that a party was
being sent to select the line. Persons who wished to tender for
the construction of the trail were invited to accompany the surveyors.4 Semiahmoo was booming at that time; town lots were
being sold, even in Victoria, and it proclaimed itself as the future
metropolis of Puget Sound, and the entrepot to the mines. The
route chosen was from the mouth of Campbell Creek (known
locally as Campbell River), following the general course of the
creek for about 4 miles, and thence in a northeasterly direction
(3) See R. L. Reid, op. cit. The exact points at which these trails
crossed the boundary are recorded in Marcus Baker, Survey of the Northwestern Boundary of the United States, 1857-1861 (United States Geological
Survey, Bulletin 174), Washington, 1900, p. 37.
(4) Victoria Gazette, July 29, 1858. 1943 Early Trails and Roads. 51
across country to Fort Langley, a distance of about 12 miles.
The writer has seen parts of this trail, both along Campbell Creek
and towards Fort Langley.
The first settlement trail, as distinct from these Hudson's Bay
Company and miners' trails, was built in 1861 by James Kennedy, who had taken up a pre-emption on the bank of the Fraser
near the present Annieville. This trail followed the western base
of the hill overlooking the Delta flats to Oliver Slough, Mud Bay:
almost the present line of the Great Northern Railway. Kennedy
extended the trail up the Fraser to the wharf at Brownsville,
opposite the city of New Westminster, and for some distance
beyond that point. He was proud of the fact that when the
Fraser River was frozen in the winter of 1861-62, beef cattle
from the United States were landed at the Oliver Slough, at one
end of his trail, and driven over it to New Westminster, thereby
relieving a serious meat shortage.5
Although it never became a factor of importance in either
travel or settlement, it should be noted that the Boundary Commission, for purposes of its own, built a trail along the 49th
parallel from Semiahmoo Bay to a point near Vedder Mountain,
thence to the Chilliwack River, and on into the mountains. Its
route followed the parallel as closely as possible. A link was constructed between this trail and the Fraser, ending at Miller's
Landing, Sumas, which was the Commission's main supply depot.
Goods were taken up the river to the landing by steamer, and
thence taken inland to the camps along the boundary-line.
There was a great outcry for a trail from New Westminster
to Langley, perhaps because it would connect there with the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail. Late in 1859, or early in 1860, a futile
attempt was made, commencing at a point about 5 miles above
New Westminster, on the opposite side of the river; but the trail
really began nowhere and ended " up a tree." Apparently it was
built on the high land at a distance of about a mile from the river
and extended about 5 miles. It was never used, but it is shown on
the Royal Engineers' map of 1861, already referred to.
The next trail constructed is known to history as the " Telegraph Trail." After the failure of the 1858 Atlantic cable it
seemed to many persons that such a project was impracticable,
(5)  British Columbian, New Westminster, January 23, 1862. 52 W. N. Draper.
and plans were made to construct an overland telegraph-line connecting the existing network in the United States with that of
Europe. The route chosen was by way of British Columbia,
Alaska, and Siberia, with a short cable across Bering Strait. The
portion through British Columbia was to be constructed by the
Collins Overland Telegraph Company (later the Western Union
Extension). A trail was built along the line, both to facilitate
the transportation of supplies and for purposes of maintenance.
As shown by an old plan in the files of the Surveyor-General, in
Victoria,6 the line of this telegraph trail entered British Columbia at the present site of the Peace Arch; thence it ran over the
hill behind White Rock to the Mud Bay flats, which it crossed,
swinging to the westward to connect, near the Oliver Slough,
with the Kennedy trail, which it followed to New Westminster.
This part of the line was completed early in 1865; and the first
dispatch to travel over the wire carried the news of the assassination of President Lincoln, on April 14, 1865.7 From New
Westminster the telegraph trail was continued to a point a short
distance south of Fort Langley, where it connected with the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail, which it followed to Hope. The portion
of this trail through the present Municipality of Langley is now
a public highway, but is still known as the Telegraph Trail.
Other municipalities seem to have ignored it.8
Heretofore we have dealt with trails only, but we now
approach the first road scheme, and the first road-building, in the
Fraser Valley. The Crown Colony of British Columbia had
become the Province of British Columbia, and, in keeping with
the expanded horizons of the time, the Provincial Government
thought in terms of roads for the settlement of the Lower Fraser.
In the office of the Surveyor-General there is preserved a " Plan
of Route Adopted by the Government between New Westminster
(6) Plan 3. This plan is not completely accurate, as a line drawn due
north on it from the Peace Arch site strikes the Fraser River about 1%
miles east of the Coast meridian, whereas in actual fact such a line should
correspond with the line of the meridian which runs due north from the
Peace Arch.
(7) The news actually reached New Westminster on April 18, 1865:
(8) The Collins Overland Telegraph had actually been constructed as far
as Fort Stager, on the Skeena River, when news arrived of the successful
completion of the Atlantic cable in 1866. Work on the Collins line was
abandoned forthwith.  54 W. N. Draper. January
and Yale." It shows a road to be built from the bank of the
Fraser at Brownsville, just south of the present Pattullo Bridge;
thence southward on the line between Lots 2 and 4, Group 2, and
produced to the foot of the hill; following the foot of the hill
until it met the telegraph trail at Port Mann, and along this trail
to Hope. One short deviation from the route was made at Sumas
Mountain, where the proposed road crossed the toe a short distance north of the trail, which it rejoined east of the mountain.
No road was ever constructed along this proposed route. The
plan is neither dated nor signed, but it must have been prepared
in 1872 or 1873, after the Government had decided on the township system of surveys, but before the township lines had actually
been run.9
In 1872 the Government began actual building by the construction of a road from Brownsville to Semiahmoo Bay. This
road, the first in New Westminster District, commenced at
Brownsville Wharf; thence followed what is now known as the
Old Yale Road to a point about three-quarters of a mile west of
the present King George VI. Highway. Veering southeastwards,
it descended Woodward's Hill, crossed the flats on what later
became known as the Mud Bay Road, to Elgin, and continued
thence over the hill to the intersection of the present Stayte Road
with the Campbell River Road, and after crossing Campbell River
followed the trail constructed by the Boundary Commission along
the shore to Blaine. This road has mostly fallen into disuse,
though legally it is still a public highway.
The citizens of New Westminster subscribed $1,227.50 towards
the cost of this road. The route was located by George Turner,
the former Royal Engineer, on behalf of the Government, assisted
by L. F. Bonson on behalf of the citizens of the city. Bonson was -
subsequently appointed superintendent for the district and had
supervision of the first contracts, which were let in four sections:
to Charles McDonough, afterwards a prominent New Westminster merchant; Messrs. W. J. Brewer and William Woodward,
farmers; and John Kirkland, later a prominent resident of the
Delta.    The total amount paid out on the four contracts was
(9) This plan has a wealth of information about the district, and is evidently that referred to in John Fannin's Report of Exploration, New Westminster District (in Lands and Works Department, Reports of Explorations
.   .   .   , Victoria, 1873, pp. 3-9).    See Sessional Papers, 1878-74. 1943 Early Trails and Roads. 55
$5,537.10 When these contracts were completed there remained
8 miles to be built in order to reach Semiahmoo (Blaine). This
portion was also let in several sections, as follows: William
Thompson, $2,375; W. J. Brewer, $4,750; William Litster,
$1,200. William H. Ladner, well-known resident of the Delta,
had supervision of the contract.11
Having built the Semiahmoo Road, running north and south,
the Government next determined upon a road running east and
west. In 1874 the first two stretches of a proposed road from
Ladner's Landing (the Ladner of to-day) to Hope were placed
under contract. The first section—13 miles and 13 chains—from
Ladner to the Semiahmoo Road, was let to John Kirkland for
$11,750. For 9 miles from Ladner this section was across tide-
flats, in the delta of the Fraser River, which were covered with
salt water at high tide. This portion was constructed on somewhat novel lines. Two wide ditches or canals were dug and the
excavated earth piled between them, thus forming a dyke. The
top was then levelled off and corduroy laid to form a road. The
canals were used to drain the land, and also by the settlers for
the transportation of supplies in canoes. The writer has a vivid
recollection of the desolate condition of this part of the delta flats
in the late seventies, when as a boy he walked from Point Roberts
to Ladner's Landing in order to catch the steamer Enterprise,
which then plied between Victoria and New Westminster. This
part of the road was an experimental effort to combine a road,
dyke, and drainage system for the low-lying lands, and proved
successful beyond expectation, though it suffered considerable
damage from the storms during the first winter after it was
The next part of Kirkland's contract was on high land, and
extended to the junction with the Semiahmoo Road, near the top
of Woodward's Hill.12
From the Semiahmoo Road to Langley Prairie, a distance of
almost 7 miles, the contract was let to A. J. McLellan (" Big
(10) Report of the Commissioner of Lands and Works, 1878, p. 12 (in
Sessional Papers, 1873-74)-
(11) Report of the Commissioner of Lands and Works, 1874, p. 320 (in
Sessional Papers, 1875).
(12) This stretch of the road, once well known as the Kirkland Road, is
now officially part of the McLellan Road, construction of which is noted in
the next paragraph. 56 W. N. Draper.
McLellan ") for $11,300. This portion of the road was all on
high land, with the exception of a short distance where it crossed
the upper flats of the Serpentine River.
About the same time another road, known for many years as
the Yale Road, and now a portion of the Pacific Highway, was
constructed, beginning from the Semiahmoo Road, about three-
quarters of a mile west of the present King George VI. Highway,
and extending to Langley Prairie and on to Murray's Corner
(Murrayville) ; thence it followed the height of land to Abbots-
ford, and over the toe of Sumas Mountain, and directly across
Sumas Prairie to Vedder Mountain, near the present Bellrose,
and then through Chilliwack and Rosedale to Hope. This was
the main highway to Hope for many years, until the draining
of Sumas Lake and the building of a new road along the base
of Sumas Mountain and across the (New) Vedder River to
Another lateral road constructed at this time was the Scott
Road, running due north and south from Brownsville to the
McLellan or Kirkland Road, which was built by " Colonel " J. T.
Scott, a well-known pioneer of the Province. It seems strange
that at a time when the Provincial Treasury was not by any
means overflowing, such roads as this and the Yale Road should,
have been undertaken, both necessitating heavy and expensive
work through dense forest, and one of them through that remarkable tract known as the Green Timber. Moreover, as a glance at
the map will show, these two roads formed the third side of
triangles, and in view of the small traffic and scattered population
of the time their construction is almost an enigma. Perhaps the
solution lies in the near approach of the election of 1875. It thus
will appear that the Semiahmoo Road, towards the cost of which
the people of New Westminster had made a substantial contribution, practically fell into the discard, except for the trickle of
traffic to and from Semiahmoo itself. Another similar, if minor,
example is the Hall's Prairie Road, which was built south from
the McLellan Road to Semiahmoo, where it met the Semiahmoo
Road. It may be that the purpose was to stimulate settlement
by affording an approach to land theretofore inaccessible. Evidently they did not fill a long-felt want, for the Government discontinued the building of lateral roads after those mentioned had
been constructed. w N draper.
New Westminster, B.C. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Gilbert Norman Tucker, Ph.D. (Cambridge), is Official Historian of the
Department of the Naval Service, Ottawa. He is the author of The Canadian Commercial Revolution, 1845-51. Before accepting his present position
he was Assistant Professor of History in Yale University.
• Rev. John C. Goodfellow, of Princeton, is Secretary of the Similkameen
Historical Association, Secretary of the Historical Committee of the British
Columbia Conference of the United Church, and was in 1942 President of the
British Columbia Historical Association. He has for years been an assiduous collector of data relating to the history of the Presbyterian, Methodist,
and Congregational churches in this Province.
William N. Draper, B.C.L.S., has lived in British Columbia since 1877,
and is one of the pioneer surveyors of the Province. He has known the
Fraser Valley intimately for half a century, and has personally explored the
routes of all the roads and trails about which he writes in this issue.
G. G. Sedgewick, Ph.D. (Harvard), is Professor and Head of the Department of English in the University of British Columbia.
T. C. Elliott, of Walla Walla, Washington, has contributed many articles
to the Washington Historical Quarterly and the Oregon Historical Quarterly,
and is a well-known authority on the history of the fur-trade in Old Oregon.
F. H. Soward, B.Litt. (Oxford), is Professor of History in the University
of British Columbia.
Victoria Section.
The first meeting of the autumn season was held in the Provincial
Library on Tuesday, October 20. Mrs. Curtis Sampson, President of the
Section, presided, and introduced the speaker of the evening, Dr. W. Kaye
Lamb. Dr. Lamb was privileged to write the introduction to the first
volume of the Letters of John McLoughlin, which was published recently
by the Champlain Society and the Hudson's Bay Record Society. This first
volume covers the years 1825 to 1838, and Dr. Lamb spoke on the life and
work of McLoughlin during that period. He dealt chiefly with four topics:
McLoughlin's early life, the story of which could now be told with some certainty and in some detail; the interesting role played by McLoughlin in the
unofficial negotiations which preceded the union of the North West Company
and the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821; McLoughlin's trading policies,
after he was placed in charge of the operations of the Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rockies; and, finally, McLoughlin the man, who became
more interesting the more we learned about his life and personality. McLoughlin's later letters are voluminous, and it is expected that another two
volumes will be required to print his correspondence from 1839 to 1846.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII., No. 1.
57 58 Notes and Comments. January
The central theme of the later books will be the mounting quarrel between
McLoughlin and his immediate superior, Sir George Simpson, which led
ultimately to McLoughlin's retirement from the service of the Company.
A second meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on
Thursday, November 5, when Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, President of the British
Columbia Historical Association, spoke on The Story of Similkameen. The
history of the region, Mr. Goodfellow explained, was a drama in five acts.
First came the time of the Indians, which is still remembered by many of
the old natives in the valley. Next came the age of the fur-traders, which
commenced with the visit of Alexander Ross, of Astor's Pacific Fur Company, in 1813. The stage was set for the third act in the fall of 1859, when
a sergeant attached to the United States Boundary Commission discovered
gold in the Similkameen River. The discovery was actually made just south
of the 49th parallel, but it led to a rush to diggings on the British side of
the line in 1860. The fourth act began in 1888, when a hunter and his son
stumbled upon an outcropping of what later became known as the Sunset
copper mine. Copper Mountain was developed in due course and became
one of the basic industries of the region. Finally, in 1909, came the Great
Northern Railway; and in 1915 the Kettle Valley Railway was completed
through to the Coast. Meanwhile coal had been discovered in the Tulameen
Valley, and the mines there continue to be of the first importance at the
present day. Mr. Goodfellow told the whole story wittily and well, and his
address was much enjoyed by the large audience in attendance.
The Section is taking a leading part in the preparations for the celebrations which are to mark the centenary of the founding of Fort Victoria,
in March, 1943. Owing to the war the programme will be on a modest scale,
but the anniversary will not be permitted to slip by unnoticed. Efforts
have been made to persuade the Postmaster-General to authorize a special
stamp, but the Section has learned with regret that this will not be practicable, owing to the war. A brochure on the history of Victoria's hundred
years is in preparation, and Mr. E. G. Rowebottom, Deputy Minister of
Trade and Industry, has announced his department will co-operate by
placing suitable markers on a series of local historic sites.
The April number of this Quarterly is being planned as a special centenary issue, and an interesting table of contents is already assured.
Vancouver Section.
The annual meeting of the Section was held in Hotel Grosvenor on
Thursday, November 19, with the retiring President, Dr. M. Y. Williams,
in the chair. Reports upon the activities of the Section during the year
were presented and adopted. It was particularly gratifying to learn that,
in spite of the continual calls upon the time and attention of the members,
the paid-up membership of the Section still exceeded 150. A special vote
of thanks to Mr. E. G. Baynes was passed, in recognition of his kindness
in permitting the Section to meet in the Grosvenor Hotel.
The Council decided this year that the officers for 1942-43 should be
elected by ballot, and in order that all members might participate the ballot- 1943 Notes and Comments.. 59
papers were sent out by mail.    The scrutineers reported that the result of
the election was as follows:—
Honorary President Dr. Robie L. Reid.
Past President . „ Dr. M. Y. Williams.
President Mr. A. G. Harvey.
Vice-President Miss Helen Boutilier.
Honorary Secretary Miss Jean Coots.
Honorary Treasurer Mr. G. B. White.
Members of the Council—
Mr. E. G. Baynes. Mr. J. R. V. Dunlop.
Mr. F. H. Johnson. Dr. W. Kaye Lamb.
Mr. D. A. McGregor. Mr. A. De B. McPhillips.
Miss Eleanor Mercer. Dr. W. N. Sage.
Dr. Sylvia Thrupp. Mr. K. A. Waites.
Miss Thelma Nevard was re-elected Honorary Treasurer on the original
ballot, but for reasons of health she was compelled to tender her resignation.
This the Section accepted with regret. Mr. G. B. White was subsequently
elected to the office of Treasurer.
The speaker of the evening was Mr. E. S. Robinson, Librarian of the
Vancouver Public Library, who spoke on Alaska and the Alaska Highway.
Mr. Robinson recently made an extended, if rapid, tour of Alaska at the
request of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and with the co-operation
of the United States Army. He commented first upon our surprising ignorance of the character of the country, its people, and its problems. Within
Alaska Mr. Robinson did most of his travelling by air, and for many hundreds of miles his plane followed the route of the new Alaska Highway.
The speaker's anecdotes and adventures were both informative and amusing,
and the impression he gave of Alaska was vivid and arresting.
In common with many other organizations, the Society is this year
studying some of the problems which will face the world at the conclusion
of the present war. The first meeting of the season was held on October 22,
at the home of the Honorary President, Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, Wallace Crescent. The speaker was Mr. Robert T. McKenzie, of the Department of
University Extension, who spoke on Reconstruction in a Revolutionary
World. His address constituted an introductory survey to the whole field
of study planned for the year. His presentation was interesting and provocative, and was followed by one of the lively discussions which are characteristic of the Society.
A second meeting was held on November 26, at the home of Mrs. A. H.
Mercer, Hudson Avenue. Mr. W. E. Reed, of John Oliver High School,
spoke on The Will and the Way. Have we, he asked, discovered with any
certainty the way to the kind of new world we envisage and desire, and,
assuming that we have, have we any real determination to follow it, regard- 60 Notes and Comments. January
less of the sacrifices and uncomfortable readjustments which it is certain to
involve? Mr. Reed presented no ready-made conclusions, but pointed out
some of the hard facts and hazards which we are too prone to neglect, and,
by so doing, may easily wreck our hopes for a better future.
The third annual report of the Society was presented recently, and it is
apparent that, in spite of the fact that some of the most active members are
busy with war work, the year has been both active and interesting. It was
considered that the time had come to organize the Society somewhat more
formally, and a constitution and by-laws were therefore prepared and
adopted. His Honour W. C. Woodward, Lieutenant-Governor of British
Columbia, gratified the Society by consenting to become its Honorary Patron.
The members were encouraged further when Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, of
Princeton, who has for years taken an active interest in Indian arts and
crafts, accepted the office of Honorary President.
The branch of the Society at Oliver has been very active during the year.
Its committee now includes three Indian members, and its energetic Honorary Secretary, Mrs. Albert Miller, has organized monthly meetings during
the winter months, at which addresses on Indian art and social topics are
being delivered by experts in the field.
It is hoped that a branch may soon be formed in Vancouver. A preliminary committee has been organized, under the chairmanship of the well-
known artist, Mrs. Mildred Valley Thornton, who for fifteen years has
specialized in the painting of portraits of Indian Chiefs.
In October the Society prepared a memorandum on " Suggestions on Art
Development in the Indian Schools of British Columbia," which, with the
consent of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was sent to all the Indian
Schools in the Province. Unfortunately the response to date has been
small; but difficulties arising from the war are in great part responsible
for this.
Articles on the work of the Society, or on topics in which it is specially
interested, have appeared in a number of periodicals, including The Beaver
(Winnipeg), the B.C. Teacher (Vancouver), Maritime Art (Halifax.), and
the unpretentious but interesting little quarterly, Wampum, published in
Muncey, Ontario.
Lastly, but perhaps most interesting of all, word has just been received
from England that a portion of the collection of British Columbia Indian
designs sent abroad last year have been loaned to the Royal College of Arts
for the use of its students in weaving designs. It will be recalled that this
collection was sent originally to the Art, Colour, and Design Section of the
Manchester Cotton Board. Mr. Cleveland Bell, Director of the Section,
planned to hold an exhibition of the designs for the Textile and Fabric
Trade, but the project has had to be postponed until after the war. Mr.
Bell was greatly impressed with the Indian designs, which opened up to him
" a whole new range of art." 1943 Notes and Comments. 61
Persons interested in the work of the Society are invited to communicate
with the Honorary Secretary, who may be addressed in care of the Provincial Museum, Victoria.
The Editor regrets that a mistake was made in printing the note regarding Mr. Stephen E. Raymer, J.P., in the " Notes and Comments " in the
October number of the Quarterly. It was there stated in error that Mr.
Raymer was Consul for Jugoslavia in Vancouver in 1914, whereas it should
have been stated that he held that position after the creation of the new
kingdom, following the Great War. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
British Columbia and the United States: The North Pacific Slope from Fur
Trade to Aviation. (The Relations of Canada and the United States.)
By F. W. Howay, W. N. Sage, and H. F. Angus. Edited by H. F.
Angus. Toronto: The Ryerson Press; New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1942.    Pp. xv., 408.    $3.50.
This is the most useful study of the history of British Columbia that has
appeared since the publication of the standard two-volume work by Judge
Howay and the late E. O. S. Scholefield in 1914. It does not supersede the
latter, for it is not a general history; but it supplements it at many points,
brings it up to date in others, and will prove almost as indispensable as a
ready reference.
The series to which the volume belongs is devoted to the study of
Canadian-American relations, past and present, and in explanation of the
" pattern " of the book the editor explains that " space was freely accorded
to those parts of the story which seemed to throw most light on this topic,
while other parts were sharply abridged." This means that political developments are treated sketchily, if at all, with the exception of the boundary
disputes and the annexationist movement. On the other hand, the economic
history of the Province is dealt with more fully than in any other single
work. Indeed, the book is essentially a study of the century-long predatory
assault upon the virgin resources first of Old Oregon, and then, after the
boundary settlement of 1846, of the area now comprising British Columbia
and the Yukon Territory. American citizens and American capital were
invariably in the forefront of this exploitation, and they have continued to
be key factors in the economic life of the Province to the present day.
The natural resources dealt with include fur, gold, the base metals, fish,
and lumber, with the emphasis placed heavily on the first three. The
economic development of the region began with the maritime fur trade.
Though the British were first on the scene, the Americans soon gained the
mastery, and it so continued until 1825, by which date ruthless hunting had
all but exterminated the trade's mainstay, the sea-otter. It seems a pity
that this interesting episode should be dismissed in a dozen pages, particularly as they are contributed by so noted an authority as Judge Howay.
True, the maritime fur trade is a closed chapter; but the traders it attracted
to the Coast turned their attention to beaver skins when sea-otter were no
longer obtainable, and were a factor in the trade of the region for much
longer than is generally supposed. Judge Howay also contributes the four
long chapters devoted to the overland fur trade in Old Oregon. In a sense
he tells little that is new. Histories of the Hudson's Bay Company and of
the fur trade in the western United States are readily available; but, to this
reviewer's knowledge, this is the first occasion upon which the interrelations
between the two have been dealt with adequately and in proper perspective
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII., No. 1.
62 The Northwest Bookshelf. 63
in a single narrative. The result is illuminating, and reveals how much has
been lost by considering either side of the story, as it were, in a vacuum.
Two chapters are devoted to gold. When the California rush began to
wane, the search for further deposits was extended northward. The result
was a whole series of discoveries and rushes, great and small, extending
from the Fraser River excitement of 1858 to the Klondike rush forty years
later. The three most important of these rushes (the Fraser River,
Cariboo, and the Klondike) all took place in British territory. American
citizens swarmed in upon each occasion, and presently swarmed out again,
when the surface placers—the only ones which could be worked profitably
by individual miners—ceased to promise abundant yields. The Fraser
River rush is described by Judge Howay, who very properly places the
emphasis upon the problems presented by the sudden influx of Americans
into unorganized and virtually unoccupied British territory. The way in
which law and order were maintained, with the result that a veritable
extension of California failed to develop the undesirable characteristics of
the original, is most interesting. Dr. Sage describes the Klondike rush,
and shows how an analogous situation was handled under more modern
Dr. Sage also contributes the chapter on base-metal mining in the Kootenay and Boundary country. The area was in great part explored and
exploited by Americans from the " Inland Empire," centring on Spokane.
Most of the capital first employed was also American, as British and Canadian interests did not invest heavily until a relatively late date. On the
other hand, the number of United States citizens actually employed in the
region seems to have remained surprisingly—even inexplicably—small.
Thus Gosnell notes that of the 819 employees of the Le Roi mine at Rossland in 1901, only 194 were Americans, while 53 per cent., or well over 400,
were British subjects.
One of the most interesting chapters in the book is the review of " Railway Building in British Columbia, 1871-1915," by Dr. Sage. It is a most
useful analysis, describing as it does the growth of the entire railway network within the Province. One can quarrel only with one minor point. In
dealing with American influence on the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, this reviewer feels that the emphasis should have been placed on
the Northern Pacific, rather than upon Hill and the Great Northern. It is
surely significant that whenever the Northern Pacific managed to get its
chaotic finances in some sort of order and resume construction, the Canadian Pacific, as if by magic, at once came to the fore; and it can hardly be
a coincidence that only two years elapsed between the completion of the
Northern Pacific in 1883 and of the Canadian Pacific in 1885.
As already noted, politics play only a minor role in the volume. Professor Angus deals in three concise but adequate chapters with the Oregon,
San Juan, and Alaska boundary questions, while Dr. Sage writes at length
upon " British Columbia in the Balance—Annexation or Confederation."
Mr. Willard Ireland's discovery of the original annexation petition, and his
careful analysis of the attached signatures, has, to this reviewer's mind, 64 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
disposed of the annexation bogey once and for all; but the point is a matter
of opinion. The movement was certainly much more important in the
United States than it was in British Columbia. Locally, at least, it was
only one of several anti-confederation forces, and seems to have been less
influential than the pension anxieties of the official members of the Council,
or the feeble policy of the Governor.
Judge Howay and Dr. Sage between them tell the story of the age of
exploitation. Professor Angus deals more briefly with the dawn of the age
of co-operation and conservation which we trust is to follow. His chapter
on the fur-seal forms an excellent introduction, for it illustrates both the
marked improvement in the relations between Canada and the United
States that has occurred since the turn of the century, and the necessity
for agreements between the countries if certain resources which they enjoy
in common are to become perpetual instead of wasting assets. Mr. Angus
brings the volume to a close with a thirty-page chapter entitled " The Age
of the Good Neighbours," which deals with the highlights of the last thirty
years. It is a brilliant and illuminating outline, enlivened with a dash of
wit and humour, and could be expanded with profit into a whole volume.
When Mr. Angus is relieved of his present war duties it is to be hoped that
he will bear this possibility in mind.
A few corrections should be made in future printings. The Seven Oaks
affair occurred in 1816, not 1815 (p. 44); the Snake River expeditions did
not end in 1834, as implied on page 63; it is now known quite definitely
that Dr. McLoughlin did not personally assume any of the debts of the
American settlers in Oregon (p. 112); Oreville should be Oroville on page
258; Provincial Secretary should read Colonial Secretary on page 266;
there is an inconsistency in two statements regarding the number of miners
at Wild Horse Creek (pp. 266, 330); and the smelter at Revelstoke was
built with English, not American, capital (p. 283).
It is much to be regretted that the book has been issued without an index.
The " analytical table of contents " given instead is at best a poor substitute.
This is the first volume of the Canadian-American Relations Series to suffer
from this affliction, and it is to be hoped that an index can be added in
subsequent editions.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C.
The Book of Small.    By Emily Carr.    Toronto:   Oxford University Press,
1942.    Pp. viii., 245.    $2.50.
Readers of this journal are not interested, primarily, in the style of Miss
Emily Carr's books (though they undoubtedly have style), but in their value
for the historian. Klee Wyck has been reviewed in these pages, and now,
a year later, it is followed by The Book of Small. In this collection of
sketches, Miss Carr suggests how the City of Victoria looked and behaved
in the 1880's, how one family managed its life there and then, and especially
how that place and that life were viewed by a pair of keen eyes owned by 1943 The Northwest Bookshelf. 65
a child nicknamed Small. " Keen " is an inadequate, even redundant, word
as applied to those eyes: no one will deny that they were relentlessly
realistic. But at the same time they looked abroad with a child-artist's
passion—a passion of distaste and affection intermingled. It isn't usual
that a fusion of this sort gets transferred into the cold print of history.
When the transference occurs, a discerning reader can always recognize,
even in a historical " document," the authentic hall-mark of what is known
as " style."
Obviously, The Book of Small does not pretend to give full-length portraits either of a family or of a town. The brief sketches of which it is
composed turn a spot-light here and there upon various aspects of the two.
It is astonishing, by the way, how little the observer misses. But the value
of her writing does not lie in its bulk or even in its unquestionable veracity.
Any history book done by a sane and competent human being can tell what
looks like the whole bald " truth." In The Book of Small, however, you get
not only " facts " but also what John Keats would call the " feel" of the
facts. And this " feel" is precisely what every intelligent reader wants to
get and every intelligent historian would give his eye-teeth to convey.
In other words, The Book of Small is a priceless primary source for the
local historian. Such a writer will be able to supplement Miss Carr's outlines with any amount of addition, but he had better consult her book before
he takes a shot at the " feel" of his whole picture. The matter is not
unimportant, since Victoria has a history which is literally unique. Its
founders and their immediate descendants tried to mark off a corner of
earth that should be forever England. They had no roots in Canada, often
they had seen nothing of Canada, they had only the mildest kind of interest
in things Canadian. Indeed, Victoria children of the third generation have
been known to refuse any label but " English." Such is the continuity upon
which Miss Carr directs her beam. And the 1880's were the days when
Victoria's Anglicism full bloom, already overripe.
There need be no great regret that the Early Victorians (in our local
sense) made their brave and romantically impossible venture. Miss Carr
throws much light on what happens when the flowers of Eden are transplanted into an alien soil. She suggests the impact of new country upon
pioneers, the close pressure of strange sea and stranger forest, the pull of a
far-off home, the insistent presence of alien races. Out of all these pressures and tensions was generated the unexampled air which still gathers
about Victoria like a fading perfume.
If a book can convey a sense of that uniqueness, it has every right to
be called a first-rate " primary source." And The Book of Small does
convey it.
G. G. Sedgewick.
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C. 66 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
The Letters of John McLoughlin from Fort Vancouver to the Governor and
Committee.   First Series, 1825-38.    Edited by E. E. Rich.      With an
■  introduction by W. Kaye Lamb.    Toronto:   The Champlain Society;
London:   The Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1941.    Pp. cxxviii., 374.
Portrait, map.
The City of Vancouver on the Columbia River was, historically speaking,
founded in January, 1825, not as a city but as a trading-post of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and later the headquarters of the extensive business of that
Company in the entire Pacific Northwest. The site was selected personally
by John McLoughlin, the newly appointed Chief Factor of the Columbia
District, who became one of the leading figures in the early history of the
Oregon Country, so-called. After retiring from this position twenty years
later he became an American citizen residing in Oregon City, where he
died in 1857.
The writer of this review had occasion some years ago to inquire of the
Hudson's Bay Company in London for any journals kept at Fort Vancouver,
and was informed that no such journals were in existence. It is very
gratifying to learn now that the Company did possess, and has now furnished for publication in this and succeeding volumes a series of letters
(perhaps more correctly styled reports) from Chief Factor McLoughlin as
to events at Fort Vancouver and in the District. We are assured that these
volumes will reproduce the whole of Dr. McLoughlin's official correspondence
now in the archives of the Hudson's Bay Company without excision or-
alteration. His letters may be likened to an irregularly kept journal, but
exceeding in exactness and minuteness of detail and in lucidity of exposition
the most carefully kept journal. They were written in duplicate: one copy
being sent by the spring or fall express, and the other by vessel direct to
London. The unique situation of Dr. McLoughlin, a man who had from
boyhood breathed the atmosphere of the fur trade, and had the superinten-
dency of the Company's affairs in Old Oregon, and yet subject to the orders
of the London Committee, who however well-intentioned had no practical
experience of the country, the natives, or the trade, resulted in a wealth of
detail to enable his superiors to envisage the problems confronting him and
the reasons for the action taken or proposed.
Though the correspondence shows that this situation irked McLoughlin,
we, interested in the history of Old Oregon, may well be thankful for the
resultant pictures presented in it: of the opposition to the Russians, the
Boston ships, and the St. Louis trappers and traders, the Snake River
expeditions, and the advent of the first missionaries and settlers. The
latter, with the undetermined boundary-line, greatly increased the good
Doctor's perplexities, for the fur trade and settlement never did cohere, and
they certainly would not in Old Oregon, where the new-comers were keen,
shrewd, land-hungry Americans.
In these letters we catch the first glimpse of disagreement between
McLoughlin and Governor Simpson. Strong men were they both; and each
was firm in his view that his was the best way to beat off the Boston vessels
which threatened to drain into their holds all the land furs along the coast. 1943 The Northwest Bookshelf. 67
McLoughlin felt strongly that the best means was to place trading-posts
along the coast so as to offer a twelve-months-in-the-year opposition to the
American ships. Simpson, on the other hand, put his faith in trading-
vessels which could dog the itinerant Boston ships, and moving from place to
place could oppose them wherever they attempted to trade. The London
Committee sided with Simpson. Both disputants had the same end in view:
the good of the Company; the dispute was merely regarding the best way of
accomplishing that end. Here was " the little rift within the lute." To this
were added differences over his policy in dealing with Wyeth; but all these
were official; it remained for the murder of McLoughlin's son and Simpson's
actions in investigating the crime to change the official into personal differences and worse; but that is another story, which the next volume of these
letters will deal with.
This volume shows the wide reach of the Company's activities: its fur
trade stretching from northern California to Alaska; its agriculture, its
lumbering, its fisheries, all carried on under ante-pioneer conditions; its
brigades and expresses, the first regular transcontinental transport service;
its annual ship from England, carrying out trading goods and returning
with furs; its importation of cattle and sheep into Old Oregon; its coasting
vessels, flitting along from fort to fort; its ships taking lumber and salted
salmon to Hawaii and stretching to the southward to Mexico and Chile;
and its steamer Beaver, despite McLoughlin's forebodings, aiding in the
trade and poking her nose into every port that offered any trade. It is a
perfect mine for the monographist, and doubtless will yield scores of papers
and articles.
The letters are followed by nearly as many pages of Appendix A, entitled
" Supplementary Documents," which are equally interesting. This appendix includes four reports by James Douglas in which, amongst other matters,
he discusses the Indian slave trade; throws some light on the Rev. Herbert
Beaver and on the Methodist and other missionaries; sketches the growth
of agriculture on the Willamette and Cowlitz rivers; deals with the importation of cattle and sheep from California; the explorations of La Framboise in the Sacramento River country; the effects of the still-persisting
Boston vessels on the trade, especially along the Alaskan coast; outlines
some of the troubles with the Company's ships, including a mutiny on the
Nereide; the lumber trade with Hawaii and the possibility of dealing in
hides and tallow with the Spaniards; the Indian troubles; the disaster at
the Dalles in 1838; and the selection of the site of Fort Victoria, making a
conspectus of the Company's activities, interests, and dreams. Included in
this appendix are Peter Skene Ogden's reports on the Snake River expedition
of 1825 and on the Stikine trouble with the Russians; iEmilius Simpson's
account of the selection and founding of Fort Nass (Simpson), and other
tap-root material.
Appendix B continues the biographical sketches that have been a most
valuable portion of the preceding volumes of the series. Compiled from the
Company's records, these sketches are authoritative and will be of the
greatest utility to research students.    Every series should have a supple- 68 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
mentary volume, and the suggestion is made, seriously, that such a volume
should bring together all these short biographies. Of particular interest
are those of Thomas McKay, a stepson of McLoughlin, well known by many
of the pioneer settlers in Oregon; and John Work (or Wark), who is
buried in Victoria.
The preface by the editor, E. E. Rich, is brief and explanatory only.
The notes leave much to be desired; they are too short and scrappy; many
matters are left unexplained: for example, the presence on the Pacific slope
of Iroquois, an eastern tribe of Indians; the " Coquilt" Indians; and the
identification of Sebassa.
Like its predecessors in the series the book contains a lengthy introduction, 120 pages, and in writing it Dr. Lamb has performed a fine and
scholarly piece of work. He has interpreted the facts and material in the
letters and documents in narrative form; but more than this, he has shown
us a full-sized picture of the man—Dr. McLoughlin—whose memory is
revered in Oregon. It is the first attempt—a very successful one—to piece
together, down to 1838, a real life of Dr. McLoughlin from his earliest days.
Incidentally, Dr. Lamb has unwoven the tangled threads of McLoughlin's
prominent part in the negotiations for the union of 1821. From many
sources he has gathered, here a little and there a little, the basic facts and
combined them to produce a picture that shows us at once the man, the
unique and difficult position he occupied, his humanity, his wide grasp of
all things that concerned the vast region under his superintendency, his
intimate acquaintance with the qualities and abilities of the men under him,
and the problems he faced in the trade in all its branches.
T. C. Elliott.
Walla Walla, Washington.
Building the Canadian Nation.    By George W. Brown.    Toronto and Vancouver:  J. M. Dent & Sons, 1942.    Pp. x., 478.    111.    $2.25.
The writing of a high school text-book is a special skill which few Canadian historians have acquired, either from lack of inclination or opportunity.
Professor Brown, of the University of Toronto, has made his debut with an
admirable example, which profited from a preview by twenty teachers who
agreed to use portions of the book for experimental purposes. His book,
written in a simple and direct fashion, spans the years from Columbus and
Cartier to Churchill and the Canadian-American Defence Board. It strikes
a nice balance between political, social, and economic history, and has the
best collection of maps and illustrations that I have seen in a text-book.
Among them are some ingenious maps showing the various stages of exploration, illustrations from recent motion pictures such as Northwest Passage,
and Arctic projection maps which would delight the hearts of Stefansson
and the late General Mitchell. Miss Mary Campbell has furnished for each
chapter reading lists that should help any high school library to build up a
fine collection. A feature of this text that will please both East and West
Coasts is its proper emphasis upon historical developments from sea to sea,
that clears the author of any suspicion of being " Torontocentric "—as has 1943 The Northwest Bookshelf. 69
occasionally happened in the past. It is to be hoped that Building the
Canadian Nation will receive the nation-wide use which the pains that
author and publishers have taken justify.
F. H. Soward.
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C.
Legends of Stanley Park. By B. A. McKelvie. N.p., n.d. [Vancouver:
copyright 1941.    Pp. 40.]    25 cents.
In a brief foreword to this modest but attractive booklet the author
points out that the beauty-spot we know to-day as Stanley Park was highly
regarded by the Indians, long before the white man appeared upon the
scene. The five legends which follow enable us to glimpse something of
what it meant to the Indian folk. They relate to Lost Lagoon and other
well-known spots, including Siwash Rock, about which Mr. McKelvie offers
a new story, quite different from that told by Pauline Johnson.
A Check List of Washington Imprints 1853-1876 (American Imprints Inventory, No. 44). Edited by Geraldine Beard. Foreword by Charles
W. Smith. Seattle: The Washington Historical Records Survey [Work
Projects Administration], 1942.    (Mimeographed.)    Pp. 89.
This useful and carefully prepared check-list includes some 200 items
known to have been printed, and an additional eighteen titles that may have
been printed, in the territory now comprising the State of Washington
before 1877. The list is known to be incomplete, but work upon it had to
be suspended because of the war, and the alternatives offered, in Mr. Smith's
words, were " immediate publication or indefinite postponement." All interested in Pacific Northwest bibliography will be glad that publication was
decided upon.
Official documents far outnumber the other titles recorded, especially in
the earlier years. Thus in the period to 1871, out of a total of 160 items,
115 were issued by some official agency. Of the rest, nineteen were issued
by the Freemasons, and as many more by the Baptists and other religious
denominations. The number of books and pamphlets published by individuals was thus very small—smaller, it would appear, than the number
published in British Columbia during the same years. The first of any
importance was a sixteen-page booklet entitled Puget Sound: its past,
present and future, by Elwood Evans, which was printed at Olympia in
1869. This was followed in 1870 by Evans's famous pamphlet, The Re-
Annexation of British Columbia to the United States Right, Proper and
Desirable. The Provincial Archives had the good fortune to acquire a copy
of this rare item not long ago. Washington Territory west of the Cascade
Mountains, by Ezra Meeker, was published the same year.
The excellent general index, and the special indexes of printers, presses,
publishers, and places of publication, are features which will be appreciated
by all who have occasion to consult the check-list. 70 The Northwest Bookshelf.
Historical Units of Agencies of the First World War. By Elizabeth B.
Drewry. (Bulletin of the National Archives, No. 4-) Washington,
D.C, 1942.    Pp. 31.
The important part that records are playing in the war effort of the
United States may be gauged by the fact that the National Archives in
Washington is now dealing with inquiries at the staggering rate of 250,000
per annum. Department after department is discovering that, in more
ways than one, this war is simply taking up where the last war left off.
In the words of this Bulletin, " There seems reason to believe that as the
historians of the future regard the two world wars they may look upon the
first as a prelude to the second and may be able to trace a continuous flow
of ideas and policies from one to the other."
Most of the United States Government departments and agencies concerned in the last war learned from experience, as the struggle proceeded,
that an accurate record of their activities was of great practical value.
Many of them appointed historians or archivists of one kind or another, and
most of them planned, when peace returned, to print an official history of
their war activities. Almost without exception these projects were killed
by the war weariness and demands for retrenchment and economy which
were characteristic of the years following the armistice. The Department
of State offers a sad example of what occurred. An " Office of the Historian
of the War" was created October 1, 1918; a qualified incumbent was
appointed and instructed " to prepare a documentary history of the war
now raging." A comprehensive work in twenty volumes was planned; five
volumes were completed in manuscript; two of these actually went to the
printer. Then the economy axe was wielded and printing preparations
ceased. In 1924 the Historian himself died. Some of the documents he
collected have since appeared in the Foreign Relations of the United States
series, but the text proper remains in manuscript.
One or two departments fared better, notably the Navy. True, the
projected full-scale official history was never written; but the nucleus of a
records department survived, and by degrees grew into the existing Office
of Naval Records and Library. The work of preserving and sorting documents which this office accomplished through the years is now proving of
great value. The volumes of papers issued under the editorship of its distinguished head, Captain Dudley W. Knox, are models of their kind.
Miss Drewry's summary of the whole story is important and timely, for
it shows how essential it is that Governments should recognize not only the
desirability but the necessity of providing for the proper handling of their
records at the present time.
victoria, B.C. :
['rlnted liy F. Baxpield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
525-143-2789 Wb
Organized October 31st, 19i
His Honour W. C. Woodward, Lieutenant-Go • :<ia.
Hon. H. G. T, Perry     -       - rwrary President.
B. A. McKelvie  Pi
J. C. Goodfellow  Past President.
A. G. Harvey > Vice-President.
Mrs. Curtis te-Presid*
Madge Wolfenden                             - Honorary Treasv
H. T. Nation -       -       - -    Hot. urary Secretary.
Mrs. M. R. Cree.     Helen R, Boutilier.      F. Robie L. I
T. A. Rickard.       Kathleen Acjnew. W. N. Sage.
Willard E. Ireland W. Kaye Lamb
vincial Archiv: (Editor, Q
A. G. Harvey B. Robert..
.ncouver Section). toria Section.)
E. M. Cotton
(New Westminster Sect
to pro ition and marl elics,
natural featui•■ :id to
i y members pay a fee of $2 annually in a<i year
;iiay be at
Parliament Buildit


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