British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jan 31, 1942

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Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Willard E. Ireland.
ial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
J. C. Goodfellow, Prtnceton. F. W. Howay, New Westminster.
Robie L. Reid, Vancov T. A. Rickard, Victo,
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications may be addressed either to the Editor or to
the Associate Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charga
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine. BRITISH COLUMBIA
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. VI. Victoria, B.C., January, 1942. No. 1
Articles : Page.
The Chinook Jargon and British Columbia.
By Robie L. Reid       1
New Light on Herbert Beaver.
By G. Hollis Slater     13
The Mystery of Mrs. Barkley's Diary: Notes on the Voyage of the
" Imperial Eagle," 1786-87.
By W. Kaye Lamb     31
Documents relating to the Mystery of Mrs. Barkley's Diary.
I. Extracts from the Diaries of Frances Hornby Barkley    49
II. Extracts   from   the   Reminiscences   of   Frances   Hornby
Barkley    55
Notes and Comments :
Society for the Furtherance of Indian Arts and Crafts    61
British Columbia Historical Association    62
Similkameen Historical Association    67
Contributors to this Issue    67
The Northwest Bookshelf:
The First Fifty Years: Vancouver High Schools, 1890-1940.
By Willard E. Ireland     69
" Meet Mr. Coyote."
By A. E. Pickford     70
The Ninth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society.
By W. N. Sage    72
Hancock:  The Purchase of Alaska, Contemporary Opinion.
By F. H. Soward     73
Graham:  Sea Power and British North America, 1783-1820.
By A. C. Cooke    73
A History of Ogden.
Welsh: A Brief History of Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon.
Welsh: A Brief History of Port Angeles, Washington.
Welsh: A Brief Historical Sketch of Port Townsend.
Angle and Welsh: A Brief History of Shelton, Washington.
Stone: A Short History of Caulfeild Village.
The Chinook jargon, the old trade language of the Northwest
Coast, once so widely used in this Province that words from it
became part of the common speech of the people, is now practically forgotten, except by the very few early settlers still living.
Its only public use is in the nightly news broadcast of the Vancouver Daily Province, in which the announcer addresses his
young friends with the old Chinook greeting, " Klahowyah, tilli-
cums." Even a journalist long resident in British Columbia,
and an author of repute, in a recent publication informed the
public that the jargon was " invented " by the late Father Le
Jeune of Kamloops about 1881.
Commonly called " Chinook " for short, the Chinook jargon
must not be confounded with the Chinook language, the speech
of the Chinook Indians, who lived at the mouth of the Columbia
River. It is true that in its final form the jargon included many
words from that language. It also included many Nootkan
words as used by the Indians at Nootka, on the west coast of
Vancouver Island. It was not French, although there were many
French words included in it. It was not English, although many
English words formed a part of it. It was a rude language
resulting from a mixture of two or more discordant languages,
and therefore is properly called a jargon, according to the definition of that word in the Century Dictionary. It was not the first
or only jargon used in America. In the Gulf States of the United
States there was at one time a jargon based upon the Choctaw
language, with additions from numerous other forms of speech,
Indian and English. It was called " Mobilienne " by the French
and " Mobilian " by the English-speaking people, after the city
of Mobile, Alabama, the once-great trading centre of the district
around the Gulf of Mexico. It was used to some extent in
Louisiana as late as 1850. Even to-day there is the " Pidgin
English" of the China Coast, and other jargons in parts of
Africa, used between English-speaking people and the natives.
All these grew out of conditions similar to those existing on the
Northwest Coast in the latter part of the 18th century, where
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VoL VI., No. 1.
1 2 Robie L. Reid. January
persons speaking different languages, and at different stages of
civilization, were endeavouring to do business with one another
without the aid of interpreters. Between them they gradually
evolved a make-shift form of speech, consisting of words easily
learned from each other.
There are two theories and one legend as to the origin of the
Chinook jargon. The first and most generally accepted theory
is that it grew up from the conditions existing on the Northwest
Coast in the early days of the fur trade. The early explorers
reported that furs were plentiful along the Coast, especially those
of the sea-otter. There was a great demand for these and other
furs, especially in China and in Russia. The consequence was
that ships came from England, the New England states, and
from other parts of the world to the Northwest Coast, seeking
these highly prized skins. At first the trade centred around
Nootka, that almost forgotten Indian village on the west coast of
Vancouver Island.
Trade between the red man and the white man was at first
difficult, almost impossible. Indian words were hard to pronounce, and the native languages varied with each particular
tribe. Under these circumstances it was only natural that a
trading language should grow up. The white man began to pick
up Nootkan words; the Indian learned some words from the
whites. Soon a jargon, partly Nootkan Indian, partly English,
came into existence which made trade possible. The vocabulary
increased from time to time as the Indians and the whites became
better acquainted with each other. Use of the jargon spread
gradually, until in due time it came to the knowledge of all the
tribes along the Coast.
After Nootka was deserted, the resort of the early fur-traders
centred about the mouth of the Columbia River. Here they met
the Chinook Indians, who had their homes there. Naturally the
traders tried to communicate with them by means of the words
which they had learned at Nootka. Possibly the Chinook Indians
had some knowledge of Nootkan; at any rate they were soon able
to understand what the fur-traders said and to use the jargon.
Evidence of this is furnished by an incident related by Lewis and
Clark. In the record of their travels they state that while at the
mouth of the Columbia River, late in 1805, Captain Clark shot a 1942 The Chinook Jargon. 3
duck some thirty paces away, much to the astonishment of the
Indians, who examined the duck, the gun, and the very small
bullets used in it. One of the natives exclaimed: " Clouch Musket,
wake com ma-tax, Musket," meaning, " That is a good musket,
I do not understand this kind of musket."1 It will be noted that
the trade jargon of the Northwest Coast had already reached the
mouth of the Columbia River and was used there, for every one
of these words is Nootkan except " musket," and that is English.
Words from the jargon were found in many places. Mahkook
was the Nootkan word for " buy " or " trade." In 1811 Franchere found it being used at Clayoquot. The Nootkan word for
" bad " was peshak. The word was found in Nootka as early as
1789; in 1791 Ingraham found it at the Queen Charlotte Islands,
and in 1805 Lewis and Clark found it at the mouth of the Columbia River. It was later supplanted on the Columbia River by the
Chinook word mesatchie. Who but the traders could have spread
these words over such a wide area? Judge Howay, to whom I am
indebted for much of the data above, says in a letter to me:—
The only persons we know that reached places so far apart were the
traders. Is there any evidence of the Haidas coming to Nootka, or the
Nootkans going to Queen Charlotte Islands or to the Columbia? I don't
know of any;  if they did it would be to make war.
Later, when permanent establishments were made at the
mouth of the Columbia River by the Astorians, then by the North
West Company, and finally by the Hudson's Bay Company, this
jargon was employed, but it was not at first sufficient for general
use. Further words came into it from the language of the
Chinook and Chehalis Indians. During that period a large number of French-Canadian voyageurs were in the employ of the
fur-traders, and these men were more closely in contact with the
Indians than the other employees of the companies. Not only
did they trade with them, but they hunted, fished, and travelled
with them. The consequence was that many French words were
grafted on to the Indian stem of the jargon. Some English
words were likewise added, mostly the names of articles which
the Indians bought at the companies' stores. In addition certain
words were manufactured to express sounds; for example, lip lip,
to boil, and tin tin, the ringing of a bell.
(1)  R. B. Thwaites  (ed.), Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition, 1804-1806, New York, 1905, III., p. 276. 4 Robie L. Red). January
A second theory as to the origin of the Chinook jargon has
been suggested by Edward Harper Thomas in his Chinook: A
History and Dictionary.2 His thesis is that there was a trade
language in use among the Indians of the Northwest Coast long
before the white man came—an inter-tribal language which
differed greatly from the local or tribal languages; that this
inter-tribal language was used in traffic between the Indians and
the fur-traders from the first, and gradually developed under the
circumstances above set out into the Chinook jargon. All that
can be said at the present time is the Scottish verdict, " Not
It has also been alleged that the jargon was invented by the
Hudson's Bay Company. There is no basis for this supposition.
The Hudson's Bay Company did not invent the jargon, as so
many, including the Rev. J. B. Good, have asserted. The Company found it waiting for them at the mouth of the Columbia
River and they quickly recognized its usefulness. It was easy
to learn, for it was only necessary to memorize a relatively small
number of words. There were no inflections, no singular or
plural, no moods or tenses.
Canon Good, above referred to, was a missionary of the
Church of England for forty years (1861-1900). He left a
manuscript describing his experiences entitled The Utmost
Bounds of the West, which is now in the Provincial Archives. In
it he describes the Chinook jargon:—
Some three hundred words would make up its vocabulary, but it can be
so manipulated as to stand for twice that number of ideas; and an adept
can with it make quite a flowery speech, and also a forcible one as well.
Thus " Klatawah " is to go or get away, and " Kloshe " is " good;" hut by
joining them together you convert it into an intransitive idea. " Kloshe
klatawah " or " Hyas kloshe mika klatawah," " very good you go," while
said quickly and with emphasis, would imply, "Stand not on the order of
your going, but go." So again, " Hyou " is plenty and " muck-a-muck " is
food; hut if you wish to signify there is plenty and abundance to spare you
put the stress on the second syllable in the word for plenty, and say " Hy-j/ow
muck-a-muck."   .   .   .
Two other words have now become largely used by our people like slang
words, they are very expressive. These words are " kultus," good for
nothing and " potlatch," a present or gift. . . . When you make a present,
or the Indian gives you something, it is called a " kultus potlatch," though
it may be any amount in value.    " Hyas kultus man" would mean an
(2)  Portland, Ore., Metropolitan Press [Binfords & Mort], 1935. 1942
The Chinook Jargon.
utterly worthless fellow.    Once more " chee " means " new " and " Chahco "
is to come, but " cheechaco " would imply a stranger.
Canon Good says of his associate, Rev. A. C. Garrett:—
He early immortalized himself by translating into Chinook that once
favorite children's hymn, " Here we suffer grief and pain," which was
adapted to its own setting with the three-fold refrain, " 0 that will be joyful,
joyful, joyful," and which after a while a number of the Indian youngsters,
assisted also with right good will by their elders, soon learned to sing with
great effect at our Sunday afternoon gathering in the Mission school-room.
He then gives the verse in Chinook, with a translation interlined, as follows:—
In stay
this (world)
this (world)
the above
0 hyas kloshe,
0 very good,
0 hyas kloshe,
0 very good,
0 hyas kloshe
0 very good
wake consick
no more
change or move
This simple ditty spread like wild fire. One tribe taught it to another.
It was carried inland to the Thompsons, and they spread it to the Rocky
Mountains, and so from the 49th parallel to the Arctic Circle might be heard
this taking melody.
It must always be remembered that the jargon was essentially
a spoken language, put in form by people of no education. Later,
scholars endeavoured to reduce it to a written form. To those
who used it daily it was a matter of sounds, not letters. Hence
writers differ greatly as to the spelling of many of the words.
The word commattax, mentioned above, is a good example of this.
Later it was written kumtux or cumtux. So with clouch and
As the Indian languages varied from tribe to tribe, and as
they were difficult to learn or to pronounce, no white man, except
perhaps a missionary or an anthropologist, would endeavour to
learn them; especially when another means of communication
easier to master and in widespread use was available. The
English language, with its large vocabulary and its varying inflections, was just as difficult for the Indian.    So it was an 6 Robie L. Reid. January
advantage to both races to use the jargon and both were accustomed to " talk Chinook," as it was termed.
As the traders went north along the coast the Chinook jargon
went with them. It became the sole medium of communication
between the Indian and the white man from the Columbia River
to Alaska, and this continued for many years.
Until the latter part of the last century the white population
of British Columbia was small, and the Indians, compared to the
present, were numerous, so that the two races were thrown
together much more than in later years. The workers in the
salmon-canneries and other fisheries, the woodsman in the forest,
the trader in his store, and the good wife in her home, all had
more or less to do with the siwash (from the French, sauvage) or
the klootchman (Indian woman). Those who were compelled to
use the jargon in their work-a-day life soon got in the habit of
using words from it in their common speech; and in this way
many whose vocation did not bring them in contact with the
Indian directly began to pick up a word here and there, until a
number of Chinook words became a part of the general vocabulary. We thought it rather smart to use a word from the Chinook
rather than its English equivalent, an idea which has not died out,
apparently, judging from a telegram in the Chinook jargon sent
from Victoria to Ashcroft a short time ago by a prominent citizen
of the capital city, much to the disgust of the telegraph operator.
Many instances might be given, but a few must suffice. Greeting
was Klahowya; a walk for amusement only was a cultus coolie;
money was chikamin, and so on. One could hear the children in
the schoolyard at play, calling kloshe nanitch instead of " look
out." The wide use of the jargon in British Columbia is shown
by the fact that one firm in Victoria, between 1862 and 1899, published no less than seven editions of its Chinook dictionary, and it
had no monopoly of the field at that.
A word must be said about klahowya. There is a current
belief that this word is a corruption of " Clark, how are you."
Lengthening the word a little it sounds very much like that. But
who the mythical Clark was, where and when he lived, we are
not told. This story is sponsored by no less a personage than
Paul Kane, the famous Canadian artist, who visited the Pacific
Coast in 1846-47, and who says that the Indians had 1942 The Chinook Jargon. 7
by their intercourse with the English and French traders, succeeded in amalgamating, after a fashion, some words of each of these tongues with their
own, and forming a sort of patois, barbarous enough certainly, but still
sufficient to enable them to communicate with the traders. This patois I was
enabled after some short time to acquire, and could converse with most of
the chiefs with tolerable ease; their common salutation is Clak-hoh-ah-yah,
originating, as I believe, in their having heard in the early days of the fur
trade, a gentleman named Clark frequently addressed by his friends, " Clark,
how are you? " This salutation is now applied to every white man, their
own language affording no appropriate expression.^
It must be remembered that Kane was a much better artist
than philologist. He gives no authority for his statement, yet
ventures the broad assertion that their language (meaning,
apparently, the language of the Chinook Indians) had no appropriate expression for a greeting. Two things are apparent:
first, that he had not the proper pronunciation of the word, and
second, that, not knowing anything whatever of the language, he
had evolved this explanation in his own mind. For in actual fact
the Chinook Indians did have a word for a salutation in their
tribal language, and that word was klahowya. It had passed into
the Chinook jargon, and " Clark " had no existence, except in
Kane's vivid imagination.
When Bishop Hills arrived in British Columbia, the first
thing the good man had to do was to learn to " talk Chinook."
He reached Victoria on January 16, 1860, and on the 17th, in
company with A. F. Pemberton, the resident magistrate, and Rev.
Edward Cridge, he visited the Songish Indians, who lived near
the little city. A treat of molasses and buns was given to the
Indian boys, and of course the Bishop had to say grace. He had
evidently been coached in his duties, for as soon as all hats were
doffed, he gave the grace in good Chinook. It was very short and
consisted of the words, Tyee papa mahsie [from the French,
merci~\ kloshe muck-a-muck—" Great Chief Father thanks for
good food."
In 1871 the Hon. (afterwards Sir) Hector Louis Langevin
was sent to British Columbia by the Government of Canada to
examine into and report upon the affairs of the new Province that
had just been made a part of the Dominion.   In his report he
(3) Paul Kane, Wanderings of an Artist, London, 1859, p. 183. The
story is repeated, with some variations, by Archdeacon Collison. (In the
Wake of the War Canoe, Toronto, n.d. [1915], pp. 126-127.) 8 Robie L. Reid. January
pays considerable attention to the Chinook jargon, describing it
as " the language of commerce," and declaring that " a knowledge
of it is indispensable to all who trade with the Indians, or have
dealings with them." So important did he consider it that he
published with his report a twenty-one-page vocabulary, which
ends with the Lord's Prayer in Chinook, with an interlinear
It is also interesting to note as evidence of the widespread use
of the jargon that when Edward Roper, the eminent artist and
traveller, came to British Columbia in 1887, the first thing he did
was to purchase and study a Chinook dictionary, probably one of
the well-known Hibben issues.6
Many hymns and religious works were issued in the Chinook
jargon for the benefit of the Indians by devoted missionaries of
various denominations. Some secular poems were composed,
many unprintable, but they were what are properly called macaronic, since they were not in one language, but in a combination
of two or more. One little jeu d'esprit has been given to me by
A. D. Crease, K.C, of Victoria.
Oh!  be not kwass [afraid] of nika [me],
Thy see-ow-ist [eyes] turn on me,
For thou must hiyu [surely] kumtux [know]
That I hyas [greatly] tikke [want] thee.
I will give thee hyas [many] iktas [things],
I will bring thee sapolil [bread],
Of pa-sis-sies [blankets] and lebiskwee [biscuits]
I will give thee all thy fill.
The growth of population in British Columbia gradually
brought about a change in conditions. During the last decade
of the 19th century there was a large immigration into the Province from the east and south, occasioned in great part by the
mining boom in the Kootenays and the prosperity of the Coast.
The newcomers did not understand the peculiar customs of the
earlier settlers. Just as they knew nothing of " bits "6 and did
not want to be bothered with a currency that had no coins to
(4) British Columbia; report of the Hon. H. L. Langevin, Minister of
Public Works, Ottawa, 1872, p. 31; appendix CC.
(5) Edward Roper, By Track and Trail, London, 1891, p. 208.
(6) See R. L. Reid, " Why Bits? " British Columbia Historical Quarterly,
IV. (1940), pp. 21-28. 1942 The Chinook Jargon. 9
represent it, so, as they had little or nothing to do with the
Indians, they could find no reason for trying to speak Chinook.
Moreover, the proportion of whites as compared with the Indians
was continually increasing, and the importance of the latter
declined. Chinook gradually dropped into disuse, until now no
one remembers it except the few old pioneers.
There was another factor in the disappearance of the Chinook.
The younger Indians were growing up in a country in which
English was being spoken all around them, and naturally they
began to speak English more and Chinook less. Schools were
being established in which they were taught English by teachers
who knew little, if anything, of Chinook. The younger Indians
began to feel that the speaking of Chinook, either to them or by
them, was a badge of inferiority. They would not address any
one in Chinook, and if addressed in the jargon they replied in
Two anecdotes will illustrate this. The first may be apocryphal, but it seems to be well vouched for. It is said that about
the turn of the century a young clergyman came to British
Columbia to work amongst the Indians. As soon as he reached
Victoria he made a special study of the Chinook jargon. Later,
driving with a friend through the Okanagan Valley, they met a
young Indian. The cleric, anxious to practise his newly-learned
Chinook, said, in a most impressive way: " Klahowya, tillicum."
The Indian looked him fairly in the face and in a most courteous
way replied, " Good morning, Sir."
The other refers to an experience of some of our own great
men. In the early days of the University of British Columbia it
was proposed to give that institution, as an endowment, a large
land grant in the Northern Interior. In 1917 the then Premier,
Hon. H. C. Brewster, with Hon. T. D. Pattullo, then Minister of
Lands, Dean (later President) Klinck of the University, and J. E.
Umbach, Surveyor-General, were making an examination of certain lands on the Parsnip River. As they travelled along they
met a young Indian with a gun on his shoulder. Mr. Brewster,
who had been in the cannery business at Alberni for years, spoke
to him in Chinook. He said to him: " Kah mika klatawa?"
(Where are you going?)    Only he and the Indian knew what had 10 Robie L. Reid. January
been said until the Indian replied, not in Chinook, but in perfect
English: " I am going around the bend to shoot a bear."
A kindred story comes from Oregon:—
A lady, emerging from her house to the porch in the early morning, noticed
several Indians squatted on her lawn.
" Ickeh mika tikeh? " she demanded.    (What do you want?)
A statuesque buck rose gracefully and turned slowly toward her.    " It is
a beautiful morning," he assured her in finely enunciated English.    " We
were admiring the view from your lawn.    We are Shoshone Indians who are
visiting friends here on your reservation."'
The last and most ambitious attempt to make an extended use
of the Chinook jargon in British Columbia was that made by
Father Jean Le Jeune, a devoted missionary priest of the Roman
Catholic Church, stationed at Kamloops, who used it not only in
religious books for his Indian converts but also in the publication
of a newspaper issued for circulation among the Indians of the
Father Jean-Marie Raphael Le Jeune was born at Bleybert
Christ, Finisterre, France, on April 12,1855. He came to British
Columbia as a missionary priest in October, 1879. He was at
first stationed at St. Mary's Mission in East Kootenay, during
railway-construction days. In 1882 he was sent to Williams
Lake and later was transferred to Kamloops, where he resided
until his death.
He made no claim whatever to the invention of the Chinook
jargon and would have been the last man in the world to have
done so. As we have seen, the jargon was not invented by any
one man, but grew up under circumstances which required its
use, long years before Father Le Jeune was born. He knew, as
all students of the history of the Northwest Coast know, that it
had existed for nearly a century before his time, and that as early
as 1846 Horatio Hale, a member of the Wilkes United States
Exploring Expedition, had written a scholarly account of it with
full vocabulary. What he did invent, and he deserves great
credit for it, was a method of using it that would be of value in
his work and to his Indian flock. It was difficult for the Indian
to connect the written or printed English letters in which
Chinook was presented to him with the sounds of the words as
(7)  Chester Anders Fee, " Oregon's Historical Esperanto—The Chinook
Jargon," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XLII. (1941), p. 184. 1942 The Chinook Jargon. 11
he knew them. Father Le Jeune conceived a way to put the
sounds on paper which made it easier for the Indian to connect
the characters and the sounds. He had, in his early life in
France, learned the use of the Duployan shorthand, which had
been invented by the Duploye brothers in 1867. The thought
came to him that if he could represent the sounds of the Chinook
jargon by its characters, the Indians might comprehend them
with less difficulty. He experimented and found that his idea
worked well in practice. He taught his people—all of whom, of
course, knew Chinook—to read and write its words in this way.
He commenced to publish the Wawa (Chinook for "talk")
on May 2, 1891. It consisted of four small pages, each divided
into three columns—the first in Chinook in English letters, the
second the same in Duployan characters, and the third the same
in the English language. The paper was widely circulated
amongst the Indian population. At first it was issued monthly.
Later it appeared weekly, and later still quarterly. Its format
and general make-up varied from time to time. The last issue of
the magazine was dated September, 1904.
In one number Father Le Jeune expresses his opinion of the
value of Chinook. He states that it is a universal language,
much easier to learn than Volapuk—a thousand times easier. He
also lauds his beloved Duployan shorthand.
Father Le Jeune passed away at New Westminster as recently
as November 21,1930, leaving behind him a noble record of piety
and good works, and beloved by all who knew him, whether
Catholic or Protestant. With the lapse of his Wawa Chinook
became a dead language, and it is now only an episode, but a most
interesting one, in the history of the West.
Robie L. Reid.
A good deal has come to light in recent years regarding the
sojourn at Fort Vancouver of the Rev. Herbert Beaver, first
chaplain of the Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rocky Mountains. In 1938 the late Dr. R. C. Clark unearthed and reprinted
Beaver's own account of his experiences, which had appeared
originally in the Church of England Protestant Magazine for
March, 1841.1 A few months ago a number of interesting excerpts from his correspondence with Chief Factor McLoughlin,
which is preserved in the Archives of the Hudson's Bay Company, were printed in The Beaver.2 But only a little more than
two of Herbert Beaver's fifty-eight years were spent in the
Columbia District, and hitherto surprisingly little has been
known about his career before and after his term of office there.
This circumstance prompted the writer to institute inquiries in
various quarters some time ago, and the result is here set forth.
Although it is not yet possible to recount Beaver's career in detail,
sufficient has been learned to justify something in the nature of
a preliminary report.
A long history lay back of Beaver's appointment, for the
Hudson's Bay Company took an interest in religious matters at
a very early date. Indeed, the earliest extant instructions forwarded by the Governor and Committee to the resident Governor
of Rupert's Land begin with this paragraph:—
In the first place Wee do strictly enjoyn you to have public prayers and
reading of the Scriptures or some other religious Books wheresoever you
shall be resident, at least upon the Lord's days. As also to order the severall
chiefs in each Factory under your command to do the same, That wee who
profess to be Christians may not appear more barbarous than the poor
(1) See R. C. Clark (ed.) " Experiences of a Chaplain at Fort Vancouver, 1836-1838 " Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXIX. (1938), pp. 22-38.
A report by Beaver on Indian affairs, which originally appeared in Extracts
from the Papers and Proceedings of the Aborigines Protection Society,
London, vol. II., no. 5, September, 1841, pp. 138-142 has been reprinted by
Miss N. B. Pipes under the title " Indian Conditions in 1836-38," Oregon
Historical Quarterly, XXXII. (1931), pp. 332-342.
(2) The Beaver, outfit 272, September, 1941, pp. 10-13, " Mr. Beaver
Objects   .    .    ."
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VI., No. 1.
13 14 G. Hollis Slater. January
Heathens themselves who have not been instructed in the knowledge of the
true God, This is what we have formerly directed, and have sent over the
proper books for the use of the Factory, to wit, the Common prayer Book,
the Bible and the Book of Homilies wch contains choice & well approved
Sermons of Instruction. But wee understand there hath been little or no
use made of them heretofore, wch neglect wee desire you would reform for
the future, that wee may more reasonably expect the blessings of God to
attend your endeavours and to prosper ye interest of ye Company. 3
These instructions were written in 1680, only ten years after
the Company received its charter, and were addressed to John
Nixon, second Governor of Rupert's Land. Nixon's predecessor,
Charles Bayly, though a man of great piety, was a Quaker, which
accounts for his failure to observe the Sabbath in the formal
fashion expected by the Committee.
Under Nixon and his successors the instructions were better
observed. " It became the tradition at the forts not to trade
with the Indians on Sunday," one authority notes. " A mess of
oatmeal and pease would be given to them to keep them quiet and
patient till Monday."4 Both the fort journals and those kept by
the traders show that some sort of Sabbath observance became
a characteristic of life at most of the trading-posts. But the
matter was left in the hands of the Company's regular officers,
and 140 years passed before a chaplain arrived in Rupert's Land.
His coming was one small result of the wave of religious and
humanitarian feeling which swept over western Europe in the
later years of the 18th century. Even in the midst of wars,
revolutions, and famines, men laboured to abolish slavery, to pass
factory acts, and to send out missionaries. New and active
protestant denominations arose and new energy was infused into
the old. From the period of the Reformation until 1787 no new
diocese of the Church of England had been formed. In that year
the first see in what is now the Dominion of Canada, that of Nova
Scotia, was founded. Quebec followed in 1793, and from 1814
to 1859—the year Bishop Hills was consecrated the first Bishop
of British Columbia — no less than thirty-eight new dioceses
were created in different parts of the Empire, five of which were
in Canada.
(3) Arthur S. Morton, A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71,
London, n.d. [1938], p. 81.
(4) Ibid., p. 82. 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 15
The new spirit which these developments reflected was well
represented in the inner councils of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Andrew Colvile, one of the most influential members of the Committee, was a sincere humanitarian as well as a shrewd man of
business. The same was true of Nicholas Garry, who, especially
after his visit to Rupert's Land in 1821, took a lively interest
in the country and the welfare of its inhabitants. Benjamin
Harrison, another of the directors, was noted for his charitable
activities, and as early as 1815 had tried to persuade a missionary
society to establish a mission in Rupert's Land. In all probability it was owing to him that the Governor and Committee
decided, in 1819, to send a clergyman to Red River
for the purpose of affording religious instruction and consolation to the
Company's retired servants and other Inhabitants of the Settlement, and
also of affording religious instruction and consolation to the Servants in the
active employment of the Company upon such occasions as the nature of the
Country and other circumstances will permits
The Rev. John West, M.A., was chosen for the post, and he
arrived at Red River in October, 1820. He at once set about
organizing a school, and as time and opportunity permitted he
travelled to a number of the posts in Rupert's Land, marrying
the servants of the Company, and baptizing their numerous
half-breed offspring. In 1821 he founded at York Factory an
auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. A church
building was completed at Red River in June, 1823, just before
West left the country to return to England. However, a successor arrived the same summer, and as Harrison and Garry—
the latter recently returned from Rupert's Land—had succeeded
in enlisting the support of the Church Missionary Society, the
good work went on almost without interruption. Rupert's Land
could boast a bishop and nineteen other Anglican clergy in 1857,
when the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company came up for careful scrutiny before a Select Committee of the British House of
Against this background it is surprising to find that the
appointment of a chaplain to serve in the country west of the
Rocky Mountains was so long delayed. The reason would seem
to lie in the lack of enthusiasm on the part of George Simpson,
who became Governor of the far-flung Northern Department in
(5) Ibid., pp. 631-2. 16 G. Hollis Slater. January
1821. It is true that he gave the matter careful consideration in
the report which he submitted to the Governor and Committee
following his celebrated visit to the Columbia District in 1824-25.
He admitted that he did " not know any part of North America
where the Natives could be civilized and instructed in morality
and Religion at such a moderate expence,"6 and proceeded to estimate in some detail the cost of establishing and maintaining a
mission. The initial expense would, he thought, total from £500
to £700 per annum, depending upon the location chosen, but
this would probably decrease substantially after the first year.
Nevertheless, it seems clear that Simpson had his doubts about
the practicability of the scheme, and in particular he was concerned about the clash of interests which might well develop
between the chaplain and the district Chief Factor. In a paragraph which was to prove strangely prophetic, Simpson wrote,
early in 1825, that it would be well to
place the Clergyman in a certain degree under the protection of the Coy's
representative (say the Chief Facter in charge of the District) and direct
him to look up to that Gentleman for support and assistance in almost every
thing as a superior; on the contrary if he attempts to dictate or act independently of, or in opposition to the views & wishes of that Gentleman it is
to be feared they will not draw together. The Missionary ought to be cool
and temperate in his habits and of a Mild conciliatory disposition even tempered and not too much disposed to find fault severely with any little laxity
of Morals he may discover at the Coy's Establishment otherwise 'tis to be
feared he would find his situation uncomfortable and it might even interfere
with the objects of his Mission; he ought to understand in the outset that
nearly all the Gentlemen & Servants have Families altho' Marriage ceremonies are unknown in the Country and that it would be all in vain to
attempt breaking through this uncivilised custom. On no other score would
he have serious grounds of complaint as the conduct of our people in general
is perfectly correct decorous & proper when well managed.7
In the course of his travels several Indian chiefs asked Simpson to send them a religious teacher—" a Messenger from the
Master of Life," as the Thompson River chiefs expressed it.
Simpson promised to transmit the requests to his superiors in
London, but probably because of the possible complications which
he himself pointed out, there was no response for some years.
(6) Frederick Merk (ed.), Fur Trade and Empire:   George Simpson's
Journal, Cambridge, Mass., 1931, p. 106.
(7) Ibid., p. 108. 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 17
In 1830 the Governor and Committee informed Simpson that it
was their intention to send a missionary west of the Rocky Mountains, but no appointment was actually made. Indeed, it may
well have been the arrival of the first American missionaries in
the Columbia, led by Jason Lee, in 1834, which finally spurred the
Company to action.
Unexpected delays occurred, even at the last moment. The
first two chaplains chosen by the Hudson's Bay Company for the
new post later declined the appointment, as their wives refused
to face the long sea voyage round Cape Horn. At last in 1835,
when Simpson was in England, he himself took the matter in
hand and personally selected the Rev. Herbert Beaver, B.A., who,
together with his wife, Jane—" haughty Jane," as she has been
described—sailed from London in the Company's barque Nereide,
bound for Fort Vancouver, on February 13,1836.
No doubt Simpson congratulated himself upon obtaining just
the person required for the new position: a man of intellect, in
his middle thirties, and an experienced chaplain. To-day we are
probably in possession of most of the data which Simpson had
before him when the choice was made.
Herbert Beaver was the son of the Rev. Herbert John Beaver
and Katharine, his wife. The father was curate of St. Peter's,
Ash, Surrey, in the years 1799 and 1800, during the incumbency
of the Rev. Thomas Rickman, absentee rector of the parish, 1796-
1811. The son was born sometime in the spring of 1800, and
was christened on July 7 of that year. For sponsors he had two
tutors of Christ Church, Oxford, the Rev. Robert Trotman and
the Rev. Herbert Randolph, and two sisters, the Misses Elizabeth
and Wilhelmina Templeman.8 The records of Queen's College,
Oxford, show that he matriculated there " 7th February, 1817.
Aged 16." He took his B.A. in 1821.9 The Registrar of the
Diocese of Lincoln has been able to furnish some details of his
career during the next four or five years:—
He was ordained Deacon by Bishop Pelham [of Lincoln] on the 22nd
September 1822 and he was ordained Priest by Bishop Pelham on the 21st
September 1823.
(8) F. A. Poulter (People's Warden, St. Peter's, Ash) to G. H. Slater,
February 11,1940.
(9) Provost, Queen's College, to G. H. Slater, December 29, 1939. 18 G. Hollis Slater. January
He was licensed to the Curacy of Kirkby Mallory in the County of
Leicester (then in the Diocese of Lincoln) on the 22nd September 1822 and
his successor was licensed to the same Curacy in April 1825, so that presumably the Rev. H. Beaver held the Curacy from the 22nd September 1822
to 1825.10
This supposition is no doubt correct, for in 1825 Beaver was
appointed to St. Lucia, British West Indies, where he was at first
both Army Chaplain and Rector of Castries. Canon R. J. Laurie,
the present Rector of Holy Trinity, Castries, has been so good as
to search the records there, and reports as follows:—
The subject of your enquiry seems to have been an enterprising person,
as according to our Records he was evidently the first resident Anglican
Priest in S. Lucia after it became a British Colony.
In S. Lucia also he started our Registers. At least, his are the first
among those that I found.
Herbert Beaver combined the offices of Garrison Chaplain and Rector
of Castries.
The work of our Church started really as a Military Chaplaincy, afterwards taking in Officials, commercial people, etc. To this day we form a
very small minority, 90% of the population being R[oman]. C[atholic],
Beaver's first entry was dated May 17th, 1825, and his last July 27th,
1833. There are no written records beyond entries in the Registers for
those years. But up to about ten years ago there was a wooden Villa on
Morne Fortune, on land which formed part of the old Military Station, and
which still belongs to the War Department of Gt. Britain, which went by the
name of Beaver Lodge. This house, I am told, actually stood on the site of
the Chaplain's Quarters, and took its name from the first Chaplain. The
house was sold, and was re-erected in Castries.
I came across a rather interesting entry. Below the record of a
Marriage, which took place in Castries on May 21, 1833, there is the following note: " I hereby certify that the above is a true correct copy of a
register made by me on the day of the marriage: I being prevented from
entering it into the proper book, from Mr. Beaver, the late minister keeping
violent possession of the same, and refusing to give it to me.
" Witness my hand this fifth day of February in the year One thousand
eight hundred and thirty-four.
Witnesses to the above Marriage,
J. McGowan Henry George Hall,
Herbert Beaver Minister at St. Lucia.
D. S. Robertson."
N.B. Mr. Hall seems to have been appointed Rector of the Civil Parish
while Mr. Beaver was still Military Chaplain.11
(10) A. E. T. Jourdain, Lincoln, to G. H. Slater, May 21, 1940.
(11) Canon R. J. Laurie, Castries, S. Lucia, B.W.I., to G. H. Slater,
October 27, 1939. 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 19
Beaver probably returned to England late in 1833. Where
he spent the next year or two we do not know; but on January
12, 1836, he was licensed by the Bishop of Chichester to the
Curacy of Up Waltham, in Sussex. It is unlikely that he ever
officiated there, as he sailed for the Northwest Coast on February
13, only a month later. This supposition is borne out by the fact
that there are no entries bearing his signature in any of the
parish registers.12 The inference is that the two appointments
came to him almost simultaneously, and that he resigned the
curacy in order to accept the post of Chaplain and Missionary at
Fort Vancouver.
The Governor and Committee had made careful preparations
for his coming. In the annual supply ship Columbia, which
arrived at Fort Vancouver in May, 1836, the Company had sent
out a church bell, a pulpit, Bibles, prayer books, registers, a surplice, an altar cloth, and a silver communion service. It is clear,
too, that the Committee expected that a church building would be
erected; but construction had not even started when Beaver
arrived, and services were therefore held in the mess-hall of the
Beaver had been expected to come by the overland route, from
Canada, but, as already noted, he sailed instead in the Nereide.
The vessel reached Fort Vancouver on September 6, 1836, after
a passage from London lasting just short of seven months.
Beaver contended later that although Chief Factor McLoughlin
had known for some days that the Nereide had entered the Columbia River, and that he and Mrs. Beaver were on board, no
proper provision had been made for their reception. For quarters they were given only part of a dwelling, in which nothing
but a thin wall separated them from the noisy inhabitants of the
other rooms. The attic was reserved by the Company, and the
men of the fort demanded access to it regardless of Mrs. Beaver's
convenience. As Beaver's own narrative records, innumerable
other small difficulties and disagreements soon developed over
such domestic matters as the servant problem, the food supply,
and the quality and cleanliness of the cooking.
(12)  T. M. Eggar, Chichester, to G. H. Slater, April 6, 1940;  and May
23, 1940. 20 G. Hollis Slater. January
The difference of opinion soon extended to more serious
matters. There had been a school of sorts at Fort Vancouver
since 1833, and McLoughlin turned it over to Beaver a few days
after his arrival. Before the end of September, however, McLoughlin and Beaver were at loggerheads over the character of
the religious instruction which should or should not be given the
pupils, and McLoughlin insisted upon resuming control. A sharp
difference of opinion also developed regarding the conduct of the
various religious services, and in particular those conducted in
French for the benefit of the many French-Canadians at the post,
almost.all of whom were Roman Catholics. Within a few weeks
Beaver, having found conditions and prospects very different to
what they had been represented in London, decided to give up
and go home. Early in November he requested and was granted
a passage to England in the Columbia, due to sail shortly. Receipt of a petition signed by thirty-four Protestants and twenty-
four Roman Catholics, begging him to remain, caused him to
change his mind; but his relations with McLoughlin did not
improve. In January, 1837, they ceased to communicate with
one another, even on paper, and thereafter Mrs. Beaver served
as go-between.
Both Beaver's narrative and his reports, several of which are
extant, show that the most serious cause of trouble was the
irregular marital relations of most of the Company's servants
and officers at Fort Vancouver, including Chief Factor McLoughlin himself. In many instances no ceremony of any kind had
taken place between the couples. Others were bound together
by the so-called fur-trade marriages, the legal validity of which
was upheld in later years by the Supreme Court of Quebec. But
from Beaver's point of view one and all were living in sin, McLoughlin by no means least amongst the number. Matters came
to a climax in March, 1838, when the Chief Factor discovered
that in a recent report to the Governor and Committee Beaver
had characterized Mrs. McLoughlin as " a female of notoriously
loose character " and as " the kept mistress of the highest personage in your service at this station." Meeting the chaplain
by chance, McLoughlin's violent temper got the better of him.
Seizing Beaver's cane he thrashed him with it, and but for the
intervention of others might have injured him seriously.   A day 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 21
or two later McLoughlin offered an apology, but Beaver would
have none of it. The breach had widened beyond all bridging,
and Beaver would doubtless have left the Columbia at the first
opportunity had not McLoughlin himself departed on furlough
within a few days of the assault.
Simpson's worst fears had been realized with a vengeance,
for, as we have seen, Beaver flatly refused to overlook the " little
laxity of Morals " which Simpson had warned that it would be
" all in vain " to attempt to correct.
Looking back over the years it is evident that there were
faults on both sides. There is no denying the fact that McLoughlin did not want a chaplain and that he gave Beaver a cool
reception. His own sympathies undoubtedly lay with the Roman
Catholics, and he may well have felt that, with the coming of
Jason Lee and other American missionaries, there were enough
Protestants in the country, especially as most of the inhabitants
whp professed any religion at all were Catholics. A dozen years
in Oregon, where his authority was all but absolute, had developed in him dictatorial ways which made him intolerant of
criticism, or even a difference of opinion. Once the quarrel with
Beaver started, it is clear that prejudice played its part. It is
significant that after Beaver's arrival McLoughlin had Chief
Trader James Douglas, who was a Justice of the Peace, perform
a civil marriage between himself and Mrs. McLoughlin; but the
fact was not made public, even though McLoughlin permitted
Beaver to officiate at the marriage of his daughter, Eloise, to
William Glen Rae, in February, 1838.
On Beaver's side, his background and training must not be
forgotten. He regarded the Columbia District as his parish,
and, if that premise were granted, he was within his traditional
rights in claiming control of the parish school. In that day and age
a Church of England clergyman expected to pay deference to no
local personage except the squire; and Beaver could not bring
himself to look upon such a rough diamond as John McLoughlin
in that light. In noting Beaver's arrival, Peter Skene Ogden had
remarked that his was " a very appropriate name for the fur
trade "; but there was little else about him that fitted in well
with conditions in Old Oregon. He was unwilling to make any
concession whatever to circumstances;   and that being so, the 22 G. Hollis Slater. January
collision between two such determined characters as McLoughlin
and himself became inevitable.
Mrs. Whitman, wife of Marcus Whitman, the most celebrated
of the American missionaries, arrived in Oregon soon after the
Beavers. She attended the two services held by Beaver the
Sunday after her arrival, and noted in her journal:—
Enjoyed the privaledge much. The most of the gentlemen of the Fort are
Scotch Presbyterian, & but very few that are Episcopalians. The great
mass of labourers are Roman Catholics who have three services during the
Sabbath, one of which is attended at this house in which Doct McLaughlin
officiates in French, translates a sermon or a tract & reads a chapter in the
Bible & a prayer. The singing in Mr Beavers church was done by the
children. Some of their tunes were taught them by Mr Others
by Mr Shepherd14 of the Methodist Mission.16
Beaver must have been reminded in one respect of St. Lucia, in
that the great majority of the civil population was of a different
religion; but there he did not have to worry over the opposition
of the army officers.
It is too often assumed that Beaver's mission to the Columbia
was a complete failure. He was a man full of zeal for his work;
he laboured hard among the Indians, and befriended the young
clerks just out from the old land. He was liked by some of his
Methodist confreres, who saw in him and his wife " highly intellectual people," and who regarded their stay as " a feast of reason
and a flow of soul." Others sneered at him, probably because he
held an official position, and described him as " a man below the
medium height, light brown hair, gray eyes, light complexion, a
feminine voice, with large pretentions to oratory, a poor delivery,
and no energy."16
The registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials started by
Beaver continued in use until about the close of the century. The
location of his charge is given as " Fort Vancouver, River Colum-
(13) Dr. Samuel Parker, 1779-1866, had been sent out with Whitman
and others by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,
in 1835.
(14) Cyrus Shepherd, 1798-1840, a pioneer Methodist missionary, was
a member of the Jason Lee party which arrived on the Columbia in 1834.
(15) T. C. Elliott (ed.), " The Coming of the White Women, 1836," part
ii., Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXVII. (1936), p. 183.
(16) W. H. Gray, A History of Oregon, 1792-1849, drawn from personal
observation and authentic information, Portland, Ore., 1870, p. 162. MARRIAGES solemnized in Ilia Piti'tnh of ._/ ,%rl  /^a,,-.-.^.— /%*,,--
in tlio County of. _•___«.:
Jn the Year 18_>
' ft. .,.■ .. saftjL'
'. of________--«*-
aud _/-_!_£«___./^2*_z~"
.of__£___. Parish
married in thisj__i__ _by __^C*^_t_.
with Concont;
 this /_*__.J^___^JE^i___ Day of
eight hnndrpifnntl-^^-^f. r^i&^- -■■
By me^_&______|______r__^^-i
__*_i___«__— in the Year One Thousand
■■-if - y
This Marriage was solemnized between us -J
In the Presence
No. I.
, ^-~-   , / ./ J ,/..   . s/./.H',.
i-f "-■■''■' -   ■^•^-   ■■ ■' /    ^--^
of >
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. with Consent)
in the Year One Thousand
this    i£^/. /£   &i<Zs%~.     T).iy 0f
eight hundred and ^tf7^, ^t*<et^ . _
■u iiic i cm v^iic i iiuii_iiu c'a1"- "uuuicu _n_ /y_£cx.y^ ^f^-ae^tx.
By me,4^7W /f^*"   ^^MT.^
This Marriage was solemnized between us
r ,,    D ( <ty(-</«/<(/■!(   tf«/ fat (,v    M/6jbu
In the Presence of s ,
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No. 2.
/.MTtrf./ft.     '
.of' /Ase*r        Pm-nl*
■%if~?M0,i£.   j^Tt&lZi&r*
nf £?*}        Piii-in-.
were married in this.SC-/      hy ^/Lr.^Z/
_with Coiicajit,,
_ this _j^'^_^;vv^.-_d:—Day of
in the YearOne thousand eight hundred and J%&*/£ V-^Vfr??^
By me JS_6__tf<e__C-__JU
This Marriage was solemnized between us $ ^~   ^       ~
In the Presence off   X^,     ^^/y^<>-^--
v  : I—//for—wS-fW^
No. 3.
(Photo, courtesy Hudson's Bay Company.)
First page of the Fort Vancouver marriage register. 3
—      +j
H 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 23
bia, N. W. Coast of America." In the baptismal register he made
124 entries. Baptisms took place at Fort George (Astoria),
Steilacoom, and other places, as well as at Fort Vancouver.
Entries in the marriage register number nine, and those in the
burial register, twelve. The later history of the registers themselves will be noted presently.
After McLoughlin's departure Beaver found life at Fort Vancouver more comfortable. James Douglas had assumed charge
of the Columbia District, and Beaver could remember with satisfaction that the first entry in his marriage register recorded the
union of James Douglas and Amelia Connolly, on February 28,
1837. In 1838, hearing that Dr. McLoughlin was to come back
to Fort Vancouver, Beaver decided to return to England, as he
recognized that after McLoughlin's return his services would not
be of much avail. He and Mrs. Beaver sailed in the Columbia in
November, 1838, and arrived in London the following May.
Beaver hoped to arrive in England before McLoughlin started
on his return journey, as he intended to prefer charges against
him; but in this he was disappointed. Instead, as he himself
tells us, he was informed verbally by the Hudson's Bay Company
that it had no further occasion for his services. Later he was
paid a gratuity of £110, in full settlement of all his claims against
the Company.17
His treatment and experiences in Oregon left Beaver bitter
and defiant, and he wrote scathing letters, one or two of which
found their way into print, in which he denounced certain officials
of the Hudson's Bay Company by name, described what he
regarded as their inhuman treatment of the Indians, and noted
the immorality he was expected to countenance. At one time he
intended to publish his reports in book form, but so far as is
known the volume never materialized.
Beaver's state of mind shortly after his return to England is
well illustrated in the following report, addressed by him to the
Bishop of Montreal, which is here printed for the first time:—
Stoke by Nayland, Colchester
My Lord, July 31st, 1839
When on the point of leaving the River Columbia in the beginning of
November last I was honored with your Lordship's reply to the letter, which
(17)  Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXIX. (1938), p. 36n. 24 G. Hollis Slater.        January
I had addressed to the Bishop of Quebec on the 13th of Febry 1836, and I
should consequently deem myself wanting in due respect, although it appears
that I was unfortunately stationed neither in the diocese of Montreal, nor in
that, nor in any other that I am aware, were I to omit giving your Lordship
a concise account of my motives, together with my reasons for quitting
my post.
This was Fort Vancouver, the principal Factory of the Hudson's Bay
Company on the North west coast of America, where I resided, with my
wife, for upwards of two years, during which time I had to encounter from
the Roman Catholic Head of the Establishment, who was desirous that all
the children should be brought up in his persuasion, every species of opposition to my ministry, great neglect of our private comforts which totally
depended upon him, and much personal insult, ending in a most unprovoked
and outrageous assault upon myself, in my wife's presence, at his hands,
which determined us on leaving a country, where it was impossible for us
to be either useful or happy. And yet, my Lord, there was nothing in it
or in the aborigines, which prevented us from being both in an eminent
degree; but the conduct of those, with whom we were compelled more
immediately to come in contact, was in numerous instances insufferable,
uncompensated, as it was, by an adequate sphere of usefulness. We had
made up our minds to dwell among red savages, but not among white ones,
by which appellation facts justify me in characterizing many of my late
fellow-servants; nor do I hesitate to affirm, some out [sic\ by the threats
of Chief Factor McLoughlin, the officer in charge above alluded to, that my
life was endangered by a protracted continuance among them. All this
persecution arose from my determination to endeavour, to the utmost of my
ability, to cleanse the Augean stable of vice and immorality, in which the
Company's servants were too generally immersed to the effectual prevention
of the growth of all virtue and religion throughout the half-bred and native
population. Yet, in defiance of every obstacle, I have, according to your
Lordship's prayer, been blessed in making known to some, even in that
uttermost end of the earth, that name, whereby alone they must be saved;
and I have, I trust, laid, under His Almighty guidance, a foundation, on
which the superstructure of Christianity and Civilization may at no very
distant period, be erected. The means, by which this most desirable event
can, with a fair prospect of success, humanly speaking, be accomplished, I
have, in several reports, which, with notes, I intend to publish, and other
notices of the little known regions, of the far Northwest, fully pointed out to
the Company; and I have, likewise, as a matter of duty, offered my services
to carry them into execution. On my arrival, however, about two months
since in England, they were, to my great satisfaction, dispensed with, Mr.
Benjamin Harrison, the Deputy Governor, whom your Lordship mentions
(my first intelligence of it) as stating himself in a letter addressed to the
Bishop of Quebec to be the Author of my appointment, telling me, " That
my conscience was too tender, and that a Clergyman of a less tender conscience would do better for their settlements "; which I took as the greatest
compliment he could pay me, and which I esteemed as a more satisfactory 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 25
approbation than any that I could have received, except that of my own
conscience and of many clerical friends. I have not heard whether the
Company propose replacing me with any successor; for his own sake, whoever he may be, I hope not, for, without the firm support of the home body
and the cordial cooperation of the foreign members, he can do nothing.
Unless his powers vastly exceed mine, it is a mean working to attempt to
maintain a Clergyman in the Columbia Department. Had not the brutal
and cowardly attack for which I can obtain no redress, occurred; it was
my intention to have remained sufficiently long to have afforded an opportunity of remedying all the grievances of which I had to complain, both of.
a public and private nature, albeit I am obliged to conclude that such waiting
would have been in vain, from the numberless instances of ill-treatment of
their inferior servants, and the reputed horrid massacres of unoffending
Indians by persons in their service, which have been overlooked, if not
encouraged, by the Company.
Your Lordship will be pleased to learn, that, after experiencing no inconsiderable portion of misery and uncomfortableness, we are at length peacefully settled in the above parish, in which I have been licensed to the
Chapelry of Leavenheath by the Lord Bishop of Ely.
I have the honor to be, my Lord, with every respect,
Your Lordship's most obedient, humble servant,
Herbert Beaver
To the Right Reverend
The Lord Bishop
Lower Canada1*
At Leavenheath Beaver was once again pioneering, although
this time it was in the homeland. For the third time he started
a new set of parochial registers.
Four years of the quiet, humdrum life of an English country
parish sufficed for Beaver's restless nature. This time he sails
for another part of the world, Cape Colony, as it was then called;
and, as at St. Lucia, he combined military and civil duties.
Writing in 1940 from Fort Beaufort, South Africa, the Rev.
W. R. Caley recalls that the first persons to arrive at that out-
station were troops, in 1822, and continues:—
Though this is not a military town today it was the center of the frontier
forces in the early days, and when Rev. Herbert Beaver, B.A., was here.
I have examined the early minutes of the Anglican Church, and these
show that he came here in June 1843. ... He was successor to the Rev.
Geo. Booth who died on the 17th April 1843.
(18)  Quebec Diocesan Archives.    Red River Rupertsland, 1839-50, p. 2. 26 G. Hollis Slater.        January
He not only administered to the troops, but spent much of his time with
the civil community. For some time the Anglicans hired the church built
by the Wesleyans for their services. A suggestion that an Anglican Church
should be built was made in 1838, but this was quite given up. Rev. H.
Beaver however worked hard to get the church built. He wrote to various
Societies in England and in the Cape, he arranged for shareholder subscriptions, got help even from the Government &c. and finally got the
building erected. The builder, Mr. Adam McKenzie did not complete the
work satisfactorily and thus the taking over of the building was delayed.
Owing to the removal of a large number of the troops from Fort Beaufort to Fort Hare, His Excellency the Governor-General directed Rev. H.
Beaver to reside at Fort Hare and take spiritual charge of the troops
stationed there and at other places, so on 21st July 1848 he resigned his
duties at Fort Beaufort.
The St. John's Church was not opened till 24th June 1849.19
How long Beaver remained at Fort Hare is not known. He
moved about with the troops, and died ten years after the transfer. The story ends with two terse entries in the War Office
1848, 1 August.    Officiating Chaplain to the troops at the frontier.20
1858, 21 May.    Died at Fort Beaufort.21
Whether or not Mrs. Beaver survived him does not appear.
The date of their marriage and that of her death are two details
which are still missing from the picture.
After their experience with the Rev. Herbert Beaver the
Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company were in no hurry to
appoint another official chaplain. More than a decade passed
before a successor was named. In the interval Fort Victoria
had been built on Vancouver Island, and, following the Oregon
boundary treaty of 1846, the district headquarters of the Company were in process of removal to the new post. Oddly enough
it was the barque Columbia, which had carried Beaver home to
England in 1838-39, that landed his successor at Fort Victoria
on March 16,1849.
Of the Rev. Robert John Staines, his wife Emma Francis (as
she signs herself as a witness in the marriage register), and their
(19) W. R. Caley to G. H. Slater, January 26, 1940.
(20) Public Record Office, Monthly returns Cape of Good Hope, W.O.
(21) Ibid., W.O.  17-1639.    For this and the preceding reference see
Public Record Office to G. H. Slater, February 13, 1940. 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 27
two children, Horace and Jane, little is known, except that
Staines himself graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in
1845. The Company paid him £200 a year as chaplain, but he
received an additional £340 per annum for conducting a school
for the children of the Company's officials.22 In addition to the
school, Staines bought a tract of land, about 450 acres, close to
the North Dairy Farm of the Hudson's Bay Company, and, like
so many of the Old Country clergy of the day, engaged in farming. His efforts to improve the local breed of pigs have been
made famous by H. H. Bancroft, the historian.23
His attention to these side-lines did not mean that Staines
neglected his clerical duties. The three church registers started
by Beaver were brought to Fort Victoria, and they reveal that
Staines made journeys to Steilacoom and also to the Company's
posts at Nisqually and Fort Langley. In addition he visited outlying settlements near Victoria, including Sooke. It is interesting to note that three entries were made in the marriage register
after Beaver's departure and before his successor arrived. Upon
the first occasion, in 1847, the Rev. Ezra Fisher, the first Baptist
missionary in Oregon, officiated; the second entry was made in
1848 by Richard Lane, a Justice of the Peace; while the third
marriage, which took place on May 26, 1849, was solemnized by
the Rev. George H. Atkinson, a Congregationalist. The many
entries made in the three registers in later years furnish interesting glimpses of life on Vancouver Island in earlier days. Thus
the burial register shows how appalling was the rate of infant
mortality. Then again, the registers show that when the rector
of the parish was absent, chaplains from the ships of the Royal
Navy lying in Esquimalt Harbour frequently officiated in his
stead. Indeed, nearly all the pioneer clergymen of the Province
recorded their names as having performed one or more of these
occasional offices. The baptismal register contains the signatures
of no less than fifty-three different clergymen, the marriage
register forty, and the burial register fifty-four. The books
themselves are amongst the most treasured possessions of Christ
Church Cathedral, Victoria.
(22) See D. L. MacLaurin, " Education before the Gold Rush," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, II. (1938), pp. 247-8.
(23) See H. H. Bancroft, History of British Columbia, San Francisco,
1887, pp. 238-243. 28 G. Hollis Slater. January
Not long after his arrival, Staines became involved in the
political differences which troubled the small population of the
infant Colony of Vancouver Island, and he soon associated himself with a group who became critics and opponents of the policy
of the Hudson's Bay Company. In the end Staines himself was
chosen to travel to England, for the purpose of presenting the
grievances of the settlers directly to the Colonial Office. The
exact date of his departure from Victoria is not known, but it
was subsequent to February 25, 1854, as he signed an entry in
the baptismal register on that day. He sailed from Sooke in a
lumber-laden vessel, with the intention, it is said, of transferring to another craft, bound for England, at San Francisco.
But off Cape Flattery the cargo of lumber shifted in a gale, the
vessel foundered, and Staines perished.
Mrs. Staines and her children returned to England in January, 1855, in the Hudson's Bay Company's barque Princess Royal,
and lived for a time in London.
As soon as word of Staines's death reached London the Company advertised for another chaplain, and the appointment was
given to the Rev. Edward (later Bishop) Cridge, who with his
bride arrived in Victoria in 1855.
To Staines's energy must be ascribed the commencement
of the building of the original District Church in Victoria.
It was placed on an eminence near the fort, later known as
Church Hill, and later still renamed Columbia Square. The
site is now the property of the Government ojf British Columbia. Construction of the church started in 1853, but although
it was a relatively small building, seating no more than
300 persons, it was not opened for service until August
31, 1856, more than two years after Staines's death. To this
building were brought most of the articles which had been
sent to Fort Vancouver by the Governor and Committee in 1836,
including the bell, pulpit, and communion service. The original
Bible may have been discarded, as a replacement copy arrived in
the Company's barque Norman Morison in January, 1853.
Later the District Church was named Christ Church, and
became, in the process of church expansion, Christ Church Cathedral. Unfortunately the original building was totally destroyed
by fire in October, 1869, and only the Bible, church registers, and 1942 New Light on Herbert Beaver. 29
communion service were saved. A few pieces of the bell metal
are in the possession of some people as souvenirs. The Bible is
now in the Provincial Archives museum. The communion service, however, is still in use. It consists of a handsome flagon,
two patens, one with a stand and one without, and a chalice.
All are engraved with the coat of arms of the Hudson's Bay
It is pleasant to note that although the Company's relations
with its first two chaplains had not been particularly happy,
nevertheless when the time came to sever its connection with
Christ Church, it endowed the parish handsomely with the
224%0o acres of land surrounding the building.
G. Hollis Slater.
The voyage of the ship Imperial Eagle, Captain Charles William Barkley, which arrived at Nootka Sound in June, 1787,
though in most respects an ordinary trading venture, was in
others an expedition of some historical importance. For it was
Captain Barkley who discovered—or, as the dwindling few who
believe in the exploits of Juan de Fuca would have me say, it was
he who rediscovered—the Strait of Juan de Fuca. With the
captain came his bride, Frances Hornby Barkley, the first white
woman to visit the Pacific Northwest. So far as we know, the
only account of the discovery of the strait left by the Barkleys
themselves was in a diary kept during the voyage by Mrs. Barkley. This document is no longer available, and its very existence
has more than once been cast in doubt.
Surprisingly little can be learned about the expedition from
printed sources. Dixon merely mentions the Imperial Eagle;
states that she had come to the coast from Ostend and gives1 a
brief account of the circumstances which enabled Barkley to
carry on a successful trade at Nootka Sound.1 The summary
of the expedition given by Meares in the introduction to his
Voyages2 is filled with inaccuracies, and most of the references
in the text are deliberately misleading. Meares contrived to get
possession of Captain Barkley's log-book and journal, and there
is little doubt that at least one of the maps printed in the Voyages
was copied from Barkley's charts.3    Meares even tried to appro-
* A paper read before the annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of
the American Historical Association, Eugene, Oregon, December 30, 1941.
(1) Captain George Dixon, A Voyage Round the World . . . performed in 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788, London, 1789, pp. 231-233.
(2) John Meares, Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789, from
China to the North West Coast of America, London, 1790, p. lv. See also
p. 124.
(3) Ibid., " A Plan of Port Effingham in Berkley's Sound."
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. VI., No. 1.
8 31 32 W. Kaye Lamb. January
priate some of the place-names bestowed by Barkley. Thus, in
1787, Barkley had named Cape Beale in honour of John Beale,
purser of his ship; but Meares contends that the headland
" obtained from us the name of Cape Beale " in 1788,4 presumably after one Daniel Beale, who happened to be associated with
his own enterprise. Again, in his introduction Meares admits
that Barkley had discovered the Strait of Juan de Fuca before
him, yet one cannot help feeling that the ambiguity in his reference to the name was intended to mislead. The sentence reads:
" The strongest curiosity impelled us to enter this strait, which
we shall call by the name of its original discoverer, John de
Fuca."5 As these entries suggest, Barkley's expedition was overshadowed by the voyages of other traders and explorers. Only
the conspicuous place-name " Barkley Sound," on the west coast
of Vancouver Island, prevented it from falling into complete
obscurity. It is significant that the name itself was mis-spelled
for more than a century. Dixon refers to Captain Berkley;
Meares spells the name Barclay. The correct spelling was not
placed on the official charts until 1901, when the Geographic
Board of Canada made the change, after the Barkley papers had
come to light.
These papers consisted of two log-books kept by or for Captain Barkley, Mrs. Barkley's reminiscences, two of her diaries,
and some letters. After Captain Barkley's death, in 1832, they
remained in Mrs. Barkley's possession until she, in turn, died in
1845. They then passed to her eldest son, the Rev. John Charles
Barkley, of Little Melton, near Norwich, England, by whom the
log-books were loaned to Lord Aberdeen in 1846, in the hope
that they might furnish evidence of value to Great Britain in
the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute.6 Beyond that
point the history of the logs becomes obscure. About the turn
of the century they were offered for sale by a dealer in England,
and were purchased by the Hon. Mr. Justice Archer Martin,
(4) Ibid., p. 172.
(5) Ibid., p. 155; italics added.
(6) See F. W. Howay, " Letters Concerning Voyages of British Vessels
to the Northwest Coast of America, 1787-1809," Oregon Historical Quarterly,
XXXIX. (1938), pp. 307-313. Two letters from the Rev. J. C. Barkley to
Lord Aberdeen are here quoted in full. /
Captain Charles William Barkley.
From a miniature presented to the Provincial Archives by his great granddaughter,
Lady Constance Parker, of Waddington. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 33
later Chief Justice of British Columbia. In 1911 Mr. Justice
Martin's remarkable collection of Northwest Americana was purchased by the Provincial Library and Archives, Victoria, and
one of the logs was included in the transfer. The other was still
in the possession of the Chief Justice at the time of his death,
in September, 1941.
Meanwhile Mrs. Barkley's papers seem to have passed to her
granddaughter and namesake, Frances, eldest daughter of the
Rev. John Charles Barkley. About 1900 she gave or loaned them
to her brother, Captain Edward Barkley, R.N. (retired), who
had settled at Westholme, Vancouver Island. Early on the
morning of November 22, 1909, Captain Barkley, who was then
in his 81st year, lost his life in a fire which destroyed his home.
Mrs. Barkley's letters and diaries were lost in the blaze and
only her reminiscences now survive. They are the property of
Edward Barkley's son, Captain Robert E. Barkley, of Westholme,
who has deposited the original manuscript in the Provincial
Archives for safe-keeping.
A very brief description of the various documents in the case
will suffice for the present purpose. Taking first the log-book
in the Archives, we find that it is titled: "A Journal of the
Proceedings on board the Loudoun Charles Wm. Barkley Esqr.
Commander." The ship Loudoun was none other than the Imperial Eagle, which was masquerading under the latter name and
the Austrian flag in order to avoid the necessity of securing
licences from the two companies which held the monopoly of
British trading rights in the Pacific—the South Sea Company,
and the East India Company. The log or journal records the
fitting-out of the vessel, her departure from Ostend in November,
1786, and her voyage up to the time she was approaching the
Northwest Coast, in June, 1787. At that point it breaks off
abruptly, and presumably it was succeeded by a new journal
which described Barkley's activities on the coast and the subsequent voyage to China. It was this new log which was secured
by Meares, who used it, as we have seen, for his own purposes.
The surviving journal also includes the latter part of the log
of the brig Halcyon, in which Captain and Mrs. Barkley made
a second voyage to the Northwest Coast in 1791-92. The earlier
portion is to be found in the companion volume in the library 34 W. Kaye Lamb. January
of the late Chief Justice Martin. This book was evidently shared
by Captain Barkley and his mariner brother, Captain John Barkley, as it contains logs of two East Indiamen in which John
Barkley served, as well as a log of the Princess Frederica, in
which Captain Charles W. Barkley made a successful voyage
in 1791.
In none of these records is any mention made of the discovery
of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the same is unfortunately true
of the reminiscences of Mrs. Barkley. Though her narrative is
over 17,000 words in length, only a few hundred of these are
devoted to the voyage of the Imperial Eagle, and the story is
carried no further than the unscheduled call at Bahia, which
was necessitated by Captain Barkley's illness. The rest of the
reminiscences relate to the voyage of the Halcyon, except for one
interpolated passage in which Mrs. Barkley recalls her previous
visit to the Northwest Coast. In sum, as noted above, and as
even these few notes suffice to show, any account of the discovery
of the Strait of Juan de Fuca left by the Barkleys themselves
must have been in documents—and presumably in Mrs. Barkley's
diaries—which are no longer available to us.
Early in 1901 the late Captain John T. Walbran read before
the Natural History Society of British Columbia a paper entitled
" The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle." Captain Walbran was for
many years in command of the Canadian Government lighthouse
and fisheries tender Quadra, and in the course of his duties he
developed a keen interest in the nomenclature of the Northwest
Coast. In 1901 he was already busy collecting material for the
historical dictionary entitled British Columbia Coast Names
1592-1906, which was published by the Dominion Government
in 1909. As his book shows on every page, Walbran sought far
and near for information, and it is more than probable that it
was at his prompting that Captain Edward Barkley, while visiting relatives in England, secured his grandmother's diaries and
brought them back with him to Vancouver Island. In any event
we know that they were for a time in Captain Walbran's possession, and excerpts and data from them appear both in the paper
on " The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle," which was printed in 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 35
the Victoria Colonist for March 3,1901,7 and in British Columbia
Coast Names. Oddly enough, in neither place did Walbran quote
in full the whole of the passage relating to the Strait of Juan de
Fuca, and it is thanks to the fact that Judge Howay later asked
for and received a copy of the complete entry that we now have
the historic paragraph in its entirety. Judge Howay received
this transcript in May, 1910, about six months after the original
diaries were burned. The letter from Captain Walbran which
accompanied it read in part as follows:—
You will be pleased to know I need not give you [only] my " best recollections " of what was in Mrs Barkley's journal as regards the discovery of
the strait of Juan de Fuca for I have fortunately, and quite unexpectedly,
come across some of my pencilled notes in which I jotted down Mrs Barkley's
own words recording the Imperial Eagle meeting with the wide opening in
the land which Captain Barkley recognized as the strait of Juan de Fuca.
I attached so little importance to the verbatim notes I was taking down,
seeing that I was writing with the journal in front of me that I have omitted
the exact dates of the occurrences which took place after the ship sailed eastward from Barkley Sound. I thought that, for my book, a general summary
of the facts was enough.    .    .    .
I never dreamt that the journal would be burnt, as I feel sure it has been,
but that it would have always been in evidence, or I would have taken many
more verbatim accounts from it than I did. It is an irreparable loss to the
history of this coast as the Log, which is in the possession of Judge Martin,
ends on the arrival of the ship on this coast.
Portions of the despatch box, you mention, which is supposed to have
contained the journal, were found, contents entirely destroyed, after the fire,
lying near the front door on what had been the verandah of the house, the
old gentleman was seen to place it there . . . and then ran back into
the burning house for something else but never returned.    .    .    .
Had the old gentleman taken the despatch box a little further away from
the burning house before putting it down, it would have been safe. Poor
fellow, I suppose he thought he would carry it into perfect safety in
returning. 8
This letter is interesting both for its own sake and because
it shows that doubts about the diaries were beginning to spring
up, even in 1910. No one questioned Captain Walbran's good
faith; but scholars were beginning to wonder if he had not
inadvertently mixed his quotations with other notes which were
only paraphrases of, or even descriptive passages based on,
(7) The actual page of the Colonist on which the paper is printed is
wrongly dated March 2, but the rest of the issue (including the reverse side
of the misdated page) is dated March 3, 1901.
(8) John T. Walbran to F. W. Howay, May 5, 1910. 36 W. Kaye Lamb. January
original sources. There seemed to be considerable evidence to
support such a point of view. To begin with, no one but Captain Walbran was able to state definitely that he had ever actually
seen Mrs. Barkley's diaries. In the second place, many (though
not all) of the quotations from the diaries cited by Walbran
closely resembled, and in some instances exactly paralleled, passages in Mrs. Barkley's reminiscences. Finally, and perhaps
most disconcerting of all, Mrs. Barkley states categorically, in
the first paragraph of her reminiscences, that she " never kept
any Journal." Faced with these facts, some students concluded
that the papers burned in 1909 consisted only of a further instalment, or another version of the reminiscences; others refer to
the reminiscences as if they were a journal, apparently in the
belief that no other document ever existed. Thus in 1910, when
the late Dr. C. F. Newcombe wrote his monograph entitled The
First Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island,9 he quoted from
Walbran the famous passage in which Mrs. Barkley describes
the discovery of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and then added in
a note: " The author has not been able to find this reference
in the transcript of Mrs. Barkley's Journal in the Provincial
Archives."10 Needless to say, the transcript in question was a
copy of the reminiscences, not the diaries. Again, even as careful a scholar as Judge Howay, who correctly credited the same
passage to the diary in 1911, cited it as from the reminiscences
in 1938, in the evident belief that the documents were one and
the same.11
It is very probable that a careful examination of Captain
Walbran's notes would have ended the confusion, but unfortunately these appear to have been destroyed after his death in
1913. As a consequence the mystery has remained unsolved for
a generation. In spite of the lapse of time, a careful examination of the various transcripts and documents still available suggests that it can still be unravelled, and the notes which follow
are submitted as a solution.
(9) Archives of British Columbia, Memoir No. 1, Victoria, B.C., 1914.
(Dr. Newcombe's manuscript was completed some years before it was published.    The prefatory letter in the volume is dated November 7, 1910.)
(10) Ibid., p. 19.
(11) See Oregon Historical Quarterly, XII. (1911), p. 8; and XXXIX.
(1938), p. 308. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 37
In the first paragraph of her reminiscences Mrs. Barkley
warns the reader that they " must be considered in the light of
a Reminiscence of former days, not a correct tradition being
founded upon very vague Data, as I never kept any Journal . . ."
She adds that the narrative might "be improved by refferance
to Log Books & Sea Journals, If I had the courage to Peruse
them;" but as she was in her 66th year she felt that it was "too
late in the day for such a reserch." The first few pages of the
manuscript, which are devoted to her own family and to the first
weeks of the voyage of the Imperial Eagle, are halting and fragmentary. She confesses that she found herself " sadly at a loss
for Dates." Pages and paragraphs abound in blanks, which she
hoped to fill in later. Then suddenly, when she commences to
describe the voyage in the Halcyon, without warning or explanation, the character of the narrative changes completely. It becomes orderly and detailed—so detailed, indeed, that it cannot
possibly have been written without the assistance of extensive
notes. The first explanation that comes to mind is that Mrs.
Barkley had, after all, consulted her husband's logs and sea
journals; but these documents are in existence, and their contents indicate that they were not the chief source of her information. She herself gives a clue a few pages later on, when she
remarks: " I have been led into this digreshion by the perusal
of some old papers, I had to refer too for dates, when I unexpectedly found the Substance of these remarks, made at the
time."12 In other words, while preparing her reminiscences,
Mrs. Barkley found her diaries, written more than forty years
earlier, the very existence of which she had forgotten. There
were apparently two of them, the first being devoted to the
voyage of the Imperial Eagle, and the other to the later venture
in the Halcyon, for in referring to the Halcyon, Walbran wrote:
" Mrs. Barkley again accompanied her husband, and kept another
interesting journal."13 Unfortunately she did not rewrite the
very incomplete account of the first voyage which she had given
in her reminiscences before the diaries came to light; but one
later passage, in which she refers in some detail to her earlier
visit to the Northwest Coast, shows that she had the journal of
(12) Italics added.
(13) Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, p. 34. 38 W. Kaye Lamb. January
that expedition beside her. By contrast, the account of the voyage in the Halcyon runs along smoothly and at length, and there
can be no reasonable doubt that it was written with a day-to-day
journal at hand. Sometimes she quoted directly from it; at
others she paraphrased entries, added an occasional detail, deleted passages, or changed the order in which she dealt with
This solution of the 30-year-old mystery is consistent with
all the facts and documents in the matter. It brings rhyme and
reason to Captain Walbran's explanations and quotations. It
explains satisfactorily both the parallel entries and the textual
discrepancies which exist between Mrs. Barkley's reminiscences
and the fragments of her diaries which have survived. And,
having accomplished this, and thereby evaluated the surviving
Barkley papers, it makes it possible to describe the events of the
historic voyage of the Imperial Eagle with some certainty.
Charles William Barkley was the son of Charles Barkley, who
first entered the service of the East India Company, and later
" took to a seafaring life, commanding his own ships."14 He was
drowned while Charles, jr., was still a lad. When he grew up,
Charles William likewise entered the service of the East India
Company, and rose rapidly in its ranks. In 1786, when he was
in his 26th year, he left the Company to take command of the
ship Loudoun, which was being outfitted in the Thames for a
trading voyage to the Northwest Coast. Walbran states that she
was a former East Indiaman, and " a fine vessel of 400 tons, ship-
rigged and mounting 20 guns."15 At the time of her arrival she
was the largest and finest vessel which had yet visited the North
Pacific Coast. Mrs. Barkley states in her diary that she was
owned by " supercargoes in China in the service of the East India
Company, and several of the owners were directors at home."16
The voyage was in reality a poaching expedition, financed surreptitiously by sundry employees of the East India Company, and
intended to trade within waters in which that company and the
(14) Ibid., p. 35.
(15) Ibid.,p. 33.
(16) They appear to have called themselves the Austrian East India
Company, though Walbran doubts this. See Walbran to F. W. Howay,. May
5,1910. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 39
South Sea Company shared monopoly rights. The venture was
expected to extend to three voyages, lasting in all perhaps ten
years, and Captain Barkley subscribed £3,000 of his own capital
to the enterprise.
On September 6,1786, the Loudoun dropped down the Thames,
and on the 11th she arrived at Ostend. Here she remained for
another ten weeks, fitting out and taking on ballast and supplies.
Presumably it was during this stay in port that her name was
changed to Imperial Eagle, and she hoisted Austrian colours, in
an effort to evade the aforementioned monopoly rights, which
were binding on all British vessels. It is clear that not even
Captain Barkley took the change very seriously, for he kept the
vessel's records in the name of the ship Loudoun, and Mrs. Barkley likewise refers to her as the Louden in her diaries and reminiscences. The use of the Austrian flag was a common subterfuge of the time. A year or two later it roused the ire of
Samuel Shaw, United States Consul at Canton, who had this to
say of another vessel which had hoisted the same flag: " This
ship is owned and navigated principally by English subjects, and
there are other instances of a similar nature. For sovereigns,
not engaged in commerce themselves, thus, in time of peace, to
prostitute their flag to adventurers of other nations, neither adds
lustre to their crown nor affords any proof of their benevolence.
Renegado Englishmen, whether as Imperial merchants or Prussian consuls, can never be respected by the thinking part of
While at Ostend Captain Barkley met, wooed, and married
Frances Hornby Trevor, daughter of the Rev. John Trevor, D.D.,
minister of the Ostend Protestant Chapel. The ceremony was
performed by Dr. Trevor on October 27, 1786, at which time the
bride was in her 17th year. A month later, on November 24, the
Imperial Eagle sailed for the Northwest Coast of America.
The vessel encountered violent storms in the Bay of Biscay,
and put into the Cape Verde Islands to replenish her store of
live stock, much of which had been swept overboard.    Some
(17) Josiah Quincy, The Journals of Major Samuel Shaw, Boston, 1847,
p. 321n. The foot-note may have been added by Quincy, as editor, and not
by Shaw himself. I am indebted to Mr. Allyn B. Forbes, Director of the
Massachusetts Historical Society, for this quotation. 40 W. Kaye Lamb. January
weeks later Captain Barkley fell critically ill with rheumatic
fever. Mrs. Barkley despaired of his life, but he recovered and
was able to resume command of his ship. It was deemed prudent, however, to make a call at Bahia for his benefit, and the
Imperial Eagle approached the harbour on January 27, 1787.
Barkley was a strict disciplinarian, and ran his ship on naval
lines, with the result that his well-drilled crew and 20 guns
aroused the suspicions of the port authorities. The ship's log
for January 28 reads: " Came on Board the Officers who after
examining into the Cause of our coming into Port placed a Guard
over us and gave us Leave to send our empty water Casks on
Shore."18 When suspicion vanished, Mrs. Barkley was lavishly
entertained on shore, and in return Captain Barkley gave a regal
banquet for the Governor on board his ship.
On February 7 the Imperial Eagle once more put to sea.
Captain Barkley's sea journal for the next few months is little
more than a bare record of wind and weather, and nothing of
interest is known to have occurred until the vessel had rounded
Cape Horn and arrived at the Sandwich Islands, in May. The
entry for May 19 reads: "AM came off a great number of
Canoes & traded for Hoggs at the rate of a large nail Pr. head."
The next day the natives returned " with great quantities of
Fruit & Vegetables . . ." Trading continued for several
days. Some of the crew went on shore and several of the natives
were permitted to visit the vessel. On the 24th Captain Barkley
noted that " one of the Natives Remained on board signifying an
Inclination to go in the Ship." This may refer to Winee, a young
native girl, whose amiable manners so pleased Mrs. Barkley that
she took her with her, with the consent of Winee's friends.19
A week had been spent at the island when, on May 25, the
Imperial Eagle made sail for the Northwest Coast. The last
entry in the log is dated June 11, 1787, when Captain Barkley
(18) This and the subsequent quotations from the log, or sea journal,
are taken from the original manuscript in the Archives of British Columbia.
(19) Winee travelled with the Barkleys as far as China. Her health
was then failing, and John Meares, who was about to set out on his second
voyage to the Northwest Coast, undertook to take her back to the Sandwich
Islands. Unhappily she did not live to reach her home, and died at sea on
February 5, 1788. See Meares, Voyages, p. 28. Winee is reputed to have
been the first Hawaiian to visit the Northwest Coast. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 41
calculated his position as being 49° 15' north latitude and 126°
west longitude. This would have placed him hard ashore near
Ahoussat, in Clayoquot Sound, and he must have been considerably farther west and north than he thought, as he evidently
arrived at Nootka Sound within the next two or three days.
There were no other vessels in the Sound, and Barkley was
able to carry on a highly profitable trade in sea-otter skins with
the Indians. In this trade he received assistance from an unexpected quarter. Basing his account on Mrs. Barkley's diary,
Walbran writes:—
Shortly after the ship moored in Friendly Cove, a canoe was paddled
alongside, and a man, in every respect like an Indian, and a very dirty one
at that, clothed in a greasy sea-otter skin, came on board, and to the utter
astonishment of Capt. and Mrs Barkley, introduced himself as Dr. John
Mackey, late surgeon of the trading brig Captain Cook. This visitor informed them that he had been living at Nootka amongst the Indians for the
previous twelve months, during which time he had completely conformed
himself to their habits and customs, which Mrs Barkley in her diary emphatically states were disgusting. Dr. Mackey had learned the language and also
had made himself acquainted, more or less, with the surrounding country,
thus making his services of great value to Capt. Barkley, who, before the
ship left the Sound, engaged Dr. Mackey as trader, a duty which he seems
to have carried out to Capt. Barkley's entire satisfaction, that gentleman
frequently boasting to Mr. Etches, the supercargo of the Prince of Wales
and Princess Royal, who arrived later, what an excellent cargo they had
secured on the Imperial Eagle through Mackey's influence with the Indians.20
John McKay had been left at Nootka in July, 1786, by James
Strange, supercargo of the Captain Cook and Experiment, two
British ships which had come to the Northwest Coast from Bombay, the intention being that he should ingratiate himself with
the natives' and so persuade them to reserve their furs against
Strange's return.21 But Strange and his associates failed to
outfit a second expedition as intended, and McKay was doubtless
glad of the opportunity to join the crew of the Imperial Eagle.
(20) Walbran, " The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle," Victoria Colonist,
March 3, 1901. For Etches' account of McKay, as recorded by Dixon, see
Dixon, Voyage Round the World, p. 233.
(21) On Strange and McKay see James Strange, Journal and Narrative,
Madras, 1928, p. 22; John Hosie, "James Charles Stuart Strange and hi*
Expedition . . . 1786," Fourth Report and Proceedings, B.C. Historical
Association, Victoria, 1929, pp. 48-49; F. W. Howay, " The Voyage of the
Captain Cook and the Experiment, 1785-86," British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, V. (1941), pp. 286, 292. 42 W. Kaye Lamb. January
Early in July the British trading vessels Prince of Wales,
Captain James Colnett, and Princess Royal, Captain Duncan,
arrived off Nootka Sound. Colnett's long-lost journal of this
voyage came to light recently in the Public Record Office, London.22 His Honour Judge Howay possesses a complete transcript, and he has most kindly permitted me to quote from it the
half dozen paragraphs which relate to the Barkleys. It should
be explained that the Prince of Wales and Princess Royal were
properly furnished with licences entitling them to trade on the
Northwest Coast; and it will be noted that Barkley's vessel is
referred to throughout as the Lowden, not the Imperial Eagle.
[July 6,1787.]
Two Chiefs paid me a visit ... we learnt from them of a Ship in
Port much larger than ourselves ... At the Mouth of the sound a Boat
came on board belonging to a Ship named the Lowden Captain Barkley, they
had been here twenty three days & lay at Anchor under the North point of
the entrance; they informed us of a Man living here nam'd McKay left by
a Mr. Strange who commanded a Vessel here the preceeding season & went
to Sandwich Isles to winter.23
My not meeting the people here I expected nor factory, another Vessel
such a length of time before me & unable in our present situation to search
for another port was a cutting stroke to the Voyage but there was no remedy;
nothing could be done till the recovery of the People, & [the] Sloop
masted. . . .
[July 16,1787.]
The few skins & pieces we had collected from the Natives for the length
of time we had been here, and the Natives informing me, Capt. Barkley of
the Lowden had purchas'd them all gave me little hopes of being able to make
any returns to my Owners; the Ship's crew being mostly able to do something we began to wood, water, & fit out with every expedition to proceed to
the Northward, in hopes of better success.
The commander of the Lowden sent his boat twice with some deer, & he
being in want of a little paint oil & some black varnish I spared it, & got some
dead Eyes from them which we were Short of, the Ship's crew visited and
were on a very friendly footing. Captain Barkley came on board me the
thirteenth, I did not mention to him then the Illegality of his trading in the
Southsea Company's limits thinking it would have been a breach of Friendship nor did I at that time think our situation so bad as it afterwards prov'd
(22) The journal was discovered by Mr. Donald Angus, who also
unearthed the journal of Colnett's voyage of 1789-91 in the Argonaut.
For a biographical note on Colnett and the text of the latter journal see
F. W. Howay, The Journal of Captain James Colnett . . . 1789 . . .
1791, Toronto, The Champlain Society, 1940.
(23) As it proved, neither of Strange's vessels called at the islands. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 43
for having no Copper which was the only exchange the Natives took for their
Skins he engrossed the whole trade & ruined ours, he was not Ignorant he
had no right here as he fitted out in the [Thames] River at the time we did
& went to Ostend for a Clearance.
On the Eighteenth I sent a letter to Captain Berkley, by my chief mate,
requesting he would shew him his Authority for trading in the Southsea
Company's limits; my right for so doing carried with him, it was refus'd
but several letters & Messages pass'd, but it being in a language my chief
mate could not understand we remain'd as much uninform'd as ever, but
himself & Crew being mostly Englishmen which is contrary to act of Parliament it remains to be settled on our return to England. The man named
Mackey that had been living on shore some months came one day on board
with one of the Lowden's Mates but by some mistake I did not see him.
I had now some thoughts of staying in the coast another season, & if so,
some few of the articles Captain Berkley had oifer'd me would be very
acceptable to the Ship's Company & he repeating his services everytime the
Boat went, I got him to spare me some little matters with a hhd. [hogshead]
& Quarter Cask of wine, & twenty Gallons of Brandy to be divided between
us & the Sloop [the Princess Royal] sending the Supercargo' Bill on his
Brother, the Owner, for payment he very politely return'd me ye Bill desiring I would leave it till we met at China taking the mates receipt for the
things. Captain Berkley's behaviour was as humane & Generous as I ever
met with, and I am sorry his Busyness so clash'd with mine that I was
oblig'd to behave in the distant manner I did.
On the 24th. [July] the Lowden sail'd.
Colnett's journal is the only contemporary account of the visit
of the Imperial Eagle to Nootka Sound, except the surviving
paragraph or two from Mrs. Barkley's diary. Fortunately the
diary, every known quotation from which will be found in the
appendix, takes up the story at the point at which Colnett breaks
off. Sailing to the south and east, Captain Barkley traded and
explored first in Clayoquot Sound and then in Barkley Sound.
Leaving the latter late in July, the Imperial Eagle continued to
follow the coast of Vancouver Island until Cape Flattery and a
new coast-line suddenly hove in sight, far to the south. Mrs.
Barkley describes the historic moment as follows:—
In the afternoon, to our great astonishment, we arrived ofl: a large opening
extending to the eastward, the entrance of which appeared to be about four
leagues wide, and remained about that width as far as the eye could see,
with a clear westerly horizon, which my husband immediately recognized as
the long lost strait of Juan de Fuca, and to which he gave the name of the
original discoverer, my husband placing it on his chart.24
(24)  Quoted from a transcript sent to Judge Howay by Captain Walbran, May 5, 1910. 44 W. Kaye Lamb. January
Basing his narrative on the diary, Walbran continues his
account of the cruise as follows:—
The Imperial Eagle did not go up the Strait, but kept along the ocean
coast, which was now found to be compact and unbroken by bays or inlets.
In latitude 47.43 a small island, a short distance from the mainland was
met with, and between this island and the main shore the vessel anchored,
the coast appearing to be inhabited. The long boat was hoisted out and
sent in with another and smaller boat in tow to go up a small river which
could be seen from the ship, in order to trade with the natives. The small
boat was taken with the long boat in order to go up the stream should the
water be too shoal for the larger boat. The long boat was in charge of
Mr. Miller, the second mate,2^ accompanied by Mr. Beale, the purser, and ten
men. The river was found too shallow, as expected, for the long boat, and
the smaller boat with Mr. Miller, Mr. Beale, and four seamen, rowed away
up the stream, taking with them a sheet of copper for purposes of trade.
These unfortunate persons were never seen again, though every exertion
was made by the long boat's crew to find them before returning to the ship.
The next day a strongly armed party was sent in search of the unfortunate people. A landing was effected and a careful search made, when to
the horror of the searchers, some portions of their clothes and linen, mangled
and bloody, were found, but no part of their bodies or boat, so the dreadful
conviction was forced upon the Imperial Eagle's company, that all had been
murdered and their bodies eaten or burnt. This sad catastrophe much
depressed everybody, and after naming the island Destruction island, (a
name it still bears), and the river Destruction river, Capt. Barkley determined to proceed to China with his good collection of furs amounting to
eight hundred, the vessel arriving at Macao in December, 1787.26
Although the market in China was overstocked with furs,
Captain Barkley finally succeeded in disposing of his 800 sea-
otter skins for the sum of $30,000.27 He then secured a cargo
for Mauritius, for which he sailed in February, 1788. At Macao
the Imperial Eagle may have been formally registered under that
(25) The officers of the Imperial Eagle were: Chief Officer, Henry
Folger;   Second Officer, William Miller;  Purser, John Beale.
(26) Walbran, " The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle," Victoria Colonist,
March 3, 1901. Meares relates that in June, 1788, a dried human hand,
which members of his crew believed to be Miller's, was offered for sale at
Nootka Sound, and he had great difficulty in preventing his men from wreaking vengeance upon the natives on the spot. See Meares, Voyages, p. 124.
A further reference to the massacre will be found in the log of the Ruby,
Captain Bishop, under date December 8, 1795. See MS. and transcript in
Archives of British Columbia.
(27) The Baltimore Maryland Gazette, August 20, 1790, states that the
Imperial Eagle left Nootka " with a cargo of near 700 prime sea-otter skins,
and above 100 of an inferior quality: They were not sold when the Queen
Charlotte left China, but the price put on them was 30,000 dollars." 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 45
name, for on February 14 she was sighted at sea by the King
George, commanded by Captain Nathaniel Portlock, who describes
the meeting thus:—
On the 14th instant spoke with the ship which we had been within sight of
all day, which proved to be a vessel formerly called the Lowden, British built,
and about fifteen months ago fitted out in the river Thames, from whence she
sailed under Imperial colours to King George's [i.e., Nootka] Sound on the
North West coast of America, and from thence to Macao in China. She is
now called the Imperial Eagle, commanded by captain Berkley, and manned
by British subjects. She at this time sailed under Portuguese colours, and
was bound for the Mauritius.28
From Mauritius Captain Barkley proceeded to Calcutta, where
he expected to outfit his vessel for the second of her three projected voyages to the Northwest Coast. Instead he found that
the character of the venture had become known to the East India
Company, and that his associates were anxious to get clear of
the ship and the whole enterprise as quickly as possible. Barkley's contract was therefore ignored and the Imperial Eagle sold
forthwith. As Mrs. Barkley describes the transaction indignantly and at length in her diary, there is no need to enter into
details here, other than to state that Captain Barkley took the
matter to Court and was awarded the sum of £5,000.
Thus terminated the voyage of the Imperial Eagle. A few
words may be added regarding the later history of Captain and
Mrs. Barkley. Nothing is known of the Captain's activities
between 1788 and May 8,1791, when the first entry in the surviving log of the Princess Frederica shows that he was in command
of that vessel off the Cape of Good Hope, eastward bound.
In June the ship called at Mauritius for water and supplies, and
then proceeded to Madras. She finally docked at Calcutta late
in August.29 Mrs. Barkley explains in her reminiscences that
Captain Barkley intended to settle in Calcutta and enter the
Indian coastal trade; but unfortunately his brother, Captain
John Barkley, arrived just in time to convince him that the
coastal trade, however lucrative, was beneath his station. Much
against Mrs. Barkley's advice, Captain Barkley abandoned his
(28) Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage Round the World, London, 1789,
p. 368.
(29) See John Forsyth, Catalogue of Canadiana and Americana, New
Series No. 1, Victoria, B.C., December, 1940, pp. 31-32, for a description
of the log. 46 W. Kaye Lamb. January
plans and invested his capital in another expedition to the Northwest Coast. For the purpose he purchased the 80-ton brig
Halcyon and the still smaller cutter Venus, " two paltry vessels
bought at a great cost," as Mrs. Barkley describes them, that
made her long for the broad decks and comfortable quarters of
the Imperial Eagle. She was determined to accompany her husband, and in spite of his efforts to dissuade her she sailed with
him in the Halcyon, along with their two children, one of whom
died at sea a few weeks later.
Mrs. Barkley's reminiscences and the logs of the Halcyon
describe the voyage in detail. After parting company with the
Venus, which was to sail directly to Vancouver Island, the Halcyon
proceeded northward to Kamchatka. Her visit to Petropavlovsk
is graphically described in the reminiscences. Sailing thence
across the Pacific, the Halcyon sighted land on August 16, 1792.
By a fortunate chance the concluding part of Mrs. Barkley's
diary, which describes the Halcyon's activities on the coast, was
copied in extenso by Captain Walbran and is therefore still
The Halcyon spent most of her time in Norfolk (now Sitka)
Sound, Alaska. It was intended to come farther south, but the
vessel was blown off the coast by a gale and proceeded first to
the Sandwich Islands and then to China, where she arrived on
Christmas Eve, 1792. The following February, like the Imperial
Eagle before her, the Halcyon sailed for Mauritius, and Captain
Barkley's log concludes with her arrival there on June 6, 1793.
Once again it is Walbran who supplies the remainder of the
At Mauritius the French having re-occupied the island, the Halcyon with
her cargo, was confiscated, and Capt. Barkley and his crew made prisoners.
Through the kindness of an influential French merchant named Hippolyte,
who received as his guests Capt. Barkley and Mrs. Barkley at his country
home on the island, the brig, was restored to him. A cargo was found for
her and she sailed for the United States under the charge of an American
captain, who had been engaged by Capt. Barkley. This man ran away with
her, but strange to say, some few years afterwards, when Capt. and Mrs.
Barkley were in England, the former received information that his brig
Halcyon was in Boston. He proceeded to that port, and through the influence
of the British consul and others who became interested in his case, the brig
Halcyon once more became the property of Capt. Barkley.30
(30) Walbran, " The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle," Victoria Colonist,
March 3, 1901. 1942 Mrs. Barkley's Diary. 47
Nothing seems to be known of Barkley's career during the
next thirty years. Judging from the fact that Mrs. Barkley
dated all her misfortunes from the time that Captain John Barkley dissuaded her husband from entering the Indian coastal trade,
it was not an overly prosperous one. His death is recorded in a
note added to Mrs. Barkley's diary: " On 16 May, 1832, I lost
my beloved husband—in his 73rd year—worn out more by care
and sorrow than by years, as he had been blessed with a very
strong constitution."31 Mrs. Barkley commenced writing her
reminiscences four years later, in May, 1836, and according to
her son she died in the summer of 1845,32 at which time she would
be in her 76th year.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C.
(31) Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, p. 35.
(32) Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXIX. (1938), p. 309. Walbran,
who did not have access to the letters of the Rev. J. C. Barkley here cited,
states that Mrs. Barkley died in 1843. (British Columbia Coast Names,
[On the west coast of Vancouver Island, July, 1787.]
A day or two after sailing from King George's sound2 we visited
a large sound in latitude 49.20 North, which Captain Barkley named
Wickaninnish's sound,3 the name given it being that of a chief who
seemed to be quite as powerful a potentate as Maquilla at King George's
sound. Wickaninnish has great authority and this part of the coast
proved a rich harvest of furs for us. Likewise close to the southward
of this sound, we came to another very large sound, to which Captain
Barkley gave his own name, calling it Barkley sound. Several coves
and bays and also islands in this sound we named. There was Frances
Island, after myself; Hornby peak, also after myself; Cape Beale after
our purser; Williams point and a variety of other names, all of which
were familiar to us.4 We anchored in a snug harbour in the sound of
which my husband made a plan as far as his knowledge of it would
permit.5 The anchorage was near a large village, and therefore we
named the island Village island.6 From here my husband sent the
boats out to trade under the charge of Mr. Miller, second mate, and
Mr. Mackey7 and they were again very successful.
[The discovery of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, July, 1787.]
In the afternoon, to our great astonishment, we arrived off a large
opening extending to the eastward, the entrance of which appeared to
be about four leagues wide, and remained about that width as far as
the eye could see, with a clear westerly horizon, which my husband
(1) Of the four extracts quoted, three are taken from a transcript of
Captain Walbran's paper on " The Cruise of the Imperial Eagle," made by
His Honour Judge Howay. Some variation in punctuation and occasionally
in text exists between this transcript and the paper as printed in the Victoria Colonist, March 3, 1901. The passage describing the discovery of the
Strait of Juan de Fuca is from a transcript forwarded to Judge Howay by
Captain Walbran in May, 1910.
(2) Nootka Sound.
(3) Now Clayoquot Sound.
(4) Of these names only Barkley Sound and Cape Beale appear on
modern charts.
(5) The " Plan of Port Effingham " published by Meares was copied
from, or at least based on, this plan.
(6) Now Effingham Island.
(7) Dr. John McKay.    See supra.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VoL VI., No. 1.
49 50 Barkley Documents. January
immediately recognized as the long lost strait of Juan de Fuca, and to
which he gave the name of the original discoverer, my husband placing
it on his chart.
[Captain Barkley's difficulties with his agents at Calcutta, 1788.]
The facts are these: My husband was appointed to the command
of the Loudin, since named the Imperial Eagle, and engaged to perform
in her three voyages from the East Indies to Japan, Kamskatcha, and
the unknown coast of North America, for which he was to have the
sum of £3,000. His owners were supercargoes in China in the service
of the East India Company, and several of the owners were directors at
home. On my husband's arrival in China, the owners there found they
were not warranted in trading to China and the North West coast,
even under the Austrian flag, the change being well known and for
what purpose, so they found themselves through fear of losing their
own situations obliged to sell the ship to avoid worse consequences.
They then wanted to get off their bargain with my husband, who,
having made provision according to the original contract made in
London would have been actually a loser to the sum of thousands of
pounds, after making upwards of £10,000 for the owners, since he had
been in command, besides the loss of time and great expense incurred
by our Journey to England from Bengal.
Capt. Barkley, therefore, brought an action for damages, but before
the case came into Court at Calcutta, the affair was compromised by an
Arbitration of Merchants, and my husband was awarded £5,000. The
whole transaction was the most arbitrary assumption of power ever
known, for the owners and agents, not only dismissed Capt. Barkley
from the ship, but appropriated all the fittings and stores laid in by
my husband for the term agreed upon, which would have taken at
least ten years, for on the second and third voyages he was to winter
on the Northwest coast, and with the furs collected trade to the unfrequented parts of China, wherever he thought furs would sell for the
highest figure. Of course my husband had supplied himself with the
best and most expensive nautical instruments and charts, also stores
of every kind for such an adventurous voyage. A great portion of the
latter were obliged to be expended for owner's use, who had not laid
in sufficient stores for such a voyage, and then these people actually
pretended Capt. Barkley was bound to furnish them, and in their first
claim actually brought him apparently in debt to the concern. However when the contract between Capt. Barkley and the owners was
investigated Justice, though to a small extent, prevailed, and he was
awarded the sum of £5,000 as I have previously stated. My husband
left the vessel with the remaining stores on board, and these articles
fraudently obtained from him were transferred to Capt. Meares, who
was in the same employ, though not acknowledged to be so. In the
same manner as he got the stores, Capt. Meares got possession of my
husband's Journal and plans from the persons in China to whom he 1942 Barkley Documents. 51
was bound under a penalty of £5,000 to give them up for a certain time
for, as these persons stated, mercantile objects, they not wishing the
knowledge of the Coast to be published.
Capt. Meares, however, with the greatest effrontery, published and
claimed the merit of my husband's discoveries therein contained,
besides inventing lies of the most revolting nature tending to vilify
the person he thus pilfered. No cause could be assigned, either by
Capt. Barkley or myself for this animosity, except the wish of currying
favor with the late agents and owners of the Loudin, named the
Imperial Eagle, these persons having quarrelled with Captain Barkley
in consequence of his claiming on his discharge a just demand.
[On the coast of Alaska in the brig Halcyon, August, 1792.]8
On the 16th of August 1792 we made the coast of America again
in two places at once, the northern and southern extreme of Behring's
Bay, with Mount St. Elias and Mount Fairweather both in view. They
are very high mountains and their heads are covered with snow. The
weather at this time was tolerably warm, but misty and like the
weather we met with on the coast of Asia, very changeable and at
times chilly. The coast was entirely unknown. We did not reach
a port of safety until the 18th, owing to unfavourable winds, and then
further to the north than Captain Barkley originally intended. The
land formed a deep bay, called Admiralty bay, a bay of large extent
with many harbors in it.9 The one in which we cast anchor was called
Lord Mulgrave's harbor. The country looked green and pleasant to the
eye, the anchorage safe and snug. Several canoes came alongside and
some had women on board. They appeared most disgusting objects
covered with dirty sea-otter skins, with the fur to the skin, the leather
tanned red and filthy beyond description. It was here we first saw
women with those pieces of shaped wooden lip ornaments, which are
described in Captain Cook's voyages—if such a frightful appendage can
be called ornamental, a thing that distorts the mouth and gives the
whole features a new and most unpleasant character. The piece of
wood is inserted into a slit made in the under lip when the females
are about 14 years old, and it is replaced from year to year, larger and
larger, until in middle age it is as large as the bowl of a table spoon
and nearly the same shape, being concave on the inside of the lip,
which it presses out from the gum, thereby showing the whole of the
teeth and gums,—a frightful sight at best, but still worse when the
teeth are black and dirty, which was invariably the case, also generally
uneven and decayed. This odious mouthpiece so completely disfigured
them, that it was impossible to tell what they would have been without
(8) This entire passage is paraphrased very closely in Mrs. Barkley's
(9) Now Yakutat Bay. 52 Barkley Documents. January
it, for even their complexions could not be ascertained, their skins
being besmeared with soot and red ochre. Their hair is dark and shiny
and appeared to be kept in good order, parted in the middle and kept
smooth on each side behind the ears and tied behind the top in a knot.
The men, on the contrary, have their hair matted and daubed with oil
and ochre. The dresses of both sexes are made with the skins of
animals, sometimes with the fur on and sometimes without. The
women seldom wear any valuable furs, the men sometimes wear sea-
otter skin of which they well know the value, and will strip themselves
whenever they can make a good bargain. The women have sometimes
a kind of rug thrown over their shoulders, a manufacture of their own.
They wear it over their skin dresses, the men in like manner wear
two or more sea-otter skins, which they throw over themselves. The
people we saw did not seem settled. They had come on a fishing
expedition, we conjectured, and they hastily built up huts, with boards,
with which each canoe was furnished, upon the small island, and when
they had sold the few furs they had with them, and had got all they
could out of the ship, the most of them went off, leaving a few fishermen
who were very diligent in catching fish, which we bought, and the
women frequently supplied us with very nice berries of different kinds,
such as wild strawberries of excellent flavor, and, considering the difficulty of picking them in such a wild country, plentiful. The men
brought an indifferent kind of salmon with a long snout, it might have
been out of season, the flesh looked very pale; they likewise, brought a
few river trout. These were large, but the flesh quite white, not the
pale pink color of our English trout. The only weapon that we saw
them with was spears, with large sharp iron barbs. These iron barbs
were at least 18 inches long, and they seemed to possess a great number
of them.    The men had also daggers, suspended from their necks.
I was allowed to land here often, and Capt. Barkley and myself
explored the island, which sheltered and made the harbour we lay in,
and was astonished to see on this island the traces of cultivation. The
ground was covered with coarse grass and oats amongst it. Peas, one
crop apparently just out of bearing and another in bloom, and plenty of
strawberry plants not of the wild sort, but evidently planted ones.
These plants were also stripped of their fruit, no doubt by our Indian
friends who had brought them on board for sale.
The ship having now been put in order and the water butts filled,
we prepared for our departure on the 25th August, when we were
surprised by the appearance of a brig which hove in sight in the offing.
We were much pleased by the idea of seeing some of our countrymen
when we saw a boat approaching and entering the sound. Capt. Barkley rowed off in order to conduct them into port or render them any
assistance they might require, and was astonished and disappointed at
finding there was no officer in the boat, only four sailors, who said they
were dispatched on seeing a sail in the sound to get relief, they being
very short of provisions.    They said that their vessel was an American 1942 Barkley Documents. 53
brig, commanded by Capt. Hancock, last from China,10 that they were
going to try their fortune on the coast, and were on their way to Prince
William Sound. The brig was to remain at the entrance to the bay
until they returned to report their success.
The four men were taken on board and given refreshment, being
very much exhausted, and when they had rested, they got into their
boat again in order to join their own vessel, but no vessel was to be
seen, so after pretending to have been rowing all night, they returned
in the morning, saying the brig must have been blown off the coast,
but as it was a very fine night, Capt. Barkley began to suspect that all
was not right, but, as the men appeared able-bodied seamen, he took
them on board the Halcyon and promised them a passage to China.
They were extremely thankful for this offer, not, as they said, much
relishing being left to winter on this coast with savages. They had
no stores or clothes with them in the boat, except what they had on,
and it had altogether a very odd appearance.
We remained three days to give the vessel an opportunity of returning, but as they did not, we left Mulgrave harbor with this addition to
our crew. That these men had been turned adrift, and deserted there
could be no doubt, but for what reason we could not find out. We had
scarcely got an offing when on the 29th a violent gale arose, so that
we were obliged to stand out to sea, and when we had weathered the
gale, Capt. Barkley looked for a harbor, but was unsuccessful, the wind
continuing to blow off the shore. He was obliged to give up his intention of visiting Portlock's harbor, the weather being so unfavorable.
But when the weather became more mild my husband made for Norfolk
sound,11 where the Halcyon anchored in a cove at the bottom of the bay,
the surrounding country looking very green and pleasant. The day
after our arrival we had a number of visitors who were in large well-
appointed canoes. They soon fixed their habitations on the beach
opposite the vessel, and displayed several fine sea-otter skins for sale,
but they set such a high value on them that it was very difficult to do
any trade, their being no end to their demands. Powder and shot was
always the first thing they wanted, two or three musskets being in
every canoe, then blankets, cooking utensils, and tools or other iron
weapons. Indeed they seemed the most dangerous and most mischievous set we had ever seen, being very expert with their iron weapons,
and so dilatory in their traffic that although there seemed no difficulty
in getting a fresh supply of furs, they kept haggling about the price
for what they had at such length that much time was lost, yet Capt.
Barkley purchased a good lot of furs.
The inhabitants increased daily, and they got so bold and troublesome at last that it became difficult to avoid disputes, they stealing
(10) Possibly the hrigantine Hancock, Captain Samuel Crowell, is meant,
as there is no record of an American vessel commanded by a Captain Hancock having been on the coast in 1792.
(11) Now Sitka Sound. 54 Barkley Documents. January
every article that they could lay their hands upon, stripping them when
they went on shore, and upon the slightest offence presenting their
fire arms at us, the use of which they perfectly knew, but we conjectured had never felt the effect of, and certainly not of our great guns.
Capt. Barkley, on one or two occasions, had our great guns fired off to
astonish them, but they only seemed to think him in play. Thank God,
we left them in ignorance of their deadly effect, but as they saw the
trees shivered and broken by the cannon shot, they must have been
aware of what mischief they could do. Once in particular, Capt. Barkley saw several war canoes with his night glass stealing along under
the shadow of the land on a fine moonlight night, and as we were very
indifferently manned, he was suspicious of their intentions. We therefore had the whole broad-side fired off over their heads, which made
a tremendous noise among the trees. Every canoe scuttled off, but
we kept perfect silence on board that they might not think we were
alarmed. Early next morning they came alongside again, dressed in
their war dresses and singing their war songs and keeping time with
their paddles. When they had paddled three times around the vessel
they set up a great shout, they pulled off their masks, resumed their
usual habits, and exhibited their sea-otter skins for trade, giving us to
understand that they had been on a war expedition and had taken these
skins from their enemies. They never alluded to the firing but went
on trading as if nothing had passed.
They are a very savage race, and their women are still more frightful than the women of Admiralty bay, the disgusting mouthpiece being
still larger than theirs, in fact, the mouthpieces of the old women were
so large that the lip could not support them, so that they were obliged
to hold it up with their hands and to close their mouths with great
effort. When shut, the under lip entirely hid the upper one and reached
up to the nose. This gave them a most extraordinary appearance, but
when they opened it to eat, no description can be given of what it is
like, for they are obliged to support the lip whilst they opened their
mouths, and then they throw the food into their mouths, throwing
back their heads with a jerk to prevent the food lodging in the artificial
lip or saucer, which is concave, and when let down receives whatever
escapes the right channel. How any rational creature could invent
such an inconvenient machine I am at a loss even to guess, as there
is no stage of it that has the most distant appearance of ornament even
in the young women. It looks like a second mouth as long as the lip
will bear its weight. The women supplied us here regularly with a
vast quantity of fresh plucked berries and wild flowers. There was
one sort of berry different to any one I have ever seen. It was of a
pale transparent red, the size of a currant, but grows separately, like
the black currant on the slender twigs of a very elegant bush as tall as
a barberry and much such a plant. They brought boughs with the
fruit hanging to them. The fruit was rather tart but of a delicious
flavor.    I made preserve of it which proved very grateful to us all when 1942 Barkley Documents. 55
we were at sea, and we regaled ourselves with all in our reach whilst it
was fresh. The strawberries were done, but the other berries brought
to us for sale were often covered with the leaves of that plant, so
strawberries must be wild in the woods, although those we met with in
Admiralty bay had been cultivated. The men would not perform any
work. They seemed idle, now and then bringing us a few fish and that
is all we could obtain from them in the way of food. They seemed to
think of nothing but their arms, being very proud of their spears,
which are very formidable weapons, being similar to those used by the
natives of Admiralty bay, and they are very expert in the use of them,
and informed us they liked them better than muskets, because they
were sure to hit with them, whereas the fire arms made a great noise
but did not always do execution. We conversed with them through
the vocabularies annexed to Capt. Cook's narrative, the aptitude Capt.
Barkley showed in learning languages being of an extraordinary nature,
to which was joined great perserverance. The language of the natives
of Nootka sound he soon understood, having on our visit to that part
of the coast on the previous voyage of the Imperial Eagle regularly
studied it. I have no memorandum of the time we remained at Norfolk
sound, but the long boat was despatched from thence to Portlock's
harbor, and was absent sixteen days, and returned with only one skin,
Mr. Nowell, the mate, who commanded her having experienced very
bad weather. He reported that the sound in which Portlock's harbor
is situated of such vast extent that he did not attempt to explore it.
This is a part of the coast my husband was most desirous of visiting,
but as I have before observed, we were blown off it, which appeared
not to be favored with pleasant weather when we consider this was
the month of August.
[Captain Walbran states that the diary concluded at this point.]
May the 2d in the Year 1836
The following Narative of my Voyages and Adventures of my life,
Penned by me in the 66th year of my Age, must be considered in the
light of a Reminiscence of former days, not a correct tradition being
founded upon very vague Data, as I never kept any Journal, it might
however be improved by refferance to Log Books & Sea Journals, If I
had courage to Peruse them, but it is too late in the day for such a
reserch, to begin then
I was born at Bridgewater in Somersetshire, My Father the Revd
Doctor Trevor was Rector of Otterhampton, where I was Christened
in the Year 1772 being then upwards of two years old.    My Mother
(1) Quoted from the original manuscript in the Archives of British
Columbia. 56 Barkley Documents. January
whose Name was Beacher died when I was an Infant and a Twin, by
all account a very weakly child. My Father Married a second Wife,
Miss Harriot Smith of Bridgewater, he having by my Mother living at
that time four Daughters, Harriot James, now Mrs. Cook Jane Rebeca,
Now Mrs. Mullens My Twin sister Elizabeth who died at Hambourgh in
her seventh Year and myself Frances, all the three survivers, being
Widows,—My Father had four sons by his second Wife, John, Frederic,
Charles and Henry, three of whom are now Living Married and have
numerous Families, excepting Fredc. who is a Bachilor, it would be
tedious for me to follow up the various perigrinations of our Childhood.
My Father being an expensive Man, contrived to spend a handsome
Fortune & being of a restless disposition, a few years after his Second
Marriage, quitted Bridgewater, and came up to London, and took a
House in Ormond, Street, the Journey, arrival at Bath, and the second
day in London, is the first thing I recollect, at which time I must have
been about five years old, as all the Boy[s] but John & Fredc. were
Born at Hamburg where My Father took his Family his Family isic]
when the latter was an Infant, indeed I believe he was born at Hamburg as well as the other two, we went from England to Roterdam, and
the story goes, that I was put into a Birth on board the Traeder
[Trawler?] on which we were boarded, and that I slept very comfortably the whole Passage, whilst My Father Mother in Law three
Sisters the Infant & two Maidservants were all dreadfully afflicted
with sea sickness, so that it seems I was destined to make a good sailor,
from Roterdam we proceeded in two Carraiges, called Post Coaches,
which My Father bought for the Journey to Hambro, for particulars
see My Fathers Journal,
I was Married to my late Lamented Husband Charles Wm. Barkley
Esqr. on the 27th of October 1786 he being in his 26th year, and I in
my 17th we were Married in the Protastant Chapel at Ostend in
Flanders, of which My Father was Minister by whom the Maraige
Ceremony was performed in the presance of several Friends several of
whom subscribed their Names in the Register of the Chapel as follow,
[Blank of several lines in the MS.]
Charles William Barkley was brought up in the Honorable East India
Company's sea service, but at the above period, he commanded the
Ship Louden, fitted out, and bound for the North West Coast of America
on a Mercantile Speculation, we accordingly Sailed from the Harbour
of Ostend on or about the bound Round Cape Horn, on the
we touched at the Cape de Verde Islands, where we got plenty
of live stock & provisions, which were very acceptable as we had lost
a vast number of Poultry &c in the Bay of Biscay, where we had 1942 Barkley Documents. 57
experienced a Violent Gale of Wind,—
sadly at a loss for Dates to be filled up at some future period.
[Blank of several lines in the MS.]
We had a long passage from thence, in consequence of bafling Winds on
the Line, and my dear Husband having caught a Violent Cold was
laid up with a Rhumatic Fever, and being in Unskillful hands, there
was little hope of his recovery. My situation was very critical at that
time from the unprincipled intentions of the Chief Mate supported by
the second Mate, who being a Lieutenant in his Magesties service ought
to have had more honor.
to be continued.
Captain Barkley as I shall in the course of these Notes style him,
however got better, and was able to resume his duties as Commander
of his Ship, and directed her course for the Brazells, in order to recrute
his health take in water and refreshments. The Portuguese Authorities, did not like the appearance of the Ship, she having so many Guns
Mounted, with such a numerous Ships company Officers in Uniform,
a Boats Crew dressed alike, & the manner of Managing the Oars, gave
the whole an appearance of a Kings Sloop of War, so that they set a
watch over her, but when they were given to understand that she was
bound to the Pacific Ocian and as they concluded on a Voyage of
Discovery, they were altogether polite & attentive, allowed us a House
on shore at St Salvadore or Bay of All Saints* a Caraige to take us
out Airing we received invitations from Families residing in the
Country thinking it good for the Captains health, but at first he was
too weak to be able to pay visits, so that those invitations which it was
deemed absolutely necessary that I should accept, I was Chaparooned
by Mr M[oore] the second Mate who being a Leutinant in the Kings
service, cut a dash, with his sword at his side & his Naval Uniform,
it was on one of those occations, when my youth and inexperience led to
a very ludicrus adventure,—to be related—
Having very much recovered his health and Spirits which naturally
were of the most Exuberant kind fond of Company & Show, when on
Shore but a great Martinet on board, he determined upon giving the
Governer (or Vice Roy, I believed he was styled) together with his
Lady Donna Maria and his little Daughter, with a numerous
suite—of Officers and attendants a fete on board, they came on board
in a splended Barge The Ship was Dressed as it is Called with the
colours of all Nations, the yards maned a salute fired, and a handsome
collation prepaired, and after they had examined everything on board,
*Boca de todos santos [Note in original manuscript.] 58 Barkley Documents. January
they departed in the same style & ceremonies, we had been entertained
by this Gentleman & Family several times on Shore at the Government
House, and the Young Lady performed on a Musical Instrument, which
I never saw or heard of before or after, it was play'd on by Keys like
a Peanoforte, but instead of the hammers striking strings or wires, it
was fitted with Musical Glasses, and it had a most beautiful Harmonious sound, it was called an Harmonicon, the Ladies spoke French
which was a great relief to me, who did not understand a word of
Portuguese, at that time,
[This concludes Mrs. Barkley's account of the first
voyage, and she next turns her attention to the cruise of
the Halcyon, which she describes in detail. Gales which
blew the Halcyon off the coast prevented Captain Barkley
from visiting a number of points, and in noting this fact
Mrs. Barkley recalls, in the following words, her visit to
Vancouver Island in 1787.]
. . . As I before observed we were blown off the Coast, which
appears not to be favored with pleasant weather when we consider that
this was the Middle of August and the fruit we got ripened at a much
more advanced season on this Coast than the same berries do in England or even in Scotland, on our former Voyage we found the Climate
much Milder, altho we had a dreadful storm the day we first made the
Coast off Nootka Sound, which was the Northernmost, part of the
Coast we visited on that expidition and from thence made excursions
to the Southward a part of the Coast, that Captain Cook was prevented
visiting by temptious Weather, and we were consiquently the first Ship
that ever at that time had visited a large sound in the Latitude
and Named it Wickinanish's Sound, the Name given it by the Chief
who seemed to possess great authority there, this part of the Coast
proved a rich harvest of Furs, likewise another very large
sound to which Captn Barkley gave his own Name calling it Barkleys
Sound, and several coves & Bays he Named, there was Frances's Island
—Williams point, and a variety of other Names there was Hornby
Peak, and a variety of familiar appellations, all of which were left out
of the plan of the Coast by Sir Josiph Banks, who surreptitiously
obtained from Captn Barkley his plans and drawings, and under
various pretences retained them, in the same manner Captain Mears
got possession of his Journal from the persons in China, to whom
Captn Barkley was bound under a penalty of five thousand pound to
give them up, for a certain time, for mercantile objects, the owners, not
wishing the knolidge of the coast to be published, Captn Mears however
with the greatest afrontery published and claimed the merit of the
discoveries therein contained besides inventing lies of the most revolting nature, tending to vilify the person whom he thus pilfered, no cause
can be assigned except the wish of currying favor with the Agents of
the Ship Louden which was the Ship that Captn Barkley commanded,
they the Agents having quarelled with him, in consiquence of his 1942 Barkley Documents. 59
claiming a just demand the fact was that he was appointed to the
Command of the Louden, and ingaged to perform three Voyages, for
which he was to have three thousand pounds, but the Owners being
Supercargoes in China in the Service of the East India Service, as well
as Directors at home, in the Company's Service, they found that they
were not waranted in trading to China and therefore found
themselves obliged to give up, and sell the Ship to avoid worse consi-
quences, they then wanted to get off their contract, with Captn
Barkley who having made provision accordingly would have been
actually a loser by the concern himself, after making upwards of ten
thousand pounds for the owners, besides loss of time and great expenses
incurred in returning to England, he of course brought an action
against them for damages, but the affair was compromised by an
Arbitration of Merchants, and he was awarded five thousand pound,
the whole transaction being the most arbitrary assumption of power
ever known, for they not only dismissed him to answer their own
purposes, but appropriated all the fillings up and stores laid in for the
term agreed for, which would have taken up at least ten years, for he
was to winter on the Coast the second and subsiquent Voyages, which
was to imbrace the whole of the Coast of America Kamschatka and the
[Blank of several lines in the MS.]
Japan and to open a trade with the unfrequented ports of China,
where the Furs were likely to Sell, of course he had supply'd himself
with the most expensive nautical Instruments and stores of every kind,
a great part of which he had been obliged to expend upon the owners,
who had not laid inn sufficient Stores for such a Voyage, and then
pretended that he was bound to furnish them, so that they actually
brought him apparently in debt to the concern, and it became certain
when the affair was investigated that all the articles thus obtained were
transferred to Captn Mears, who was in the same imploy, altho not
acknolidged to be so, altho the same objection did not actually subsist
with respect to his Vissel that there was to the Louden, the one having
been fitted out in England, and the other in Bengal, so that there was
no Law in force to prevent the Company's Servants having a property
in her, she being construed what was called a Country Ship, namely a
trading Ship, from Port to Port in the Indian Seas, whereas the Louden
was actually a Ship which by the Company's Charter was not allowed
to go to China—from Europe. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Elsewhere in this issue will be found a review of the booklet entitled Meet
Mr. Coyote, which was published in Victoria recently by the Society for the
Furtherance of British Columbia Indian Arts and Crafts. Both the existence
of this Society and the energy with which it has pursued its objectives have
been in great measure due to the enthusiasm and perseverance of the
Honorary Secretary, Miss Alice Ravenhill. Having become interested, some
years ago, in the Indians of British Columbia, Miss Ravenhill was distressed
to find that there was no authoritative but inexpensive account of their
history and manner of life available to the ordinary reader. In the end she
was moved to write a short study herself, and the result was the well-known
manual entitled The Native Tribes of British Columbia, published by the
Department of Education in 1938. Soon after this Miss Ravenhill found
her interest centring more and more in the Indian arts and crafts, and in
the possibility of reviving them in an authentic fashion. She was hopeful
that such a step would foster the self-respect of the Indians by arousing
pride in their own heritage, and she hoped, further, that many of the native
designs might be utilized for commercial purposes. With this in mind,
Miss Ravenhill approached the Department of Indian Affairs, Ottawa, and
she was later commissioned to prepare a series of twenty large charts,
together with an explanatory handbook, which would illustrate in colour
authentic examples of the designs of various tribes in several mediums,
including sculpture, painting, basketry, and weaving. The work of executing these charts was shared by Miss Betty Newton, the artist, and readers
will remember that they were listed and described in this Quarterly a year
ago. The charts themselves were displayed in Victoria in February, 1941,
and they aroused much interest and appreciation when they reached Ottawa.
Unfortunately the war has made it necessary to postpone the printing of
the handbook; but photographic reproductions of the charts are available.
These have been purchased by a considerable number of museums, libraries,
and other institutions in Canada.
While these charts were being prepared, a few friends joined Miss
Ravenhill in January, 1940, to form the committee which has since grown
into the Society for the Furtherance of Indian Arts and Crafts. One of its
objects was declared to be " The encouragement in Indian Schools and among
certain Tribal experts [of interest in] the revival of their native gifts of
Art, Crafts and Drama, with a view to improving their economic position,
restoring their self respect and inducing more sympathetic relations between
them and their fellow Canadians." Encouraging progress toward this end
has been made during the past two years. Special interest has been taken
in the work being accomplished on the Inkameep Indian Reserve, near Oliver,
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VoL VI., No. 1.
61 62 Notes and Comments. January
B.C., by Anthony Walsh, the schoolmaster there. His pupils include the
gifted boy artist Sis-hu-lk, an exhibition of whose work was held by the
Society in Victoria. In the autumn of 1940 the Society ventured into print
and published The Tale of the Nativity, as told by the Indian Children of
Inkameep, with illustrations by Sis-hu-lk. The booklet appeared in a first
edition of a thousand copies, and sold so readily that it has since been
reprinted. Meet Mr. Coyote, the Society's latest venture, consists of a series
of Thompson Indian legends, illustrated by five pupils of St. George's Indian
School, Lytton.    It is hoped that other series will follow.
In May, 1941, a group of the Inkameep Indian children visited Victoria,
by invitation of the Provincial Board of Education. There, on Empire Day,
they acted three of their dramatized tribal legends in costume; and the
unsophisticated grace and absence of self-consciousness of the children gave
great pleasure to the audience. At the request of the Hudson's Bay Company, one of the scenes was shown for a week as a window display, at a
later date.
The commercial aspect of the Society's programme has not been neglected.
Last August the Cotton Board of Manchester appealed in The Times for
native designs, originating in the Dominions and the Crown Colonies, and
suitable for use on cotton fabrics. A collection of British Columbia Indian
designs was prepared and forwarded to Manchester early in December.
Hitherto most of the work of the Society has been done in Victoria by
Miss Ravenhill, assisted by a dozen or more friends; but interest is developing rapidly in other centres. An Okanagan Society for the Revival of
Indian Arts and Crafts has been formed. One of its ventures was the
publication of Christmas greeting cards designed by Sis-hu-lk. It is hoped
that a third committee may be formed in Vancouver in the near future.
The annual meeting of the Association was held in the Grosvenor Hotel,
Vancouver, on the evening of Friday, January 16, 1942. This was the first
occasion upon which the annual gathering had been held on the mainland,
and the Vancouver Section was happy to welcome the delegates from the
Victoria and New Westminster Sections, and the members at large who
The Secretary, Miss Helen Boutilier, submitted her report, covering the
activities of the Society for the fourteen months ending December 31. The
record proved to be a most encouraging one, for in spite of the innumerable
demands now made upon the time and attention of the public, paid-up memberships in 1941 numbered 481, as compared with 504 in 1940. The number
of members at large actually increased from 94 to 98; and subscriptions to
the Quarterly, as distinct from memberships, likewise increased slightly.
Victoria retained its place as the largest and most active Section, with 191
members, while the Vancouver Section membership was 170. Mention was
made of the fact that during the year the Society suffered the loss of two
Past Presidents, Dr. J. S. Plaskett and Chief Justice Martin. 1942 NOTES AND COMMENTS. 63
The retiring President, Mr. Kenneth A. Waites, had chosen for the subject
of his address Responsible Government—Rider to British Columbia's Terms
of Confederation. The tangled skein of events which constituted the political
history of British Columbia between 1866 and 1871 was unravelled by the
speaker with skill and humour, and the conflicts of the time were seen to be
clashes between personalities quite as much as between principles. The
address will be printed in a later issue of the Quarterly.
The scrutineers reported the election of the following ten members to the
Council for 1942:—
Miss Helen Boutilier. Mrs. M. R. Cree.
Mr. John Goldie. Rev. John Goodfellow.
Judge F. W. Howay. Mr. B. A. McKelvie.
Major H. T. Nation. Dr. Robie L. Reid.
Dr. W. N. Sage. Miss Madge Wolfenden.
Ex-officio members of the new Council will be:—
Past President—Mr. Kenneth A. Waites.
Presiding   Officers  of   Sections—Mrs.   Curtis   Sampson   (Victoria),
Dr. M. Y. Williams  (Vancouver), and Mr. E. M. Cotton  (New
Provincial Archivist—Mr. Willard E. Ireland.
Editor, Quarterly—Dr. W. Kaye Lamb.
Immediately following the adjournment of the general meeting the new
Council met, and in accordance with the provisions of the amended constitution elected the following officers for the year 1942:—
President Rev. John Goodfellow (Princeton).
First Vice-President Mr. B. A. McKelvie (Victoria).
Second Vice-President Mr. E. M. Cotton (New Westminster).
Honorary Secretary. Miss Helen R. Boutilier (Vancouver).
Honorary Treasurer Mr. Willard E. Ireland (Victoria).
The Council then proceeded to confer an Honorary Membership upon
Mrs. G. C. Fay, better known to the members of the Association as Miss
Gladys Hutchinson. Owing to her marriage, Mrs. Fay will be resigning
shortly from the staff of the Provincial Library and Archives. By unanimous
vote the Council expressed its appreciation of the great interest which she
has always taken in the Society, and of the time and effort which she has
contributed without stint to its work.
Victoria Section.
The annual meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library
on October 27. Following the reading of the reports of the Honorary
Secretary, the Honorary Treasurer, and the various committees, the President, Mrs. Curtis Sampson, delivered her address, which took the form of an
interesting and amusing paper entitled Reminiscences of Bygone Days at
Government House. When Richard Blanshard, Vancouver Island's first
Governor, arrived in 1850, he found no official residence awaiting him; and
while a modest four-roomed dwelling was constructed he was compelled to
live, first, on board H.M.S. Driver, and later in old Fort Victoria. His
5 64 Notes and Comments. January
successor, James Douglas, built and owned his own home, and it was not
until his retirement, in 1863, that the need for an official Governor's residence, owned by the Colony, became pressing. It so happened that in 1859
the Hon. George Hunter Cary, later Attorney-General, had built an imposing
stone residence known as Cary Castle, and after much agitation it was
purchased for the use of Governor Kennedy, who took possession in July,
1865. The ball held on May 24, 1866, to honour the birthday of Queen
Victoria, was the first of a long and memorable series of similar celebrations.
Those in attendance included Governor Seymour, of the mainland Colony of
British Columbia, officers from the ships of the Royal Navy lying in Esquimalt Harbour, and officers of the American garrison then on the San Juan
Islands. Passing on to the years since Confederation, Mrs. Sampson noted
that the first Governor-General of Canada to be entertained in Cary Castle
was Lord Dufferin, who arrived with his Countess in 1876, at which time
A. N. Richards was Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. They were followed in 1882 by the Marquis of Lome and Princess Louise, who so enjoyed
their stay that an intended visit of ten days lengthened to one of ten weeks.
Princess Louise described British Columbia in a letter to her mother as
" halfway between heaven and Balmoral." In 1899 Cary Castle was completely destroyed by fire, and as a consequence when the Duke and Duchess
of York (later King George V. and Queen Mary) arrived in October, 1901,
they stayed at the old Mount Baker Hotel, which had been redecorated for
the occasion. It was not until 1902 that the present Government House
was completed and occupied by the then Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Henri
Joly de Lotbiniere. In conclusion, Mrs. Sampson reviewed the interesting
happenings of more recent years, and in particular of 1939, when Cary
Castle opened its doors to Their Majesties, the King and Queen. Slides
illustrating Mrs. Sampson's address were shown by Dr. J. A. Pearce, of the
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.
It was fitting that the audience of the evening should include His Honour
the Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Woodward, and, in response to the
welcome extended by Mrs. Sampson, His Honour addressed the meeting
At the suggestion of Mr. B. A. McKelvie, the Section will endeavour to
secure the preservation of two iron rings, deeply embedded in the rock near
the Victoria Customs House. These rings, which are all that remain of
the old Hudson's Bay Company fort, were used both to tie up the steamer
Beaver and other vessels, and as anchors for canting ships when their hulls
required scraping. It was on a tree nearby that James Douglas posted the
first notice that the adjacent land was claimed by the Company.
At the opening of the meeting members paid tribute to the late Dr. J. S.
Plaskett, who was prominent not only in the Victoria Section but in the
Provincial association as well.
Mrs. Curtis Sampson was re-elected President of the Section at the
meeting of the new Council held on Tuesday, November 20. Other officers
and councillors for the year 1941-42 are:  Vice-President, Mr. F. C. Green; 1942 Notes and Comments. 65
Honorary Secretary, Mrs. M. R. Cree (who is serving in this capacity for
the seventh consecutive year); Honorary Treasurer, Miss Madge Wolfenden.
Members of the Council: Miss Muriel Gait, Mr. John Goldie, Col. H. T.
Goodland, Mr. W. E. Ireland, Mr. B. A. McKelvie, Major H. T. Nation,
Commissioner T. W. S. Parsons, Dr. T. A. Rickard, and Mr. W. E. McMullen.
Committee conveners: Publicity, Mrs. S. Dudley Markham; Necrology, Miss
Alma Russell;   Historic Landmarks, Mr. C. C. Pemberton.
Special interest attached to the meeting of the Section held on the
evening of November 19, for the day was the anniversary of the two most
important events in the political history of the Province. It was on
November 19, 1858, that James Douglas was sworn in at Fort Langley as
first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia; and the meeting also
marked the 75th anniversary of the union of the Colonies of Vancouver
Island and British Columbia, which was proclaimed on November 19, 1866.
The speaker of the evening was Dr. W. N. Sage, Head of the Department
of History of the University of British Columbia, and author of the standard
life of Sir James Douglas. His address was1 entitled, British Columbia in
the Balance—Union and Confederation. Dr. Sage pointed out that the
union of 1866 was merely a palliative, and that it did not really cure the
economic ills of either Vancouver Island or the mainland. A much more
far-reaching decision and union were in the offing, and it was during the
troubled years from 1866 to 1871 that the new united Colony of British
Columbia made its choice between the allures of " manifest destiny " and
the United States on the one hand, and Confederation with the youthful
Dominion of Canada on the other. The difficulties of the confederationists
were in many ways greater than those faced by the annexationists, and
Dr. Sage had much of interest to say regarding the circumstances which
enabled them to win out in the end.
Vancouver Section.
Russian Naturalist Explorers of the Pacific Northwest was the subject
of the most interesting address delivered by Mr. J. W. Eastham at the
meeting of the Section held in the Grosvenor Hotel on November 13. The
speaker pointed out that the first contributions to our knowledge of the
Natural History of the Pacific Coast really began with the exploration of
Siberia and Kamchatka, owing to the common element in the floras and
faunas of Northwest America and Northeast Asia. Mr. Eastham illustrated
this point by exhibiting specimens of common local plants which were first
discovered and named from specimens collected in Northeast Asia. Of the
naturalists who visited the coast of America with the Russian exploring
expeditions the first and most outstanding was Georg Wilhelm Steller.
A German by birth and training, he accompanied Bering on his famous but
disastrous second voyage in 1741. Mr. Eastham described the difficulties
he faced, the conditions under which his scientific work had to be done;
his personal character, in so far as it is known to us, and, finally, his
contribution to knowledge.    Steller's name is forever associated with our 66 Notes and Comments. January
flora and fauna, two well-known examples being the Alaska heather
(Cassiope Stelleriana) and Steller's jay (Cyanocitta Stelleri), the common
blue jay. The other naturalist whose work was described at some length
was Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff, a German physician, who, after varied
service as an army surgeon in the Napoleonic wars, secured the post of
naturalist to the expedition of Krusenstern and Lisiansky. Sailing from
Kronstadt in 1803 in Krusenstern's vessel, the Nadeshda, he went first to
Kamchatka, and from there accompanied Chamberlain von Rezanoff on a
special mission to Japan. He then accompanied Rezanoff on his inspection
tour of all the Russian settlements along the Pacific Coast of North America,
including the one near San Francisco, finally returning to Europe overland
through Siberia. Langsdorff wrote an interesting and important account
of his journeys, which contains much information on the natural history of
the places visited. In later years he became Russian consul-general for
Brazil. His name has been long associated with one of our common wild
flowers, Langsdorff's monkey flower, or mimulus   (Mimulus Langsdorfii).
There was a large attendance at the meeting of the Section held in the
auditorium of the Medical-Dental Building on December 4, when the speaker
was His Honour Judge Howay, who is this year President of the Royal
Society of Canada. Judge Howay's subject was The Spaniard in British
Columbia. Anxiety lest the Russians should intrude upon and gain possession of territories which Spain regarded as her own was perhaps the most
pressing consideration which lay behind the first Spanish expeditions which
ventured northward from Mexico, and from that starting-point Judge Howay
traced the history of Spanish claims, aspirations, and explorations on the
Northwest Coast. One of the highlights of the address was an amusing
description of the celebrated Spanish settlement at Nootka. Its characteristics included the absence of women, of any ordinary civilians, and of any
taxes. It appears to have been less solidly built than is sometimes supposed,
for Judge Howay pointed out that the guns in the fortifications were never
fired all at once, for fear the fort structure might crumble from the shock.
Judge Howay was also able to describe with new authority the actual events
at Nootka Sound which resulted in the famous controversy and convention.
The journal of Captain James Colnett, edited by the speaker and published
by the Champlain Society in 1940, together with the manuscript diary of
Martinez, throw much new light on the seizure of the British ships in 1789,
and the subsequent troubles. Judge Howay also described in some detail
the Spanish explorations of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Gulf of
Georgia, including the waters immediately adjacent to Vancouver Harbour.
He dealt with the interesting problem as to whether or not Narvaez was
the first white man to enter the harbour and land on the shores of Burrard
Inlet, and contended that there was no documentary evidence to support
either of these contentions.
Judge Howay was introduced by the President of the Section, Dr. M. Y.
Williams, and at the conclusion of the address Dr. W. N. Sage expressed
the thanks and appreciation of those present. 1942 Notes and Comments. 67
similkameen historical association.
The tenth annual banquet of the Association was held in the Travellers'
Hall, Princeton, on Friday, October 3, 1941. It proved to be one of the
most enjoyable of the series. Ninety-one persons sat down to dinner, and
all parts of the Valley were well represented, including Hedley and Keremeos. Mr. A. Gould, President, presided. The first speaker of the evening
was Mr. S. R. Gibson, who contributed a remarkable description of how the
Indians in the Fraser Valley staged the Passion Play in early days. At the
conclusion of the address Mr. Gibson presented to the President a gavel
which he had fashioned from a section of an historic elm-tree in New Westminster. This tree had been sent by a friend in England to Colonel Moody
seventy-nine years ago. Colonel Moody in turn gave it to Mrs. Holmes, wife
of William Holmes, a pioneer pack-train operator, and she planted it on the
bank of the Fraser River. It soon became a landmark to Indians and others
travelling by water, as its distinctive foliage made it easily distinguishable
from the native trees.
The second address was given by Mr. C. R. Mattice, who dealt with the
poetry of the Similkameen Valley. References were made to the works of
Gordon Stace Smith and the late Mrs. S. L. Allison, and quotations from
their poems were read. The last speaker was Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, who
read a manuscript by Mrs. M. A. Kenny, which told the story of how Douglas
Lake, in the Nicola country, came to be so named.
The meeting concluded with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.
G. Hollis Slater has long been interested in the early history of Vancouver Island, and has devoted special attention to the early activities of
the Church of England and the Church Missionary Society in the Pacific
Frederic H. Soward, B.Litt. (Oxon.), is Professor of History at the
University of British Columbia. He is the author of Moulders of National
Destinies, and of many other books and articles.
Albert C. Cooke, M.A. (Oxon.), is Associate Professor of History at the
University of British Columbia, and is well-known as an authority on the
history of the Crown Colonies and British Commonwealth.
A. E. Pickford, associated with the Forest Branch of the Department of
Lands, Victoria, B.C., is an enthusiastic member of the Society for the
Furtherance of Indian Arts and Crafts and has made a considerable study
of the folk-lore and customs of the Indians of this Province. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
The First Fifty Years:   Vancouver High Schools, 1890-1940.    Edited by
K. A. Waites.    [Vancouver, 1942.]    Pp. 160.    111.    $1.25.
Historic anniversaries should, quite properly, be occasions for celebration
and intelligent retrospection. This book is a conscious effort to perpetuate
in print the story behind the golden jubilee of secondary education in the
City of Vancouver. Students, teachers, and administrative officials alike
co-operated in the execution of this self-imposed task. To all who laboured,
great credit is due; but it is only proper that especial mention should be
made of the work of the editor, Mr. K. A. Waites, whose enthusiasm and
tireless energy provided the necessary dynamic.
Like many western cities, Vancouver has experienced a phenomenal
development—educationally speaking—from one little school in the woods
with one teacher and sixteen scholars in 1872 to sixty-seven schools, 1,200
teachers and nearly 40,000 scholars in 1940. Great care has been taken to
chronicle the various stages in that evolution. Consequently, due attention
is paid to the origins of the elementary-school system in the period preceding the inauguration of the first high school on January 6, 1890. From
that date until 1908 the story is that of one institution—Vancouver High
School—and the r61e played by pioneer teachers and students in academic
life as well as extra-curricular activities has been well retold. The sketch
of the gradual development of the secondary system, which now embraces
fourteen schools, is supplemented by excellent short histories of each of the
respective high schools. Naturally greater attention is paid to " the mother
of high schools "—King Edward High School, to which part ii. of this book
is entirely devoted. Special chapters are also devoted to the Thomson Cup
and Inter-high sports, the pioneer Cadet Corps, and the Vancouver High
School Old Boys' Association.
A separate section is devoted to records. For the pioneer high school
complete lists of its staff, its Great War honour roll, and its head pupils are
printed. In addition, lists of the School Trustees and their years of service
and of the Rhodes Scholars of British Columbia along with sports records
are included. An excellent " chronology of the curriculum" provides a
brief but careful sketch of educational trends of the Province. To those
responsible for the compilation of the mass of facts comprising this section
of the book great commendation is due.
Quite apart from the immense amount of factual information presented,
this book deserves special mention for the wealth of illustrative material
reproduced, much of it for the first time. It forms, in reality, a pictorial
counterpart of the written story and is remarkable for its completeness. In
addition, judging by the numerous well-chosen extracts from official educational records interspersed throughout the narrative, the Vancouver Board
of School Trustees is to be congratulated upon the manner in which it has
preserved its records.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VoL VI.f No. 1.
69 70
The First Fifty Years perpetuates a noble heritage. Its publication is a
credit, not only to those whose diligence accounts for its excellence, but to the
City of Vancouver as a whole. Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
The Invocation of the Sunflower-roots.
"Meet Mr. Coyote," a series of B.C. Indian Legends (Thompson Tribe).
[By Noel Stewart, with introduction by Alice Ravenhill and illustrations
by young pupils of St. George's Indian School, Lytton, B.C.] Victoria,
n.d. [for the Society for the Furtherance of Indian Arts and Crafts,
1941].    Pp. 28.   111.    25 cents.
Here are ten stories of Mr. Coyote, a hero long dear to the heart of the
Indians of the Southern Interior where he is known as a powerful transformer and creator. These stories, in their present form, are new to the
printing press, but very ancient in mythological origin; they tell of Mr.
Coyote's relations with the animal people, of how he assisted at their ceremonies and helped them in their difficulties. This book is so simple in its
approach that, at first, one is apt to look upon it as just another of those
books for children. However, despite the limit of its scope, careful consideration of the work as a whole shows that Mr. Noel Stewart has a deeper
purpose and has performed a service for which much credit is due to him.
In the production of this work the author has visited some of the older
Indians of the Lytton district and heard from them details of some of the
ancient stories which have been told among them for generations; these he
has moulded into a form of charming reading. Further credit is due in
that, by using drawings by Indian children to enhance his text, the author
has tapped a pictorial source at its clearest and best; that is, while the
latent feeling engendered in the mind of the Indian child by the mythology 1942 The Northwest Bookshelf. 71
of his forefathers is still unclouded. Thus appropriate life and movement
has been added to the stories and an air of authenticity given to the work
as a whole.
The reader of these stories should remind himself that they were
originally told and retold to the Indians by tribesmen each selected not only
for his powers of eloquence but also for his histrionic abilities. In these
recitations Mr. Coyote was always represented as a living character, the
peculiarities of his speech, the puckering of his mouth, and all his mispronunciations of certain words were faithfully reproduced. His voice was
often very deep as coming from the depth of his throat, but he could change
it at will and, as became a great traveller, could speak many languages. He
had lived a great while on earth, and did most of his feats at middle age
and thus was regarded as a man of authority. Although he travelled a
great deal, he did not practise his arts as a transformer on the Coast, nor
would he permit any transformers of outlying districts to intrude upon his
territory. He was generally a man of power and took pleasure in creating
large features of the landscape for the delight of the Indians and performing
miracles for the improvement of their conditions.
Thus Mr. Noel Stewart's version of Mr. Coyote is true to former written
records in that he represents the transformer as a man of beneficence, but
his version is somewhat out of harmony with Teit's accounts in other
respects. The principal lack of agreement lies in the want of emphasis on
the tribal associations which marked the life of the " animal people." In
Teit's stories Mr. Coyote is shown as chief among a tribe composed entirely
of Coyote people; and we are given independent stories of the Goat people
and the Dog people. Although, according to Teit, members of these various
tribes met and had dealings with one another, yet their family ties and associations were much more pronounced than shown in the stories here collected.
Again, Mr. Noel Stewart's stories do not deal with Mr. Coyote's weaknesses,
for, despite the transformer's great power, he was not always successful in
his enterprises, or supreme in his magic; although crafty, he was often the
dupe of other people, and at times his wisdom was perverted to cunning,
selfishness, and deceit.
These and other deviations from former accounts may be due, in part, to
variations in local versions and, therefore, must not be taken too seriously
as a criticism of the present work. Never, since the golden age of research
in which Teit and Boaz worked, had conscientious collection of native
mythology been a thankful task, and it becomes more difficult with the years.
The effect of modern conditions is to obliterate the old mythology in the
minds of the Indians, leaving the field open to warped and spurious versions
of no value. In this connection we are of the opinion that Mr. Noel Stewart
deserves credit, perhaps, not so much for the collection as for the selection of
his material.
We note that Mr. Coyote is presented as the first of a series. If those
responsible for further contributions will keep stability in mind we shall look
forward with pleasure to further productions, especially if the Indians
forming the source of the information be named.
„ „ „ A. E. PlCKPORD.
Victoria, B.C. 72 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
The Ninth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society of Vernon, British
Columbia.    [Vernon, B.C.:  The Society] 1941.    Pp.75.    $1.
The Okanagan Historical Society continues its good work of stimulating
interest in the history of this important region of our Province. Credit is
due to its officers and members and especially to Mr. Leonard Norris, the
Secretary-Treasurer. The present report is not confined to historical
material in the narrow sense of the term. Mrs. Gellatly and Dr. Lang have
written on " Basaltic Columns at Westbank," and on " The Origin of
• Columnar Jointing in Lavas." Several poems appear in the concluding
pages of the report, culminating in an address to the moon by a " budding
Okanagan poetess," aged 9.
'Of the historical articles special mention should be made of Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby's " Canadian Opinion on British Columbia's Entry into
Confederation"; Mr. Thomas Stevenson's " An Old-timers' Celebration,"
in 1887; Mr. F. W. Laing's " Scotty Creek and Scottie Creek"; and Mrs.
Sophia Patten's " Henry Jergen Ehmke." Dr. Ormsby's brief article is
based on research made in the preparation of her doctor's thesis. Mr.
Stevenson records the " matched horse races " of the early days. Mr. Laing
by his researches has carefully traced the story of William Donaldson, " a
man whose nickname has been perpetuated in two widely separated parts of
the Province, whilst his real name has been obscured." Mrs. Patten has
told the story of her Danish-German parents, of their settlement in Pleasant
Valley, and of their descendants. In addition, Mr. Norris has contributed
three articles which deal with certain phases of the history of the judiciary
of Canada.
Mr. Burt R. Campbell in his " Kamloops Museum Association " strikes
an up-to-date note. Kamloops is to be congratulated for the creation and
maintenance of its historical museum. Mr. Campbell gives deserved credit
to the little band of faithful workers to whose efforts is due the foundation
of this most useful institution. Other cities in British Columbia might well
follow the example of Kamloops.
A pleasing tribute is made to Mr. Augustus Schubert, the sole survivor of
the Overlanders of 1862. It is pleasing to learn that he is engaged in
writing his memoirs.
Although much credit is due to the Okanagan Historical Society for its
keenness and industry it must be confessed that a few of the articles are
hardly up to the standard set in the earlier issues. It is almost inevitable
that the reports of local historical societies must be " local," but it is well
when they are able to maintain a high standard of historical scholarship.
None the less, the Okanagan Historical Society must be congratulated in
that in these difficult days it has been able to publish an annual report, and
it is hoped that the series will continue without interruption.
„ Walter N. Sage.
The University op British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C. 1942 The Northwest Bookshelf. 73
The Purchase of Alaska; Contemporary Opinion. By Virginia Hancock
Reid. Long Beach, California: Press-Telegram, Printers, 1939. Pp.
xii., 134.    $1.
In a little book, which was obviously a labour of love, Virginia Hancock
Reid has established from a study of contemporary opinion that the American people were not so contemptuous of the Alaskan purchase as later
writers would have us believe. On the contrary, by the time the transaction
was ended, they were " convinced that a great piece of statesmanship had
been fittingly concluded." The author commences her narrative with the
decision of the Czar of all the Russias, on a cold winter day in 1866, to offer
the country to the United States, and traces the evolution of opinion at home
and abroad until the House of Representatives finally voted the purchase
money almost two years later. A side-light on contemporary opinion in
British Columbia is afforded by an extract from the Victoria British Colonist
of May 16, 1867. That journal, incidentally, devoted more space to the
cession than any other foreign newspaper. The Colonist viewed with alarm
the prospect which placed " the whole of Her Majesty's possessions on the
Pacific in the position of a piece of meat between two slices of bread, where
they may be devoured at a single bite." It was also the " imbecility, ignorance or neglect of British Statesmen " which left British Columbia with
" scarcely room left in which to draw a long breath." Miss Reid has
strengthened the usefulness of her study by three documentary appendices
and an annotated bibliography, which abounds with frank comments such
as " Dunning's account of the purchase is interesting because it is not based
on facts."
F. H. Soward.
The University op British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C.
Sea Power and British North America, 1788-1820. By Gerald S. Graham.
Cambridge, Mass.:   Harvard University Press, 1941.    Pp. 302.    $3.50.
If this new volume in the Harvard Historical Series falls into the hands
of some readers of this Quarterly it may disappoint them on two scores. It
does not deal with the Pacific Northwest, since that part of the coast which
later became British Columbia was not, during the period covered by the
book, a part of British North America. Neither does it discuss British sea
power to the extent suggested by the title. Nevertheless, the book has a
value of its own, and any one interested in the attempts at economic readjustment within the Empire following the loss of the thirteen American
Colonies, and in the character and operation of the forces gradually bringing
about the transition from eighteenth century mercantilism to nineteenth
century free trade, will welcome this scholarly contribution to the growing
literature on the subject.
In 1933, when Helen Taft Manning published her book, entitled British
Colonial Government after the American Revolution, 1782-1820, she
described the period with which it dealt as " the most obscure in the three
and a quarter centuries of British colonization."   Her work, together with 74 The Northwest Bookshelf. January
A. L. Burt's recent study, The United States, Great Britain and British
North America, has thrown light on the political, administrative, and diplomatic problems of the time, and to a lesser extent on economic developments.
Dr. Graham, both in his earlier book, British Policy and Canada, 1774-1791,
and in the present one, which carries the story almost a generation farther,
is interested chiefly in economic policy.
His argument runs somewhat as follows: The navigation Acts of the
old colonial system had not only an economic purpose but were designed also
to stimulate ship-building and ensure an adequate supply of trained seamen,
in the belief that this was the best way to safeguard British naval strength.
" Defence " was a more fundamental consideration than " opulence " even in
the so-called " era of trade ascendancy."
After the American Revolution the attempt was made to continue the old
system involving a monopoly of the carrying trade, for the same reasons as
before, but practical considerations forced many modifications. The bulk of
the book is devoted to a discussion of the various forces impelling Great
Britain along the road toward freer trade. These included the difficulty of
breaking established trade connections when these were mutually advantageous; the growing economic power and aggressive policies of the United
States; the need of the Maritimes and of the West Indian colonies for trade
with the United States; the difficulty of applying the restrictions of the
navigation Acts to an inland colony like Upper Canada; the prevalence of
smuggling and the apparent inability to suppress it; the change in the
character of the Newfoundland fisheries; the French Revolutionary and
Napoleonic wars; the impact of the continental system on the United
States; and American policies preceding and following the war of 1812. At
a dozen points necessity compelled temporary or partial relaxation of the
regulations while in theory the system remained unaltered.
When fundamental changes finally had to be faced, and freer trade
became a matter of practical politics, the chief impetus came from the representatives of a new class in English society, a product of the Industrial
Revolution, who were more concerned with opulence than defence. In their
attempt to free British commerce from all restrictions they were able to
point to post-war depression and unemployment, and to argue that under
changed conditions of commerce and of naval training the old need for a
" nursery for seamen " had passed away. These were the forerunners and
supporters of William Huskisson and liberal reform.
The book is a sober account of unspectacular but significant developments. It is concerned with duties, conventions, embargoes, treaties, orders
in council, free ports and triangular trade. But from these details, and
from a series of useful charts, there emerges a clearer picture than we have
had before of the character of British commerce and commercial policy
during a too much neglected period of Empire history.
Albert Colby Cooke.
The University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C. 1942 The Northwest Bookshelf. 75
A History of Ogden. [By Dale L. Morgan.] Ogden: Ogden City Commission, 1940.    Pp. 70.    111.
A Brief History of Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon. By William D.
Welsh.    [Oregon City:   Oregon City Enterprise.]    1941.    Pp. 30.    111.
A Brief History of Port Angeles, Washington. By William D. Welsh. [Port
Angeles:  Port Angeles News.]    1941.    Pp. 24.    111.
A Brief Historical Sketch of Port Townsend. By William D. Welsh. [Port
Townsend:  Port Townsend Leader.]    1941.    Pp. 27.    111.
A Brief History of Shelton, Washington. By Grant C. Angle and William D.
Welsh.    1940.    Pp. 14.    111.
A Short History of Caulfeild Village. By H. A. Stone. [Vancouver: Wrigley, 1941.]    Pp. 25.    111.    50 cents.
For many years local history has been in an unhappy position. Thanks
to the enthusiasm of local historical associations noble efforts have been
made to keep alive the interest in bygone days, but with limited funds at
their disposal it has been next to impossible to put into print the history of
local communities. The publication recently of History and Development of
the Agassiz-Harrison Valley, by J. J. Woods, was an interesting venture in
this field in British Columbia and one which merits every consideration.
The present series under review suggests other means by which the desired
end may be achieved.
A History of Ogden, prepared under the Utah Historical Records Survey
Project of the W.P.A., was published by the Ogden City Commission. It is
an eminently satisfactory piece of work, based upon sound research and well
documented, as is evidenced by the nine-page bibliography. The history of
the only city in Utah which reaches unbrokenly back to the fur-trade days
has been condensed into sixty-odd pages. The fur-trade period, full of the
exploits of men like William H. Ashley, Jedediah Smith, and Peter Skene
Ogden, soon gave place to the era of the hardy emigrant-settler, of whom
Miles Goodyear was the pioneer. But it remained for the Mormon migration to mould and give character to the entire district. Fortunately Ogden,
unlike its neighbour, Salt Lake City, never experienced the full heat of the
gentile-Mormon antagonism, although occasionally it made itself felt. The
period of beginnings in the 1850's and 1860's is adequately detailed and the
transformation effected by the coming of the railroad in 1869 is graphically
retold. Due attention is paid to more modern developments as well, and the
history of the various public utilities and of the social and educational
agencies of the city has been recorded. All in all this book might well
serve as a model; for that sense of proportion so necessary for local history
is here splendidly preserved.
The series of local histories, written for the most part by William D.
Welsh, are in a different category. They have been sponsored by the Crown
Zellerbach Corporation, which has local paper-mill interests, and distributed
by the Chambers of Commerce of the respective cities. In consequence, the
history is here recounted more from the publicity angle than as a purely
historical record. In so far as there is little distortion of the historical facts
it is a commendable undertaking    All four follow much the same pattern— 76 The Northwest Bookshelf.
beginning with the Indian background, detailing the coming of the white
man and the gradual development of the social and economic life of the
frontier community, and culminating in a more detailed reference to the
history of the paper-mill industry. There are many references to pioneers
and pioneer activities—early newspapers, fraternal organizations, schools,
lumber-, paper-, and woollen-mills, railroad construction, to mention but a
few. A profusion of illustrations and cartographs adds considerably to the
interest of the pamphlets.
In many respects Oregon City has had the most interesting history, for
it was the first incorporated town west of the Rocky Mountains. In addition, it has many historic associations with the " father of Oregon," Dr. John
McLoughlin. Around the history of the city has been woven the story of the
Oregon crusade of the 1840's. The histories of Port Angeles and Port
• Townsend are complementary. They both shared essentially the same historical background and experienced much the same type of development. As
might be expected there was considerable rivalry—political as well as
economic. The early history of Shelton is largely the life-story of David
Shelton, the pioneer settler, and his family.
A Short History of Caulfeild Village has been privately printed and is
the tribute inspired by a long and intimate connection with the district. In
it is perpetuated the memory of an English gentleman, Francis William
Caulfeild, whose dream of a model village in keeping with the natural beauty
of its setting gradually became a reality on the north shore of Burrard Inlet,
in the lee of Point Atkinson. It pays tribute also to the faith and loyalty of
Captain Frank Kettle and his wife, who shared in the slow, and, at times,
heart-breaking venture in town planning. This pamphlet is an admirable
publication; it is beautifully printed and illustrated with delightful pen and
ink sketches of the locale.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
victoria, b.o. .-
Printed by p. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour W. C. Woodward, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
OFFICERS, 1940-41.
HON. G. S. Pearson      -       -       - Honorary President.
J. C. Goodfellow     .... President.
B. A. McKelvie  1st Vice-President.
E. M. Cotton  2nd Vice-President.
Willard E. Ireland   - Honorary Treasurer.
Helen R. Boutilier       -       -       - Honorary Secretary.
Mrs. M. R. Cree.        F. W. Howay.        W. N. Sage.        Robie L. Reid.
Miss Madge Wolfenden.       John Goldie.        H. T. Nation.
Mrs. Curtis Sampson M. Y. Williams
(Victoria Section). (Vancouver Section).
E. M. Cotton (New Westminster and Fraser Valley Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history;
to promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of January. All members in good standing
receive the British Columbia Historu vithout further charge.
Correspondence and fees may be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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