British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jul 1, 1939

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JULY, 1939 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, Vancouver. 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, 60c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members of
the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine. BRITISH COLUMBIA
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. III. Victoria, B.C., July, 1939. No. 3
Articles : Page.
Drake's Course in the North Pacific.
By R. P. Bishop    151
Early Smelters in British Columbia.
By S. S. Fowler  183
Notes on the " Norman Morison."
By A. N. Mouat  203
Documents :
The Discovery of Hill's Bar in 1858.
An original narrative by James Moore  215
Notes and Comments :
The Centenary of the Pacific Station: 1837-1987.
By F. V. Longstaff  221
A Further Note on Captain St. Paul.
By George D. Brown, Jr  223
Contributors to this Issue  224
British Columbia Historical Association    224
Fraser Canyon Historical Association  225 R.P. Bishop DRAKE'S COURSE IN THE NORTH
For many a year Sir Francis Drake's great voyage of circumnavigation in 1577-80 was looked upon as having been primarily
a buccaneering expedition. It was taken for granted that he had
set out with no greater purpose than to despoil the Spaniards in
the grand manner. Of recent years, however, H. R. Wagner and
other scholars have done a service of inestimable value both to
Drake's reputation and to history by showing that the voyage-
was, in actual fact, a serious enterprise undertaken in the interests of trade and exploration, and possibly with a view to
colonization as well.
A moment's digression into the field of heraldry may not
come amiss. The first ship to sail around the world was Magellan's Victoria; the second, Drake's Golden Hinde. Magellan,
who sought to reach the Spice Islands by sailing south and west,
met his death in the Philippines. The expedition reached the
Moluccas, and del Cano> who brought the Victoria back to Spain,
was granted as crest a terrestrial globe and the motto Primus
circumdedisti me. Drake was granted a globe and the words
Auxilio Divino.
Even more significant were the augmentations to the respective coats of arms. To del Cano twelve cloves, three nutmegs,
and two bars of cinnamon; supporters, the kings of Tidore and
Gilolo. These, according to Kirkpatrick, indicated that the
Emperor and the Council of the Indies believed the objects of the
voyage to have been accomplished.   .   .   .J
Drake also reached the Moluccas, and his trading arrangement with the Sultan of Ternate has been considered by some as
the most important result of the voyage. But Drake's arms do
not display a single potentate or peppercorn:—
(I) F. A. Kirkpatrick, The Spanish Conquistadores, London, 1934, p.
131. An illustration appears in> Early Spanish Voyages to the Strait of
Magellan, Hakluyt Society, London, 1911, p. 12.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly; Vol. III., No. 3.
151 152 R. P. Bishop. July
Sable, a fees wavy between two stars argent.%
The Golden Hinde was the first English ship to enter the
Pacific Ocean. The waves, then, explain the fesse. The star
below—the Cape Horn passage, and, perhaps, the farthest south
attained by man. The star above—Noua Albion vpon the backside of Canada, further then euer any Christian hitherto hath
pierced. The quotation is from the title page of Hakluyt's
Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries, 1589, apparently the first appearance of the name in type, though Nova
Albion had appeared on a map in 1587, in Hakluyt's Paris edition
of Peter Martyr.
The whole question of the genesis of Drake's voyage is too
complex to be considered here, but it is now recognized that he
was seeking to carry out earlier proposals for trade and colonization. In his recent biography of Sir Richard Grenville, A. L.
Rowse refers to the intense interest taken in geographical
matters in the years immediately preceding Drake's departure
from England, and the cardinal point about which it is centred:—
The real significance of this interest in geography was the passionate
excitement aroused in the question of a North-East or a North-West Passage to Cathay. It was a matter of the greatest importance for the future
of English expansion. The riches of the trade with the Far East had been
revealed by the Portuguese voyages via the Cape of Good Hope; but southward expansion up to the time of Hawkins' voyages was blocked by the
Portuguese and Spanish monopoly, and it was now being made abundantly
evident that any attempts to penetrate their privileged sphere would mean
fighting. . . . And so the question of a northern Passage to the Far East
was a vital one; if there were one at all, and most geographical opinion
agreed that there was, it would fall naturally into the sphere of English
control, and being nearer than the Cape of Good Hope, give this country the
larger control of the trade in Far Eastern commodities at cheaper rates.3
In a word, a clash with Spain might be avoided if a practicable northern passage existed; for discoveries by the North-
(2) Sir Julian Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, London, 1899, p. 411.
(3) A. L. Rowse, Sir Richard Grenville, London, 1937, p. 84. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific. 153
east, North, or North-west, it appears, were not regarded as
running counter to the famous Bulls of Alexander VI., which
reserved to Spain the lands lying west of a certain meridian and,
apparently, south of the Azores.4 Indeed, the rights of the
English Merchant Adventurers to explore in those quarters had
been renewed in the reign of Philip and Mary, when Philip of
Spain was practically King of England.
The Governor of this association was Sebastian, the son and
partner of John Cabot, to whom Henry VII. had granted rights
to explore by the East, West, and North. Sebastian Cabot was
interested in the North-west Passage, but the Merchants confined
their energies to the North-east, where they entered the White
Sea and opened up a profitable trade with Russia. As a consequence the association was commonly known as the Muscovy
Interest in the North-west Passage was brought to a head
by a map published in 1564 by the rising young geographer,
Abraham Ortelius. This showed Labrador as an island, and the
whole of the northern shore of America well to the south of the
sixtieth parallel. Northern China was represented as being only
a few hundred miles to the west of the Sierra Nevada, and
between them was the strait or narrow sea of Anian.5 The
Moluccas, according to the map, were not far away. The year
after the map was printed Sir Humphrey Gilbert applied for permission to make the Passage, but his proposals were blocked by
the Muscovy Company. Later their monopoly was challenged
successfully by Lok and Frobisher, and, at a time not yet precisely determined, Gilbert's cousin, Richard Grenville, proposed
to discover the Passage from the west by searching the Strait of
Anian. Gilbert himself suggested " inhabiting for our staple
some convenient place of America, about Sierra Nevada," and
his discourse on the passage to Cathay, the Moluccas, and other
parts of the East was published the year before Drake left
(4) James A. Williamson, The Age of Drake, London, 1938, p. 27.
(5) The eastern part of North America appears in the Geographical
Journal, LXXH. (1928), No. 3, opp. p. 304. See also p. 237. The western
part appears in Sir Francis Drake's Voyage around the World, H. R.
Wagner, 1926, p. 39. 154 R. P. Bishop. July
England.6 It will be seen that Drake combined these projects,
searched for the Strait, took possession, and traded in the
Grenville had developed an interest in lands " beyond the
equinoctial,"7 fatally reserved for the honour of Her Majesty
and, incidentally, free from interference by the Muscovy Company. His interest in Cathay appears in a draft Charter.8 He
proposed to plant a colony near the River Plate, and to pass
through the Strait of Magellan.9 In other words he proposed a
South-west Passage to Cathay, with staples near Buenos Aires
and on the Pacific coast. He made extensive preparations, and
apparently secured sanction for the voyage, but this was cancelled for fear of trouble with Spain. He finally proposed to
spend a few weeks near the Strait of Magellan, and then proceed
with all speed to the Strait of Anian; here he would spend several
months in making a reconnaissance, trade with Cathay, and
return by the North-west Passage. His Discourse10 on the subject resembles, in certain respects, the draft plan of Drake's
voyage recently discovered by Professor E. G. R. Taylor.
In the proposals of Gilbert and Grenville, and in Drake's
reconnaissance and act of possession, we have the Elizabethan
prelude to the history of the North Pacific coast, and to a good
deal more besides. It has, however, been suggested that Drake
was not searching for the Strait, and that he did not reach the
neighbourhood of 48 degrees. These are the points which require investigation in the first instance. But before going into
details it is better to refer briefly to the general problem.
(6) A Discourse of a Discoverie for a New Passage to Cataia, 1576.
Reprinted in Hakluyt's Principall Navigations, 1589.
(7) Lansdowne MS., 100, fol. 142-6, British Museum; given in The
Three Voyages of Martin Frobisher, by Richard Collinson, Hakluyt Society,
London, 1867, p. 4.   See also Rowse, p. 90.
(8) Extracts are given by Rowse, pp. 95-97.
(9) See the evidence of Oxenham and his companions in New Light on
Drake, by Mrs. Zelia Nuttall, Hakluyt Society, 1914, pp. 7-11.
(10) A discourse concerninge a straighte to be discovered towarde the
northweste, passinge to Cathaia and the orientall Indians, with a confutation of their errour that thinke the discoverye thereof to be moste conveni-
entlye attempted to the northe of Baccalaos. Endorsed by Burghley " Mr.
Grenville's voyage." Lansdowne MS., 100, No. 4, B.M. given in The Three
Voyages of Martin Frobisher, Hakluyt Society, 1867, p. 8. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 155
The Plot of the Voyage.
It is now apparent that Drake's voyage combined several
different projects; the difficulty is to distinguish them. In 1926
H. R. Wagner published practically all available information in
his monumental study entitled Sir Francis Drake's Voyage
around the World, and concluded that the voyage was intended
for the Moluccas.11 J. A. Williamson arrived independently at
a similar conclusion:—
It is undoubted that when Drake returned a very great importance was
attached to his treaty with the Sultan of Ternate in the Spice Islands. It
was made the basis of subsequent voyages, and formed the title-deed of the
empire the Fast India Company hoped to establish in the archipelago. Only
when the Dutch had ousted us, and we had fallen back on continental India,
did Drake's achievement begin to fade from the public mind. What has
never faded is his ballast of Spanish silver, with its top-dressing of gold and
precious stones. It is time to recollect now, in the name of sober history,
that above even these lay samples of all the spices in the Moluccas.12
In 1930 Professor Taylor discovered and published the report
of Captain Winter, who became separated from Drake near the
Strait of Magellan and returned to England. The reprint makes
it clear that the Moluccas were included in the programme, thus
confirming the conclusions of Wagner and Williamson.13 At the
same time Miss Taylor published a draft plan of Drake's voyage,
which indicates that a shorter programme was intended in the
first instance.14 The list of promoters shows that the project
was controlled by members of the Navy Board and the inner
circle of the Queen's personal advisers. Drake was to contribute
_1,000. A licence had been obtained from the Grand Turk " so
as to give colour to the pretence that the voyage was for Alexandria."15 Her Majesty was to be made privy to the truth of the
voyage, and to supply a ship, the Swallow.
The draft plan provided for a five-months' reconnaissance in
the Pacific, entering and returning by the Strait of Magellan.
(11) Wagner, Sir Francis Drake's Voyage, p. 26.
(12) J. A. Williamson, Sir John Hawkins, Oxford, 1927, p. 395.
(13) E. G. R. Taylor, " More Light on Drake," the Mariner's Mirror,
XVI. (1930), pp. 134-150.
(14) Cotton MSS.; British Museum. Photographs of two pages are
given in the Geographical Journal, LXXV. (1930), facing pp. 46-47. The
edges of the paper have been burnt, and Miss Taylor gives a reconstruction
of the essential part in the Mariner's Mirror.
(15) Quoted from Miss Taylor's article. 156 R. P. Bishop. July
Drake was to sail northwards along the coast " as of the other "
to 30 degrees, with a view to opening up trade in countries not
under the obedience of any Christian prince.
The Spanish occupation actually extended to the neighbourhood of 40 degrees on the coast of Chile but, as Williamson
points out, the extent of this occupation was not made clear in the
published works of Ortelius and Mercator.16 In the Ortelius
atlas of 1570 the prominence of the name Coquimbo may have
conveyed the impression that the continent was not under the
obedience of any Christian prince south of 30 degrees. The
phrase "as of the other" suggests the Atlantic coast, where
Buenos Aires had been abandoned in 1541 and the remnant of
the settlers taken to Asuncion. Here, for thirty-six years, the
only stable settlement in the region of the River Plate stood in
the centre of the continent, nearly 1,000 miles from the sea.17
" Grenville's project was to come and found a settlement on
the River Plate and then pass the Strait and establish settlements wherever a good country for such could be found." This
fact is mentioned in the evidence of John Oxenham. It will be
remembered that Drake and Oxenham had seen, from a tree on
the Isthmus of Panama, the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific
on the other. Oxenham had built a pinnace and navigated the
Pacific, had been captured by the Spaniards and taken to Lima.
Here he and his companions gave evidence before the Inquisition
while Drake, unknown to them, was raiding the coast. Oxenham
thought that
if the Queen were to give a licence to Captain Francis Drake he would certainly come and pass through the Strait, because he is a very good mariner
and pilot, and there is no better one than he in England who could accomplish this. . . . The said Captain Francis had often spoken to witness
saying that if the Queen would grant him the licence he would pass through
the Strait of Magellan and found settlements over here in some good
Questioned with how many ships it would be possible for Francis Drake
to come to the Strait he answered that with the aid of his relatives and
(16) Williamson, The Age of Drake, p. 170. Miss Taylor subsequently
published extracts from a manuscript Navigating manual which, she considers, may have belonged to Drake. It was evidently prepared in 1577, and
gives sailing directions for the Strait of Magellan and the coast of Chile to
the neighbourhood of 30 degrees. Pacific Historical Review, I. (1932), pp.
(17) Kirkpatrick, p. 335. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 157
companions he might be able to bring two or three vessels but that, after
discovering a good country, they would be able to come with more ships.
Witness said that Captain Francis discussed this subject with him.
Questioned whether they had discussed how, and by what route, they
were to return to England after having passed through the Strait, he said
that it seemed to him that some said it was to be by the same Strait, but
others said that there was a route through another Strait that passed into
the North Sea, but nobody knows this for a certainty or has passed
through it.18
The last paragraph clearly describes the stage mentioned in
the draft plan, of returning by the Strait of Magellan. Much
more important, in the present connection, is the fact that it also
mentions the idea of returning by an unknown strait in the north,
where Drake subsequently made a reconnaissance, as suggested
in Grenville's Discourse.
We now come to the traditional part of the story. Drake was
taken by Walsingham to the Queen, and these or the like words
she said:—
" Drake! So it is that I would gladly be revenged on the King of Spain
for divers injuries that I have received." And said further that I was the
only man that might do this exploit and withal craved my advice therein;
who told Her Majesty of the small good that was to be done in Spain, but
the only way was to annoy him by the Indies.19
The nature of Drake's arrangement with the Queen is not
known. It may have been to raid Spanish treasure ships, or to
seize the Isthmus of Panama in conjunction with Oxenham, as
suggested by Williamson.20 Drake, before entering the Pacific,
referred to setting " by the ears " the three mighty monarchs of
England, Spain, and Portugal,21 and Winter's report shows that
the final arrangement included a visit to the neighbourhood of
the Moluccas, where the indefinite nature of the Spanish-Portuguese boundary afforded an excellent opportunity for the English
to gain a footing.
Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Discourse had just been published,22
with a sketch of the Ortelius map of 1564, showing the Moluccas
(18) Nuttall, pp. 9-10.
(19) Cooke's narrative, as given by Corbett, p. 208.
(20) The Age of Drake, p. 187.
(21) Williamson, Sir John Hawkins, p. 392.
(22) In 1576. He states that it was written in 1566, but it was evidently brought up to date. See W. G. Gosling, Life of Sir Humphrey
Gilbert, London, 1911. 158 R. P. Bishop. July
almost due south of the narrow sea of Anian. Frobisher was
making his voyages in search of the North-west Passage, and
Grenville had submitted his Discourse on the search from the
western end. As Drake actually made this search, it seems evident that it was included in the final plans for the voyage. These
may have included an act of possession " about Sierra Nevada "
as suggested by Gilbert, or possibly north of the Spanish explorations and well within territory covered by the " East, West and
North " of the English charters. A New England in this neighbourhood would not conflict with New France and, even if the
Strait were not found, the name on the map would dispose of any
Spanish pretensions to a closed Pacific east of the Portuguese
It may be too early to state that the upper star on Drake's
coat of arms represents one of the objects of the voyage, as well
as one of the accomplishments. British Columbia can, however,
contribute to the solution of the problem by showing that Drake
reached a high northern latitude in searching for the Strait of
Anian in the summer of 1579.
The Search for the Strait.
Most accounts of the voyage bring Drake to the neighbourhood of 48 degrees, and some of them refer to his search for the
Strait, or the route by the North-west Passage. The map
printed by Hakluyt in 1587, and his reference to " Noua Albion
vpon the backside of Canada " in 1589, suggest that he had
shared the general belief in the higher latitude. But certain
copies of The Principall Navigations contain six extra leaves
giving an account of The Famous Voyage of Sir Francis Drake,
probably printed after 1589, as the pages are not numbered. The
name of the author is not known. The highest latitude here
mentioned is 42 degrees (and in a subsequent edition 43),23 suggesting that Drake merely reach the coast of Oregon. And the
account suggests that Drake was not looking for the passage,
but taking the most suitable route to the Moluccas. The rare
first edition, however, has a marginal note—" A purpose in Sir
Francis to returne by the Northwest passage."
(23)  London, 1600, III., p. 440. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 159
As the narrative gives the opposite impression, it seems that
Hakluyt, as editor, wrote the marginal note himself. It would
accordingly appear that Hakluyt believed, at first, in the higher
latitude and in the search for the passage. The two beliefs are
complementary. Drake sailed from Guatulco, in the south of
Mexico, and spent eight weeks at sea. If he came north to 48
degrees he was not merely shaking off the Spanish pursuit, and
looking for a suitable place in which to repair his ship. He was
searching for the Strait, the approach to the North-west Passage.
The Authorities for 48 Degrees.
The latitude of 48 degrees was generally accepted until the
middle of the nineteenth century, when it became involved in the
Oregon boundary question. The latitude was debated at some
length by Robert Greenhow, Librarian of the Library of Congress, who favoured 43 degrees, and Sir Travers Twiss, who
believed in 48. Long after the boundary question was finally
settled the debate was revived by Professor George Davidson, of
the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, and Sir Julian
Corbett.24 Davidson, who believed in 43 degrees, was the highest
authority of the time on the winds and currents of the Eastern
North Pacific, and he was able to point out that the course suggested by Corbett was not feasible. Davidson was, however,
misled by an imperfect reproduction of the Hondius map of the
Drake and Cavendish voyages, and he was not able to use the
bearings given by John Drake, which had been quoted incorrectly.
Recent research, furthermore, has thrown an entirely new light
on the direction of the currents at different times of the year.
Wagner accepts Davidson's viewpoint, and rightly attributes
great importance to the need of following Drake's course from
Guatulco by a study of the prevailing winds. He does not, however, plot the course afresh, and he mainly depends on Hakluyt's
Famous Voyage, assuming that the additional information in
The World Encompassed is due to interpolation. Evidence is
now available to show that The Famous Voyage is badly abbreviated, so the accompanying plot of the course is based on the fuller
account, supplemented by John Drake's bearings.
(24)  Corbett gives a brief review of the discussion,   p. 289. 160 R. P. Bishop. July
Wagner's standard work of 1926 is indispensable for a study
of the subject, and a great deal of useful information appears in
his other writings. The Spanish accounts of Drake's proceedings as far as Guatulco, and the log of Nuiio da Silva, the Portuguese pilot, are given by Mrs. Nuttall. Da Silva mentioned that
Drake and his young kinsman [John] were fond of painting.
Don Francisco de Zarate referred to pictures of the coast, painted
in its exact colours " so naturally depicted that no one who guides
himself according to these paintings can possibly go astray." 25
Unfortunately they have been lost, and no log of the whole
voyage is known to exist. Beyond Guatulco we have to depend
on abbreviated accounts and other evidence, and on compilations
which are sometimes contradictory.
Valuable evidence was given by John Drake at Santa Fe in
the Province of the River Plate, and before the Inquisition at
Lima. He accompanied the Fenton expedition in 1582, with
other members of the crew of the Golden Hinde, and was wrecked
in the estuary of the Plate and subsequently taken prisoner.
He mentioned 48 degrees four times, and the change of course in
44 degrees, and referred to Nova Albion. He also gave bearings
which enable us to plot the course from Guatulco.26
The diary of Madox, chaplain on the Fenton expedition, refers
to 48 degrees on the " back syde of Labradore and as Mr Haul
supposeth, nye thereunto." Hall had been with Frobisher. The
extract was published by Professor Taylor in the Pacific Historical Review in 1932.27
John Davis, the Arctic navigator, gives " forty-eight degrees
being on the backe syde of Newfound land " in The Worldes
Hydrographical Discription.28 He was a partner of Sir Humphrey Gilbert's brother Adrian, and searched for the passage
three times by way of Davis Strait, and passed through the Strait
of Magellan, but was unable to reach Nova Albion. After this
he accompanied the Dutch to the East Indies, and then piloted
the first fleet of the East India Company to the Spice Islands.
(25) Nuttall, pp. 208, 303.
(26) Nuttall, pp. 31, 32, 50;  Wagner, p. 333, note 16.
(27) I., pp. 360-9.
(28) London, 1595.    Reprinted by the Hakluyt Society in The Voyage
and Works of John Davis, 1880, p. 205. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 161
He was a high authority on navigation, and definitely interested
in the question of Drake's latitude.
An account of the circumnavigation appeared in the 1592 edition of Stow's Chronicles of England. This may have been the
first account to appear in print. It states that Drake " came
backeward to the lineward the tenth of June 1579." The latitude
given is 47 degrees.29
The unsigned notes commonly known as the Anonymous
Narrative, in the handwriting of the time, mention the search for
the Strait and the latitude of 48 degrees.30
Various maps31 show Nova Albion in 48 degrees, and some of
these indicate the track of the ship, but obviously without any
attempt at accuracy. The maps are reproduced by Mr. Wagner.
On the Hondius map of the Drake and Cavendish voyages the
track has been erased north of 42 degrees, evidently to conform
with The Famous Voyage.
The fullest account appears in The World Encompassed by
Sir Francis Drake . . . carefully collected out of the notes of
Master Francis Fletcher preacher in this imployment, and divers
others his followers in the same. London 1682. Fletcher's
manuscript is available as far as the south of Chile. His rambling style and pious interjections can generally be recognized,
and the missing portion of the notes was evidently used by the
compiler of The World Encompassed for the voyage north of
Guatulco and the proceedings in California. The sources of
this account and of The Famous Voyage are fully discussed by
The Famous Voyage confuses the sequence of events at Cano
and Guatulco. Both accounts mention 42 degrees, and beyond
this the language is similar, but The Famous Voyage is shorter
and does not mention any higher latitude in the first edition.
The comparative value of these accounts, at this point, is decided
by higher authority:—
(29) The extract from the edition of 1635 is reprinted by Wagner, pp.
(30) Harleian MSS., British Museum, No. 280, Folio 23.   Extracts are
given by Wagner, p. 243, et seq.
(31) Such as the map in Hakluyt's Paris edition of Peter Martyr;   the
" silver map " of Drake's voyage; the French and Dutch Drake maps.
(32) pp. 238, 286. 162 R. P. Bishop. July
IVNE 17 1579
A plate of brass bearing the above inscription was picked up
by Mr. Beryle Shinn in 1936 and handed to Dr. H. E. Bolton.33
It was subsequently ascertained that the plate had been found a
few years before near Drake's Bay and thrown away near San
Francisco Bay, not far from the spot when Shinn found it. The
plate and the lettering have been carefully examined by Professor
Fink, of Columbia University, and other experts, and the question of its authenticity now appears to be finally settled.34
This important find is described by Professor Bolton in his
paper Francis Drake's Plate of Brass read before the California
Historical Society in 1937. He points out that The World Encompassed and the other accounts vary on vital matters in
describing the plate, the inscription, and the sixpence. These
discrepancies had long puzzled him. Only one recourse remained
—to find the plate. This shows that " the phraseology of the
inscription in nearly every particular is that of The World Encompassed, our fullest version of Fletcher's account."36
His paper is supported by excerpts from the various early
accounts, which enable the reader to do his own textual criticism.
The accounts of the Indian houses are especially interesting.
The Famous Voyage states that they are " digged round about
with earth "; The World Encompassed that they are " digged
round within the earth."36 The latter is evidently an account,
by an eye-witness, of the typical semi-subterranean house which
(33) Professor of American History at the University of California.
(34) For the complete analysis and report, see Colin G. Fink and E.
Polushkin, Drake's Plate of Brass Authenticated, San Francisco, 1938.
(35) Drake's Plate of Brass, San Franeisco, 1937, p. 11.
(36) See Appendix II. Part of the Typus Orbis Terrarum, from the Ortelius Atlas, first issued in 1570. The Silver Map of Drake's Voyage, showing Nova Albion
at the Northerly Anchorage. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 163
extended from the coast of California to the interior of British
Columbia, where the pits are known as keekwillie holes. A
sketch of the zone in which these are found appears in Native
Houses of Western North America, by T. T. Waterman.37
Here we have an instance, independent of the Plate of Brass,
confirming Professor Bolton's conclusion that Fletcher is our
chief source of information for details regarding events at the
" conuenient and fit harborough." " His statements were published in varying degrees of abridgment, the fullest version being
that in The World Encompassed. Since the abridgments leave
out important details, this version may be regarded as our most
faithful available record of what Fletcher wrote. In the abridgments at this point there are few contradictions of the fuller
narrative, but by leaving out essentials they convey imperfect
One of the essentials omitted in The Famous Voyage, as the
evidence submitted in summary form in this paper is intended to
show, is the latitude of 48 degrees.
Fleurieu's Whirlpool.
Before going into details of Drake's course from Guatulco, it
is advisable to consider the winds and currents of the North
Pacific and the routes taken by sailing ships.
During the summer months strong north and north-west
winds blow down the Pacific coast of the United States and
Mexico, and ships sailing to the north stand well out to sea. Off
the coast of California is a region where the barometer is high—
and meteorologists tell us that the winds blow in a clockwise
direction round these regions in the northern hemisphere. To
the south is the north-east trade-wind, to the north are the prevailing westerlies, and the currents, generally speaking, follow
the winds. The arrangement was noticed by Fleurieu, and
called by an Englishman Fleurieu's Whirlpool, according to Ker-
hallet, Capitaine de fregate.39 The expression is convenient, for
we may say that Drake followed Fleurieu's Whirlpool.
(37) Published by Museum of the American Indian,. New York, 1921.
(38) Drake's Plate of Brass, pp. 9-10.
(39) Charles Philippe de Kerhallet, Considerations Generates sur
VOcean Pacifique, Paris, 1851, p. 61 and map opp. p. 43. Fleurieu was the
author of Voyage Autour du Monde . . . par Stienne Marchand, Paris,
1798. 164
R. P. Bishop.
The Pacific Ocean north of 10° N. latitude and east of 170° W. longitude, showing the residual
winds calculated for the four seasons from the data given on the pilot charts published by the U.S.
Hydrographic Office. The length of the arrows is proportional to the resultant drift, while the number
of feathers on the arrows gives the average force according to the Beaufort Scale.
(Reproduced by kind permission of the International Fisheries Commission.) 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 165
Ships sailing out of San Francisco during the summer stand
right out to sea, and approach the Strait of Juan de Fuca from
the south-west—and the route on the present pilot charts was laid
down for vessels which could sail closer to the wind than the
Golden Hinde. Guatulco, in the south of Mexico, is conveniently
placed for getting into the April trade-wind. After leaving this
port Drake took a " Spanish course " and sailed in longitude for
500 leagues, according to one account; by another account 600
leagues, and by another 800. After this he continued, clockwise,
round the whirlpool.
The problem of the Pacific winds was first solved in the
southern hemisphere. Off the coast of South America the whirl
is in the opposite direction. In 1547 it took an expedition eight
months to travel from Callao in Peru to Chile, against the south
wind and the Humboldt current. In 1563 the problem was solved
by the pilot Juan Fernandez, who stood well out to sea instead
of following the coast. Fernandez ran out from Callao before
the south-east trade-wind, working to the south until he encountered the westerlies, and then running before them into Valparaiso. He performed the journey in twenty days, discovering
on the way the island made famous in after-years as the abode
of Alexander Selkirk. " The feat of seamanship on the part of
Juan Fernandez won for him very full official recognition. It
was indeed a most important discovery. He received a grant of
land in the lovely valley of Quillota in Chile . . . and his
descendants were still living in Quillota when I was there." The
quotation is from Sir Clements Markham's anniversary address
on Balboa in 1913.40
In 1599 Francisco de Quinones used the new way " and performed the voyage from Callao to Concepcion in the then unpre-
cedently short time of 16 days." The difference in latitude is
24 degrees, and in spite of the roundabout route southing was
made at a degree and a half per day. This rate, about four
knots, may be compared with the performance of the Golden
The idea of sailing west before the trade-wind and east in
high latitudes was not new; it had been applied to the whole
Pacific, but early attempts to return to America were not suc-
(40)  Geographical Journal, XLI. (1913), pp. 517-527. 166 R. P. Bishop. July
cessful. Magellan's flagship, the Trinidad, went north to 42
degrees, but had to return to the Moluccas. Del Cano (of the
coat of arms) was sent again from Spain, under Garcia de
Loaysa, and with them went Urdaneta, who eventually solved the
problem. Cortes sent Saavedra to assist them in the Moluccas,
and so initiated the famous run from Mexico to Guam. Spain
then relinquished the Moluccas, but continued to claim the Philippines.
A later expedition from Mexico made various discoveries, but
still nobody sailed east to America. Urdaneta retired to a monastery, but eventually received a royal request to accompany
Legaspi, who conquered the Philippines. Urdaneta sailed back
to Mexico in 1565,41 and after this the Manila galleon made the
round trip across the Pacific for centuries.
The Spanish Course.
Anson captured the Manila galleon in 1743 and found that
she had standing orders to sail west between the 13th and 14th
parallels.42 His chart shows her track, tacking out of Acapulco
to the latitude of Guam and then " running down the latitude "
to that island, where fires were lit to prevent her from passing it.
Her eastbound track takes a zigzag course to the north, sometimes
reaching 35 degrees, and on approaching California takes a more
direct course to Acapulco. The track clearly indicates the prevailing winds, and suggests that the northern coast could best be
reached from Central America by sailing west along a known
course, before turning to the north.
Drake prepared his ship for the northern voyage near the
island of Cano, about 8° 40' N., and had the good fortune to capture a Spanish frigate taking two China pilots to Panama, where
they were to meet a high official and conduct him to the Philippines.43 The pilots had been sent by the Viceroy of New Spain,
and their charts and sailing directions gave full information
about the route across the Pacific.
(41) Full details are given in Wagner's Spanish Voyages to the Northwest Coast of America in the Sixteenth Century, San Francisco, 1929.
(42) George Lord Anson, A  Voyage Round the  World,  9th edition,
London, 1756, pp. 247, 385.
(43) See the many reports and depositions printed in New Light on
Drake. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 167
Our General at this place, and time . . . began to consider and to
consult of the best way for his Countrey.
The quotation is from The Famous Voyage, which goes on to
say that Drake decided to return by way of the Moluccas and the
Cape of Good Hope.
Upon this resolution he began to thinke of his best way to the
Moluccaes, and finding himselfe where he nowe was becalmed, he sawe, that
of necessitie he must be forced to take a Spanish course, namely to saile
somewhat Northerly to get a winde. We therefore set saile, and sailed in
longitude 600. leagues at the least for a good winde, and thus much we sailed
from the 16. of Aprill till the 3. of June.
The information is valuable, but has to be disentangled. The
Famous Voyage, like the Anonymous Narrative, gives Cano and
Guatulco in the wrong order and so confuses the sequence of
events. They sailed " somewhat northerly" from Cano, and
sailed " in longitude " after leaving Guatulco. The latter point
is made clear by The World Encompassed.
From Guatulco we departed the day following, viz., Aprill 16. setting our
course directly into the sea: whereupon we sayled 500. leagues in longitude,
to get a winde: and betweene that and June 3. 1400. leagues in all, till we
came into 42. deg. of North latitude.
Sailing " in longitude " suggests sailing due west. Coupled
with the idea of a Spanish course it suggests the route shown on
Anson's chart, where ships had orders to keep between the 13th
and 14th parallels. Such a course would lie " somewhat northerly " from Cano, and " directly into the sea " from Guatulco.
Legaspi and Urdaneta had been instructed to take a more
southerly course, apparently to examine certain islands reported
to lie about the latitude of 10 degrees,44 but as no use was made
of these islands it seems almost certain that subsequent voyages
would be made along a course in the latitude of Guam, as indicated by Anson. Such a course would be well within the trade-
wind, north of the equatorial counter-current, and free from all
obstructions. Drake would be well advised to take it before
turning to the north.
The Northerly Anchorage.
The Famous Voyage continues:—
The 5. day of June, being in 42. degrees towards the pole Arctike, we
found the aire so colde, that our men being greeuously pinched with the
(44) Wagner, Spanish Voyages, pp. 107, 349, note 62. 168 R. P. Bishop. July
same, complained of the extremitie thereof, and the further we went, the
more colde increased vpon vs. Whereupon we thought it best for that time
to seeke the land, and did so, finding it not mountanous, but lowe plaine
land, & clad, and couered ouer with snowe, so that we drewe backe againe
without landing, till we came within 38. degrees towards the line.
The quotation given above from The World Encompassed
makes it fairly clear that they reached 42 degrees on June 3.
The account goes on to say that the cold began " in the night
following " and that they made an additional two degrees under
these conditions. They would then be in 44 degrees. On June
5 they were forced by contrary winds to make for land, where
they anchored in a " bad bay " in 48 degrees. These latitudes
are confirmed by the early and independent evidence of John
Drake, which makes it clear that the wind changed in 44 degrees,
and that they altered course, discovering land in 48 degrees.46
To continue from The World Encompassed:—
From the height of 48. deg. in which now we were, to 38. we found the
land by coasting alongst it to bee but low and reasonable plaine:  euery hill
(whereof we saw many, but none verie high) though it were in June, and
the Sunne in his neerest approch vnto them being couered with snow.
The mountains might appear like hills to men who had passed
through the Strait of Magellan and followed the coast of South
America, but The Famous Voyage does away with them altogether and brings the snow from their summits to the level of
the low plain land. The Famous Voyage does not state that 42
degrees was the highest latitude reached, but the text gives that
impression, and this is heightened by Hakluyt's marginal note.
The text is evidently taken from an original which resembles
The World Encompassed, but it is badly abbreviated and gives
the wrong impression, as it does in the case of the Plate of Brass
and in the description of the native houses of California. The
fact that The Famous Voyage does not mention the higher latitude clearly does not prove that 48 degrees is an interpolation in
The World Encompassed, or a fiction invented before John Drake
left England in 1582, nor does it indicate that other authorities
which mention 48 degrees are incorrect. It seems hardly necessary to labour the point, but it is interesting to see how the idea
of a lower latitude was perpetuated.
(45)  Nuttall, p. 50.    See Appendix II. for the text of John Drake's
statement. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 169
Apparently Hakluyt was feeling worried by certain contradictions in the narrative. In the second edition of The Principal
Navigations (III., 440) he omitted " in longitude," changed
" 42 " to " 43 " degrees, and abbreviated the description of the
shore. He also printed a separate account of Drake's course
from Guatulco and the proceedings in California. This account
mentions Cano in the proper order, but the sequence of the context is not correct. The result is astonishing. " Our General
. . . began to consider and to consult" at Guatulco, where
he saw that he must be forced
to take a Spanish course, namely to saile somewhat Northerly to get a
winde. Wee therefore set saile, and sayled 800 leagues at the least for a
good winde, and thus much we sayled from the 16 of Aprill after our olde
stile till the third of June.
The latitude mentioned is 43 degrees. Apparently the " 800
leagues " was manufactured to suit the distance along the coast,
as the idea of sailing in longitude had been eliminated. The
account gives the impression that Drake sailed northerly from
Guatulco to get a suitable wind for the Moluccas. He would not
have done this with the Spanish charts in his possession.
•The first edition of The Principall Navigations is exceedingly
rare, so the accounts in the second edition, supported by Hakluyt's marginal notes, have given rise to the belief that Drake
turned south in 43 degrees. English writers have continued to
refer to 48 degrees, but apparently a practicable route to the
northerly anchorage has not been suggested. Fresh information
has now come to light, and this enables us to plot the course
Sir Julian Corbett plotted the 500 leagues due west, but was
not able to use the bearings given by John Drake, N.W. and
N.N.E., as the latter had been printed N.N.W. Mr. Wagner
points out that the Spanish text printed by Lady Elliott-Drake
gives N.N.E. As they could not sail N.W. from Guatulco we
must apply the bearings to the end of the 500 leagues " in longitude." The leagues, according to John Davis, would correspond
to three of our nautical miles, and the measurement would probably begin after they had got on the westerly course somewhere
south-west of Guatulco.   The change from N.W. to N.N.E. would 170 R. P. Bishop. July
be at the northerly limit of the trade-wind.46 By plotting these
courses, and making allowance for current, we bring the Golden
Hinde to 44 degrees somewhere in the neighbourhood of the
140th meridian. This would enable the Golden Hinde to reach
land in 48 degrees without sailing against the prevailing wind.
The Date of Arrival.
The date of changing course in 44 degrees is given by The
World Encompassed, as already mentioned:—
The 5. day of Iune, wee were forced by contrary windes, to run in with
the shoare, which we then first descried; and to cast anchor in a bad bay,
the best roade we could for the present meete with   .   .   .
It was obviously impossible for them to jump at once from 44
to 48 degrees, and it appears that a date has been omitted. The
part of The World Encompassed which describes Drake's voyage
in the North Pacific seems to be a fairly complete copy of
Fletcher's notes; but certain events are omitted, such as the
capture of the Spanish charts at Cano, Drake's detention of the
pilot Colchero, and the seizure of the frigate which they brought
to California.
The date of June 10 was given by John Stow, in The
Chronicles of England, in the edition of 1592—which, as noted
above, was possibly the first account of the voyage to appear in
print. The date fits well with the rest of the evidence, giving
five days from the end of the traverse we have plotted to 44
degrees, and allows seven days for the run south to the haven in
California, where Drake arrived on June 17.
Washington or Vancouver Island?
The track plotted is eminently practicable. The N.W. course
is close to the New Route described by Imray in 1868, in his
Sailing Directions for the West Coast of North America. The
N.N.E. course and the run towards land are close to the northern
course of the sailing track from San Francisco to the Strait of
Juan de Fuca.
(46) The limit of the trade-wind appears on the U.S. Pilot Charts of
the North Pacific, which are issued monthly. A quarterly analysis of the
currents is occasionally given on the back of the charts. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 171
With regard to the latitude of 48 degrees we have to consider:—
1. Instrumental error.
2. Error of observation.
3. Error in dead reckoning.
4. Allowance for current.
1. Professor Davidson has tabulated, with great care, the
errors in various latitudes given by Cabrillo and Ferrelo.47. The
smallest is 40 minutes, and the errors increase towards the end
of the series taken by Ferrelo. If his observations are divided
into three groups the errors are found to be consistent, giving
averages of 47, 58, and 82 minutes, all in the same direction.
The instrument was evidently getting out of adjustment as time
went on.    Perhaps we should allow Drake half a degree.
2. Error in observation. The sextant had not been invented,
or the backstaff of John Davis. The instruments of the time
were the cross-staff, which used the horizon; the quadrant, and
the astrolabe. The error, at sea, might be anything up to one
3. Dead-reckoning. Time was measured by the half-hour
glass, and speed by estimation or the log. There seems to be no
mention, at this period, of a glass indicating a few minutes for
use with the log-line. A book of the period states that the log
was timed by repeating words or sentences, but no example is
given.    Salutes have been timed by:—
.Fourteen years a gunner's mate
And never been called a	
Number    One    FIRE.
John Drake states that on their voyage they met with great
storms.48 " All the sky was dark and full of mist." The World
Encompassed mentions the fogs at the northerly anchorage, and
from this account it seems that the last observation on the way
north may have been in 42 degrees. In this event the easterly
run towards the land might give a large error, and the first rough
estimate would be amended by a final latitude estimated from
the southerly run towards California. The first estimate might
account for the 47 degrees given by Stow.
(47) Report of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for 1886, Appendix
No. 7, Washington, 1887.
(48) Nuttall, p. 31. 172 R. P. Bishop. July
4. Allowance for current. The combined effect of the Kuro
Siwo and the West Wind Drift, described for convenience as the
Japanese Current, has brought disabled junks and other craft
across the Pacific at the average rate of 10 miles a day.49 In
1865 Professor Davidson discovered that the current divided off
the American coast, one branch running north and west round
the Gulf of Alaska and the other south to California. He placed
the division in 148° W., between latitudes 46 and 50, and from
the drift of redwood logs, etc., he concluded that a strong inshore
current ran to the north off the coast of Oregon and Washington.
Recent research has suggested that the Japanese Current divides
nearer the coast, near 140° W., about 40° N. in winter and
50° N. in summer. The current, then, flows north in winter
and south in summer off the coast in question. Theoretical
determinations have now been confirmed by the drift of bottles
released by the International Fisheries Commission. Diagrams
of the drift and particulars of the distance travelled by individual
bottles have been printed by the Commission, with analysis of the
prevailing winds, and a full discussion.60
Some of the bottles released in August drifted south at the
rate of 5 miles a day, and a few reached Hawaii. Perhaps we
may allow a current correction of half a degree in the case of
the Golden Hinde, bringing the latitude to 48V_ degrees. If we
allow anything from l/_ to 1% degrees for the combined effect of
1, 2, and 3, we place the anchorage between 47 and 48 degrees
(49) C. W. Brooks, Japanese Wrecks . . . in the North Pacific, San
Francisco, 1876. The vessels were generally driven offshore by the December monsoon, and it has been observed that glass fishing floats, which are
often marked with Japanese characters, begin to arrive on the west coast
of Vancouver Island in January. For this information I am indebted to
R. Whittington, of Wickaninnish Bay, Long Beach, north of Ucluelet.
Eleven of these floats were seen north of Honolulu, between 26° and 40°
north, by Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Strout in the yacht Igdrasil in June and July,
1938, as narrated in Yachting Monthly, London, February, 1939. For this
reference I am indebted to J. Genge, of Victoria. See also T. A. Rickard,
" The Use of Iron and Copper by the Indians of British Columbia," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, III. (1939), p. 47.
(50) Report of the International Fisheries Commission, No. 9. " Life
History of the Pacific Halibut." William F. Thompson and Richard Van
Cleve, Seattle, 1936, pp. 50-61. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 173
on the coast of Washington, or between 49 and 50 degrees on the
coast of Vancouver Island.
The World Encompassed states that "... though we
searched the coast diligently, euen vnto the 48. deg. yet found
we not the land, to trend so much as one point in any place
towards the East,61 but rather running on continually Northwest, as if it went directly to meet with Asia . . ." The northwest bearing corresponds to the coast of Vancouver Island. It
would appear then that the " bad bay " where Drake anchored
in the recorded latitude of 48 degrees was on the west coast of
Vancouver Island. There is additional evidence to this effect,
but it cannot be adduced in a short article.
Drake travelled south for a week and repaired his ship in
California, where he took possession, or accepted possession, in
the name of Queen Elizabeth. He named the country Albion,
" and that for two causes; the one in respect of the white
bancks and cliffes, which lie toward the sea: the other that it
might haue some affinity, euen in name also, with our owne
country, which was sometime so called."52
Albion and England.
At the town of Totnes, on the River Dart, in Devon, they
show one the Brutus Stone. Here, they say, landed Bryttys, of
the Trojan royal line, who changed the name of Albion to
Britain.63 The story, told by Geoffrey of Monmouth, appears to
based on ancient British tradition.
The Romans saw and conquered, but the name of Britain
remained. With the Angles and Saxons came the name of
England.    The British, gradually driven to the west, became to
(51) Apparently they were now depending on the Ortelius map of 1564,
as they had been misled by the peculiar bulge on the coast of Chile which
appeared on the later maps of Mercator and Ortelius. See, for instance,
the reproduction of the Typus Orbis Terrarum.
(52) The World Encompassed.
(53) ". . . in totonesio littore applicuit. Erat tunc nomen insulae
albion." " And then Bryttys desired to call the island by his own name,
and that the race inhabiting it should be called bryttaniaid . . . And from
that time on, the language of that people was called bryttanec." See the
Latin texts and early translations in The Historia Regnum Britanniae of
Geoffrey of Monmouth, by Acton Griscom, New York, 1929, p. 249. Geoffrey
of Monmouth wrote about a.d. 1136. 174 R. P. Bishop. July
the invaders Welsh and Cornish. But Athelstan, having defeated
the Danes, styled himself King of all Britain.64
When the Tudors came to the throne it was jokingly said that
the Welsh had conquered England. Eminent men of Welsh
descent66 used the expression British Empire in the reign of
Elizabeth. Another great Queen called by its name—British
Columbia. An earlier name was Nova Albion " (that is to say)
new Englande."
When Drake entered the Pacific New Spain had been in existence since the conquest of Mexico; New France had been on the
map for the greater part of the century; now there was to be a
New England. " Noua Albion (that is to say) new Englande "
appeared in Blundevile's Exercises, printed during Drake's lifetime.66 John Smith applied the name New England to North
Virginia, and it was adopted in the Charter of 1620, which
defined the territory as extending from sea to sea. The minutes
of the Council for New England record the fact that Nova Albion
was considered as an alternative name. The northern boundary
of New England extended from sea to sea in 48 degrees, where
Nova Albion had appeared on the maps in the recorded latitude
of Drake's northerly anchorage.67
A map in the British Columbia Archives shows the northern
boundary of New England near the Pacific coast and, a degree to
the north, the early stage of the present international boundary.
This was suggested by the English as the northern boundary of
(54) Rex Totius Britanniae appeared on his coins.
(55) Such as Hakluyt and Dr. Dee. The latter used the expression in
The Art of Navigation, or the British Monarchy, London, 1577. The book
was dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton, whose crest gave rise to the name
of the Golden Hinde.    She sailed from England as the Pelican.
(56) M. Blundevile. His Exercises . . . London, 1594. Extracts are
given by Wagner, p. 312, etc.
(57) The connection seems evident when we remember that South Virginia had been extended from sea to sea, while North Virginia remained a
strip on the Atlantic coast, bounded on the north by the 45th parallel. This
line, extended to the west, would conflict at once with New France, and any
attempt to define a common boundary would lead to complications. The
" descriptions " in the second and third Virginia charters had been based on
clearly defined and indisputable starting-points, and apparently this fundamental principle was accepted in the charter for New England. The northern boundary was placed in 48 degrees, where Nova Albion had appeared
on early maps in the recorded latitude of Drake's northerly anchorage. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 175
New France, which began with a line running south-westerly
from the coast of Labrador, extended to 49 degrees and then to
the west, leaving the French a theoretical strip of one degree.
Through some strange alchemy the proposed northern boundary
of New France became a southern bound of Canada, and the
characteristic line of the great unfortified frontier.
This line has been regarded as a symbol of the friendly relations between the two great branches of the English speaking
peoples, and it is linked in a curious way with their history.
Alexander Brown, in The Genesis of the United States, traces the
history of that country to the English struggle with Spain for a
footing on the continent. It is now clear that the beginning of
this struggle, and the genesis of " New England in America,"
can be traced to the summer of 1579. Others have suggested
that the British Empire overseas began with Sir Humphrey
Gilbert's act of possession in Newfoundland in 1583, but Drake
had taken possession on the Pacific coast several years before,
and the name of Nova Albion appeared on early maps in the
recorded latitude of his northerly anchorage. It now begins to
appear that this anchorage is still within the Empire. The joint
origin of the two great democracies is thus linked with the origin
of their common boundary.
Time and the ocean and some guiding star,
In high cabal have made us what we are.
—Sir William Watson.**
Certain sketches of Drake's coat of arms show a star above
the globe, but the stars above and below the fesse evidently refer
to terrestrial accomplishments, the upper star indicating Nova
The events of a famous voyage around the world may well be
commemorated in the three hundred and sixtieth year, as the
circuit of the earth is 360 degrees. The Golden Hinde reached
Nova Albion in June, 1579.69    The Geographic Board of Canada
(58) Quoted by Winston Churchill in Responsibilities of Empire, London,
(59) June 10, according to the old style, is by our present reckoning
June 20, eve of the longest day. 176 R. P. Bishop. July
has accordingly, at the instance of the Province, named the highest mountain on Vancouver Island after Drake's ship, the Golden
R. P. Bishop.
Victoria, B.C.
(60) The height of the mountain, 7,219 feet, was reported by Norman
Stewart, B.C.L.S., in 1937. The names Queen Bess, Grenville, Gilbert,
Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake appeared on the map of British Columbia
in 1933. The names are applied to certain of the Coast Mountains which
are over 10,000 feet in height, with the exception of Sir Francis Drake
which is distinguished in another way. It is suggested that an adjoining
group, the highest within the Province, be named the Albion Mountains.
Albion, the white land, is the ancient name of Britain; linked through
the Celtic alb with Alp, it forms a suitable mountain name. (See Eilert
Eekwall, " Early Names of Britain," Antiquity, IV., No. 14, June 1930,
p. 150.) 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 177
appendix i.
the grenville project and the draft plan.
The draft plan of Drake's voyage shows that he was to pass through the
Strait of Magellan and explore northwards along the coast " as of the
other " to 30 degrees, and that the places to be visited were supposed to be
not under the obedience of any Christian prince. The fact that the coast
of Chile was under the obedience of Spain as far as 40 degrees south led
Miss Taylor to infer that the draft plan referred to the coast of the Terra
Australis, which was supposed to extend from Tierra del Fuego to the
neighbourhood of New Guinea,1 and beyond this to Locach, or Beach, which
had attracted the attention of the learned Dr. Dee. She also inferred that
Grenville was mainly interested in the Terra Australis, and that when the
scope of the draft plan was extended to the Moluccas, Drake was to follow
the imaginary shore in that direction.
Williamson has shown that the draft plan may have referred to the
coast of Chile, as already mentioned, and Miss Taylor seems to admit the
possibility in the Pacific Historical Review, quoted in note 7. Grenville's
interest in South America is clearly indicated in the depositions given by
Mrs. Nuttall in New Light on Drake, from which the following extracts are
When Drake raided the port of Callao, Oxenham was in the hands of the
Inquisition at Lima, with the master of his ship and the pilot, John Butler.
They were asked if Queen Elizabeth or any other person had proposed to
establish settlements on the coast of the North Sea, or in the region of the
Strait of Magellan, or on the coast of the South Sea. They knew of the
Grenville project, and the master thought it referred to the South Sea.
Oxenham's reference to the River Plate, the Strait, and the South Sea has
already been quoted. Butler had heard that Grenville's settlement was to
be " . . . on the coast of the North Sea, towards the River Plate, in
a country of which they had reports, from some Portuguese, that it was
very rich. The Queen had demanded that they were to give a security of
thirty to forty thousand pounds that they would not touch lands belonging
to King Philip, and on this account the expedition was frustrated, as aforesaid."
It is evident that Grenville proposed to take advantage of the fact that
the lower reaches of the River Plate had been abandoned. The opportunity,
however, was soon lost, for Buenos Aires was reoccupied in 1580. Communications were laid across the continent so that warning could be sent
overland to Peru the moment an English ship appeared on the coast.a
For various reasons the significance of Grenville's project has been overlooked. The Discourse quoted in note 10 was printed in 1867, but Burghley's
endorsement giving Grenville's name was not mentioned. The draft Charter
was bound with the State Papers of 1590, but it referred to Richard Grenville    .    .    .    Esquire, and he had been knighted in 1577.    Recent research
(1) See the reproduction of the western half of Typus Orbis Terrarum, facing p. 162.
(2) pp. 6-11.
(3) Corbett, p. 837. 178 R. P. Bishop. July
has connected the Charter with the petition of 1574, mentioned in note 7,
which refers to lands " beyond the equinoctial." The petition stressed the
point that the expedition would merely " pass by " those countries already
in occupation of Christian princes, and Miss Taylor has accordingly concluded that the Terra Australis was " the obvious objective of the proposed
voyage: the still unoccupied parts of South America—Patagonia and
Southern Chile—offered no attractions."*
The evidence of Butler and Oxenham makes it clear that the unoccupied
parts of South America did present attractions. A colony near the River
Plate would provide an approach to the Strait of Magellan, and if, as the
maps seemed to indicate, a large part of Chile were available, the whole of
the southern portion of the continent might be occupied. Such occupation
would appear to control access to the Pacific, for the Cape Horn route had
not been discovered. If the North-West Passage were not found, the southern colonies would be necessary in trading with Cathay, for as Williamson
has pointed out, the English ships could not carry provisions for long
voyages and leave room for cargoes. The idea of searching for the Passage
from the west was practical from the seaman's point of view, as it appeared
to lie in the zone of the westerly winds; for the same reason the idea of
following the shore of the Terra Australis in a westerly direction was not
practical, and it seems unlikely that the members of the Navy Board would
instruct Drake to take such a course. There appears to be no direct
evidence to show that Grenville was really interested in the imaginary continent, and it is more profitable to consider his project in connection with
early ideas on colonization.
Rowse, in his admirable biography, has shown that Grenville was of a
practical turn of mind, and Raleigh's right-hand man in the settlement of
Virginia; he had early and responsible experience of a similar nature in
Ireland, in partnership with Sir Warham St. Leger, the cousin of Lady
Grenville's father. " The St. Legers [of Annery, in Devon] were a branch
of the great Kentish family who had a long-standing connection with Ireland dating from the great Lord-Deputy, Sir Anthony St. Leger, who was
the chief architect of Henry VIII's rule there."6
It is then to Grenville's experience in Ireland that we trace the ideas
which are now revealed by the records of the Inquisition. Oxenham stated
that Grenville had " applied to the Queen for a licence to come to the Strait
of Magellan and to pass to the South Sea, in order to search for land or
some islands where to found settlements, because, in England, there are
many inhabitants and but little land." The shipmaster understood " that
if the Queen should die, many will come and pass through the Strait and
found settlements . . . England is so full of people that there are
many who wish to go to other parts." And, in conclusion, Drake had often
said to Oxenham " that if the Queen would grant him the licence he would
pass through the Strait of Magellan and found settlements over here in
some good country.''^
(4) More Light on Drake, p. 136.
(5) Bowse, p. 58.
(6) Nuttall, pp. 9-11.    The italics are mine. 1939 Drake's Course in the North Pacific 179
appendix ii.
excerpts from early accounts of drake's voyage.
(a.) The Native Houses op California.
From The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, London, 1628.
In recompence of those things which they had receiued of vs, as shirts
linnen cloth, &c. they bestowed vpon our generall, and diuerse of our company, diuerse things, as feathers, cawles of networke, the quiuers of their
arrowes, made of fawne-skins, and the very skins of beasts that their
women wore vpon their bodies. Hauing thus had their fill of this times
visiting and beholding of vs, they departed with ioy to their houses, which
houses are digged round within the earth, and haue from the vppermost
brimmes of the circle, clefts of wood set vp, and ioyned close together at the
top, like our spires on the steeple of a Church: which being couered with
earth, suffer no water to enter, and are very warme, the doore in the most
part of them, performes the office of a chimney, to let out the smoake: its
made in bignesse and fashion, like to an ordinary scuttle in a ship, and
standing slopewise: their beds are the hard ground, onely with rushes
strewed vpon it, and lying round about the house, haue their fire in the
middest, which by reason that the house is but low vaulted, round and close,
giueth a maruelous reflexion to their bodies to heate the same.
From The Famous Voyage of Sir Francis Drake, in Richard Hakluyt's
The Prindpall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English
Nation, London, 1589.
. . . The presents which they sent to our Generall, were feathers,
and cals of networke.
Their houses are digged round about with earth, and haue from the
vttermost brimmes of the circle, clifts of wood set vpon them, ioyning close
together at the toppe like a spire steeple, which by reason of that closenes
are very warme.
Their beds is the ground with rushes strowed on it, and lying about
the house, haue the fire in the middest.    .    .    .
(6.) Drake's Course.
From The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, pp. 48-50.
From Guatulco we departed the day following, viz., Aprill 16, setting
our course directly into the sea, whereon we sayled 500 leagues in longitude,
to get a winde: and betweene that and June 3, 1400 leagues in all, till we
came into 42 deg. of North latitude, where in the night following we found
such alteration of heate, into extreame and nipping cold, that our men in
generall did grieuously complaine thereof, some of them feeling their healths
much impaired thereby; neither was it that this chanced in the night
alone, but the day following carried with it not onely the markes, but the
stings and force of the night going before, to the great admiration of vs
all; for besides that the pinching and biting aire was nothing altered, the
very roapes of our ship were stiffe, and the raine which fell was an
vnnatural congealed and frozen substance, so that we seemed rather to be 180 R. P. Bishop. July
in the frozen Zone then any way so neere vnto the sun, or these hotter
Neither did this happen for the time onely, or by some sudden accident,
but rather seemes indeed to proceed from some ordinary cause, against the
which the heate of the sun preuailes not; for it came to that extremity in
sayling but 2 deg. farther to the Northward in our course, that though
sea-men lack not good stomaches, yet it seemed a question to many amongst
vs, whether their hands should feed their mouthes, or rather keepe them-
selues within their couerts from the pinching cold that did benumme them.
Neither could we impute it to the tendernesse of our bodies, though we came
lately from the extremite of heate, by reason whereof we might be more
sensible of the present cold: insomuch as the dead and sencelesse creatures
were as well affected with it as ourselues: our meate, as soone as it was
remooued from the fire, would presently in a manner be frozen vp, and our
ropes and tackling in few dayes were growne to that stiffnesse, that what
3 men afore were able with them to performe, now 6 men, with their best
strength and vttermost endeauour, were hardly able to accomplish: whereby
a sudden and great discouragement seased vpon the mindes of our men, and
they were possessed with a great mislike and doubting of any good to be
done that way; yet would not our General be discouraged, but as wel by
comfortable speeches, of the diuine prouidence, and of God's louing care
ouer his children, out of the Scriptures, as also by other good and profitable
perswasions, adding thereto his own cheerfull example, he so stirred them vp
to put on a good courage, and to quite themselues like men, to indure some
short extremity to haue the speedier comfort, and a little trouble to obtaine
the greater glory, that euery man was throughly armed with willingnesse
and resolued to see the uttermost, if it were possible, of what good was to
be done that way.
The land in that part of America, bearing farther out into the West
then we before imagined, we were neerer on it then wee were aware; and
yet the neerer still wee came vnto it, the more extremitie of cold did sease
vpon vs. The 5 day of Iune, wee were forced by contrary windes to runne
in with the shoare, which we then first descried, and to cast anchor in a bad
bay, the best roade we could for the present meete with, where wee were
not without some danger by reason of the many extreme gusts and flawes
that beate vpon vs, which if they ceased and were still at any time,
immediately upon their intermission there followed most uile, thicke, and
stinking fogges, against which the sea preuailed nothing, till the gusts of
wind againe remoued them, which brought with them such extremity and
violence when they came, that there was no dealing or resisting against
In this place was no abiding for vs; and to go further North, the
extremity of the cold (which had now vtterly discouraged our men) would
not permit vs; and the winds directly bent against vs, hauing once gotten
vs vnder sayle againe, commanded vs to the Southward whether we would
or no.
From the height of 48 deg., in which now we were, to 38, we found the
land, by coasting alongst it, to bee but low and reasonable plaine; euery hill
(whereof we saw many, but non verie high), though it were in June, and 1939        Drake's Course in the North Pacific. 181
the sunne in his neerest approch vnto them, being couered with snow. In
38 deg. 30 min. we fell with a conuenient and fit harborough, and June 17
came to anchor therein, where we continued till the 23 day of July following. During all which time, notwithstanding it was in the height of
summer, and so neere the sunne, yet were wee continually visited with like
nipping colds as we had felt before; insomuch that if violent exercises of
our bodies, and busie employment about our necessarie labours, had not
sometimes compeld us to the contrary, we could very well haue been contented to haue kept about us still our winter clothes; yea (had our necessities suffered vs) to haue kept our beds; neither could we at any time, in
whole fourteene dayes together, find the aire so cleare as to be able to take
the height of sunne or starre.
From The Famous Voyage of Sir Francis Drake.
When our Generall had done what hee would with this CACAFUEGO,
he cast her off, and wee went on our course still towards the West, and_
not long after met with a ship laden with linnen cloth and fine CHINA
dishes of white earth, and great store of CHINA silks, of all which things china
wee tooke as we listed. sUks-
The owner himselfe of this shippe was in her, who was a Spanish
Gentleman, from whome our Generall tooke a Fawlcon of golde, with a
great emraude in the breast thereof, and the Pilot of the shippe he tooke also
with him, and so cast the shippe off.
This pilot brought vs to the hauen of GUATULCA, the towne whereof Guatulca.
as he told vs, had but 17. Spaniards in it. Assoone as we were entred this
hauen wee landed, and went presently to the towne, and to the Towne
house, where we found a Judge sitting in iudgement, he being associate with
three other officers, vpon three Negroes that had conspired the burning of
the Towne: both which Judges, and prisoners we tooke, and brought them a
shipboord, and caused the chiefe Judge to write his letter to the Towne, to
command all the Townesmen to auoid, that we might safely water there.
Which being done, and they departed, we ransaked the Towne, and in one
house we found a pot of the quantitie of a bushell, full of royals of plate,
which we brought to our shippe.
And here one THOMAS MOONE one of our companie, tooke a Spanish
Gentleman as he was flying out of the towne, and searching him, he found
a chaine of golde about him, and other iewels, which he tooke, and so let
him goe.
At this place our Generall among other Spaniards, set a shoare his The
Portingall Pilot, which he tooke at the Islands of Cape VERDE, out of a pSotSSton
shippe of S. MARIE porte of Portingal, and hauing set them a shoare, we land-   " The
departed hence, and sailed to the Island of " CANON, where our General Cockles,
landed, and brought to shoare his owne ship, and discharged her, mended,
and graued her, and furnished our shippe with water and wood sufficiently.
And whiles we were here, we espied a shippe, and set saile after her, and a ship with
tooke her, and founde in her two Pilots, and a Spanish Gouernour, going ?0l5lthernonr
for the Islands of the PHILIPPINAS:   we searched the shippe, and tookephaij1jdsj*,,
some of her marchandizes, and so let her goe.    Our Generall at this place,
and time, thinking himselfe both in respect of his priuate iniuries receiued 182
R. P. Bishop.
A purpose in
Sir Francis
to returne by
the Northwest
Sir Francis
Drake sailed
on the backe
side of
America to
42. deg. of
88. degrees.
from the Spaniards, as also of their contempts and indignities offered to
our countrey and Prince in generall, sufficiently satisfied, and reuenged: and
supposing that her Maiestie at his returne would rest contented with this
seruice, purposed to continue no longer vpon the Spanish coasts, but began
to consider and to consult of the best way for his Countrey.
He thought it not good to returne by the Streights, for two speciall
causes: the one, least the Spaniards should there waite, and attend for him
in great number and strength, whose hands he being left but one shippe,
could not possibly escape. The other cause was the dangerous situation
of the mouth of the Streights in the south side, where continuall stormes
raining and blustering, as he found by experience, besides the shoales, and
sands vpon the coast, he thought it not a good course to aduenture that way:
he resolued therefore to auoide these hazards, to goe forward to the Islands
of the MOLUCCAES, and therehence to saile the course of the Portingals
by the Cape of BONA SPERANZA.
Upon this resolution, he began to thinke of his best way to the MOLUCCAES, and finding himselfe where he nowe was becalmed, he sawe, that of
necessitie he must be forced to take a Spanish course, namely to saile somewhat Northerly to get a winde. We therefore set saile, and sailed in longitude 600. leagues at the least for a good winde, and thus much we sailed
from the 16. of Aprill, till the 3. of June.
The 5. day of June, being in 42 degrees towards the pole Arctike, we
found the aire so colde, that our men being greeuously pinched with the
same, complained of the extremitie thereof, and the further we went, the
more colde increased vpon vs. Whereupon we thought it best for that time
to seeke the land, and did so, finding it not mountanous, but lowe plaine
land, & clad and couered ouer with snowe, so that we drewe backe againe
without landing, till we came within 38. degrees towards the line. In which
heigth it pleased God to send vs into a faire and good Baye, with a good
winde to enter the same.
From the First Declaration of John Drake, as printed in New Light on
Drake, by Zelia Nuttall, London, 1914, p. 31.
They sailed out at sea always to the north-west and north-north-west the
whole of April and May until the middle of June, from Guatulco, which
lies in 15 degrees north, until they reached 48 degrees north. On their
voyage they met with great storms. All the sky was dark and full of
mist. On the voyage they saw five or six islands in 46 and 48 degrees.
Captain Francis gave the land that is situated in 48 degrees the name of
New England. They were there a month and a half, taking in water and
wood and repairing their ship.
From the Second Declaration of John Drake, as printed in New Light on
Drake, p. 50.
Then they left and sailed, always on a wind, in a north-west and north-
north-westerly direction, for a thousand leagues until they reached forty-
four degrees when the wind changed and he went to the Californias where
he discovered land in forty-eight deg. There he landed and built huts and
remained for a month and a half, caulking his vessel. The victuals they
found were mussels and sea-lions. EARLY SMELTERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.
We shall begin this story with the very blunt statement that
as many as nineteen smelters have been built, from time to time,
to treat the ores of British Columbia's mines. The bluntness is
intentional and the number correct.
Those of our readers whose interest in the subject is more
than casual, and those who have some knowledge of the needs
and functions of smelters, may become cynical or be shocked by
the further statement that the nineteen are now reduced to one
—the healthy, active, and respected giant at Trail, upon whose
continued well-being so many of our people confidently depend.
Collectively our smelters, together with perhaps a dozen
foreign ones, have been the means of making available for use
all of the base metals—copper, lead, and zinc—nearly all the
silver, and probably at least half the gold which our lode mines
have yielded during the last fifty years. For the sake of those
who prefer their facts in the form of figures, it may be well to
translate this statement into dollar values:—
Production in British Columbia, 1887-1937.1
Value in Millions
of Dollars. Per Cent.
Smelter, base metals  672 66
Smelter, silver  129 13
Smelter, gold  104 10
Mills, gold . 104 (plus) 11
1,009 100
In other words, our " base " metals have been worth twice as
much in the markets where they were sold as all our " precious "
gold and silver. In the present connection, however, the important point is not merely their great value, but the fact that
they are the basis of any properly conceived smelter scheme.
Ten of our nineteen smelters were completed before the close
of 1900, and at so late a time as the present may properly be
(1) See the interesting table printed in the Annual Report  of the
Minister of Mines   .   .   .   for   .   .   .   19S7, Victoria, 1938, Part A, p. 15.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III., No. 8.
183 184 S. S. Fowler. July
regarded as early. The six of these latest in date, including the
plants at Pilot Bay, Nelson, Trail, Grand Forks, Greenwood, and
Vananda (Texada Island), have been sufficiently accounted for
•by other writers. We are left, therefore, with the task of trying
to give a more or less connected historical account of those at
Vancouver, Revelstoke, and Golden, and, finally, of the almost
mythical plant at Woodbury, on Kootenay Lake. These four—
the real pioneers amongst the smelters of the Province—are now
almost forgotten by those who ever heard of them, and are quite
unknown, even among mining men, to the present generation.2
It is common knowledge that the construction of railways in
the north-western United States, during the early eighteen-
eighties, gave a great impetus to the activities of prospectors.
The result was the discovery of valuable mineral deposits, sufficient to justify the building of smelters in western Montana as
early as 1887. During the same period the Canadian Pacific
Railway was under construction, and along its route, and within
the twenty-mile band of country on each side of it in British
(2) Passing reference should also be made to a fifth smelter, insignificant in size, but apparently the earliest plant of its kind erected in British
Columbia. All the information at present available concerning it is contained in a newspaper item, which reads as follows:—
" East Kootenay was the first section of the interior of British Columbia
to attract the attention of the prospector. The exposures of silver-lead ores
on Jubilee and Spillimachene mountains, 42 miles south of Golden, on the
Columbia River, were the first mineral locations to attract attention. . . .
An old time prospector named John McRae conceived the idea of mining and
smelting this ore on the ground and he built a smelter of stone and iron on
the south side of the Spillimachene river, near its junction with the Columbia. A gang of men employed by the government to rebuild the bridge over
the Spillimachene dismantled this old smelter last week to supply stone for
the piers of the new bridge and bore testimony to the excellence of the workmanship shown in its construction.
" This smelter was built in 1883 and is said to have been the pioneer
smelter in British Columbia. The builder and promoter, John McRae, died
about ten years ago, leaving this smelter and the development work he did
on Spillimachene and Jubilee mountains as the monuments of his work as
a pioneer prospector of Kootenay."—Golden Star, February 10, 1906.
An item which may refer to this smelter is found in the Kamloops Inland
Sentinel, March 27, 1884. There is no reference to it in the annual reports
of the Department of Mines. John McRae died in Kamloops on May 19,
1895. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 185
Columbia known as the " Railway Belt," prospectors were quite
as busy as their confreres to the south.
Although our northern men found little if any ore which
could be called " very rich," many of them met with much encouragement for several years, as may be gathered from the
reports of the local representatives of the Provincial Department
of Mines, printed in the annual reports of the Minister of Mines,
some excerpts from which follow:—
In the Kicking Horse region 135 mineral claims have been located in
different directions.   .   .   .
Upon the Spallumcheen River, where locations extend for over four
miles, considerable work has been done upon several of the claims. The ore,
a free milling, low grade, galena, is abundant.  ...   (p. 424.)
The Pioneer Mining Co. . . . has the plant for a ten-stamp quartz mill
upon the ground to be placed in position next spring, when it is also intended
to have a smelter constructed. . . . The ore is argentiferous galena; there
is a large body of it, assaying from 10 to 180 ounces of silver to the ton.
(p. 498.)
Sixty mineral claims have been recorded in this section [Illecillewaet]
and settlement work done on many of them.   .   .   .   The ores seem to be
rather  silver than gold-bearing and,  for the  most part,  smelting  ores.
...   To utilize these mines a local smelter is essential,    (p. 204.)
The shipments of ore . . . have been made solely by the above-named
Company [the Selkirk Mining and Smelting Company, which had no smelter
but did have a sampling plant at Illecillewaet Station], and consist of about
250 tons of selected ores, between the 25th July and 7th of November, which
represent a gross value of about $21,000.   ...   (p. 265.)
A further and vital consideration is the provision of a smelter. In connection with this question it has to be borne in mind that nearly % of the
ore found thus far will not average over 30 or 35 ounces of silver to the ton,
and consequently will not bear expensive transportation,    (p. 267.)
We conclude from these quotations—and many more could
be given, were it necessary—that the prospectors had done their
part, and that the agents of the Government were doing their
best to bring about the establishment of a smelting industry
through their reports to the Minister, and probably in other
ways as well. As will be seen later, their expressed opinions as
to the necessity of local smelters cannot have been based on either 186 S. S. Fowler. July
experience or sound judgment. Nevertheless, those opinions
seem not only to have been accepted and published, but to have
become almost an incitement to riot among those who would
invest in smelters; for three such plants were promoted in two
years—1888 and 1889—for construction in a part of British
Columbia which, up to the present at least, has not proved itself
capable of supporting even one of them.
In 1886 the Legislature made its contribution by passing An
Act to encourage the erection of Smelting Works (49 Vict., c.
18), which received the Royal Assent on April 6. This provided
for the payment of a bonus of not more than $7,000 to any
approved person after he had erected smelting-works " capable
of crushing, reducing and treating at least thirty tons of ore per
day of twenty-four hours," and after " not less than one thousand tons of ore shall have been first crushed, reduced and
Here was further incitement to smelter-builders in the guise
of a pleasing morsel, which the Legislature resolved to make
somewhat more sustaining at its next session.
What technical talent, if any, was engaged by the Minister of
Mines in these early days is not evident; but apparently he was
convinced that whilst the reported mineral discoveries in the
Railway Belt were of silver-lead ores, there might be found
ores of other metals requiring treatment otherwise than by
smelting. For example, the prospectors might discover workable deposits of siliceous or pyritic gold ore, to which a process
known as Newberry-Vautin chlorination could be usefully
applied, in British Columbia as elsewhere. The Legislature evidently agreed that this view was sound, and on April 7,1887, the
Royal Assent was given to An Act to aid the Development of
Quartz Mines (50 Vict., c. 24), which empowered the Government to guarantee advances to quartz-mining companies to a
total not exceeding $60,000. Clause 11 of this Act provided that
a grant of money, by way of bonus, not exceeding $12,000, could
be made to any company which erected a " quartz mill or smelting works, or both combined, capable of properly treating and
reducing not less than twenty tons of ore per day," after 2,400
tons of ore had been so reduced. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 187
The next action favouring actual construction of smelting-
works was taken in the City of Vancouver, where the ratepayers
approved By-law 42, prepared for that purpose, on October 10,
1887. Under its terms the city undertook to grant a bonus of
not more than $25,000, and exemption from municipal taxation
for a period of ten years, to such individual or company as might
take advantage of the Provincial statutes referred to and expend
$75,000 upon the construction of the necessary works within the
city's limits.
With this substantial assistance in prospect, Claude Vautin,
of London, an important figure in the mining world of the
eighteen-eighties, commenced negotiations which led to the erection of a smelter and chlorinating works at Vancouver. Through
his attorney, W. J. Steele, he first entered into an agreement with
the city, dated February 28,1888, designed to secure the promised
bonus of $25,000. Vautin undertook to erect works costing
$75,000, and to deposit $5,000 as a guarantee that the agreement
would be carried out. In return he was to receive the promised
bonus, but only after the works were in complete running order
and 1,000 tons of ore had been reduced and chlorinated.
On April 18, 1888, Vautin concluded a further agreement
with the Government of British Columbia, intended to bring him
the Provincial bonus of $12,000. In return he undertook to
commence work within four months and complete within one
year " smelting and chlorinating works capable of properly treating and reducing not less, collectively, than forty tons of ore per
day," and promised that these works would " remain and be
operated for one year in the place where they were first erected."
Other clauses provided that Vautin was to deposit £500 to the
credit of the Province as a guarantee of good faith, and that the
cost of the smelter was to be not less than $48,000.8
Three weeks after the signing of the agreement with the
Government, the British Columbia Smelting Company, Limited,
was incorporated in England (May 9, 1888), for the purpose of
building a smelter at Vancouver.    According to the prospectus
(3) See Vancouver Daily World, March 29, 1889, which reviews the
agreement with the city in detail and prints that with the Government
in full. 188 S. S. Fowler. July
the capital was to consist of £25,000 in preferred shares and
£40,000 in common shares, all of which latter were to be issued
to Claude Vautin. The prospectus informs us further that the
company had acquired a three-quarters interest in the Monarch
mine, near Field, B.C., and in it was printed a report by E. J.
Dowlen, dated May 1,1888, to the effect that " at first " the mine
could produce 40 tons of 55% lead ore per day, which, with 10
tons of gold and silver ores—to be purchased and to yield $15 per
ton profit—indicated a supply of ore sufficient for a plant with
a nominal daily capacity of 50 tons. But Mr. Dowlen's report,
as given in the prospectus, reveals neither the source from which
the gold and silver ores were to be purchased, nor the zinky and
sulphurous nature of the product of the Monarch mine—both
omissions of vital importance as will be seen later.
We need not concern ourselves with such technical matters,
however. The flotation of the company in London seems to have
been satisfactory, and the management proceeded to secure a site
and go ahead with clearing and construction. Late in June,
1888, E. J. Dowlen arrived from England and announced that he
had stopped at Chicago en route, and there arranged for the
early shipment of the furnace and other equipment required for
the plant.4 " The work of clearing the site for the smelter is
being pushed vigorously," the News-Advertiser noted on July 21,
" and all day yesterday a dense column of smoke arose from the
clearing fires." The site selected consisted of parts of Lots 182
and 183, containing more than 31 acres in all.5 Late in July the
company took offices in " the new Vancouver Block," better
known as the old Springer and Van Bramer building, which is
still standing at the corner of Cordova and Cambie Streets.6
Apparently the smelter was completed about the end of 'the
year. " The only thing now stopping the Smelter from starting
work is the want of water," the Vancouver World stated on
January 10, 1889. " Tons of galena ore lie side-tracked ready
for use. An effort is being made to get water from the small
rivulet which passes along in close proximity to the buildings."
To carry this scheme through required almost a month, but water
(4) Vancouver Evening Herald, June 30, 1888.
(5) Vancouver Daily World, December 17, 1889.
(6) Vancouver News-Advertiser, July 26, 1888. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 189
became available on February 6, and on the 14th, at noon the
smelter was blown in.
The following description of the plant and its equipment is
worth placing on record:—
The works are constructed in the most substantial manner. The foundations are of solid granite and brick masonry. The main building at present
is 66 x 56 feet and is divided into boiler and engine rooms, sampling,
charging and furnace departments. Besides, a space is arranged for a
Newberry-Vautin chlorinating plant, which is now on its way from England.
In the principal room is a wrought-iron water-jacket furnace, with 7 tuyeres
of the most modern and improved description, carrying a brick shaft 9% feet
high. At the tuyeres the furnace measures 60x36 inches. Above it is
fitted with a telescopic detachable self-raising hood, enabling the man feeding
to work his charge all round the stack and greatly adding to the convenience
of the furnace in other ways. There is also an ingenious way of carrying
off the smoke by means of connecting the flue into a large brick dust-
chamber, and finally through a stack 60 feet high. This furnace is destined
to treat from 50 to 60 tons of ore per day.
Leaving the furnace-room the visitor proceeds to the engine-room, where
is found a 35 h.p. side-valve engine, 12-inch cylinder and 16-inch stroke,
which runs a blower and an eccentric patent crusher in the adjoining
sampling-room. Another engine of 15 h.p., of the same type runs a pair
of rolls, 17 x 10 inches, and elevates the hoist, carrying the charges from the
ground floor to the feed floor.
In the boiler-room adjoining there is one tubular steam boiler, 54-inch
diameter, 16 feet in length, of 60 h.p., containing 44 flues, 3% inches in
diameter. This boiler has been tested to 124 pounds steam pressure, and is
in every respect of the best possible manufacture. In this room is also a
tubular heater, one No. 2 feed pump, and a McAvity steam ejector.
The ore bins are so arranged that the ore can be dumped direct from the
cars into them.
The wharf, general office and assay office erected by the company are
conveniently situated, and are substantial and commodious in every respect.
. . . The works would have been in operation sooner had the company not
been delayed for water. The number of men employed at present is about
40, under the foreman, W. McLaren, and the general directions and management of Messrs. Geo. DeWolff and E. Dowlen.
At noon the furnace was well charged and the blast in full operation.
As the ore got heated up the stone passed away into " slag," whilst the
molten lead was poured off into moulds. There was no special ceremony,
but a large number of men were on the scene watching the various stages
of the process.    The result of the test is not yet made known.'?
(7)  Vancouver Daily World, February 14, 1889. 190 S. S. Fowler. July
A less roseate picture of what happened when operation was
started is found in a document given to the author, which he
regards as a trustworthy statement of the facts, but the source
of which, for obvious reasons, need not be revealed:—
On February 14th we started the furnace and, after running for some
few hours, the place caught fire from the iron flue running from furnace to
dust chamber getting red hot, and the furnace was run down. Mr. X had
the flue lowered and started again; but the flue again got red hot and the
furnace was again shut down.
Mr. X then had the iron flue taken out and the aperture bricked up solid
and started again.
She made slag for about two hours, when she froze up and Mr. X refused
to try her again, saying " the ore must be roasted before being smelted."
The Local Board offered to get thirty tons of slag from Frisco to start
on. . . . At first X consented to this but afterward refused and he went
off at a moment's notice to London.
The Local Board . . . sent off a man who was next to X with samples
to Frisco to consult with Prof. Thos. Price who made a working test of the
ore and certified that it could be smelted without roasting but that it wanted
We had as fluxes limestone and scrap iron. Our ore is galena in limestone gangue.
We have not been able to purchase outside ore for a mixture and as
[the] London Board would not give us authority to get the funds from the
Bank here to pay for them, we had only our own ore to put in the furnace.
A newspaper of the day relates that the smelter was in operation and attracted many visitors on Sunday, February 24, but it
was shut down the next day, " the ore being found to contain
too large a percentage of sulphur. The company have not yet
definitely decided what course they will take, but it will probably
be found necessary to ' roast' the ore in future before reducing
it to bullion."8 As the description of the plant already quoted
indicates, it possessed no equipment for roasting ore, and of
necessity it closed down for an indefinite period. Thus it was
that the initial failure to take into account the sulphurous nature
of the only ore available—that from the Monarch mine—wrecked
the whole project of a smelter at Vancouver.
The affairs of the company went rapidly from bad to worse.
In March, 1889, all its employees in British Columbia except a
local secretary and caretakers at the mine and smelter were dis-
(8)  Ibid., February 26, 1889. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 191
missed.9 In April the secretary hopefully informed the City
Council that the works were completed, presumably in the expectation that the bonus of $25,000 would be paid; but with the
smelter idle the Council took no notice.10 This attempt to raise
funds having failed, the smelter property was mortgaged in
The London Board now decided that it was advisable to secure
an outside opinion by an expert upon the whole situation, and a
survey of the company's position and prospects was made by
C. A. Judkins, of Leadville, Colorado. His very lengthy report
was submitted to a meeting of the shareholders held in London
on September 2, 1889. Its concluding paragraph read as follows :—
To summarize, I will briefly state that I find you have a smelter nearly
complete at Vancouver, a good locality; that the machinery is ample, and
suitable to run on an oxydized ore, and that with the addition of roasters
it will run on a good sulphide ore; that you have a very accessible lead mine
at Field, which can produce, with development, large quantities, say 35 to
45 per cent, of lead ore, very low in silver though; that this ore can be
treated in your smelter, when mixed with other desirable smelting ore, and
roasted; that concentration will eventually have to be considered, but not
now; that you can probably obtain suitable ores and fluxes; that you must
buy all good smelting ore which is offered for sale in your market, if possible; that $200,000 capital, at least, is necessary to complete your works,
open the mine, and run the business; that your 50 ton furnace will probably
treat from 30 to 40 tons a day, depending upon the mixture of the ore
smelted, and there is no hope of getting any change so that you could run
50 tons daily; that the business is good, legitimate, and will pay a good
profit when established on a scale larger than that at present contemplated;
that the affair has been simply horribly mismanaged; that the ruling rates
of wages in this country are high, common miners receiving from $3 to $3.50
per day; foremen, engineers, and furnacemen about $4. No good American
labor can be had for less, and I do not think it advisable to undertake to
employ Chinese labor even if it can be done; that you can obtain good
management, if desired, and you are willing to pay for it, in this country.12
Nothing is to be gained by describing the acrimonious discussions which characterized the London meeting, but one or two of
the facts brought to light are of interest. The chairman stated
that shares to a total of £23,580 had been fully paid up; that an
(9) Ibid., September 20, 1889.
(10) Ibid., April 2,1889; and see the further reference, August 14,1889.
(11) Ibid., December 17, 1889.
(12) Ibid., September 20, 1889. 192 S. S. Fowler. July
additional £7,400 had been borrowed from the Bank of British
Columbia, and that practically all the total of £30,980 thus made
available had been expended. Claude Vautin, in a letter written
from the Transvaal, urged that a great effort be made to retain
the property. Vautin owned 5,000 preference shares, but seems
to have had little to do with the management of the company,
which appears to have been fully as bad as Judkins' report stated.
Far too little discretion and authority had been given to the local
representatives by the London Board, which knew little about
conditions in British Columbia, with the result that unsuitable
machinery had been purchased and large sums wasted in other
In the end it was decided to try and persuade the bank to
delay foreclosure, and the meeting adjourned.18 The resumed
session held on October 31 proved even more stormy and futile.
The London Board again attacked the Vancouver management
and the shareholders rebelled and passed a resolution asking the
local directors—the Hon. Forbes G. Vernon and Major Wilson—
to withdraw their resignations and continue to watch over the
company's affairs, but nothing of practical importance was
In December, 1889, the plant in Vancouver was sold at
auction by order of the Bank of British Columbia. The purchaser was Thomas Dunn, and the price $39,500.1B The end of
the story is recalled by W. C. Ditmars, a member of the old contracting firm of Armstrong & Morrison, as follows:—
In 1899, W. H. Armstrong and M. J. Haney, a contractor of Toronto,
bought the B.C. Smelting property on Powell Street as a speculation. They
tore down the buildings, and I recall that there was a big steel jacketed
tank, lined with lead. They took that down too, and we took it to our plant,
and sold the lead to a junk man.
Armstrong and Haney kept the property for a couple of years or so, and
then sold it to P. Burns & Co. There were no buildings on it at the time
they sold it.1^
The fact that there had been a smelter in Vancouver in 1889
was apparently soon forgotten.    Even so long ago as 1904, an
(13) Ibid.
(14) Ibid., November 19, 20 and 25, 1889.
(15) Ibid., December 23, 1889.
(16) W. C. Ditmars to J. S. Matthews, City Archivist, Vancouver. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 193
article in a technical journal which professed to review the history of smelters and smelting in British Columbia contained no
reference to the fact that it had ever existed.17 It is only necessary to add that there is no evidence that either the Provincial
Treasury or the city ever suffered financially in this lost cause
of a smelter at Vancouver.
To what extent, if any, the erection of a smelter at Vancouver
may have affected the promotion of like enterprises elsewhere
we cannot say. It is apparent, however, that because of the
continued activity of prospectors and public interest in their
discoveries, the Dominion Government could not long remain
indifferent to the action taken by British Columbia in fostering
the mining and smelting industry. It showed its sympathy, not
by offering money bonuses, but by means of grants of land to
those who might apply for it, under certain conditions.
The first to take advantage of the offer was a company headed
by Lionel R. C. Boyle, of London and Revelstoke, and known as
theKootenay (British Columbia) Smelting and Trading Syndicate,
Limited. It was incorporated in London on February 21, 1889,
its declared purpose being the erection of " Smelting Works at
Revelstoke or Golden City or other places in the Kootenay District or elsewhere on or near the Canadian Pacific Railway. . . ."
The authorized capital was £40,000.
In due course the company made application to the Minister
of the Interior at Ottawa for a grant of land at Revelstoke, and
the Minister referred the matter to the Privy Council for approval in the following terms:—
The Minister is of opinion that it is desirable to encourage the erection
of such works to aid the development of the Mineral resources of that portion of the Country, which are known to be very valuable, and he therefore
recommends that authority be given for the making of a free grant of three
hundred and twenty acres of land described hereunder, subject to the rights
of any settlers who may be found thereon, to the " Kootenay (B.C.) Smelting and Trading Syndicate " upon the cbmpletion thereon of smelting and
reduction works of a character suitable for the economical reduction of the
low grade ores carrying gold or silver, or both, found within the Railway
Belt in British Columbia and the operation of the said works thereafter.
(17) See W. M. Brewer, " Smelters and Smelting Practice in British
Columbia," in Engineering Magazine, 28 (1904-05), pp. 333-347. 194 S. S. Fowler July
This grant was approved by the Governor-General in Council
on October 15,1889.18 The site selected for the plant was on the
south side of a sharp bend in the left bank of the Columbia River,
about three-quarters of a mile west of the Canadian Pacific Railway's station at Revelstoke. Although in later years the site
proved an unwise selection because of damage due to encroachment by the river, it was chosen because it favoured the handling
of any ore which might be received from the mining areas to the
south, with which, at the time, there was no means of communication other than by river steamers.
Construction of the smelter proceeded rapidly, and it was
nearing completion by the end of 1889. No description of the
finished plant is available, but we know that the main smelter
building was intended to be " 180 feet by 36 feet, besides assay
building and offices, and engine and boiler room 24 x 24 feet."19
The cost of the works was stated to be over $75,000.Z0
The company was now in a position to claim title to the
smelter site from the Dominion Government, and on March 8,
1890, the Governor-General in Council approved a recommendation, based upon a memorandum submitted by the Minister of the
Interior, which read in part as follows:—
The Minister further states that the Superintendent of the Company has
advised that the Company have complied with the terms of the Order in
Council of the 15th October last, with the exception of building a few feet
of the iron stack, to be placed on the smelting and roasting furnaces, and he
states that the Company now desire that the patent for the land described
in the Order in Council of the 29th October last be issued in their favor.
The Minister recommends that the land in question be conveyed to the
Company upon receipt by him of a report from the Superintendent of Mines
of the Department of the Interior confirming the report made by the Superintendent of the Company.2i
In due course confirmation was secured and letters patent
were issued on July 15, 1890. So here was another smelter and
one, as the author remembers it in operation, sufficiently well
planned and equipped, and under the experienced technical con-
(18) P.C. No. 2425.    An error in description was corrected in a subsequent order, P.C. No. 2501, dated October 29, 1889.
(19) Vancouver Daily World, May 28, 1889.
(20) lbfd., December 10, 1889.
(21) P.C. No. 612. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 195
trol of Dr. J. Campbell as manager, and Mr. F. Roeser, both from
Limestone was available locally, iron ore (magnetite) could
be had from a short distance west of Kamloops when required;
and as for fuel, coke was secured from the United States (though
at a price!) and charcoal was made on the premises. Everything essential was in sight except an adequate supply of ore.
Some ore reached the plant even before the smelter was completed, the first shipment arriving on Wednesday, November 20,
1889.    The following details have a certain historical interest:—
The first car of ore . . . was switched to the sampling works on
Wednesday. It was unloaded on Thursday and on Friday was put through
the crushing process. The time consumed was two hours and twenty minutes for fifteen tons of ore, at the rate of about 60 tons in ten hours. Dr.
Campbell is well satisfied with the initial trial, but expects the machinery
will work more expeditiously after it has been in operation a few days. . . .
This ore is from the Fish Creek mine, known as the Dunvegan, of Bain,
Boyd & Co., and about 135 tons more will follow this to complete the contract by January 1st.22
But 150 tons of ore were far from being sufficient to justify
operation of the smelter. Foreseeing this important need, the
company had formed a subsidiary in London, the Revelstoke
Mining Company, Limited, with the object of acquiring and
developing prospects to the status of mines. It made scores of
examinations, took a number of options to purchase, and carried
out a considerable amount of development; but "it exercised
none of the options and found nothing to justify the absurdly
high prices asked for prospects in these new camps," where
little was yet known of the nature of the ore deposits or their
capacity to produce.
But even if a supply of ore had become available in the Kootenay Lake or Slocan areas, there was at first no adequate means
of transporting it to Revelstoke at reasonable cost. Nelson, on
Kootenay Lake, was not connected by rail with Robson, on the
Columbia River, until the early summer of 1891, and there was
no railway from the Slocan to Nakusp until 1893.
In spite of this discouraging outlook, however, several hundred tons of ore had been accumulated from Field, and other
sources on the main line of the Canadian Pacific.   Roasting of
(22)  Vancouver Daily World, November 26, 1889. 196 S. S. Fowler. July
this was started on April 13, 1891, though there was still insufficient on hand to justify smelting it. The first ore treated was
from the Monarch mine, at Field.23
In the meantime, the shareholders of the company were
becoming impatient and anxious for favourable news, in consequence of which feeling the London directors ordered smelting
to be started, " even if only for a short run."24 The run was
accordingly begun on Monday, July 20, 1891, and presumably it
continued, with the usual minor interruptions, until all the available ore had been treated. The following account of the blow-
ing-in of the smelter taken from the Kootenay Star, may be of
On Monday fires were started in the furnace, and for two days following
the firing continued. Then the furnace was closed down, it being heated
and tons of bar lead thrown into it, and soon after the ore charcoal, coke,
limestone, sand, etc., were shovelled into the caldron of fire. Since that time
this shovelling process has been continued day and night. The air from the
bellows helped the fierce fire, and on Thursday the first bullion was drawn
from the big crucible. The " slag" also flowed freely, and Dr. Campbell
was covered with smiles, soot and perspiration, when he told a Star representative with evident satisfaction that there was the first slag drawn from
a smelter in British Columbia, an evidence that all was going well.
As was stated in the Star last week the ore being treated carries a high
percentage of zinc, 15 per cent., more than can be safely counted on to run.
Friday was looked upon as the critical time, when if the ores were not going
to run freely, they would " freeze " and the fires would be blown out. The
ore continued to run, however, and at the time of writing smoke ascended
from the smelter stack and nearly a dozen men were kept busy feeding and
attending to the furnace.
The smelter was thronged with visitors and numerous pieces of bullion
and slag were taken away as souvenirs of the first output of the Kootenay
Just how long the campaign lasted we do not know, but Mr.
Roeser, the trusted source of some of our information, tells us
that " when all efforts to obtain an ore supply were given up,
the whole enterprise was practically abandoned in 1892." The
buildings stood derelict, but in reasonably good condition, for
some years, but by 1896 erosion of the river-bank was threatening their foundations.26    In 1897 the Revelstoke agents of the
(23) Kootenay Star, Revelstoke, April 18, 1891.
(24) Private information.
(25) Kootenay Star, July 25, 1891.
(2j) British Columbia Mining Record, May, 1896, p. 37. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 197
Kootenay (British Columbia) Smelting and Trading Syndicate
advertised that, " Owing to the erosion . . . the company find
it necessary to dispose of their smelting buildings, furnaces, 90
h.p. engine and boiler, and 30 h.p. boiler. The whole will be
sold in part or en bloc."27 Just what happened after that date
is uncertain, but by 1899 buildings and machinery had both
In the summer of 1889 the author was engaged by a firm of
manufacturers in Chicago to take charge of the erection in British Columbia of smelting equipment, already purchased by a
syndicate at Calgary, Alberta. Proceeding there, and thence to
the site for a smelter which had been selected tentatively near
Field, B.C., it was found not only that there was little merit in
this choice, but that the only apparent source from which ore
could be secured within many miles was the Monarch mine,
which has already figured in the story of the smelters at Vancouver and Revelstoke. The syndicate had recently acquired
some mineral claims adjoining the Monarch, but they were quite
In view of this state of affairs, if the equipment were to be
set up at all, little argument was needed to prove that a better
place could be found for it. The Field site was abandoned, and
formal application was made to the Dominion Government for a
land grant at Golden. The applicants stated that they had
" already purchased and paid for smelting plant and machinery,
including an ore-breaker, crushing-rolls, iron and brick for a
roasting furnace, and that the Smelter proposed to be built will
have a capacity of forty tons."29 On October 15, 1889, the Governor-General in Council approved the recommendation of the
Minister of the Interior that a free grant of 320 acres of land
should be made
to Messrs. J. L. Bowen, James Alexander Lougheed, Peter McCarthy and
H. B. Alexander, styling themselves " The Galena Mining and Smelting
Company," upon the erection by them thereon within one year, and the
operation thereof within six months thereafter, of Smelting and reduction
works of a character suitable for the economical reduction of the low grade
(27) Kootenay Mail, Revelstoke, July 24, 1897, and later issues.
(28) British Columbia Mining Record, August, 1899, p. 28.
(29) P.C. No. 2422, October 15, 1889.
i 198 S. S. Fowler. July
ores carrying gold or silver, or both, found within the Railway Belt in
British Columbia^
It may be added that J. A. Lougheed (later Senator Loug-
heed) and Mr. McCarthy were barristers, of Calgary, and that
the most active partner of the syndicate was H. B. Alexander.
He and his cousin, George Alexander, were Irish capitalists who
had interests in Calgary, and later at Kaslo, as well as at Golden.
They were also interested in a coffee plantation in Kenya, and
were highly respected in the business world.
The proposed grant lay south of the Kicking Horse River a
short distance east of the town of Golden. The original boundaries proved unsatisfactory, as is shown by the text of an amending Order in Council passed on March 18, 1890:—
The Minister [of the Interior] states that ... it has been represented
by the Company that the lands forming the proposed grant contain no location suitable for their works which must be situated on one or two benches
so that the ore, when dumped from the cars, can be run through the crusher
to a level below and then put through the smelter at another level.
The Minister further states that on examination of the ground it appears
that a suitable site for the works could be obtained on the North side of the
Kicking Horse River, opposite lands already reserved for the Company
which they are willing to accept in lieu of a similar area to be deducted off
the Southern portion of the reserve.*1
The new smelter-site, which consisted of 4.7 acres, was on
the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway about half a mile
east of Golden, close to the mouth of the Kicking Horse Canyon.
Construction proceeded as soon as the new site had been secured,
and the plant was completed in the early summer of 1891. The
terms of the grant having been fulfilled, title of the land was
granted to the company by letters patent dated November 17,
One lonesome car-load of ore was received from the Monarch
mine and sampled, but no other ore ever reached the Golden
smelter. In 1893 it was reported that favourable freight rates
on ore had been granted by the Canadian Pacific, and it was
expected that the smelter would commence to operate shortly,
but nothing came of this.82    In 1896 an English syndicate toyed
(30) Ibid.
(31) P.C. No. 702.
(32) Golden Era, July 8, 1893. 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 199
with the idea of developing the Monarch mine on an extensive
scale, but once again Golden's high expectations came to nothing.88 Negotiations for the sale of the smelter were opened in
1898 and again in 1900, but neither deal was completed.84 The
plant remained silent and more or less intact until it was finally
demolished many years later. In the end it was torn down
mostly by hoboes, who tore off boards to make themselves a fire
under the smelter roof. In 1920 the machinery was sold for
scrap-iron by James Anderson, acting on behalf of the estate of
George Alexander, and it is said that bricks from the tall
chimney were used in building local chimneys and fireplaces.85
Though the smelter thus proved to be a total loss, the Alexanders had acquired about half the land comprising the townsite
of Golden and recouped a portion of the company's investment
by the sale of lots. In later years, however, the demand for lots
declined, and about half the land acquired has since reverted to
the Government, owing to the non-payment of taxes.36
For the common credit of the early smelters at Revelstoke
and Golden, and for the benefit of those who may be interested
in the nature of their equipment, it may be added that each plant
had one rectangular water-jacketed blast furnace. In size these
ranged from 60 to 72 inches in length and were 36 inches in
(33) Ibid., May 23, 1896.
(34) Ibid., October 28, 1898;   October 5, 1900.
(35) Some of these details are taken from a letter from Thomas King,
M.L.A., of Golden, to M. C. Holmes, dated April 28, 1939. Mr. King adds
some particulars regarding the history of the second smelter built at Golden,
which is sometimes confused with the earlier plant. This smelter was built
in 1903 and was located a mile northwest of Golden, on a small tributary of
the Columbia River known as Hospital Creek. The company that built it
operated under the name of the " Labourers Cooperative Gold, Silver and
Copper Mining Company." They acquired about 20 acres of land surrounding the small plant, subdivided it into town lots, and sold several of them to
their shareholders, mostly residing in the United States. The building of
this smelter, in the opinion of local mining men at the time, was just a
selling inducement in connection with a stock promoting scheme. In the fall
of 1905 the company operated their smelter for one evening, but did not even
remove the molten slag when they let the fires out, and it solidified and
remained in the receptacles until the machinery was sold for old iron in 1937,
by a gentleman who had bought the property at a Provincial Government
tax sale.
(36) Ibid. 200 S. S. Fowler. July
width between tuyeres. These sizes were in common and successful use in those days, despite a well-marked tendency toward
greater length to secure greater capacity. As to capacity, however, they were sufficient for their purpose; and as to type,
nothing better has yet been devised.
Concerning roasters, we have indicated that their omission
from the Vancouver plant was a fatal error. At Revelstoke and
Golden each plant had one old-style, hand-rabbled reverberatory
furnace, then and even later good common practice, though slow
and expensive, as may be supposed, when compared with modern
mechanical equipment. In the Golden roaster a short slagging
hearth had been introduced between the fire-box and the lower
end of the roast-hearth. The purpose of this probably was
agglomeration or sintering of " fines "; but as the furnace was
never put to use we have no knowledge of the merit of the
Both plants had made sufficient provision for sampling, and
both had ample laboratory facilities in use before the smelters
were completed. Both were driven by steam-power, and had
service connections with the Canadian Pacific Railway.
If these credit marks be granted, as the author believes they
should be, it must be evident that these smelters failed through
no fault of their own. As the children of ill-conceived enterprise they were foredoomed to death by starvation.
The Woodbury smelter, the last and least on our list, has
been alluded to as being semi-mythical. The last of its remains,
however, may still be found near the mouth of Woodbury Creek,
on the west shore of Kootenay Lake, some 3 miles north of
Ainsworth. Thus far we have been unable to find its parents
and have little information regarding the child itself.
In 1909 the late A. D. Wheeler, a pioneer resident of Ainsworth, casually remarked, in a letter referring to the early
citizens there, that " in 1889 what was intended as a starter
for a smelter was erected at the mouth of Woodbury Creek.
A small ten-ton plant using wood for fuel was built. It made
a one-day run from ' Early Bird' and ' Reindeer' ore but cracked
under the heat and died a quiet death." 1939 Early Smelters in British Columbia. 201
D. F. Strobeck, long a resident in California, arrived in Ainsworth in the winter of 1892-93.    In a recent letter he states:—
In the spring [of 1893] when I visited Woodbury Creek the remains of
the old smelter were simply a wreck and from what I could see, it was constructed after [the manner of] those built by the Padres in Mexico and
many still standing in southern Arizona that were built in the latter part
of the seventeenth century.
The cast-iron moulds at Woodbury that I saw were identical with those
I have seen in Mexico and Arizona.
We may infer from these descriptions that the body of the
furnace was rather small and was built of pieces of a near-by
refractory schistose rock, bound together by a weak mortar—
weak, since the furnace cracked so soon. As for the moulds, in
which the molten lead would be cast, Mr. Strobeck does not indicate that they differed from those used at northern plants; but
it is interesting to know that the builders of this early and rather
crude furnace expected to produce enough lead to fill them, and
if they were unlike our ordinary northern ones curiosity as to
where they came from is at once aroused. We suppress it because we must.
S. S. Fowler.
The January issue of this Quarterly contained an interesting
account of the barque Princess Royal. Because of the special
esteem in which her memory is held by the good people of
Nanaimo, and because she remained in service for more than
thirty years, she is the best known of the vessels which sailed
back and forth between the Pacific Coast and Great Britain in
early days in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. But
she is not the only vessel with a story worth recalling, and her
history is rivalled in interest by that of her predecessor, the
Norman Morison, which sailed on her first voyage to Vancouver
Island just ninety years ago.
While visiting in London in 1934 I called at the office of
Lloyd's Register of Shipping, where the Secretary, Mr. Malcolm
K. Scott, very kindly secured for me all the particulars regarding
the Norman Morison preserved in the Society's records. Application was next made to Major P. Ashley Cooper, Governor of
the Hudson's Bay Company, who was pleased to arrange for me
to have access to the vessel's log-books and other documents
relating to her which are on file in the Archives of the Company.
The narrative which follows is based upon information secured
from these sources and from additional documents in the Provincial Archives in Victoria.
The Norman Morison (not Morrison, as the name is often
misspelled) was built at Moulmein, Burma, in 1846. Lloyd's
Register states that the name of the actual builders is not known.
She was rigged as a barque and constructed of teak. Her tonnage was 564 tons. She was 119.5 feet in length, 26.8 feet in
breadth, and 20.4 feet in depth. It may assist the reader to
realize her modest size if it is pointed out that she was not quite
as long as two Pullman cars and no larger than some of the tugs
which now tow the railway barges between Vancouver Island
and the Mainland.
The Morison was purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company
in 1848, and the next year was fitted out to carry emigrants to
Vancouver Island, which had been formally granted to the Com-
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III., No. S.
203 204 A. N. Mouat. July
pany for colonization purposes in January, 1849. Both the terms
of the grant and its administration by the Company have been
the subject of much controversy, and it is to be hoped that the
cataloguing of the Company's Archives will make it possible for
some scholar to produce an objective and definitive study of the
whole episode in the near future. The part of this study that
deals with immigration will be of special interest. Very few
independent settlers found their way to Vancouver Island, but
this was due in part to circumstances beyond the control of the
Hudson's Bay Company, and it should not be forgotten that the
Company itself brought out several hundred labourers to carry
on colonial enterprises of its own in the first years of the Colony's
Eight men sent out by Captain W. C. Grant, celebrated as
Vancouver Island's first independent settler, and ten miners and
labourers under contract to the Company travelled out in the
Harpooner, which arrived at Victoria in June, 1849; but the first
considerable party of immigrants was carried by the Norman
Morison on her maiden voyage to the Pacific Coast. The ship's
log records that she left Gravesend on October 20, 1849, in command of Captain David D. Wishart, who remained in her as long
as she was in the Company's service.   She crossed the equator
(1) An official return, dated 1852, states that the total number of persons sent out by the Hudson's Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company at their own expense, in 1848-1852, was 435, divided as
1848   _   .
1849        .   -
.    .         67
1850 _
...     99
1852_ .
271 80 84 435
(See A. Colvile to Sir John Pakington, November 24, 1852, quoted in Papers
Relating to Vancouver's Island, London, 1852, p. 2.) The date indicates the
time of departure from England. The Harpooner sailed in November, 1848,
before the grant of Vancouver Island had been formally completed, and one
or two other immigrants, notably the Rev. R. J. Staines and Mrs. Staines,
also left that year. 1939 Notes on the "Norman Morison." 205
on November 29, was off Cape Horn on January 11, 1850, and
reached Fort Victoria on March 24.2
An old passenger-list in the Provincial Archives, originally
amongst the papers of Governor Blanshard, contains fifty-five
names, but as no women are included it is obviously incomplete.
The correct total, according to Captain Grant and others, appears
to have been eighty. Fortunately for the historian, this number
included a young physician and surgeon, Dr. John Sebastian
Helmcken, one of British Columbia's best-known pioneers.
Nearly half a century ago Dr. Helmcken jotted down his recollections of his experiences aboard the vessel which brought him
to Vancouver Island, and the result was the following most interesting narrative, here quoted by kind permission of his daughter,
Mrs. E. L. Higgins:—3
This ship was the Norman Morrison [sic], Capt. Wishart, Commander,
Holland first officer, and I had to board her at Gravesend. Arriving there
somewhere about October 1849, I found the emigration commissioners and
so forth, inspecting everything, which they pronounced all right and certified
accordingly. A good deal of fuss was made about this first voyage to a new
Colony and some grandees were on board drinking wine and speaking good
wishes &c. &c. They went and the pilot remained on board. I had brought
lots of seeds and canaries—flower seeds particularly which I bought in Fen-
church Street. Had I grasped the situation I should have taken a larger
assortment of these and other articles.
The ship sails—eighty emigrants on board—chiefly men, but two or three
women and all in the prime of life—no children. Some of the men are
living now (1892) such as George Richardson and [Mathais] Rowland.
The weather in the Channel was dirty, the wind foul, so we came to anchor
in the days [sic for Downs], among a great many other vessels. However
after a day or two, the weather being fine we sailed again, beating our way
down Channel, in company with a lot of others. Here we very nearly came
to grief: An Indiaman with soldiers aboard, on the opposite tack tried to
cross our bow instead of our stern! Wishart was a good sailor and so was
the pilot—the same may be said of those in the other ship. They both
altered their helm, so instead of our being struck amidship, we came together
broadside on. There was a smashing of ginger bread, and small spars on
both sides.   I recollect buttoning up my coat to make a spring, for it would
(2) Actually Esquimalt Harbour, where she was held in quarantine for
about a fortnight.
(3) Permission to use this extract in the Quarterly was given by Mrs.
Higgins, herself one of Victoria's best-loved native daughters, only a few
days before her death, which occurred on April 13. The narrative is quoted
direct from the original, in Dr. Helmcken's handwriting. 206 A. N. Mouat. July
have been easy to jump into the other vessel, but fortunately both vessels
sheered off—sails put to rights and off we went again, not much the worse
—neither do I think the other vessel was much the worse either. It was a
queer experience, and by no means a pleasant one, for a little more mismanagement, and we at all events would have gone to pot. The Morrison
was built of teak and a very strong vessel and by no means a bad sailer—
ten knots could be got out of her with a decent breeze.
Off the Bay of Biscay we had the usual fate of a beastly gale and
weather, for a couple of days and thereafter soon found fine weather and
fine climate.
Just here one of the immigrants had an eruption of smallpox. On
reporting this to the Captain, the sufferer was brought on deck and slung
in a hammock forward. Of course this created no little alarm. Some
vaccine had been supplied the ship—the old fashion, matter between small
plates of glass. This I used at once, but think it was only successful in one
instance and this a man—most of them had been vaccinated or had had
smallpox. Of course the holds were well ventilated and kept clean; but
soon others went down until there were nearly twenty all told. Every one
was slung in a hammock on deck—every attention paid them—and every
one being in the same box, helped each other. The Captain had been
through the same thing before, so he managed the whole thing. Medicines
were but little used—fresh air diet and cleanliness were the means employed. Out of the number only one died, and he had the confluent variety.
The number in the ship was about one hundred and twenty, but not more
than twenty took the smallpox. By the time the ship neared Cape Horn,
the whole epidemic had been wiped out. No more could take it. There was
no great scare on board—people did not lose their senses. Fortunately the
weather was splendid and warm, so there was not only no danger but the
greatest benefit from slinging them all on deck or under the topgallant
The dead man was buried at sea—the Captain reading the funeral
At Cape Horn in the winter season! The weather was beastly—foul
wind—fearful gales—hailstorms—a few hours only of daylight! Such seas
—beastly chopping irregular ones—I had seen the huge rollers off the Cape
of Good Hope, but these chopping seas were ten times worse and more
dangerous. We ran as far South as we dared, but did not see any ice
floating or bergs. Then we ran back again to about where we started from
and so for many days, but then the wind changed and the ship was put
about. The seas came in opposite direction to that of the wind, so that they
seemed as tho they would sweep over us from stem to stern—but the good
ship rose to them and then we were in a valley. This went on for some
hours and was far less dangerous than if they had come astern—the wind
not being strong. We had precious poor grub off Cape Horn—could cook
but little. I tell you pea soup and pork were relished there and so was
porridge—these being the chief articles of diet, with an occasional hard
boiled dumpling.    Everything was miserable indeed.    Once round the Cape, 1939 Notes on the "Norman Morison." 207
which we did not sight, and into the Pacific, there was soon a very pleasant
change and with a fair wind soon ran into warm weather.
In the Pacific a schoolmaster who was going out to teach Gaelic to Capt.
Grant's settlement at Sooke died of Cancer. He was a very quiet worthy
old Highlander, always ailing of course. When dying he gave me his
fishing rod, with which he had hoped to catch salmon in the Rivers of Sooke.
I kept this rod for years—my boys destroyed it. Poor Dominie—peace be
with you.
On the voyage the immigra[n]ts complained of their grub, and used to
pitch the tinned Soup and Bouillon overboard. The very same that we
found so good in the cabin! The Captain used to enquire into all their complaints and pacify the grumblers, but really they had nothing to complain of.
Fights among themselves happened occasionally, but the Captain " let
them fight it out." Rowland was the chief boxer and our butcher too.
Altogether the people were orderly and well behaved, and gave very little
trouble. They managed to spend their time somehow or other, but there
was but little jollity among them or in the cabin either. I suppose the
women did not set dancing and so forth going and I suppose had never been
accustomed to anything of the kind or even music. I do not remember anything very remarkable happening between Cape Horn and Cape Flattery—
pretty good—too good—weather all the way. Off Flattery and in the
straits we had calms for days—washed out of the straits once or twice by
calms, so we had a pretty good look at the coasts of the country destined to
be my home. Truly they were forbidding altho grand—nothing but mountains on both sides wooded to the top—they appeared weird and gloomy and
possibly are the same to this day. Scarcely a foot of level land could any
where be seen and we used to ask each other, how can any of this be cultivated; where is it possible to make any farms at all. Doctor you have
brought your pigs to a pretty market indeed! Nevertheless it was land
and we were glad to see it after five months of water. During these weary
months, I had amused myself by making bird cages of strips of bamboo, and
other trifles—but it was a monotonous time. Wishart was not a social man
—he had been soured somehow or other—but nevertheless he was kind and
good to all and a thorough seaman. Books we got tired of, the daily routine
had to be gone through, and this was better for all, than having nothing to
do like the doctor. All the most of us had to do was to speculate how long
it wanted to the bell—for breakfast lunch dinner and supper! Strict discipline was kept on board—Wishart never relaxed this—he was a commander. Holland was not much of a sailor or anything else,—he and the
Captain being so different did not get on well together. Wishart took
charge of the ship and no matter how bad the weather, he would remain on
deck night and day and was always ready at a moment's notice.
A paragraph in a further narrative by Dr. Helmcken concludes the story thus:—
At length Race Rocks are rounded; two guns fired, the signal of the
Hudson's Bay Company ships. After a time the pilot, Captain Sangster,
came on board:   he had been many a day looking out for the ship from 208 A. N. Mouat. July
Beacon Hill. Of course every one wanted news from the pilot. " News! "
said he. " Why you have the mails and newspapers aboard and the Hudson's Bay people are anxiously awaiting their letters and papers. No there
is nothing for any of you—you are the mail boat." He however told us of
the great discoveries of gold in California; how they had heard of people
rushing there like madmen and how the men at the Factory [Fort Victoria]
had become restless. Little did anyone think at the moment that within a
very few months many of those on board would take the gold fever, run
away, and that three at least, in their endeavour to reach California, would
be murdered by Indians.
The hazards attending travel by sea in 1850 are well illustrated by the medical report which Dr. Helmcken submitted to
Chief Factor James Douglas soon after the Norman Morison
reached Esquimalt. Smallpox had appeared on board on September 26, 1849, and late in December claimed the life of the
schoolmaster, William Burgess. " At the commencement of
October G. Hawkins laboured under Scarlet Fever, which however was not propagated." On January 21, 1850, a Mr. McFar-
lane, who " very shortly after his arrival on board shewed
symptoms of declining health," died of cancer. No wonder Dr.
Helmcken considered " several cases of Mild Fever and two of
Rheumatic Fever " to be " minor cases " which it was " unnecessary to dilate upon " !4
Before returning to England the Norman Morison made a
coasting trip to Fort Simpson and Sitka. Her passage home
appears to have been uneventful. She left Fort Victoria on
September 23, 1850, was off Cape Horn on December 12, and
reached Gravesend on February 20, 1851. Both her outward
and homeward passages thus took almost exactly five months.
The sending-out of eighty immigrants to Vancouver Island
in the Norman Morison may appear to be a very small scale upon
which to found a colony, but to Chief Factor Douglas, the man in
charge on the spot, it appeared to be an alarming influx of population which taxed his resources sorely. This much we gather
from a paragraph in a letter addressed by Archibald Barclay,
Secretary to the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay
Company, to Douglas in August, 1850:—
The Governor and Committee are anxious on all occasions to select for
the Country the best men that they can obtain and they endeavour to adapt
(4)  J. S. Helmcken to James Douglas, March 28, 1850   (Archives of
B.C.). 1939 Notes on the " Norman Morison." 209
the numbers engaged to the exigencies of the service, bearing in mind that
under present circumstances it is better to have too many than too few.
You seem to think that the number to be sent out this year should be limited
to ten; but in this opinion they do not concur. You will have seen by my
letter of the 5th ult. that they have resolved to forward by the ship to sail in
September eighty persons—of whom perhaps sixty may be men fit for any
kind of labour—and as you will require additional hands for the improvement of the new Road from Fort Langley to the Interior, for the cultivation
of the land at Fort Victoria, and probably to supply the place of deserters
from the service, that number will it is conceived, not be more than will be
wanted. Accommodation will have to be provided for these people—the men
and women being lodged in separate apartments, Until they are disposed of
for service.6
This question of accommodation had evidently been causing
Douglas concern, and a further reference to it in a subsequent
letter from Barclay, though amusing reading for us, must have
been exasperating to the Chief Factor owing to its complete misunderstanding of the problems involved in the construction of
wooden buildings:—
With respect to the difficulty of preparing House accommodation for the
emigrants on their arrival, I refer you to the following Extract of a letter,
dated California, May 30, 1850.—" Wooden houses here are all the go.
You would be astonished to see the immense quantities of wooden houses,
and what splendid edifices are turned out in wood. You can have a large
wooden house put up in a single day; they can build a city of them in a
week, and comfortable strong houses too."6
The immigrant ship which sailed outward in 1850 was the
Tory, but she departed in November, instead of in September as
expected. Moreover, when she arrived at Victoria in June, 1851,
she carried not eighty, but no less than 120 passengers, and
Governor Blanshard's description of the great difficulty experienced in finding them accommodation is well known. Fortunately—from Douglas's point of view—only some thirty or thirty-
five passengers were aboard the Norman Morison when she sailed
from Gravesend on her second voyage, in May, 1851. Very
little is known about this voyage except the following arrival
and departure dates, which are taken from the vessel's log: Left
Gravesend, May 28, 1851; crossed the equator, July 5; off Cape
Horn, August 17; arrived at Fort Victoria, October 30.    On the
(5) Archibald Barclay to James Douglas, August 16, 1850   (Archives
of B.C.).
(6) Ibid., August 30, 1850 (Archives of B.C.). 210 A. N. Mouat. July
return passage she left Victoria on January 21, 1852, was off
Cape Horn on March 23, and reached Gravesend on June 12.
Much more is known about her third and last voyage to the
Pacific Coast, which commenced in August of 1852. For many
years prior to my visit to London in 1934 there had been expressed through the press and other channels a desire to secure
an authentic list of the settlers carried by the Norman Morison
on this third voyage. This list I was able to secure from her
log-book, and it is here printed as an appendix to this article.
As will be seen, it includes many well-known names, notably Mr.
and Mrs. Kenneth McKenzie and Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Skinner.
An interesting account of those on board is given in a letter
from Archibald Barclay to James Douglas, written the day the
vessel was due to sail:—
The Cabin Passengers by the Norman Morison are Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth
McKenzie and 6 children, Mr. & Mrs. Skinner and 5 children and Mr. Gavin
Hamilton Apprentice Clerk.
Mr. McKenzie and Mr. Skinner have been engaged as Bailiffs on behalf
of the Puget Sound Company and are accompanied by tradesmen and
labourers selected by themselves as per the list herewith of which the following is a summary.
5 Carpenters (married)
1 Bricklayer        do
2 Blacksmiths do
23 Labourers do
18 Single do
5 Single Women
These have among them thirty-six children and form an aggregate of
121 persons in the Steerage.
Four of the Single Women are Servants, and the fifth Amy Thomas goes
out to be married to a man of the name of Geal.
The Intermediate passengers are Mr. & Mrs. Stewart & child.
Mr. Robert Weir & 5 children.
Mr. & Mrs. Barr.
Mr. Stewart and Mr. Weir are Land Stewards engaged by Mr. McKenzie.
Mr. Barr is a schoolmaster who it is intended shall be placed on the
Colonial Establishment as you will see by his Contract.7
A considerable number of Books as per list enclosed herewith has been
put on board for the use of the Passengers on the voyage at the termination
of which, they are to be added to those sent by the Tory for general use at
(7)  See D. L. McLaurin, " Education before the Gold Rush," in British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, II. (1938), pp. 252-260. 1939 Notes on the " Norman Morison." 211
the Fort.    A Bible and Prayer Book are forwarded in the Packet Box for
the use of the Company's Chaplain for the time being. 8
The " tradesmen and labourers " tabulated by Barclay included one Robert Melrose, whose interesting diary, which takes
the form of a manuscript Royal Emigrants Almanack, is preserved in the Provincial Archives. The entries made during the
voyage include the inevitable references to births and deaths
during the long months at sea. In October, 1852, " Jonathan
Simpson's child died," and was followed the same month by the
infant daughter of James Whyte. A strange juxtaposition of
entries occurs in December:—
25. Christmas kept.    Grog for all hands.    Riot with Mate & Seamen.
26. John Grout an Englishman died, aged 35.
27. do.    do.    Buried 12 o'clock noon.    Funeral service performed.
28. do.    do.'s Clothing &c. sold by public auction on board.
31. Grog for all hands.
More cheerful is the entry which records that " Mrs. Anderson gave birth to a female child " on August 17, 1852—the day
the vessel left Gravesend. On December 5 we read: " Mrs.
Anderson's child baptized, after Captain Wishart, & ship Norman Morison." Actually the child was christened Eliza Norman
Morison Wishart Anderson. Years later she married a Mr.
Lyall, and died in Victoria in August, 1926, a few days before
her 74th birthday.
A second birth occurred in December, when Robert Melrose
noted that " Mrs. Cheeseman gave birth to a female child."
Melrose's record of the arrival of the Norman Morison in
January, 1853, is interesting, because it gives a graphic impression of the hazards faced in early days by a sailing vessel seeking
to enter the Straits:—
January 1853.
10. Espied Cape Flattery, and Vancouvers Island.    Nearly struck
against the rocks evening.
11. Dodging about the mouth of the Sound, with Close reefed Top
sails.    Nearly struck morning.
12. Wet day.    Driven out to sea.    Sighted Vancouver Island evening.
13. Strong gale.    Driven out to sea again with Close reefed Top
14. Came to the mouth of the Sound Evening.    All hand on Deck, to
guard against the rocks.
(8)  Archibald Barclay to James Douglas, August 19, 1852   (Archives
of B.C.). 212 A. N. Mouat. July
15. Fine day.    Sailed up the Sound very slow.
16. Cast Anchor in the Royal Bay.    Saw the Indians in their canoe's
first time.
17. English People went ashore, with Mr. McKenzie, Weir, & Stew
art, at Fort Victoria.
19. Scotch do. also do.
21. Norman Morrison came into Harbour.
22. Went up and saw our new abode.
To complete the chronicle of the voyage it is only necessary
to add that the Norman Morison sailed from Victoria on the
return passage on March 8, 1853, but being delayed by grounding she did not pass Race Rocks until the 19th. She was off
Cape Horn on May 18, arrived at Gravesend on July 31, and
docked at London the next day.
Her arrival marked the close of her career in the service of
the Hudson's Bay Company. Though stoutly built and a well-
found ship, her draught was unusually deep—Dr. Helmcken
states that it was as much as 18 feet—and this made it necessary
for her to discharge part of her cargo at Esquimalt before she
could enter Victoria Harbour. It was decided, therefore, to
replace her with a new vessel of more convenient design, and
her famous successor, the Princess Royal, was constructed at
Blackwall in 1853-54. The Norman Morison was put up for
sale, and according to the Company's Minute Book, November
14, 1853, and a letter to Chief Factor James Douglas, dated
April 21, 1854, she was sold for £6,500 to a Mr. George Bagley.
She was afterwards owned by the firm of Teighe & Company, of
London, and sailed from London bound for India in 1860.
Her story, in so far as it is known to us, ends with a cryptic
entry in the records of Lloyd's Register of Shipping which states
that she disappeared at sea in 1865-66, while on a voyage from
Australia to India.
A. N. Mouat.
Victoria, B.C. 1939
Notes on the "Norman Morison."
1. List of passengers on the Norman Morison, 1849-50, as given in
the papers of Governor Blanshard. (Original in the Archives of British
Helmcken, John S.   Surgeon.
Balls, George
Beachino, Edmund
Burgess, William, DD
Crittle, John
Cheeseman, Richard •
Clarke, Robert
Edwards, George
Field, Thomas
Fish, Charles
Foot, William
Gullion, Charles
Gray, Joseph
Gillespie, William
Hawkins, George
Hoare, Edward
Home, Henry
Home, George
Hillier, William
Hunt, Robert
Jeal, Herbert
Kimber, Edward
Leach, Peter
Lag, William
Martin; Jonathan
Millar, George
Mills, George
Parsons, William
Payne, Charles
Phillips, John
Pearse, Edward
Paddock, James
Pike, William
Pike, Jonas
Pike, Caleb
Richardson, James
Richardson, George
Reid, Robert
Ross, William
Rickets, Samuel
Rowland, Mathais
Sampson, Henry
Sampson, William
Sabiston, John
Sinfield, William
Smart, George
Short, Eli
Sims, Walter
Wain, Henry
Williams, Charles
Willoughby, John
Wickham, Benjamin
Whiff en, Richard
Yellop, John
Young, William
2. List of passengers on the Norman Morison, 1852-53, as given in the
vessel's log, arranged alphabetically.
Anderson, Robert, wife and two children
Barr, John, and wife
Bartleman, Peter, and wife
Bell, John
Bell, Miss S.
Blaikie, John
Castleton, Richard, and wife
Cheeseman, Richard, and wife
Cheeseman, William
Crittle, John
Cudder, Thomas S.
Davey, John, wife, and two children
Deans, George, and wife
Deans, James
Deeks, George, and wife
Dervint, John, wife, infant and two children
Flewin, Thomas, and wife
Graham, John, wife, and infant
Grout, John 214 A. N. Mouat.
Hamilton, Gavin
Hume, Andrew, wife, and infant
Instant, John
Liddle, James, wife, and infant
Lidgate, Duncan, wife, and three children
McKenzie, Kenneth, wife, and six children
Melrose, Robert, and wife
Montgomery, Joseph, wife, and infant
Mullington, William, and wife
Page, William
Page, William, Junior
Parker, John, and wife
Porter, James, wife, and two children
Reed, Thomas, wife, and one child
Russell, Miss Isabella
Russell, John, and wife
Russell, Thomas
Savage, Robert, Junior
Savage, Walter, wife, and infant
Sewell, James, and wife
Shooter, Edward, wife and infant
Simpson, Henry, and wife
Simpson, John, wife, and two children
Skinner, T. J., wife, and five children
Stewart, James, wife, and infant
Stockand, William
Stubbings, Robert
Tait, James, and wife
Thomas, Miss Amy
Thomas, Daniel
Trond, Miss Jane
Veitch, William, wife, and three children
Weir, John
Weir, Robert, and five children
Weir, William
Weston, William
White, Miss Heriot
White, James, wife, and infant
Williams, Edmund, wife, and two children
Williams, John, Senior, wife, and two children
Williams, John, Junior, and wife
Williams, Richard
Williams, William
Wilson, James, and wife THE DISCOVERY OF HILL'S BAR IN 1858.
The rush to the Fraser River in 1858 appears to have been
precipitated by the arrival in San Francisco of samples of gold,
and letters reporting the discovery of rich placer-workings, from
the little party of mining pioneers who found Hill's Bar in the
early spring of the year. The last survivor of this historic
party, James Moore, died in the Provincial Home, in Kamloops,
in 1919. About four months before his death he received a
clipping, describing early gold discoveries in British Columbia,
from his friend H. L. Harding, of the Treasury Department, Victoria. In reply he wrote Mr. Harding a lengthy letter in which
he recalled the circumstances surrounding the discovery of Hill's
Bar. This letter was forwarded to the Department of Mines,
by whom it was recently transferred to the Provincial Archives.
The latter half of the letter, not here printed, consists largely
of a tabulation of the gold production of famous claims in the
Cariboo. In great part it is simply a paraphrase of certain
passages in Bancroft's History of British Columbia. This fact
gave rise to a suspicion that the narrative relating to Hill's Bar
might also be derived from a printed source, but careful checking has shown that this is not so, and there is no reason to doubt
that the portions of the story here presented are both original
and accurate.
A second letter from James Moore, dated June 6, 1914, and
addressed to the late Sir Richard McBride, then Premier of British Columbia, gives a brief account of Moore's life. Amongst
other details it gives the exact date of the discovery of Hill's
We located these claims the 23rd day of March 1858. I remember the
date, it being my 26th birthday.
Moore was thus born in 1832. A later passage in the letter
outlines his career after the events described in the narrative
which follows:—
My next exploit was with Tom Spence when he got the contract to build
the wagon road from Boston Bar to Lytton. I superintended the construction of this road from Lytton to Jackass Mountain. Late in the fall and
early in the spring, during the low stage of water in the Fraser, we boated
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III., No. 3.
215 216 James Moore. July
goods from Yale to Lytton through the Canyon of the Fraser, thence by
pack train to Cariboo and the Northern mines. This boating lasted until
the wagon road from Yale to Lytton was completed.
In 1863 I again returned to my hobby of exploration and prospecting
with variable success, locating on Cedar Creek, Keithley Creek, the North
Fork of Quesnel, Spanish and Black Bear Creeks. In 1874 I struck out for
the Cassiar District and remained two years. I again revisited this district in 1907. ... I spent a number of years with the late J. B. Hobson
locating hydraulic mining ground in Cariboo and exploring the tributaries
of the Quesnel Lake for placer claims. I have spent a part of the last few
years prospecting in the Lillooet District for lode mine.
In 1914, at the age of 82, failing health compelled him to
apply to the Government for aid. He was granted an allowance
and for a time lived in Victoria, but in 1916 entered the Provincial Home at Kamloops. He died on December 13, 1919,
aged 87.
W. K. L.
Provincial Home,
Kamloops, B.C.,
Aug. 30, 1919.
My Dear Mr. Harding:—
In the first place let me thank you for the marked copy of the Victoria
Daily Times containing a statement of gold shipped to England from Victoria as early as 1853.1 The lady who gave the Times this statement must
be dreaming,2 as there is no account whatever of placer gold being found in
(1) The reference is to the article entitled, " Gold shipped from here as
early as 1853," in the Victoria Daily Times, August 21, 1919.
(2) The lady's name is not given, but her story is quite true.   In part
it reads as follows:—
The occasion she remembers, as she told The Times the other
day, was in 1853, when as a small girl visiting on board the vessel
[the Norman Morison], she was taken into the captain's cabin, and
there shown a keg by [the captain's wife] Mrs. Wishart.    It was
consigned to the Hudson's Bay Company in London, and directions
were given at the time as to secrecy.   Apparently the precious
cargo did not find a place on the manifest, as no record of it
appeared in the ship's papers.
The Norman Morison, as we now know from documents in the Archives
of the Hudson's Bay Company, carried gold dust and specie valued at over
$60,000 when she sailed from Victoria in March of 1853.   It is highly
improbable,  however,  that  any  placer gold from  British territory  was
included in the shipment, as the entire consignment had been sent to Victoria
from Fort Vancouver to be forwarded to England.   Moreover, practically
the whole amount was in currency, and the gold dust included totalled less
than 94 ounces. 1939 The Discovery of Hill's Bar in 1858. 217
what is now known as British Columbia^ prior to 1856 and 1857, when
Indians on the Thompson River in the vicinity of the Nicomen found nuggets of gold in the crevice of rocks at low water, which they took to Kamloops and offered them for trade to Donald A. McLean for goods in the
Hudson's Bay store. McLean, not knowing the value of the mineral offered
in barter, sent it to Victoria to Governor Douglas to ascertain its value.
The Governor sent word back to McLean to get all he could of this metal
as it was gold and take it in trade from the Indians, at the same time sending McLean, the chief trader at Fort Kamloops, iron spoons for the Indians
to use as crevicing spoons.4 This statement I got from McLean in the early
sixties after McLean left the Hudson's Bay Company employ and located
on the Bonaparte River at the mouth of Hat Creek. I remember this statement distinctly by McLean, as I at the time was interested in a true
statement of the first discovery of gold in what was then known as New
... I wish to make this story as short as possible, and [yet] give a
true account from my own knowledge of events which happened in the early
days of the Province. As I have already stated, Donald A. McLean's statement of the first gold found to his knowledge by Indians in the years 1856
and 1857 on the Thompson River, this was the gold that caused the great
excitement to Fraser River in 1858. In February of this year the Hudson's
Bay Company steamer Otter left Victoria for San Francisco. The Purser
of the Otter having the gold found on the Thompson River took it to the
Mint in San Francisco, and got it coined as a souvenir of the first gold
found in the Province. In those e'arly days in San Francisco the only
excitement was to belong to the Volunteer Fire Department. One evening
a party of us met at No. 3 engine house, and, after speaking of several
■•things, the conversation drifted to gold excitements. The Superintendent
of the Mint being present, remarked " Boys the next excitement will be to
Fraser River." He then explained the quality of the gold taken to the Mint
by the purser of the Otter and stated it was a fine sample of gold. On the
strength of this statement we formed a small party to explore and report on
the prospect of the Fraser River. So early in March, 1858, a party of about
fifteen of us took passage on a steamer to Port Townsend, in the State of
Washington, and thence to Victoria before crossing the Gulf to Fraser River
in our boats.5 When we entered the Fraser I shall never forget my first
view of this magnificent river—the snow capped grandeur of the mountains
which held it in place—the thickly timbered valley through which it swept
(3) The Mainland of British Columbia is meant.
(4) A variant of this story, attributed to Roderick Finlayson, is given
in Bancroft's History of British Columbia, pp. 348-9, which, as noted above,
Moore had evidently read.
(5) This agrees with the facts as related by Judge Howay (British Columbia, Vancouver, 1914, II., p. 14). The shipment sent by the Otter consisted
of 800 ounces of gold, probably worth about $15,000. Oddly enough, no
record of the arrival of the Otter can be found in the San Francisco newspapers on file in the Provincial Archives. 218 James Moore. July
was awe inspiring. The population of the mainland at this time was made
up of Indians and Hudson's Bay traders. Our first camp on the river was
at Fort Langley, and two days later we camped at Fort Hope. The trader
at this fort was Donald Walker, who a short time ago died at Kamloops.
Needless to say he was greatly excited at our arrival at Hope, and could
not answer our simple questions regarding the country ahead of us. He
told us later when we were better acquainted he thought we came to take
the Fort as he had a lot of furs ready to ship to Victoria, while our object
was to explore and prospect for gold and other mineral in this extensive
country. I remember Walker saying we were the first party of white men
he had seen in the country with the exception of the Hudson's Bay people
for years. It was only a short time however before he saw thousands of
white men pass his Fort, as it was estimated that at least 20,000 men were
camped at Yale at one time during high water in 1858. After leaving Fort
Hope and the excited Hudson's Bay man, we camped for lunch on a bar
about ten miles from Hope to cook lunch, and while doing so one of our
party noticed particles of gold in the moss that was growing on the rocks.
He got a pan and washed a pan of this moss and got a good prospect, and
after our gastric wants were satisfied we all prospected the bar and found
it a rich bar in gold. With our crude mode of working with rockers we
made on an average fifty dollars per day to the man. We named this bar in
honor to the man that washed the first pan of moss, Hill's Bar. Some years
ago I met the last owner of Hill's Bar, a Mr. Ladd, who estimated that
approximately $2,000,000 had been recovered from the time the first pan of
moss had been washed until the bar was worked out. This was practically
the commencement of mining on this the pioneer bar of this the greatest
Province of the Dominion of Canada. As our outfit consisted [of] only a
prospecting outfit we sent a few of our party down the river to Fort Langley to try and get supplies from the Hudson's Bay Company store at Langley. At this time the Hudson's Bay Company stores were not well supplied
with groceries and our party returned with a very limited supply. However
while at Langley they related our discovery on Hill's Bar. This news soon
spread to the other side of the line where saw-mills were in operation on
Puget Sound. In the meantime the whole tribe of Yale Indians moved
down from Yale and camped on the bar, about three hundred men, women
and children, and they also commenced to wash for gold. In a few weeks
later we noticed a boat coming up the river loaded. We thought sure we
would then have supplies. We found when the boat landed its whole cargo
consisted of nothing but liquor, not a pound of provisions for sale. The
owner, Taylor, soon found the Indians all had gold dust. He then opened
his cargo and commenced to sell to the Indians his liquor at five dollars per
bottle, taking his pay in gold dust. The Indians not knowing its value
allowed Taylor to help himself, which he did. So long as the Indians got
the liquor they did not object to Taylor helping himself to their gold dust.
We held a meeting that evening and decided to purchase all the liquor
Taylor had, but Taylor refused to sell wholesale. That night the Indians
all got drunk and howled all night on the bar.    At this time we had no 1939 The Discovery of Hill's Bar in 1858. 219
houses to live in, nothing but tents, so next morning we held another meeting and appointed Harry Garrison as our leader, [as we were] determined
to put an end to this drunken brawl. We marched down to Taylor's camp
and confiscated the whole contents of his cargo of liquor, got axes and
smashed in the heads of each keg of liquor and dumped the contents on the
bar, and gave Taylor twenty minutes to strike his camp and leave, which he
did in less than the time alloted. This was the first prohibition act put
into force without delay in British Columbia and without a Findley.6 Up to
this time we had no trouble with the Indians. We got along peaceably.
One of the Indians, known as White Cap, got to be rather cross when he
found Taylor's liquor all dumped on the bar. When working we allowed the
Indians to use our picks and shovels when we were not using them ourselves.
One day Mr. White Cap, using a pick belonging to one of our party, would
not give it up when requested. The owner of the pick tried to make the
Indian believe that turn about was fair play, but Mr. White Cap could not
see it, so the owner of the pick got angry and picked up a shovel and broke
the handle on the Indian's head. This of course precipitated a row in
camp, the Indians congregating by themselves and the little party of Whites
in their camp all ready for the worst that might happen. The Chief of the
tribe got on a stump to make a speech to his braves. While doing so a
barge of the sloop-of-war Satellite hove in sight with Governor Douglas,
the Captain of the Satellite, and a dozen blue jackets on board.? When they
landed on the bar we fired a salute in their honor. We then stated our
trouble to the Governor and when hearing the other side of the story took
the Indians back to Yale and pacified them by giving them a blowout of
hard tack and molasses.   This ended our trouble with the Indians.   Our
(6) Walter C. Findlay, appointed Prohibition Commissioner for British
Columbia in 1917.
(7) " From Fort Langley we pursued our upward journey, in canoes
manned chiefly by native Indians, and accompanied by Captain Prevost in
his gig, manned with six of the Satellite's seamen." (Douglas to Lord Stanley, June 10, 1858.) Douglas's diary shows that he arrived at Hill's Bar
on May 31. (Private Papers, First Series, p. 62.) A week before, when at
Fort Langley, he had noted: " Letters from Walker, Fort Hope report that
Indians are getting plenty of gold and trade with the Americans. . . .
Miners working 2 miles below Fort Yale who are making on an average
one and a half ounces a day each man. The place is named Hill's bar and
employs 80 Indians and 30 whitemen." (Ibid., p. 58.) In a second dispatch
to Lord Stanley, dated June 15, he wrote: " On the arrival of our party at
' Hill's Bar,' the white miners were in a state of great alarm on account
of a serious affray which had just occurred with the native Indians, who
mustered under arms in a tumultuous manner, and threatened to make a
clean sweep of the whole body of miners assembled there. The quarrel arose
out of a series of provocations on both sides, and from the jealousy of the
savages, who naturally feel annoyed at the large quantities of gold taken
from their country by the white miners." 220 James Moore.
next visitor was Billy Ballou, an old California expressman, who started
the pioneer express of British Columbia, charging one dollar each way for
letters and one dollar for papers. Of course we all sent letters and [a]
sample of gold to our friends in the outside world. When these letters and
gold dust reached California, [they] helped to cause the great Fraser River
Stampede of 1858. Merchants and others sold valuable property on Montgomery and Kerney Streets in San Francisco for a song so anxious were
they to get to Fraser River, where some of those merchants located in
Victoria and helped with their capital and energy to make British Columbia
what it is today, the greatest Province in the Dominion of Canada. On
Governor Douglas' second trip to Hill's Bar he appointed George Perrier the
first Justice of the Peace on Hill's Bar, and law and order became an
established fact. So we the Pioneers of the rush into the Fraser River and
Thompson Valleys—a rush that swept on until it reached the treasure
vaults of Williams Creek and Lightning Creeks in Cariboo. It is not necessary for me to relate here all the incidents that occurred shortly after our
discovery on Hill's Bar, as I do not wish to draw out this article to a tedious
length, although some interesting stories could be told of Judge Ned
McGowan and others which occurred at the time. As I was of a roving
disposition in my younger days I could not remain long in pasture new.
I sold my interest on Hill's Bar and joined a party of four others. We
bought a boat and six months provisions. We left Yale on the 17th December, 1858, to ascend the Fraser River on an exploring and prospecting trip.
This gave us a good insight into the winters of British Columbia. After
making several ice portages we finally reached Lytton the 26th January,
1859, in the best of health and spirits and none the worse for our trip. We
remained in the vicinity of Lytton until the spring advanced. The weather
getting finer we broke camp, some of our party going up the river with the
boat prospecting the bars, while myself joined a party going inland. We
got horses to pack our food. We crossed the Thompson River and struck
inland to Fort Alexander, thence to Beaver Lake, up the Beaver Lake Valley
to Horsefly, where we remained the balance of 1859.
James Moore,
Pioneer of Pioneers. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
The Centenary of the Pacific Station : 1837-1937.
It is to be regretted that so notable an anniversary as the centenary of
the Pacific Station was permitted to pass without adequate notice, and even
at this belated date it seems worth while to recall, in brief outline, the circumstances which led to its establishment.
We must first go back to the period when white-winged line-of-battle
ships, frigates, corvettes, and sloops-of-war first made Valparaiso their
base, in the course of their duty of protecting British traders on the Pacific
coast of South and Central America. So long as the Spanish Crown, represented by its Viceroys and naval squadrons, continued officially to keep the
door shut to all foreign trade the non-Spanish traders could not establish
themselves ashore in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, or New Spain.
The casting-off of the Spanish yoke was only achieved through years of
rebellion, which began in 1818, when Admiral Lord Cochrane led the
infant Chilian Navy in revolt against the Spanish squadron. There followed a succession of periods of revolt, first against the Spanish power and
later in the form of local wars and civil wars.
On March 28, 1822, H.M. frigate Conway, Captain Basil Hall, anchored
at San Bias. In his autobiography Captain Hall tells of the state of transition in New Spain from the rule of Spain to that of the Mexican Federal
Republic, which was proclaimed on October 4, 1823. At once a horde of
trading vessels from many countries appeared on the coast, carrying the
long desired trade goods, for the coming into being of the Mexican Republic
caused the coast blockade to be lifted from the south to as far north as the
Presidio, on the Bay of San Francisco. Spain did not, however, recognize
the independence of Mexico until 1836. Further changes followed in rapid
succession. The official name of Yerba Buena, on the Bay of San Francisco,
was changed on January 30, 1847, to San Francisco; the flag of Royal
Spain had been succeeded by that of the Republic of Mexico in 1835, and
this, in turn, was replaced by the Stars and Stripes on July 9, 1846. The
news of the discovery of gold in the mountains of California reached the
town in January, 1848, and the huge influx of adventurers began in June of
the same year.
Meanwhile events of great importance were taking place farther north.
The first permanent trade depot and ocean port on the Northwest Coast
came into being in 1825, when Dr. McLoughlin, of the Hudson's Bay Company, established Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia River. Other posts were
built by the Company in the next few years at strategic points, all the way
from the Columbia to Alaska. Quite as important, the first American
settlers crossed the mountains and entered the Oregon country in 1842, and
mostly located on the south bank of the Columbia River.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. III., No. 3.
221 224 Notes and Comments. July
(Frenchmen) were crossing the country by horseback and in the distance
saw something they thought to be a dog or animal, in the grass. On
approaching, they found a small boy, all alone, unable to speak French, and
the travellers unable to speak his Indian language. They put him in a bag
or basket, and covered him up, with just his head sticking out. He must
have been very young, if he was unable to ride himself. Perhaps his people
had been killed? The Hudson's Bay men brought him to Kamloops, where
they raised him, and he learned the French language. Felix told us Lolo St.
Paul did not speak the Kamloops Indian language like the natives, but with
a different accent."
As we know that St. Paul was born in 1798, and there were no " Hudson's
Bay men " at Kamloops until after the amalgamation with the North West
Company in 1821, presumably the boy was found by men belonging to the
North West Company and not the Hudson's Bay Company; but apart from
this detail the story may well be accurate.
Contributors to this Issue.
R. P. Bishop joined the Royal Navy in 1902, and travelled from Plymouth
to Vancouver Island by way of the Strait of Magellan. In 1907 he resigned
to become a British Columbia land surveyor. After identifying part of Sir
Alexander Mackenzie's route to the Pacific Ocean he became interested in the
early history of the North American continent. He is the author of Mackenzie's Rock, and has contributed articles and reviews to the Geographical
Samuel S. Fowler, E.M., A.B., of Riondel, came to British Columbia in
1889 and has held various executive positions in Kootenay mining companies,
including the well-known Bluebell property.
A. N. Mouat, after serving many years in the Hudson's Bay Company,
was appointed city comptroller in Edmonton. He came to Victoria in 1917,
joined the Provincial Civil Service, and eventually became the first comptroller-general of British Columbia, which office he filled until his retirement
in 1929.    He is a veteran of the Riel Rebellion.
British Columbia Historical Association.
Victoria Section.
A general meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on
Friday, May 19, when about seventy-five members and friends enjoyed a
most interesting lecture by Dr. T. A. Rickard, well-known mining engineer
and Past President of the Section. His address was entitled Drake's Plate
of Brass, a topic which proved to be a fascinating one, related in the speaker's
usual finished style.
Dr. Rickard, who had recently personally examined the plate, told its history, outlining the facts surrounding the discovery in California in 1936 of
this relic—" one of the world's long-lost historical treasures "—which Drake
affixed to a post in 1579. This was done during his voyage round the world
in the Golden Hinde, when he claimed the country, which he called New
Albion, for Queen Elizabeth.    The plate was found half buried beside the 1939 Notes and Comments. 225
road near San Rafael and corresponds to descriptions found in contemporary
narratives of Drake's voyage.
The speaker told how the plate had been discovered first of all in 1933
near Drake's Bay, and carried across the peninsula " above all people by a
member of the Historical Society of California, who thought it was a piece
of scrap-iron, and threw it away without even examining it." Dr. Rickard
pointed out the moral to all those interested in historical records to inquire
into anything that might prove of interest. As he remarked, " those who
seek, usually find."
The President, Mr. John Goldie, tendered the thanks of the Section to Dr.
Rickard, and also stressed the necessity of preserving all relics of the past,
and places of historical interest.    [Muriel R. Cree, Secretary.]
New Westminster and Fraser Valley Section.
The first meeting of this Section was held on April 4, in the City Hall
Chambers, New Westminster. There was a large attendance of members,
who much enjoyed Judge F. W. Howay's able address on Ramblings through
British Columbia. A second meeting, which was also well attended, was
held on May 16. Upon this occasion the guest speaker, Dr. Robie L. Reid,
chose as his subject Early Days at Fort Langley.   [E. M. Cotton, Secretary.]
Fraser Canyon Historical Association.
The first quarterly meeting of 1938 was held at Choate Lodge, kindly lent
for the occasion by Mr. and Mrs. Hodson, on January 19. More than twenty
members were present. The speaker of the evening was Mrs. W. Starrett,
of Hope, who gave some interesting reminiscences of several pioneers of
Hope, all of whom were known to herself in the early eighties. After reading her paper, which was entitled Some Memories, Mrs. Starrett exhibited
and explained a number of unusual historical and Indian relics belonging to
her own private collection. In the course of the evening interesting discussions took place regarding the meaning of a number of local geographical
place-names. The second quarterly meeting was held in the Municipal Hall,
Hope, on June 13, when sixteen members were present. Mr. Norman Hacking, of Vancouver, the guest speaker of the evening, chose for his topic
Steamboat round the Bend. After Mr. Hacking's informative paper, members of the association were asked to relate reminiscences of steamboat travel
on the Fraser River and many amusing incidents were narrated. At the
annual meeting, which was held at Yale on July 4, the following officers were
elected for the year 1938-39: President, T. L. Thacker; Vice-Presidents,
C. E. Barry and Rev. A. F. Sheward; Secretary-Treasurer, G. J. MacKey;
and Editor, Rev. H. H. K. Greene. The main feature of the meeting was
the reading by Mr. Sheward of Rev. A. R. Lett's paper on St. George's Residential Indian School at Lytton and his own story of the Development of St.
Bartholomew's Hospital at Lytton. The last quarterly meeting of 1938 took
place at Flood on October 26, upon which occasion twenty-six members
attended. Among those who contributed to the programme were the Secretary, G. J. MacKey, who read extracts from Mr. Charles Clowes' manuscript 226 Notes and Comments.
entitled Old Trails and Gold Trails of British Columbia. Interesting and
informative discussions concerning local place-names brought the meeting to
a close.
The Society's collection of photographs, papers, and clippings is gradually
being indexed and appropriately cared for. Since the last report of this
Society, more than a year ago, the original Hope sun-dial, presented by the
Royal Engineers in 1860, has been placed in the charge of Dr. W. K. Lamb,
at the Provincial Archives, Victoria, and a replica secured which will be
erected at Hope.
In March the Society suffered the loss by death of a valued member, Mr.
G. J. MacKey, who had taken over the duties of Secretary-Treasurer in July,
1938. No successor to Mr. MacKey has as yet been appointed. [T. L.
Thacker, President.]
Printed by F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
600-689-9694 We
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour Eric W. Hamber, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
OFFICERS, 1938-39.
Hon. G. M. Weir       .... Honorary President.
J. S. Plaskett  President.
T. A. Rickard -       -       -       -       - 1st Vice-President
Kenneth A. Waites    - 2nd Vice-President.
E. W. McMULLEN - Honorary Treasurer.
Muriel R. Cree ----- Honorary Secretary.
Robie L. Reid  Archivist.
F. W. Howay j. m. Coady H. T. Nation
J. C. Goodfellow B. A. McKelvie
John Goldie (Victoria Section). J. R. V. Dunlop (Vancouver Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history;
to promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of 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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