British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Apr 1, 1937

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Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
John Goodfellow, Prmceton. F. W. Howay, New Westmins!
T. A. Rickard, Victoria. W. N. Sage, Vancouver,
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor, Provincial
Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. 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. BRITISH COLUMBIA
Vol. I. April, 1937. No. 2
Articles :
Early Days at Old Fort Langley.
By Robie L. Reid.  71
Columbia River Chronicles.
By James Fitzsimmons    87
Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet.
By F. W. Howay  101
Documents :
Three Simpson Letters: 1815-1820.
With an introduction by Muriel R. Cree  115
Notes and Comments:
Contributors to this issue    123
Some Archives Accessions in 1936  123
British Columbia Historical Association  127
Local Historical Societies  129
Graduate Historical Society  129
Mrs. S. L. Allison   130
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Alexander Begg versus Alexander Begg.
By Madge Wolfenden  _.  133 "Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."  EARLY DAYS AT OLD FORT LANGLEY.
Economic Beginnings in British Columbia.*
Agriculture, the salmon fishery, and the foreign commerce of
British Columbia had their origin and early development in the
almost forgotten settlement of Fort Langley on the Lower Fraser
River, during the years 1827 to 1864.
This was not the first settlement in the Province. The
Spaniards settled at Nootka in 1789. But there were disputes
between England and Spain as to the ownership of Vancouver
Island, which ended in 1795 by the Spanish Commander Manuel
de Alava destroying the buildings which his countrymen had
erected, and transferring possession to Sir Thomas Pearce, the
English representative.1 The place reverted to the Indians, and
though for years after fur-traders resorted there for otter skins,
it ceased to be an outpost of civilization. Hudson's Bay posts
were established in the interior before Fort Langley was built,
but they were carried on merely for the fur trade.
Some twenty years after the abandonment of Nootka, European civilization began again on the Columbia River. From that
point, Hudson's Bay traders explored the country to the north,
and in 1827, Fort Langley, on the Fraser, came into existence.
Up to the present time little has been known of the early
activities of the company at Fort Langley, especially from 1830
to 1843. Thanks to the courtesy of the Hudson's Bay Company,
in London, and the kind assistance of Mr. Leveson Gower, the
archivist, and Mr. J. Chadwick Brooks, the secretary, much new
material dealing with this period has been made available, and
permission given for its use. This will be referred to here, with
dates, as " H.B. Archives." It is proposed in this paper to deal
shortly with matters which have been hitherto available to
students, and in greater detail with the new material.
In 1824, George Simpson, one of the Hudson's Bay Co.'s
governors in North America, first visited the Pacific Coast.    He
* A paper read at the May, 1936, meeting of the Royal Society of Canada.
Reprinted by permission from the Transactions of the Society, Section II.,
1936, pp. 89-102.
(1) Manning, Nootka Sound Controversy (Am. Hist. Assn. Rept., 1904,
p. 471). 72 Robie L. Reid. April
recognized the importance of exploring the country north of the
Columbia River, and of establishing trading-posts at various
points so as to be able to compete with ships from the United
States, then monopolizing the trade of the Northwest Coast. In
his journal of that trip west, he says:—
" From thence we could, with great facility—and at less expense,
extend our discoveries and establishments to the Northward and supply
all the Interior Posts now occupied."^
He knew of Simon Fraser's discovery of a great river to the north
of the Columbia, but evidently little of the difficulties experienced
by Fraser on his voyage to the coast. He had a vision of the river
as a means of access to the interior and of a fort there as the headquarters of the Company, exchanging goods brought in by sea for
the products of the fur trade.
He acted without delay. No sooner had he reached Fort
George (now Astoria), at the mouth of the Columbia River, in
November, 1824, than he sent Chief Trader James McMillan, with
41 men, on an exploring expedition to the Fraser.3
On McMillan's return, his report was sent to the head office of
the Company in London, and it having been approved there, Fort
Langley was established in 1827.4
This was the first fort on the coast of British Columbia; others
followed. Fort Simpson (now Port Simpson) was built on the
Nass in 1831, and later removed to its present location. In 1833,
Fort McLoughlin was built on Milbanke Sound; subsequently it
was removed to the northern end of Vancouver Island as Fort
Rupert. Fort Tako, or Taku, was established in 1840 on the
lisiere leased from the Russian American Co. in 1839. Each fort
had its own district, subject, of course, to the authorities at Fort
Vancouver, on the Columbia River. Langley was the most important of the northern forts, its district extending from Milbanke
Sound to Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.6
The situation of Fort Langley, some distance up the Fraser
River, the entrance to which at that time was difficult, owing to the
(2) Merk, Fur Trade and Empire (Cambridge, Mass., 1931), p. 73.
(3) John Work's Journal, 3 Wash. Hist. Quar. 200^-228.
(4) So says Bancroft (Hist. N.W. Coast, Vol. II., p. 476, et seq.). It had,
doubtless, been approved by the Council of the Northern Department of
Rupert's Land under Governor Simpson.
(5) Bancroft, Hist, of B.C., p. 13k J.937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 73
sand-heads at the mouth, was never satisfactory to the Company.
Attempts were made to find a more suitable site; one which would
be more easily accessible to shipping, and yet have the same advantages as Fort Langley in other respects.
Fort Langley was situated on the banks of a large river, teeming with fish of various kinds, especially salmon. Adjacent to
it was a large area of fertile land, lower than the surrounding
country, but not low enough to be affected by the spring freshets
in the river. This area, situated in a district otherwise heavily
wooded, was open prairie.
At first the benefits to be derived from its surroundings were
not sufficiently appreciated to prevent attempts to find a more
convenient site. In 1833, it was determined to substitute for it
a new fort, then under construction at Nisqually at the southern
end of Puget Sound. Nisqually was convenient for shipping, and
could be easily reached from Fort Vancouver via the Cowlitz
Chief Trader Francis Heron, called by John Tod. in a letter
to his friend Edward Ermatinger, dated February, 1830, " that
dam'd black curly headed Irishman," then in charge at Fort
Colville on the Upper Columbia, was sent to the coast to make the
change. The people and property at Fort Langley were to be
removed at once [June] to Nisqually, but not before they had
salted all the salmon possible.7
Dr. McLoughlin, who was in charge at Fort Vancouver, had his
doubts as to the wisdom of the change. He delayed the matter for
the time being.8 The report of the business being done at Fort
Langley that year was so satisfactory that, instead of abandoning
it, he directed farming operations to be commenced on what he
called " the greate prairie."9
Heron came to Nisqually as ordered. .In August, 1833, at
McLoughlin's direction, he visited Whidbey Island to determine
its suitability for the Company's purposes. He reported having
found there an extensive and fertile plain10 which could be utilized.
(6) McLoughlin to Simpson, Mar. 20,1833 (H.B. Arch.).
(7) McLoughlin to Heron, June 18,1833 (H.B. Arch.).
(8) McLoughlin to Heron, July 2, 1833 (H.B. Arch.).
(9) McLoughlin to Yale, March 23,1834 (H.B. Arch.).
(10) Nisqually Journal (6 Wash. Hist. Quar.), 193-4. 74 R0BD3 L. Reid. April
In December, under instructions from McLoughlin, he returned to
the island with men to commence the construction of a post to take
the place of both Fort Nisqually and Fort Langley. Trouble with
his men arose before the work had proceeded far, and they
returned to Nisqually.11 His report on the proposed new site on
the island was, however, so favourable that the Council of the
Northern Department of Rupert's Land at York Factory, in July,
1834, passed a resolution (No. 70) :—
" That a post be established at or in the neighbourhood of Whitby's
Island, to be called Fort Langley, which is intended to answer the purposes of the Posts now occupied in Fraser's River [Langley] and Puget's
Sound [Nisqually], which, on the establishment of that Post are to be
Notwithstanding this formal decree, McLoughlin was not yet
convinced that it was the voice of wisdom. Being nearer to the
seat of operations and more in touch with the possibilities of the
country, he could appreciate the advantages of Fort Langley
better than Heron or the Council. Instead of acting on the resolution, he wrote Simpson in 1835 that there was no place on the coast
where salmon were so abundant or could be caught so cheaply as
at Fort Langley; that if a market could be found for it, the sale of
salted salmon alone would repay the cost of maintenance. He
suggested that matters should remain as they were for the time
Then Fort Vancouver itself came into the picture. Its position
on the Columbia had its disadvantages. There were dangers to
navigation by reason of the bar at the mouth of that river. In
June, 1836, Simpson instructed McLoughlin to have the " coast
and islands inside the Straits of Fuca examined so as to be prepared to form an establishment ... as regards farming on a
large scale ... in short to combine as many advantages as possible and save the expense of one or both of the establishments of
Nasqually [sic] and Fort Langley." Such a post was to take the
place of Fort Vancouver as the Company's chief post in the
Western Department.14
(11) Nisqually Journal (6 Wash. Hist. Quar.), 271-2.
(12) H.B. Archives.    B. 239/k/2, p. 73.
(13) McLoughlin to Simpson, Mar. 3,1835 (H.B. Arch.).
(14) Simpson to McLoughlin, June 25,1836 (H.B. Arch.). 1937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 75
In 1834, J. M. Yale, in charge at Fort Langley, suggested the
possibility of using the " Big Island " in the delta of the Fraser
River (now Lulu Island) and was asked by McLoughlin for a
report.15 He probably got it, but that island, though now a fertile
district after having been dyked and drained, was too low, and too
often subject to overflow at high water, to be available as a site
for a post.
Further suggestions were considered. The Straits of Fuca
were to be examined for a desirable site. Among other points,
Birch Bay, a short distance south of the 49th parallel, was to be
looked over.16 The search went on, and finally a new fort was
established in 1843 at Victoria, on the southern end of Vancouver
Island. Notwithstanding this, Fort Langley, though from that
time subordinate to the new fort, continued to carry on.
Yale, in charge at Fort Langley, insisted on its maintenance,
and McLoughlin accepted his advice. No change was to be made
until further orders.17 If a better site were found, it would be considered.   In any case, the salmon-fishery must not be sacrificed.18
The fort built in 1827 was situated on the Fraser River some
two miles below the present site. It had been hurriedly constructed by unskilled workmen, with few tools. It deteriorated
rapidly, and by 1839 rebuilding was necessary. The farm, now
rapidly growing in importance, was some distance away. It was
decided to abandon the old site and build a new Fort Langley
nearer to the agricultural land. This in no way interfered with
the salmon-fishery or the fur trade, which could be carried on with
equal facility at either place. The new fort—four blockhouses
and a stockade19—was soon completed and all available property
removed to the new site by June 25, 1839, by which time " the
square " at the new site had been surrounded by pickets and
bastions and a store built to receive the goods.20
The new fort did not last long. On April 11, 1840, the whole
establishment, with small exceptions, was consumed by fire.
(15) McLoughlin to Yale, May 16, 1834 (H.B. Arch.).
(16) Simpson to McLoughlin, June 25,1836.   McLoughlin to Yale, Dec.
12,1836 (H.B. Arch.).
(17) McLoughlin to Yale, Dec. 12,1836 (H.B. Arch.).
(18) Douglas to Yale, Nov. 21,1838 (H.B. Arch.).
(19) Douglas to H.B. Co., Oct. 14,183& (H.B. Arch.).
(20) Yale to Simpson, Jan. 15,1840 (H.B. Arch.). 76 Robie L. Redd. April
Furs to the value of £958 were destroyed.21 While rebuilding was
going on, Chief Factor James Douglas and party visited the fort,
much to the annoyance of Yale, who wrote to Governor Simpson
that he had made only two requests of his visitors—to give him
six good axes, and to be off out of his way as soon as possible.
Douglas did not exactly comply with Yale's curt demand, but
stayed long enough to square the timbers for one building, and
then left Yale to his own devices.22 The new fort was 108 feet in
length by 82 feet in width. There were serious fires in 184828 and
1852,24 but none as destructive as that of 1840.
Simpson was disappointed in not being able to use the Fraser
as a highway into the interior, owing to the fact that its navigation
was so interrupted by rapids and falls as to render it impassable.
In 1828, he made a personal inspection. The Fort Langley Journal
for October 11 describes the visit of Simpson, who had come down
to Fort Langley from Kamloops via the Thompson and Fraser
Rivers, and found " that the river is much worse than any idea
we could have formed of it, and renders the practicability of
opening regular communication this way with the Indians most
Even before the 49th parallel had been agreed upon, it was
apparent that the boundary would follow that line. Alexander
Caulfield Anderson, then at Fort Alexandria on the Upper Fraser,
suggested to Simpson that he be allowed to explore a route from
Fort Langley inland. This was approved and in May, 1846,
A"nderson left to see if a route could be made via the lakes from the
mouth of Harrison River to Lillooet. He was not satisfied with
this route and on his return trip he left the Fraser at Hope and
went north-easterly to Kamloops. He reported that a practicable
route could be made that way, but owing to the height of land at
the summit, it could be used only between July and September.26
After some attempts to find another route this was selected
and from 1849 to 1858 the brigade followed it.    Goods came to
(21) McLoughlin to Simpson, Sept. 2,1840 (H.B. Arch.).
(22) Yale to Simpson, Feb. 10,1841 (H.B. Arch.).
(23) Yale to Simpson, Mar. 18,1849 (H.B. Arch.).
(24) Douglas to Yale, May 27,1862 (H.B. ATch.).
(25) See also Merk, Op. cit., p. 265.
(26)  Howay, Raison d'etre of Fort Yale and Hope (T.R.S. Can., 1922),
p. 53. 1937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 77
Fort Langley by water and were there made up for carriage by
the brigade, probably, as on the Red River, in packages by one
hundred pounds, called " inland pieces."27 They were then taken
by boat to Fort Hope and overland to the interior. This transhipment at Fort Langley ceased when navigation on the Fraser was
opened to Fort Hope in 1858.
The fort in its prosperous days has been described by the late
Jason Allard, who was born within its walls. The palisade enclosed an area of approximately 630 by 240 feet. There were four
bastions, one at each corner. These bastions were 20 feet square,
with 18-foot walls and a roof covered with large split cedar
shingles, known as " shakes." In each bastion were two nine-
pounder guns and some smaller ones.
The palisade was made of split cedar logs, 15 to 18 inches in
diameter, set in the ground close together and rising about 18 feet
above it. These were flattened and held together by wooden pegs
inserted in holes bored through them. A lookout and firing-
step inside the palisade extended along the north side (next to the
river) and part of the west side (facing down the river).
The gates of hand-sawn planks were hung on heavy iron
hinges, and were of double-door design. They were only opened
on special occasions. Each had a little wicket gate for ordinary
use, only large enough to admit one person at a time. In the early
days, watchmen were maintained at the gates.
The officers' residence, or " Big House," was a log building
two stories high. On the first floor, the officer in charge and the
.clerks, with their families, lived. The second floor was reserved
for the officers of the brigade when at the fort.
Near the " Big House " was the cook-house, where the meals
were prepared for its occupants. Then came the stewards' quarters, for those who waited on the officers' table. Next the
residences of the supervisor and Indian trader, the cooper and
boat-builder, the blacksmith and dairyman. There were houses
for the labourers, the Kanakas or Hawaiians, the cooper-shop, the
traders' shop, store-room, blacksmith-shop, carpenter-shop, and
(27)  Bryce, H.B. Co., p. 33. 78 Robie L. Redd. April
warehouses. While trade was being carried on in the traders'
shop through a wicket, an armed guard was stationed on the upper
Fort Langley's importance gradually decreased. The fur
trade became of less importance as the years went on. The
demand for the products of the farm decreased with the expiry of
the lease from the Russian American Company. During the gold-
rush of 1858, Langley was for a time the supply point for the
placer mines on the Lower Fraser, but this ended when it was
found that stern-wheel steamers could navigate the river to Hope
and Yale.
In 1858, Governor Douglas selected the site of the first Fort
Langley as the capital (or " seaport town," as he termed it) of
the proposed new colony of British Columbia. Before the colony
was organized, he had the site surveyed and laid out in town lots.
The colony was duly constituted on November 19, 1858, and the
officials sworn in as such, at Fort Langley. The detachment of
the corps of Royal Engineers that had arrived in the colony in
1858 was at once set to work to erect the necessary government
On Christmas of that year, Colonel R. C. Moody, the commander of the corps, arrived at Victoria. One of his duties was
to advise the governor as to the proper location of the capital.
After some delay, owing to certain difficulties at Yale, he made an
examination of the proposed capital at Fort Langley, and other
possible sites on the Fraser. He selected a site farther down the
river, at Queensborough, later renamed New Westminster. He
objected to the Langley site, on the ground that it was the
" frontier " or southern side of the river, " and no amount of
expenditure and skill could effectually rectify the strong military
objection to its position."29
The Fur Trade.
Of course, the immediate cause for the establishment of Fort
Langley was to carry on the fur trade with the Indians. Even
then the Company did not have a monopoly of the trade, as there
are, in the Fort Langley Journal, 1827-1830, and other material,
(28) Nelson, Denys, Fort Langley (Vancouver, 1927), p. 23.
(29) Papers relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, Pt. II., p. 61. 1937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 79
many complaints about the American vessels—the " Yankee
Pedlars," as the Hudson's Bay Co.'s employees called them—
selling goods to the Indians at lower prices than those charged by
the Company, and paying higher prices for furs.30. However,
during its early years, the fur trade at the fort was very profitable.
It soon decreased. Continual hunting dried up the local
sources of supply. Before 1839, there had been a gradual decrease, but there was an increase that year, because the Indians
around the fort had been literally " dunned " into something like
exertion.31 By 1845, the returns had become " trifling to an extreme."32 In 184633 and 1847,84 the fur returns continued to
grow less. The last we hear of the matter is in 1851,35 when
Douglas reported that Fort Langley was still on the decline
" owing to the growing scarcity of Martens and the low price of
Beaver which the natives in consequence rarely hunt." The silk
hat had supplanted the beaver.
The Fishery.
The Fraser was, in the early days of Fort Langley, a noble
river, teeming with fish, especially salmon. In summer, the
salmon came up the river in countless thousands, seeking the
spawning-grounds in the rivers and lakes of the interior. Hardly
had the schooner Cadboro reached the site of the fort in 1827
than the crew were buying salmon from the Indians. By October,
a shed had been built in which the dried salmon could be hung over
fires to keep them dry and free from mould, a necessary precaution
in a damp climate.
The first to make an effort to prepare salmon for export was
Chief Trader Archibald McDonald, who succeeded McMillan in
charge of the Fort in October, 1828. Without barrels or a cooper
to make them, and little salt, he used on the fish what he had, and
then smoked them, and so kept them preserved for local use.
This did not satisfy him. His ambition was to preserve the
fish so as to be able to ship them to foreign markets for sale.    In
(30) See Merk, Op. cit., 329.
(31) Douglas to H.B. Co., Oct. 14,1839 (H.B. Arch.).
(32) Yale to Simpson, Dec. 17, 1845 (H.B. Arch.).
(33) Ogden to Douglas to Simpson, Mar. 19,1846 (H.B. Arch.).
(34) Douglas and Work to H.B. Co., Nov. 6,1847 (H.B. Arch.).
(35) Douglas to Colville, Mar. 10,1851 (H.B. Arch.). 80 Robie L. Reid. April
1830, he salted some salmon, using makeshift barrels, but the
experiment was not satisfactory. The fish did not keep well, and
he was satisfied that they would not stand shipment to foreign
markets. Accordingly, he appealed to Simpson to send him " a
good Cooper"—one who knew " something of fish-curing."36
Evidently, his request was granted, for from that time the shipment of salted fish from the fort increased yearly. By 1838,
Douglas had been convinced that " in a few years " Fort Langley
would " supply all the salt provisions required for the Coast."37
Fort Langley did more, it commenced the overseas commerce of
the Pacific Coast by shipping salt salmon to the Hawaiian Islands
in large quantities.
In 1840, notwithstanding the destruction of the fort by fire,
there was put up, besides local requirements, 400 barrels of salt
salmon for export.38
Not until 1843 was the fort fully equipped to handle all the fish
available.39 Yet in 1845, with salmon obtained in large numbers,
there was not a sufficient quantity of salt on hand to meet the
demand.40 In 1846, 800 barrels of salt salmon were put up, of
which 460 barrels were sent to the Hawaiian Islands, where they
■found a ready market at $9 per barrel.41 Here is the genesis of
the foreign trade of British Columbia.
There was a poor run in 1847, yielding only 365 barrels,42 but
this was compensated for in 1848, When Fort Langley produced
1,703 barrels of salmon and 22 barrels of small fish (probably
oolachans or candle-fish), and this although another fishery, which
had been built 25 miles farther up the river, was destroyed by fire
during the fishing season.43 It was rebuilt immediately. In 1850,
the pack was 2,000 barrels, part of which was sold in the Hawaiian
Islands for as high as £2 10s. per barrel.44 Later the fishing industry became centred at New Westminster.
(36) McDonald to Simpson, Feb. 10,1831 (H.B. Arch.).
(37) Douglas to Yale, Nov. 21,1838 (H.B. Arch.).
(38) McLoughlin to Simpson, Sept. 2,1840 (H.B. Arch.).
(39) Yale to Simpson, Jan. 10, 1844 (H.B. Arch.).
(40) Yale to Simpson, Dec. 17,1845 (H.B. Arch.).
(41) Ogden and Douglas to Simpson, Mar. 19,1846 (H.B. Arch.).
(42) Douglas and Work to Simpson, Nov. 6,1847 (H.B. Arch.).
(43) Douglas and Work to Simpson, Dec. 6,1848 (H.B. Arch.).
(44) Douglas to Colville, Mar. 10,1861 (H.B. Arch.). 1937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 81
So commenced the salmon-fishing industry in British Columbia, which has since attained such enormous proportions.
Farming also had its beginning at Fort Langley, not as a mere
garden, but as a business proposition.
When James McMillan and his party came on his exploring
trip in 1824, they did not attempt to enter the Fraser at its mouth,
fearing that they might be attacked by the Indians there, who had
a bad reputation among their neighbours.45 He took a short cut
to the Fraser, by going up a small river, the Nicomekl, as far as
possible, and then portaging across a " plain " to a small tributary of the Fraser. Work's report of this trip says of this
" plain " that " The soil here appears to be rich, is a black mould,
the remains of a luxurious crop of fern and grass lies on the
ground."46 This " plain " is now known as " Langley Prairie,"
and is composed of some of the most fertile land in the Province.
The occupants of the original fort at first attempted to cultivate the land in the immediate vicinity, but had little success, as
the land was poor. They later turned their attention to the prairie.
In 1834, McLoughlin gave orders to cultivate as much as possible
of it, as although it was low and level, " it was not subject to overflow from the spring floods." As much " barley and pease " as
possible were to be grown.47 This was the commencement of
what was long known as the " Hudson's Bay Farm " at Fort
Langley. As has been mentioned, the distance from the farm to
the old fort was the main reason for the removal of the fort to the
new site. Indeed, it was only after the new fort was built that
the cultivation of the farm became a matter of importance in the
work of the establishment.48 In 1840, McLoughlin told J. M.
Yale, who was then clerk in charge at Fort Langley, to keep as
many ploughs going as possible.49 Yale carried out his instructions faithfully, sowing in 1840, 304 bushels of wheat and 520
(45) Work's Journal, 3 Wash. Hist. Quar., p. 214.
(46) 3 Wash. Hist. Quar., p. 218.
(47) McLoughlin to Yale, Mar. 23,1834 (H.B. Arch.).
(48) Yale to Simpson, Jan 15,1840 (H.B. Arch.).
(49) McLoughin to Yale, May 19,1840 (H.B. Arch.). 82 R0BD3 L. Reid. April
bushels of potatoes.50   The " barley and pease " seem to have been
There was a reason for the anxiety of the officials of the Hudson's Bay Co. to increase the production of food on the farm at
Fort Langley. There had been trouble on the Stikine River in
1834 between the Russian authorities and the Company, and this
caused diplomatic discussions between the British and Russian
In 1839, the trouble was settled by a lease from the Russian
American Co. to the Hudson's Bay Co., signed at Hamburg, Germany, on February 6, 1839, of what is now known as the Alaska
Panhandle, exclusive of the Islands along the Coast. The Russian
American Co. was to abandon its trading stations along that coast,
and form no new ones thereon for the term of the lease, viz., ten
years, the Hudson's Bay to have full control. The Hudson's Bay
Co. agreed to pay an annual rental therefor of 2,000 seasoned land-
otter skins (excluding cub or damaged skins) taken or hunted on
the west side of the Rocky Mountains, and also the right to purchase other otter skins at a fixed price. But what is particularly
interesting to us is that by Article 4 of the Lease, the Hudson's
Bay Company bound themselves to supply annually to the Russian
Company 200 fenagos of 126 lbs. each, of wheat at the price of
10s. 9d. per fenago and also
160 cwt. wheat flour ; at 18/5 p. cwt.
130 cwt. peas at 13/       do.
130 cwt. Grits and hulled pot barley if it
can be annually provided at 13/       do.
300 cwt. salted beef at 20/      do.
160 cwt. salted butter 56/       do.
30 cwt. Pork Hams at       6d. per lb.61
This agreement was renewed from time to time and came to an
end on the cession of Alaska to the United States in 1867.62
Hence the instructions to Yale and the reference particularly
to " barley and pease."
By 1844, Yale had more land under plough than he was able to
cultivate properly.    Evidently, little or no draining had been
(50) McLoughlin to Simpson, Sept. 2,1840 (H.B. Arch.).
(51) Correspondence of Foreign Office and H.B. Co.—Ottawa, 1899.
(52) Bryce, H.B. Co., p. 496. ■••■
s 1937 Early Days at Old Fort Langley. 83
done, for he complains of the soil being low and wet. He also
complains of not being furnished with proper equipment for the
work.53 Notwithstanding this, Yale was doing well. When
Warre and Vavasour visited the fort in 1845, they found 245 acres
in cultivation and 20 men at work on the farm. There were then
on the farm 180 pigs, 15 horses, and 195 head of " neat " cattle.54
Notwithstanding that a portion of the land near the fort was
covered with water in the spring freshet, and heavy rains in
harvest time, Yale had 1,000 bushels of wheat for export.56
In 1847, Yale looked forward to a bountiful harvest, but again
rains injured the grain crop. Green crops and potatoes were
abundant, the potatoes being of the finest quality.66
Much of the produce of the farm went north to the Russian
American Co. under the lease above referred to. In 1847, for
instance, two Russian vessels came to Fort Victoria for wheat,
beef, and mutton; a considerable part of their cargo was brought
down from Fort Langley in small boats.67
The Company was at all times anxious to increase the production of the farm, both for the supply necessary under the Russian
lease and also for the provisions of the brigades to the interior.
With this objective in view, in 1851, a number of farm labourers
were sent out from England to assist in the work. Yale found
them impossible to work with and discharged them. Douglas
was disappointed, but obtained the services of other men better
adapted to conditions in the Far West.68
As the demand of the Russians for food supplies decreased,
and the market afforded by the Gold Rush of 1858 ceased, there
was not sufficient market for the products of the farm. Settlers
came in and acquired lands in the vicinity and absorbed the local
market.    The farm became a liability instead of an asset.
In March, 1859, the farm, with its stock and equipment, but
not the land and cows at the fort, was leased to C. J. R. Bedford,
(53) Yale to Simpson, Jan. 10, 1884 (H.B. Arch.).
(54) Warre and Vavasour to Sec. of State for Colonies, No. 1, 1845.
Misc. Papers, H.B. Arch.
(55) Ogden and Douglas to Simpson, Mar 19,1846 (H.B. Arch.).
Yale to Simpson, Dec. 17,1845 (H.B. Arch.).
(56) Douglas and Work to H.B. Co., Nov. 6,1847 (H.B. Arch.).
(57) Bancroft, Hist, of B.C., p. 128.
(58) Douglas to Colville, Mar. 16,1852 (H.B. Arch.). 84 Robie L. Reid. April
then magistrate at Fort Langley, for a term of three years.69 We
have no information as to what success the tenant had in his venture. We do know, however, that in 1873, when John Fannin
made an exploratory trip through this district for the Provincial
authorities, the lands were idle, overgrown with weeds and fern.80
On April 12, 1864, a grant was made from the Crown to the
" Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into
Hudson's Bay " of the Hudson's Bay Farm as Lots 21 and 22,
Group 2, New Westminster District, the first lot containing 500
acres and the other 1,500 acres. These lots were subdivided into
twenty blocks of 100 acres each. A survey was made in
December, 1877, and deposited in the Land Registry Office at the
City of Victoria, B.C., on January 28, 1884, a copy of which is
deposited in the Land Registry Office at New Westminster as
No. 126. The lots were sold at various times from 1883 to 1891
to private individuals, the first sale being to Rev. Alexander
Dunn, the Presbyterian minister at Langley.
Fort Langley of to-day is but a pretty country village. Its
periods of pre-eminence have ceased. But it has its memories of
the days when the industries of civilization in British Columbia
took form and shape in and around it.
Robie L. Redd.
Vancouver, B.C.
(59) Dallas to Yale, March 25,1859 (H.B. Arch.).
(60) Fannin's Report to C.C.L. & W. Aug. 1873, B.C. Sess. Papers, 1874;
C.C.L. & W. Rept., p. 3. 1937
Early Days at Old Fort Langley.
List of Men in Charge of Fort Langley taken from the Records of the
Hudson's Bay Company.
James McMillan, Chief Trader.
Archibald McDonald, Chief Trader.
James Murray Yale, Clerk (appointed Chief Trader
William H. Newton, Clerk.
George Blenkinsop, Chief Trader.
William H. Newton, Clerk.
Ovid Allard, Clerk.
William H. Newton.
Henry Wark, Postmaster.
William Sinclair, Postmaster.
James M. Drummond, Clerk.
Walter Wilkie.
post June 26,1895.    Frank Powell.
A selection from the original letters and documents upon which this article
is based will be published in an early issue.
1893-to closing of COLUMBIA RIVER CHRONICLES.*
Steamboat history on the waterways of the Kootenay goes
back as far as 1865, when a small stern-wheel steamer was constructed on the Columbia River, just south of the 49th parallel,
and appropriately christened the Forty Nine. She was built by
Captain Leonard White, a famous pioneer pilot, who had guided
the first steamers up many uncharted miles of the Columbia,
Willamette, and Snake Rivers. The gold-rush to the Big Bend
country had induced him to leave familiar channels once again,
and try his fortune on the Upper Columbia. The Forty Nine was
launched on November 18,1865; and it is interesting to note that
her engines dated from 1854, and had been used originally in the
Jennie Clark, the first stern-wheeler ever built in the Pacific
Northwest. She left Colville on her first trip northward on
December 9, but encountered ice in the Arrow Lakes and was
compelled to land her passengers and turn back. In April, 1866,
she headed north again, and upon this trip succeeded in reaching
the foot of Death Rapids, above the point where Revelstoke now
stands. Unfortunately it quickly became evident that the days
of the Big Bend rush were numbered. On her third trip the
Forty Nine carried only three passengers; and thereafter she was
crowded when south-bound with departing miners, many of whom
were unable to pay their fares. Trade fell off rapidly, but she
continued in service at irregular intervals for some years. Captain White remained in command until the autumn of 1869, when
his health failed, and he returned to the Coast, where he died early
in 1870.
It was nearly twenty years before a successor to the Forty
Nine appeared, and in the interval the Kootenay was a practically
abandoned and unknown country. Then in the early eighties
interest and activity revived, due largely to the construction of
the Canadian Pacific Railway to the north and of American transcontinental lines to the south. Prospectors once again searched
the mountains, and much was heard of mining and land reclamation schemes.    Some means of regular transportation became
* The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge assistance received from
Mr. B. R. Atkins, of Revelstoke, in the preparation of this article. 88 James Fitzsimmons. April
essential, and in 1884 steamers appeared upon both the Columbia
River and Kootenay Lake.
The vessel for the river service was a small 37-ton catamaran
called the Despatch. She was built at Revelstoke by three well-
known Kootenay pioneers—J. Fred Hume, later Minister of Mines
in the Semlin Government, William Cowan, and Captain Sanderson—who had organized the Columbia Transportation Company.
She was intended for the run from Revelstoke south to boundary,
and it was hoped that she would be able to capture for Canadian
merchants some of the trade in South Kootenay, which by 1884
was growing rapidly, and which was almost entirely in American
hands. In this endeavour she met with some success; and from
this small beginning an important enterprise developed, as will be
seen presently.
The first steamer ever to ply the waters of Kootenay Lake was
the steam-launch Midge, which was placed in service in 1884 by
W. A. Baillie-Grohman, in connection with a land reclamation
project. She was brought from Europe, and reached the lake
safely after an eventful journey by sea and land. She crossed the
Atlantic on the deck of the liner Polynesian, and is said to have
been classified by the Customs as an agricultural implement, and
thereby imported duty-free. She travelled by water to Duluth,
and thence by rail to Sandpoint, in Idaho. From there it was
necessary to carry or drag her bodily overland, a distance of some
40 miles, to the point now known as Bonner's Ferry, on the Kootenay River. From Bonner's Ferry she proceeded north under her
own power to Kootenay Lake.
The Midge did not have the lake to herself for long. The year
she arrived the Blue Bell Mine was purchased by the Kootenay
Mining and Smelting Company, headed by Dr. Hendryx, and
operations on a considerable scale were undertaken there. Other
discoveries and developments followed. In 1887-88 Nelson
sprang into being, and other now familiar names were added to
the map of Kootenay. Trade required transportation and a
number of small steamers were placed upon Kootenay Lake.
Some of these were no more than large steam launches, such as
the Idaho, which was brought in bodily in much the same fashion
as the Midge, and the Surprise, which was built by the Hendryx
Company to carry supplies to the Blue Bell Mine.    In 1888, how- 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 89
ever, the latter company placed in service a larger and more
important craft:—the famous old steamer Galena, which was the
first vessel on the lake designed for the passenger trade. She was
a twin-screw steamer, 80 feet long and 16 feet wide. She was
caught in a gale and sank in Pilot Bay in 1894, but was raised and
remained afloat until 1897, when she was broken up, as her hull
was found to be so rotten that necessary repairs could not be
carried out. The Galena is remembered as the first lake command of Captain George Hayward, who ranked for many years
as the senior captain of Kootenay Lake; and her engines were
installed by Hiram (" Hi ") Sweet, later chief engineer of many
of the lake steamers, who had arrived with the Idaho.
All this time the Despatch had had no consort on the Columbia;
but it had become evident that she was incapable of handling the
traffic effectively. The Spokane Falls and Northern Railway, a
subsidiary of the Great Northern Railway, was expected to reach
Little Dalles, on the Columbia River not far south of the boundary,
in 1890; and a large, fast steamer was obviously required if trade
was to be diverted northward to the Canadian Pacific main line
at Revelstoke. This required more money than the Columbia
Transportation Company had available; and Hume, Cowan, and
Sanderson therefore joined forces with three influential new
shareholders—J. A. Mara, who had operated steamers on Lake
Kamloops; Captain John Irving, who was a power in the B.C.
Coast shipping world; and Frank (later Sir Frank) Barnard, of
Barnard's Express fame. From this reorganization emerged the
Columbia and Kootenay Steam Navigation Company, with a
capital of $100,000, of which $50,000 was at once paid up.
J. A. Mara was the driving force in the new company, and he
set about its development with energy. Alexander Watson, a
well-known Victoria ship-builder, was brought to Revelstoke,
where he laid the keel of a large stern-wheel steamer in December,
1889. This was the Lytton, which was launched in May, 1890,
and completed in July, at a cost of about $40,000. She was 131
feet long, 25% feet wide, and of about 125 tons burthen. The
engines of the old Skuzzy, Andrew Onderdonk's famous Fraser
River steamer, were purchased for the Lytton, but it was decided
that they were not powerful enough, and they lay for a long time
at Revelstoke unused.    The new machinery purchased in their 90 James Fitzsimmons. April
stead gave the Lytton an average speed of 12% miles per hour.
Her maiden trip was made on July 2, when she sailed southward
with a distinguished company aboard, including W. C. Van Home
and other Canadian Pacific officials. Her first officers were:
Captain Frank Odin, master; Alex. Lindquist, mate; George E.
Tunstall (Jr.), purser; Mr. Hattersley, engineer; and Mr. Henley,
While the Lytton was under construction the Columbia and
Kootenay Company purchased the stern-wheeler Kootenai, as a
running-mate for the new steamer. She had been built in 1885
to carry men and materials for railway construction in the Sel-
kirks, and had been tied up at Little Dalles, Washington, since
1886. It is said that the C. and K. paid only $10,000 in promissory
notes for her, and that she paid for herself in her first few trips.
She was1 140 feet long, but less powerful and speedy than the
Lytton, and was used mostly on the 150-mile route from Robson,
near which the Kootenay River joins the Columbia, north to
Revelstoke. The Lytton plied the swifter waters south from
Robson to Little Dalles, where she connected with the Spokane
Falls and Northern Railway. During the low-water season she
joined the Kootenai on the northern run. At times low water in
the Revelstoke River prevented either steamer from proceeding
farther than the head of Upper Arrow Lake; and in that event
the small steamer Marion, owned by Captain Sanderson, gave an
emergency service to Revelstoke.
The next few years were a busy time in the Kootenay. Some
idea of the mining development which took place can be gained
from the annual value of the mineral output, which rose from less
than $74,000 in 1890 to more than $781,000 in 1894, and more than
$6,500,000 in 1898. The resulting trade was coveted by two
great rival railway systems—the Canadian Pacific and the Great
Northern—both of which entered the battle through an array of
subsidiaries. As already noted, the Great Northern reached the
Columbia at Little Dalles in 1890, over the line of the Spokane
Falls and Northern Railway. The same year the Canadian Pacific
secured control of the Columbia and Kootenay Railway, and
pushed forward construction work on its projected line from
Robson to Nelson. This line, completed in 1891-92, was the first
to give rail access to Kootenay Lake.    Soon after this the Great 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 91
Northern reached Bonner's Ferry, on the Kootenay River; and in
1895 the Nelson and Fort Shepherd Railway, which in reality was
an extension of the Spokane Falls and Northern, was completed to
Nelson and gave that city direct connection with the whole American rail system. Meanwhile the Slocan country was coming into
prominence, and rivalry broke out afresh there. Nakusp became
the base of Canadian Pacific operations, while Kaslo was favoured
by the Great Northern. Under these circumstances it is not surprising that business boomed for the lake and river steamers in
the early nineties. They were vital links between such rail-heads
as Revelstoke and Robson on the Columbia and Nelson and Kaslo
on Kootenay Lake, and, in addition, served many points which
had no other means of communication with the outside world.
Railway construction brought them great quantities of freight;
and although the new lines, when completed, often eliminated a
steamer service, trade was so plentiful that the vessels could be
employed to advantage elsewhere.
More traffic required more ships; and in 1891 the Columbia
and Kootenay Company added two large stern-wheel steamers to
its fleet. Equally important, J. A. Mara realized that the time
had come to turn over the management of the line to an experienced steamboat man, and succeeded in persuading Captain James
W. Troup to accept the post. Even in those days Troup was
famous, and was recognized as being a ship designer, swift-water
pilot, and manager of outstanding ability. He was best known
on the Lower Columbia, where he had risen to be superintendent
of the water lines of the Union Pacific Railway. His acceptance
of a relatively unimportant position in Kootenay must have
seemed a strange move to many, but circumstances and his native
ability combined to make it a stepping-stone to a new and remarkable career.
The new steamers added in 1891 were the Columbia, for the
Columbia River route, and the Nelson, the building of which
marked the expansion of the company's operations to Kootenay
Lake. The Columbia was a particularly fine stern-wheel steamer,
152% feet long and 38 feet wide, designed to relieve the Lytton on
the difficult run south from Robson. She was built by Alexander
Watson at Little Dalles, Washington, and, though Canadian owned
and operated, was officially an American bottom throughout her 92 James Fitzsimmons. April
career. She was said to have cost about $75,000. She entered
service in August, 1891; and though troubled at first by small
mishaps and the development of defects Which required some
rebuilding, she proved to be a successful and satisfactory vessel.
She was placed under the command of Captain John C. Gore, a
swift-water skipper of remarkable nerve and judgment, whom
Captain Troup had persuaded to join him in the Kootenay. Captain Gore remained there the rest of his days, and was one of the
best-known and most popular of all the lake and river captains.
As early as September, 1890, the Columbia and Kootenay
Navigation Company had announced its intention to enter the
Kootenay Lake trade; and the stern-wheel steamer Nelson was
built at Nelson for this purpose. She was launched in June, 1891,
and was ready for service in August. The Nelson was 134.4 feet
long and 26.5 feet wide, and her gross tonnage of 496 made her by
far the largest steamer on the lake. She was commanded by
Captain McMorris, who had been on the old Despatch and Lytton
on the Columbia, but who spent the rest of his career on Kootenay
Lake. Her purpose in life was to carry Canadian merchandise
into the Kootenay Lake centres, and to do her utmost to divert
outward-bound trade to Nelson, over the new railway to Robson,
and thence up the Columbia to Revelstoke and the Canadian Pacific
main lines. At first she had things very much her own way,
for her only competitor was the old Galena. In 1892 a second
Canadian rival appeared, the 84-foot screw steamer Ainsworth,
which by degrees acquired the reputation of being a sort of " old
reliable " of the lakes. The Nelson Tribune records, in its issue
of December 23, 1893, that she " never misses a trip and never
comes in a minute behind time, not even when storms on Kootenay
Lake make things lively for the deck passengers." Unfortunately
the story of the City of Ainsworth—as she is called in the official
registers but nowhere else—has not a happy ending. She was
sunk in a squall in 1897, and, though raised and refitted, foundered
in 1898 in a storm which overwhelmed her near Balfour, with the
loss of nine lives.
Serious American competition commenced on Kootenay Lake
in 1892, when the tug Kaslo and a number of barges appeared;
and in the spring of 1893 the large stern-wheel steamer State of
Idaho, built with the definite intention of outstripping the Nelson, 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 93
was completed at Bonner's Ferry. Old-timers will not soon
.forget the races between the two which took place that summer.
The State of Idaho was 140 feet long and 23 feet wide, and soon
proved she was a speedier craft than the Nelson. The Kaslo-
Slocan boom was then at its height, and she succeeded in capturing
much of the trade for the Great Northern Railway, with which
she connected at Bonner's Ferry. But her career under the stars
and stripes was destined to be a brief one. In November she ran
ashore near Ainsworth in a fog, and, having been hastily surveyed
and declared a total wreck, was sold to a passenger, Mr. G. Alexander, of Calgary, for as little as $350. The next day she was
towed to Kaslo, and no doubt could have been quickly repaired;
but various delays and complications followed, and she lay for
many months partly submerged in the harbour there. Eventually
she was raised, refitted, registered as a Canadian vessel, renamed
the Alberta, and placed on the Nelson-Kaslo route in 1895.
Several other interesting craft joined the lake and river fleet
in 1892-93. The largest of these was the Spokane, 125 feet long
and of 400 tons gross, which was built for the Columbia and
Kootenay Company at Bonner's Ferry in 1892 for the Kootenay
Lake service. She was used chiefly as a freight boat. In October,
1892, the steamer Illecillewaet was launched for the company at
Revelstoke. She was powered with the engines of the old catamaran Depatch and, like her, was of freakish design. She was a
sort of steam-scow, designed by Captain Troup to cope with low-
water conditions, and could also be used upon occasion as an icebreaker. She required only a few inches of water—so few that
some one once declared that she could "run over sand-bars without
wetting them." In service she fulfilled the hopes of her designer;
and in the very early spring of 1895, when unusually low water
put every other steamer off the run, she was able to make two
trips a week between Trail and Northport, the new rail-head on
the American side, with tonnage from the LeRoi Mine. Less
fortunate was the small screw-steamer Arrow, launched at Revelstoke in October, 1893, for Captain C. W. Vanderburgh. That
winter, and again in 1894, she struggled valiantly to keep the
river channel open, a service for which her owner was publicly
thanked; but in December, 1895, she was capsized in a sudden
squall on Upper Arrow Lake, and her crew were drowned.    Her 94 James Fitzsimmons. April
hull was found floating bottom up, and she was later righted and
taken to Slocan Lake, where she ran for years.
Thus far the Columbia and Kootenay Company had had the
good fortune not to lose a single ship; but in 1894-95 it suffered
two disasters within a year. Very early on the morning of
August 2, 1894, the steamer Columbia took fire while lying at a
wood-pile just north of the International Boundary, and was
burned to the water's edge. Seven months later, on March 17,
1895, the Spokane was destroyed by fire at Kaslo. She was being
used at the time as a floating wharf, as the town pier had been
swept away in the great floods of June, 1894, but was about to be
recommissioned when she was burned.
The loss of the Columbia was a serious blow to the company,
for she was by far the finest unit of its river fleet. Among the
many useful services she and the Lytton and Kootenai had performed was the carrying to Canada of large numbers of American
settlers bound for the Prairies. One of the most interesting
stories of this Columbia River immigration route is recorded as
follows in a Revelstoke paper: " Another large party of American
settlers for the Prairies arrived by the Columbia Thursday from
Little Dalles, Wash. A baby girl was born on the river near its
mouth at Hall's Landing on Wednesday. The Bishop of New
Westminster [Bishop Sillitoe], who happened to be on board,
baptized her in full canonicals, and the ceremony created a considerable impression on the crowded steamer. The baby was
christened Columbia Florence Holliday and was presented with
a purse of $80."
Captain James A. Anderson, who was purser on the Columbia
during most of her career, recalls that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination precipitated the outbreak of war in
1914, travelled from Revelstoke to Robson on the Columbia in
1893, in the course of his coming-of-age trip around the world.
The same year Mr. Anderson installed aboard the Columbia what
may well have been the first ship-to-shore telephone. The office
of the line was some distance from the dock at Revelstoke, and in
order to avoid delay and save time a telephone was placed on the
ship which could be plugged into a shore circuit as soon as she
was tied up. 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 95
The loss of the Columbia and the Spokane reduced the C. and
K. fleet to the Lytton, the Kootenai, and the Nelson, so far as large
passenger ships were concerned, and a new building programme
was therefore essential in 1895-96. The first new vessel laid
down was the Nakusp, by far the largest steamer yet built for
service on the Columbia. She was designed by Captain Troup,
who spent many an evening poring over her plans; and it is
interesting to learn that the main companionway built into the
famous B.C. Coast steamer Princess Victoria some years later,
under Captain Troup's direction, was a replica of that he had
designed for the Nakusp. The latter vessel was built at Nakusp
in 1895 by David Bulger, who was known all over the Northwest
as a master-builder of wooden ships. He was born in Newfoundland, and came around the Horn as a ship's carpenter at the time
of the California gold-rush. Later he moved to Portland, and,
like so many others prominent in the maritime history of the
Kootenay, was persuaded to come to Canada by Captain Troup.
The Nakusp was launched on Dominion Day and completed in
August. She was 171 feet long, 33.5 feet wide, and of 1,083 tons
gross—more than twice the size of the Lytton.
In 1896 the Nakusp was joined by the stern-wheel steamer
Trail and the tug Columbia. The Trail was a big craft, 165 feet
long and 31 feet wide, but was designed chiefly for freight-carrying and barge-work. Barges had been in use for years; but the
special design of the Trail and the building of a powerful tug
indicate how important this trade was becoming. The whole
Rossland District was humming with activity; and at this time
all Canadian coal for the Nelson and Trail smelters and all merchandise for South Kootenay were routed from Revelstoke down
the Columbia.
The Columbia and Kootenay building programme did not overlook the Kootenay Lake service, and in 1896 the passenger steamer
Kokanee was built at Nelson. She was 142.5 feet long and 24.8
feet wide, and was only in commission a few months when her
laurels were challenged by a new American-owned steamer, the
International. The latter was almost exactly the same length and
breadth as the Kokanee, and, though she flew the Canadian flag,
was owned by the Kootenay Railway and Navigation Company, a
Great Northern subsidiary. The racing which had featured the
rivalry of the Nelson and the State of Idaho in 1893 was revived 96 James Fitzsimmons. April
with zest; but in 1896 it was the Canadian contestant which won.
On her trials the Kokanee had covered 12 miles in 40 minutes, and
in regular service she revealed a turn of speed which the International could not equal.
The year 1896 witnessed highly important developments
ashore as well as afloat. The completion of a Canadian Pacific
branch line from Revelstoke to Arrowhead, which saved much
time and trouble, especially in the low-water season, indicated
which way the wind was blowing. The Kootenay trade had
become so important that better connections with the Canadian
Pacific rail system were imperative. This would be provided
later by the Crow's Nest Railway, upon which construction had
commenced; but in the meantime it was necessary to depend upon
the river and lake steamers. Even with its enlarged fleet the
Columbia and Kootenay line was regarded as inadequate, and a
paragraph in the annual report of the Canadian Pacific Railway
tells the rest of the story. " The Company," it reads, " has been
at a great disadvantage in reaching the traffic in the mining districts of Southern British Columbia in having to depend upon
steamboat connections controlled by other parties. The rapid
growth of the traffic, the high rates exacted, and the inadequate
service performed, led your Directors recently to negotiate for
the purchase of the entire property of the Columbia and Kootenay
Navigation Company, consisting of seven steamboats, ten barges,
mechanical shops, office buildings, warehouses, etc., and to put
under contract for immediate construction three additional
steamers for service on the Arrow and Slocan Lakes. You will
be asked to approve the expenditure of $280,000 for the boats
purchased and under contract, and for a tug-boat and barges that
will probably be required."
The sale of the company to the Canadian Pacific was announced
in the last days of 1896; and events of the next year or so revealed
how rapidly the C.P.R. interests in the Kootenay were expanding.
The climax was to come in 1898, when the smelter at Trail was
taken over, the railway from Nelson to Robson was extended to
Trail and Rossland, and the Crow's Nest line was completed to
Kootenay Lake.
Of the three new steamers built by the Canadian Pacific in
1897, two were for the Columbia River service from Arrowhead 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 97
to Robson. These were the Rossland and a new Kootenay; and
both were designed by Captain Troup and built at Nakusp by
David Bulger. Their machinery was installed by Davy Stephens,
another very well-known figure, who engined practically all the
large Canadian steamers subsequently added to the lake and river
fleets. The Kootenay resembled the Nakusp, but was somewhat
larger, being 183.5 feet long, 32.6 feet wide, and of 1,117 tons
gross. With her appearance the original Kootenai was withdrawn from service and dismantled. The old steamer was for
years a fond and familiar sight to old-timers along the Columbia;
and among her many useful services, which included the carrying
of the first ore shipments sent north from Slocan and Trail, they
will recall her ice-bound rest of two months, south of Wigwam, in
1896, when she was endeavouring to keep the northern river open.
The Rossland was as long as the Kootenay, but not so wide,
and her gross tonnage was 884. What she lacked in size she made
up for in speed, for she was probably the fastest of all the river
and lake steamers. On one trial trip she travelled from Arrowhead to Nakusp in 1 hour and 42 minutes, at an average speed of
more than 20 miles per hour. Her fuel-consumption at this pace
was so great, however, that she was only run at full speed when
circumstances justified the extra expenditure. The Kootenay,
on the other hand, was much more economical to operate; and
upon occasions she made the return trip from Arrowhead to Trail
on as little as 18 tons of coal—a result made possible by slow
steaming over the portion of the long run covered at night.
The third new vessel contracted for by the Canadian Pacific
was the Slocan, a 155-foot stern-wheel steamer designed for service on Slocan Lake. At the same time the railway purchased the
small screw steamer Wm. Hunter, the pioneer craft on the lake,
which had been running since 1892. She was built by J. Fred
Hume, one of the shareholders in the original Columbia Transportation Company, which had constructed the catamaran
Despatch in 1884. In 1898 the tug Sandon was added to the
Slocan Lake fleet, and she and the Slocan remained in service until
as recently as 1927, when the new tug Rosebery was launched and
the older vessels dismantled.
The Kootenay, Rossland, and Nakusp gave a fast and efficient
service from Arrowhead south.   Unhappily the trio was not 98 James Fitzsimmons. April
destined to remain intact for long, for on December 23,1897, the
Nakusp was destroyed by fire at Arrowhead. She was replaced
the next year in an unexpected fashion, when the steamers Minto
and Moyie, originally intended for service on the Stikine River
in connection with the Klondyke gold-rush, were diverted respectively to the Columbia River and Kootenay Lake instead. They
were the first steel stern-wheel steamers added to the fleet, and
were shipped to British Columbia in sections from Toronto. They
were both lengthened by the addition of an extra 20-foot section,
and as finally launched were 161.7 feet long and 30.1 feet wide.
Their gross tonnage was about 830. The Minto was assembled
at Nakusp and the Moyie at Nelson, and both are still in service
In this same year, 1898, the Canadian Pacific placed the powerful tug Ymir on Kootenay Lake. She was joined by the Valhalla
in 1901 and the Hosmer in 1909, and all three were kept busy
handling barges between Kootenay Landing, the rail-head of the
Crow's Nest line, and Procter, near Nelson. The large steel
barges used carried as many as fifteen cars each; and four of
these were required each day to handle the traffic. A similar
barge service was maintained between Arrowhead and Nakusp;
and in 1909 the tug What Shan was built specially for this route.
She came to a curious end in 1920, when her hull was dismantled
and her machinery installed in the new tug Kelowna, on Okanagan
Lake. To-day the tug-boat fleet has dwindled to only two vessels
—the Columbia, which was completely rebuilt in 1919, and the
Granthall, a powerful new steamer put afloat on Kootenay Lake
in 1928.
In 1898 Captain Troup left the Kootenay to take charge of the
Canadian Pacific B.C. Coast steamers; and during the next thirty
years he there built up what is recognized as being the finest fleet
of its kind afloat. He was succeeded as manager of the lake and
river steamers by Captain John C. Gore, who retained the position
until his death in 1917. Captain Gore was in turn succeeded by
Captain Douglas Brown, who retired recently.
Before leaving for the Coast, Captain Troup enjoyed one last
exciting swift-water experience. In the summer of 1897 the
Lytton was commissioned to make a series of special trips to carry
machinery to the foot of Death Rapids, north of Revelstoke.    She 1937 Columbia River Chronicles. 99
left Revelstoke on her first trip in the early morning of August 5.
Captain Troup was personally in charge; her master, Captain
Albert Forslund, piloted her; and James Townsend, who knew
the river well, was taken along to advise about the course. For
safety, all passengers were put ashore at the foot of the canyon,
and they with the crowd assembled saw a great sight. For six
hours the steamer lined and coughed, capstaned and chugged,
breasting and beating the roaring rapids, before she whistled
" all's well." It was 11.45 a.m. before she was over the first
rapids, 3.45 p.m. before she was through the canyon and second
rapids. Some idea of the swiftness of the water may be gained
from the fact that she came down on the return trip in 6 minutes
and 51 seconds. Captain Troup then turned her over to Captain
Gore, who, with Captain Forslund in the pilot-house, finished the
contract in three more trips.
These adventures of the Lytton had a sequel; for in 1901 four
Revelstoke men—Frank McCarty, G. S. McCarter, Thomas Kil-
patrick, and A. E. Kincaid—formed the Revelstoke Navigation
Company, to give a regular service on the upper reaches of the
river. The steamer Revelstoke, designed by Captain Troup, was
built at Nakusp in 1902, and for fourteen seasons battled with the
rapids of the Columbia. She was 127 feet long and of 309 tons
gross; and throughout her career she was in charge of Captain
Forslund, master, and Henry Colbeck, engineer. She came to
her end in 1915 at the great mill fire at Comaplix, where she often
tied up during the winter months. She was not replaced, and no
other steamer has ever given a regular service in those waters.
By the turn of the century it was evident that both passenger
and freight traffic would pass more and more from rivers and
lakes to roads and rails; and little need be added to complete these
chronicles. The wooden steamer Kuskanook, 193.5 feet long and
of 1,008 tons gross, was built at Nelson and added to the Kootenay
Lake fleet in 1906. Five years later, in 1911, the big steel steamer
Bonnington was built at Nakusp, and commenced running on the
Arrowhead-Robson route. She was 202.5 feet long and of 1,700
tons, and was thus by far the largest vessel ever built for service
on the Columbia River. Though so large, the use of compound
engines made her economical to operate. She developed 1,200
H.P., and an idea of the size of her machinery may be gained from 100 James Fitzsimmons. April
the fact that her piston-rods were a fraction of an inch more than
24 feet long. In 1913 a similar steel steamer—possibly the last
of the famous old stern-wheel fleet—was built at Nelson and
named Nasookin. Her gross tonnage was 1,869 and her length
just over 200 feet.
The progress of the railway continued relentlessly, and with
the opening of the Kettle Valley Railway for through traffic in
1916 the glory of the Columbia River steamers departed. Only
the tourist and local freight traffic remained to them, and the
former dwindled steadily. The spirit of old times lingered on
Kootenay Lake until 1931, when the completion of the railway
from Procter to Kootenay Landing eliminated the last important
water link in the Kootenay transportation system.
One by one the old steamers have been dismantled or diverted
to other services. The Lytton dropped off the list as long ago as
1903. The Rossland followed in 1918 and the Nelson in 1919.
In 1920 the Kootenay became a house-boat for Captain Sanderson,
and 1923 found the Kokanee acting as a floating hotel in Deans-
haven. The Kuskanook was broken up at Nelson in 1931. The
newest and finest steamers are now too large for the traffic offering and the Bonnington lies idle at Nakusp. The Nasookin has
been sold and reconstructed and now serves as an automobile ferry
between Fraser's Landing and Gray Creek. To-day only the old
Minto and Moyie ply the waters for which, oddly enough, they
were never intended.
Gone are the days when six steamers tied up in a row at Revelstoke and international rivalries led to dashing races on Kootenay
Lake. Gone are the days of " white-water " runs, of forced steam,
snags, sweepers, sand and gravel bars, rocks and ripples, low-
water days, ice bridges, and all the romance and urge of the great
river's business in the days when Kootenay was in the making.
Gone, seemingly—we live and forget so m'uch quicker now—as
far into the neglected past as the gold-digger's little Forty Nine,
and the bateau brigades of the North West and Hudson's Bay
One can only hope that, after the fashion of most good stories,
something of the history and immense vitality of those old days
will somehow manage to survive.
James Fitzsimmons.
In the first number of this Quarterly I attempted to give an
outline sketch of the early commercial activities on Burrard Inlet
down to 1870. It is now proposed to complete that outline by
tracing the general development on the inlet during the same
The first rude rough trails in the peninsula between the1
Fraser River and Burrard Inlet owed their existence to the
necessity of protecting the capital. Upon the advice of Colonel
R. C. Moody, the Commanding Officer of the detachment of Royal
Engineers then stationed in the Colony of British Columbia,
Governor Douglas, in 1859, had selected the site of New Westminster as its capital. Vancouver Island was at that time a
separate colony, though under the same governor. This selection made, the next step was to reserve lands for military and
naval purposes on Burrard Inlet. These included naval reserves
of 110 acres and 788 acres at " Jericho " and Point Grey, upon
a part of which the University of British Columbia now stands;
a military reserve of 354 acres on the south side of the First
Narrows—the Stanley Park of to-day; another military reserve
of about 950 acres on the north shore, immediately opposite;
a naval reserve of 155 acres' near the place later known as
Granville; another naval reserve near Port Moody, 110 acres;
and two military reserves, of 190 acres and 127 acres respectively, on the north and south sides of the entrance to Port
Moody. It must be admitted that every point of vantage had
been reserved to protect the embryo capital.
Communication between the capital and the inlet with all
these defence reserves was a military necessity. Out of this
necessity came the first two trails on the peninsula: one from
New Westminster to Port Moody, at the head of the inlet, and
the other to the naval reserve on English Bay, or the " outer
anchorage," as it was first called. The former was made in
1859; two years later it was transformed into a road—the North
Road. But as most of the men-of-war then on this station were
sailing vessels and as the navigation to Port Moody was tedious,
owing to the variable winds and the strong currents of the two
narrows, Colonel Moody thought it well to cut a trail 13 miles in 102 F. W. Howay. April
length to the south side of English Bay, to afford the earliest
and latest contacts with them. The line of this trail was, roughly,
along an extension of Douglas Street (Eighth Street), New
Westminster, for a mile and a half; there it turned to the left
to reach the head of False Creek, and thence along the southern
shore to the vicinity of the naval reserve, the " Jericho " of
later years.
It is extremely difficult to piece together the facts regarding
the making of this trail, but the statements that follow are
believed to be accurate. A glimpse of the incipient animosity
between Governor Douglas and Colonel Moody can be caught in
the correspondence touching the matter. It would be interesting
to know how much information the Governor had at this time
of the land-grabbing activities of the Colonel. Obviously the
trail was a military necessity (or, at any rate, most desirable
from a military point of view), but Douglas chose to regard it
as one for settlement, and ordered that the opinion of the Secretary of State be obtained before the work was undertaken.
Apparently that official approved, for in October, 1860, the trail
had been carried through to False Creek. There the work stopped
for a time, but in February, 1861, Douglas authorized the
remainder to be constructed, and it seems that some time in the
following autumn it was completed to the vicinity of " Jericho."
So far as can be ascertained, this trail does not appear to have
come into general use. Its sole purpose was military, an auxiliary protection for the capital.
But in January, 1860, Governor Douglas, who was the whole
law-making authority in the mainland Colony of British Columbia, issued a Pre-emption Proclamation—that is, made a law—
setting forth the terms on which agricultural land could be
obtained. The first land applied for was, naturally, along the
trail, later the North Road. Attention was next directed to the
fine farming area around Burnaby Lake and soon many preemptions in that locality were recorded In consequence, whilst
the military trail to " Jericho " was under construction, a contract was let to Sparrow & McDonald to make a trail along an
extension of Douglas Street to enable settlers to reach that
desirable section of the country. Possibly the fact that Colonel
Moody had large landed interests in that direction may have 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. 103
been a factor in the early performance of the work. From the
records of the Department of Lands and Works, of which Colonel
Moody was Chief Commissioner, it appears that by December,
1861, a trail of some sort had been built for a considerable
distance along the line later known as the Douglas Street Road
or Douglas Road. The contract had been for 4% miles of trail
at £79 per mile; however, only 3% miles were completed at a
cost of £373 12s. 4d. It may be added here, parenthetically,
that, whilst the decimal currency was in common use in business,
the official accounts were kept in sterling money until January
1, 1866. Inasmuch as this trail began 1% miles from New
Westminster, at the point where the military trail to " Jericho "
turned off towards False Creek, it follows that it must have
ended about 5 miles from that city, or somewhere in the neighbourhood of the junction of the present Sperling Avenue with
Douglas Road.
Thus in December, 1861, the transportation lines in the
peninsula were three in number: the North Road, just completed as a road; the military trail to " Jericho "; and the settlement trail, the germ of the present Douglas Road, which then
ended, as above indicated, near Burnaby Lake.
As early as December, 1859, people were seeking to obtain
land on Burrard Inlet. The Pre-emption Proclamation -had not
then been issued; but in anticipation of possible developments
a Government reserve for a town near the Second Narrows, later
known as Hastings Townsite, was created, about 1860 or 1861.
The exact date is difficult to determine, for the material in reference to the formation of the reserves on the inlet, whether naval,
military, townsite, or Indian, is extremely vague and indefinite.
The late George Turner, one of the Royal Engineers, in giving
evidence in the Deadman's Island case, istated that some time,
probably in 1862, he was with Colonel Moody on H.M.S. Grappler,
when the Colonel landed and marked a spot near the Second
Narrows at which he desired the Douglas Street Road to end.
In April, 1862, the Government called for tenders for the construction of " a wagon road, eighteen feet wide, from six miles
out of Douglas Street to a blazed tree on the south shore of
Burrard Inlet, at or about the Second Narrows." Presumably
this road was to begin where the existing settlement trail ended 104 F. W. Howay. April
near Burnaby Lake; and, presumably also, the "blazed tree"
was the spot that Colonel Moody had shown to Mr. Turner.
The notice further stated that the line " will be blazed as soon
as possible." As the road to the Second Narrows (Hastings)
—the Douglas Road—was not built until 1865, the inference is
that the tenders were too high or that the money was not available. There are some who think that though no road was then
built, a trail may nevertheless have been constructed in 1862
from Burnaby Lake to the inlet, but of this there is so far as I
know no satisfactory evidence.
In October, 1862, came to the inlet the three men whose names
are linked with the development of Vancouver, its first inhabitants: William Hailstone, John Morton, and Samuel Brighouse.
They settled on a piece of land adjoining the military reserve,
now Stanley Park. At that time there was no connection between
Coal Harbour and New Westminster; they accordingly built a
trail to connect at False Creek with the military trail to " Jericho." In 1863, according to Mr. Turner, they were operating
a small brickyard on their land, later known as Lot 185. They
had built a house and cleared some of the lot, but the absence of
reasonable facilities for marketing their produce caused them
soon to abandon residence on the property, though they retained
their ownership.
Under instructions from Colonel Moody, George Turner, R.E.,
who has been already mentioned, made, in February and March,
1863, the first survey on Burrard Inlet. Beginning at the Town-
site reserve, a part of which afterwards became known as
Hastings, he surveyed along the south shore of the inlet, westerly,
laying out, in succession, Lots 184, 183, 182, and 181, a Townsite
reserve (which appears to have included the original naval
reserve in that vicinity), and Lot 185. This brought him to
the military reserve at the First Narrows—the Stanley Park of
to-day. Lot 185 was the Hailstone, Morton, and Brighouse property. Lot 184 was granted in January, 1864, to John Graham,
a clerk in the Government Treasury. Lot 183 was granted in
October, 1863, to Thomas Ranaldson, who early in 1865 conveyed
it to H. P. P. Crease, later Mr. Justice Crease. Lot 182 was
granted to H. P. P. Crease in October, 1863. Lot 181 was granted
to Robert Burnaby in October, 1863;   in 1869 it became the 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. 105
property of Edward Stamp, the manager of the British Columbia
and Vancouver Island Spar, Lumber, and Sawmill Company.
Out of the Townsite reserve, which lay between Lots 181 and
185, was first carved Lot 196, which was granted to Captain
Stamp's Company, the B.C. & V.I. Spar, Lumber, and Sawmill
Company, on November 30, 1865. On it that company erected
the mill then known as Stamp's mill, later the Hastings Sawmill.
Granville Townsite was laid out on a portion of the remainder
of this reserve. In connection with the establishment of Stamp's
mill it may be added that the water required for its operation
and protection was brought in by means of a flume some 3 miles
in length; it was obtained from the stream that flows out of
Trout Lake, on Lot 195.
With the growth of trade consequent upon the operations of
Graham & Company's, later Smith's, and still later Moody &
Company's mill on the north shore, the necessity for a road from
New Westminster to the Townsite reserve near the Second Narrows became pronounced. In September, 1864, C. W. Holmes
forwarded to the Colonial Secretary a plan of a proposed road
from the end of the existing trail near Burnaby Lake to Hastings
Townsite (which did not however then bear that name), a distance of about 9 miles. He added: " The present old road or
trail extends about 4% miles from New Westminster and was
made I believe about four years ago." His proposal met with
approval. Tenders were invited, and the contract for building
a wagon road from New Westminster to Hastings, the Douglas
Road, was awarded to John T. Scott—a man who is affectionately
remembered by all old-timers as " Colonel Scott." The cost was
roughly estimated at $15,000. In October, 1864, the work was
reported to be " getting along famously." Through the autumn
about one hundred and fifty men were employed. After closing
down during a part of the winter, work was resumed early in
January, 1865, and completed in May. The British Columbian
of May 15, 1865, recorded that the Douglas Road was finished
and that the contractor had driven Governor Frederick Seymour
and A. N. Birch, the Colonial Secretary, over the whole road on
the previous day. We have no description of that trip, but it
requires little imagination to realize its discomfort. The road
was then guiltless of anything like macadam.   Its bed had not 106 F. W. Howay. April
yet settled; many low, wet places remained that were far softer
and more miry than the higher ground; the worst marshy spots
were covered with that terrible pioneer material — corduroy.
Drummond's words, had they then been written, must have been
in the Governor's mind:—
" De corduroy road go bompety bomp,
De corduroy road go jompety jomp,
An' he's takin' beeg chances upset hees load
De horse dat'U trot on de corduroy road."
This road—the Douglas Road—ended at the tree blazed by
Colonel Moody some three years before, a short distance west of
the Second Narrows in the Townsite reserve, later Hastings. At
first the terminus had no name; it was simply, in fact and in name,
" The End of the Road." But as the people of New Westminster
began to frequent it for sea-bathing, John Robson suggested in the
British Columbian that it should be called " Brighton," after the
celebrated seaside resort, and Brighton it became. In August,
1865, Oliver Hocking and Fred Houston opened there the first
hotel on Burrard Inlet, which they called the " Brighton Hotel ";
they laid out beautiful grounds and picturesque walks, and
Brighton took upon itself the aspect of an up-to-date watering
place with all the facilities for boating and bathing. Mr. Charles
Septimus Jones, the manager of the Bank of British Columbia in
New Westminster in 1864-65, tells us that he sometimes walked
over the " trail " to Burrard Inlet, a distance of 8 miles, as he says,
through an avenue of immense fir trees. Brighton then consisted
only of the hotel and a few houses; no streets, just a winding
pathway amongst the blackened stumps; a mere clearing on the
edge of the inlet and almost shaded by the gigantic trees. Yet
pleasure parties came in the summer almost daily by horse and
buggy over the road, for it was the only one available to the people
of New Westminster for wheeled conveyances—the North Road
had been allowed to go to ruin Occasionally picnics were organized and a steamer chartered with a band and all the accessories,
especially when some large vessel or man-of-war was in the inlet.
One such excursion took place in August, 1865, when Captain
Stamp was loading his first spar ship, the Aquila. The fact that
this vessel was taking to Cork, Ireland, a sample of almost everything produced in the colony—spars, lumber, hides, wool, coal, 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. 107
salt salmon, and cranberries—probably added to the public interest. In view of these frequent excursions by water Oliver
Hocking, the proprietor of the Brighton Hotel, began the construction of a wharf there.
But it was not until Stamp's mill was ready to run that a public
conveyance was placed on the road. In July, 1867, a date that
synchronizes with the commencement of lumber manufacture by
Stamp's company, W. R. Lewis, a hotel proprietor in New Westminster, put on a semi-weekly stage. By October business had
increased so much that he enlarged the service to a daily one.
The stage left New Westminster at 10 o'clock in the morning and
connected at Brighton with Captain James Van Bramer's ferryboat, the Sea Foam, for Moody's mill. Though only about 4 miles
separated Brighton from Stamp's mill, this small ferry went first
across to Moody's, then back to Stamp's and on to Brighton.
Despite the public clamour for a road, the same roundabout route
by water continued down to 1876; and this notwithstanding an
offer by Captain Stamp to bear one-half of the cost of the extension. Lewis's stage left Brighton each afternoon at 3 o'clock on
the return journey. The arrival and departure of the stage was
announced by the stirring notes of a bugle, a sort of old land touch.
Having constructed the road to Brighton, the Government paid
small attention to it, with the result that, when the winter rains
came on, it was almost impassable. The British Columbian complained that" a road over which there is so much traffic should not
be treated with indifference and neglect." But it added that it
was understood the Government was " not sweet upon that road."
The traffic continued to grow; the Government awoke to its duty;
the road was repaired; and in August, 1868, Mr. Lewis was operating two daily stages—a four-horse and a two-horse stage—
while Henry Elliott also ran a two-horse stage. The inlet was
being well supplied with transportation facilities. More than
that: the travel on the road, pedestrian as well as vehicular, was
already so great that in October, 1867, Charles Seymour opened
a wayside house, the Lake House, on the Finlayson farm (Lot 87),
near the little stream that connects Deer Lake and Burnaby Lake.
This stopping-place, being midway between the two termini,
became quite popular, largely because of the good hunting and
fishing then to be had on those lakes. 108 F. W. Howay. April
Soon after Stamp's mill began to operate, Captain John Deigh-
ton, familiarly known as " Gassy Jack," established a hotel, first
apparently called the Globe House, but later the Deighton Hotel.
This was in October, 1867. From his nickname the village that
was growing up around Stamp's mill became known locally as
" Gastown "; and Gastown it was until 1870, when it was officially
named Granville. But the old name persisted in local use and
even succeeded, as late as 1877, in finding its way to a place on the
Admiralty charts. In November, 1873, "Gassy Jack" sent two
letters to the Mainland Guardian, the first dated from " Gastown "
and the second from Granville. As " Gassy Jack " was the best-
known man on the inlet outside of Captain Stamp and " Sue "
Moody a few words regarding him may be added He was an
original character worthy of the pen of Bret Harte. A native of
Hull, England, he was one of those restless adventurers whom
the lure of gold drew to California in 1849. After trying his
luck with varying results in Californian mining camps, the fickle
goddess beckoned him to the Fraser River and he came with
the rush of 1858. He was a miner for a time; then a revenue
officer; and then an officer on Captain William Moore's steamer
Henrietta, on the run to Douglas and Yale. Later he was master
of the Flying Dutchman, and pilot and master on various other
river steamers. Tiring of that life, he retired to open the hotel at
Stamp's mill. He was a man without education, but that did not
prevent him from airing his views on any and every subject, his
lack of " book learning " being compensated for by his wide and
varied experience. His fondness for talking gained him his
soubriquet: he was no longer Captain Deighton but "Gassy
Jack/'    He died in June, 1875.
In March, 1869, Oliver Hocking sold the Brighton Hotel to
Maximillien Michaud, who had for years been connected with the
Colonial Hotel in New Westminster. The End of the Road, or
Brighton, then became locally known as " Maxie's." At the same
time Michaud became postmaster at Brighton; and W. R. Lewis
secured the contract for carrying the mail to and from New Westminster. Two months later Lewis established a regular express
service to Brighton and Burrard Inlet. All this time there had
been no division of the townsite; people had just squatted and
built where they pleased.   But in November, 1868, the Assistant 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. 109
Surveyor-General, B. W. Pearse, arrived with a party at Brighton
from New Westminster to survey a part of the townsite into lots.
That done, the place known as Brighton, The End of the Road, and
" Maxie's " disappears and in its stead comes " Hastings, the new
town at Burrard Inlet." R. E. Gosnell in the Year-Book of British Columbia, 1897, states that it was named after Admiral
Hastings, or to give him his full title, Rear-Admiral the Hon.
George Fowler Hastings, C.B., of H.M.S. Zealous, on this station,
1866-69. Though no definite information on the point has been
discovered, this origin would appear to be correct. The British
Columbian in March, 1869, speaks of Admiral Hastings as " A
good friend to this colony "; and suggests public recognition of
his approaching departure. In that month also the name of the
Literary Institute at Moody's " as a compliment to Admiral
Hastings " was changed from New London Institute to Hastings
Institute. The survey and plotting of the townsite of Hastings
synchronizes with the Admiral's departure, and so does, very
nearly, the advent of the Hastings Mill. The first sale of lots was
scheduled to be held by auction on July 10, 1869, at New Westminster, but it did not actually occur until a month later. Henry
V. Edmonds, the auctioneer, succeeded in disposing of only seven
lots, as follows: Lots 2, 3, and 4 for $150 to Maxime Michaud;
Lots 9 and 36 to W. R. Lewis for $100; and Lots 34 and 35 to
Ebenezer Brown for $100. These lots had gone at the upset price
of $50 each; but though the remaining lots were offered at that
price, no one was found with enough faith in the future to bid it.
On Burrard Inlet then, in 1869, were these three villages:
Hastings; Moody's Mills, later Moodyville; and " Gastown " or
Granville. The great business of the inlet was at Moody's, where
both the water and the steam-^power mill were operating; its
large wharf accommodation gave ample space for a dozen vessels
at a time. It was the most progressive of the settlements, and
was the place where until the middle seventies almost every forward movement, social or economic, had its origin. It was then
the largest of the three and even boasted names for the paths that
answered for streets, Kanaka Row and Canary Road, for example.
Its population was probably less than two hundred. The old
Brighton, even under its new name—Hastings—remained but a
stopping-place, galvanized into a few moments of activity, two or 110 F. W. Howay. April
three times a day, by the arrival of the stage from New Westminster. It had no industries of any kind. " Gastown," or
Granville, suffered under two handicaps: the absence of a road to
connect it with Hastings, and the financial difficulties in which
the so-called Stamp's mill found itself from January, 1869', until
it became the Hastings Saw Mill Company in August, 1870.
Then new life came to Granville and it began to grow, though
very slowly at first. All three were merely small clearings in the
dense forest that then covered both sides of the inlet, though at
Moody's the forest was pressed somewhat farther back than was
the case in regard to the others.
To conclude this paper a few disconnected notes of events on
the inlet will be given. These in the main will relate to the period
before 1870, though a few of more recent date may be included.
So far as is known, the first person to undertake farming on
the inlet, beyond the limits of the City of Vancouver, was Hugh
Burr, who settled on Lot 193, at the mouth of Seymour Creek,
about 1864. There he established, despite the wolves and cougars
which then were very plentiful on the north shore, the first dairy
and fruit farm on the inlet. He found a market in the three little
villages and in the ships that came for lumber. From the newspapers it appears that in February, 1865, he had a rowboat at
the end of the North Road, from which it is inferred that his only
means of reaching New Westminster was by that route.
The first religious service on the inlet was held on June 19,
1865, at Moody's Mill, by the Rev. Ebenezer Robson, a pioneer
Methodist missionary, later well known as the Rev. Dr. Robson.
He was a brother of the Hon. John Robson, then editor of the
British Columbian. This pioneer congregation consisted of
fifteen men, including in the number Captain Howard of the
barque Metropolis, then loading at the mill for Mexico. Almost
nine years elapsed before the first religious service was held at
Granville. That was on Sunday, March 1, 1874, in the Deighton
Hotel, by the Rev. Mr. Russ, also a Methodist missionary. In
1874 Burrard Inlet Mission was established with three preaching-
The first marriage on the inlet of which a record has been
found was solemnized at Moody's Mills, on July 18, 1868, by the 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. Ill
Rev. Edward White, another pioneer Methodist missionary. The
bride was Miss Ada Young; the groom, Mr. Peter Plant. Both
are described as of " Burrard Inlet," the name frequently applied
to Moody's Mills, possibly because it was the largest settlement
and also because these mills were " The Burrard Inlet Lumber
Mills." The name Moodyville does not appear to have come into
general use until after 1871. The first marriage at Granville was
on April 4,1874, when Benjamin Springer, one of the best-known
pioneers of the inlet, was united to Mrs. Richards, " the late school
The first pilot for Burrard Inlet of whom any mention has
been found was A. J. Chambers, whose appointment was gazetted
on November 15,1865. At that date only four vessels had loaded
lumber on Burrard Inlet: the Ellen Lewis, whilst Smith was in
control, and the Glimpse, Envoy, and Metropolis under his successor, S. P. Moody & Co. Another of the early pilots, Charles
Houston, died of smallpox in November, 1868, at Victoria.
As early as October, 1867, John Robson in the British Columbian was advocating the establishment of a graving-dock on
Burrard Inlet. Its necessity was brought home to the public in
the following May, when the beautiful British barque Monita was
burned at Stamp's mill and had to be taken to San Francisco for
In November, 1868, the little steam ferry-boat Sea Foam,
while lying at the wharf at Brighton, burst some of her steam-
pipes. She was just ready to leave for Moody's Mills; the passengers were coming on board at the time. Dr. A. W. S. Black,
of New Westminster, Mrs. Bloomfield, and her young daughter
were badly scalded; the child's injuries were so serious that she
was removed to the Royal Columbian Hospital at New Westminster for treatment. In the following November the Sea Foam
caught fire and was damaged, but again was repaired. Her place
as a ferry-boat seems to have been taken later, probably about
1873, by the Chinaman, so called because she had been brought
from China on the deck of a lumber vessel The very first ferry
from Brighton to Moody's Mills was a rowboat operated by
" Navvy Jack," otherwise John Thomas. He began as a ferryman in 1866, but about 1868 Van Bramer brought the Sea Foam
from Fraser River, and established her on the run. 112 F. W. HOWAY. April
In August, 1867, an attempt was made to manufacture resin
and turpentine on the inlet. It is believed that " Sue " Moody,
with his Yankee initiative and energy, was behind the venture.
The workers began to tap the fir trees in that month, but the
effort ended in failure.
Mount Hermon Lodge, the first Masonic Lodge on the inlet,
was organized at Moody's Mills on January 15,1869. The officers
then installed were: J. C. Hughes, W. 0. Allen, P. W. Swett,
J. Van Bramer, Coote M. Chambers, George W. Haynes, Alex.
McGowen, S. P. Moody, and S. T. Washburn. All of these men
were, directly or indirectly, connected with the mill.
On January 23,1869, the first public library and reading-room
on the inlet was formally opened at Moody's Mills by the Rev.
Arthur Browning, another Methodist missionary. He took as the
subject of his address: " Women." The original name was the
New London Mechanics Institute, but in March, 1870, it was
changed to the Hastings Mechanics Institute, as already mentioned, in honour of Rear-Admiral Hastings. The popularity of
that gentleman must have caused some confusion to a stranger:
Hastings townsite at the end of the road; Hastings Sawmill at
Granville; Hastings Mechanics Institute at Moody's.
In 1869 a telegraph line, known at first as the Brighton telegraph, was strung from New Westminster to the inlet; and on
April 11,1869, a cable was successfully laid from Brighton across
to Moody's Mills. The work was done under the supervision of
F. H. Lamb, the superintendent of the Western Union Telegraph
Company. Moody built the line at his own expense, as Stamp's
mill would contribute nothing towards its construction; the
Western Union Company merely furnished the wire, insulators,
and instruments. Nevertheless, Moody's generosity shows in the
fact that the public were allowed to use the line. The charge for
a telegram from or to New Westminster was only 25 cents, until
April 1, 1871, when it was raised to 50 cents. The operator at
Moody's was Coote M. Chambers.
The first school on the inlet was established at Moody's Mills
in 1870. An item in the British Columbian, in June, 1869, names
four schools in the district: Langley, Sapperton, New Westminster, and Burrard Inlet. Notwithstanding this statement, the
Burrard Inlet school in 1869 was only a name.   Perhaps some 1937 Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet. 113
light upon the delay in opening the school may be found in the
following circumstance: At a meeting in New Westminster in
January, 1870, to deal with school matters, the Rev. Arthur
Browning introduced and succeeded in obtaining the passage of
a motion that " the Government be prayed to increase the allowance for a teacher at Burrard Inlet from $400 to $500 a year."
The Government graciously acceded to this modest request; and
the Burrard Inlet school district was formed on July 27, 1870.
With the other three schools above mentioned, it was under the
jurisdiction of a school board, of which W. J. Armstrong was
chairman. Miss Laura A. Haynes was the first teacher, and the
pupils numbered thirteen. She resigned in August, 1872, and
was succeeded by Mrs. Murray Thain. The school-room, which
was supplied by the mill company, was a small affair and but
poorly supplied with teaching facilities. The south side of the
inlet had in Captain James Raymur, the manager of the Hastings
Mill, as energetic a champion as the north side had in " Sue "
Moody. He succeeded in having a school district formed at Granville, a commodious school-house erected, and a school with sixteen
pupils established ancTin operation by the end of February, 1872.
The growth of business at Stamp's mill, which after his retirement in January, 1869, was known by a contracted form of its
full name, " B.C. & V.I. Mill," led to gradual settlement in its
vicinity; but it was mostly a case of squatting on the adjoining
Government reserve. After some threats to eject these trespassers the Government determined to survey and offer for sale
lots in Granville townsite. The sale was held on April 11, 1870.
It could scarcely be called a success: only three lots were purchased, even though the terms were half cash, and the balance on
time. The buyers were: J. Deighton (" Gassy Jack"), Lot 1,
Block 2, at $135; E. Brown, of New Westminster, liquor merchant, Lot 3, Block 2, at $100; and Gregorio Fernandez, Lot 16,
Block 6, at $100. In December, 1870, John A. Webster, of New
Westminster, merchant, bought Lot 5 in Block 2, probably at $100,
the upset price; and in May, 1871, George Brew bought Lot 4 in
Block 2, Alexander McCrimmon Lot 6 in Block 2, and Joseph
Silvia (" Portuguese Joe ") Lot 7 in the same block, probably at
the upset price of $100 each. The Court-house and Gaol stood on
Lot 2 in Block 2.   Captain Raymur was the resident magistrate. 114 F. W. HOWAY. April
British Columbia entered the Dominion on July 20,1871; and
on April 24, 1872, " Gassy Jack " raised at his hotel, then the
Deighton Hotel, the first Dominion flag that was flown anywhere
on the peninsula. He was kind enough to lend it to Ebenezer
Brown, liquor merchant of New Westminster, who flew it there on
June 5,1872.
In November, 1873, Granville had a population of sixty-five,
including therein both transients and residents, but it had three
public houses," Gassy Jack's " Deighton Hotel, Jones & Mannion's
Brown's Saloon, and Alex. McCrimmon's Sunnyside Hotel. By
January, 1874, Jos. Reed's hotel was added, and later Henry
Hogan established the Terminus at Moodyville. For ten years
" Sue " Moody had been able to keep the north side free from the
evils of the " saloon," but at last he had been forced to yield.
On Monday, December 23, 1873, Moody's steam sawmill was
totally destroyed by fire, which is said to have started in the lamp-
room. The water-power mill was saved and continued in operation. The steam mill was rebuilt immediately and was ready for
use by the end of May, 1874. Its reconstruction brought to the
inlet a man who later became one of the most prominent residents
of British Columbia: John Hendry. When, in November, 1872,
H.M.S. Sparrowhawk was sold out of the service, Moody's firm—
which, after July 1,1870, was known as Moody, Dietz & Nelson—
purchased the machinery with the intention of using it in a tugboat which they were about to build. This plan does not seem to
have been carried out, with the result that the old man-of-war's
machinery was on hand when the fire occurred, and was installed
in the new mill. It is believed that it was still in operation when
the Moodyville mill was permanently closed in 1901.
F. W. Howay.
New Westminster, B.C. THREE SIMPSON LETTERS: 1815-1820.
So little is known about the early life of Sir George Simpson
that the accompanying letters will be of interest to all students of
Western history. Though not documents of the first importance,
it is possible that they are the earliest letters from his pen which
have so far appeared in print. The originals are preserved in the
Archives of British Columbia.
The year of Simpson's birth is usually given as 1792, though
Clifford P. Wilson, who contributed three articles on Simpson to
The Beaver in 1934, believes he was born in 1787, or even in 1786.1
He was the illegitimate son of George Simpson, a fact that no
doubt accounts for the absence of any details of his childhood in
his own letters. He was born at Loch Broom in Ross-shire, Scotland, and there received some education. According to his cousin,
Alexander Simpson, he owed much to his aunt, the mother of
Thomas and Alexander Simpson, not only for early care and
education, but also for " his elevation from the position of obscurity and neglect in which his birth naturally placed him."2 She
prevailed upon her brother, Who was a member of the firm of
Graham, Simpson & Wedderburn, engaged in the West India
trade, to receive the youth into the company, and in 1809 he went
to London and entered their employ. Later his path crossed that
of Andrew Colvile, a brother-in-law of the Earl of Selkirk, and
an influential member of the Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, who, attracted by the young Scot, arranged for him to enter
the service of the Company. Finally, in 1820, came the mission
to Canada which led swiftly to fame and fortune.
The first of the letters here presented, which is dated October
5, 1815, is nothing more than a social note, penned by a friendly
and pleasantly imperious young man. It is a pity that we have
no details of " all the dangers " to which Simpson declares himself
exposed, or of the " tough yarns " he doubtless recounted upon the
occasion of his visit.    The second letter, dated February 23,1820,
(1) The Beaver, outfit 265, number 3  (December, 1934), p. 51;   also
Douglas MacKay, The Honourable Company, Indianapolis, 1936, p. 175.
(2) Alexander Simpson, Life and Travels of Thomas Simpson, London,
1845, p. 44. 116 Muriel R. Cree. April
is interesting because it shows that his departure for Canada was
both unexpected and hurried, and that he expected to return
to London either in November, or as soon as the weather made
travel possible in the spring of 1821. In actual fact, Simpson was
destined to be absent from England for five years. November of
1820 found him not on the high seas, as he had anticipated, but in
charge of the Athabasca country, and holding the appointment
of governor locum tenens of the Company's vast territories in
America. Governor Williams was at the time under indictment
in the courts of Lower Canada and it was deemed advisable to
have a deputy at hand in case of need. The next year, following
the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay and North West Companies, Simpson became joint-governor, and in 1826 governor-
In the third letter, dated April 28,1820, Simpson describes his
journey to New York and thence to Montreal, and incidentally
reveals the strong belligerent strain in his nature. He was
strongly anti-American in outlook and so remained in the years
which followed. His systematic campaigns against the American traders in such areas as the Snake River country and the
Pacific Coast may have been good business; but a deeper feeling
shows up in his anxiety to hold every possible inch of the Oregon
country for Great Britain. Even more interesting is his sweeping condemnation of the Nor'Westers as a band of lawless and
murderous marauders. It shows how much he had to learn about
the fur trade and fur-traders; and there is a touch of almost
school-boy melodrama in his expressed resolve to sell his life
dearly should occasion arise. To-day we know how rapidly and
thoroughly Simpson learned his lesson and attained the stature
both of an Imperial statesman and a remarkable business executive. Indeed, reading between the lines of this last letter, it is
not difficult to catch glimpses of the character soon to be developed
fully—the gift of swift and accurate observation, the delight in
power and the impression he made, the rapid traveller pressing
on in the face of bad weather and worse roads, and the commanding ways later so characteristic of the " Little Emperor."
All three letters are addressed to Richard T. Pooler, Esq., who
lived at Reigate, in Surrey, some 24 miles from London.    Nothing 1937 Three Simpson Letters, 1815-1820. 117
is known about the Pooler family, nor have any of the persons
mentioned in the letters been identified.
The spelling and punctuation of the original letters have been
retained throughout.
Murdsl R. Cree.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria. '
London 5th Octr. 1815
My Dear Sir
I have frequently had it in view to avail myself of your repeated Friendly
& Polite Invitation to visit you at your beautiful villa in Nulling Lane but
hitherto some unfortunate circumstance has always intervened to Prevent
my accomplishing that much desired object: I have at length however determined on doing myself the Pleasure of paying my best respects to you Mrs.
Pooler & Family next Saturday, (barring all the dangers &c to which You
Know I am Daily & Nightly so much exposed) and propose starting from here
by the Brighton 3 O'clock Coach which will take me into Riegate in the
Eveng. when I will call on You and have a Gossop for an hour or two, take
up my quarters at the Inn for the Night and all Day Sunday will take the
liberty of making Your House my Home, and either that Eveng. or early
Monday Morning make the best of my way to Tower Street.—You see I make
all my arrangements in my usual unceremonious way and have only to request
that You will stand upon as little Punctilio with me, but in the interim will
be obliged by the favour of a Note say [in] g whether You are or not to be
at Home.—
I will endeavour to coil out a few tough Yarns at meeting Meantime
please make offer of my most Sincere regard to Mrs. Pooler Miss Helen my
old Friend Dick and Beleve me always to be with much esteem
My Dear Sir
Yours mo[st] truly and Sincerely
Geo. Simpson.
London 23d. Feby 1820
My Dear Sir
Since I last had the pleasure of seeing You an unexpected circumstance
has occurred which renders it necessary for me to leave Old England for a
time, and at the short notice of 5 Days.—I was most anxious to shake hands
with You and my highly valued Friends at Nutley Lane previous to my
departure but my time is so much occupied in winding up publick & private
affairs that I have not one hour to spare and a visit to Riegate is utterly
On Sunday afternoon I leave Town for Liverpool, embark in the Packet
for New York on Tuesday, from thence I proceed direct for Montreal and 118 Muriel R. Cree. April'
afterwards take an inland Rout by the St. Lawrence, Lakes Ontario, Huron,,
Superior and Winipig to Hudsons Bay and afterwards thro Athapascow to
Slave Lake and Copper Mine River.—The Journey is rather a serious undertaking and the Mission is important connected with the affairs of Lord
Selkirk, the Hudsons Bay & North West Compys.—Travellers you know meet
with extraordinary adventures I shall therefore have some wonderful Tales
to relate when I again have the pleasure of visiting You.—
I expect to return by the Hudsons Bay Compys Ships in November but if
they are gone before I arrive at the Bay I must just take up my quarters for
the Winter in the Northern Regions.—
The short notice I have had and the multiplicity of my arrangements
have so completely occupied my attention that I have scarcely had an opportunity of thinking seriously of the task I am about to undertake and the
difficulties I am likely to encounter; Yet in the midst of all my hurry &
bustle I must admit that as the time of my departure approaches I begin to
feel a certain depression at the idea of leaving my Native Land and so
many near relations and sincere Friends amongst the latter Your good
Self and Family stand prominent.—
Pray offer my affectionate regard to Mrs. & Miss Pooler Dick & the
Children as also to Mrs. Palmer and with unfeigned esteem believe me always
to be
My Dear Sir
Yours Most truly
Geo. Simpson
73 Tower St.
P.S. I shall highly estimate a few Words of Salutary advice from You
previous to my departure.
Montreal 28th Apl. 1820
My Dear Sir
To the inmates of Nutley Cottage whose uniform Kindness and Friendship
has excited in me the liveliest feelings of gratitude, and for whom I shall
always entertain the utmost regard and esteem, I am sure it will not be
uninteresting to learn, that I have got this length in perfect safety and in
the enjoyment of good Health and spirits.—
By Your Letter of 25th Feby, the rec[eip]t of which it is now high time
to acknowledge I was deeply concerned to learn that you was on the Drs.
list but sincerely trust you are out of his books, bold & active as ever, and
that Mrs. Pooler, Miss Ellen, my Friend Dick and the rest of Your good'
Family are well and happy.—My adventures hitherto possess little interest,
yet I shall give you a summary account of my proceedings since my departure
from London, and by the time I shall next have the pleasure of seeing you my
Journal will be furnished with abundant store for a long evengs- chat.—On
the 27th Feby I left Town for Liverpool where I was detained a few Days. 1-937 Three Simpson Letters, 1815-1820. £19
•by contrary winds, and on the 4th ultimo embarked on board the James
Munro for New York: My Fellow passengers consisted of 13 Gentlemen &
2 Ladies; the Spanish Ambassader Genl. Vevas & Suite were of the party,
the other Gentlemen were commercial Men, but amongst them were two Vile
Radicals who would have kept us in continual discord during the Voyage had
we not sent them to Coventry which was effected not only by threats but
actual hard thumps.—Of the Ladies we fortunately saw little, they were of
the same cast going to join their husbands who by their treasonable proceedings had found it necessary to take refuge in the states, an assylum for the
outcasts and malecontents of all Nations; these precious nymphs were con-
-fined to their cabins the greater part of the Voyage and if the Stewards
report be true solaced themselves with copious brandy draughts to the
downfal of the House of Burbon:—On the whole we had a very agreeable
party but the passage throughout was one continued storm; on the banks
of Newfoundland we encountered very severe Weather and [were] much
annoyed with Ice; the cold was so intense that wherever the spray reached,
it immediately congealed, the Decks covered with Ice a foot thick and our
Sails as stiff as a 3 Inch plank: with some difficulty we however got out of
this Frozen Latitude and on the 4th Inst landed at New York after a quick
but tempestuous Voyage of 31 Days.—The Harbour of New York is perhaps
the finest in the World, protected by strong batteries so as to render it
.impregnable from the Sea.—The Town is well laid out, some handsome
streets and a few elegant publick buildings; it is situated on an Island
formed by the Harbour North & East Rivers and is altogether a gay,
pleasant bustling City with a population of about 130000 Souls.—The Dock
Yard is on Long Island, where there are several men of War on the Stocks
and a few laying in ordinary, but cannot bear the most distant comparison
to any of our establishments of the same kind: they are building fast in all
the Ports and will soon have a very formidable Navy.—I -was in company
■with several of their principal officers who with little delicacy never lost an
opportunity of reminding us of our disasters on the Lakes and wherever
ielse they had any advantage: I of course called their attention to the destruction of Washington,1 gave them my sentiments freely (as here we may
speak without reserve) expressed our contempt for their weakness, vanity
.and arrogance and assured them that John Bull merely wanted the opportunity to chastise them for their presumption & insolence.—The Americans generally speaking have a rooted and insuperable hatred towards the English,
the antipathy is reciprocal and I suspect will at no distant period assume a
more decided character: We have much to apprehend from this rising nation
if the states continue unanimous, but it is gratifying to find that they look
on each other with a jealous Eye from collision of interests, their dissentions
are frequent & serious and I sincerely hope a Civil War may soon check its
growth.—At New York I remained a few Days & received much attention &
hospitality from some Friends to whom I had Letters of Introduction.—
From thence I took my departure Inland by Steamer to Albany about 170
(1) Washington was taken in August, 1814, by British troops, who burned the Capitol, the
White House, several of the public offices and the navy yard. 120 Muriel R. Cree. April
Miles up the North River which is a noble stream Navigable by Ships of any
burthen and on an average from % to % ths of a mile broad, on which there
is much Traffick & abounding with Fish; on its banks are several large
Towns, old English, Dutch, German & French Colonies where the different
Languages are spoken in their original purity; the Country behind in a good
state of Cultivation with sufficient Wood for use and ornament and the
scenery in many parts bold & romantick.—
Albany is a neat pretty Town where I merely remained an hour to get
Horses and proceeded direct for this place, thro' boundless Forests, extensive
plains and over some stupenduous Mountains; an interesting country at
any other Season of the Year but covered with Snow, the Roads one continued
morass so that it was necessary to keep my eye fixed on them to avoid
getting drowned in the Sea of Mud and the weather so bad that I had no
opportunity of devoting much of my attention to the surrounding Scenery;
my Vehicle was nothing more than an open cart drawn by 4 animalcule
unworthy the Name of Horse and after about 50 Spills in which I had
numberless bruises & contusions was compelled to have recourse to the
Marrowbone stage the greater part of the Journey; my time being limited
I found it necessary to Travel by forced marches 19 hours out of the 24 and
got here the seventh Day nearly worn out with Fatigue; had the credit of
opening the St. Lawrence being the first boat that crossed this Season, the
floating Ice made it a source of some danger but the Soaking I had will teach
me to be more cautious in future.—Here I am in excellent quarters and quite
at Home with many of the first Families in Town, my time pleasantly
divided between business and amusement; Dinner parties, Tea Squalls,
Cards, Balls, Theatres & Masquerades occupy my Evengs and I assure you
the representative of the Hudsons Bay Coy & Lord Selkirk is looked upon as
no inconsiderable personage in this part of the World.—The City itself is
a filthy irregular place and no fine scenery in its neighbourhood, it should
have been situated a few miles lower down the River as the Water is so Shoal
that no Vessel of heavy burthen can get near it and the current so powerful
that it requires a strong Easterly Wind to bring small craft up:—The St.
Lawrence is a magnificent River upwards of a mile in breadth here, Tomorrow I shall see more of it as I intend going down to Quebeck by the Steam
Vessel2 and will not fail to pay due attention to those scenes you was so
good as [to] point out.—I am busily preparing for my Journey into the
interior, a serious undertaking, my conveyance is a canoe pulled by 10 stout
Fellows which they carry over the portages; my Cloak will answer all the
purposes of a Bed and the canoe turned bottom upwards my chamber so that
there is no danger of my getting enervated by ease & luxury. The first part
of my Journey I expect to accomplish in 40 Days and my future proceedings
will be regulated by the state of things in the interior.—The serious differ-
(2) The steamship Accommodation, built by the Hon. John Molson, entered service between
Montreal and Quebec as early as 1809. The Molson Line had four or five steamers on this route
by 1820. 1937 Three Simpson Letters, 1815-1820. 121
ences between the Hudsons Bay & North West Compys. are the ca[use of]s
my mission and from the preparation making by both parties I suspe[ct we]3
shall have some hard Blows; I am not however paid for fighting will therefore keep my bones whole if possible yet must show my Governors that I am
not wanting of Courage if necessity puts it to the test.—There is a possibility
that I may be obstructed in my Rout as the N. W. Coy a band of unprincipled
Lawless Marauders stick at nothing however desperate to gain their ends;
I am however armed to the Teeth, will sell my Life if in danger as dear as
possible and never allow a North Wester [to] come within reach of my Riffle
if Flint Steel & bullet can keep "him off.—I trust to have my business accomplished so as to get home by the end of the year when I shall give you a
Journal of my proceedings.—Pray offer my Friend Dick my best wishes and
thank him for his esteemed Letter I hope to find him comfortably settled in
London on my return, also with kind remembrances present my warmest
acknowledgements to Miss Ellen for her highly valued Postscript.—To Mrs.
Pooler & the rest of your Family offer my best regards and with unfeigned
esteem believe me to be
My Dear Sir
Yours most truly & Sincerely
Geo. Simpson.
This is enclosed to my Friend Scott who will forward it;   Your old
acquaintance Sample is my constant attendant.
(8) Manuscript damaged. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Contributors to This Issue.
Robie L. Reid, K.C, LL.D., possesses one of the finest collections of Canadians in the West, and has written many papers on the history of the
Captain James Fitzsimmons served for thirty-eight years as seaman,
officer, and captain with the Lake and River Service of the Canadian Pacifier
Judge F. W. Howay is the leading authority upon the history of British
Columbia. He is the author of the standard history of the Province and of
many other books and articles.
Muriel R. Cree is Keeper of the Manuscripts in the Provincial Archives
and has written a number of articles based upon the documents in her care.
Madge Wolfenden is Assistant Provincial Archivist and is in charge of
the Provincial Library's famous North West Collection. Miss Wolfenden
will be glad to hear from readers who can contribute additions or corrections
to the biographies and bibliographies of the two Alexander Beggs which
appear in this issue.
Some Archives Accessions in 1936.
Readers of Dr. Reid's1 paper on Early Days at Old Fort Langley will1
be interested to learn that two early paintings' of the fort have been added
recently to the Provincial Archives. One of these was painted in 1862 By
W. H. Newton, who was then in charge of the post, and was the gift of his
daughter, Miss F. M. Newton, of Victoria. The other is one of three-
water-colours of unusual interest presented to the Archives1 by Mrs*. Vivian
M. Carkeek, of Seattle, in memory of her late husband. All three- were
painted by Captain James1 Alden, of; the United States survey ship Active,
after which Active Pass was named. That of Fort Langley is dated 1858,
and a view of an Indian village near Nanaimo was painted the same year.
The third! painting, which is historically much the most valuable of the
three, is an excellent view of Fort Victoria in 1854. It is the earliest
original picture of Victoria in the Archives Collection; and it is' possible
that only the well-known picture painted by Paul Kane, in 1847, shows the-
fort at an earlier date.
A water-colour portrait of Admiral Sir Robert Lambert Baynes, and'
a valuable silhouette portrait of the Admiral, after Frith, were presented"
by his daughter-in-law, Mrs. H. C. A. Baynes, of Hampton Court Palace;
Middlesex. As Rear-Admiral Baynes, he was commander-invchief off the*
Esquimalt station in 1857-60. The portraits were accompanied by two
paintings of his flagship, H.M.S. Ganges, which was the last sailing line-
of-battleship in active commission on foreign service in the British Navy.
One of the most interesting acquisitions in 1936 was a large oil painting,
of Sir James Douglas, by Mrs, Frances M. Rowley, daughter of the Hon. 124 Notes and Comments. April
A. N. Richards, at one time Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
The painting was the gift of three of Sir James's grandchildren—Miss
Hilda Harris, Mrs. J. E. W. Oland, and Colonel Chester Harris—and now
hangs in the main hallway of the Provincial Library.
Two other pictures received relate to very early events in British
Columbia's history. One of these is an original silhouette portrait of
James Strange, who visited this coast with a trading expedition in 1786.
It was the gift of his grandnephew, Mr. A. P. Trotter, of Salisbury,
England. A contemporary note on the back of the portrait records that
it was made in Edinburgh, in 1830, by the sdlhouettist to the French
Court. The second picture is a photograph of a miniature of Captain
Charles William Barkley, who arrived on the coast in 1787, just one year
after Strange. It was presented by Captain Barkley's great-granddaughter,
Lady Constance Parker of Waddington, of Tunbridge Wells.
A number of items of great interest were added to the Archives Museum
during the year. A small writing-desk from the old home of Simon Fraser
was acquired, and joined the other relics of the explorer already on display.
The sword of Captain H. R. Luard, one of the officers of the Royal Engineers
who arrived in 1858, was presented by his daughter, Miss E. M. Luard, of
Chestleham, England. The sword was brought to Canada by Sir Percy
Vincent, Lord Mayor of London.
Several of the new acquisitions relate to the economic development of
the Province. The first hydraulic monitor ever used in the Cariboo has
been presented to the Archives Museum by F. J. Tregillus and Joseph
House, of Barkerville. The monitor was one of many relics displayed in
Vancouver last year during the Jubilee celebrations. Mr. George Murray,
M.L.A., secured for the Archives a rail from the first railway ever constructed in British Columbia—the tramway built in the gold-rush days
between Anderson and Seton Lakes, as a link in the Harrison Lake route
to the Upper Fraser, and later the Cariboo. These first rails were made
of ordinary angle-iron, and were used to face the wooden timbers which
formed "the track proper. The department has also received on loan a
remarkable working model of the first locomotive owned by the Esquimalt
& Nanaimo Railway. This model, which is nearly 5 feet long, was built
by the late Dennis Harris, son-in-law of Sir James Douglas, and was loaned
to the Archives by his son, Colonel Harris. It forms a fitting companion-
piece to the magnificent 7-foot model of the steamship Princess Margaret,
presented to the Archives last August by Mrs. J. W. Troup, in memory of
her husband, the late Captain Troup, who was for many years manager
of the Canadian Pacific B.C. Coast Service. The Princess Margaret was
one of the largest and fastest of the many steamers designed by Captain
Troup for the Princess fleet, and constructed- under his supervision.
VeTy extensive additions to the photograph collection were made in
1936. The plates of Mr. Howard Chapman, the well-known photographer,
were purchased in September, when Mr. Chapman retired1 from business.
Though many of them were taken recently, thousands of the pictures thus 1937 Notes and Comments. 125
acquired date back thirty or forty years, and form an invaluable supplement
to the famous Maynard plates, which were purchased by the department
some time ago. Possibly the most interesting part of the collection consists
of a fine series of pictures taken in the Kootenay and in the Boundary
country, about forty-five years ago. Early views of Rossland, Trail, Greenwood, and other cities in the region are now difficult to procure; and the
Chapman plates have filled this and other gaps in the Archives Collection.
Another fine series of Kootenay views was included in a collection of almost
500 pictures acquired last year from Mrs. Gerrard Mason. Approximately
100 plates of early Prince Rupert were purchased in October. They will
be of great interest in years to come, for they date as far back as the arrival
of the first surveyors and axemen on the site where the city now stands.
Another important acquisition included' the photograph collection of the
late Edgar Fawcett, one of Victoria's best-known pioneers, and author of
Some Reminiscences of Old Victoria. Though most of the pictures included
were already in the Archives, Mr. Fawcett's notes, which accompany them,
are of the greatest interest.
A valuable collection of some fifty-five plates was presented to the
Archives in May by Mr. Herbert Carmichael. They include very early views
of Port Alberni and Powell River, including the original pulp-mill erected
at the former point. Another picture collection, consisting mostly of Kootenay views, was received the same month from Mrs. Alan Morkill; and other
gifts of unusual interest were received during the year from Mrs. T. H.
Laundy, Mrs. John Newbury, and Mr. Fred Pemberton. Special mention
must be made of the photographic survey of old Victoria homes and commercial buildings which Mr. Chartres Pemberton has kindly undertaken on
behalf of the Archives. Some of the buildings already photographed have
since been torn down; and the collection will be of the greatest interest in the
years to come, as old familiar landmarks disappear, one by one.
New Manuscripts.
Several notable additions were made in 1936 to the files of official records
preserved in the Archives. Most important of these was a series of photostatic copies of dispatches to and from the Colonial Secretary, in London,
which were missing from the set in Victoria. They were obtained from the
Public Archives, Ottawa, where a practically complete series is on file; and
the courtesy and co-operation of Dr. James Kenny, Acting Dominion Archivist, who made the records available, is most deeply appreciated. The
Archives now possess the series complete to 1858; and by degrees it is hoped
that funds will be available to fill the gaps still existing in later years. The
dispatches to and from Downing Street form the most important single
source for the early history of the Crown Colonies of British Columbia and
Vancouver Island; and a few notes upon their character, and the curious
history of the documents themselves, will appear in an early issue of this
Quarterly. 126 Notes and Comments. April
Mr. R. D. Cumming, of Ashcroft, recently presented to the Archives the
first land registry book of the old Crown Colony of British Columbia. It is
an acquisition of exceptional interest, and its preservation is entirely due to
Mr. Cumming, who found it in an abandoned building. Some of the entries
were made before the official proclamation of the Colony, on November 19,
1858; and they throw curious light upon the history of certain properties
and personalities.
Two valuable volumes of records have been transferred to the Archives
by the Department of Education. One of these is the Minute Book of the old
Board of Education. It covers the years 1865-1869, and the greater part of
it is in the handwriting of Alfred Waddington. The second volume is the
departmental Correspondence Book for 1872 and 1873. Another interesting
transfer came from the office of the Collector of Customs, Victoria, and
consisted of records dating back to Crown Colony days. They form a useful
supplement to the early port records, which were unearthed in one of the
vaults in the Parliament Buildings in 1935. Later in date, but most valuable
because of the scarcity of material relating to the place and period, is a series
of official letters and reports from Germansen Creek, dated from 1871 to
1875. The original documents are now in private hands; but copies were
secured through the kind co-operation of Mr. Louis LeBourdais, of Quesnel.
Transcripts of a whole series of most valuable fort journals were secured
for the Archives last year. Through the kindness of Mr. David Power, of
Kamloops, the department was able to copy six Kamloops journals, running
in all to nearly 600 foolscap pages. Though not consecutive, these cover
many of the years from 1850 to 1870. Judge Howay very generously permitted the Archives to copy the transcripts of early Nanaimo records in his
possession. These include a series of letters from J. W. McKay to Governor
Douglas, dated 1852 and 1853, and the Nanaimo journal for 1855-57.
The most valuable private document acquired in 1936 was the letter-book
of John Evans, best known to history as Captain John Evans, M.L.A. for
Cariboo. Late in 1862, Evans sailed from Liverpool in charge of what he
himself calls the " British Columbia Mining Adventure." His party consisted of twenty-six young Welshmen, bent on making a fortune in the
Cariboo. The expedition was financed by one Harry Jackson, who had once
been a fellow-clerk with Evans, but who later made a fortune. Evans sent
Jackson a full account of their progress and problems; and the letter-book—
which is also part journal and part ledger—enables us to trace their history
in detail. It throws a flood of light upon conditions and life in the Cariboo,
and carries the story as far as the end of 1864. Harry Jones, the well-known
Cariboo pioneer who died recently in Vancouver, was the last surviving member of the Evans party.
Copies of a collection of letters written by Bishop Cridge and the Rev.
W. B. Crickmer, in 1858-61, were secured through the kindness of Rev.
John Goodifeliow, of Princeton. Judge W. E. Fisher, of Prince Rupert,
has given the Archives the diary kept by his father, William Fisher, on
his voyage from England to British Columbia by way of Cape Horn, in
1863-64.    Miss Violet EJllis, who is at present residing in London, has 1937 Notes and Comments. 127
presented a copy of the diary kept by her father, Thomas Ellis, in 1865,
at the time of his arrival in this Province. A number of photostatic copies
of manuscripts preserved- in the Bancroft Library, at Berkeley, were
secured during the year. These included a short sketch of the " Characteristics of James Douglas," by Bishop Cridge. Copies of several most interesting letters and documents relating to its early history were presented by
the Canadian Pacific Railway through Mr. Murray Gibbon, of Montreal.
Miss Geneva Lent, of Calgary, very kindly gave the department copies of
the numerous articles relating to Louis Riel which she had transcribed
from The New Nation, a newspaper published in Winnipeg in 1870. Mr.
G. Herbert Dawson presented) a complete set of the posters used1 by the
Red Cross in Victoria during the Great War—probably the only collection
of the kind in existence. Finally, the Archives acknowledges with thanks
the receipt of a large number of miscellaneous papers, photographs, and
relics from Mrs. R. B. McMicking.
British Columbia Historical Association.
The paid-up membership of the Association has more than doubled since
the publication of the first issue of the Quarterly, and the future of the
magazine is now assured. On March 31 there were 110 paid-up subscribers
in Victoria, 168 in Vancouver, and 45 elsewhere, or a total of 323 in all. This
total does not include the exchange copies sent out by the Provincial Archives.
New subscriptions are still arriving daily, and it is probable that the total
will rise substantially during the next three months.
Victoria Section.
The first meeting of the year was held in the Provincial Archives on
January 8. The speaker was the Hon. A. Wells Gray, Minister of Lands,
who had chosen to speak on his native city, New Westminster, of which
he has been fourteen times Mayor. He described its growth from early days
to the present, and dealt with such contrasting events as the famous Minto
Cup lacrosse games, and the great fire which swept the city in 1898. Two
reels of moving pictures, shown by Mr. Melrose, of the Forestry Department,
were much enjoyed by those present.
On February 12 Mr. W. H. Bullock-Webster read to the Section a paper
entitled The Golden Days in the Yukon, by the late David Doig. Mr. Doig was
in charge of a party sent to the Yukon in 1898 by the Bank of British North
America to establish a branch in Dawson. The management was most
anxious that this branch should be the first open for business in the city, and
the paper described the many amusing and perilous experiences met with by
the party as it hurried overland from Skagway. Mr. Bullock-Webster had
himself travelled over the route followed by Mr. Doig, and added many interesting details of his own adventures.
A third meeting, held on February 26, was addressed by Captain Alexander McDonald, who described the remarkable voyage made by Captain
Voss, from Victoria to England by way of Australia and New Zealand, in the
famous old Indian canoe Tillicum.    His graphic description was gripping 128 Notes and Comments. April
from first to last. The TiUicum has been on display in Victoria for some
years, but is now in a very dilapidated condition. The Thermopylae Club,
a ship-lovers' association of which Captain McDonald is master, is endeavouring to raise funds for her restoration. The lecture was illustrated with
charts and slides.
The annual reception commemorating the landing of Richard Blanshard,
first Governor of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, was held at " Rose-
mead," the beautiful home of the President, Dr. T. A. Rickard, and Mrs.
Rickard, on March 11. The occasion was graced by the presence of His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Hamber and the programme took
the form of a pageant of Colonial ladies. An amusing account of a ball
given by Governor Seymour on November 12, 1864, was read by Mrs.
M. R. Cree, and Mrs. Fitzherbert Bullen, granddaughter of Sir James
Douglas, described a Christmas party given in her honour by Governor
Seymour a few years later. This was followed by the procession of costumed
ladies, several of whom wore authentic dresses which had belonged to some
ancestress of the sixties or seventies. Old-fashioned music was played by
Mrs. George Phillips as the ladies descended the staircase, curtsied to His
Honour and Mrs. Hamber, and passed into the candle-lit drawing-room.
Mrs. Rickard sang a delightful group of Elizabethan songs and the programme concluded with the presentation by Mrs. Curtis Sampson of a
Colonial bouquet, made by Miss Alice Pooley, to Mrs. Hamber.
Vancouver Section.
This year the Vancouver Section has concentrated its efforts upon a membership campaign, in order to ensure the success of the new Quarterly. The
objective of 150 paid-up members was passed some time ago, and the Section
is to be congratulated upon its progress.
. It was most fitting that the first speaker of the year should have been
Dr. Robie L. Reid, who was responsible for the organization of the Section.
His address upon Transportation into the Cariboo in the Early Sixties was
specially interesting, since it was the result of diligent research and incorporated much unpublished material. Dr. Reid described the tremendous
difficulties of the route in early days, and told of the coming of the Welsh
miners, who, when they finally reached the goldfields, found that they were
unable to apply to their work the methods to which they were accustomed in
Wales, with the result that their exertions were fruitless. The President,
Dr. W. N. Sage, led the discussion which followed the reading of the paper.
At the February meeting Dr. G. H. Raley, former principal of Coqualeetza
Indian School, was the guest speaker. His subject, The Romance of Indian
Life, was one upon which he is a recognized authority. The lecture was illustrated by hand-painted slides made by a Coast Indian. The latter part of
the evening was devoted to an interesting discussion of Indian totems and
their symbolism. Dr. Raley exhibited a fine series of photographs of famous
totems and outlined the history connected with each. It is to be hoped that
Dr. Raley will put his story in print, so that students may have an authentic
record of this artistic and idealistic side of Indian life. 1937 Notes and Comments. 129
The final meeting of the year, to be held late in April, will take the form
of a dinner gathering.
Local Historical Societies.
Similkameen Historical Association. At the quarterly meeting held in
January, Rev. E. E. Hardwick read an interesting paper on the life of Robert
(" Bobby") Stevenson, the well-known pioneer prospector and miner. In
preparing his address, Mr. Hardwick received considerable help from the
Stevenson family. The life of Mr. Stevenson touched the history of the
Province at many points—Cariboo and Kootenay, Fraser Valley, Okanagan
and Similkameen.
Satisfaction was expressed that with the resumption of operations at
Copper Mountain and Allenby, Princeton is passing out of the doldrums into
the trade winds; and the hope was expressed that adequate photographic
records of progress would be made.
Mr. Lloyd Saunders had prepared for the Association mimeographed
pictures of the Indian rock paintings between Princeton and Hedley. There
are twenty-one pictographs shown on a single sheet, with their location from
Princeton. Copies may be obtained from the secretary, Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton, B.C.
The Okanagan Historical Society expects to publish its Seventh Report
about the first of May. It promises to be one of the most interesting and
valuable of the series, and will be reviewed in the July Quarterly.
The Thompson Valley Historical Association is taking an active part in
the preparations for the 125th anniversary celebrations in Kamloops. Of
special interest is the effort being made by George D. Brown, Jr., and others,
to secure copies of all available fur-trade journals and other early records
relating to the history of the community. The site upon which the surviving
building from old Fort Kamloops will be re-erected in Riverside Park has
been selected, and the Hudson's Bay Company is contributing most generously
to the cost of the work. An attractive souvenir booklet was just been issued
by the Celebrations Committee.
The Kelowna Museum and Archives Association was organized recently,
its objects being the erection of a regional museum, where relics and records
relative to the Okanagan Valley may find a safe and permanent home. The
first annual general meeting was to be held late in March.
Graduate Historical Society.
The Graduate Historical Society of the University of British Columbia
was organized in 1934 by Miss Helen R. Boutilier and Mr. Willard E. Ireland,
to provide graduates with a stimulus for continuing their interest in history.
The members, numbering approximately sixty, are graduates of the University who have majored in history, or who are engaged in research.
For the 1936-37 season the society took as its central theme the topic
Modern Canadian Problems. The programme has included an address on
The Economic Position of British Columbia in the Canadian Federation, by
Professor W. A. Carrothers;   a paper on Canadian Foreign Policy, by Mr. 130 Notes and Comments. April
L. A. Wrinch; three papers on Canadian Race Problems, by Miss Beth Dow,
Miss Katie Thiessen, and Miss Patricia Johnson; and a fourth upon Canadian
Railway Problems, by Mr. Archie McKie. The annual dinner was held in
the Hotel Georgia on March 20, when Professor F. H. Soward spoke on
Canada and the League of Nations—1919-1937. Special guests invited for
this occasion included His Honour Judge F. W. Howay, Dr. and Mrs. R. L.
Reid, and Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Keenleyside.
At the final meeting of the season, to be held May 10, papers on Canadian
Literature, Drama, and Art will be read by Professor A. C. Cooke and Mr.
Jack Lort.
The officers for the year are as follows: Honorary President, Dr. R. L.
Reid; Faculty Representative, Dr. W. N. Sage; President, Mr. F. H. Hardwick; Vice-President, Mr. John Conway; Recording Secretary, Miss Helen R.
Boutilier; Corresponding Secretary, Miss Eleanor B. Mercer; Treasurer,
Mr. Creswell Oates.
Mrs. S. L. Allison.
On the first day of February there passed away in Vancouver Mrs. Susan
Louisa Allison, a lady whose name had become a household word everywhere
between Hope and the Okanagan Valley. She had borne a long illness with
patience and fortitude, virtues learned in Similkameen before Vancouver
was born. Now she rests in the family plot at the base of a rugged height,
2 miles east of Princeton, known locally as Castle Rock. Here her late
husband was buried in 1897.
John Fall Allison was born at Leeds, England, where his father was
House Surgeon in the Infirmary, in 1825. The family moved to Illinois,
U.S.A., in 1837. As a young man John went overland to California, in 1849,
and ten years later came to Victoria. On the advice of Governor Douglas
Mr. Allison explored the Similkameen Valley, prospecting for gold and mapping trails. He was appointed J.P. in 1876, assistant gold commissioner in
1885, and became one of the best-known cattlemen in the valley.
Mrs. Allison was born August 18, 1845, in Colombo, Ceylon, where her
father, Stratton Moir, owned a large tea plantation. She was his youngest
daughter and was sent to England for her education. After Mr. Moir's death
his widow married a Mr. Glennay; and in 1860 the family came to British
Columbia, arriving at Hope on Susan's birthday. Four years later her sister
married Edgar Dewdney, of Dewdney Trail fame, and for a time Susan was
the only white girl in Hope. Here she met Mr. Allison, to whom she was
married in September, 1867. Soon after the wedding they crossed the Hope
trail together and made their home below the forks of the Tulameen and
Similkameen Rivers, a little east of the Princeton of to-day. With the exception of some years spent in the Okanagan, Mrs. Allison remained in the
Similkameen until 1928, wheh she went to Vancouver to reside.
The story of these years is best told by Mrs. Allison herself in her Early
History of Princeton, which appeared serially in the Princeton Star, beginning in January, 1923; and her Recollections of the Sixties, which were continued through thirteen issues of the Vancouver Sunday Province, commencing February 22,1931.   Mrs. Gellatly has devoted an interesting chapter 1937 Notes and Comments. 131
of her booklet entitled A Bit of Okanagan History to the fortunes of the
Allison family during their stay in the Okanagan Valley. Mrs. Allison had
a sympathetic understanding of the native Indians of the valley and embodied
much of their history and legend in fifty pages of verse, entitled In-cow-
mas-ket, which she published under the pseudonym of Stratton Moir (Scroll
Publishing Company, Chicago, 1900). In later years she contributed a
number of articles to the annual reports of the Okanagan Historical Society.
When the Similkameen Historical Association was organized in April,
1932, Mrs. Allison was elected Honorary President, an office which she held
till the time of her death. In 1935 she was made Honorary President of the
Okanagan Historical Society as well.
She is survived by a large family circle and a whole host of friends. For
many years the Allison home was the stopping-place for all who travelled
through the valley. Pioneers and prospectors were made just as welcome as
Governor Douglas, General Sherman, and Lieutenant-Governor Dewdney.
Her writings in prose and verse have preserved much of the history and
legend of the Similkameen that would otherwise be lost. She was a lover of
Nature and in matters of religion sought a faith that was broader than creed.
She has long been known and will long be remembered as the " Mother of
Similkameen."   [J. C. Goodfellow.] THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
Alexander Begg versus Alexander Begg.
In Victoria in the late nineties the paths of the two subjects
of this article crossed each other; from that time until the
present they have been confused by the public in general and by"
biographers and bibliographers in particular. To a few they
were known as Alexander Begg, Crofter Commissioner to the
Government of British Columbia, and author of a History of
British Columbia; and Alexander Begg, late merchant of Winnipeg, journalist by profession, editor of the British Columbia
Mining Record, and author of three lengthy volumes entitled
History of the North-West.
In order to segregate these two authors and their respective
works, and to present from the numerous conflicting stories of
their activities and pursuits a narrative as nearly approaching
the truth as might be, care has been taken to consult all available
authorities. The writer has corresponded with relatives of the
deceased authors, with persons who were associated with them in
business at one time or another, and has referred to official registers of births and deaths.
The younger of the two, the Alexander Begg best known to
British Columbians as the editor of the British Columbia Mining
Record, was a native of Quebec City, where he was born of Scottish parentage on July 19, 1839, son of Alexander and Mary
Urquhart Begg.
After being educated at St. John's, Quebec, and in Aberdeen,
Scotland, he began a business career in the city of his birth, after
which he moved to the Red River Settlement in 1867. There he
first introduced Canadian goods to the people of the Settlement,
who until that time had only been accustomed to English and
American manufactures. At Fort Garry, as Winnipeg was then
called, he established himself as an independent fur-trader, and
he was also the first express and steamboat agent in the town.
Soon after arriving in Winnipeg, he entered into partnership
with A. G. B. Bannatyne, and carried on the business of general
merchant and outfitter with him for a number of years.
In 1872 he became interested in journalism and published the
Manitoba Trade Review and the Gazette and Trade Review.  Two 134 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
years later he became editor of the Daily Nor'Wester, and subsequently of the Daily Herald, in 1877. From 1877 to 1884 he
held various appointments with the Provincial Government of
Manitoba, including those of Sergeant-at-Arms, Queen's Printer,
and Deputy Treasurer and Auditor.
During his residence in Winnipeg he was closely identified
with the social, religious, charitable, and business life of that
small community, and took an active part in the formation of the
Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba.
In 1884 Alexander Begg became Immigration Agent for the
Canadian Pacific Railway, and shortly afterwards moved to
London, where, for four years, he carried on much useful work
for the Company, and was able to interest English and Dutch
capitalists in Manitoba and the Canadian West. In this same
year he was elected Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
After severing his connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway, Alexander Begg came to the Pacific Coast, in 1888. He
settled in Seattle, where he remained until early in 1892. While
in Seattle he devoted himself exclusively to journalism, and
founded and edited three newspapers—the Daily Trade Journal,
the Puget Sound Gazetteer, and the Citizen. He was also business manager of the Daily Telegraph, of which D. E. Durie was
editor. In September, 1889, he founded the Washington Magazine, but after issuing a few numbers relinquished his control to
the editorship of Lee Fairchild, who changed the name of the
publication to the Pacific Magazine.
His next move was to Victoria, whither he was brought by
Theodore Davie to edit and manage the Victoria Daily News, a
paper which Mr. Davie, who was then Attorney-General, required to support him in his political ambitions. Mr. Davie had
imported American printers to work on his newspaper, an unpopular move which compromised Begg*s position, and so brought
about his early dissociation from the enterprise. He at once
devoted himself to the completion of his principal undertaking,
the comprehensive History of the North-West, the three volumes
of which appeared in 1894 and 1895.
Begg next undertook to found and edit the British Columbia
Mining Record, which made its first appearance in October, 1895, 1937 The Northwest Bookshelf. 135
and which he continued to edit successfully until within a short
time of his untimely death, which occurred in Victoria on September 6,1897.
In 1868, in Hamilton, Ontario, Alexander Begg married
Katherine Glen Rae, daughter of Dr. John Macaulay Hamilton,
R.N., formerly of Stromness, Orkney, Scotland. Dr. Hamilton,
who was a cousin of Lord Macaulay, the historian, and whose wife
was a sister of Dr. John Rae, the Arctic explorer, migrated to
Hamilton with his wife and young family some years previous to
1868, and settled there. Two children were born to Alexander
and Katherine Begg, a son who died in childhood, and a daughter,
Minna, who died some few years ago.
The elder Alexander Begg, author of the well-known History
of British Columbia, was born at Watten, Caithness, Scotland, on
May 7,1825, being the son of Andrew and Jane Taylor Begg. He
was educated privately at Backlass, Dunn, later obtained a teaching diploma at the Edinburgh Normal School, and for a time
taught at Cluny, in Aberdeenshire. In 1846 he emigrated to
Canada and settled in Ontario, where he taught in the public
schools at West Huntingdon, Madoc, and Oshawa. In 1854 he
became interested in journalism, and with J. F. Macmillan published the Messenger, which was the first newspaper of Bowman-
ville; established the Brighton Sentinel, and later published the
Trenton Advocate, selling out his interest in the latter paper to his
brother Peter about the year 1855.
For a number of years Alexander Begg was employed in the
Department of Internal Revenue at Ottawa, and in 1869 was
appointed Collector of Customs for the North-West Territories.
He was, however, unable to assume this position, as he was turned
back at Pembina by Riel's followers, whilst a member of Governor
McDougall's ill-fated expedition.
During a visit to his native land, in 1872, Alexander Begg was
appointed Emigration Commissioner in Scotland for the Province
of Ontario, with headquarters in Glasgow. By virtue of his lectures throughout Scotland, he succeeded in persuading thousands
of Crofters to settle in Canada, where the Government allowed
them to purchase farms on easy terms. 136 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
His next enterprise was the establishing of a temperance
colony at Parry Sound and Beggsboro, about 1874. He then
became owner and editor of the Muskoka Herald, and commenced
the publication of the Canadian Lumberman.
In 1881 he paid his first visit to the Canadian Northwest,
travelling by way of Chicago, St. Paul, and Bismarck, as a correspondent of the Toronto Mail. He remained for a time at Dun-
bow Ranch, Alberta, to which place he imported horses and cattle
from Montana. After various set-backs the ranch eventually
flourished under the management of his son, Robert A. Begg, who
is now a resident of New Westminster.
In 1887 Alexander Begg came to Victoria, where his son
Roderick had recently joined the staff of the Daily Colonist.
While in Victoria he organized the Sir William Wallace Society,
which consisted entirely of Scots, and of which he and his son
were elected Chief and Vice-Chief respectively. The following
year he was appointed Emigration Commissioner for the British
Columbia Government to investigate the possibilities of settling
Scottish Crofters on Vancouver Island, a scheme which was
eventually abandoned as impracticable. By virtue of his government appointment he appended the initials C.C. (Crofter Commissioner) to his name, in order to distinguish himself from his
While in London, in 1889, in connection with the Crofter Settlement scheme, Alexander Begg was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Geographical Society and of the Royal Colonial Institute. He
remained in London until 1897, when, upon his return to Victoria,
he and three of his sons formed the Stickeen and Teslin Railway,
Navigation, and Colonization Company, and obtained a charter
for the purpose of building a railway from the headwaters of the
Stikine River through Canadian territory into the Yukon. The
following year the Company sold out its interests to Mackenzie
and Mann. In 1898 Begg was employed by the Dominion Government to assist in defining the boundary between Canada and the
Territory of Alaska.
At Brockville, Ontario, in 1858, Alexander Begg married
Emily Maria Luke, daughter of Miles Luke and Emily Ann Ash.
To this marriage were born eleven children, six sons and five
daughters.   Mrs. Begg lived to the age of 93 years, and passed 1937 The Northwest Bookshelf. 137
away in New York City as recently as 1932. In 1877, and for
some years subsequently, the Beggs lived at Orillia, Ontario,
where a memorial fountain to the late Mrs. Begg was erected in
1935 by her son Ralph.
Alexander Begg retired from public life in 1903, and moved
from Victoria to New York City, where five of his sons and a
daughter were engaged in professional work. In the eightieth
year of his age, in March, 1905, he passed to his rest and was
buried in the family plot at Orillia, thus ending an active and
useful career.
A son, Roderick (Norman) Begg, was a resident of Victoria
from 1887 to 1904. He came to Victoria from Alberta and joined
the staff of the Daily Colonist as advertising manager and city
news reporter, and became a member of the firm of Kerr & Begg,
booksellers and stationers. In 1904 Roderick Begg left Victoria
to study law in the City of New York, where he still practises as
the sole surviving member of the firm of Begg, Begg & Begg.
The known works of Alexander Begg (editor of the British Columbia
Mining Record) are as follows:—
Wrecks in the Sea of Life; a novel. New York, Lovell. 348 pages. Undated, but is probably the author's first published work.
Journal of the Red River Settlement—1869-70. A two-volume typewritten
copy of this daily journal is to be found in the Library of the University
of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.
The Creation of Manitoba. Toronto, Hovey, 1871. 408 pages. Undoubtedly
based on the above journal. J. S. Ewart considers it " By far the most
complete account obtainable of the events it deals with."
" Dot It Down "; A Story of Life in the North-West. Toronto, Hunter, 1871.
381 pages.    The author's second work of fiction.
Practical Hand-Book and Guide to Manitoba and the North-West. Toronto,
Belford, 1877. 110 pages. Contains much valuable information for
intending settlers.
Ten Years in Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba Times Co., 1879. Written in
collaboration with W. R. Nursey; contains an interesting and valuable
account of the growth of the city from the days of its fur-trading period,
as well as much autobiographical material.
The Great Canadian North-West. Montreal, Lovell, 1881. 135 pages.
Gives a good account of the Red River Settlement. 138 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
Seventeen Years in the Canadian North-West.   London, Spottiswoode, 1884.
A pamphlet of 35 pages; the substance of a lecture delivered before the
Royal Colonial Institute, London, in 1884.   It deals with the resources
and advantages of Manitoba from the point of view of intending settlers.
Also published in Vol. XV. of the Proceedings of the Royal Colonial
Canada and Its National Highway.   London, Trounce, 1886.   The text of a
paper dealing with the Canadian Pacific Railway, given before the
Society of Arts, in London, on March 23, 1886.
History of the North-West.    Toronto, Hunter, 1894-95.   The author's outstanding achievement;   comprises three volumes, and gives a complete
history of Manitoba and the North-West Territories.   Begg has elaborated some of the material of his previous works, and made notable
British Columbia Directory of Mines.   Published in Victoria at the offices of
the British Columbia Mining Record, during 1897.    It was meant to be
issued quarterly, but the editor unfortunately died after the appearance
of the third number, and after four numbers it ceased publication.   The
two numbers examined contain synopses of British Columbia mining law
in addition to regular directory material.
Pamphlets entitled: Canada, The Canadian Pacific Railway, Emigration,
and Indian vs. Canadian Wheat, are listed in the author's own bibliography
in the third volume of his History of the North-West, and were doubtless
written while he was in the employ of the Canadian Pacific Railway.   The
writer  has   had  no   opportunity   of   examining  them.    Another   32-page
pamphlet entitled Manitoba and the North West Territories, and dated 1886,
has been seen listed in booksellers' catalogues.    It is probably one of this
Alexander Begg's many articles on his favourite province, but, as far as is
known, is not contained in any of the libraries of the Pacific Northwest.   In
his Canadian Men and Women, Morgan lists A Story of the Saskatchewan in
the short bibliography attached to his biography of Begg, but this item is
given nowhere else.
The known works of Alexander Begg, C.C., author of the History of British
Columbia, include the following:—
Letters on the Situation in the North West by Julius as they appeared in the
Montreal Gazette. 1881. 24 pages. Listed in the Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Public Archives of Canada, 1493-1931; presumably by thi3
author, but has not been examined by the writer.
History of British Columbia from its earliest Discovery to the Present Time.
Toronto, Briggs, 1894. 568 pages; illustrated. A popular account, but
contains numerous interesting quotations from pioneer journals and
original letters not elsewhere available. Lack of an index is a serious
Notes on Vancouver Island. Published in Vol. XI. of the Journal of the Royal
Scottish Geographical Society, 1895. 1937 The Northwest Bookshelf. 139
Notes on the Yukon Country.   Reprinted from the Scottish Geographical
Magazine, November, 1896.
Report Relative  to  the  Alaskan  Boundary  Question.   Victoria,   Queen's
Printer, 1896.   17 pages.   An official report on the boundary question.
Early Exploration in North-West Canada.   Published in Vol. XV, of the
Journal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, 1899.
Vancouver Island, B.C.   Published in Vol. XV. of the Journal of the Royal
Scottish Geographical Society, 1899.
Review of the Alaskan Boundary Question.   Victoria, Cusack, 1900.   32
pages.   This popular account of the boundary question is also to be found
in the Scottish Geographical Magazine, Jan., 1901, and in the British
Columbia Mining Record, June, July, and August, 1900.
A Sketch of the Successful Missionary Work of William Duncan.   Victoria,
1901.   31 pages; illustrated.   A full account of Duncan's establishment
at Metlakahtla.    Embellished with many quotations from contemporary
Statement of Facts Regarding the Alaska Boundary Question.   Victoria,
King's Printer, 1902.   An exhaustive report on the boundary question,
with appendices, comprising 22 pages.
The Anglo-Russian Treaty, 1825.    London, 1903.    A short article giving the
author's interpretation of a portion of the Treaty.
In addition to the foregoing, Alexander Begg contributed Chapters XVI.
and XXX. to John Macoun's Manitoba and the Great North-West, Guelph,
World Publishing Co., 1882, the titles of which are: Stock Raising in the Bow
River District Compared with Montana, and The Western Indians and the
North-West Mounted Police.
Biographies of Alexander Begg, editor of the British Columbia Mining
Record, will be found in that journal for October, 1897, p. 21, and in the
Annual Report of the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba for 1897,
pp. 7-8. Biographies of Alexander Begg, C.C., appear in Rose's Cyclopedia
of Canadian Biography, 1898; in Kerr's Biographical Dictionary of Weil-
Known British Columbians, 1890; and in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. 26, 1905, p. 230. Biographies of both men appear in
Morgan's Canadian Men and Women, 18-98; MacMurchy's Handbook of
Canadian Literature, 1906; the Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVI.,
1925, p. 311; the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 1926; A Standard Dictionary of Canadian Biography, by Roberts and Tunnell, 1934; and The
Encyclopaedia of Canada, edited by W. S. Wallace, 1935.
Madge Wolfenden.
Provincial Library and Archives,
Printed by F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
500-337-5288 We
Organized October 31st, 1922.
Honour Eric W. Hamber, / Iritish Cohan!
OFFICERS, 1936-37.
Hon. G. M. Weir       .... Honorary Preside.
W. Kaye Lamb  President.
W. N. Sage       -
J. S. Plaskett  2nd Vice-President.
E. W, McMullen .... er.
Muriel R. Cree ----- Honorui vry.
Robie L. Reid                    si.
F. W. Howay S. F. Tolmie Victor W. Odlum
J. C. Goodfellow B. A. McKelvie
To encourage historical research and stimula history;
to promote thi lion and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of October. All members in good standing receive
the £■'■ itorical Q- irther charge.
All correspondence and fees should be addressed in care of the Secretary,
Provincial Archives, Parliament Built!; oria, B.C.


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