British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Apr 1, 1938

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APRIL, 1938 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. F. W. Howay, New Westminster.
Robie L. Reid, Vancov T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor, Provincial
Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or ?2 the year. Members of the
British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine. We
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. II. Victoria, B.C., April, 1938. No. 2
Articles : Page.
Fur and Gold in Similkameen.
By J. C Goodfellow      67
In Memory of David Douglas.
By John Goldie    89
Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island.   Part II.:  1855—1866.
By W. Kaye Lamb      95
Coal from the Northwest Coast, 1848—1850.
By John Haskell Kemble  123
Sir George Simpson at the Department of State.
By Frank E. Ross „  131
Notes and Comments:
Contributors to this Issue  137
Date of Publication 137
British Columbia Historical Association  137
Local Historical Societies 139
Historical Association Reports 141
Hudson's Bay Record Society  142
Fur-traders pioneered Similkameen before men were attracted thither by reports of rich placer deposits. The search
for gold has continued to the present, but the story of the fur-
traders has long been a closed chapter in the history of the
valley. These two strands in local history have been linked
with parallel strands in Provincial and Dominion history: the
fur-trade with the great fur-trading companies, and with the
International Boundary settlement; the search for gold with
the "making of a province," and with the Royal Engineers.
Both have played a part in exploration and development. But
before tracing the history of fur and gold in Similkameen, we
must learn something of the country itself, and about the native
tribes who first called it " Similkameugh."
The original name has been forced into the same phonetic
groove as Tulameen by the white people of the valley, in much
the same way as Kitsilano, in Vancouver, has been made to
rhyme with Capilano. Father LeJeune, for many years a missionary at Kamloops, gives " Tsemel-ka-meh " as a word descriptive of the people, or of the land in which they lived.1 Teit
describes them as " Eagle People," said to have been so named
because eagles were formerly plentiful in the valley, and their
tail-feathers an item of export.2 Tulameen means " red earth,"
but there is no sufficient authority for any of the numerous
meanings assigned to the word Similkameen.3
The name Similkameen denotes a variable area, according to
whether it refers to Provincial, Dominion, electoral, or mining
divisions. Charles Camsell, of the Geological Survey, has defined it as " the country from the Okanagan valley to the Hope
mountains, and from the International Boundary northward for
(1) Letter dated Kamloops, September 9, 1927.
(2) J. A. Teit, " The Salishan Tribe of the Western Plateau," 45th
Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1927-28, Washington, 1930,
p. 136.
(3) On the meaning of place names in the Similkameen see J. C. Goodfellow, " Princeton Place Names," in Seventh Report of the Okanagan
Historical Society, 1937, pp. 10-16.
67 68 J. C. Goodfellow. April
a distance of about forty-five miles."4 It is a land of creeks and
rivers, of bench lands, rolling hills, and mountains; and even
to-day man's activities are confined to the valleys of the rivers
and their tributaries. The most important of these is the
Similkameen River, which is brought into being by the junction
of several small streams near the International Boundary, and
after flowing in a northerly direction for some 30 miles turns
first eastward and then south-eastward in a great curve which
brings it back to and across the Boundary, about 15 miles south
of Keremeos. Soon after it enters the United States it twists
sharply to the east and joins the Okanogan River, which in turn
flows almost due south to meet the Columbia. The principal
tributary of the Similkameen is the Tulameen, Which rises
farther north and west, but which follows a similarly curved
course, first to the north, and then east and south-east, until it
joins the Similkameen at the point known as Vermillion Forks,
where the town of Princeton now stands. Of the many tributaries of the Tulameen the most important is Otter Creek, which
flows from the north, passes through Otter Lake, and joins the
Tulameen at its most northerly point, where the town of Tulameen is to-day.5
The country is well wooded. Travellers on the trail during
the summer months are constantly delighted with the profusion
of wild flowers. Lupin and paint-brush, sunflower and fireweed
give vivid touches of colour, and from the last week in June till
the middle of July the rhododendrons are at their best along the
Dewdney Trail, where it overlooks the Skagit and Sumallo
Valleys. There is abundance of wild animal life in the hills, and
the whole area between the Hope Road and the Dewdney Trail
has been set aside as a game reserve.
The natives of the Similkameen Valley were a border people;
that is to say, they were a buffer tribe between the Thompsons
and the Okanagans. The Interior Salish Indians have five
main tribes—Lillooet, Thompson, Arrow Lake, Shuswap, and
(4) Charles Camsell, Preliminary Report on a part of the Similkameen
District, Ottawa, 1907, p. 7.
(5) It should be borne in mind that the Tulameen River was formerly
known as the North Fork of the Similkameen River. The South Fork is
now known simply as the Similkameen, as is the united stream formed by
the coming together of the two branches at Princeton. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 69
Okanagan. The Similkameens were drawn partly from the
Okanagans and partly from the Thompsons, with various unrecorded intrusions from elsewhere. The Similkameens were not
behind other Indians in their ability to fashion implements of
peace and war out of wood and stone and other materials. Rock
paintings were common. Between Princeton and Hedley many
pictographs can still be seen. Religious belief in a multitude
of spirits, good and evil, explains many of their customs. The
medicine man was a real power for good or evil, or both. Superstitions centred around the rainstone, the blackstone, the ghost-
stone, the lovestone, and around monsters inhabiting land and
lake. The rainstone, when prayed to, caused rain to fall. The
blackstone caused smoke by day and fire by night. The ghost-
stone was a centre of votive offerings. The lovestone, and
strange monsters, were objects of local legend.6
The fragments of local history that have come down to us are
insufficient to suggest the pattern of the whole. War and peace
seem to have alternated with monotonous regularity. In 1912
the late Mrs. S. L. Allison wrote of the coming of a band of Chil-
cotins " about 150 years ago." These intruders could neither
defeat the natives nor be overcome by them; so they settled in
the valley, and all learned to fish and hunt together. There
seems to have been less friction between natives and newcomers
in Similkameen than across the boundary, in Washington Territory ; and Mrs. Allison attributes this largely to the influence of
the early priests.7
The earliest journey by a white man in Similkameen of which
we have record was made by Alexander Ross, a clerk in the
employ of John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. Early in
January, 1813, Ross left Kamloops bound for Fort Okanogan,
at the junction of the Okanogan and Columbia Rivers, and made
the journey by way of Similkameen. He chose that route in
order to satisfy a natural curiosity and to " spy out the land."
After incredible hardships, Ross and his party descended from
(6) See Stratton Moir (Mrs. S. L. Allison), In-cow-mas-ket, Chicago,
1900;  and Clive Phillipps-Wolley, A Sportsman's Eden, London, 1888.
(7) See Mrs. S. L. Allison, " Early History of Princeton," in the Princeton Star, January 6, 1923, and succeeding issues; Vancouver Sunday
Province, February 22, 1931, and succeeding issues.  1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 71
the highlands on the north side of the Similkameen River, and
came to the valley at a point near Keremeos.
Ross had set out on December 20, 1812, to visit David Stuart
at Kamloops, and he arrived there on the last day of the year.
The rest of the story is told in his own words:—
. . . with Mr. Stuart I remained five days, and in coming home I took
a near and unknown route, in order to explore a part of the country I had
not seen before; but I chose a bad season of the year to satisfy my curiosity: we got bewildered in the mountains and deep snows, our progress
was exceedingly slow, tedious, and discouraging. We were at one time
five days in making as many miles, our horses suffered greatly, had nothing
to eat for four days and four nights, not a blade of grass appearing above
the snow, and their feet were so frightfully cut with the crust of the snow
that they could scarcely move, so that we were within a hair's breadth of
losing every one of them.
Here follows an account of an accident caused by using too
much powder to kindle a fire. Both Ross and his companion,
Jacques, were stunned by the explosion. The narrative continues :—
We hastened next morning from this unlucky encampment, and getting
clear of the mountains, we descended into a low and pleasant valley, where
we found the Indians I had been in search of, and something both for ourselves and our horses to eat. At the Indian camp we remained one day,
got the information we required about the country, procured some furs,
and then, following the course of the Sa-milk-a-meigh River, got to
Oakinacken at the forks; thence we travelled almost night and day till
the 24th of January, when we reached home again.8
In maps printed prior to 1878, the Trepanege River, which
flows into Lake Okanagan just north of Peachland, is shown as
Jaques [sic'] Creek. Mr. Leonard Norris connects this name
with the explosion at the " unlucky encampment." He thinks
it probable that the incident occurred near the headwaters of
this creek, and that it was so named for this reason.9 It is
likely that when Ross left Kamloops he followed the string of
lakes south as far as Nicola Lake, then turned south-east, passing
Douglas Lake. From here he would journey in a southerly
direction across the high plateau which dips to Osprey Lake.
It is not possible to determine the exact spot where he descended
(8) Alexander Ross, Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or
Columbia River, London, 1849, pp. 206-208.
(9) Second Annual Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, Vernon,
1927, pp. 33-34. 72 J. C. Goodfellow. April
into the " low and pleasant valley," but there can be no doubt
that it was in the vicinity of the present town of Keremeos.
Here he would find the Indian camp referred to, and here he
would come to the Similkameen River, which he followed to the
The next record we have is contained in Archibald
McDonald's map of the Thompson River district. This map is
dated 1827, and indicates a journey made by McDonald in
October of the previous year. This also covers the ground
between Kamloops and the Similkameen-Okanogan Forks, but
follows only in part the route taken by Ross in 1813. As nearly
as can be ascertained from his map, McDonald followed a more
westerly course after coming to Nicola Lake, and came to the
" Schimilicameach " at a point apparently near the present town
of Princeton. His Red Water River may be the Tulameen,
which is the north branch of the Similkameen River. Thereafter he followed the left, or north bank, as he journeyed eastward.10
After 1826 we have no records until 1846, the year in which
the Oregon Treaty established the 49th parallel as the boundary
between British and United States territory west of the Rocky
Mountains. This was an event of critical importance to the
Hudson's Bay Company, in view of the fact that the treaty
placed its headquarters in the West, Fort Vancouver, in American territory. The Company had anticipated the award, and
had founded Fort Victoria, on Vancouver Island, in 1843. But
before the headquarters could be removed thither, it was imperative that new travel routes between the northern interior and
the coast should be discovered, which lay wholly within British
territory. Hitherto goods had been transported from Fort Vancouver to New Caledonia by the Columbia River as far as Fort
Okanogan, thence by pack-train to the junction of the Similkameen and Okanogan Rivers, and then across country to Okanagan
Lake. The brigade trail led along the west side of this lake, and
then crossed over to Kamloops. What was now required was a
route practicable for pack-horses from Kamloops to Fort
Langley, on the lower Fraser River.    The Fraser Canyon, which
(10)  The original map is preserved in the Archives of the Hudson's Bay
Company.    A photostat is on file in the Provincial Archives. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 73
was considered impassable, was the great problem involved, and
the search for a new route quickly developed into a search for a
detour around this obstacle.
Following a conference with Sir George Simpson, in 1845,
Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden requested that Alexander Caul-
field Anderson, who was then in charge of Fort Alexandria,
be appointed to carry these plans for exploration into effect.
Anderson had volunteered his services, and Ogden felt that he
was well equipped for the task, by reason of his natural ability
and "his active habits and experience in Caledonia."11 Along
with five men, Anderson set out from Kamloops on May 15, 1846,
and travelled to Fort Langley, where he arrived May 24, by way
of Harrison and Lillooet Lakes. It is in the return journey that
we are interested. This began on May 28. Anderson and his
men were accompanied by several Indians, including a chief who
had undertaken to guide him to the headwaters of the Similkameen River. From this point he hoped to cross country to the
Forks, where Princeton is now situated. He had arranged to
be met there by guides and horses from Kamloops. As this
would indicate, the valley of the Similkameen was well known to
fur-traders at this time; and there was a well-established trail
from the International Boundary north to Kamloops, which
followed the Similkameen and Tulameen Rivers and Otter Lake
and Creek, or much the same route McDonald seems to have
followed in 1826. Anderson's task was to find a way through
the Hope Mountains and the country beyond which would link
the Fraser River below the canyon with this Kamloops trail.
Anderson ascended the Fraser to the vicinity of Hope, and
after a false start up the Tlae-Kullum (now Silver Creek),
entered the valley of the Coquihalla River, which opens into the
Fraser a few miles higher up. On this journey Anderson
travelled east for 23 miles, on a route which closely paralleled
that later followed by the Dewdney Trail. Leaving the Coquihalla on his left, he followed first the Nicolum, and then the
Sumallo, as far as its junction with the Skagit. In his journal
he comments upon the slow progress made, " owing to the miserable travelling of our Indian assistants," and records that at this
point the party
(11)  Ogden to Chief Traders Tod and Manson, October 22, 1845. 74 J. C. Goodfellow. April
Fell in . . . with an Indian from the Forks of Thompson's River
[Kamloops] who is hunting Beaver in this neighbourhood. As he appears
to possess a knowledge of the Country superior to our other pseudo-guides
' (who are miserably at a loss) I have engaged him under the promise of
some Ammunition and Tobacco to accompany us for a day or two.12
Although it was only the first week in June, the rhododendrons
were already in bloom.
Near this point the Sumallo forks with the Snaas, and Anderson had to choose between following the eastern fork or the
northern one. The Thompson Indian recommended the latter,
and this was followed. They soon came to the summit of the
mountain pass, not far beyond which the Indians, except three,
turned back, according to agreement.    The journal continues:—
There is a small lake here, bearing a marvellous similitude in some
respects to the Committee's Punch Bowl in the Rocky Mountains. It
is still covered with ice, save in one small spot, where through the limpid
water, the bottom is seen shelving off, apparently to an immense depth.
. . . We have no one who knows anything of the country beyond this
point.    The water must guide us.
Three hours later Anderson encamped on the right bank of a
" descending stream," which he correctly took for granted was
" one of the tributaries of the Similkameen." It was, in fact,
the South Fork of the Tulameen; and, following it, the party
ploughed through deep snow. Night frosts formed a crust over
which they could make good time, but when the snow was soft,
travelling was difficult. The Indians had no idea of their location, but as the river bent round eastward in advance of him
Anderson had no anxiety. The hardships of the journey were
telling severely on the men when, on June 6, they found a beaten
road and tracks of horses. The same day they met two Indians,
" who proved to be old Black-eye, the Similkameen, and his Son-
in-law, on their way to visit their deer snares." Anderson
learned that he was still about 20 miles from the appointed
rendezvous at Red Earth Fork, where Princeton stands to-day.
The son-in-law was sent to fetch the horses, and Black-eye
(12) A. C. Anderson, Journal of an Expedition under the command of
Alex. C. Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company, undertaken with the view
of ascertaining the practicability of a communication with the interior, for
the import of the annual Supplies. (Original manuscript in Provincial
Archives.) I am indebted to His Honour Judge Howay for the loan of a
transcript of this and other journals and letters, references to which are
cited hereafter as F. W. Howay MSS. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 75
guided the party from Otter Lake to the Kamloops trail. Black-
eye's lodge was at the north end of the lake, and the party
enjoyed a meal of fresh carp. Their own provisions were
exhausted. Anderson learned that the beaten road which he
had struck led straight across the bend of the river. Had it not
been for the depth of snow, he would have seen it at the divide,
and saved himself the painful circuit. It was used by the
Indians during the summer when they went hunting. Anderson
never lost sight of the main purpose of his journey, which was
to discover a feasible route for the brigade trail from Kamloops
to Fort Langley; and in his journal he makes ample references
to sites with good pasturage for horses, and to the suitability of
the country for pack-trains. At the same time he appreciated
the beauty of the land through which he travelled. The horses
from Red Earth Fork arrived on June 7, and Anderson left
Otter Lake the same day. The following night he made this
record of the land through which he passed:—
" Our road to-day has lain, for the greater part of the distance, through
a charming country. Beautiful swelling hills, covered with rich verdure,
and studded at rare intervals with ornamental clumps of the Red Fir and
the Aspen. This is the chief characteristic of the scenery; in some directions as far as the eye can reach."13
Kamloops was reached on June 9, the whole journey having
lasted twenty-six days. Anderson was satisfied that a brigade
road between Kamloops and Hope, following in part the way he
had travelled, was practicable.
In 1847 Anderson continued his explorations.14 A route by
way of the Fraser " Falls " (or lower canyon) was thought to
be practicable, and in November, 1847, upon this assumption,
Ovid Allard and party were sent from Fort Langley to establish
Fort Yale. This route was used to bring the returns to Fort
Langley in the spring of 1848, and to take in the outfits to New
Caledonia in the fall. It was again used in the spring of 1849,
but proved difficult.15 It had already been determined to seek
a more feasible route, as we learn from the following passage in
(13) Ibid.
(14) A. C Anderson, Journal of an Expedition to Fort Langley via
Thompson's and Fraser's Rivers, Summer of 1847.    (F. W. Howay MSS.)
(15) James Douglas to John Tod, October 30, 1848.    (F. W. Howay
MSS.) 76 J. C. Goodfellow. April
a letter from James Douglas to John Tod, dated at Fort Langley
October 30, 1848 :—
. . . In consequence of the very unfavourable report we have received
from Messrs Manson and Anderson of their last summer's route we have
come to the determination of opening a new road recommended by Mr.
Peers after a very careful survey. Leaving Fraser's River it follows successively the valleys of the Quiquialla, Peers and the Sosqua Rivers, from
thence the crossing of the dividing ridge into the Similkameen Valley, where
it falls upon Mr. Anderson's track of 1846 and follows it to the Thompson's
River. Mr. Peers will be despatched with ten men in a few days hence to
commence operations at the mouth of the Quiquialla, where we intend to
establish a small Post . . . and enable us to complete [the road] in
time for the Brigade of 1849.
The main objection to this route had been the heavy snowfalls, but Chief Trader James Murray Yale had sent a party
from Fort Langley to visit the area during the summer, and they
had reported favourably. The road was completed " according
to plan," and used in the fall of 1849.
This road, which became the brigade trail, had five stopping-
places between Hope and Otter Lake. The first was Manson
Camp, at the head of Peers Creek, 15 miles from Hope. The
next was Encampement du Chevreuill (Deer Camp), 19 miles
farther on. It was here that Chief Trader Paul Fraser was
killed by a falling tree in July, 1855. The third camp was at
the bend of the Tulameen, on the east side of the river, and 49
miles from Hope. The fourth was on the plateau near Lode-
stone Mountain, a distance of 12 miles from Camp 3. Another
12 miles brought the brigade to Encampement des Femmes, near
Otter Lake. It was so called because the Indians used to leave
their women and children there when going on the summer hunt.
In October, 1937, in company with W. A. ("Podunk")
Davis, the writer travelled from Otter Lake, past Camp 5, and
up Jackson Mountain. Very little of the old trail is apparent
now, but at one or two places the switchbacks are still to be
seen. At one point we came across an old stump, from which,
near the base, a piece of wood projected, making a triangle with
the trail and the tree. This was one of the little devices the
brigade man used to keep the horses from rubbing their packs
against the tree. The horses had to go around the projection.
This road, used for many years, has long since fallen into dis- 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 77
repair, and now it is difficult to follow. But to old-timers in
Similkameen it is still the Brigade trail.
These explorations in the western part of Similkameen were
all made to discover transportation routes within British territory, from the northern interior to the coast. By the time the
brigade trail from Kamloops to Hope was an accomplished fact,
servants of the Hudson's Bay Company were surveying the
eastern part of Similkameen. The purpose of this latter
exploration was trade rather than transportation. When Robert
(" Bobby ") Stevenson visited Fort Okanogan on June 17, 1860,
he found a great number of Indians at the fort. They were
assisting the factor to pack up the goods, preparatory to moving
the post to Keremeos, where it had been decided earlier in the
year to establish a farm and trading centre. The possibilities
of stock-raising and horse-breeding were also kept in mind.
The goods were being packed in Hudson's Bay parfleches, made
of rawhide, and loads were arranged for 150 horses. At the
time, Stevenson was a member of the John Collins Expedition,
and had gone to the fort to purchase supplies. But no supplies
were on sale, as the post was to be abandoned the next day.16
The name Keremeos is said to mean " wind channel in the
mountains." The name is descriptive. The town of to-day
lies not far from the river, and the sage-brush slopes beyond the
orchard lands are often swept by the winds that course through
the valley. The rolling bunch-grass hills made an ideal range,
and the servants of the Company were quick to see its possibilities.
The first factor at the Keremeos post was Francis Deschi-
quette. He came from the nearest post across the line. Soon
after his arrival he erected a small log building, and commenced
farming on a small scale. Dying two years later, he was succeeded, in 1863, by Roderick McLean, who had been with the
Boundary Survey party, and was considered one of their best
axemen. Frank Richter, who planted the first fruit-trees in the
valley in 1860,1T was in charge of the horses and cattle. By
the spring of 1864 McLean had completed the log store, and
(16) R. Stevenson, " A Story of a trip through the Okanogan Valley in
the summer of 1860," Oroville Gazette, Christmas, 1910. (F. W. Howay
(17) Letter from J. Wesley Miller, Keremeos, dated December 14, 1937. 78 J. C. Goodfellow. April
begun the erection of a dwelling-house.18 He made many journeys among the Indians, who traded furs for goods supplied by
the Company. When Jason 0. Allard was ordered to report at
Fort Shepherd, on the Columbia River, just north of the
boundary, in the summer of 1866, he went from Fort Yale to
Fort Hope there to join the pack-train for the interior. At
Hope he met McLean, who was preparing the outfit of fifty
mules for the long journey. On this occasion McLean, though
stationed at Keremeos, was to go right through.19 Furs collected
by McLean were bailed, and shipped by pack-train to Fort Hope.
From there they were taken by river steamer to New Westminster, then on to Victoria, and thence to London, England.
After McLean left the Company in 1867, he opened a store at
Rock Creek, later going to Cariboo, where he remained ten years.
Following this he lived for a time in Kelowna, then took up land
at Okanagan Falls.20
McLean was succeeded by John Tait,21 who remained until
1872, when the post was closed. As a trading centre, Keremeos
does not seem to have been very profitable. It was more
important as a centre for wintering horses and putting up hay.
It also had a strategic value, which was lost when the American
trading-posts near the Boundary were closed. The store erected
by McLean stood until 1914. The house belonging to the W. H.
Armstrong estate now stands almost on the exact site of the
vanished landmark.
A note regarding the Boundary and other surveys will serve
to review what has been written, and also to introduce the second
factor around which we have woven our story. Lieutenant
Charles W. Wilson, Secretary to the British Boundary Commission, notes in his diary, under date August 14, 1860, fording the
Similkameen River above Keremeos, and continues as follows:—
We travelled up the much talked of valley of the Similkameen & crossing it about 3 miles below the mouth of the Ashtnolon camped on the bank
having made about 16 miles. The valley is very pretty but from having
heard so much about it I was disappointed; the finest part of the valley was
(18) Letter from Mrs. R. B. White, Penticton, October 1, 1937.
(19) Jason 0. Allard in Vancouver Sunday Province, September 19,
(20) Letter from Mrs. R. B. White, Penticton, October 1, 1937.
(21) Mrs. S. L. Allison, in Princeton Star, January 5, 1923; letter from
Mrs. R. B. White, Penticton, October, 1937. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 79
occupied this spring by the Hudson's Bay company & we found a [French]
Canadian half breed in charge, he had some cows & a large number of oxen
so that we had a good drink of milk a thing not to be despised in this part
of the world. The Canadian had just gathered in his harvest; the wheat,
the first grown in the valley, looked very well as also did the potatoes &
other vegetables; from the farm an Indian hunter joined us & accompanied
us into the mountains on his way to hunt; just where we forded the river
we passed the wooden cross erected over the graves of our three men who
were drowned when [Captain] Haig [Astronomer to the Commission]
crossed over.22
H. Bauerman, geologist to the Boundary Commission, did
geological work in the southern portion of Similkameen, in
1859-61, when the boundary-line was being defined; but his
report was not printed until 1884. He explored along the
Hope and Pasayton trails. This latter trail, between the Roche
(Similkameen) and Ashnola Rivers, long abandoned, has recently
been made passable. Dr. G. M. Dawson covered much the same
ground in 1877, and again in 1878. This was the last work done
in the district by the Dominion Geological Survey till Charles
Camsell made his survey in 1906. In 1901, W. Fleet Robertson,
Provincial Mineralogist, examined and reported on Princeton
and Copper Mountain district. The same year the International
Boundary Survey Commission commenced a topographical map
of the boundary belt. Dr. R. A. Daly was Canadian geologist to
this Commission. Subsequent work is recorded by Camsell in
his reports on Hedley and Tulameen, issued in 1910 and 1913
In his report covering the years 1859-61, Bauerman notes
the presence of Chinamen panning for gold along the Similkameen River; but he adds that the diggings were abandoned at
the beginning of the winter of 1861-62.24 This marked the end
of an episode which had commenced in October, 1859, when a
sergeant attached to the United States Boundary Commission
had discovered gold in the " Big Bend" region, where the
Similkameen turns eastward, just south of the 49th parallel.
(22) Quoted from the original diary, in the Provincial Archives.
(23) See Charles Camsell, Preliminary Report on a part of the Similkameen District, Ottawa, 1907, pp. 17-18.
(24) H. Bauerman, Report on the Geology of the Country near the 49th
Parallel   .   .   .   Geological Survey of Canada, 1884, p. 37B. 80 J. C. Goodfellow. April
Some of the early reports stressed the fact that the area known
to be auriferous was very small, and that experienced miners
doubted if the diggings would prove to be extensive; but exaggerated reports of rich discoveries were soon noised abroad and
considerable excitement followed.25
Just previous to this the valley of the Similkameen had been
traversed by Lieutenant H. Spencer Palmer, one of the officers of
the detachment of Royal Engineers which had been sent out by
the British Government to assist Douglas to govern the new
mainland Colony of British Columbia. He was instructed to
make as careful a survey of " the country lying between Fort
Hope and the 49th parallel of latitude, where it meets the route
to Fort Colville," as circumstances permitted; but it is clear
that two points were regarded as of special interest. The first
of these was a site for a post which " would command the routes
to British Columbia from Washington Territory"—in other
words, a strategic point at which customs officers could intercept
persons bound for the Fraser River gold diggings who had
chosen an overland route to the mines, instead of ascending the
river itself. In the second place, Palmer was to pay particular
attention to the " adaptability to settlement" of the Similkameen
Palmer left Hope on September 17, 1859, and on the 22nd
" struck the Similkameen a mile below the Forks," where the
Tulameen joins the Similkameen. " The junction of the two
rivers," he notes in his journal, "is named the 'Vermillion Forks,'
from the existence in its neighbourhood of a red clay or ochre,
from which the Indians manufacture the vermillion face
paint. . . ."27 From this we learn the origin of one of the
early names of Princeton. Vermillion Forks and Red Earth
Forks are both derived from the translation of Tulameen, which
means " Red earth." It is probable that there is also some
connection between this and the Red Water River on McDonald's
map of 1827.    On the banks of the Tulameen not far west of
(25) Further Papers relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, Part
III., London, 1860, pp. 74-75.
(26) Ibid., p. 80.    (Palmer's instructions in full;   dated September 8,
(27) Ibid., p. 84.    Palmer's report is printed in full on pp. 80-89.    His
original manuscript report is preserved in the Provincial Archives. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 81
Princeton is a large outcrop of red ochre, which was formerly
highly prized by the Indians of Similkameen.
Following the Similkameen River, Palmer crossed the International Boundary on September 27, and soon after met a party
attached to the United States Boundary Commission. The discovery of gold was made just ten days later, and Palmer duly
noted the fact in his official report, which is dated November
23. With reference to the prospects for successful settlement
in Similkameen, he had this to say:—
The present undeveloped state of British Columbia, and the absence of
any good roads of communication with the interior, would probably render
futile any attempts to settle the Similkameen and other valleys in the
vicinity of the 49th parallel.
Extensive crops, it is true, might probably be raised, but the emigrant
would have to depend for the other necessaries of life either on such few
as might from time to time find their way into the country from Washington Territory, or on such as might, during four months in the year, be
obtained from Fort Hope and other points on the Fraser River, and either
of which could not be obtained but at prices too exorbitant for the pocket
of the poor man.
It would seem therefore that the Buonaparte and Thompson River
valleys are the natural starting points for civilization and settlement.    .    .    .
Starting from these points civilization would gradually creep forward
and extend finally to the valleys of the frontier.28
Settlement could wait, if need be, but gold-seekers are proverbially impatient, and Douglas was faced with an insistent
demand for a good trail to the new diggings. In April, 1860,
he reported to the Colonial Secretary in London that " he was
daily expecting a report from a surveying party employed at
Hope, in examining . . . the passes leading from that place
to the ' Shimilkomeen' Valley. These routes," he added, " may,
without exaggeration, be severally compared to the passage of
the Alps."29 He was determined to " use every exertion to
connect the Shimilkomeen with Fort Hope by means of a convenient road."30 About June 1 Douglas visited Hope, and at a
public meeting there urged the miners to assist financially in the
construction of a road to the interior. The extent of the gold
deposits was still very uncertain, however, and Douglas therefore
(28) Ibid., p. 88.
(29) Further Papers relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, Part
IV., London, 1862, p. 4.
(30) Ibid., p. 5.
2 82 J. C. Goodfellow. April
recommended that they should at once form a party, selected by themselves,
and composed of experienced miners, and of men on whose energy and judgment they could rely, to prospect the Shimilkomeen country, and I agreed
on the part of the Government to furnish the party with food, and to allow
a bonus of 4 I. sterling in money to each of the men employed in prospecting,
provided they succeeded in finding gold.
The proposal was received with evident marks of satisfaction by the
whole company of miners, and they proceeded at once to select a party of
nine men, out of a large number of those present who volunteered for the
service; and this choice band will start in a few days time    .    .    .31
The leader of this party was John Fall Allison, who had been
in British Columbia since 1858, and ranks as the Similkameen's
best-known pioneer. His report on the trip to Similkameen,
which was dated July 27, 1860, was, in Douglas's words, very
favourable but " not conclusive." Gold had been found on the
South Fork, however, and the specimens forwarded with the
report for assay proved rich and promising.82
Late in September, 1860, in the course of an extended tour
of the interior, Douglas visited Similkameen, and in a despatch to
London, dated October 25, described conditions there as follows:—
After five days' travel in a fine open country we reached the main branch
of the Shimilkomeen River, a few miles below the lately discovered gold
diggings, where 80 or 100 miners were at work, all seemingly in high spirits,
pleased with the country, and elated with their prospects and earnings.
Many of them were engaged in putting up log huts, and making other
preparations, as they intend to winter there if they succeed in having supplies
of flour and other necessaries brought from Hope before the mountains become impassable from snow. As that was clearly impossible without greater
facilities of communication, it was evident they would have no alternative
but to desert their claims and leave the country, at a serious loss to themselves and to the Colony.83
Thus impressed once again with the importance of building
trails and roads, Douglas proceeded to Hope, where he arrived
October 3. Much more than the prosperity of a hundred miners
in Similkameen was involved in the road problem, however.
Gold had been discovered on Rock Creek, in the boundary country some 35 miles east of the Similkameen River, and Douglas
had found nearly 500 miners at work there. The pressing necessity was now a road not merely to the South Fork, but a road
(31) Ibid., p. 10.
(32) Ibid., p. 13.
(33) Ibid., p. 28. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 83
carried on eastward to Rock Creek, where lack of trails in British
territory had thrown the trade of the area into the hands of the
Americans. After this date, indeed, Rock Creek overshadows
Similkameen in importance, not only in dispatches and newspapers, but also in the eyes of miners, traders, and road-builders.34
As is their custom, the miners pressed on to the spot where
rumour told of richer diggings; and although there were reported
to be 200 miners in Similkameen in August of 1861, 150 of them
were Chinese.36 By the fall of the year glowing accounts from
Cariboo completed the eclipse which Rock Creek had commenced,
and the Similkameen diggings, as noted by Bauerman, were practically deserted.
It should be noted in passing that the earliest community
formed by the gold-seekers in the district was at Blackfoot, on
the South Fork of the Similkameen, about 6 miles south-west of
Princeton of to-day, and 2 miles past Allenby. In 1861 the flat
and its immediate neighbourhood contained forty houses, including miners' cabins. For many years this remained one of the
ghost towns of the Province; then it became not even a memory.
In September, 1935, the site was relocated, and identified with
Kruger's Bar.36 According to J. Jameson, iron spikes in a river
boulder indicated until recently where a bridge crossed to a store
and hotel on the south side of the river. Theodore Kruger, who
gave his name to the place, was born in Hanover in 1829, and
came to British Columbia in 1858. Like J. F. Allison, who
arrived the same year, he had tried mining on the Fraser before
coming to Similkameen. In 1868 he moved to Osoyoos, as store
manager for the Hudson's Bay Company.87
The detailed history of the building of trails and roads in
Similkameen cannot be related here, but it is possible to give the
story in outline. In 1860 Sergeant W. McCall, of the Royal
Engineers, located a trail as far east as the lake which A. C.
(34) For an interesting account of this episode see L. Norris, " The
Rise and Fall of Rock Creek," Sixth Report of the Okanagan Historical
Society, 1936, pp. 233-241.
(35) Victoria Colonist, August 31, 1861.
(36) See Seventh Report of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1937,
pp. 14-15.
(37) Mrs. C. Kruger, " Early Days at Osoyoos," Third Annual Report
of the Okanagan Historical Society, 1929, pp. 7 ff. 84 J. C. Goodfellow. April
Anderson had christened the " Punch Bowl." This followed, in
part, Anderson's own trail. The Allison (or Yates) trail was
farther to the south, and is being followed, in part, by the road
now under construction from Princeton to Hope. The 1860
trail, on which Edgar Dewdney worked, avoided the Manson
Mountain route, and followed the Anderson track of 1846 as
far as the Punch Bowl, going by way of the Nicolum and Sumallo
Rivers to the head of the Skagit, then turning north. From the
Punch Bowl the trail crossed over to the source of the Whipsaw.
This led over a summit nearly 6,000 feet in altitude, but avoided
the painful switchbacks which became necessary when the trail
was later straightened out between Mile 23 from Hope and the
summit. There seems to have been considerable trouble during
the trail construction of 1860. Prospectors coming in were
unwilling to be detained by work in progress. The result was
that much of it had to be done over again. Also there seems
to have been division of authority among those in charge, and
Dewdney for a time left the Engineers to follow their own
In 1861 Governor Douglas decided to build a wagon-road
from Hope to Rock Creek. In charge of this undertaking was
Captain J. M. Grant, whom Judge Howay describes as " the
greatest roadbuilder of them all."39 This road was completed as
far as 25 miles from Hope. Although over seventy-five years
have passed since its construction, it is still being used and remains the best monument, east of Hope, to the lasting work of
the Engineers. A dispute arose over tolls proposed by Douglas.
Money was scarce, and more promising gold discoveries lured
miners elsewhere. The result was that road-building was stopped,
and trails already constructed were widened. Three separate
parties continued this work under Sergeant L. F. Bonson, Corporal William Hall, and Sergeant J. McMurphy.
Walter Moberly tells us that in the spring of 1860, at New
Westminster, he " entered into a contract, in partnership with
Mr. Edgar Dewdney, to build a trail from Fort Hope on the
Fraser River to the Shemilkomean River on the east side of the
(38) See H. T. Nation, " The Dewdney Trail," Fourth Report and Proceedings of the B.C. Historical Association, Victoria, 1929, pp. 30-33.
(39) F. W. Howay, The Work of the Royal Engineers in British Columbia 1858 to 1863, Victoria, 1910, pp. 6-8. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 85
Cascade range of mountains, to reach the gold-diggings on the
latter river, where gold of a very fine quality had been discovered."40 Later, in 1861, he and Dewdney continued road-
making, and the trail which they finally completed has ever since
been known as the Dewdney Trail. From 1861 till 1885 there
was no excitement in Similkameen, such as accompanied the first
gold discoveries, but the trail was continually in use.
Dr. W. N. Sage describes the trail as a link in a grand scheme
cherished by Douglas for connecting the coast with Edmonton.
This is understandable, but Douglas's decision that goods could
be brought overland from Hope to Vermillion Forks and taken
down the Similkameen River by boat is not so easy to understand.41 The wish must have been father to the thought. The
truth is that neither in 1860, nor at any time since, has the river
been suitable for this purpose. On October 2, during his visit
to the interior, Douglas instructed Sergeant McCall " to continue
the road to Vermillion Forks or as far as requisite . . . and
to mark out the lower townsite at Vermillion Forks and to push
on over the watershed without delay before winter sets in."42
The original survey of the town of Princeton, carried out in
October, 1860, was below the forks. The name Princeton was
chosen in honour of the Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward
VII., who had just visited Eastern Canada. A number of the
Engineers pre-empted land in the vicinity, and some of them are
remembered in such place names as Moody's Prairie, and Luard
We have already noted the community of gold-seekers at
Blackfoot. The only other "rush" in Similkameen was to Granite
Creek. Here, in 1885, a large community sprang up. This was
at the mouth of the creek, where it enters the right bank of the
Tulameen, 12 miles west of Princeton. W. H. Holmes, recalling
his arrival there soon after the rush began, tells that it was full
of life, and every hundred feet on the river was a wooden wheel,
all turning to a different tune.    The rush was started by the
(40) Walter  Moberly,   The  Rocks   and  Rivers   of  British  Columbia,
London, 1885, pp. 33-34.
(41) W. N. Sage, Sir James Douglas and British Columbia, Toronto,
1930, p. 318.
(42) Ibid., pp. 318-319. 86 J. C. Goodfellow. April
discovery of a nugget by cowboy John Chance. The date of the
discovery is given as July 5, 1885. Chance and some other cowboys were taking some horses through to the Fraser River. He
stopped to water his horse at the creek, and discovered the nugget
which started the rush. Within a few months a tent town
covered the flat near the mouth of the creek. By the end of
October, sixty-two companies had creek claims, averaging 300
feet each. From July 5 to October 31 gold to the value of $90,000
was reported.43 In December, Henry Nicholson, the Mining
Recorder, estimated the population at 600 whites and 300 Chinese. Tents were soon replaced by log buildings. In January,
1886, G. C. Tunstall, Gold Commissioner, reported forty homes,
six saloons and hotels, and seven stores. The peak production
was in 1886, when gold and platinum to the value of $193,000
were taken, chiefly from Granite Creek.44 By 1900 Granite Creek
was another ghost town. Hugh Hunter, who had been appointed
Mining Recorder in August, 1899, was in March, 1900, moved to
Princeton as Government Agent,
Gold officially reported at Granite Creek represented only a
percentage of what was actually taken. Chinese were regarded
as the worst offenders in not reporting amounts taken.45 If
Government Agents were unable to report correct returns, others
were able to overstate them. The truth lies somewhere between
what was actually reported, and what was stated in the following
F. P. Cook, the pioneer merchant of Granite Creek was to Princeton
last Friday. In 1885 when Mr. Cook walked into Granite Creek carrying
his blankets it was with difficulty that he made his way along the crowded
main street. Twelve saloons did a flourishing business and closing hours
were unknown. The town had a population of about 2,000 inhabitants, and
was the third largest city in B.C., being only exceeded by Victoria and New
Westminster. Kamloops then would probably come next in size. Placer
miners in 1885-1886 took $800,000 in gold and platinum out of Granite
(43) Annual Report of the Minister of Mines for the Year    .    .    .    1885,
Victoria, 1886, p. 492.
(44) Charles Camsell, Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Tulameen
District, B.C., Ottawa, 1913, p. 8.
(45) Annual Report of the Minister of Mines for the Year    .    .    .    1885,
p. 494.
(46) Similkameen Star, Princeton, September 10, 1915. 1938 Fur and Gold in Similkameen. 87
There is little to-day to suggest the former glory of what was
possibly the third largest town in the Province in 1886. To-day
it is " just another ghost town." Coal has superseded gold as
the main source of industry in the Tulameen Valley. Early in
the 20th century coal was discovered near the present site of
Blakeburn, and in 1909 at Collin's Gulch. Coalmont was so
named because of the belief that there was a mountain of coal
which could be stripped and operated by steam-shovels.
It remains to carry the story of gold in Similkameen, in brief
outline, down to the present day.
Hedley is the largest settlement in Similkameen now dependent on gold-mining. Placer-mining, which began at the mouth
of Twenty Mile Creek, now Hedley Creek, in the early sixties,
was soon exhausted. The period of lode-mining began in 1896.
George Allison and Jim Riordan had staked three claims for
Edgar Dewdney, in 1894, and one had been recorded by J. Coult-
hard. These four, however, were allowed to lapse. Peter Scott
located the Rollo in 1897, and three claims the following year.
That same August (1898) Albert Jacobson and C. Johnson, two
Swedes who had been grub-staked by W. Y. Williams, of Phoenix,
located two claims, and four were staked by F. I. Wollaston and
C. H. Arundel. Samples from these last claims came to the
notice of M. K. Rodgers, who represented the mining interests of
the late Marcus Daly, of Butte, Montana. At the time Rodgers
was on his way to the Cassiar district. He cancelled his sailing
from Victoria, and next morning started out for Similkameen.
The first samples to be assayed carried values so high that Rodgers
suspected salting. With this in mind he returned by himself and
resampled the properties. The results were equally promising.
With the bonding of the group, permanent work was started in
January, 1899. In October, 1902, a tramway was constructed,
flume work undertaken, and the erection of a stamp-mill and
cyanide plant commenced. Milling of ore began in May, 1904.47
By the time that the Nickel Plate holdings of the Daly estate
were sold on August 12, 1909, to the Exploration Syndicate of
(47)  Charles Camsell, The Geology and Ore Deposits of Hedley Mining
District, British Columbia, Ottawa, 1910, pp. 16-21. 88 J. C. Goodfellow. April
New York, over two and a half millions in gold had been taken.48
During the war, and again during the depression, operations
were suspended. Since then other companies have entered the
field, and Hedley continues to be one of the best-known camps in
the Province. Elsewhere in Similkameen the search for gold
continues by the time-honoured methods of hydraulicking, sluicing and panning.    The prospector has outlived the fur-trader.
It is now eighty years since the first gold-seekers came to
Similkameen. It was the presence of prospectors and the discovery of gold that decided Douglas to have trails completed
from Hope through Similkameen to Rock Creek. It was also
the search for gold which brought to light the presence of other
minerals, and of coal. These are being mined to-day on a large
It is now 125 years since the first journey through the Similkameen was made by a fur-trader. The Hudson's Bay trading-
post at Keremeos, opened in 1860, was closed in 1872; but the
farming, fruit-growing, and stock-raising which were begun
there are to-day the mainstay of the lower end of the valley.
The fur-traders and the seekers after gold who pioneered
Similkameen have left a goodly heritage.
J. C. Goodfellow.
Princeton, B.C.
(48) Statement to the writer by the late Frank Bailey. See the chapter
on " Camp Hedley" in his Nicola, Similkameen and Tulameen Valleys?
Vancouver, n.d., pp. 56-65. IN MEMORY OF DAVID DOUGLAS.
Shortly before his death in 1886 my grandfather, John Goldie,
planted a Douglas Fir in the grounds of a new residence of his
son. After the ceremony he was asked by his grandchildren
why he had chosen to plant this British Columbian tree. In
reply he told us that the man after whom it was named had been
a friend and fellow-student in Glasgow, when they were both
working under the direction of Sir William Jackson Hooker, then
Professor of Botany at Glasgow University. When questioned
further he recounted the life-history of David Douglas, and told
of his tragic death in Hawaii in 1834. On finishing the story,
he said: " Should any of you boys visit the Sandwich Islands,
look up the burial place of my college mate." Forty-four years
later it fell to my lot to carry out the suggestion made by my
grandfather, during a winter's stay in Honolulu in 1930.
John Goldie was born near the village of Kirkoswald, in Ayrshire, Scotland, on March 21, 1793. He received a thorough
training in the science of botany and in practical gardening, and
became connected with the Botanic Gardens at Glasgow. It was
here that he met David Douglas. Recommendations from Sir
William Hooker enabled both young men to make scientific expeditions abroad; but as John Goldie was Douglas's senior by five
years, he was naturally the first to embark on his travels. In
1817 he set sail for America, where he spent two years in Nova
Scotia, Quebec, and the eastern United States. He taught school
for a time, but his primary occupation was botanizing. He
gathered a rich harvest of specimens, but suffered a heartbreaking disappointment as the three large collections which he
forwarded to Great Britain were all lost in transit. However,
upon his return in 1819 he was able to introduce many new and
rare plants into Europe, a list of which appeared in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, in 1822. Sir William Hooker, following the same practice he afterwards did with David Douglas,
named plants after the men who had discovered and classified
About the time John Goldie returned to Scotland the Emperor
of Russia established a botanical garden at St. Petersburg, and
he was employed to make a collection of plants for it.   During 90 John Goldie. April
his residence in Russia he made extensive botanical explorations,
and was able to introduce many rare plants into England. About
the year 1830 he visited Russia a second time, and travelled in
Siberia, following his favourite pursuit. Finally, in 1844, having
formed a favourable opinion of Canada as a place of residence
during his visits in 1817-19, he brought his family out and settled
near the village of Ayr, Ontario, where he continued to reside
until his death in July, 1886, at the ripe age of ninety-three.
Meanwhile David Douglas had commenced his scientific travels.
In 1823 he made an expedition to the eastern United States for
the Royal Horticultural Society, and in 1824 sailed for the Columbia River, again under the auspices of the Society, aboard the
Hudson's Bay Company's annual supply ship William and Ann.
He arrived at Fort Vancouver in April, 1825, and spent the next
two years in exploring the region now known as the Pacific
Northwest. In 1827 he travelled overland to Hudson Bay and
sailed thence to England. In 1829 he returned to the Pacific
Coast, and resumed his botanizing expeditions, which took him
over large sections of the present states of California, Oregon,
and Washington. Finally he travelled to the Sandwich (now
the Hawaiian) Islands, and undertook the survey of their flora
which was to cost him his life. On July 12, 1834, he wandered
from a path, though he had been warned of the danger of so
doing, and fell into a pit intended to trap wild cattle. There he
was trampled to death by a bullock which was either in the pit
at the time or fell into it soon after.
News of this tragedy was sent to England by Richard Charlton, British Consul in the Sandwich Islands, in a letter dated
August 6, 1834. One sentence reads as follows: " I have caused
his grave to be built over with brick, and perhaps his friends may
send a stone to be placed (with an inscription) upon it." This
would seem to have been a reasonable expectation, as the President and Council of the Royal Horticultural Society had been
highly gratified by the results of his expeditions, and Douglas
had achieved considerable fame during his stay in Great Britain
in 1827-29. For some reason, however, nothing was done, possibly because Douglas was not actually in the employ of the
Society at the time of his death; and more than twenty years
passed before any effort was made to mark his resting-place. 1938 In Memory of David Douglas. 91
Then, in 1855, one Julius L. Brenchley purchased a white marble
monument in San Francisco, and shipped it to Honolulu for
erection in the cemetery of the Kawaiahao Church—the Westminster Abbey of Hawaii—where Douglas lies buried.
When I reached Honolulu in 1930, nothing seemed to be
known about Brenchley, or about how he came to erect a monument to David Douglas. At my request, Mr. A. P. Taylor, the
late Archivist of Hawaii, made an exhaustive search through the
very numerous letters of Robert Crichton Wyllie, a Scotsman
who for over twenty years was Minister of Foreign Relations
for the Royal Family of Hawaii. He was a poor penman as well
as a voluminous writer, which made it doubly difficult to find
anything that might refer to Douglas and his burial in the
Hawaiian churchyard; but in the end Mr. Taylor unearthed an
exchange of letters between Wyllie and Brenchley with reference
to the monument.
It seems that the Rev. Julius Brenchley noticed that Douglas's
grave was unmarked when he visited Hawaii in the early fifties.
The rest of the story is told in a letter from Brenchley to Wyllie,
dated San Francisco, July 11, 1855, which reads in part as
I have had a tombstone prepared for your compatriot Douglas
I take the liberty of asking you if you will do me the favor to have it
erected in the grave yard of the stone church where he was buried in
Knowing the profound interest you take in science and scientific men,
is my excuse for requesting you to see to the erection of this humble tribute
to the memory of a man of science, genius and integrity. It was my wish
and intention long since to have done this but not being able to get it done
in Honolulu I was obliged to defer it until my arrival in San Francisco.
I have ordered the stone to be shipped to day on board the Vanquero and
have written to Mr Montgomery requesting him to defray for me any
expenses that may attend its erection. I should like the grave to be
enclosed within a neat fence which you will much oblige me by having done
for me.    Also I take the liberty of having the case addressed to you.
In a letter dated Honolulu, July 26, 1855, Wyllie replied as
In concurrence with Mr Montgomery I shall do all that you request in
regard to the tombstone for the grave of the unfortunate Mr Douglas.
It is much to your honour that you bethought yourself of so honouring
his memory and thereby leaving a vestige of your presence on these islands. 92 John Goldie. April
Difficulties developed, however, which Wyllie explained to
Brenchley in a second letter, dated January 31, 1856:—
I have lost much time here in endeavors to get the grave of the late
Mr Douglas identified, but I find that no one can do it exactly. They point
out a place the space of 12 yards square where it was, but as the bricks
which covered it have been removed no one can indicate the precise spot.
Mr Armstrong and the Rev Mr Clark have tried all the missionaries and
other old residents. Under these circumstances I have obtained permission
to put the tablet on the wall inside the church, near which Mr Douglas was
interred and of this I hope you will approve.
Although this letter states distinctly that the monument was
being placed inside the church, it was, in actual fact, set in the
outside wall nearest the grave. Through the years the soft
stone of which it was composed began to crumble; and some ten
years ago this attracted the attention and interest of W. H. Baird,
the British Vice-Consul in Honolulu. He took up the matter
with the church authorities, and they agreed to place the memorial in the right vestibule of the building. Mr. Baird also
communicated with the Royal Horticultural Society, with the
result that the Society bore the cost of erection inside the church,
and also placed two bronze tablets under the stone. The smaller
of these, measuring 10 by 6 inches, gives the original Latin inscription, and the following translation:—
Here lies Master David Douglas, born
in Scotland A. D. 1799. An indefatigable taveller, he was sent out by
the Royal Horticultural Society of
London, and gave his life for science
in the wilds of Hawaii, July 12, 1834.
" E'en here the tear of pity springs
And hearts are touched by human things."
The larger tablet, 24 by 10 inches, has the following inscription :—
The Royal Horticultural Society, grateful
for his services to Horticulture and
Botany, caused this copy of the crumbling
inscription to the memory of David Douglas
to be recorded in 1929.
This belated action of the Society which had sent Douglas to
botanize in the Pacific Northwest seems very strange. Even
though he was not actually in its service at the time of his death, 1938 In Memory of Davtd Douglas. 93
ninety-five years is a long time in which to show gratitude for
distinguished service performed.
One point remains to be considered. Who was the Rev.
Julius Brenchley? Careful search of old records and newspapers
by the writer in Hawaii, San Francisco, and Sacramento failed
to give any clue as to his identity; but through Mr. John Forsyth,
former Provincial Archivist, I was able finally to secure a sketch
of his career from William F. Wilson, of Honolulu, author of a
pamphlet entitled David Douglas Botanist at Hawaii (1919).
Julius Lucius Brenchley was born in Maidstone, England, on
November 30, 1816. He was educated at the Maidstone Grammar School, and subsequently entered St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated as an MA. He was ordained to a
curacy at Shoreham, Kent, and in 1845 travelled with his parents
on the continent of Europe.
In 1847, on the death of his father, Brenchley entered on the
career of a traveller, which he followed without intermission
until 1867. In 1849 he visited the eastern United States, where
for a time he lived a forest life amongst the Indians. This was
followed by a journey in 1850 up the Mississippi and Missouri
to St. Joseph, and thence to Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia
River, by way of the Rocky Mountains. Thence he proceeded to
the Hawaiian Islands, where he discovered the neglected condition of David Douglas's grave. In Hawaii he met another
traveller, M. Jules Remy, and in his company journeyed to California. From San Francisco he and Remy undertook an adventurous expedition to Utah and Salt Lake City, and upon their
return crossed the Sierra Nevada to New Mexico. In 1856 they
visited Panama and Ecuador, and later went to Peru and Chili.
The year 1857 saw Brenchley and his companion again in the
United States where, after visiting the Canadian Lakes, they
descended the Mississippi from its source to St. Louis. Ultimately they reached New York and embarked there for England.
So far as we know, Brenchley did not again visit North
America; but in the ten years 1858-1867 he roamed over the
vast extent of Africa, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, arriving
finally in St. Petersburg in January, 1867. After visiting Poland
and Austria he went to Marseilles. Going thence to Paris, he
was in that city when it was first beleaguered by the Prussians, 94 John Goldie. April
in 1870. Subsequently he settled at Milgate House, near Maidstone, but in consequence of ill-health moved to Folkestone in
1872, where he died on February 21, 1873, aged fifty^six years.
Brenchley was buried in the family vault at All Saints, Maidstone. He bequeathed the bulk of his large collections in ethnology, natural history, oriental objects, paintings, and library
to the town of Maidstone, leaving also an endowment for their
preservation. He was the author of at least two books, A
Journey to Great Salt Lake City, published jointly with Jules
Remy in 1861, and The Cruise of the Curacoa Among the South
Sea Islands in 1865, a copy of which the writer presented to the
Provincial Library in 1937.
From this sketch it is apparent that Brenchley can have had
no personal acquaintance with David Douglas. He was only
eighteen when Douglas was killed. His action in securing a
monument to mark his grave was due entirely to his desire
that the resting-place of an eminent scientist should neither be
neglected nor forgotten.
John Goldie.
PART II.:  1855-1866.
Muir & Company of Sooke.
It will be recalled that when John Muir acquired the estate
of Captain Grant at Sooke, in 1853, the property included the
remains of a water-power sawmill, at the north-east corner of
Sooke Basin. Though John Muir's sons, and in particular
Michael Muir, were engaged in the timber trade at the time, no
effort seems to have been made to repair and operate this mill.
Exports from Sooke were confined to spars, squared timbers and
piles, all of which could be produced by hand.
Early in 1855, however, an accident enabled the Muirs to
secure cheaply the machinery required for a steam sawmill. On
February 10, the small steamship Major Tompkins, which had
just commenced to run between Victoria and Puget Sound, ran
ashore on Macaulay Point, at the entrance to Victoria Harbour.
On March 1 the wreck was sold at auction to Robert Laing, and
from him the Muirs purchased the vessel's machinery. The
curious old diary of Robert Melrose, which is preserved in the
Provincial Archives, records that on March 29 the " Yankee
Scow sailed [for] Soack, with the Major Tompkin's boiler and
engine."1 There they were placed in a new sawmill, which was
built near the entrance of Sooke Harbour, in the district now
called West Sooke. Old notes indicate that a saw or saw-frame
from Grant's original mill was moved to this new plant.
Though it is known that the Muirs were active in the timber
and lumber trade during the next few years, no details of their
operations are available. Even the early newspapers are silent
on the point, and the first item giving any information of value
did not appear until the autumn of 1859, when the Victoria
Colonist reported that the bark Euphrates had sailed for London
from Sooke on October 6, carrying 157 spars and 40,000 feet of
lumber.2   In 1860 Michael Muir announced that he was opening
(1) Robert Melrose, Royal Emigrants Almanack   (MS.).    The diary
covers the period from August, 1852, to July, 1857.
(2) Victoria Colonist, October 10, 1859. 96 W. Kaye Lamb. April
a lumber yard in Victoria, where he would " keep constantly on
hand a full assortment of Lumber and Shingles, suitable for this
market, at the corner of Government and Humboldt streets."3
In December, 1862, the Prussian bark Dove was at Sooke, loading a cargo of spars and lumber for Shanghai.4 The following
March the schooner Industry brought 32,000 feet of lumber from
Sooke to Victoria; and Macfie states that a total of 100,000 feet
were received at Victoria from the Sooke mill during the year
In 1864, during the Leech River gold excitement, the mill
was advertised for sale, and on August 25 it was sold at auction
to a Mr. Seeley, for $4,500.6 The auctioneers were Messrs.
Duncan & George, of which firm James Duncan, former owner
of the Albert Head sawmill, was a partner; and it is probable
that Seeley purchased the mill on his behalf. In any event,
we know that in December Duncan was in the market for two
million feet of saw'Iogs, to be delivered at the Sooke sawmill,7
and that lumber consigned to him was reaching Victoria from
Sooke a few weeks later. The schooner Matilda arrived with
50,000 feet early in January, 1865, and she brought another
40,000 feet in February."
Just when the Muirs resumed possession of the mill is not
clear, but a list of sawmills printed in 1867 indicates that ownership had reverted to them by that date. The same list states
that the cost of the plant was $8,000, that it was equipped with
a steam-engine and two saws, and that its capacity was 8,000
feet per day.9 Subsequently it was enlarged, and a number of
substantial export shipments were made from Sooke in 1869. In
April, for example, the bark Cecrops loaded 300,000 feet of
lumber for Valparaiso, while in September the brig Orient sailed
(3) Ibid., February 28, 1860.
(4) Ibid., December 20, 1862;   April 14, 1863.
(5) Ibid.,  March  19,  1863;    Matthew  Macfie,  Vancouver Island and
British Columbia, London, 1865, p. 135.
(6) Victoria Evening Express, August 25, 1864.
(7) Victoria Colonist, December 31, 1864.
(8) Ibid., January 12, February 27, 1865.
(9) Arthur Harvey, A Statistical Account of British Columbia, Ottawa,
1867, p. 16. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 97
with 320,000 feet for the same destination, and the ship Old
Dominion carried no less than 670,000 feet to Australia.10
As its only predecessor was the unfortunate Albert Head
venture, the Muir mill deserves to rank as the first successful
steam sawmill on Vancouver Island. For this reason a word
may be added about its later history. All went well until the
early morning of June 17, 1875, when a bush fire, fanned by a
high wind, set the mill afire. The blaze spread to " the well-
stocked granaries of the Muir Brothers, which, with the mill and
contents, were leveled to the ground in an incredibly short space
of time."11 The loss was estimated at $20,000. No insurance
was carried, but the sawmill was rebuilt at once, and this time
both steam- and water-power machinery were installed. In the
winter of 1878-79 the mill was moved and again rebuilt on a
site near the old Government wharf, on Sooke Harbour.12 It
was closed down finally in 1892.
Captain Edward Stamp.
The third steam sawmill on Vancouver Island was the Stamp
or Anderson mill, at the head of the Alberni Canal. The timber
resources of that region were first drawn to the attention of the
Government of the Colony by William E. Banfield, a British
sailor who had taken his discharge from H.M.S. Constance, on
the Esquimalt station, in 1849. In later years he traded with
the Indians on the West Coast, and in the spring of 1859 was
appointed Agent for the Colonial Secretary in that region. He
lived at Barkley Sound, and forwarded a number of reports on
the country thereabouts to Victoria. In the fall of 1859 he informed the Colonial Secretary, W. A. G. Young, that although
he had formerly considered the timber there " unable to compete
either in quality or quantity with the timber on Puget Sound,"
he was now convinced that the stands in the district were both
extensive and valuable. ". . . The places I have remarked
merely at hazard, sir," he wrote on October 24, " will I think
warrant me in stating that ere long it will cause Barclay Sound
to be noticed and must eventually become an article of export,
(10) Victoria Colonist, April 16, September 30, 1869.
(11) Ibid., June 18, 1875.
(12) Ibid., January 23, 1909 (obituary of John Muir). 98 W. Kaye Lamb. April
and an important item in the prosperity and peopling of the
Southern end of the Island    .    .    ,"13
It is at least possible that Banfield's report influenced the
decision to locate the Anderson sawmill at Alberni. This mill
was by far the largest lumbering enterprise undertaken on the
Island in the Crown Colony period, and owed its initiation to
Captain Edward Stamp, an English shipmaster and commission
agent. Stamp visited Vancouver Island as early as 1857, and
was contracting for spars and lumber on Puget Sound, on behalf
of English purchasers, the following year. He seems always to
have been engaged in a variety of enterprises, and in 1859 spent
much of his time endeavouring to organize a British steamer
line between San Francisco and Victoria. His plan almost succeeded, as the contract with the British Government for the
service had been drawn up and printed when the collapse of the
Derby administration put an end to the matter.14 This point is
germane to the present subject because the negotiations for the
contract took Stamp to England; and it was during his sojourn
there that a group of London capitalists entrusted him with the
task of establishing a large sawmill somewhere on the Northwest Coast.
Stamp arrived in Victoria late in 1859, and on December 21
addressed a letter to Governor Douglas which read, in part, as
I take the liberty of waiting on your Excellency to lay before you, on
behalf of myself and persons in England with whom I am connected, certain
plans which I would wish to carry out, if possible in the colony of Vancouver
It is our intention to establish a first class Saw Mill, capable of delivering 50,000 feet of lumber per diem, a fishery and fish curing establishment,
a patent slip—capable of accommodating vessels up to 2000 tons burthen;
and other projects—which we hope will materially conduce to the welfare
of the colony. The whole of the saw mill machinery is already bought and
paid for, and on its way to this port, on board a vessel belonging to ourselves, expressly built for the purpose of bringing it out. Considerable
preparations have been made for the fish curing establishment, several
skilled artisans and their families were engaged before I left Great Britain
and are now also on their way.
(13) W. E. Banfield to W. A. G. Young, October 24, 1859. Unless otherwise indicated, the original or a copy of all correspondence quoted is in the
Provincial Archives.
(14) Stamp to A. N. Birch, April 19, 1865. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 99
The establishment will involve an outlay of several thousand of pounds,
and the employment of probably not less than 200 laborers. And the only
question is, where the establishment is to be fixed.
I have been entrusted with the selection of the locality, and although as
Englishmen, I and all my friends would regret to be compelled to invest
our capital and our industry in the United States, yet the advantages and
facilities in that Country are as your Excellency is aware, so great, that
unless the land system of this Colony present somewhat equal advantages,
I shall be compelled, however reluctantly, to advise my friends, in justice
to their pecuniary interests, to decide upon some point on the opposite coast
of Washington Territory.    .    .    .
The result of my inquiries has been that one particular locality in Washington Territory affords me such facilities as to counterbalance the inconvenience of the additional navigation of the Straits; which would be
imposed upon us beyond what would be necessary if we were established
at some point near the South West end of Vancouver Island; and we would
also have San Francisco market open to our lumber, which we cannot have
if we decide to establish on British Territory.
I have found it impossible to ascertain with sufficient confidence whether
our requirements can be legally and sufficiently met in this Colony.
These requirements, as outlined in this and subsequent letters,
were three in number. The first essential was a site for the sawmill and a tract of land suitable " for living and cultivation . . .
say 2000 acres." The second was an assured supply of logs, to
secure which Stamp wished to acquire " a much larger tract of
land . . . absolutely or with an exclusive right of cutting
timber on it say, 10,000 or 12,000 acres." In the third place,
Stamp asked that his settlement should be made a port of entry,
as a convenience to shipping.
This letter placed Douglas in a quandary, as Young, the
Colonial Secretary, explained to Stamp in a letter dated January
2, 1860. Douglas was most anxious to see the mill established
in the Colony, but at the moment was " actually without the
power to give any perfect title or make a complete conveyance
of any land in the Colony." The British Government was expected to resume direct control of Vancouver Island, which it
had granted to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1848, at any moment, and in view of this the Company was no longer prepared
to negotiate land sales. On the other hand, Douglas had received
no authority from London to take over the management of
Colonial lands. In spite of this, Douglas and Stamp managed
to come to an agreement, though of necessity it was expressed
in very general terms.    Stamp was authorized to take possession 100 W. Kaye Lamb. April
of 2,000 acres for purposes of settlement, and not more than
15,000 acres of timber limits. Douglas guaranteed that Stamp
would not have to pay for his own improvements, if and when
these lands were placed on the market, and that the sale price
would not exceed one pound per acre. On his side, Stamp agreed
to make " permanent improvements " to the property to the
extent of £7,500 before the end of I860.15
Stamp himself owned a share in the syndicate on whose behalf he was negotiating, but the major portion of the capital
involved was supplied by two London firms—James Thomson &
Company and Thomas Bilbe & Company. The former was established in 1797, and " as shipowners and shipbrokers sent sailing
ships to the West Indies, to Australia, and to the Far East. They
were also part proprietors of a shipbuilding yard and dock
known as Nelson Dock at Rotherhithe on the River Thames, and
were thus interested in the supply of timber for shipbuilding."16
Thomas Bilbe & Company were associated with them in the
ownership of this shipbuilding business. According to Captain
Walbran, Thomson & Company became interested in the Northwest Coast because they felt that civil war was imminent in the
United States. They were accustomed to purchase spars and
ship-timbers in the South, and considered it prudent to secure
(15) The important letters relating to these negotiations are the following: Stamp to Douglas, December 21, 1859; Stamp to Young, December 30,
1859, January 6 and 13, 1860;   Young to Stamp, January 2 and 10, 1860.
Douglas reported the agreement to London in a despatch dated January
26, 1860, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies gave his approval on
April 6. Meanwhile on March 21, Douglas transmitted copies of the correspondence to the House of Assembly, and a lively debate followed. Alfred
Waddington contended that " all the profits would go to England; everything required, from nails down to shoestrings, would come from the mother
country. Victoria, would not be benefitted." In the end a resolution was
passed which approved the land grant for settlement, but which contended
that the timber limits should be defined as the timber lands necessary " for
maintaining Capt. Stamp's saw-mills for twenty years, at a rate per square
mile, licensed."   See Victoria Colonist, April 5, 1860.
The ubiquitous James Duncan appears momentarily in the picture as a
rival applicant for a land grant for lumbering purposes at the head of the
Alberni Canal.    (James Duncan to W. A. G. Young, January 10, 1860.)
(16) From a memorandum dated April 23, 1936, kindly furnished by
Sir Alan Garrett Anderson, G.B.E., of Anderson, Green & Company, London. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 101
an alternative source of supply, in view of the contracts they
had made with several European governments.17
As the sawmill at Alberni is usually referred to as the
"Anderson mill," it may be added that James Anderson, who
had entered the employ of Thomson & Company as a boy, had
become a partner in 1842. Three of his nephews joined the
company in 1863-70, and the firm became successively Anderson,
Thomson & Company, and Anderson, Anderson & Company. It
continues to flourish to-day as Anderson, Green & Company,
managers of the Orient Line of passenger and mail steamers
between England and Australia.
The Anderson Mill at Alberni.
On June 29, 1860, the schooner Meg Merrilies, Captain Pamphlet, landed nine workmen at the head of the Alberni Canal,
to make preparations for the new settlement.18 Two months
later the schooner Woodpecker arrived from England, after a
passage of 140 days, bringing six additional workmen, the
machinery for the mill, and general merchandise.19 She was
the specially-built craft to which Stamp referred in his correspondence with Douglas. On September 1, the Meg Merrilies
returned with two important passengers—Captain Stamp and
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat. Sproat had been in the London office
of James Thomson & Company, and had been sent out to be
their direct representative on Vancouver Island.20 The next day,
to avoid possible trouble with the Indians, Stamp and Sproat
purchased from them the land selected for the settlement. The
price paid was about £20 in goods, and the natives withdrew
within a few days.21 " The first house that was built," Sproat
has recorded, " was made of logs, with split wood for the roof—
rather a plain-looking hut, but nevertheless a comfortable house
in all weathers.    It was the kind of house that woodmen build
(17) John T. Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, Ottawa, 1909,
p. 469.
(18) W. E. Banfield to W. A. G. Young, Colonial Secretary, July 3, 1860.
(19) Banfield to Young, September 6, 1860.
(20) See T. A. Rickard, " Gilbert Malcolm Sproat," British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), pp. 21-32.
(21) Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, Scenes and Studies of Savage Life, London, 1868, p. 3. 102 W. Kaye Lamb. April
with the axe alone."22 In addition to Stamp and Sproat, the
Meg Merrilies had brought " twelve Mechanics, oxen and merchandise "; and when she returned to Victoria she carried a
report from W. E. Banfield, which stated that the settlement then
numbered some forty white people. Buildings, he added, were
" progressing rapidly and the place assuming quite a civilised
aspect."23 In November, Stamp was sworn in as a Justice of
the Peace and left Victoria to take personal charge of building
operations. By that time construction of the sawmill itself, the
site of which is now part of the townsite of Port Alberni, had
commenced. " Capt. Stamp has one large store, five dwelling
houses and several out-buildings erected," the Colonist reported
in December. " The foundation of the mill is almost completed,
but it is very strong and a tedious piece of work." Logging had
commenced, and a gang of men were employed getting out
Five months later, on May 22, 1861, the new sawmill got up
steam for the first time.25 H.M. survey ship Hecate was then
lying in Barkley Sound, and a letter from Banfield to the Colonist
newspaper dated May 23 records that " Capt. Stamp's place "
had been " named Alberni by the survey."26 Lieutenant Mayne,
who was on board the Hecate, describes the new settlement in his
well-known book, Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver
Island. Like Captain Brotchie before him, Stamp was eager to
interest the British Admiralty in his spars; and Mayne notes
that when the Hecate sailed for Esquimalt she had " in tow a
main topmast for the Bacchante, which Mr. Stamp sent as a
present and specimen to the Admiral."27
Though not in all respects completed, the mill was in full
operation by the end of May. The first shipment of lumber from
Alberni consisted of 30,000 feet, and was carried to Victoria by
(22) Ibid., p. 6.
(23) Banfield to Young, September 6, 1860. Bishop Hills arrived at
Alberni aboard H.M.S. Grappler, in October. His account of his visit is
found in the Report of the Columbia Mission, London, 1860, pp. 86-88.
(24) Victoria Colonist, December 8, 1860.
(25) Banfield to Young, May 23, 1861.
(26) Victoria Colonist, May 30, 1861.
(27) R. C Mayne, Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver
Island, London, 1862, p. 231. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 103
the schooner Meg Merrilies early in July.28 The same month the
first vessel to load for the export market, the brigantine Marcella,
arrived at Alberni to load for Callao, Peru. In August Alberni
was made a port of entry, in accordance with Stamp's agreement
with Douglas, and Stamp himself was appointed Collector. By
that time the settlement had become a veritable hive of industry.
" Captain Stamp's mill," Banfield reported to the Colonial Secretary, " works with 6 gang of saws cutting about 14,000 feet per
day, but every day improvements are making, much of the
machinery that came from England has been entirely altered
and in some parts superseded wholly. When they get a large
circular saw at work they anticipate cutting about 50,000 feet
per day."29 Stamp made a trip to San Francisco to charter ships
to carry lumber to that port and the Sandwich Islands, and while
in Victoria complained that labour was scare, and that although
he needed twenty men he had only been able to secure three.
The wages offered were $20 to $130 a month, according to ability.
In addition to the sawmill, Stamp was operating a fishing station
on Barkley Sound, and 250 acres of peas, barley, and oats were
harvested on the farms near the settlement in 1861. The industries represented also included shipbuilding, as an 87-foot
schooner, later named the Alberni, was under construction at
this time.30 She was intended to replace the Woodpecker, which
had been wrecked on Peacock Spit, at the mouth of the Columbia
River, in May.
No complete record of the output of the Alberni mill in 1861
has yet come to light. Coastwise shipments seem to have been
limited to those brought to Victoria by the schooner Meg Merrilies. She made five trips with lumber, and carried in all a
total of 146,000 feet. In the export trade the Marcella, already
mentioned, was followed by the ship Starr King, which loaded
700,000 feet of lumber for Australia; and the brig Sheet Anchor,
which carried the pioneer shipment from Alberni to the Sandwich Islands.
The winter of 1861-62 was unusually severe, and for several
weeks the weather brought operations at Alberni to a standstill.
(28) Victoria Colonist, July 11, 1861.
(29) Banfield to Young, August 10, 1861.
(30) Victoria Colonist, August 23 and 27, 1861. 104 W. Kaye Lamb. April
Late in January, W. E. Banfield reported that it was impossible
for a vessel to get within four miles of the mill, because of the
ice in the Alberni Canal.31 On the whole, however, 1862 was
a busy year for the sawmill. Mention of fourteen vessels which
loaded lumber or spars for export can be found in contemporary
letters and newspapers, and the steam tug Diana, which Stamp
had purchased in San Francisco, was kept busy towing ships in
or out, or making coastwise trips to Victoria. She was joined
presently by the new schooner Alberni, which was employed at
first in the coastwise trade, but which later made a number of
voyages to the Sandwich Islands.
The official return for 1862 states that export shipments from
Alberni for the year amounted to 7,804,000 feet of rough lumber,
valued at $11 per thousand feet, and 270,000 feet of dressed
lumber, valued at $20 per thousand, or a total of 8,074,000 feet
in all, valued at $91,244. To this must be added four cargoes
of spars, one of which went to Batavia, and the other three to
Great Britain. These were valued officially at $28,673. Spars
and lumber together were thus estimated to be worth $119,917.32
Not content with his lumbering and fishing activities, Stamp
had added copper-mining to his enterprises, in the spring of the
year. Prospecting parties financed by him, and in some cases
directed by his sons, investigated various spots both on the banks
of the Alberni Canal, and on Santa Maria Island and Copper
Island. No mines of importance were developed, though a few
tons of ore were shipped to Victoria.33 Stamp seems to have
engaged in mining on his own account, and not on behalf of the
sawmill company. Indeed, he may have turned to it as a possible
alternative occupation, for relations within the mill-owning syndicate were becoming strained. The first public indication of
this came in November, 1862, when Stamp & Company, the name
under which the syndicate had operated both the sawmill at
Alberni and a prosperous commission agency in Victoria, was
(31) Banfield to Young, January 30, 1862.
(32) Victoria Colonist, January 9, 1863.
(33) For details see Banfield to Colonial Secretary, March 2 and April
30, 1862; Stamp to Colonial Secretary, February 10, 12 and 13, and April
10, 1862. Banfield lost his life on October 20, 1862, and the supposition is
that he was murdered by Indians. The last of his interesting and valuable
letters in the Archives is dated August 24. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 105
succeeded by Anderson & Company. This move was followed
presently by Stamp's retirement from the firm. The original
partnership was dissolved in January, 1863, upon the application
of James Thomson & Company, and Gilbert Malcolm Sproat
succeeded Stamp as manager both of the sawmill and the commission-house.34 It is only just to add that Stamp seems to
have been highly popular amongst his workmen, and that upon
his departure the sawmill crew presented him with a gold watch
which cost $250.35
Activities at Alberni reached their height in August, 1863,
when no less than ten vessels were loading lumber and spars
simultaneously. Four of these were bound for Australia, three
for China, and the remaining three for Callao, Manila and London.36 Included in the number was the Fusi Yama, of 994 tons
gross, the only tramp steamer which ever visited the Anderson
mill. She loaded lumber for Shanghai. Just previous to this
a flurry of excitement had been caused by the report that a
Confederate warship had arrived in the Pacific. Sproat applied
to Governor Douglas for " official certificates of production to
accompany the shipping documents of cargoes of lumber and
spars which, owing to the scarcity of British tonnage in this
quarter, we are obliged to ship from Alberni in American bottoms." These he hoped " would be useful in saving the cargo in
the event of capture of the American vessel in which it was
shipped."37 Douglas expressed his willingness to comply with
this request,38 but whether any certificates were actually issued
does not appear.
Export shipments from Alberni in 1863 totalled 11,273,000
feet of sawn lumber—an increase of almost 40 per cent, over
1862—and 1,300 spars. In addition to this, 1,000,000 feet of
lumber were shipped coastwise to Victoria.39    This coastal trade,
(34) Victoria Colonist, November 18, 1862;  January 9, 1863.
(35) For an account of Stamp's subsequent activities in the lumbering
industry on the Mainland see F. W. Howay, " Early Shipping on Burrard
Inlet," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), pp. 8-16.
(36) Victoria Colonist, August 29, 1863.
(37) Anderson & Company to Young, July 7, 1863.
(38) Young to Anderson & Company, July 14, 1863.
(39) Macfie, Vancouver Island and British Columbia, London, 1865,
p. 135. 106
W. Kaye Lamb.
in which timber was carried in one direction and supplies for
the sawmill and settlement in the other, was now carried on by
the schooner Alberni and by the Thames, a steamer which Sproat
had secured to replace the Diana. Including these coastwise
sailings, a total of fifty-nine vessels of 20,077 tons net were
entered at the port of Alberni in 1863.40
Lumber Exports from Alberni, 1864-
Hong Kong   	
New Zealand:
South America:
Sandwich Islands:
Both the sawmill and the port were busy during the greater
part of 1864. " The large number of vessels now loading at the
Alberni Mills causes a great stir at the Settlement," the Colonist
reported in June; "the mills are working night and day, and
every body is as busy as possible."41 News items indicate that
throughout the summer and autumn there were always at least
five vessels in port loading spars or lumber. It so happens that
complete statistics of the Alberni exports for the year have been
(40) Return of Vessels    .    .
186S (MS.).
(41) Victoria Colonist, June 28, 1864.
Entered at the Port of Alberni during 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 107
preserved; and the accompanying table gives these returns
arranged according to destination. Exports totalled 10,947,956
board-feet, or about 325,000 feet less than in 1863. Local shipments to Victoria consisted of 702,118 feet of rough lumber and
184,882 feet of dressed lumber, or 887,000 feet in all. The spar
trade had fallen off heavily, and only fifty-four spars were
shipped during the year—eighteen to Shanghai and thirty-six
to Callao. Other products included 3,054 running feet of piles,
796 bundles of laths and 120 bundles of pickets.42
There is nothing in the newspapers of the day to suggest that
it was generally known that the Anderson mill was nearing the
end of its tether in the autumn of 1864; but Sproat's letters show
that he was much concerned about its future even at the time
that he took over its management. As early as February, 1863,
he was worrying about timber limits, and informed the Government that "to protect our large investment of capital in this
place, it will be necessary for us to take up more land under our
Land Grant than was thought necessary by our late Manager
here Capt. Edward Stamp."43 By November 1, 1864, matters
had reached a crisis; and on that date Sproat addressed a long
letter to the Colonial Secretary which reviews the whole situation
in detail. He starts by declaring that Stamp's decision to place
the sawmill at Alberni, instead of on Puget Sound, which was
considered as an alternative site, " has proved disastrous to the
proprietors for there is no wood in the district to supply the
wants of a large mill, and the business in fact is now being
carried on simply from an unwillingness to wind it up until
forced, but without yielding any profit and with the certainty
of having to abandon the place at an early date after having
sunk and lost over £50,000." He explains that the trees within
the timber limits selected by Stamp "only lasted about a year
and a half " and that " the mill must have stopped had we not
found that by making a dam we could get logs from a Lake on
the sides of which we fortunately found some timber. With
these we are now supplying the Mill, and on their exhaustion we
do not know where to look for more."44
(42) From the Customs return as printed in the Victoria Colonist, January 4, 1865.
(43) Anderson & Company to J. D. Pemberton, February 18, 1863.
(44) Sproat to the Colonial Secretary, November 1, 1864. 108 W. Kaye Lamb. April
The reference is to Sproat Lake, then known as Kleecoot
Lake, at the outlet from which the dam was constructed. Thence
the logs travelled down the Kleecoot River, a name which seems
to have designated both the Sproat and Somass rivers of to-day,
to the Alberni Canal and the sawmill.45 Continuing, Sproat
explains his problem at some length:
It requires a large tract of land anywhere to furnish 20 million feet of
logs every year for the use of a Mill, but especially in a country so totally
unsuitable for large Sawmills as this Island owing to the broken character
of the country and the Smallness and Shallowness of the Streams. At
Alberni there are roads from 6 to 8 miles in length for the purpose of
transporting hay and bulky articles to the logging camps; a water course
of two miles long, dams, piers and abutments constructed at a great cost
to raise a lake and river and at any time if the mill can exist much longer,
we may have to make a railway to convey logs for many miles. Good trees
grow in this Island only in Sheltered patches, and the greatest difficulty is
experienced in getting supplies for man and beast to these places, and in
removing trees from the rough hillsides and benches into the Lakes and out
of these over waterfalls and down narrow winding Shallow Streams; Our
arrangements are liable at any time to be upset by the weather. I have
known a river to rise 14 feet in two nights and undo the labor of months.
In conclusion, Sproat commented upon the value of the industry to the Colony, and stated that " during the last four years
[1860-64], without any return or advantage to the proprietors,"
he had " paid in cash more than $300,000 to traders and laborers
in this place for supplies and wages, exclusive of supplies obtained from San Francisco." He was convinced that the obstacles
to financial success were so great that the Alberni sawmill was
" the largest and probably the only industrial enterprise of the
kind " that would ever exist on Vancouver Island.46
In view of the scale upon which the timber resources of the
Alberni district are being exploited to-day, this makes surprising
reading; but it must be remembered that in 1864 the only way
to convey a log to the mill was to drag it with oxen or float it
down a stream. Sproat's failure does not prove that he was
incompetent; it simply reveals the extent to which the lumbering industry of the present is the product of modern logging
methods and machinery.
As Sproat was convinced that the sawmill's days were numbered, he proposed to the Government that a settlement project
(45) Ibid., May 18,1865.
(46) Sproat to the Colonial Secretary, November 1, 1864. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 109
should be planned immediately, under which selected immigrants
would be placed upon land in the neighbourhood of Alberni. If
this were done, he pointed out, they would have a chance to become established before the mill was abandoned. While the mill
settlement existed, Alberni possessed
many advantages which no other place in the Island can offer to Settlers
viz; effective protection, communication with Victoria; Sawn lumber and
blacksmith's work; labour in Slack times; means of Storage; a good wharf
for Shipment; partially cleared land; and the manure from 65 work cattle
to be had for the taking away.
Additionally, Settlers would have a local market while the Mill lasted;
for instance we consume at Alberni 250 Tons Hay p. annum, 9000 lbs
Butter; 150 Tons Barley; besides potatoes and vegetables for the use of,
on an average, 150 men. The Ships that go there also require supplies of
fresh provisions of all kinds. 4 7
In the present connection this scheme is of interest chiefly
because of the information it gives regarding conditions at
Alberni. There was no opportunity to carry it into effect, as
the sawmill closed down even earlier than Sproat had anticipated.
The exact date upon which it ceased operations does not appear,
but it was either in December of 1864, or early in January, 1865.
The settlement was practically abandoned three months later.
" The only white people now at Alberni," the Colonist reported
at the end of March, " are Mr. and Mrs. George, left in charge
of the mills, Mr. Taylor, on the farm, and Mr. Reid, who intends
going to Se-shat to engage in cod fishing."48 As late as June,
1865, Sproat was still corresponding with the Colonial Secretary
with reference to new timber limits, but nothing came of these
negotiations.49 Meanwhile the lumber left on hand was gradually finding its way to market. In April the schooner Alberni
loaded for the Sandwich Islands, and in July the bark Fray
Bentos sailed for Callao.50
In August, 1866, H.M.S. Scout visited Alberni, and a diary of
the cruise describes conditions there as follows:—
It was distressing to see the lately prosperous little settlement of Alberni
fast becoming a heap of ruins;   one white man by the name of Drane is
(47) Ibid., supplementary letter.
(48) Victoria Colonist, March 30, 1865.
(49) Sproat to the Colonial Secretary, June 16, 1865. Incidentally, this
letter is interesting because it contains a discussion of the timber royalty,
which shows that the modern board-feet measurement was in use in 1865.
(50) Victoria Colonist, April 20, July 25, 1865. 110 W. Kaye Lamb. April
there, who takes care of the machinery connected with the saw mill. The
pretty little gardens of the settlers are overgrown with weeds and the houses
falling to decay. We afterwards visited the farm up the river, there is
some excellent land farmed by a man named Taylor, a Scotchman, who pays
a nominal rent of $1 a year.    He has some very fine looking stock.51
Matters continued thus until June, 1868, when it was announced that the machinery in the sawmill had been sold to the
Puget Mill Company.52 The next month the last of the lumber
remaining was brought to Victoria, and the machinery was removed to Puget Sound, where it was sold at Teekalet in February,
1869, for $4,500.53 For another ten years the empty mill and
other buildings stood derelict; and then on September 4, 1879,
H.M.S. Rocket returned to Esquimalt from a cruise with the
news that they had been destroyed by fire.
" The gunvessel," a contemporary account reads, " ascended the Sound
to Alberni, where they found that the extensive range of buildings owned
by the Alberni Sawmill Company had been burned a few days before. The
conflagration originated in the camp-fire of a party of Cape Flattery Indians
which spread to the brush and thence communicated with the buildings,
which burned like tinder. There are only two white men at Alberni—Taylor
and Clark. These exerted themselves to save the buildings, but to no purpose. The destruction was complete. The Rocket found only the great
chimney of the mill standing like a monument to mark a spot that was once
an animated scene of busy life."54
So ends the story of the first attempt to establish the lumbering industry on a large scale on Vancouver Island. Export
shipments in the three years 1862-64 had totalled 30,294,956
board-feet; and when allowance is made for earlier and later
shipments, and the coastwise trade to Victoria, it is apparent
that the total output of the Alberni mill was approximately
35,000,000 feet. Contrary to the usual story, there is no evidence
that the course of the American Civil War exercised any determining influence upon its fortunes. Sproat's letters make it clear
that it was closed simply because it did not yield a profit, and
because the available supply of logs was exhausted.
Though Captain Stamp had made a first payment of £400, in
October, 1860, upon the lands to be taken up at Alberni by
Anderson & Company, under the terms of the agreement with
(51) Ibid., August 21, 1866.
(52) Ibid., June 10, 1868.
(53) Ibid., July 17 and 23, 1868; February 10, 1869.
(54) Ibid., September 6, 1879. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. Ill
Governor Douglas, no survey of the property was made for many
years. Indeed, Sproat declared in 1864 that no Government
officer had ever even visited the settlement.55 In May, 1865,
Sproat endeavoured to straighten out the land situation, and proposed that in return for the £400 already paid the Government
should grant Anderson & Company a title to the site of the sawmill and village, consisting of about 1,750 acres, and to two
farms, consisting of about 125 acres each.56 Nothing came of
this, however, and it was only in 1871 that the property was
officially surveyed.57
Other Vancouver Island Sawmills, 1858-1866.
Before dealing with new enterprises, a word may be said regarding the later history of the Island's pioneer sawmills.
(55) Sproat to the Colonial Secretary, November 1, 1864. Official appointments at Alberni, such as that of the collector of the port, were held
invariably by employees of Anderson & Company.
(56) Sproat to the Colonial Secretary, May 18, 1866.
(57) The later history of Anderson & Company's lands at Alberni is
given in the memorandum dated April 23, 1936, kindly furnished by Sir
Alan G. Anderson. It may be summarized as follows: In 1886 it was decided to lay out a small townsite on the land, which became known as the
Old Townsite. Later the site of Port Alberni was laid out in lots. Sites
were given from time to time for churches, schools, public buildings, recreation grounds, etc. In 1902 Mr. Alan G. (now Sir Alan G.) Anderson visited
Alberni, and upon his return to England advised that the ownership of the
property there, which had gradually passed to the trustees of the estates
of deceased partners, should be transferred to a limited company. This
company, known as the Alberni Land Company, was accordingly formed in
1905, just in time to enable its local agent, Mr. Herbert Carmichael, to
negotiate what seemed to be an excellent arrangement with the Esquimalt
& Nanaimo Railway. By the extension of the railway to Alberni, in 1911,
that point became the western terminus of the railway system of Canada,
and its future seemed assured. A municipality was formed, public works
were pushed ahead, and an active demand developed for townsite lots. Then,
at a most inconvenient moment for the Alberni Land Company, there
descended first depression and then the Great War. After 1914 land-sales
ceased, and the Company found itself once more owner of many lots which
had been sold, but whose sales had not been completed, and which in the
interval had become liable for heavy taxes. Taxes on the unsold lots were
met for a time, in the hope that demand for the land would revive; but
they were abandoned finally, and the Alberni Land Company was wound
up in 1929—just seventy years after Captain Stamp had first opened negotiations with Governor Douglas, in 1859. 112 W. Kaye Lamb. April
Though it was repaired in 1855, after being damaged by a
freshet, the original Hudson's Bay mill at Esquimalt does not
seem to have been operated for long. It is probable that some
at least of its saws and saw-frames were transferred to the
Craigflower Farm, where it was planned to build a combined
steam sawmill and grist-mill. Financial difficulties intervened,
and in May, 1860, the sawmill machinery at Craigflower—" Comprising upright Saw Frame, Mill Saws, Planing Machine, Moulding and Grooving Machine, [and a] Morticing Machine "—were
advertised for sale.58 Some machinery was either retained or
remained unsold, however, as a Craigflower Farm inventory
dated October 19, 1861, lists saws and other mill equipment
valued at $610.75.
The Hudson's Bay mill at Nanaimo was included in the
property taken over by the Vancouver Coal Mining and Land
Company, in 1861. Its activities were still confined to the local
market. " The saw-mill of the company cuts lumber for the
town and mines, and nothing more," a description of Nanaimo
published in 1863 states. " The greatest quantity ever yet cut
in one month being about 70 M feet; but some improvements
now being made, when finished, will cause a considerable increase
in the above quantity."59 The list of sawmills published in 1867
indicates that the daily capacity of the Nanaimo mill had been
raised to 15,000 feet by that date. It was then equipped with
three saws, and was said to have cost $7,000.60
So far as is known, only the Nanaimo mill and the Muirs'
steam mill at Sooke were running when the gold-rush commenced,
in 1858; but in spite of the sudden growth in population, lumber
could be obtained so easily from Puget Sound that only one new
plant was erected on Vancouver Island. Its advent was announced in the Victoria Gazette, in July. " Thomas Donahoe
[sic]," the notice reads, "of the well-known firm of Donahoe
[sic] & Co., San Francisco, Iron Founders, takes this method of
informing the public, that he has imported into this colony, the
machinery for a large and complete Saw-Mill, and is erecting the
same on the harbor of Victoria, one mile and a half northwest
(58) Victoria Colonist, May 1, 1860.
(59) Ibid., January 31, 1863.
(60) Harvey, op. cit., p. 16. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 113
of the town, and about an equal distance in a south-easterly
direction from Esquimalt, and that in the course of a couple of
weeks he will be prepared to manufacture lumber of all description on short notice. Will also keep a constant supply on hand
for sale at the lowest rates."61 Evidently Donahue's venture did
not prosper, for in the spring of 1859 he moved the mill to a new
site on the Mainland, near New Westminster. By the end of
that year his health was failing, and he was trying to sell the
mill and leave the country. It was sold finally in February, 1860,
for the sum of $2,400.62
The next sawmill erected on Vancouver Island was a small
plant built late in 1859 by James Murray Yale on the Colquitz
Farm, the home of his son-in-law, H. N. Peers. Yale, who had
been Chief Trader at Fort Langley for many years, was then on
the point of retiring from the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. When he was pensioned, in 1860, he purchased an estate
not far from the Colquitz Farm and there built a second small
sawmill, driven by water-power, for his own use. One of the
foundation timbers of this mill can still be seen in the bed of the
Colquitz River.63
Late in this same year, 1860, negotiations commenced which
were to lead eventually to a much more important enterprise.
On December 17, 1860, Henry S. Shepard wrote to the Government asking for a five-year lease of a site on the Shawnigan
River, then known as Mill Stream, a short distance above the
point at which the river empties into Mill Bay, in the Cowichan
district. Terms were settled early in 1861,64 and construction
of a sawmill commenced in the spring. In June it was reported
that the new mill was " nearly completed " and that it would
(61) Victoria Gazette, July 18, 1858.
(62) Thomas Donahue to Colonel Moody, December 26, 1859; Donahue
to Governor Douglas, February 2, 1860; Victoria Colonist, February 28,
(63) Most of these details come from a letter from Yale to Sir George
Simpson, dated July 15,1860, for a copy of which I am indebted to Mr. J. A.
Grant.   See also Victoria Colonist, December 3, 1859.
(64) H. S. Shepard to W. B. Pearse, December 17, 1860; Pearse to
Acting Colonial Secretary, December 19, 1860; Shepard to Pearse, February
21, 1861.
4 114 W. Kaye Lamb. April
" be placed in running order in the course of a few weeks."65
At this point William Parsons Sayward appears on the scene.
Say ward, who was born in Maine in 1818, had prospered as a
carpenter and lumber merchant in California, and moved north
about the time of the gold-rush, in 1858. By degrees he centred
his interests in and around Victoria, where he opened a lumberyard; and on July 1, 1861, he acquired from Shepard his new
sawmill at Mill Bay and the leasehold of its site.66 Presumably
the mill was completed soon after, but no details of its production
either in 1861 or 1862 have come to light. The first recorded
shipment of lumber to Victoria consisted of 14,000 feet of scantling, which arrived in the scow Hannah, on January 16, 1863.
A few days later the Eliza brought 47,000 feet, and a total of at
least 141,000 feet arrived within a month.67 Macfie states that
1,666,000 board-feet were carried coastwise to Victoria from
Sayward's mill in 1863,68 and the total rose to 2,000,000 feet in
1864.69 In 1867 the daily capacity of the mill, which had two
saws, was stated to be 10,000 feet, and its cost was said to have
been $14,000.70 Two years later Sayward entered the export
trade, and the bark General Cobb loaded the first shipment,
which was sent to San Francisco, in April, 1869.71 Other vessels
followed; but the large-scale development of the Sayward firm
did not come until after a new sawmill was built in Victoria,
in 1878.
Sayward had a logging camp at Chemainus, and by 1864 there
were two sawmills in that district as well. One of these, which
was on Chemainus Bay, then known as Horse Shoe Bay, was
owned by T. George Askew. H. Guillod at one time owned a
one-third interest, but this was purchased by Askew, who thereby
became sole owner, in May of 1864.    The original cost of this
(65) Victoria Colonist, June 18, 1861. The item states that the daily
output of the new mill was expected to be " from 30,000 to 40,000 feet "—
probably ten times its actual capacity.
(66) W. P. Sayward to W. B. Pearse, July 22, 1870 (marginal note by
(67) Victoria Colonist, January 17 and 20;   February 11 and 16, 1863.
(68) Macfie, op. cit., p. 135.
(69) Victoria Colonist, January 4, 1865.
(70) Harvey, op. cit., p. 16.
(71) Victoria Colonist, April 16, 1869. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 115
mill was about $3,000. The second mill, which was owned by a
Mr. Kennear, was built on a lagoon about two and a half miles
south of Ladysmith.72 Both mills were driven by water-power
and were equipped with a single saw.73
A number of other mills, and projected mills, deserve passing
notice. In 1862, W. E. Stronach, then a prominent lumber merchant in Victoria, planned to erect a sawmill on Victoria Arm,
but this came to nothing. In 1863 a sash and door factory, which
has been referred to as a " mill," was built on Rock Bay by a
Mr. Sadusky. Howard and Barnett's Directory, published the
same year, refers to a steam sawmill at the corner of Government and Wharf streets, owned by D. 0. Stevens; but it is probable that this was only a second wood-working establishment.74
In 1864 Dr. John Ash planned to build a mill at Sooke, during
the Leech River gold excitement, but the scheme was never
carried through. Of much greater interest than any of these
is the Spring Vale sawmill, in Esquimalt, which was advertised
for rent in September, 1862. " It is driven by Water," the notice
states, " of which there is a good supply at all seasons, the power
being equivalent to that of about twenty horses. The Saws are
a 7 foot muley and a 40 inch circular. The Mill is connected
with the shipping wharf in the Salt Water Lagoon, at the entrance of Esquimalt Harbor, by a substantial tramway. There
is on the estate about 400 acres Land, heavily Timbered, much
of which is suitable for Spars, and which the Lessee will have
the privilege of cutting."75 In addition to these details, we know
that the cost of the mill was $20,000, and that its daily capacity
was 15,000 feet ;76 but when it was built, or by whom, and even
its exact location, remains a mystery. In 1867 it was owned by
the Hon. David Cameron, former Chief Justice of Vancouver
Island; and this fact, coupled with the reference to the Esquimalt lagoon, would indicate with some certainty that it was
(72) T. G. Askew to the Colonial Secretary, October 5, 1864; Askew to
B. W. Pearse, October 21, 1871. The earlier letter is accompanied by an
interesting manuscript map of the district.
(73) Harvey, op. cit., p. 16.
(74) On these several mills see Victoria Colonist, November 21, December 17, 1862;  January 25, 1863.
(75) Victoria Colonist, September 27, 1862.
(76) Harvey, op. cit., p. 16. 116 W. Kaye Lamb. April
situated on property which now forms part of Hatley Park. The
stream passing through the Park is the only one in the vicinity,
and Cameron owned part of the land comprising the estate.
Beyond these facts, nothing is known about the history of the
Spring Vale sawmill.
As this survey is intended to sketch the history of lumbering
on Vancouver Island until 1866, the year in which the old Crown
Colony was merged with the Crown Colony of British Columbia,
it may be added that at the time of the union there were six
sawmills operating on the Island—the Muirs' mill at Sooke, the
Sayward mill at Cowichan, the Vancouver Coal Company's mill
at Nanaimo, the Spring Vale mill, owned by Cameron, and the
two small pioneer mills at Chemainus. To this list should be
added the deserted Anderson mill at Alberni, which was idle but
not yet dismantled at the time.
The Lumber Market : 1855-1866.
The gold-rush boom in California reached its height in 1853;
and by 1855 both California and the Puget Sound area were in
the depths of a depression. The sawmills on the Sound were
particularly hard hit. " The very low price of lumber, the great
stagnation in trade, and the heavy failures in San Francisco
within the last twenty months have very materially depressed
our lumber business," a report dated October, 1855, states; " but
it is capable of a rapid and almost indefinite enlargement, should
the wants of commerce on the coast to the southward, or across
the ocean to Japan, Australia, China, &c, authorize it."77 Like
most serious depressions, the slump of 1855 was followed by
important realignments in markets and industries, and lumbering was no exception. It was clear that the spacious days when
the California market could absorb almost anything sent to it
were over; and when the sawmills on Puget Sound once more
got into their stride they were concerned with world markets,
in which the demands of the Pacific Coast were only a minor
These circumstances exercised an important influence upon
the lumbering industry on Vancouver Island.   San Francisco had
(77) Report of the Superintendent of the Coast Survey    .    .    .    1856,
Washington, 1856, p. 294. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 117
been the chief export market for the sawmills on the Island in
early days—it will be recalled that eighteen of the nineteen
vessels which sailed with timber products from Sooke and Victoria in 1853 had been bound thither. San Francisco was sufficiently near, and its market had been sufficiently active, to make
small shipments by small vessels possible and profitable; but all
this was changed by the collapse of the boom in California.
Though the trade in spars continued on a modest scale, it was
not until the Anderson mill was completed at Alberni, in 1861,
that exports of sawn lumber from Vancouver Island again became even of local importance.
The gold-rush to the Mainland in 1858 made surprisingly
little impression upon the lumber market. In March, before the
rush commenced, the wholesale price of fir lumber at the mill
at Steilacoom was $11 to $12 per thousand feet, and it remained
unchanged during the turbulent months which followed. Late
in August, when the gold excitement had passed its peak, it rose
one dollar, in response to the state of the world market.78 As
this would indicate, production in the Puget Sound region had
become so great that the demand arising from the rush was satisfied without causing any dislocation in ordinary trade.
Even in Victoria prices can have soared only temporarily, if
they soared at all. Lumber-yards, supplied from the Sound and
San Francisco, were established very early in the gold excitement; and the scarcity and cost of labour presented more serious
problems to the builder than the supply of material. Unfortunately, specific details of lumber prices are not available until
late in 1858. In December, the current wholesale quotation was
$20 to $22 per thousand feet. In January the base price dropped
to $18, where it remained all spring.79 Population was then
declining, and by June of 1859 economic activity had fallen to a
low level. Business on Vancouver Island was dependent upon
conditions on the Mainland, and it was estimated that the mining
population there had fallen to 2,500, one-fifth of whom were
Chinese. A single steamer sufficed to handle all the traffic between Victoria and the Fraser River.80   The Victoria Colonist
(78) Puget Sound Herald, March 12, August 27, 1858.
(79) Victoria Colonist, December 25, 1858;  January 15, 1859.
(80) Victoria Gazette, June 2 and 9, 1859. 118 W. Kaye Lamb. April
contended that the only way to mend matters was to develop
home industries, and thereby prevent money from leaving the
the country. " At present," it declared in an editorial in July,
" San Francisco is the chief or only gainer by the discovery of
gold in British Columbia."81 In December it welcomed the news
that a sawmill was to be built on Colquitz Farm, and added:
" This is the right kind of enterprise to benefit the country. At
present every foot of lumber used here is cut on foreign soil,
although we have an abundance of good timber convenient. We
trust that this example will inspire others to invest in similar
enterprises. Until such time as we render our own resources
available,—our gold will be sent away, and the colony impoverished."82
The year 1860 brought a revival in trade. In February,
Michael Muir opened his lumber-yard in Victoria, presumably
to sell the product of the mill at Sooke; but sales of locally produced lumber were negligible compared with the volume of
foreign imports. A total of 3,930,000 feet, valued officially at
$55,250, or about $14 per thousand, were received at Victoria
from Puget Sound in 1860; and shipments of laths, pickets,
shingles, doors, windows, ship-knees, and spars raised the total
value of the timber products imported to $71,231. In addition,
lumber valued at $300 was sent from the Sound to Alberni, where
the Anderson mill was under construction.83
Complete details of Vancouver Island imports in 1861 are not
available, but we know that during the first four months of the
year 1,044,894 feet of lumber were received from Puget Sound.84
It was valued officially at $13,086; and this caused the Colonist
again to comment bitterly upon the needless outflow of money
from the Island which it represented. " Why," it asked, " should
we continue to be dependent upon our neighbors in Oregon and
Washington Territory for the building material we require, the
(81) Victoria Colonist, July 15, 1859.
(82) Ibid., December 3, 1859.
(83) Ibid., February 15, 1861 (official return of imports for 1860). No
doubt the spars, which numbered 101 and were valued at $3,812 were for
(84) Unless otherwise indicated, particulars of lumber imports from
Puget Sound, British Columbia, etc., are taken from the official statements,
which usually appeared each month in the newspapers. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 119
produce we consume, and the hay and grain to feed our cattle? "
It contended that the Government gave no encouragement to
local industry and pursued a policy which " established our
American neighbors a profitable market for their surplus productions.85 Nevertheless, prospects became brighter later in the
year, especially after the completion of the Alberni mill. It was
also in 1861 that the first important shipments of lumber were
received at Victoria from the Mainland. A total of 288,650 feet
arrived that year. This total fell to 208,600 feet in 1862, but
rose to 325,900 feet in 1863.86
Meanwhile the rush to the Cariboo had brought a wave of
prosperity to Vancouver Island. The population of Victoria
jumped from about 3,000 to 6,000 in 1862. The demand for
lumber lagged at first, and only 650,000 feet were imported from
Puget Sound in the first six months of the year. During the last
six months, however, lumber imports jumped to 2,664,000 feet,
or nearly 80 per cent, of the 3,314,000 feet received in the whole
year. Importation continued at this high level for many months,
and 1863 ranks as the peak year of the Vancouver Island lumber
trade in the Crown Colony period. Fortunately it is also the
year concerning which most information is available. In all,
4,319,000 feet of lumber, officially valued at $49,838, or about
$11.50 per thousand, were imported from Puget Sound; while
another 744,000 feet, valued at $11,407 or about $15.33 per
thousand, arrived from San Francisco. The latter included a
considerable quantity of redwood. The lumber imported from
the United States in 1863 thus totalled 5,063,000 feet, valued at
$61,245. To this total must be added the shipments received
coastwise from Vancouver Island and Mainland sawmills. These
included 1,666,000 feet from the Sayward mill at Cowichan,
1,000,000 feet from Alberni, 100,000 feet from the Muir mill at
Sooke, and 325,900 feet from the Mainland, or 3,091,900 feet in
all. In 1863 the local market thus absorbed more than 8,000,000
feet of lumber; and for the first time home products made up a
substantial proportion of the whole.
(85) Victoria Colonist, March, 1861.
(86) British Columbia.   Report of the Hon. H. L. Langevin, C.B.
Ottawa, 1872, pp. 5-6. 120 W. Kaye Lamb. April
It so happened that the world lumber market was expanding
rapidly in 1862-63, and as the sawmills on Puget Sound were
unable to load all the deep-sea vessels offering, the smaller craft
which traded to Victoria sometimes found it difficult to obtain
cargoes. The result was a rise in prices. From $16 per thousand feet in May, 1862, quotations advanced to $20 in August,
and were as high as $24 in November, when a number of builders
in Victoria were forced to suspend operations for want of material.87 In January, 1863, the price eased to $20 and remained
at that figure for several months; but too much significance
must not be given to this fact. As the Colonist explained in
April, it had become " impossible to give a wholesale quotation
for lumber in this market, as nearly all the dealers are supplied
from their own mills."88 It would have been more correct to
say that they were supplied from their own mills, or direct from
those on Puget Sound, which amounted to the same thing so far
as the retail purchase of lumber was concerned. Three or four
dealers controlled the market at this time. The most important
was W. P. Sayward, who owned the sawmill at Cowichan, and
also imported large quantities of lumber from the Sound.
Anderson & Company usually confined their interests to the
product of their own mill at Alberni. W. E. Stronach and J. G.
Jackson, partners in T. G. Jackson & Company, a third important
firm, dealt almost exclusively in lumber imported from Puget
Sound. A little later the firm of Duncan & George, auctioneers,
established a lumber-yard which handled shipments from the
Sooke mill, and in 1864 they became agents in Victoria for the
Burrard Inlet Mills, then owned by John Oscar Smith.89
The boom days of 1862-63 did not last for long. Though the
Cariboo mines continued to produce heavily for several years,
much of the gold came from relatively few rich claims. The
number of miners at work declined rapidly, and trade with the
Mainland fell with the population. By 1864 this state of affairs
was affecting the lumber business. The most interesting consequence of the realignments which came with this new depression
was that lumber from the mills on the Island itself, or on the
(87) Victoria Colonist, November 4, 1862.
(88) Ibid., April 21, 1863.
(89) See F. W. Howay, "Early Shipping on Burrard Inlet," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), p. 5. 1938 Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island. 121
Mainland, at last ousted the Puget Sound product from its
dominating position. In 1864 imports from the Sound totalled
1,797,000 feet, valued at $19,722, whereas Sayward alone brought
2,000,000 feet to Victoria from his mill at Cowichan. An additional 887,000 feet arrived from Alberni, and about 1,350,000
feet were imported from the Mainland. Details of shipments
from Sooke are not available, but even if these are ignored, it
will be seen that out of a total of 6,034,000 feet known to have
reached Victoria, less than one-third came from the American
side.90 Statistics for 1865 are incomplete, but we know that the
lumber received from the Mainland that year was valued at
$15,891, whereas imports from San Francisco, Portland, and
Puget Sound totalled only $3,957. The former consisted of some
1,254,000 feet.
The story of lumbering in the old Crown Colony of Vancouver
Island ends in a period of stress and depression. The Alberni
mill was closed, permanently as it proved, and lumber exports
had fallen to negligible proportions. Burrard Inlet, on the Mainland, where S. P. Moody had taken over the Burrard Inlet Mills,
was destined for some years to be the only important lumber
exporting centre in the new united Colony of British Columbia.
But it could at least be said that the Island had placed its local
market in order; and modern methods and machinery were later
to enable it to re-enter and develop the export trade upon a scale
far beyond the dreams of the most optimistic of the Island's
lumbering pioneers.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Provincial Library and Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
(90)  Lumber imported from San Francisco in 1864 was valued at only
The letters which follow are of interest because they throw
light upon the circumstances under which coal-mining was first
undertaken in what is now the Province of British Columbia.
Officers of the Hudson's Bay Company learned from the Indians
of the presence of coal at Beaver Harbour, on the north-east coast
of Vancouver Island, as early as 1835, and the Company's steamer
Beaver was sent thither in 1836 in order that the surface out-
croppings known to the natives might be examined. But more
than eleven years passed before any attempt was made to develop
the mine commercially.
In November, 1847, William Henry Aspinwall, a New York
merchant, secured a contract from the United States Navy Department to transport mail in steamers between Panama and the
coast of Oregon. The service was required to begin on October 1,
1848, and therefore the construction of three steamers to undertake it was begun immediately. These were the California,
Oregon, and Panama, ships of about 1,000 tons burden and 200
feet in length, with side paddle-wheels driven by side-lever
engines. The financial backing for the venture was provided by
the great firm of Howland & Aspinwall, but a separate corporation, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, was chartered in New
York in April, 1848, to operate the service.
In addition to ships, provision had to be made for stores and
fuel on the sparsely settled Northwest Coast. To furnish the
coal which the Pacific Mail steamers would require, Howland &
Aspinwall arranged for colliers to come from ports in Wales to
Panama, Acapulco, San Bias, and San Francisco. They were
aware, however, that coal had been discovered on Vancouver
Island, and hopes were entertained that this might provide a less
expensive and more convenient supply of fuel than the mines
of Wales.
Negotiations between Aspinwall and the Hudson's Bay Company regarding Vancouver Island coal began in the first part of
1848, and continued until 1850, when the coal had been proven
by experience to be unsatisfactory for use in steamers.    In the 124 John Haskell Kemble. April
fall of 1848 Captain William C. Stout, general agent for the
Pacific Mail Steamship Company on the Pacific Coast, made a
trip to Vancouver Island to arrange in person for the coal supply
expected from there.1 In the spring of 1849 the Hudson's Bay
Company commenced the construction of a new post, which was
named Fort Rupert, on Beaver Harbour, and serious mining
operations started. Indian labour was used to begin with, and
mining of necessity was confined to the surface outcroppings.
The sinking of shafts could not begin until the party of English
miners, to which reference is made in one of the letters here
printed, reached Fort Rupert in September.
In spite of the efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company, coal was
not ready for the Pacific Mail Company until the fall of 1849,
and a report on its qualities was not available to Aspinwall before
the summer of 1850. By September of that year it had been
determined to discontinue its use. It may be added that the
mines at Fort Rupert were never a success, and that they were
abandoned by the Hudson's Bay Company when a substantial
seam of coal of much better quality was uncovered at Nanaimo,
late in 1852.
The letters are quoted from a letter-book which contains the
correspondence between the President of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and the San Francisco agent of the line. The
volume, which covers the period between December 5, 1848, and
November 26, 1850, is owned by Mr. Daulton Mann, of New
York. A photostat copy is in the collection of the Henry E.
Huntington Library, at San Marino, and from this quotation has
been made. The letters are all from William Henry Aspinwall,
President of the Pacific Mail, except during the period of his
absence in England, when they were signed by Samuel W. Corn-
stock, Vice-President. Alfred Robinson was San Francisco agent
until June, 1850, when he joined with G. W. P. Bissell in the firm
of Robinson & Bissell. Prior to that time, Gilmor Meredith had
been Robinson's partner, and letters were addressed to him during Robinson's absence from San Francisco. A few of the letters
in the book were written to Captain Stout, John Van Dewater,
Superintending Engineer on the Pacific Coast, or to Cleveland
Forbes, agent for the steamers at Panama.    Only the portions
(1) California Star and Californian, December 7, 1848. 1938 Coal from the Northwest Coast. 125
of the letters relating to Vancouver Island coal have been quoted
here. Spelling and punctuation have been reproduced as in the
original throughout.
John Haskell Kemble.
Pomona College,
C-Aremont, California.
New York, December 8, 1848.
Having explained my views to you verbally, as to your agency for the
Steamers, I write this mainly to record our agreement that you are to
receive Two Thousand dollars a year from the Company, as their Agent on
the Coast of California, commencing from the 1st of January [1849].    .    .    .
The mails for Oregon you will forward [from San Francisco] by the
Belfast or Cayuga to the mouth of the Klamet river & if no one is there to
receive them let them go on to Astoria—directing the Brig to return to you
either with Coal from the Cowelitz river as a specimen or else a freight from
Oregon City, as you may think best—choosing her consignees after making
enquiries at San Francisco. From what I hear of the Cowlitz Coal it is
very similar to the Vancouver's Island now on board the Belfast—but I
wish much a cargo for trial.   .   .   .
I send you an extract from the recent letter of Govr. Simpson showing
the arrangements with the Hudson Bay Company for our future supplies
of Coal & also one from him dated 13th April [1848]—containing information about Puget Sound which I promised to Gen: Smith.   .   .   .
Hudsons Bay House.
Lachine 13. October 1848.
My dear Sir
By last Mail, I received from the Governor & Comittee copy of your letter
to them of 30 Aug. (Duplicate of which you sent to me under date 2d.
September) with their reply of 22d. September. The Governor & Comittee
by the same conveyance informed me, that a headsman and six miners are
to be forwarded by a ship to sail for the N. W. Coast in the course of this
month, but as it appears by your letter to the Govr & Comittee, that you
hope we may be in a condition to deliver a quantity of Coal at the mine
earlier than it can be raised by the labor of the miners about to be sent out,
I have addressed the Board of Management under this date to take the
necessary steps, either by the formation of a post at the mine or by the
employment of Indians, to provide with the least possible delay, deliverable
at the mine from 500. [to] 1000 Tons of Coal, or as much more as can be
As it seems to be important to your interests that these instructions should
be received by the Board of Management, as early as possible, I take the 126 John Haskell Kemble. April
liberty of forwarding my letter to those Gentlemen under cover to you to
the end that you may transmit it by the most direct conveyance.
For your further information, I beg to annex an extract from the letter
in question on the subject, and from the Knowledge those Gentlemen already
possess of the Company's desire to meet your wishes and promote the important service you have in hand, I feel assured they will do everything in
their power to forward your views.
Believe me
My dear Sir
very faithfully Yours
(Sign) G. Simpson.
William H. Aspinwall Esqr.
New York.
Extract from a letter Sir George Simpson to the Board of Management
of the Hudsons Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, dated,
Lachine 13 October. 1848:—
By a chartered vessel, which is to sail from London in the course of this
month, are to be forwarded a headsman and six miners, for the purpose of
being employed on the coal mine at Mc. Neills Harbour, or any other more
advantageous situation on Vancouver's Island, but as the U. [S.] Mail
steamers from San Francisco may require coal earlier than it can be provided by the operations of the miners about to be sent out, I have to beg,
you will use your utmost endeavours, by the formation of a post, the employment of Indians or otherwise to provide with the least possible delay and
have placed in the most convenient spot for shipment from 500. [to] 1000
Tons of Coals, or as much more as can be collected. As surface coal which
has been exposed to the action of the elements may not be well adapted for
steaming purposes, it is desirable, it should be dug from as great a depth
as may be consistent with the little knowledge you possess of mining and the
want of proper implements for the purpose. If you have a sufficient number
of men disposable to form a post at the mine, that, I think should be done;
but if you cannot spare hands for that purpose the next best mode I can
suggest would be to station the steamer [Beaver] as near the mine as
possible with a view to affording protection to the people there employed,
and in that case you would have to depend more on Indian labor than on
the work of your own people. I must however have {sic. probably mis-
copied from " leave "] the mode of carrying on the operations, to be determined by yourselves on the spot, feeling satisfied that no effort will be
wanting on your part to carry out the wishes of the Govr & Comittee on
this point. The Governor in a communication with Mr. Macrae, an agent
of Mr. Aspinwall's the Mail contractor, give him to understand that if he
sent for a Cargo or two, the price should not exceed 20/ p[er]-Ton; but it
is expected, when the mine is brought into full operation, that we shall be
able to provide it, deliverable on the spot, at a lower price. It will be
necessary to advise the agents of Mr. Aspinwall at San Francisco of the 1938 Coal from the Northwest Coast. 127
quantity they may count on receiving at the mine and the time it will be
New York, December 22,1848.
. . . We trust that the Belfast will have returned to San Franco, by
the time you reach that port—& instead of taking a fr[eigh]t from Oregon
City you will direct her [to] load with coal at the Cowlitz or at Vancouvers
island. We would also like to order at once another vessel sent from the
Columbia River or Oregon City or any other point in that neighborhood, to
the new post at the mines on Vancouvers island consigning her to the agents
of the Hudson Bay [Co.] to be loaded to your address. From a letter from
Sir George Simpson on the subject dated 12h. inst. I understand that a
considerable amount of coal will be ready for us at an early [sic. earlier
date] than we expected.   .   .   .
New York, February 3, 1849.
I have written to Capt Stout to leave the steamers for a trip or two &
attend to getting down supplies of coal from Vancouvers Island to the depot
at your port or San Diego as with your advice may be selected as the best
place for the steamers to touch at.    .    .    .
New York, December 13,1849.
. . . The action of the Hudson's Bay Co. is very remarkable in regard
to the Vancouver Coal & I do not see how you could have pursued a course
different from the one taken with any propriety. It will be decided & in
season for the next mail whether or not the Anahuac shall be despatched
there to wait for a cargo.   .   .   .
New York, January 14, 1850.
Noticing your advice of the readiness of the Vancouver Coal, I have instructed Captn. Stout to despatch the Anahuac at once with passengers to
San Francisco—& with orders after landing them under your instructions
to proceed with all possible despatch first taking a Mail & delivering it at
Kalamet River—to Victoria for the purpose of obtaining a cargo of Coal—
& on her return again stopping at Kalamet River for a Mail to make the
best of his way to San Francisco. I also direct him to authorize her visiting
should there be no Coal at Victoria—a neighboring port say Newport—for
lumber—provided she be not detained too long thereby.   .   .   . 128 John Haskell Kemble. April
New York, January 16, 1850.
.    .    .    The news is very gratifying of the readiness of the Factors to
deliver Vancouver Coal & on another sheet I write regarding the employment of the Anahuac.    .   .   .
New York, February 16, 1850.
. . . In my orders for the employment of the Anahuac Newport was
named instead of Portland as a place for procuring lumber, which please
note—Stringent reasons have since compelled the Company to revoke the
orders to her and she must avoid San Francisco at all hazards.2 Sir Geo
Simpson confirms your information regarding the readiness of Vancouver
Coal communicating advices red from his factors up to Septr. 24 [1849]
which name 750 tons as ready for shipment. From a letter I have since
seen from Capt Crosby of Portland, the quantity would seem to exceed this
amt.   .   .    .
New York, March 15, 1850.
. . . I omitted to mention in the proper place that on sending a ship
up for Vancouver Coal you will endeavour to secure from the Factor of the
Hudson's Bay Company the refusal of any Coals on hand beyond those held
under Contract with this Company. We are now in treaty with Sir George
Simpson for their purchase and I hope to write you definitely on the 28th.
It will be well for you to explain this as the ground on which you claim such
a refusal. . . . [The agent sent north] will require funds for the purchase of Coal & supplies which you will please deliver. The latter will
probably call for an outlay of Cash but I think it would be preferable for
the Hudson's Bay Company to take your Bill on the Company payable in
London for the amount. This you will endeavor by all means to secure and
I do not think you will have much difficulty.    .    .    .
New York, March 28, 1850.
. . . No Contract has as yet been concluded with Sir Geo. Simpson
for the Vancouver Coal which may be on hand—but I think you can easily
obtain the refusal until the next Mail when I will write you. I think a
portion at least of that embraced in our present Contract should be landed
as a reserve stock at San Diego—but of this you will decide after consulting
Mr Bissell.    .    .    .
(2)  Because of claims against the ship there. 1938 Coal from the Northwest Coast. 129
sam w. comstock to alfred robinson, or in his
absence gilmor meredith.
New York, April 13, 1850.
.   .   .   I am not yet prepared to speak more definitely with regard to
the extra Supply of Vancouver Coal, but I trust you will have secured the
refusal of it—until I may be enabled to give positive instructions.   .   .   .
New York, May 13, 1850.
.   .   .   We are not prepared to speak definitely with reference to the
Vancouver Coal.   It seems strange that after so long a delay in providing
the 2000 tons contracted for, a stock of 4 to 5000 tons should be so soon
accumulated by the Hudson Bay Compy.   .   .   .
New York, June 13, 1850.
.   .   .   I write the Agents to have the Sydney8 and Vancouver coals
tested if possible before you leave, the result being brought by you to the
Company.   The difference in price of the former is very great, but I do not
think its strength will bear comparison with the Welsh Coal.   .   .   .
New York, June 13, 1850.
. . . I have endeavored to arrange a personal interview with Sir Geo.
Simpson that we might come to an understanding about the Vancouver Coal.
He has however gone to the Interior and will not return until August—
Meanwhile I hope to receive an official report from Mr. Van De Water of its
qualities for steaming.
It looks as if your stock [of coal] would be small for a few months apart
from the supply expected in the England, and you must of course purchase
if necessary on the best terms obtainable. An early opportunity must be
taken to test the Sydney Coal. You will however bear in mind that it
possesses little more than two thirds the strength of the Welsh Coal—should
you arrange a supply for trial in either of the steamers—Cannot Mr. Van
Dewater bring on his return a report on both the Vancouver & Sydney
Coals?   .   .   .
New York, August 13, 1850.
...   I confirm my instructions for you to purchase coal—if there is
any probability of scarcity—Four cargoes bound for Acapulco have been
lost so that not much dependence can be placed on that depot.   We order
(8) Coal was discovered near Sydney, Australia, in 1797, and mining was carried on there
increasingly after that time.
5 130 John Haskell Kemble. April
Capt Forbes to spare the Northern ports as far as possible. Sir Geo Simpson is again at Lachine & as soon as I can have an interview with him some
definite arrangement will be made in regard to the Coals at Vancouver. I
will direct Mr Bill to keep you well posted as to his supplies—& meanwhile
purchase at heavy rates will be preferable to running any risk.    .    .    .
New York, September 13, 1850.
. . . I have seen Sir George Simpson & mentioned to him the matter
of the Vancouver Coal—I feel assured that the whole matter will be properly
adjusted by him when we receive further papers from you. You will therefore take no steps in the matter except to furnish me with the necessary
evidence—The paragraph on the subject of Captn. Stout's contract which
you quote referred to an understanding had with Sir Geo: Simpson that the
price of a cargo for trial should (I think) [be] 20/ per ton—and it was in
ignorance of this that he made his agreement for 50/—I mention this only
for your satisfaction not wishing you to take any further steps.    .    .    .
New York, September 28, 1850.
.   .   ,   Our reports of the Vancouver Coals are altogether unsatisfactory—If your supply of fuel permit it & you can obtain the price paid you
will not hesitate to sell the supply on hand.    No measures need be taken at
present to obtain the balance of our supply from the Mines.   .   .   .
New York, November 26, 1850.
.    .    .    Your purchases of Coal are approved—My orders heretofore will
instruct you as to Vancouver Coal & I trust you have not made any purchases of Sydney without thorough tests previously.   .   .   . SIR GEORGE SIMPSON AT THE
The attached letter, dated January 20, 1855, from Sir George
Simpson, Canadian chief of the Hudson's Bay Company, to
Andrew Colvile, Governor of the Company, in London, is an
important document in the history of a troublesome international
dispute that plagued the Department of State and the British
Foreign Office for a quarter of a century. The text of the letter,
taken from the archives of the Company, is published with the
permission of the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay
By tlie Anglo-American treaty of June 15, 1846, commonly
known as the Oregon Boundary treaty, the United States Government recognised the " possessory rights " of the Hudson's Bay
Company and its subsidiary, the Puget's Sound Agricultural
Company, in the Pacific Northwest, south of the 49th parallel.
But the treaty failed to define the term " possessory rights," and
beginning in 1850 the United States authorities made determined
and continuing efforts to prevent the Hudson's Bay Company
from engaging in the fur trade upon American soil.2 The Department of State developed an ingenious theory that " possessory rights " were " rights appertaining directly and immediately
to the land and other property."3 In defence of the corporation's treaty rights, Sir George Simpson journeyed to Washington, D.C., several times, to protest in person to American
Secretaries of State. One of his visits was made early in 1855,
and in the letter printed below Simpson describes two conferences held at the Department of State on January 15 and 16 of
that year.
Throughout the dispute the British firms sought to sell their
rights to the United States.    Successive American administra-
(1) H.B.C. Archives, D 4/83, folios 333/338.
(2) For an account of this episode see Frank E. Ross, " The Retreat of
the Hudson's Bay Company in the Pacific North-west," in the Canadian
Historical Review, XVIII. (1937), pp. 262-280.
(3) Ms. Dispatch, Secretary of State W. L. Marcy to I. I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, June 3,1853. (In Domestic Letters, Volume
XLL, pp. 405-409, in the Department of State, Washington, D.C.) 132 Frank E. Ross. April
tions favoured the proposed sale, but the plan was balked by
Congress. After many years the United States Government
bought the " possessory rights " of the two British companies for
$650,000. It will be noted that this was the exact sum proposed
by Simpson in 1855. The money was paid in two instalments,
in 1870 and 1871.
Frank E. Ross.
Washington, D.C.
Hudsons Bay House
Lachine 20. January 1855.
A. Colvile Esquire
My dear Sir,
I left this for Washington on the 11. and arrived there on the evening
of the 13. inst.
I had several interviews with Mr. Crampton,4 who was unfortunately
confined to the house from the effects of a fall which prevented his accompanying me to Mr. Marcy's;6 he, therefore, gave me a note of introduction,
with which I presented myself & was immediately admitted to an audience.
My first visit was purely preliminary, as Mr. Marcy had not then time to
discuss the question of the Company's negociation, but he gave me to understand the Government had decided that $300,000 was the utmost they would
offer both Companies. I stated that under present circumstances, but more
particularly in consequence of the hostility [sic] the Company experienced
from all classes within the American Territory—the press, the Courts the
Government officials and the public at large—they were more anxious than
ever to come to an arrangement with the U/S Government it being now
almost impossible for them to maintain their footing in the country. I said
further they were prepared to meet the Government as to the amount of
compensation & suggested that the difference between the Company's demand of $1,000,000 & the offer of $300,000 should be halved & the amount
fixed at $650,000. Mr. Marcy replied the Government would be firm in
adhering to the basis of $300,000.
I had another interview with Mr. Marcy next day, at which were present
General Lane,6 formerly Governor & latterly delegate for Oregon. Mr. C.
Lancaster7 the delegate for Washington Territory (late Northern Oregon)
and the chief officer of the Land Office at Washington, a lawyer.8 Senator
Cushing8 also looked in but being unable to stay had a private conference, I
presume on the business in hand, with Mr. Marcy & then left. I need not
repeat, even in outline, the long conversation that took place, which em-
(4) John F. Crampton, British Minister to the United States.
(5) William Learned Marcy, Secretary of State in the administration of Franklin Pierce.
(6) Joseph Lane.
(7) Columbia Lancaster.
(8) The Commissioner of the General Land Office at this time was John Wilson.
(9) This refers to Caleb Cushing, Attorney-General of the United States in the cabinet of
President Pierce. 1938     Sir George Simpson at Department of State.       133
braced a general review of the whole negociation. The two important points
were the interpretation of the Treaty adopted by the U/S Government and
the terms they are willing to offer the Company. On the first point Mr.
Marcy said it was necessary to consider what the " possessory rights " of
the Company really are. The lawyer (of the Land Office) present then
defined them to be the right of occupancy of such lands as were actually held
& possessed (by enclosure) by the Company at the date of the Treaty,
during the unexpired term of the Licence of Trade.10 He argued that the
Company held their position in Oregon, not by virtue of their Charter, but
under the License of trade, consequently when the Territory passed from the
dominion of Great Britain that Government could not longer assume authority within it by renewing the Company's License, the utmost they could do
being to secure for them under the TJ/S Government the continuance of their
privileges during the then unexpired term for which they had been granted.
Mr. Marcy said this was the interpretation entertained by the U/S Government; it was no new light but was the view of that Government when
making the Treaty, who then carefully considered the difference between the
Company's Charter and License of trade, as he could state from personal
knowledge, having been consulted respecting it. He would not look at the
right of navigation, as there was no anxiety for its extinction, as it would
prove rather beneficial than otherwise to American citizens if British Subjects availed themselves of it and carried on their trade by that channel.
Under these circumstances the U/S Government did not consider the question of so much importance as the Company appeared to do, nor did they
expect to derive much advantage by purchasing, a few years in advance of
the date they would determine by effluxion of time, the Company's rights;
especially as all persons in possession of their lands whether rightfully or
wrongfully, would claim them & had in fact a squatter's or " pre-emption "
title to them. I referred to the legal opinions which had been printed, as
establishing much larger claims for the Company;11 Mr. Marcy replied that
no weight whatever was attached to those opinions, which were obtained by
Sanders12 for the special purpose of operating on Congress by means of
" lobbying;" and then asked me to define what the Company considered the
(10) The Royal License, granted to the Hudson's Bay Company by Queen Victoria on
May 30, 1838, for a period of twenty-one years, gave that Company a monopoly with reference to British subjects. Properly speaking it had no bearing upon the Anglo-American
treaty of 1816 and in the end the United States Government had to forego its unilateral
interpretation. The text of the Royal License is printed in " Hudson's Bay Company,"
Parliamentary Papers (Great Britain), House of Commons Return No. 51,7, 1842, pp. 9-11.
For a discussion of the License and the exchanges of the two governments thereto, see the
article in the Canadian Historical Review, September, 1987, cited above.
(11) This refers to a pamphlet entitled Extent and Value of the Possessory Rights of the
Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon, South of the i9th Degree (no date), which was published
for the Company and contained the opinions of American and Canadian counsel. The
pamphlet and the subject of British claims is discussed at some length by Isaac I. Stevens,
Governor of Washington Territory, in Senate Executive Document No. 37, 33 Congress, 2
(12) George Nicholas Sanders was employed by the Hudson's Bay Company to lobby in
Washington, D.C., with a view to persuading Congress to abandon opposition to the purchase
of the " possessory rights " by the United States Government. 134 Frank E. Ross. April
extent of their rights, whereupon I referred him to the Memorandum13 I
handed Mr. Everett on the Subject, when Secretary of State, in December
1853 [1852].
Some discussion ensued on minor points and Messrs. Lane & Lancaster
gave their opinion that the citizens of Oregon and Washington Territories
were anxious for the removal of the Company, after which, Mr. Marcy came
to the question of terms, & said that, although he thought little advantage
would be derived from the purchase, the U/S Government were willing to
offer the Company $300,000, provided Congress made the necessary appropriation, in order to get rid of a troublesome question, which led to constant
appeals for the interference of both the British & Aonerican Governments.
I asked if he was prepared then and there to close a bargain, but he said
the appropriation must be made first to which point he would give immediate
attention & push the bill through Congress. He suggested the necessity of
sending an Agent to the country to receive delivery of the Company's property, but abandoned the idea on my pointing out the delays and trouble to
which such a commission might lead.
Thus the matter rests. Intimation is to be sent me through Mr. Cramp-
ton as soon as the Appropriation Bill passes, in order that I may again
repair to Washington, my presence there at this time being quite unnecessary. Some weeks will probably be required to get the Act passed, so that
I trust, before I am called on to accept or reject the offer of $300,000, to
receive your opinion on the subject. I believe they are the best terms we
are ever likely to get & that unless we obtain them now, we shall not do so
well hereafter,
On looking over my powers of Attorney from the Hudsons Bay and
Puget Sound Companies, Mr. Marcy considered them defective and at my
request made a Memm. of what further was required, of which a copy is
appended. To save delay when the business comes to a point, I think it
would be advisable that there should be sent me forthwith new powers from
both Companies, embodying a Resolution of the Board (or Agents) authorizing me to sell & transfer the property, to give releases and receive the
I remain
My dear Sir
Yours very faithfully
[Signed] G SIMPSON.
Memorandum by Mr. Marcy, Secretary of State of the United States,
relative to the powers of Attorney to be given by The Hudsons Bay and
Puget Sound Companies for effecting the Sale of their property in the
Oregon and Washington Territories:—
Should there be an agreement between the United States and the Hudsons Bay Company to Sell the possessory rights of the Company in Oregon
(13) The text of this memorandum, dated December 3, 1852, which was presented to
Secretary of State Edward Everett, is printed in Evidence for the United States (Washington,
1867) IV., 247 ff. 1938     Sir George Simpson at Department of State.       135
and Washington Territory, there should be a Resolution of the Board of
that Company authorising the sale by such officers or persons as it shall
name and to give such releases &c. as may be required to give effect to the
Bargain and to receive the compensation.
The same should be the case with the Puget Sound Agricultural Company.
16. January 1855 NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Contributors to This Issue.
Rev. John C. Goodfellow, of Princeton, has been Secretary of the Historical Committee of the British Columbia Conference of the United Church
for several years, and has written many articles and pamphlets on historical
subjects. He has also been Secretary of the Similkameen Historical Association since its organization in 1932.
John Goldie lived for many years in Ayr, Ontario, where his grandfather
planted the Douglas Fir tree, in memory of David Douglas, in 1886. He
was an active member of the Waterloo Historical Society, and is now
Vice-President of the Victoria Section of the British Columbia Historical
John Haskell Kemble is Instructor in History at Pomona College, Clare-
mont, California. He is the author of The Genesis of the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company, published by the California Historical Society in 1934,
and of other studies in the field of maritime history. The most recent of
these is a paper on " The Panama Route to the Pacific Coast, 1848-1869,"
which appeared in the Pacific Historical Review for March, 1938.
Frank E. Ross, of Washington, D.C., was for some years on the staff
of the Dictionary of American Biography. He is the author of two recent
articles of more than usual interest: " The Retreat of the Hudson's Bay
Company in the Pacific North-west," which appeared in the Canadian
Historical Review for September, 1937, and " American Adventurers in
the early Marine Fur Trade with China," published in the Chinese Social
and Political Science Review last July.
Date of Publication.
The Editor regrets that the present issue of the Quarterly will be at
least  a  fortnight  late  in  reaching  subscribers.    As  no  special   staff  is
available to assist in the preparation of the magazine, this work must be
done when time and routine duties permit, and delays are often unavoidable.
British Columbia Historical Association.
The paid-up membership of the Association on March 31 was 391.    The
corresponding total on March 31, 1937, was 323.    This total rose to 414
by the end of the year, and it is hoped that the membership will reach 450
by the end of 1938. „.       .    _     .
Victoria Section.
Those attending the meeting held on January 25, at which the Vice-
President, John Goldie, presided, had the pleasure of hearing three speakers.
The first paper, entitled In Memory of David Douglas, was delivered by
Mr. Goldie. His choice of this subject was most fitting, as his own grandfather, also John Goldie, was a close friend of David Douglas, they being
associated while both were students under Sir William Hooker. The paper
is printed in this issue of the Quarterly. Sir Joseph Banks, for many years
President of the Royal Horticultural Society, and prominent in many other 138 Notes and Comments. April
learned societies, was the subject of the second paper, read by W. H. Warren,
Superintendent of Parks for the City of Victoria. In his interesting outline Mr. Warren spoke of the aid Sir Joseph had given to many early
scientific expeditions, and touched on many of the highlights of his dis- •
tinguished career. Mr. T. W. Eastham, Plant Pathologist for the Department of Agriculture, dealt with the naming of plants, and with many
interesting sidelights of the careers of individual naturalists. David Douglas, he pointed out, was too often regarded merely as a botanist, whereas
he was in reality an outstanding general naturalist, interested in birds,
animals, and other natural phenomena. He urged that our flowering dogwood be referred to as Nuttall's Dogwood. It was not given a specific
name until 1840, when Audubon, the great bird specialist, named it after
his friend Nuttall, the botanist. Discussion followed the reading of the
papers, and Mr. Donald Fraser told the story of the first broom-seeds,
which were brought to Vancouver Island by Captain Colquhoun Grant.
On February 22 a meeting was held at which the society had the pleasure
of hearing Dr. David Hunter Miller, Historical Adviser to the Department
of State, Washington. Dr. Miller spoke on the negotiations which culminated in the Oregon Boundary Treaty of June 15, 1846. He vitalized the'
personalities involved in the long drawn out controversy, and his brilliant
analysis of the maze of negotiations which led up to the final settlement was
most illuminating.
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Hamber graciously extended an invitation to the members of the Section to be their guests at a
reception on the evening of March 11, Blanshard Day, to commemorate
the arrival of Richard Blanshard, first Governor of the Crown Colony of
Vancouver Island, in 1850. A large number of members and their friends
responded to the invitations, which were issued from Government House.
They were received by His Honour and Mrs. Hamber, assisted by the
President, Dr. T. A. Rickard, and Mrs. Rickard, and the Committee, which
consisted of Mrs. Fitzherbert Bullen, Mrs. Curtis Sampson, and Mrs. M. R.
The programme followed immediately the cordial greetings extended by
His Honour. It consisted of a paper read by the President, a brief address
by Dr. Kaye Lamb, Provincial Archivist, who exhibited the original commission appointing Governor Blanshard, and an address by Dr. W. N. Sage,
President of the Provincial Council of the British Columbia Historical
Association. Old-fashioned songs by Mrs. Rickard and the Georgian Singers,
and old-time dances in costume were given, after which the guests and performers united in reviving dances such as the polka, schottische, mazurka,
and Sir Roger de Coverley, which brought the evening to a close. The
Section deeply appreciates the interest and great kindness of His Honour
and Mrs. Hamber.
Policing British Columbia was the subject chosen by Assistant Commissioner T. W. S. Parsons, of the Provincial Police, who addressed the
Association on the evening of April 12. The growth of the force from early
days was sketched in a most interesting manner, and Mr. Parsons explained 1938 NOTES AND COMMENTS. 139
the wider field which the police were now called upon to cover, and the
developments in equipment and personnel which modern conditions made
imperative.    [Muriel R. Cree, Secretary.]
Vancouver Section.
The second annual dinner of the Vancouver Section was held on Friday,
March 25, 1938, in the Aztec Room of the Hotel Georgia. One hundred and
five members were present; this is fifty more than a year ago.
Dr. Robie L. Reid, the President, spoke of the growth of the organization
and of the keen interest which members took in the Quarterly. He thanked
those present for the way in which they had co-operated with the executive,
and asked for assistance in the campaign for more members.
In a brief report the Secretary, Miss Helen R. Boutilier, stated that there
were now 245 names on the mailing-list, and that of these 190 had renewed
their memberships. Letters were then read from His Honour the Lieutenant-
Governor, Honourable G. M. Weir, and Mayor George C. Miller.
Greetings from the Provincial Executive and from the Victoria Section
were brought by Mrs. M. R. Cree, Honorary Secretary. Mr. W. H. Evans
spoke for the members of the Pioneers' Association who were present, and
Miss Madge Hampton for the Native Daughters. Mr. T. L. Thacker,
President of the Fraser Canyon Historical Society, spoke of the work being
done around Hope and Yale.
During the evening musical numbers were provided by Miss Louie Stirk,
accompanied by Miss Melita Woods.
Dr. Reid introduced the speaker of the evening, Dr. W. Kaye Lamb,
Provincial Archivist. Dr. Lamb chose as his subject Why British Columbia
was Discovered. Taking as his text " The key to history lies in men and
their motives," the speaker sketched the events leading up to the first discoveries and colonization on the coast, and explained why British Columbia
was one of the last important coastal areas in the world to be charted.
Mr. J. M. Coady, a member of the Councils of both the Provincial Association and local section, expressed the thanks of the audience to Dr. Lamb
for his interesting address. Mr. Coady bespoke the co-operation of all
members in the attempt which Dr. Lamb and his associates are making to
preserve the history of the Province.
The meeting closed with the singing of the National Anthem. [Helen
R. Boutilier, Secretary.]
Local Historical Societies.
Graduate Historical Society. Under the general title Nationalism in the
Far East, the Graduate Historical Society of the University of British
Columbia heard a series of papers on conditions in the Orient during the
1937-38 season.    The programme, in detail, was as follows:—
Orientals in British Columbia.    Mr. Charles Woodsworth.
The Evolution of the Kuomintang.    Mr. Vernon Hill.
The Conflict of National Policies in Manchuria.   Mr. Robert McKenzie.
Siam.   Miss Helen Ferguson. 140 Notes and Comments. April
The Philippines.   Miss Rose Whelan.
The Conflict of Religions as a Barrier to Indian National Unity.
Miss Marian Root.
The Decline of the British Raj.   Mr. F. Hardwick.
All papers have been of exceptional interest and followed by lively
discussions. With the exception of that contributed by Mr. Charles Woods-
worth, all were given by members of the Society.
The annual banquet, held in David Spencer's Dining-room on March 5,
was the occasion of a brilliant address by Professor Henry F. Angus on
Canada and the Pacific.    [Marian E. Root, Corresponding Secretary.]
The North Kootenay Pioneers' Association held six well-attended meetings during the past year. The Association is much interested in the
possibility of constructing a cabin encampment, or pensioners' colony, within
the Revelstoke city limits. Aged pioneers have expressed a desire for such
a scheme in preference to spending the twilight period in official institutions.
Details of the scheme and the problem of a site have been dealt with, and
the idea may be brought to fruition by the new executive, which is composed
as follows: Honorary President, Mr. Harry Johnston, M.L.A.; President,
Mr. Horace Manning; Vice-President, Mrs. C. B. Hume; Secretary, Mr.
David Orr; Treasurer, Mrs. W. Leslie. Social gatherings of a public
nature are held quarterly, and special attention is devoted to one featured
annual event. Regrettably, interest in things historical is slight, but biographical sketches of the members are being kept for future reference.
Similkameen Historical Association.—James Armstrong Schubert, who
died on March 17, was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 7, 1860. His
parents moved to Fort Garry, and joined the famous Overland expedition
of 1862. In October of that year the Schuberts, with other members of the
party, arrived at Kamloops. From that time Mr. Schubert lived in various
parts of Cariboo, Okanagan, and Similkameen. In recent years he made
his home at Tulameen, near Otter Lake. His brother August, in Armstrong,
is the only surviving member of the Overland party.
Following the death of Mrs. S. L. Allison, in February of last year,
Mr. Schubert was elected Honorary President of the Similkameen Historical
Association. At the annual meeting held last fall he told us that he was
responsible for suggesting the place-name Vernon. Speaking of the Overland expedition, he remembered vividly hanging on to a strong man's neck
while a river was being crossed. That river was the Saskatchewan, and the
man who swam it, with young Schubert on his back, was Peter Mclntyre.
Mclntyre was buried at Okanagan Falls in 1925, and J. A. Schubert was
one of the pall-bearers.
Mr. Schubert was widely known in business circles, and is kindly remembered by all who knew him. The simple service which marked his passing
was conducted by Rev. E. E. Hardwick, and attended by members of the
family circle and many friends.    [J. C. Goodfellow, Secretary.]
Thompson Valley and District Historical and Museum Association.—
Following its official opening by His Honour Judge Howay, on July 1, 1938 Notes and Comments. 141
hundreds of Kamloops citizens and visitors viewed the Association's museum,
in the re-erected Hudson's Bay fort building, in Riverside Park. The
building was open free to the public two evenings a week and on Sunday
afternoons throughout the summer. Scores of interesting exhibits are now
on display. Mr. Burt R. Campbell has arranged and catalogued over five
hundred photographs, some of which are on loan, but most of which have
been presented to the Association. The manuscripts, books, Indian relics,
and donations received from the Hudson's Bay Company have in turn been
arranged and catalogued by Mr. J. J. Morse, with the assistance of Mr.
David Power, who, it will be recalled, was instrumental in saving the old
building which now houses the collection. The thanks of the Association
are also due Mr. T. S. Keyes, taxidermist, who has gathered birds and
animals for the museum. Ways and means in which to raise funds to
secure more exhibition cases are now under consideration, and the Association intends to open the museum to the public during the present season, as
was done last year.   Visitors are always welcome.    [George D. Brown, Jr.,
Historical Association Reports.
Inquiries are received from time to time regarding the series of reports
published some years ago by the British Columbia Historical Association.
The First Annual Report and Proceedings, published in 1924, and the
Second Report, which appeared in 1925, are out of print, but the two later
numbers are still obtainable. The papers which appear in the latter include
the following:—
Third Annual Report and Proceedings (66 pp., 1926):
Monuments erected in British Columbia by the Historic Sites and
Monuments Board of Canada.
Sir Alexander Mackenzie.   By His Honour Judge Howay.
The Building of the Cariboo Road.    By The Hon. Mr. Justice Murphy.
Juan de Fuca and his Strait.   By His Honour Judge Howay.
The Beginnings of the Pacific Station and Esquimalt Royal Naval
Establishment.   By Major F. V. Longstaff.
The Colonial Postal Systems of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1849-1871.   By A. Stanley Deaville.
Fourth Report and Proceedings (64 pp., 1929) :
The Hydrographic Survey of the North-west Coast of British North
America.   By H. D. Parizeau.
The Opening of the Pacific.    By V. L. Denton.
A Brief History of the Queen Charlotte Islands. By W. A. Newcombe.
The Dewdney Trail.   By Major H. T. Nation.
The Discovery and Naming of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. By
C. C. Pemberton.
The Site of Leechtown.   By John Hosie.
Mackenzie's Expedition to the Pacific Ocean.    By F. C. Swannell. 142 Notes and Comments. April
James Charles Stuart Strange and his Expedition to the North-west
Coast of America in 1786.    By John Hosie.
What I Remember of Amor de Cosmos.    By Beaumont Boggs.
Copies of these reports may be obtained from the Provincial Archives,
Victoria, price 50c. each.
Hudson's Bay Record Society.
The following announcement has been received from the Canadian Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company, Winnipeg:—
" The formation of the Hudson's Bay Record Society has been announced
by the Hudson's Bay Company. The classification of the Company's Archives
has been proceeding for several years with a view to publication. One
volume, independently edited, will be published each year in association with
the Champlain Society. Membership in the Hudson's Bay Record Society
will be limited and the subscription will be Five Dollars per annum. The
subject of the first volume, to be published in 1938, is Sir George Simpson's
Athabasca Journal and Report, 1820-1821. Inquiries with regard to membership in the Society should be directed to The Secretary, Canadian Committee, Hudson's Bay Company, Hudson's Bay House, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
It is requested that no money be forwarded at the present time, as the
organization of the Society, which is, of course, a non-profit-making venture,
is still in its early stages. Members of the Champlain Society will receive
the volumes issued each year, in addition to the publications of their own
Printed by Chables F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
660-438-8648 to
Organized October 31st, 1922.
b Honour Eric W. HamDER, Lieutenant-Governor of British Colwn
OFFICERS, 1937-38.
Hon. G. M. Weir - Honorary President.
W. N. SAGE  President.
J. S. Plaskett ----- 1st Vice-President.
Kenneth A. Waites   -       -       -       - 2nd Vice-President.
E. W, McMullen ... - Honorary Treasurer.
Muriel R, Cree ----- Honorary Secretary.
Robie L. Ree>  Archivist
F. W. Howay J. M. Coady H. T. Nation
J. C. Goodfellow B. A. McKelvie
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 October. All members in good standing receive
the British Columbia Historical Quarterly without further charge.
All correspondence and fees should be addressed in care of the Secretary,
Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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