British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jan 31, 1949

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JANUARY, 1949 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
Madge Wolfenden.
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine.
The Quarterly is indexed in Faxon's Annual Magazine Subject-Index
and the Canadian Index. BRITISH COLUMBIA
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. XIII Victoria, B.C., January, 1949. No. 1
Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald to W. E. Gladstone
concerning Vancouver Island and the Hudson's Bay
Company, 184-8-1850.
By Paul Knaplund    1
Sir John H. Pelly, Bart., Governor, Hudson's Bay Company,
By Reginald Saw    23
An Official speaks out: Letter of the Hon. Philip J. Hankin
to the Duke of Buckingham, March 11, 1870.
Edited, with an introduction, by Willard E. Ireland  33
Notes and Comments :
British Columbia Historical Association  39
Kamloops Museum Association  42
Contributors to this Issue  42
The Northwest Bookshelf :
Simpson's 1828 Journey to the Columbia.
By Burt Brown Barker  43
Rickard:  Historic Backgrounds of British Columbia.
By Willard E. Ireland  46
Masterson and Brower:  Bering's Successors, 1745—1780.
By Walter N. Sage  47
Munday:   The Unknown Mountain.
By Ferris Neave   48
Maurault:  Au Berceau de la Colombie-Britannique.
By Walter N. Sage  50
Scott: My Captain Oliver.
SON'S BAY COMPANY, 1848-1850.
James Edward Fitzgerald, afterward prominent in the politics and government of New Zealand, in the years 1847-1849
took an active part in the agitation to prevent Vancouver Island
from being granted to the Hudson's Bay Company. Fitzgerald,
like his friend and contemporary, John Robert Godley, came from
a well-to-do Irish land-owning family. He was a graduate of
Christ College, Cambridge. In 1844 he obtained a minor post
in the British Museum.1 Probably through Godley,2 Fitzgerald
became interested in colonization. The duties of his museum
post were apparently not arduous.    He had ample time for read-
(1) The only full-length biographical sketch available of J. E. Fitzgerald
is found in Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Wellington, 1940, I, pp.
256-258. See also William Gisborne, New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen,
London, 1886, pp. 80-83; and obituary notice in The Times, August 6, 1896.
Gisborne describes him as " a brilliant failure " in politics. " He would not
give, and he could not command, confidence." Op. cit, p. 82. The Times'
death notice emphasizes his championship of the Maoris, and the fact that
he was held in high personal esteem. " Wit, eloquence, and courage made
him many friends and gained him steadfast admirers." Until January 16,
1848, he was rated as assistant secretary, pro tern, in the British Museum
and paid 12s. a day for every day actually employed. After that date his
salary was £300 per year. British Parliamentary Papers (hereafter cited
as P.P.), List of Persons Receiving Salaries Etc., 1848, No. 601, p. 126.
A considerable amount of information concerning Fitzgerald's activities,
1847-1850, is found in William S. Childe Pemberton, Life of Lord Norton,
London, 1909, pp. 87, 88, 168, 169, 289-291. For his role in New Zealand
politics see A. J. Harrop, England and the Maori Wars, London, 1937, pp.
232-235, 346, 348, 349; Alice, Lady Lovat, The Life of Sir Frederick Weld,
London, 1914, pp. 118, 125-127; and W. P. Morrell, The Provincial System
in New Zealand, London, 1932, pp. 61, 73, 74.
(2) John Robert Godley (1814-1861) helped organize the Canterbury
Association which founded the Canterbury settlement in New Zealand. He
stayed at that settlement, April, 1850 to December, 1852. After his return
to England he was appointed Under-Secretary in the War Office. Morrell
calls Fitzgerald Godley's chief lieutenant op. cit, p. 61. And Fitzgerald
published A Selection from the Writings and Speeches of John Robert
Godley, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1863.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 1. 2 Paul Knaplund. January
ing on the British Empire, whose problems and possibilities were
then extensively discussed by pamphleteers, in the press, and in
Parliament. The Irish famine, 1845-1846, with its resultant
heavy emigration, stimulated the preparation of plans for colonization; and the Anglo-American treaty of 1846 concerning
Oregon focused attention on the fate of British Oregon.
The Hudson's Bay Company's attempt at securing control of
Vancouver Island met with formidable opposition. The stiffest
was perhaps that of James Stephen, whose great ability and long
connection with the Colonial Office lent immense weight and
authority to his views on colonial problems. His fight against
the Hudson's Bay Company was, of course, carried on behind the
scenes; no inkling of it reached the outside world.3
But here, too, the Company had to meet redoubtable foes.
Monopolies were decidedly unpopular in mid-nineteenth century
England. It was the heyday of free enterprise; and its enemy
in those far-off times was not the Government but monopolistic
companies. Of those who had been active and powerful in the
18th century only the Hudson's Bay Company survived. By the
middle of the 1840's it was looked upon as an anachronism. The
powerful Manchester School saw no virtue in that type of trading organization; and herein the Little Englanders' school was
joined by its foes the colonial reformers. The latter had indeed
been very active for some time seeking land grants in Australia
and New Zealand; but these grants had been for the purpose of
settling the land. And the gravamen of their charge against the
Hudson's Bay Company was that it opposed settlements. They
were colonizers and imperialists eager to found new Englands
beyond the seas. Vancouver Island seemed peculiarly well fitted
by soil, climate, and natural resources to become a little Albion.
Fitzgerald, though a mere clerk in the British Museum, was
energetic, resourceful, and well-connected. The qualities which
enabled him to publish the first issue of a newspaper at Lyttelton,
New Zealand, less than four weeks after he had landed at that
port, to be elected Superintendent of the Canterbury province
two years later, and to be chosen Prime Minister of New Zealand
.a year after that, enabled him in 1847-1849 to push his campaign
(3) See Paul Knaplund, "James Stephen on Granting Vancouver Island
to the Hudson's Bay Company, 1846-1848," British Columbia Historical
•Quarterly, IX (1945), pp. 259-271. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 3
against the Hudson's Bay Company with much vigour. He definitely inspired the vigorous leading articles written by J. R.
Godley for The Morning Chronicle, 1848-1849, attacking the
Company most unsparingly.4 He may have suggested the
memorial from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to the
Privy Council against granting Vancouver Island to the Hudson's Bay Company. And he was actively stimulating opposition
to the Company in both Houses of Parliament.
By 1848 W. E. Gladstone had risen to prominence among the
younger British statesmen. He had been vice-president and
president of the Board of Trade. For brief periods he had held
the posts as Parliamentary Under-Secretary and Secretary of
State for the Colonies. His brother-in-law, Lord Lyttelton, was
closely connected with the Canterbury Association. And it was
well known that Gladstone took an interest in colonization
projects even to the extent of considering writing a book on that
subject.5 It is, therefore, not surprising that Fitzgerald sought
to enlist Gladstone's support in the fight to keep Vancouver
Island out of the clutches of the Hudson's Bay Company and
available for an English colonization enterprise. Fitzgerald certainly supplied material for Gladstone's attacks on the Company
in the House of Commons.
The following letters from Fitzgerald to Gladstone are transcribed from original manuscripts found among the Gladstone
papers in the British Museum.6
British Museum
Aug. 9, 1848
Mr. Fitzgerald presents his Compts. to Mr. Gladstone, and will be
very happy to wait upon him any day after four oClock to offer any
(4) The editorials appeared in The Morning Chronicle on the following
dates: July 20, September 6 and 21, November 4, and December 20, 1848;
February 15, April 7, June 1, and June 20, 1849. Mrs. Godley kept a scrap-
book of her husband's newspaper articles. This collection was found among
the Godley papers in possession of a daughter, Miss Eleanor Godley, and
examined by the writer in the autumn of 1926.
(5) Paul Knaplund, Gladstone and Britain's Imperial Policy, London,
1927, pp. 56-62, 185-227.
(6) These are listed as Add. MSS., 44,367, 44,368, 44,369. All transcripts have been made from the original documents. No further citation
of them will be given. Since Gladstone was out of office in 1848-1849 he had
no private secretary, hence no copies were made of his letters to Fitzgerald. 4 Paul Knaplund. January
explanation or information in his power, respecting the papers which
were left in Mr. Gladstone's hands by Lord Lincoln on the subject of
Vancouver Island.7
Mr. Fitzgerald has the honor to enclose some printed remarks on
the same subject.
The Rt. Hon. Mr. Gladstone
16 Gt. Russell Street
Tuesday night
[Probably Aug. 15, 1848]
Dear Sir,
I have the honor to send you the two volumes of Capt. Wilkes narrative which contain the account of the Hudsons Bay Company's Settlements in the Oregon territory.8 I would have marked particular
passages but I have not the time to do so without the risk of directing
your attention to what may be of less importance. The " contents " of
the chapters will point out the places where the information you require
is to be found, better than I could do without reading the whole
I also send Dunn's book in p. 240 you will find a curious narrative
of the finding of coal.9 So the Company knew of it at least as early
as 1844, in p. 176 etc. you will find Dr. M'Loughlin's policy discussed.
But, if you have time, the whole of the book will well repay a cursory
(7) Lord Lincoln, fifth Duke of Newcastle (1811-1864), succeeded to the
ducal title in 1851; member of House of Commons, 1832-1851; Secretary
for War and the Colonies, 1852-1854, for War, 1854-1855, for the Colonies,
1859-1864. He was the close personal friend in whose behalf Gladstone
undertook the mission to the continent discussed in John Morley, The Life of
William Ewart Gladstone, new edition, New York, 1911, I, pp. 364, 365. On
July 13 and 17,1848, Lord Lincoln asked questions in the House of Commons
about charges against the Hudson's Bay Company and the grant of Vancouver Island to that Company. Answers by the Colonial Under-Secretary,
Benjamin Hawes, and the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, were evasive.
See Hansard, 3d series, C, cols. 469, 470, 510-512.
(8) The book is doubtless Charles Wilkes, Synopsis of the Cruise of the
United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1888-1842, 5 vols.,
Washington, 1842. This work contains a detailed account of the Oregon
(9) John Dunn, History of the Oregon Territory and British North
American Fur Trade, London, 1844. Dunn had apparently served as mate
on one of the ships of the Hudson's Bay Company. See testimony by Sir G.
Simpson before the Select Committee of the House of Commons, February
26, 1857.    P.P., 1857, No. 224, p. 69. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 5
I have applied to Mr. Isbister for the information as to the natives
being punished for trading with persons not belonging to the
For what the natives think about trade, see " Wilkes "—vol IV
p. 299 middle of the page.
Lord Monteagle11 has given notice of a motion in the House of
Lords on Friday & I must endeavour to put together some facts for
his Lordship before that time.
Pray excuse my not having done more to aid your research, and
permit me to remain, dear sir, ,,. ,
Your truly obliged
™    _,   „      ,,    „,   , . James Ed. Fitzgerald
The Rt. Hon. Mr. Gladstone etc.
British Museum
_       _. August 17, 1848
Dear Sir,
I have had a conversation with Mr. Isbister respecting the treatment
of the Indians who sell furs. It seems I did not state the case quite
correctly. The Company do not & would not be able to punish the
Indians who bring the furs for sale, but the Indians & Half-breeds who
are settled at the Red River sometimes buy furs from the Indian hunters for the purpose of transporting them into the American Territory.
The Company punish these Indian settlers when they find any furs so
obtained in their possession, & in all instances seize the furs.
Mr. Isbister also acquaints me that he knows instances in which
Indian hunters have made presents of furs to settlers & the Company
have seized such furs. This seems to be equivalent to asserting that
the property of all the furs in the country as soon as caught, is vested
in them alone. An interpretation which even their Charter will
scarcely bear.
Do you think it would be better to take the discussion at all events
on Friday.    Members are leaving town so fast.
I am very sorry to say I cannot procure a copy of my paper anywhere. I only had an hundred printed. I suppose there are copies of
the Magazine to be procured in which it appeared but I do not know.
I beg to remain, dear Sir,
Your truly obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald
(10) Alexander Kennedy Isbister (1822-1883) was born at Cumberland
House, North West Territories, and was in the service of the Hudson's Bay
Company, 1837-1840. See testimony before House of Commons Committee,
March 5, 1857.   Ibid., pp. 120, 121.
(11) Thomas Spring-Rice, Baron Monteagle (1790-1866), Secretary of
State for War and the Colonies, June-November, 1834; Chancellor of the
Exchequer, 1835-1839; created Lord Monteagle, 1839. His motion was
made on August 24,1848.   Hansard, 3d series, CI, cols. 465-472. 6 Paul Knaplund. January
Selections from the correspondence between the Colonial
Office and the Hudson's Bay Company were presented to Parliament August 10, 1848. On August 17 following Joseph Hume
moved in the House of Commons that Vancouver Island should
not be granted to the Hudson's Bay Company till further
inquiries had been made. This motion was debated at considerable length. For the motion spoke, besides Hume, the mover,
and P. Howard, seconder, Messrs. Gladstone and J. Wyld. Foremost in opposition were Charles Buller, the famous colonial
reformer, who was a member of the Government, and the Prime
Minister, Lord John Russell. It was defeated 58-76.12 Gladstone denounced as a serious error the Government's action
concerning Vancouver Island. And his arguments bear traces
of the coaching received from Fitzgerald. Gladstone quoted
passages from the book by Wilkes. He described Vancouver
Island as a valuable British possession, well suited for extensive
settlements. The Hudson's Bay Company had a trading monopoly, and the experience with the East India Company had clearly
demonstrated that monopoly strangled trade. Moreover, the
Hudson's Bay Company was hostile to colonization, as shown by
its attitude toward the Red River settlement.13 On August 21
Gladstone deplored the Government's failure to take seriously the
charges levied against the Hudson's Bay Company which had
proved itself utterly unfit for colonization.14
Three days later, Lord Monteagle, in the House of Lords,
moved for papers dealing with the grant of Vancouver Island to
the Hudson's Bay Company. A considerable portion of his
speech was devoted to showing the value of the island to Britain,
and that its value had been appreciated by William Pitt. The
Colonial Secretary, Lord Grey, charged Monteagle with ignorance and asserted that unless Britain acted swiftly American
Mormons might seize British Oregon. Only the Hudson's Bay
Company was in a position to occupy this area effectively for
(12) Hansard, 3d series, CI, cols. 268-304.
(13) Ibid, cols. 268-289.
(14) Ibid., col. 315.
(15) Ibid., cols. 472-480.    Motion was agreed to. 1949        Letters, from James Edward Fitzgerald. 7
The vote in the House of Commons on Hume's motion had
shown that the fight carried on by Fitzgerald and his friends was
well-nigh hopeless.   Nevertheless he persisted.   And during the
recess of Parliament he wrote further letters to Gladstone-
Sept. 13, 1848
Dear Sir,
Since it has been certain, in consequence of the Debate in the House
of Commons, that the Govt, were about to refer the proposed grant of
Vancouver Island to the H. B. Co. to the Board of Trade, I have been
working to get up a scheme which shall supplant that of the Compy &
which shall offer sufficient inducements to the Colonists to go out to
the Island. At the same time it seems to me that some inducements
must be offered to Merchants to persuade them to advance the capital,
however small it may be, required for the first outlay. The scheme
I propose is this; that a Company be formed for the purpose of colonizing the Island & developing the resources of the North West continent]. That they undertake to send out colonists & to work the
minerals, metals & timber on the unappropriated land, being bound to
spend a part of the proceeds arising from these sources, together with
those arising from the sale of land, in the colonization of the Island.
In order, however, that this monopoly may not be a continued
injunctive to the Colonists, I propose that the Charter shall contain
the following provisions.
That there shall be a free Govt, consisting of a Governor appointed
by the Crown, not by the Company, a Council, & a legislative assembly.
That the Colony shall be able, by an act of the legislature, to buy up
all the rights of the Company, paying them their original outlay & as
much as will make up to them ten per cent on the capital they have
expended from the time of so spending it till the day of payment; in
case, then, the Company should make any large profits, such as 100
percent, the Colony would have no difficulty in borrowing money as a
state debt, at a moderate interest, in order to pay off the Company.
All the difference between what the Company were making & the
interest of the debt would then become available for Colonization for
the expenses of the Govt, or for the payment in the final instance of
the Principal of the debt thus incurred. If the Company make very
small gains then the difference between what they make & ten per cent
per annum would be paid to them when they lose their privileges &
they could not have made less than ten per cent. This plan would it
appears to me be acceptable equally to the Colonists & to the Capitalists.
I shall esteem it a great favor if you will allow me to know your view
on the subject. 8 Paul Knaplund. January
I am staying for a few days with Mr. Christy at Poynton Hall,
Stockport where a letter will find me.16 I find by enquiry that there
is great difficulty in getting merchants to come forward but I do not
despair. I am going to print a circular paper to lay before the public
& if I had your approval of the scheme conveyed in a note which you
would allow me to print in such a paper simply stating your opinion
that such a scheme would be more for the advantage of the country
than if the affair fell into the hands of the H. B. Company, in a national
point of view, I think it would attract attention & would conduce to the
end proposed that of getting a sound & healthy Colony founded on
Vancouver Island.
If I am not obliged to return to London I shall go on to Liverpool
where I hope I shall find some merchants of sufficient enterprize to
prevent the whole of that magnificent country remaining for the next
11 years in the hands of the H. B. C.
I took the liberty of forwarding to you my second article from the
Colonial Magazine—which I hope you rec'd. I am very sorry by an
oversight the name of Major Crofton occurs instead of Major
Caldwell,11 the officer who has gone out with the pensioners.
I shall make a similar request to that contained in this letter to
Lord Lincoln & Mr. Christy. Mr. Hume18 says I may make use of his
name in any way to promote the Colony, & he has letters from Scotland
that there are 200 emigrants ready to sail to the Island as soon as the
question is satisfactorily settled.
With many apologies for having troubled you at so great a length
I beg to remain, dear Sir,
Your very truly & obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald.
B. M.
Sept. 27, 1848
My dear Sir,
I have delayed to thank you for your very kind letter hoping I might
at the same time be able to convey to you some satisfactory intelligence
(16) Probably S. Christy, who then represented Newcastle-under-Lyne
in the House of Commons. On August 18, he had in the House of Commons
asked about Vancouver Island and the Hudson's Bay Company and expressed
doubts about the validity of its charter. Hawes then defended the Company
and cited reports from the Governor-General of Canada, Lord Elgin, in its
praise.   Ibid., cols. 263-268.
(17) Lieut.-Col. William Caldwell went to Red River in June, 1848, as
commander of a corps of pensioners and Governor of Assiniboia. See his
testimony before the House of Commons Committee, June 15th, 1857. P.P.,
1857, No. 224, p. 298.
(18) Joseph Hume (1777-1855), an active and erratic member of the
House of Commons, 1812-1855; at first a Tory he later became a radical,
generally critical of colonies and colonization. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 9
as to the future prospects of Vancouver Island. Soon after I wrote to
you I learnt that the Company were proceeding as though the Grant
were made & were fitting out two ships for the first expedition.19
In short the reports I receive are so contradictory that I am at a
loss how to act; for it would be foolish in me to give merchants &
others the trouble of commencing a scheme such as that proposed, if
there were no prospect whatever of its favourable acceptance by the
Govt. I therefore addressed a letter to the Privy Council proposing
that, in case their Lordships still determined to make the grant to the
Hudsons Bay Company, they should attach to it the condition I mentioned in my letter to you, providing that the colonists may at any time
rid themselves of the Company by buying up its privileges. At the
same time I have written to Lord Lincoln to endeavour to procure his
patronage to my scheme in case anything should occur to justify me in
supposing the Govt, are still open to such a proposal from any other
parties than the Hudsons Bay Company.
I have written another article in the Colonial Magazine to which I
shall take the liberty of requesting your attention as soon as it appears.
It is to show that the scheme of Colonizing V. I. without expense to the
Mother Country is a miserable delusion for according to the provisions
of the Charter we shall in all probability be called upon to pay for it all
in the course of 11 years & the H. B. C. will not let us off cheap.
I have to express my thanks for your kindness in offering me a
letter to Mr. Baring.20 There is no one who would be of so much
importance in the formation of a good Colony. If you would send me
such a letter I should be extremely obliged & would make use of it or
not as I might find it wise or not to proceed. For I am extremely
reluctant to trouble Mr. Baring if I see no chance of success.
I have been so foolish as to write a pamphlet to Mr. Monsell M. P.
for Limerick21 & to the Irish Landlords generally about Colonization or
rather about Migration.2-2- The only resource it appears to me for
(19) The details concerning the grant were not yet settled, but Fitzgerald rightly surmised that the negotiations were well advanced. See
papers presented to Parliament March 7, 1849. P.P., 1849, No. 103, pp.
19, 20.
(20) Sir Francis Thornhill Baring, Baron Northbrook (1796-1866),
represented Portsmouth in the House of Commons, 1826-1865. For his
interest in the colonies and colonial reform, see Life of Lord Norton, p. 81.
Here, however, his peerage is confused with that of his first cousin, Alexander Baring, first Baron Ashburton.
(21) William Monsell, Baron Emly (1812-1894), represented Limerick
in the House of Commons, 1847-1874; Parliamentary Under-Secretary for
the Colonies, 1868-1870;  raised to the peerage in 1874.
(22) Published under the title, Irish Migration. A Letter to W. Monsell Esq. M.P., London, 1848. 10 Paul Knaplund. January
I shall not trouble you with it, having already overburdened you
with my compositions. I rather send you the following, written by a
friend of mine, Saml. Lucas of the Middle Temple.
Epigram on the motto of the HBC
Fit words to start 'em
In chase of bear or beaver
But showing plainly
That first & mainly
To fleece is their endeavour.
If they can, roughly,
Openly, gruffly
In the face of day they'll beat you,
If not so, slily
With art so wily
For Pelly's sake they'll cheat you.
I am my dear Sir
Yours very truly obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald
B. M.
My dear Sir, 0ct- 18 1848
I should have thanked you for the letter to Mr. Baring but I only
rec'd. it a day or two ago on my return from a tour in the North of
I have heard nothing more of the proceedings of Govt, or of the
company. I cannot find the the Isic] latter are fitting out any ships
or taking other steps: in fine there seems to be a hitch. I think a copy
of my last articles on the subject was forwarded to you. Lord Lincoln
objects to lend his name but I have written to him again more fully
on the subject. I am obliged in the meantime to wait till some definite
information is rec'd. as to the progress of the affair. If any chance
should offer of making a successful step I shall not fail to use your
letter to Mr. Baring.
Believe me, my dear Sir
With many thanks
Yours faithfully & truly obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald
British Museum
My dear Sir, Nov. 27 1848
Mr. Montgomery Martin has published a book entitled " The Hudsons Bay Company's Territories & Vancouver Island."23    That this
(23) Robert Montgomery Martin (1803-1868) was a botanist and naturalist who became deeply interested in the British colonies and wrote several
historical and statistical works, including a History of the British Colonies. 1949 LETTERS FROM JAMES EDWARD FITZGERALD. 11
elaborate defence of the Company has appeared under authority is not
a matter of doubt when the author informs us in his preface that it is
compiled from, amongst other sources—" Several official papers deposited at the Colonial Office Board of Trade & Admiralty; " & when a
letter is published " which the Lords of the Admiralty have favoured
me with for this publication." The whole turn of the book is sufficient
evidence that the Company's purse has stimulated the authors brains.
The book is well done, & may be considered as a reply to your speech.
It has been placed in my hands for the purpose of reviewing it but I
conceive that the limits of a leading article will be hardly sufficient &
that a pamphlet will be necessary. My especial object in writing to
you is to ask if you could be so kind as to give me the names of some
of the books which you consulted before the debate in parliament.
And indeed if it were possible, that you could lend me one or two of
them. I mean particularly Mr. McGillivrays pamphlet.24 I should also
be glad if it were possible to refer again to my own papers which you
received from Lord Lincoln.
I have made no use of the letter you were so kind as to write to me
nor of the introduction to Mr. Baring. The HBC are acting as if the
matter was at last settled; & have chartered a ship which is to sail,
or was to sail, on the 30th of this month. The Company are sending
out some miners in her & some Scotchmen who are hired by Captain
Walter Campbell [sic] Grant late of the Scotch [sic] Grays, who is the
only man, I have as yet heard of, with sufficient courage to become a
settler under the auspices of the Company; who is to give one pound
per acre for the land & to bind himself to carry out six men per hundred acres! Reasonable terms for a country where as much land as
you please may be had 20 miles just across the Straits, for a dollar
an acre.
Captain Grant I am told rather repents his bargain.
Mr. Isbister informs me that Sir J. H. Pelly25 has written to you as
to granting the settlers at the Red River a constitutional Govt.
Sir J. H. Pelly is a very wise man & he is aware at last that we have
been trading on the unpopularity which his government has most justly
incurred at the Red River, in order to strengthen our case regarding
Vancouver Island.    I conclude his object is to cut out from us all that
The book to which Fitzgerald refers was entitled The Hudson's Bay Territories and Vancouver Island; with an exposition of the chartered rights,
conduct, and policy of the Hudson's Bay Corporation, London, 1848. It was
severely criticized by J. R. Godley in a leading article in The Morning
Chronicle, December 20, 1848. The same article praised Gladstone's attack
on the Hudson's Bay Company in the House of Commons, August 18, 1848.
(24) Possibly a pamphlet by John MacGillivray  (1822-1867), a naturalist who took part in many government surveying expeditions.
(25) Sir John Henry Pelly (1777-1852), Governor of the Hudson's Bay
Company. d.2 Paul Knaplund. January
part of our case, by granting the demands of the settlers. It will be
no small consolation to think that our opposition will have had such a
desirable result, but it does not the less indicate the craft of the aged
Governor. Another step of equal ability is this. Captain Welbank,
one of the most honest & excellent men in existence, & a shareholder
of the Company, was the first person who made some objection at the
last meeting of the Company to the Vancouver Island grant. They
have made him a director immediately!
I hope before you leave Scotland you may be able to see Mr. George
Dundas of Dundas. He is more interested than anyone in the colonization of Vancouver Island.26
I forgot to mention one piece of intelligence which Mr. M. Martin
gives us, of some importance, he says " it is understood that several
additions have been made to it [the Charter] by Earl Grey & the Privy
Council & concurred in by the Hudsons Bay Company." I believe that
Mr. M. Martin is the only person who understands this, & no doubt he
has a reason for doing so.
Many of the papers which he publishes are those moved for by Mr.
Christy in the house, & not yet printed.
I ought to apologise for so long a letter but there are few persons
who have not a topic upon which garrulity is inevitable.
I beg to remain, dear Sir,
Yours very faithfully & obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald
B. M.
Dec. 10th 1848
My dear Sir,
I beg to thank you for the two books which I have rec'd from you
they are extremly [sic~\ acceptable for I could not find them anywhere.
I lose no time however in mentioning that in " The Narrative of
Occurences in the Indian Countries " etc.27 there is a leaf torn out
(26) George Dundas (1819-1880) served in the British army, 1839-1844;
represented Linlithgow in the House of Commons, 1847-1858; Lieutenant-
Governor of Prince Edward Island, 1859-1868. He had apparently become
interested in Vancouver Island through his younger brother, Adam Alexander Duncan Dundas (later the 25th Dundas of Dundas), at this time lieutenant in the Royal Navy. On May 30, 1848, Lieutenant Dundas wrote a
long letter to Benjamin Hawes describing the natural beauty and resources
of Vancouver Island and denouncing the Hudson's Bay Company. Original
Ms. C. 0. 305:1. He may have been the author of the article " Oregon and
Vancouver Island " in The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle, October,
1848, XVII, pp. 517-523.
(27) Presumably this was the book attributed to S. H. Wilcocke, A Na-
rative of Occurrences in the Indian Countries of North America . . . ,
London, 1817. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. iS
which must have contained p. 1-2 of the appendix, & seems to have
been part of the Protest of the HBC against the foundation of the Red
River settlement.
I am getting on with my reply to Mr. Martin's book but the small
time I am able to devote to this work is a great drawback.
It is of importance that the answer should be in the hands of members of Parliament before the session.
I take this opportunity of calling your attention to the fact that
Mr. Enderby has completed his scheme for reestablishing the British
whale fishing from the Auckland Islands & is going out himself to
superintend the formation of the first settlement.28
This will be one of the most interesting experiments in Colonization
ever yet made. Mr. Enderby's going out in person at his age & in his
position is a step to be admired extremely.
I beg to remain my dear Sir
Yours most faithfully
James Edward Fitzgerald.
Jany 11th 1849
My dear Sir,
I have very nearly completed my work upon the Hudson's Bay Company & I hope it will be published by Parker in a few days.29 I am
anxious to dedicate it to you, if you will permit me to do so & will
pardon the liberty I take in asking the favor. The book will contain
five chapters—an [sic] general account of the events which have led to
the present discussion—an enquiry into the validity of the charter—
the treatment of the Indians—the government of the Red River etc.
and the Vancouver Island colony. And I hope to get it out before
Parliament meets again. I understand the Company are getting up a
defence for Parliament next session when your speech is to receive
an answer.
The late discovery of gold in California is a new cause of regret to
all who believed in Vancouver Island.   We should now have been
(28) Charles Enderby, of the London firm Charles, Henry & George
Enderby. The founder of the firm, Samuel Enderby, had started whaling
in 1774 and one of his ships, the " Ocean," under Captain Bristow, discovered the Auckland Islands in 1806. The whaling station established there
was abandoned in 1852. See evidence by Charles Enderby before the House
of Lords Committee on New Zealand, April 6, 1838, Journal of House of
Lords, 1837-1838, appendix, p. 90. John King Davis, With the "Aurora " in
the Antarctic, London, 1919, pp. 69-74.
(29) The book was entitled, An Examination of the Charter and Proceedings of the Hudson's Bay Company with Reference to the Grant of
Vancouver Island, London, 1849. Godley praised it in a leading article in
The Morning Chronicle, April 7, 1849. 14 Paul Knaplund. January
absorbing all the gold for the provisions which are already scarce &
will become scarcer daily as the influx of population continues & no
one thinks it worth his while to till the soil. This is an unforeseen
consequence of trifling & delay.
Allow me to remain my dear Sir
Yours faithfully & with great respect
James Edward Fitzgerald
B. M.
Jany. 17 1849
My dear Sir,
I shall accept with pleasure your kind permission to dedicate my
book to you but I shall take great care in doing so not to assume that
you agree with the sentiments it contains, or to identify you in any
manner, which I can readily comprehend would be unpleasant to you,
with a cause which must stand or fall upon facts.
If the Hudson's Bay Company are able to clear themselves I shall
be glad because I have no feeling for or against them independently of
those which the facts before me excite.
I have however formed a very strong opinion in the course of my
investigation that the charter of the Company is wholly illegal. And
I shall continue to hold this opinion should it be found that their policy
is beneficial & not as I now believe mischievous to the territory under
their sway.
I shall hope to present you with the small volume shortly after your
arrival in town. In the meantime I beg to remain with many thanks
& much respect
ever, my dear Sir,
very faithfully yours
James Edward Fitzgerald.
After Parliament convened in 1849, Lord Lincoln and Messrs.
Hume and Aglionby pelted the Government with requests for
papers relating to the Hudson's Bay Company, the validity of its
charter, and the grant of Vancouver Island. They were particularly interested in having the opinions of the law officers of the
Crown concerning the charter presented to Parliament. However, the latter was refused on the grounds that the Hudson's
Bay Company had paid the expense connected with securing the
opinions of the attorneys and solicitors-general. They were,
therefore, private papers over which the House of Commons had
no jurisdiction.30
(30)  See Hansard, 3d series, CII, cols. 303, 304, 764, 1169-1171, February 6, 16, and 22, 1849. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 15
Although the main battle was lost, Fitzgerald continued to
write letters to Gladstone.
March 10 '49
My dear Sir,
I feel greatly obliged by the kind & flattering expressions of your
letter of the 8th inst. I was sorry to be unable to bestow upon my
little book more than very desultory & unsatisfactory labour. And
I regret to say the result shews in no small degree that such was the
Mr. Mansfield about whose new Magazine you did me the honor to
speak has applied to me through a friend for a copy of the book in
order to review it & I have sent him one.
In doing this I shall open a communication with him as to his
journal generally.
I beg along with this note to return you the volumes you were so
kind as to lend me & to express at the same time my best thanks for
their use.
Permit me to remain my dear Sir
Yours very truly obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald
On March 27, 1849, Gladstone asked the Under-Secretary for
the Colonies, Benjamin Hawes, whether the Government intended
to introduce a Bill concerning the territories of the Hudson's Bay
Company in North America. The reply was that the only Bill
to be introduced would relate to the establishment of Courts of
Justice in Vancouver Island.31 Later that year something of a
row took place in the House of Commons because the House was
counted out during an attack on the Hudson's Bay Company by
Lord Lincoln. On the following day he charged that the Government had put on the whips to keep members away. Gladstone
then spoke briefly about the value of Vancouver Island and about
the Hudson's Bay Company.82
Meanwhile, Fitzgerald was abandoning all hope for Vancouver Island and turning his attention to New Zealand, in which
his friend, J. R. Godley, was deeply interested.
(31) Hansard, 3d series, CHI, col. 1371.
(32) Ibid., CVI, cols. 549-601. The house was counted out on June 19
after Lord Lincoln had spoken for four and a half hours. The " row"
took place on June 20, 1849.
2 16 Paul Knaplund. January
British Museum
Oct. 3rd 1849
My dear Sir,
I have delayed answering your letter of the 15th September, because
I have been daily expecting that the papers to which I referred in my
last letter would have been printed in the Morning Chronicle. That
however has only been done this morning & I forward a copy of the
Chronicle by today's post, in which you will see them & an article on
the same subject. Mr. Isbister has written to Lord Grey & to Lord
John Russell to try & find out when & how the anticipated trial is to
occur; but we have not had any answer as yet.
With respect to my own movements, I am indeed much obliged by
your kind expressions. If I thought that Vancouver Island were not
utterly lost, I would try to wait for the chance of being useful there:
but the whole condition of the N. W. Coast gives me very little hope of
seeing anything done there at present. I cannot conceive how labour
is to be retained in the Island, in the presence of the present value of
labour at San Francisco. If there had been a Colony there before the
California Gold was found, it is possible that personal influence might
have done much to retain the settlers, by personal influence I mean the
mutual attachment of the settlers to one another & to a government of
which they were experiencing the wisdom & excellence. I can conceive
that had that grown up, the settlement might have withstood the shock
of Californian temptation. But it seems hopeless to expect that anything like this should be formed in the midst of such disturbing influences. At any rate the Company cannot now be unseated for five
years. Therefore I turn my attention to the best Colony at present
existing—New Zealand. I have read the Bishops Journals33 with very
great interest. And with the impression that the presence of such
a man is in itself sufficient to make New Zealand by far the best Colony
at present existing. There is, no doubt, more to be done by Colonizers
in this country than in a colony. Nor would I willingly resign the
advantages which London offers for helping in my own humble manner
the movement which is taking place, toward the more complete solution
of the Colonial question. But should circumstances which are beyond
my control deprive me of the position of independence which I enjoy,
I think I could do more as a Colonist that [sic] by remaining in
England. Among other ideas which have passed through my mind is
that of connecting myself with a New Zealand newspaper. It seems to
be not an unworthy object to direct the developing energies of a colony
through the agency of an honest press.    This is however but an idea.
(33) George Augustus Selwyn (1809-1878), Bishop of New Zealand,
1841-1868, of Lichfield, 1868-1878. " Selwyn's journals read like a romance."
R. F. Irvine and 0. T. J. Alpers, The Progress of New Zealand in the Century, London, 1902, p. 71. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 17
I am very sorry to say that Godley84 is unable to remain in England
& is forced to go to the South of Europe for the winter. This will be
a great loss to us but I sincerely hope will prolong his usefulness.
Pray believe me, my dear Sir,
Yours very truly obliged
James Edward Fitzgerald.
16 Great Russell St.
Jany. 8th 1850
My dear Sir,
I lose no further time in answering your letter of the 31st of Dec.
And first let me express the pleasure I felt at reading its first sentence,
viz. that you were pleased to learn that I had become Secretary to the
Society for the Reform of Colonial Govt.85 Some say we are dangerous. Some that we cannot hold together—that we are too incongruous
in materials, I am convinced that we shall avert not create danger.
And that although travelling by various routes, we have a common end.
The philosophy of the Manchester School in reference to colonies is
surely narrow & dangerous; & might were there opportunity do mischief but, for their own ends they will be compelled to accept the proposals of the Colonial party. If indeed I could forsee [sic] any other
result than a great strengthening to the British Empire I should take
no part in the struggle.
I have thought, & spoken to others about the Church question.
I am not sufficiently informed as to how the Church is encumbered in
the Colonies but it is quite manifest that it is so—that Westleyans
[sic] & Roman Catholics have a power of independent action of which
our Church seems to be deprived. Any provision for securing to the
Church of England any advantage or preeminence, it would be quite
hopeless, I fear, according to the Constitution of our Committee to
obtain; but if there be any mode by which any impediments arising
from the connection with the state in this country can be removed in
the Colonies, that would probably be acceptable to all; even, or rather
especially, to those who support the voluntary principle. It is contemplated to prepare a bill for the government of New South Wales
which is to be a model bill. Such a bill as might be passed for each
of the " true Colonies " of England according to the views of the
Society. If there be any lawyer in London who is in possession of
your views as to the position in which the Church should be placed in
that Colony & as to the mode of placing her in that position, & you will
place him in communication with me, I will ask him to frame such a
(34) His plans were changed and he went to New Zealand instead,,
leaving England in December, 1849.
(35) See Life of Lord Norton, pp. 78-84.    Gladstone declined the offer
of the presidency of this organization.    Knaplund, op. cit, p. 57. 18 Paul Knaplund. January
clause for introduction into the bill as may meet your own wishes & be
acceptable to those members of the Council who differ from you upon
Church matters but whose support it would be essential to obtain in
order to pass the measure.
I hope you will not think me very fickle if I say candidly that Vancouver Island interests me less than formerly. But these are my
reasons—1. That in the condition of California the northern shores of
the Pacific cannot be colonised; even the servants of the HBC are
running into the Southern vortex, hence Vancouver Island has lost its
practical character & has become an abstraction. 2. Because I plainly
forsee [sic] the dissolution of the HBC itself, the tide of free trade
must roll over it sooner or later. The rights are absolutely untenable
& have only to be attacked in the Courts of Law to be destroyed. So
that again looking to the practical result, the Island must come again
into the hands of the Crown. 3.. Because the danger of losing all our
Colonies is held by those who are esteemed as best informed; to be so
imminent that it would be perhaps difficult to attract attention to a
less immediately important subject. Besides mens minds are working
very hard to frame a distinct philosophy as to the mystery of Colonization, and to establish canons & form rules. The science of Colonial
Empire will become generally discussed & generally understood. Is it
not possible then that these three results may take place at once?
California settled so as to lose its absorbing power. The HBC to cease
to exist: & the mode of rightly forming a Colony to be generally recognised. Then indeed Vancouver Island will again become a place of
paramount importance, for I see no reason in the smallest degree for
changing my opinion as to the immense importance of its geographical
position & great capabilities for a Colony. But it will no doubt be a
great argument to be used in attacking the present administration of
Colonial affairs: that not only were errors committed in questions
encumbered with old difficulties, but that in the V[ancouver] I[sland]
affair a distinct contradiction was given to the principles settled as
right in colonization. Besides this is true although it cannot be publicly used at present, that Lord Grey is interfering in the most vexatious manner in every trumpery little arrangement about the mode of
disposing of land of " the Canterbury settlement Committee "—whilst
the whole matter was tossed over to the HBC & they were allowed to
dispose of it as they liked.
I hope I may hear from you in reference to the Church question
without delay as my brother is drawing the bill & can at once communicate with any ecclesiastical lawyer as to what it may be possible
to do.
Believe me, my dear Sir,
Yours very sincerely
16 Great Russell St.
Jan. 22 1850
My dear Sir,
I have shewn your last letter to Adderley36 and, as far as lies in my
power, although the sphere is a very limited one, I would most cordially
assist the object you have in view. But I have not much to say as
Adderley will probably state fully, in reference to the Clause which
you were so kind as to prepare, how far it may be possible to meet
your views. I know so little on the subject of Church law that I even
express doubts doubtfully.    But I will just state those doubts—
1. Is it certain that the difficulties which the Church experiences in
this country extend to the Colonies? some lawyers say not.
2. Is not the acknowledgment of the universal authority of the
Archbishop of Canterbury to veto the Canons of a Synod in a distant
land, a recognition of the whole doctrine of papal supremacy?
3. Is it not dangerous to admit the principle in any form that the
State has power to legislate for the internal affairs of the Church?
I know this is done in England but why repeat or increase the
4. Would not all be attained by a simple enactment that no laws
passed in England should apply to the Church in the Colonies ? Would
you not then particularly leave the Church the power to act upon its
own Authority with the interests & ancient sanction which its Corporate acts enjoy?
I have a good deal to say on the matter of the Hudsons Bay Company. Some curious ordinances are in my possession, & a recent trial
of a Mr. McCaughlin & his action for a malicious indictment still proceeding are very interesting but I had better leave them till you come
to London.
Ever, my dear Sir, yours very sincerely
James Edward Fitzgerald.
(36) Charles Adderley, first Lord Norton (1814-1905), Conservative
member of Parliament for North Staffordshire, 1841-1878; founder of the
Colonial Reform Association, 1849; Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the
Colonies, 1868-1870; president of the Board of Trade, 1874-1878; created
Baron Norton, 1878. For details concerning the drafting of the Australian
Government Bill see Life of Lord Norton, pp. 87, 88. Gladstone was greatly
interested in the position of the colonial churches. While Colonial Secretary, 1846, he discussed this subject with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Gladstone wrote to Frederic Rogers, March 27, 1846: " I said to the Archbishop, and he concurred in it that the nearer the internal law of the Church
for those Colonies could be brought to the footing of voluntary compact, to
be enforced upon the general principles of the law of contract, the better."
Copy, the Gladstone papers. Gladstone's draft of a church clause for the
Australian Bill is mentioned by Adderley in letter to Lord Lyttelton, January 12, 1850.   Life of Lord Norton, p. 88. 20 Paul Knaplund. January
Later in the year Fitzgerald left for New Zealand, arriving
at Lyttelton December 16,1850. Except for a two years' sojourn
in England, 1858-1860, New Zealand was his home till his death
in 1896.87
Three days after he had landed, Fitzgerald wrote a long letter
to Gladstone, describing the situation in New Zealand and
lamenting the growth there of republicanism and radicalism. As
proofs of the latter he cited the demands for universal suffrage
and vote by ballot, labelling the desire for the ballot " a sure test
of worthlessness."38
In this letter, dated Lyttelton, Dec. 19, 1850, a paragraph is
devoted to Vancouver Island.    Herein he wrote:—
I have seen a letter lately from the late Governor of Vancouver Island which
I think is a sufficient justification for my change of intention as to that
Island, & of all which I published on the subject. The letter was I believe
shown to you. The day is past when anything can be done there. It is a
noble possession lost to the British Crown & added as it soon will be to the
American nation which will before long unite west of the Rocky Mountains
for it is impossible not to forsee [sic] that the country west of that range
will be an independent nation.39
On this somewhat melancholy note, Fitzgerald closed his
writing on the subject of Vancouver Island. For a brief period
he stirred up much interest in its fate and prompted discussions
which form at least an important foot-note to its history.
Moreover, he was doubtless responsible for much of Gladstone's hostility to the Hudson's Bay Company, as shown in his
attack upon it in the House of Commons, August 18, 1848, in his
examination of witnesses before the Select Committee on the
Hudson's Bay Company, 1857,40 and again in the House of Commons, 1858.41 As a resident of New Zealand, Fitzgerald continued his correspondence with Gladstone, advocating strongly
the withdrawal of the British troops from the colony.42   Fitz-
(37) During his stay in England Fitzgerald was offered the Governorship of British Columbia but declined because of ill-health. Shortly after
his return to New Zealand he accepted the non-political post of Controller of
public accounts, which he held till his death in 1896.
(38) Gladstone papers, British Museum.   Add. MSS., 44, 371.
(39) Ibid.
(40) P.P., 1857, op. cit.
(41) Hansard, 3d series, CII, cols. 1802-1809, debate July 20, 1858.
(42) British Museum, Add. MSS., 44, 371. 1949        Letters from James Edward Fitzgerald. 21
gerald's arguments strengthened Gladstone's determination to
recall the garrisons from the self-governing colonies, a recall
which was effected during his first ministry.
Later when Gladstone took up the cause of Home Rule for
Ireland the correspondence was resumed. In a letter of July 26,
1886, Fitzgerald made this observation concerning Irish Home
Rule :—
My own feeling is that, come what may, the question now raised in the form
of a definite & possible scheme will never again rest & must ultimately
be carried & I venture to prophesy that it will be carried by a Tory
Considering the composition of the British Government which
negotiated the Irish Treaty of 1921, Fitzgerald's forecast was
remarkably accurate. A letter to Lord Norton on the effect of
self-government upon the attitude of colonists toward the Mother
Country was read by Gladstone in his great plea to the House of
Commons for Irish Home Rule, April 6, 1893.44 Thus a connection established in 1848 over Vancouver Island ultimately
provided several foot-notes for British imperial history.
Paul Knaplund.
Madison, Wis.
(43) Ibid., 44, 498.
(44) Hansard, 4th series, X, cols. 1613,1614. For further details relating to the Fitzgerald correspondence about Irish Home Rule, see Life of
Lord Norton, pp. 289-291. SIR JOHN H. PELLY, BART.
Governor, Hudson's Bay Company, 1822-1852.
The person of this illustrious old gentleman was as regularly
formed, and nobly proportioned, as though it had been moulded by
the hands of some cunning Dutch statuary, as a model of majesty
and lordly grandeur.1
Thus Washington Irving wrote of one of the early Governors
of New Amsterdam, and the same words might be applied to the
massive man in black whose portrait hangs in the splendid Board
Room of the Hudson's Bay Company at No. 68 Bishopsgate,
London.2 It is a likeness of Sir John Henry Pelly, Bart., who
about 100 years ago was Governor of that Company and also of
the Bank of England. He had been made a baronet " in recognition of the ability and skill he had evinced in carrying out the
arrangements for the Arctic expedition."3 He was descended
from four generations of master mariners, his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all Elder Brethren of Trinity
House, as was he himself and one of his sons after him. So
sea-faring was in his blood and the service of seafarers a family
The Pellys came from an old Channel Islands family of
Le Pelley who at one time held the Seigneurie of Sark, but the
name is also found in various forms in Normandy and Brittany.
One famous French Le Pelley was Admiral Dumanoir, who was
in command of the van of the Franco-Spanish fleet at Trafalgar.4
(1) Washington Irving, Knickerbocker's History of New York, London,
1820, pp. 155, 156.
(2) This portrait is reproduced in an article by the author entitled
" Treaty with the Russians," The Beaver, December, 1948, p. 33. It was
painted by an unknown artist, probably when the sitter was 55 years of age,
about 1832. Major H. A. Pelly of Preshaw House, Upham, Southampton,
has a similar painting, which he definitely attributes to H. P. Briggs, R.A.
Briggs was a busy portrait painter who became R.A. in 1832. The Curator
of the London National Portrait Gallery thinks the painting may well be by
H. P. Briggs, but which is the original and which the replica is hard to say.
(3) The Annual Register .  .  .  1852, London, 1853, p. 300.
(4) Sir John's younger brother, Charles, one of Nelson's captains, just
missed Trafalgar, having assumed command of H.M.S. Mercury and sailed
for Quebec two months before the great battle.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly. Vol. XIII, No. 1.
23 24 Reginald Saw. January
During the reign of Elizabeth one of the Le Pelleys emigrated
to Dorset. In the register of St. James' Parish Church, Poole,
is recorded the baptism of Dyms Pelley on October 27, 1584, and
another entry on April 4, 1618, is of the birth of " Thomas Ye
Pelley, sonne of William Ye Pelley and of Johan his wife,"
Ye Pelley being the English equivalent of Le Pelley. It was
through the marriage of John Pelly II, of Poole, with Grisel
Collett, of Barking, that the Pellys came to South-west Essex.
In descent from this Dorset family was John Pelly III, of Upton,
Essex, grandfather of Sir John, who married Elizabeth Hinde,
also of Upton. Their eldest son, Henry Hinde Pelly, married
Sally Hitchen Blake, daughter of Capt. John Blake, of the
Honourable East India Company's Maritime Service, at St.
Margaret's, Westminster.5 Henry Hinde Pelly, who inherited
the Upton and Aveley estates of the Pelly and Hinde families in
Essex, spent much of his life as a sea-captain in the service of
the East India Company. He bought shares in the Hudson's Bay
Company in 1788, by which he became a " Proprietor" and
remained on the books of the Company for the rest of his life.
He was never a Committee Member, yet he died owning £2,339.
6. 8 of the Company's stock, far more than the £900 minimum
required to entitle a Proprietor to a vote. He became an Elder
Brother of Trinity House, High Sheriff of Essex in 1780. He had
six children—four sons and two daughters. He was probably
in occupation of Four Manor House, Upton Cross (nowPlaistow),
Essex, before he acquired the manorial land around it in 1810.
John Henry Pelly, the eldest son, was born on March 31,1777,
at the Upton Manor House (now long since demolished) and was
baptized at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on April 29. He was
destined to follow in his father's footsteps, but with much greater
distinction.   There is a tradition that he held a commission in the
(5) The bride claimed to be a collateral descendant of Admiral Robert
Blake and inherited from her father the portrait of her famous naval
ancestor now known as " the Pelly Portrait of Admiral Blake " in the Royal
Maritime Museum, Greenwich. See Geraldine Mozley, "A New National
Treasure in Britain's Naval Valhalla," London Illustrated News, April 23,
1938, pp. 700, 701, 726. Although Admiral Blake had neither wife nor
children, Sir John could claim through his mother to be to some extent one
of "the rightful sons of Blake" whom Henry Newbolt declared to be
destined rulers of " the realm of the circling sea.'' 1949 Sir John H. Pelly, Bart. 25
Royal Navy for a short time, but no evidence to substantiate
the claim has been found, and it is denied in the Dictionary of
National Biography.6 It probably arose from the fact that, like
his father, he sailed for some years in the ships of the East India
Company's Maritime Service. In May, 1795, he was appointed
fourth mate of the Hillsborough, 764 tons, bound for the " Coast
and Bay."7 From 1797 to 1802 he sailed twice in the Coutts,
1,200 tons, to the " Coast and China " as second mate. In 1803
he was given command of the Wexford, 1,200 tons, but for some
unexplained reason never sailed in her. However in 1804-1805
he sailed again to the " Coast and Bay " as captain of the United
Kingdom, 820 tons,8 and from 1803 onward he was referred to
as " Captain Pelly," like so many of his ancestors.
On July 13, 1807, he married Emma Boulton, sixth daughter
of Henry Boulton (sometime M.P. for Worcester), at Leather-
head Parish Church, his younger brother, Captain Charles Pelly,
R.N., being " best man." Of this marriage there were eleven
children. As his first child, a daughter, was born in 1808 at
Bedford Place, London, the first home of the married couple may
well have been there, but in 1809 he became tenant of a mansion
in the Queen Anne style not far from his father's house and
known as Upton House. Meanwhile, in 1810, his father had
purchased the Manors of East Ham and West Ham and Plaiz
(later Plaistow), and after he died in 1818, the eldest son moved
into Upton Manor House two years later. This was Sir John's
family residence, 6 miles from the city, from which he drove up
to his office in a carriage and pair every day. After the death
of his mother in 1826, Sir John considerably enlarged the Four
Manor House at Upton Cross, and this remained his place of
(6) Sidney Lee (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, London, 1895,
vol. xliv, p. 275. The obituary in The Annual Register . . . 1852 (p. 300)
states ". . . in early life served in the Royal Navy, where he acquired
that knowledge of seamanship which caused him to be elected an Elder
Brother of Trinity House. ..." A similar reference appeared in the
obituary notice in The Gentleman's Magazine, 1852, part ii, p. 527.
(7) A traditional East India Company description for the Coromandel
Coast (Madras) and Bay of Bengal.
(8) All these were ships of the East India Company's Maritime Service.
See Charles Hardy, A Register of Ships employed in the service of the
.  .  .  East India Company from 1760 to 1810, London, 1811, passim. 26 REGINALD SAW. January
residence until 1836. The house is described as a large cemented
mansion with pleasant grounds and the carriage-drive extended
to the present site of St. Mary's, Plaistow. In 1836 Sir John
removed to the farm-house which he had enlarged and improved,
giving up the Manor House to his son-in-law, Robert Foster
Reynolds, who had married Sir John's second daughter, Emma
Eugenia, three years previously. When that daughter became
a widow in 1846, Sir John and Lady Pelly went back to the
Manor House to live with her.
By 1820 Sir John appears to have established himself as a
merchant at Winchester Buildings, 28 Great Winchester Street,
not far from Fenchurch Street, in which the Hudson's Bay Company then had its offices. In 1806 he had taken over from his
father £1,800 worth of Hudson's Bay Company stock in order to
qualify as a Committee Member of the Company. In 1812 he
became Deputy Governor and, ten years later, Governor, which
position he held for the next thirty years until his death.
As Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, Pelly undertook
a great deal of valuable and important work for the benefit of
British North America. For instance, he was to a great extent
responsible for bringing the difficult negotiations preceding the
coalition of the Hudson's Bay Company with the North West
Company to a satisfactory conclusion in 1821, and for this was
presented by the former Company with a piece of plate valued
at 500 guineas. Under his auspices the Company's steamship
Beaver was launched in 1835, the first steamship to cross the
Atlantic and to proceed round Cape Horn to the Pacific Coast of
North America.9 During his regime, too, the Company established posts as far south as California and at the Sandwich
Islands. But his most notable service to the Company was
probably his organization of one of the most heroic, though
unsuccessful, attempts to discover the Northwest Passage. This
it was which gained him his baronetcy, and the story, taken from
the Company's archives, is well worth telling in full:—
In 1837 Peter Warren Dease and Thomas Simpson under instructions
from the Hudson's Bay Company set out from Fort Chipewyan on Lake
Athabaska "to endeavour to complete the discovery and survey of the
(9) Actually the Beaver came out to the coast under sail. See W. K.
Lamb, " The Advent of the Beaver," British Columbia Historical Quarterly,
II (1938), pp. 163-179. 1949 Sir John H. Pelly, Bart. 21
northern shores of the American continent." They reached the mouth of
the Mackenzie River on 9th July and were at Franklin's farthest, Return
Reef, a fortnight later. When the ice-field blocked further progress, Simpson left his companion with the boats and proceeded overland to Point
Barrow, where he connected his discoveries with those of Elson, and then
completed the exploration of the North West coasts of the continent. In the
following summer, 1838, Simpson started on foot eastward to reach Cape
Alexander, 100 miles east of Franklin's Point Turnagain, before he was
forced to retrace his steps owing to lack of supplies. To the north of Cape
Alexander he sighted an unknown coast which he named Victoria Island
and which was really a portion of the Arctic island discovered farther to
' the west by Richardson in 1820 and by him named Wollaston Land. In the
summer of 1839, Simpson and Dease proceeded by boat, ice-conditions being
more favourable this season, to Cape Alexander and thence'through hitherto
unexplored regions to Back's Point Ogle and Montreal Island reached on the
15th August, where they found a cache left by Captain George Back, R.N.,
five years previously. Continuing round the coast, the explorers made their
farthest point, Castor and Pollux Bay, situate in latitude 68° 28' N., longitude 94° 14' W. On the return journey they followed the southern shore of
King William Land and later explored 146 miles of the south shore of Victoria Land; they then retraced their steps to the mouth of the Coppermine
River and thus completed a boat-journey in the Arctic of no less than 1408
geographical miles. As one result, the existence of a practicable water-
channel between the north coast of the continent and the great Arctic
islands was proved conclusively by these explorers.1"
Writing to the Company on April 25, 1840, the Royal Geographical Society put on record that " geographers are indebted for
completing the tracing of the North coast of America: a problem
first attempted to be solved by Sebastian Cabot, a Merchant of
three centuries ago, and now by another Company of Merchants
to be brought to a successful conclusion."
On July 6, 1840, Lord John Russell, then Secretary of State
for the Colonies, wrote to Captain J. H. Pelly stating that the
Queen had been pleased to grant Dease and Simpson a pension
of £100 per annum each in recognition of their exertions toward
completion of the discovery of the Northwest Passage, and to
grant to Pelly himself the dignity of a baronetcy for his meritorious service as Governor of the Company.11 In 1838 Pelly,
accompanied by George Simpson, went on a voyage to Russia
and, in September of that year, reported the result of his visit to
(10) Hudson's Bay Company London Committee to the Canadian Committee, Winnipeg, letter, reference L.C. 19112/17, March, 1936.
(11) The Annual Register   .   .   .   1840, London, 1841, part ii, p. 143. 28 Reginald Saw. January
St. Petersburg and interview with the Directors of the Russian-
American Fur Company with whom he had arranged an important trading agreement.12 This agreement was subsequently
renewed at intervals until 1867, when the Russians sold Alaska
to the United States. He also assisted the Foreign Office in the
negotiations between Great Britain and Russia in the matter of
the boundary of Russian America. It was at his suggestion that
the clause was inserted in the convention of 1825 that the Russian
boundary on the north-west coast of America should in no case
extend farther than 10 marine leagues from the sea.
The old motto of the Le Pelleys was Pellis Pelle, meaning
" a skin for a skin." It is curious that the famous Sir John
Pelly, inheritor of this old motto, should become chief of the
Hudson's Bay Company, whose motto since its foundation has
been Pro Pelle Cutem.13   But it is pure coincidence.
Sir John was on very friendly terms with the Duke of Wellington and closely associated with him in the Corporation of
Trinity House, of which both were Elder Brethren, the Duke
having been elected an Elder Brother in 1821 and " Captain John
Pelly " in 1823. The latter became Deputy Master in 1834 and
three years later the Duke was elected Master. Both held their
respective appointments until they died in the same year, 1852.
Each appointment required formal renewal by re-election on the
traditional Trinity Monday in each year. In the Wellington
archives at Apsley House is a letter written by Sir John to the
Duke on February 28, 1844, asking whether the latter would
allow himself to be nominated again for Master. To his intimate
friends at this time Sir John was frequently known by his second
name, Henry. In the archives of the Hudson's Bay Company
there is a letter written by George W. Simpson to Sir George
Simpson, dated June 3, 1844, in which the writer says:—
This being Trinity Monday, Sir Henry has gone down to Deptford with
the Duke of Wellington and other Brethren according to ancient custom and
will celebrate the day with a grand entertainment at the Trinity House.14
(12) Reginald Saw, " Treaty with the Russians," The Beaver, December, 1948, pp. 30-33.
(13) Cutis is a human skin, Pellis is an animal skin or pelt.    Cutem
being in the accusative implies a verb, i.e., " I venture."
(14) Hudson's Bay Company Archives, D/5/ll/Fo 285. 1949 Sir John H. Pelly, Bart. 29
The Wellington archives are extremely voluminous. There
seem to be about forty letters a year over a number of years
about Trinity House business alone. Taking the years 1844 and
1845, there are letters to " Sir H. Pelly " on many subjects—
electing an Elder Brother in the room of Lord Grey, about the
refusal of Pilot Jones to take H.M.S. Trafalgar through the
Swin River, electing Lord Dalhousie in the room of Lord Grey,
arrangements for Trinity Monday dinner. So that on Trinity
House business alone Sir John evidently worked in very close
collaboration with the Duke, who trusted him considerably. For
example, when Lord Sydenham, Governor-General of Canada,
which then did not include Rupert's Land, wrote in 1841 asking
to be nominated as Elder Brother in place of the late Lord Camden, Sir John, in reply, wrote that "the Duke left it to Lord
Melbourne and myself to settle, but being absent and your return
uncertain, H.R.H. Prince Albert has been nominated and will of
course be elected." To this Lord Sydenham agreed, adding " of
course it is quite right to connect Prince Albert with the Corporation as soon as possible." Thus his position at Trinity House
brought Sir John into touch with the highest and most influential
people in the land. There is a story told about Pelly and King
William IV, who, as Duke of Clarence, had been an Elder Brother
with Pelly for several years. At his first levee, His Majesty
laughed and said: " Lord, Pelly, who'd have thought of seeing
me here? " At the Corporation's office on Tower Hill there was
a striking portrait of Sir John by Frederick Richard Say showing him seated in an armchair, wearing the gold-braided blue
coat and gold-buttoned white waistcoat of an Elder Brother, very
reminiscent of the naval uniform of Nelson's day, a document on
his lap and a model of a lighthouse on the table before him.
Unfortunately this painting was destroyed by fire during the
London " blitz " in December, 1940.15
" Captain J. H. Pelly " was elected to the Court of the Bank
of England in 1822 and re-elected a member for the next thirty
(15) A reproduction in half-tone of this painting forms the frontispiece
to the privately printed book The Pelly Family in England, by D. R. Pelly,
published in 1912, to which an "Addenda and Corrigenda " was added in
1914. A replica in oils is also in the possession of Mrs. Percy Pelly, of
Quenington Court, near Cirencester. It was made while the late Duke of
Connaught was Master. 30 Reginald Saw. January
years until his death: Director, 1822-4,1825-7,1828-30,1831-2,
1833-5, 1836-7, 1843-52; Deputy Governor, 1839-41; Governor, 1841-2. The period of service was broken because, as a
junior director, he would have to retire every third year, but
after 1843, having passed the Chair, this rule did not apply, and
consequently his period of service was unbroken until his death.
The year 1839, when Pelly was Deputy Governor under Sir John
Rae Reid, was one of severe financial strain and provided one
of those rare occasions when the Bank had to seek outside assistance, in this case a loan of £2,000,000 on bills given by Baring
Brothers to the Bank of France. It may well be that it was on
Sir John's suggestion that in April, 1848, the Duke of Wellington came and inspected the Bank's defences, including gun positions on the roof, during the Chartist riots.
When it was proposed to extend the Order of the Bath to
Civil Companions and Commanders in 1848, Earl Grey wrote
from the Colonial Office to Sir John on April 12 offering to recommend him for a K.C.B., but two days later Sir John replied
declining the honour, adding " I am not ambitious of this world's
Honours and am quite content with that which Her Gracious
Majesty conferred on me in 1840."
He was on the Commission of the Lieutenancy for London
and a member of the Loan Office for Public Works and Fisheries,
a Deputy Lieutenant and active County Magistrate for Essex.
In addition, he was one of the first members of the Royal Geographical Society, in 1830 becoming a Fellow until his death,
and a member of the Council in 1847. He was elected a Fellow
of the Royal Society on April 2, 1835, and on the certificate of
his election is described as " a zealous cultivator and liberal promoter of natural knowledge."
Sir John died on August 13, 1852, aged 75, at Upton Manor
House,16 and was buried in the vault at St. Mary's, Plaistow.
This church was built on land given by Sir John, together with
£100 to start the building fund. He had reserved for himself
the right to have a family vault outside in the angle of the
chancel and the nave. This church was pulled down between
1890 and 1894 and a larger brick and stone one built on the same
land, whereby the Pelly vault is now located directly under the
(16)  London Times, August 16, 1852. 1949 Sir John H. Pelly, Bart. 31
pulpit. In the north aisle of the present church is a three-light
stained-glass window to the memory of Sir John and his family,
and the original marble tablet over the vault is now fixed to the
pillar behind the pulpit. It records the names of Sir John and
Lady Pelly, showing that Lady Pelly survived her husband, dying
on April 20, 1856, at the age of 71. There is also a tablet to his
memory in the Pelly Memorial School at West Ham, built in 1861
and describing him as " of Upton Manor."
At the time of his death his estates were chiefly in Essex,
but perhaps the most lucrative assets were his extensive timber
plantations in Norway. By his will, dated January 20, 1846,
his eldest son was appointed sole executor and directed to convey
his property in Norway to his seven younger sons but charged
with an annuity of £1,000 a year to his widow. He also gave
the rents of his property in West Ham, East Ham, and Aveley
to his widow for life and then to his eldest son, but charged with
repayment of about £20,000 advanced by the trustees of his
marriage settlement. The net estate in England was sworn for
probate at "under £30,000." Lady Pelly moved back to the
farm-house and spent the remaining years of her life there.
Sir John Pelly was a great man, physically and in his achievements. Several places in Canada have been named after him.
Pelly, a town in Western Manitoba, is in reality a successor to
Fort Pelly, founded in 1824 on an elbow of the Assiniboine River.
More numerous are the name-places in the Northwest Territories—Pelly Bay at the foot of the Gulf of Boothia within the
Arctic Circle; Pelly Lake on the Great Fish River, Pelly Mountain and Pelly Point on Victoria Island, Pelly Island in Mackenzie District. Robert Campbell in 1840 also applied his name to
Pelly River and Pelly Lakes in the Yukon Territory. Within
British Columbia his name is commemorated in Pelly Islet within
Victoria Harbour and Pelly Point on Fraser River.17
For thirty years he guided the fortunes of the powerful
Hudson's Bay Company, and for almost the same thirty years
he was a member of the Court of the Bank of England—the
period covering the passing of the momentous Bank Charter Act
(17) See J. T. Walbran, British Columbia Place Names: 1592—1906,
Ottawa, 1909, p. 377; and E. E. Rich (ed.), Letters of John McLoughlin
.  .  .  second series, 1839-1844, Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1943, p. 401. 32 Reginald Saw.
which gave the Bank power to become the sole bank of note-
issue in England and laid the foundation of its position as a
central bank. A veritable city magnate on the grand scale, with
his hand on the financial pulse of the nation, winning honours
in his generation by developing overseas trade, providing for
the guidance of shipping, and probing the secrets of the Far
North. It is almost an anti-climax that such a man's bones
should rest in unromantic Plaistow, but he could not foresee
the transition of his manorial parkland and pastures into rows
of drab houses and ugly factories. His body rests in the soil he
gave to God's service, and having chosen a reliable Pilot, his
soul set forth on the voyage across the uncharted ocean confident
in the motto under his coat-of-arms: Deo ducente, nil nocet—
God guiding, nothing hurts.
Reginald Saw.
Richmond, England. AN OFFICIAL SPEAKS OUT.
Letter of the Hon. Philip J. Hankin, Colonial Secretary,
to the Duke of Buckingham, March 11,1870.
The attitude of the colonial government officials to the question of British Columbia's union with Canada has always been
a matter of great interest, particularly in view of their active
participation in the Legislative Council. Recently the Provincial
Archives acquired, by purchase, an interesting letter written in
March, 1870, by the Colonial Secretary, Philip James Hankin,
to his friend the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.
The recipient of this letter is of interest in that he was a
prominent member of the Derby-Disraeli administration, holding the post of Lord President of the Council from July 6, 1866,
until his appointment as Secretary of State for the Colonies on
March 5, 1867, which latter position he retained until the fall
of the ministry on December 8,1868. That Hankin was a fairly
intimate friend is evidenced by the letter itself and by the fact
that subsequently he served as private secretary to the Duke
from 1873-1880, during the last five years of which period he
was Governor of Madras.
Philip James Hankin is of even greater interest because of
his long association with the colonies of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia. He was the son of Daniel Hankin, Esq., of
Pertenhall, Kimbelton, Huntingdonshire,1 and first came out
to the Pacific North-west as mate (sub-lieutenant) in H.M.S.
Plumper in 1857. While on this station he received his lieutenancy and in 1858 returned to England. In December, 1860,
he returned to Esquimalt, having acted as first lieutenant in
H.M.S. Hecate on her outward voyage. During her commission
on this coast he remained as second lieutenant, and in the summer of 1862, accompanied by Dr. C. B. Wood, R.N., he took an
exploring expedition across the northern section of Vancouver
Island from Kyuquot Inlet to the Nimpkish River and Fort
(1) Victoria Colonist, August 4, 1865.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 1.
33 34 Willard E. Ireland. January
Rupert.2 After his return to England, in January, 1864, he left
the service and returned to Vancouver Island, where he received
an appointment in the Colonial Secretary's Office8 and later, in
December, 1864, became Superintendent of Police.4 This position he filled to the complete satisfaction of the Governor, Arthur
Edward Kennedy, although his administration was challenged
by the Legislative Assembly.5 His knowledge of the coast and
of its Indian inhabitants served him well in October, 1864, when
he accompanied H.M.S. Sutlej, sent to investigate the destruction by the Ahousat Indians of the trading sloop Kingfisher.
For his services the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Station,
Rear-Admiral Hon. Joseph Denman, and the Governor recommended him to the consideration of the Admiralty, with the
result that he was reinstated in the Navy with all arrears of pay.
It was during this period of residence in the colony that he
was married on August 3, 1865, to Isabella Gertrude Nagle.
However, when the two colonies of British Columbia and Vancouver Island were united in November, 1866, Hankin returned
to England, and shortly thereafter he was appointed Colonial
Secretary in British Honduras.6 In 1868 he was offered the
colonial secretaryship of the West African settlements under
the governorship of his former friend, now Sir Arthur Edward
Kennedy.7 The following year he was transferred to British
Columbia as Colonial Secretary.8
(2) Ibid., December 13, 1862. His report to Captain G. H. Richards,
R.N., dated June 17, 1862, is here reproduced in full.
(3) Ibid., August 30, 1864.
(4) Ibid., December 26,1864. " Mr. Hankin has had considerable experience in colonial affairs and is thoroughly versed in the habits, customs and
language of the aborigines. He has been tried in emergencies and shown
undaunted pluck in facing treacherous foes. He is young, but that is no
fault  .   .   ."
(5) In July, 1866, a Select Committee of the House of Assembly instituted an inquiry into the administration of the police force. Hankin refused
to appear before this Committee, and in this stand he was upheld by the
Governor.   Ibid., July 3, 1866, et seq.
(6) Ibid,, May 29, 1867.
(7) Ibid., July 23, 1868.
(8) The first rumour of this appointment appeared in ibid., November
23, 1868. 1949 Hankin's Letter, March 11, 1870. 35
This appointment was not a popular one in the colony, as is
evidenced by the following extract from an editorial in the
Victoria Colonist:—
It would be an idle waste of words were we to reiterate our objections
to the appointment of Mr. Hankin to the position of Colonial Secretary.
That the gentleman's services afforded Governor Kennedy the fullest
satisfaction in the subordinate position which he held, we have never
doubted. His rapid advancement by the Colonial Office from a very humble
station to a position next in rank to that of Her Majesty's representative,
proves that the character given him by his gubernatorial patron was of
a most favorable kind. But, then, what we contend is, that because Mr.
Hankin fulfilled his duties as the fidas achates [sic] of Mr. Kennedy in the
Police Force; because he made that gentleman's interests and idiosyncrasies
his constant study; because he rendered him important services in the
furtherance of what, (to use the mildest term), we are compelled to call a
very questionable line of policy; and, lastly, because he was raised from the
position of Chief of Police of Victoria to that of Colonial Secretary of
Honduras,—he is not, consequently, in the opinion of nine-tenths of this
community, fitted to succeed so efficient and able an officer as Mr. [W. A. G.]
Young has proved himself to be.s
But despite this feeling he was sworn in as Colonial Secretary
on April 8, 1869.10 Following the death of Governor Seymour
on June 10, 1869, Hankin became Official Administrator of the
colony, which position he held until the arrival of Governor
Anthony Musgrave.11 After the completion of Confederation
he was Official Administrator once again during the interval
between the departure of Governor Musgrave and the arrival
of the first Lieutenant-Governor, Joseph W. Trutch.12
The position of the officials in the event that Confederation
might be accomplished posed a problem. Under the terms of
union proposed by British Columbia, pensions were to be provided for those executive officials whose services would be dispensed with. The inclusion of this proposal did much to change
the hitherto hostile attitude of the officials toward Confederation.
The Canadian Government accepted the suggestion, but with
some misgivings, as a pension list would not be popular with
the Federal Legislature, and promised to assist such persons in
securing either Federal appointments or advancement within the
(9) Ibid., January 5, 1869.
(10) Ibid., April 9, 1869.
(11) Ibid., June 15, 1869.
(12) Ibid., July 26,1871. 36 Willard E. Ireland. January
Imperial colonial service. Hankin accepted a Federal pension
and was also retired from the Royal Navy " with the rank of Captain, R.N., on half pay."13 He returned to England after visiting Eastern Canada en route, departing from Victoria on August
16, 1871,14 and, as previously mentioned, became private secretary to the Duke of Buckingham.15
The letter itself needs little editing. It is interesting to note
that it was written during the heat of the famous debate in the
Legislative Council of British Columbia on the subject of confederation with Canada that opened on March 9, 1870. It is
a forthright, frank statement of the personal opinions of the
senior member of the colonial civil service.
Willard E. Ireland.
Victoria, B.C.
Victoria, British Columbia,
March 11th 1870.
My dear Lord Duke—
Thinking Your Grace may like to hear somewhat of our steps we
have been taking this Session towards the admission of this Colony,
into the Dominion of Canada, I venture to forward you, a copy of the
terms which will be proposed to Canada, for the admission of B.C.
into the Dominion.
I have also forwarded by this Mail to Your Grace one of our Local
Papers in which you will see the accounts of the opening of our Legislature, the Governor's speech &c. Mr. Musgrave was in Bed, consequently I had to open the House for him, I am glad to say the Governor has now so far recovered from his accident, as to be able to get
on the sofa, and is down stairs in the Drawing room. I hope he may
soon now be on Crutches, he was 16 weeks in Bed. Confederation is
the great topic of the day, but I do not myself believe it will take place
so soon as some people imagine.
The terms we propose have first to be accepted by Canada, they
then return to this Country, and will be put to the popular vote.
(13) Ibid., August 16, 1871.
(14) Ibid., August 16, 1871.
(15) The English correspondent of the Victoria Colonist in 1872 wrote
as follows: " Philip Hankin, the luckiest of the lucky; he looks more self-
complacent and comfortable than ever. He is now Private Secretary to the
Duke of Buckingham and of course holds that post and enjoy[s] the pension
at the same time. Sir Arthur Kennedy says ' he is lucky certainly, but a
most deserving young man.   .   .   .'"   Ibid, April 13, 1872. 1949 Hankin's Letter, March 11, 1870. 37
The people here love change, they are never satisfied, and they may
find that it is easier to serve Downing Street, than Ottawa.
What they all try to hold out for here, is Responsible Govern*; &
that they certainly are not fit for. Some of them hope by that means
to get into Office. We have a certain gentleman here, who has a seat
in the Legislative Council by name "Amor de Cosmos," (his real name
is Smith)16 he is a thorough Democratic ruffian, & has already given
out that he will be Lieut* Governor, he is a great nuisance in the
House, & abuses the officials & the Government generally. He stood
up a few days ago & made a long speech about the general extravagant
manner, in which the Gov* here was conducted, & then said, I now
wish to ask the Colonial Secy, what those new grand stables are being
built for at Gov* House, I replied, (in the most natural manner possible) Stables! Why to keep horses in of course. He sat down at
once but looking at me, as if he were thinking (as Mr. Squeers would
say) where to have me next! I like Mr. Musgrave immensely, I never
wish to serve with a better man, & I think he is as much liked as it is
possible for British Columbians to like any Governor. I am sorry to
say Mrs. Hankin has been very delicate for some time. She never
appears to have shaken off the effects of the Yellow Fever she caught
in the West Indies, & by the advice of her Medical Man, I am going
to send her to California for a few months to stay with a married
sister. She will take advantage of Chief Justice Needham and family
going to Trinidad, to go with them as far as San Francisco.
I trust the Duchess is better, & that the trip to the Continent was
beneficial to Her Grace. I had a long letter from Sir Arthur Kennedy
by this last Mail, he appears to enjoy excellent health on the Coast.
Lady Kennedy and Miss Kennedy are with him.
We have lately received very good accounts from Peace river,17
where gold has lately been discovered, and many say it is likely to
prove even richer than Cariboo, I am not so sanguine myself, for in
these gold-mining countries, excitements are continually arising which
end in nothing.
We are looking forward with interest to the arrival of the flying
squadron, I believe they only remain a fortnight.18    I am sorry to say
(16) For details on the career of Amor de Cosmos, see W. N. Sage,
"Amor de Cosmos, Journalist and Politician," British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, VIII (1944), pp. 189-212. No evidence has been found to
substantiate Hankin's allegation regarding de Cosmos' appointment as
(17) An excellent series of articles on the history of the Peace River
mines appeared in the Victoria Colonist, February 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20,
(18) The story of the voyage of the flying squadron is to be found in
The Cruise Round the World of the Flying Squadron, 1869-70, under the
command of Rear-Admiral G. T. Phipps Hornby, London, 1871.    The squad- 38 Willard E. Ireland.
our telegraphic communication with Cariboo will have to be abandoned,
as the Company cannot afford to keep it up, & the Colony has no money
to spare, altho' they have offered to give us the line, if we will only
keep it in working order. The House will vote the money fast enough,
but won't provide it.19
Believe me to be Your Grace's very
faithful Servant,
(signed) Philip J. Hankin.
ron arrived at Esquimalt May 15, 1870, and remained until May 28. Victoria Colonist, May 17 and 29, 1870. It comprised H.M.S. Liverpool, H.M.S.
Liffey, H.M.S. Endymion, H.M.S. Phoebe, H.M.S. Scylla, and H.M.S. Pearl.
For further details see F. V. Longstaff, Esquimalt Naval Base, Victoria,
1941, pp. 180-183.
(19) The projected abandonment of the line was announced in the Victoria Colonist, February 10, 1870, and it created an immediate furore, particularly in the upper country. Petitions were forwarded to the Government
[ibid., March 6, 1870], and there was a full dress debate in the Legislative
Council on March 2 [ibid., March 4, 1870]. In the end, arrangements were
effected to keep the line in operation. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
The annual meeting of the Association was held in the Hotel Grosvenor,
Vancouver, on Friday, January 14, with over forty members in attendance,
despite the marked inclemency of the weather. The annual reports presented
gave ample indication that the Association had experienced another successful year. There was an over-all gain in membership of 6—508 as compared
with 502 in 1947; of these, 181 were affiliated with the Victoria Section,
179 with the Vancouver Section, and there were 148 members-at-large.
The financial status of the Association reflected this advance, for the bank
balance had risen from $180.52 to $223.23.
In presenting his report as Editor of the Quarterly, Mr. Willard E.
Ireland expressed regret at the delays in publication met with during the
year which had arisen from mechanics in publication and not from a want
of material available for publication. It is hoped that regular publication
dates will soon be achieved. The circulation of the Quarterly, exclusive of
complimentary and exchange issues, had risen to 540; a total of 584 copies
were now being distributed regularly to an increasingly diversified public.
In the current year no less than four American universities had entered
new subscriptions. The meeting heartily endorsed the Editor's appreciation
of the work of Miss Inez Mitchell in the preparation of the annual index
and of Miss Ida Casilio for taking charge of the subscription records. The
appointment of Miss Madge Wolfenden as Associate Editor was concurred in.
Through the unavoidable absence of the convener, Major F. V. Longstaff,
the twenty-sixth report of the Marine Committee was read by Miss Helen R.
The Presidential address, entitled The French in British Columbia, was
then read by Mr. Willard E. Ireland. This was in the nature of a preliminary survey of the Francais de France—their political background,
activity, and contributions to the development of the social and economic
life of British Columbia. Many interesting parallels with the French colony
in San Francisco were brought to light. The text of the address will be
printed in a forthcoming issue of this Quarterly.
The report of the scrutineers was then presented. A total of 157 valid
ballots were returned to the Honorary Secretary. The new Council met
immediately after the adjournment of the annual meeting at the home of
Mr. and Mrs. George B. White, when the following officers were elected
for 1949:—
Honorary President       -       -       -   Hon. W. T. Straith, K.C.
President   -----        Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby.
1st Vice-President ...   Mr. Burt R. Campbell.
2nd Vice-President    -       -       -        Mr. J. K. Nesbitt.
Honorary Secretary      - Miss Helen R. Boutilier.
Honorary Treasurer -       -       -        Miss Madge Wolfenden.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 1.
4 40 Notes and Comments. January
Members of the Council—
Rev. John Goodfellow. Mr. D. A. McGregor.
Mr. B. A. McKelvie. Dr. T. A. Rickard.
Dr. W. N. Sage.
Councillors ex officio—
Mr. G. H. Stevens, Chairman, Victoria Section.
Mr. L. S. Grant, Chairman, Vancouver Section.
Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Past President, Editor, Quarterly.
The Council discussed plans for the appropriate commemoration of the
centenary of the establishment of British government west of the Rocky
Mountains as symbolized by the creation of the Crown Colony of Vancouver
Island.    An essay competition, the  details  of which will be announced
shortly, will be sponsored in the University of British Columbia, Victoria
College, and Royal Roads Service College.
Victoria Section.
The presence of Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, recently appointed Dominion
Archivist, in the city to address the University Extension Association was
taken advantage of in order to permit the membership to have the pleasure
of hearing once again one whose contribution to the history of the Pacific
Northwest is well recognized. The meeting was held in the Provincial
Library on Tuesday, November 30. Choosing as his subject Empress to the
Orient, Dr. Lamb, in his own inimitable style, wove the story of the
Empresses into a fascinating narrative. Many humorous anecdotes relating
to the ships and to their personnel added greatly to a most interesting
address. The Hon. W. T. Straith, K.C, Minister of Education and Honorary
President of the Association, tendered the appreciation of the meeting to
Dr. Lamb.
The annual meeting of the Victoria Section was held in the Provincial
Library on Friday evening, December 17. The reports presented gave
ample evidence of a highly successful year. The Honorary Secretary
reported that six regular meetings had been held throughout the year, as
well as joint sessions with the Canadian Historical Association, the Saanich
Pioneer Society, artd the annual summer field-day. The Honorary Treasurer,
with commendable pride, reported a bank balance of $75.33, as against
$38.23 in 1947, largely the result of the increase in the membership from
158 to 181. The Chairman, Mr. G. H. Stevens, then delivered an address on
The History of Banks and Banking in British Columbia, in which he traced
not only the early activity of banking institutions in colonial days, but also
the currency problems and the various attempts at their solution. To add
interest, various samples of paper currency once in circulation were on
display, and the members present were given the opportunity to examine the
rare silver trial-pieces of the $20 and $10 coins minted in 1862 as well as the
$20 gold piece.
The report of the scrutineers was received, and at the close of the annual
meeting the new Council met to elect its officers, with the following
results:— 1949 Notes and Comments. 41
Chairman ------   Mr. G. H. Stevens.
Vice-Chairman      ... -       Mr. Sydney G. Pettit.
Honorary Secretary -       - -       -   Miss Madge Wolfenden.
Honorary Treasurer     - Mr. W. J. V. Church.
Members of the Council—
Miss Kathleen Agnew. Dr. William Hackney.
Mr. J. A. Heritage. Mr. R. H. Hiscocks.
Major H. T. Nation. Miss Alma Russell.
Mrs. W. Curtis Sampson.
Miss Flora Burns Mr. H. C. Gilliland
(co-opt). (co-opt).
Miss Betty Gordon Mr. Willard E. Ireland
(co-opt.). (ex officio.)
Vancouver Section.
The annual meeting of the Vancouver Section was held in the Hotel
Grosvenor on Tuesday evening, November 30. The reports indicated that
the section continued to receive the enthusiastic support of a large membership which now stands at 179. In all, six meetings had been held throughout the year and the Honorary Treasurer was able to report a satisfactory
bank balance. The generous co-operation of Mr. E. G. Baynes in making
available accommodation in the Hotel Grosvenor for all meetings was
greatly appreciated. The speaker of the evening was Mr. R. W. Pillsbury,
and his subject The Earliest Days of Prince Rupert. Not only was he able
to draw upon his own childhood memories, but he had the unique advantage
of access to the records and notes of his father, J. H. Pillsbury, assistant
harbour engineer for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, who had directed
the original survey of the townsite forty-two years ago. The result was
a fascinating and well-rounded account of the beginnings of British Columbia's famed northern port.
The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted as follows:—
Honorary Chairman     -       -       -       -    Mr. E. G. Baynes.
Chairman ------        Mr. L. W. Grant.
Vice-Chairman     -----    Mr. George-Green.
Honorary Secretary -       -       -       -        Miss K. H. McQueen.
Honorary Treasurer    -       -       -       -    Mr. Cyril Chave.
Members of the Council—
Miss Helen R. Boutilier. Captain C. W. Cates.
Miss Lillian Cope. Mr. J. W. Eastham.
Dr. H. B. Hawthorn. Miss Bessie Lamb.
Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby. Mr. Noel Robinson.
Dr. W. N. Sage. Rev. F. G. St. Denis.
Rev. William Stott. Mr. K. A. Waites.
On Tuesday evening, December 7, the Councils for 1948 and 1949 tendered an informal dinner to Dr. W. Kaye Lamb on the eve of his departure
for Ottawa. During the course of the evening many amusing anecdotes
and reminiscences concerning the early days of the Association were
recounted.    Dr. Lamb gave an interesting account of the origin and growth 42 Notes and Comments.
of the Association and in particular of the inception of the Quarterly, of
which he was the Editor for ten years. Tribute was paid to three of the
founders—the late Judge F. W. Howay, the late Dr. Robie L. Reid, and-
Dr. W. N. Sage.
Kamloops may well be proud of its excellent museum, and all credit is
due to the small but earnest and devoted group of people comprising the
Kamloops Museum Association.   The annual meeting was held on Friday,
January 14.    The highlight of the accomplishments for the year was the
preparation of an additional museum room designed specifically for the
natural-history exhibits.    During the year considerable progress was made
on the rephotography of the picture collection.    In the three years since
this project was undertaken in conjunction with the Provincial Archives
nearly 1,300 prints have been dealt with;   the negatives now are safely
housed in Victoria, secure from fire, the most serious hazard to the present
museum building.    Increasing use is being made of the facilities of the
museum by the school-children of the district and, in all, 1,486 guests registered during the year.    Committee reports indicated that all had been active
during the year, but special commendation must be given to the President,
Mr. Burt R. Campbell, whose untiring efforts make it largely possible for
Kamloops to boast with justifiable pride of its museum.    The elections
resulted in the following officers for the coming year:—
President   ------   Mr. Burt R. Campbell.
Vice-President        ...       -        Mr. J. J. Morse.
Secretary-Treasurer  -       -       -       -   Miss Melva Dwyer.
Committee Chairmen—
T.S.Keyes R. B. Craig
(Natural History). (House).
J. J. Morse (Indian Lore).
Alderman Helen J. Millward (City Council Representative).
Paul A. Knaplund, Ph.D., is chairman of the Department of History in
the University of Wisconsin. He is an authority on British colonial history
and has contributed to this Quarterly previously.
Reginald Saw, of Richmond, England, is a solicitor and from 1935 to 1939
was reader in English at Cologne University. He is the author of The
Bank of England, 1694-1944 (London, 1944).
Burt Brown Barker is vice-president emeritus of the University of
Oregon and active in the Oregon Historical Society. Recently he edited
Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin written at Fort Vancouver, 1829-1882.
Walter N. Sage, Ph.D., is head of the Department of History of the
University of British Columbia.
Ferris Neave is senior biologist at the Pacific Biological Station,
Nanaimo, and an ardent mountaineer.
John Goodfellow, a Past President of the British Columbia Historical
Association, has for years been convener of the Archives Committee of the
British Columbia Conference of the United Church of Canada. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
Simpson's 1828 Journey to the Columbia. Edited by E. E. Rich, with an
introduction by W. Stewart Wallace. Toronto: The Champlain Society;
and London:   The Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1947.   Pp. lii, 277, x.
This is the tenth volume in the series of the Hudson's Bay Record Society.
It is the journal of Governor George Simpson's second trip to the Columbia
(misspelled Colombia on the spine or shelf-back of the volume). It covers
119 printed pages and is in the handwriting of Simpson, giving further
evidence of his zeal in writing reports. On the whole it is a very worthwhile companion to the other volumes of this set and will be greatly welcomed by readers in the Pacific Northwest.
After conducting the regular annual meeting of the Council of the
Northern Department at York Factory, George Simpson started on his
journey the morning of July 12, 1828, at 2 a.m. He travelled the well-known
Hayes River route. With him were Archibald McDonald, Dr. R. J. Hamlyn,
and nineteen men in two canoes. Malcolm McLeod, who edited the journal
of this trip kept by Archibald McDonald under the unusual title of Peace
River, described Governor Simpson's canoe in these words:—
The Governor's was the most beautiful thing of the kind I ever saw;
beautiful in its " lines " of faultless fineness, and in its form and every
feature; the bow, a magnificent curve of bark gaudily but tastefully painted.
. . . The paddles painted red with vermilion, were made to match, and the
whole thing in its kind, was of faultless grace and beauty. . . .
Governor Simpson loved showmanship. It " massaged his ego." In his
journal, McDonald described Simpson's arrival at Norway House:—
As we waft along under easy sail, the men with a clean change and
mounting new feathers, the Highland bagpipes in the_ Governor's canoe,
was echoed by the bugle in mine; then these were laid aside, on nearer
approach to port, to give free scope to the vocal organs of about eighteen
Canadians (French) to chant one of those voyageur airs peculiar to them,
and always so perfectly rendered. Our entry to Jack River House (Norway
House) about seven p. m. was certainly more imposing than anything hitherto
seen in this part of the Indian country. Immediately on landing, His
Excellency was preceded by the piper from the water to the Fort, while we
were received with all welcome by Messrs. Chief Trader McLeod and Dease,
Mr. Robert Clouston, and a whole host of ladies.
Such was the cavalcade, with a more or less similar entry at each fort on
the way. Simpson followed the regular route to Fort Chipewyan on Athabasca Lake. Leaving this post he followed the Peace River to the Peace
River portage of the Rocky Mountains. On crossing the mountains he
again picked up the Peace River, arriving finally at McLeod's Fort, the
easternmost post in New Caledonia. This route was chosen because Simpson
wished to determine for himself whether the Fraser River was navigable,
so it could be substituted for the Columbia in case the latter should be lost
to the company—a possibility he had foreseen for some time. He had previously asked Dr. McLoughlin to have its navigability examined.    This he
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 1.
43 44 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
did, and the report was unfavourable, which served only to confirm Simpson's resolve to see for himself. He knew that if it were not navigable, the
prospects of holding the forts west of the Rocky Mountains were very slim.
The conclusions to be drawn from the facts to be determined by this trip
were very vital.
His journal indicates that he did a very thorough first-hand job of studying the Fraser.   He stated his findings in these words:—
I shall therefore no longer talk of it as a navigable stream, altho' for years
past I had flattered myself with the idea, that the loss of the Columbia
would in reality be of very little consequence to the Honble. Coys, interests
on this side the Continent: but to which I now, with much concern find, it
would be ruinous, unless we can fall upon some other practicable route.
That no other such route was found is evidenced by the documents appearing
in Appendix A under the title " The American Boundary." These documents
are not new to the public, as most of them have been previously printed in
the Oregon Historical Quarterly. They are Hudson's Bay Company documents reviewing the historical facts of the discovery of the Columbia River
and the subsequent activities of the Pacific Fur Company and its vicissitudes, also arguments based on these facts given to support the British claim
to the territory.
Simpson may have basked in a sort of fool's paradise as to what would
happen even if the Columbia were lost. His position is understandable.
First, he had known of no mass migrations whilst he was in England.
Again, he may have thought of all Americans as he did of those whom he
met in the fur trade.    He paid his compliments to them as follows:—
. . . the heads of the concern or Outfitters, are merely adventurers who
have nothing to lose . . . and the Trappers themselves are generally
speaking, people of the worst character, run-aways from Jails, and outcasts
from Society, who take all their bad qualities along with them.   .   .   .
Lastly, he knew the difficulties of crossing the mountains. Of these he
. . . the Sources of the Wilhamot [Willamette] are not 150 Miles distant
from Fort Vancouver, in Mountains which even Hunters cannot attempt to
pass, beyond which, is a Sandy desert of about 200 miles, likewise impassable, and from thence a rugged barren country of great extent, without
Animals, where Smith and his party were nearly starved to Death. . . .
So that I am of opinion, we have little to apprehend from Settlers in this
quarter.   .   .   .
As a result of this, he may have reasoned, syllogistically, somewhat as
follows: All American settlers will be traders and trappers; • traders and
trappers are interested in furs only; therefore, lay waste the fur country
and there will be no American settlers.
As if acting on this conclusion, he proceeded to lay out, and to have
executed, a plan to trap to exhaustion the territory east and south of the
Columbia which was conceded to become American territory, at the same
time " looking always to the north side falling into our share on a division."
Yet the policy was to discourage the Americans and thus strengthen their
own hold on the south side " as it may be well to have something to give up
on the South when the final arrangements come to be made." 1949 THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF. 45
Had his premises been true, his conclusions might have been logically
sound. The trouble was principally with his major premise, for all the
American settlers were not to be traders and trappers. The popular picture
which had been painted to prospective American pioneer settlers was not the
hunt, but rather the home; not the furs, but the forests of firs. The result
was that spoiling the fur business in no way deterred the home-seekers.
Accordingly, when Senator Thomas Benton, of Missouri, announced in the
United States Senate that it was possible for wagons to cross the Rocky
Mountains via the South Pass, the last barrier seemed to have been removed,
and the fleet of prairie schooners was on its way, much to the surprise of
Governor Simpson and the Governor and Committee in London. On its
arrival, Simpson's theory fell and, with it, his fur empire in the Pacific
Governor Simpson deals at length with the possibilities of extending the
trade of the Company on the coast. Supporting documents in Appendix A,
entitled " The China Trade," indicate the extent of the trade the North West
Company was doing with Canton in the year Captain Gray was sailing first
into the Columbia River, 1792. The Hudson's Bay Company fell heir to
that business and flirted with it for a short time, but ultimately gave it up
as unprofitable, due largely to the restrictions of the East India Company.
There is nothing in this journal to indicate'any friction between Governor
Simpson and Dr. McLoughlin over the use of vessels on the coast at this
time. It was not till 1841, when Simpson was determined to close some of
the posts along the coast and have the Beaver act as a pick-up vessel, that
this friction developed into a consuming flame.
Mr. W. Stewart Wallace, librarian of the University of Toronto, has
written the introduction to the volume. He feels, quite justly, that the
journal is rather " bald," and consequently supplements it with many quotations from the McDonald journal. One feels at times that it verges on
padding, due probably to the publication policy of the society, which insists
on lengthy introductions to the exclusion of other valuable source materials.
Mr. Wallace, an unusually careful writer, in this instance has been a bit
inaccurate in dealing with the geography of the Northwest. For instance
(p. xiii), he says that Simpson's empire extended "from the Great Lakes
and the forty-ninth parallel of latitude to the Arctic Circle." This overlooks
everything south of the 49th parallel presided over by Dr. John McLoughlin,
which included Fort Vancouver, the headquarters of the Columbia District.
Again (p. xxxix), he writes " The British were willing to concede to the
United States everything south of the Columbia River." Actually, when the
British offered to make the Columbia River the dividing line, they conceded
everything east of it as well as south. On page xli he states " a trapping
party had been sent out annually south of the Columbia into the fur-bearing
country about the Snake River." The Snake River lies eastward of the
Columbia. South of the Columbia lies California, not Idaho. To reach the
Snake River country, one must travel east as well as south.
In closing, it is only fair to supplement what Mr. Rich in the preface says
of the work of Miss A. M. Johnson.   In " transcribing the document, pre- 46 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
paring it and the notes and appendixes for the press, reading the proof and
composing the index," it is evident that to all intents and purposes she carries the major burden of all these volumes of the series. In the opinion of
this reviewer, her chair at the top of the building at 168 Bishopsgate Street,
London, where she has done all this invaluable work, should be recognized as
the chair of the Associate Editor, or at least Assistant to the Editor.
Burt Brown Barker.
University op Oregon,
Eugene, Oregon.
Historic Backgrounds of British Columbia. By T. A. Rickard. Vancouver:
The Wrigley Printing Co., Ltd., 1948.    Pp. xiii, 358.    Maps, ills.    $3.50.
A common and, unfortunately, frequently valid criticism of local historical writing is the tendecy to exaggerate the importance of purely local
events by isolating them from their proper historic setting. Dr. Rickard, a
sincere student of the history of the Pacific Northwest, set for himself the
task of giving the background history of the four great powers—Russia,
Spain, the United States, and Great Britain—that were responsible for
the exploration and exploitation of what was to become British Columbia.
Believing that " to comprehend the history of our home land we must know
something about the conditions existing in those four countries," the author
has undertaken within the limits of a few chapters to summarize much of
eighteenth-century European history and to integrate with it the contemporaneous events that took place in the Pacific Northwest.
The general plan followed by this book was to devote a chapter to
national historical background and then to proceed to a description of that
nation's activity in the region. The result is not completely satisfactory.
The chapters on national background, while providing a great deal of useful
information, tend to become too much involved in dynastic complications.
As a result, too little attention has been paid to the economic and social
conditions prevailing in Europe and elsewhere at the time when the exploration of North America was being undertaken. On the whole, the accounts
of the various early explorers on the coast are quite adequately summarized.
The concluding chapter is, in effect, a short synoptic history of British
Columbia from fur-trade days to the completion of the Canadian Pacific
Railway in 1886. It naturally suffers from the defects of overcondensation
and at times tends, in consequence, to give a wrong impression. For
example, after describing the difficulties that beset the administration of
the first Governor, Richard Blanshard, and noting the appointment of his
successor in September, 1851, the statement is made " a Legislative Council
and a Legislative Assembly were organized in due course . . ." (p. 295).
Actually the Council had been appointed by Governor Blanshard prior to his
departure from the colony and the Assembly did not come into existence
until 1856. In addition, there are, unfortunately, a number of inaccuracies.
For example, the Astor mansion in England is Cliveden and not Cleveden
(p. 217); Paul Kane visited Fort Victoria in 1847 and not 1846 (p. 284);
Robert Dunsmuir and Boyd Gilmour reached Fort Rupert in September and 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 47
not December, 1851 (p. 318). More serious, however, is the failure of the
author to check upon several of his authorities used. Much new material
has come to light since Bancroft published his various histories; consequently, one hardly expects to find the story of the Huron still repeated and
confused with the Una in connection with the gold discoveries on the Queen
Charlotte Islands (p. 292).
Despite these unfortunate and at times rather glaring errors, the book
is worth reading. It is well illustrated and well printed. An index would
have greatly enhanced its usefulness. While possibly it does not quite
measure up to expectations, it nevertheless will provide for the general
reader a most interesting introduction to the history of this region.
Wellard E. Ireland.
Victoria, B.C.
Bering's Successors, 1745-1780. By James R. Masterson and Helen Brower.
Seattle:   University of Washington Press, 1948.    Pp. viii, 96.    $2.
The sub-title of this volume reads as follows: " Contributions of Peter
Simon Pallas to the History of Russian Exploration toward Alaska." Dr.
Masterson and Mrs. Brower in 1947 contributed two valuable articles to
the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, and the University of Washington Press
is to be congratulated for having issued them in book form. The volume
throws new light on an obscure portion of Russian American history.
Bering's voyages are well known, but after Bering came the fur-hunters
who, between 1745 and 1780, " unveiled the 1,100-mile-long arc of the Aleutian Islands from Attu to Unimak, and the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak."
These fur-hunters really staked Russian claims to the Aleutians and Alaska
but, unfortunately, accounts of their voyages have to be sought in various
" journals, company reports and similar documents." Three collections or
compendiums of these voyages were made late in the eighteenth century by
German and British scientists and scholars resident in Russia. One of
these scientists was Peter Simon Pallas. Scattered throughout his writings
are nine articles dealing with the Aleutians and Alaska published during
the years 1781 to 1784 in an almost forgotten German periodical. Dr.
Masterson and Mrs. Brower have translated and edited these articles for
In a valuable, but rather learned and stodgy, introduction the authors
have placed Pallas in the historiography of the Far West Coast. Then
follow the nine articles which deal with reports, narratives, and abstracts
of journals dating from 1755 to 1780. The first of these articles, dating
from 1780, is a " Commentary on the Discoveries that have been made in
the Eastern Ocean between Siberia and America." It contains much valuable information, geographical, anthropological, and historical, concerning
the whole region from Bering Strait and Kamchatka by way.of the Aleutian
Islands to the Alaska peninsula. Pallas is a thorough-going German, painstaking and detailed in his presentation. This section will repay serious
study, but it can hardly be termed "light reading." Then follow two
articles dealing with a little-known voyage in 1768 and 1769 made by Cap- 48 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
tain Krenitsin and Lieutenant Levashev from Kamchatka via the Aleutians
to the Alaska peninsula. The first of these articles deals with a map of
the voyage, and the second, in the original, was a German translation of
a passage from William Coxe's Account of the Russian Discoveries between
Asia and America, published in London in 1780. Dr. Masterson and Mrs.
Brower have wisely substituted Coxe's original for an English translation
of Pallas' German translation. Of the other sic articles the most interesting are Dmitri Bragins' report of his voyage among the Aleutian Islands,
1772-1777, and an abstract from the diary of a voyage made by Ivan
Soloviev during the years from 1770-1775 " as far as the Peninsula of
Alaska, belonging to the Mainland of America." In both cases Pallas had
made German translations from the original Russian. The last extract is
taken from a journal of a Cossack, Ivan Kobelev by name, dealing with the
country of the Chukhis, " which occupies the easternmost corner of Asia,"
the Diomede Islands in Bering Strait and the adjacent portion of Alaska,
the vicinity of Cape Prince of Wales. This journal mentions Captain
Cook's visit in 1778 and also Bering's first expedition of 1728.
As hinted above, this volume is for the specialist rather than for the
general reader. It is nonetheless a most valuable contribution to the history
of the Far West Coast.
Walter N. Sage.
Vancouver, B.C.
The Unknown Mountain. By Don Munday. London: Hodder and Stough-
ton, 1948.   Pp. xx, 268.    Ills.    21/-.
The discovery of Mount Waddington and the great mountain area of
which it is the culminating point was an outstanding geographical event.
As Mr. Munday points out, even so late as the 1920's it was generally
believed that the Coast Range held no peaks equal in absolute height to the
highest mountains of the more easterly ranges. Not only has this view
been proved wrong, but it has been shown that within 200 miles of Vancouver is a remnant of the Ice Age, a land of immense glaciers of which
one (the Klinaklini) " apparently covers 300 square miles," while " several
hundred square miles of country around ' Mystery Mountain' are without
This book is the story of the many trips made by Don and Phyl Munday,
with and without companions, from 1925 through 1936. Although some
half-dozen other parties entered the area during the latter part of this
period, principally for the specific purpose of climbing Mount Waddington,
the reader of The Unknown Mountain will rightly conclude that these two
played the dominant part in the discovery and recognition of the extraordinary character of this region. Even a brief study of the two maps—Klinaklini Glacier and Portion of the Coast Mountains—will show the care and
thoroughness with which they explored the topographical features and
intricacies of these mountains and valleys.
What these maps do not reveal is the effort that it cost to produce them,
and for enlightenment on this point we must turn to the text.    The latter 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 49
describes in graphic detail the difficulties which beset the traveller in the
Coast Mountains. It may surprise some readers to discover what a very
small proportion of the total days spent by a mountaineering expedition can
be devoted to strictly alpine problems. Quite apart from the limitations
imposed by weather (which is notably unstable in this region), a serious
attack on the higher peaks normally involves many days or even weeks of
heavy work in merely approaching the objective. An appropriate proportion of this book is dedicated to the struggle against brush, rock, flood,
insects, bears, and the other obstacles and hazards which harass the backpacker between sea-level and the timber-line. The small triumphs, humours,
and rewards which also accompany him are not forgotten. The long coastwise voyages which the Mundays accomplished in tiny craft were in themselves substantial feats of skill and determination.
The narrative is chronological, starting with the sighting of a faraway
peak from Mount Arrowsmith on Vancouver Island in 1925. Later that
year, from a peak at the head of Bute Inlet, the Mundays, with their companions Thomas Ingram and Athol Agur, looked up the Homathko Valley
and saw, some 30 miles distant, " the nameless sovereign of an unknown
realm." Next year saw the invasion of this realm by way of the Homathko
Valley and Waddington Glacier. An altitude of over 10,000 feet was
reached on the ridge between Mount Munday and Mount Waddington, and
much topographical knowledge was gained. An important practical application of this information was the shifting of the following year's expedition to Knight Inlet, whence the great Franklin glacier system and the
southern approaches to Mount Waddington were explored. The party of
three—the Mundays and Mrs. McCallum—attained a height of over 12,000
feet on the north-west peak of the mountain, retreating safely in a violent
electrical storm.
The year 1928 saw the conquest of the north-west peak (13,200 feet)
which is only slightly lower than the central spire, from which it is separated by a great cleft. The ascent and return took more than twenty-four
hours from a camp (elevation, about 8,000 feet) at Fury Gap. Two years
later the Mundays added skis to their equipment and made the first ascent
of the mountain which bears their name and which rises to a height of
11,500 feet a short distance to the south-east of Mount Waddington.
Further ascents and explorations from the Franklin Glacier side were
made in succeeding years, but in 1933 the Mundays joined an expedition
planned by Henry S. Hall, Jr., of Cambridge, Mass., which involved an
entirely different approach. This was overland from the Chilcotin plateau,
on the eastern side of the Coast Range. The route was down Mosley Creek
(one of the two main confluents of the Homathko) and up Scimitar Glacier—another of the great ice rivers which radiate from the peaks of the
Waddington group. Horses were used successfully on this glacier. Hans
Fuhrer, the well-known Swiss guide, was a member of the party. Again
much new and splendid territory was disclosed. The party made the first
ascent of Mount Combatant, one of the 12,000-foot neighbours of Mount
Waddington, but found the latter to be not readily accessible from this 50 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
quarter. A year later the same combination of climbers, operating from
the Franklin Glacier side, made the second ascent of the north-west peak
of Mount Waddington. In this season two other parties came to grips with
the severities of the central peak. One party suffered a fatality and the
other, approaching by the hitherto untried Tiedemann Glacier, was turned
back by storm within a few hundred feet of the summit. Final success in
this latter objective was achieved by a two-man team from the United
States in 1936.
By this time the Mundays, pursuing farther horizons, were in their
second season of exploration of the great Klinaklini Glacier, which they had
sighted in 1927 from the environs of Mount Waddington. The immensity
of this virtually unknown ice-mass, whose main elevation (Mount Silver-
thorne) was climbed by the Mundays with Hall and Fuhrer, provides a
dramatic setting for the final chapters of the book.
The terseness of Mr. Munday's writing does not always make for effortless reading. A degree of concentration is sometimes demanded for the
extraction of his full meaning, but the reader who has travelled among
mountains will find phrases and descriptions which evoke instant recognition—for example, " Chill, grey besoms of rain swept the mountain crests."
A few minor misprints and trivial errors can be detected. These are
not such as to impair the high standards of accuracy and carefulness which
we confidently expect from this author. The three dozen beautiful and
well-selected photographs effectively supplement the text. They will also
add greatly to the reader's appreciation of the splendours and severities
of the region which was the setting for these high adventures. We congratulate the Mundays both on their accomplishments and on their story.
Ferris Neave.
Nanaimo, B.C.
Au Berceau de la Colombie-Britannique. By Mgr. Olivier Maurault.
Montreal:  Les Editions des Dix, 1948.    Pp. 30.    40 cents.
Monseigneur Olivier Maurault, rector of the University of Montreal, has
contributed to Les Cahiers de Dix this article on the early days of British
Columbia. It is noteworthy as being one of the first contributions to the
history of our Province to be made by a professor at one of the leading
French-speaking universities of Canada. Mgr. Maurault visited Victoria
and Vancouver last June on the occasion of the meetings of the Royal
Society of Canada, and his paper, no doubt, owes its origin to that recent
visit to the Pacific Coast.
The first thirteen pages of the article sum up the history of exploration
and fur trade on the Northwest Coast. It is an interesting experience to
read the familiar story as told by a French-speaking Canadian historian,
but it is nonetheless to be regretted that the author has not always delved
deeply enough into his sources and has permitted several unnecessary errors
to creep in. A case in point is the statement on page 5 that Juan Rodriguez
Cabrillo (or Joao Rodriguez Cabrilho), a Portuguese in Spanish service,
was the first to touch the Pacific Coast of North America in 1542.    Vasco 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 51
Nunez de Balboa, in 1513, first sighted the Pacific at the Isthmus of Panama,
and several Spaniards, including the great Cortes, had explored the west
coast of Mexico before 1542. Cabrillo was, however, the first white man to
see what is now the coast of the State of California. Nor is the author
correct when he says that the Spaniards soon followed after Cabrillo.
Cabrillo, in 1542, was commanding a Spanish exploratory expedition. If
Mgr. Maurault had consulted other sources in addition to a Portuguese map,
he would probably not have made these statements.
The author also claims that Meares discovered and named the Strait of
Juan de Fuca. He ignores entirely the explicit statement in Mrs. Barkley's
diary, preserved in the Archives of British Columbia, that her husband,
Captain Charles Barkley, discovered the strait and named it in 1787 after
the apochryphal voyager. Incidentally Mgr. Maurault seems to place some
credence in Juan de Fuca's oft-exploded claim to be the discoverer of the
strait which now bears his name.
It is also rather difficult to accept the author's statement on page 8 that
Captain John Kendrick, in 1790, circumnavigated Vancouver Island. Dr.
C. F. Newcombe, in his careful study The First Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, has vindicated Captain Vancouver's claim to that honour.
On the same page occurs the rather startling phrase that Lieutenant
Broughton, Vancouver's second in command, " had penetrated the Columbia
in 1792, and founded Fort George, ten miles from the mouth of the river."
It is true that Broughton explored the Columbia, but there is no evidence
that he founded a post. Fort George, needless to say, was the name given
to Astoria by the Nor'Westers after their occupation of the post in 1813.
Mgr. Maurault also cites on the authority of Francis Audet, but with a
certain amount of doubt it must be confessed that Henry Kelsey reached the
Rocky Mountains. The birthplace of Simon Fraser, the explorer, is given
as Cornwall, Ont., whereas he was born in Vermont. The rather indeterminate limits of New Caledonia are, on page 13, confused with the more
precise boundaries of the colony of British Columbia as established by the
Imperial Act of August 2, 1858. To be sure, no historical work is ever
completely free from error, but it is rather unfortunate that the author has
not in this portion of his article checked his sources a little more carefully.
The most valuable, and probably the most interesting, portion of the
paper deals with the French-Canadians in the fur trade and with the early
missionary activity of the Roman Catholic Church. Here Mgr. Maurault
has carefully combed his sources and gives detailed lists of the French-
Canadians who were connected with the North West Company, the Pacific
Fur Company, and the Hudson's Bay Company. He tells of the arrival of
the Reverend Fathers Blanchet and Demers, of Father de Smet and of
Father Bolduc and Langlois. He traces the rise of the Roman Catholic
hierarchy on the Northwest Coast and pays due tribute to the work of the
Oblate order. Rather lovingly he also lists all the French place-names in
British Columbia which he has been able to find.
The concluding section deals with the French-Canadians and the French
element in the present population of British Columbia.    The author notes, 52 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
with a certain justifiable pride, that the French population had increased
from 15,028 in 1931 to 21,876 in 1941. He also lists the French-speaking
organizations in our Province and cites the formation, in 1945, of the
Federation eanadienne-frangaise de la Colombie-Britanniaue. He records
the formation of two new French-speaking parishes—one in Vancouver and
the other in Maillardville. His concluding sentence contains a statement
from one of his colleagues in the University of Montreal: " Notre marche
d'outre-Rocheuses, la seule qui nous manquait, est maintenant une realite "
(our outpost beyond the Rockies, the only one we lacked, is now a reality).
Quebec has now joined hands with British Columbia!
Walter N. Sage.
Vancouver, B.C.
My Captain Oliver: A story of two missionaries on the British Columbia
Coast. By Robert C. Scott. Toronto: The United Church of Canada
Committee on Missionary Education, 1947. Pp. xiv, 200. Maps, ills.
Long before his death on January 3, 1937, Captain William Oliver's
name had become a household word in thousands of homes along the coast
of British Columbia. Others had already " taken in hand to set forth in
order a declaration of those things " in the Captain's life which had inspirational value for the church, but the full story remained to be written. Like
the Galilean fishermen, he had left all and followed Christ, and church
leaders felt that the story should not be lost.
Some years ago Rev. J. G. Brown, D.D., then principal of Union College, Vancouver, B.C., said to the Rev. Mr. Scott: "Is the United Church
going to allow that man [Captain Oliver] to pass away without making
some record of his great service in our marine work? " Mr. Scott took up
the challenge, and My Captain Oliver is the result. Long and intimate
acquaintance with the Captain and the work in which he was engaged made
Mr. Scott peculiarly fitted for the task. The book tells the story of Captain
Oliver's life, and the United Church of Canada's marine mission work on
the British Columbia coast. Mr. Scott's part in the story is recorded in
some detail as well. The aim was not to give a complete history of marine
or Indian missions, but rather to give the picture of a man and his work;
to show the type of work done by the marine and Indian mission workers;
to catch something of the romance and adventure of it all.
There is a growing literature on the subject, and Mr. Scott makes
reference to such works as Up and Down the North Pacific Coast by Canoe
and Mission Ship, by Rev. Thomas Crosby; Owe Hundred Years of Canadian Methodist Missions and That They All May Be One, by Mrs. F. C.
Stephenson; and In Great Waters, by Dr. G. C. F. Pringle. No reference
is made to Captain William Oliver: A Fisher of Men, by Wilfred Morris,
which was published in 1941 and reviewed in the October, 1942, issue of
this Quarterly, nor to W. H. Collison's In the Wake of the War Canoe which
makes a generous reference to the work of early Methodist missionaries on
this coast.    Some reference might also have been made to the Rev. Jonathan 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 53
Smith Green, the first Protestant missionary to explore this coast in the
interest of missions.
Mr. Scott's main sources were conversations with Captain Oliver, the
log-book of the Glad Tidings, and a wide background of personal experience
in the work. The log-book, written by Thomas Crosby, Ebenezer Robson,
and others, is rich in source material. Mr. Scott was not so much interested
in writing history as in preserving a living likeness of the man and his
work.    In this he has succeeded, and for this we are grateful.
Wilfred Morris gave Oliver's birthplace as Bishoptown, " directly opposite Dumbarton Castle," on the Clyde in Scotland. Mr. Scott gives the name
as Bishopston. The name, of course, is Bishopton. At an early age Oliver
went to work in the shipyards and later sailed the seven seas, until, at the
age of 35, he was not only a skilled ship's carpenter, but also a master
mariner. The story of his conversion has been described as an epic of
Christian experience. In February, 1884, he was in New Westminster. He
was hungry and penniless, having thrown away his last nickel to overcome
the temptation to spend it in drink. Then he met the devoted Methodist
missionary, Rev. Ebenezer Robson, who cared for his material needs and
piloted him through a religious experience in. which he found deliverance
from the appetite for drink. His after-life was the best commentary on the
reality of his conversion. For fifty years he devoted his time, energy, and
money to the marine mission work on this coast.
Mr. Scott is less concerned with the dry bones of factual history than
with pictures from life—incidents that throw light on the character of his
The Captain once said to me, " My last job on the Cutty Sark was to fasten
the figurehead on her bow, and do you know what I did? Well, I just gave
' Nan ' one big kiss on her cheek for good luck." That was like him, childish,
perhaps, but it was more than that. It was the heart of a child which, running forward with the years, could feel the lift of her bow and the sting of
salt spray in his face as the vessel scudded along at the head of the ships
homeward bound from China.
Not long after his conversion, Oliver met Rev. Thomas Crosby, who had
been doing mission work on the coast since 1874. For eight years he had
carried on his work among the Indian tribes, travelling from place to place
in Indian canoes manned by natives. The time had come when more efficient
means of travel had to be provided, and Crosby had raised funds in Eastern
Canada to build a mission boat. Oliver built the Glad Tidings, better known
to the Indians as the " Come to Jesus " boat. The total cost was $8,000.
She was 70 feet over all, with 14 feet beam, and left Victoria on her maiden
voyage on November 29, 1884. One of her earliest services rendered was to
assist Father Duncan in transporting his native congregation at Metlakatlah
to their new home at Port Chester on Annette Island. After nea/ly twenty
years in service the Glad Tidings was wrecked (1903) in Shushartie Bay on
the northern end of Vancouver Island. Then Captain Oliver, at a cost of
$6,000, built, equipped, and presented to the Methodist Church the Udal,
which made her maiden voyage on December 10, 1908. The name in the
Haida language meant " the dearest thing I possess."    The new boat served 54 The Northwest Bookshelf.
from Seymour Narrows to the Portland Canal. Unfortunately, after six
months' service, she was wrecked on an uncharted rock, and the missionary,
C. W. Webber, and Captain Oliver barely escaped with their lives. Then
followed the Homespun, 40 feet in length, with a 20-horsepower gasoline-
engine which gave a speed of 8 knots. This boat proved too frail for rough
waters and, after three years, was sold in 1912 and replaced by the Thomas
Crosby, 83 feet in length, with a beam of 18% feet, 166 tons gross burden,
fitted with steam-engines.
During World War I the Thomas Crosby was taken over by the Government, and toward the end of the war the money received from her sale was
used in the construction of three new launches—the Edward White, William
Oliver, and Thomas Crosby II. In 1919 Mr. Scott was appointed to the
Indian mission at Cape Mudge, and in September of that year he took
charge of the Iwyll, which had been brought down from Kootenay Lake.
The Thomas Crosby II was wrecked at Sandspit on December 5, 1920. The
Iwyll was replaced by the Edward White, which is now used by Dr. G. E.
Darby in his work at Bella Bella. The William Oliver was built for work
at Alert Bay and adjacent coast areas. The Thomas Crosby III was built
by Captain Oliver at his home at Sandspit, and Mr. Scott was appointed to
this boat in 1925. The fourth boat of that name was purchased in 1937;
she was the former 61-foot M.S. Greta M, operated by the Powell River
Company, Limited, as a company yacht.
In April, 1896, William Oliver was married at Port Simpson by Rev.
Thomas Crosby to Miss Agnes Calder, daughter of Stephen Calder, one of
the first converts among the Haidas of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The
story of this romance is well told by Mr. Scott.
The sailor-missionaries visited all the settlements along the coast, holding
services at canneries, lumber camps, lighthouses, and performing many
" errands of mercy." One chapter of this volume deals with the ministry
of healing, another with Vancouver Island west coast missions, and the concluding chapters tell of the triumph of religion over what was evil in the old
tribal ways. Chapter 9 deals with " Potlatch Evils." Although Mr. Scott
" never preached against the potlatch," it was his conviction that it stood
" for all that is reactionary." In the chapter on the west coast missions are
some sidelights on the work of the early Roman Catholic missionaries to
the native peoples. At Hesquiat the missionaries in the Glad Tidings met
Father Brabant, who went there in 1879.
A number of excellent illustrations and two maps increase the value of
this book. There is a wealth of anecdote, all of which have a purpose in the
telling—to make the reader acquainted with a great man, and the great
work in which he was engaged.
John Goodfellow.
Princeton, B.C.
Printed by Don McDiahmid, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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