British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Apr 30, 1945

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APRIL,  1945 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
(On active service, R.C.A.F.)
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine.
The Quarterly is indexed in Faxon's Annual Magazine Subject-Index. We
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. IX. Victoria, B.C., April, 1945. No. 2
Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945): A Memoir.
By W. Kaye Lamb      79
Meredith Gairdner: Doctor of Medicine.
By A. G. Harvey.   ..          89
The Royal Navy on the Northwest Coast, 1813-1850.   Part II.
By F. V. Longstaff and W. Kaye Lamb  _. ...._ 113
The Journal of John Work, 1835.
Being an account of his voyage northward from the Columbia River
to Fort Simpson and return in the brig " Lama," January-
October, 1835.
Conclusion.    Edited by Henry Drummond Dee    129
Royal Commissions and .Commissions of Inquiry in British
Columbia.    A Checklist.
Part III.:  1911-1920.
By Marjorie C. Holmes  ._     147
Notes and Comments:
Arthur S. Morton: 1870-1945.
By W. N. Sage      _.... 165
British Columbia Historical Association    _. 167
Contributors to this Issue  _._ 168
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Rickard:   The Romance of Mining.
By M. Y. Williams    .... 169
McArthur:  Oregon Geographic Names.
By W. Kaye Lamb  _    170
Clokie:  Canadian Government and Politics.
By W. N. Sage   171
Splawn: Ka-mi-akin.
By W. Kaye Lamb      173 ROBIE LEWIS REID (1866-1945):
Robie Lewis Reid was born in Cornwallis, King's County,
Nova Scotia, on November 3, 1866, the son of Gideon Eaton Reid
and Ruth Ann (Cogswell) Reid. In some reminiscences, jotted
down a few years ago, Dr. Reid has this to say about his
" My people on both sides of the family were farmers as far
back as I have information. I believe the name should properly
be written Reed, as I find it so written in early documents. The
first to use the present spelling was my grandfather, Isaac Reid.
... He had a Scotch mother, Mary Forsyth, and this may
account for the change, or it may have been mere accident.
" Both my parents were descendants of immigrants from
Connecticut who came to Nova Scotia in 1761 to settle on the
lands held by the Acadians prior to the expulsion of 1755. This
was the first English-speaking immigration of importance into
what is now Canada. The first grants made to settlers were
those of the townships of Horton and Cornwallis in 1761. My
father's people were grantees in the township of Horton, in
King's County. . . . My mother's people, the Cogswells, were
grantees in the adjoining township of Cornwallis."
Dr. Reid was thus of pre-Loyalist stock, and he took delight
in professing to regard the celebrated United Empire Loyalists
as mere upstarts, to the occasional discomfiture of some of their
descendants. His ancestry accounts, too, for the great interest
he took in the expulsion of the Acadians. He made a special
effort to secure material relating to it, and his library includes
scores of books and pamphlets on the subject.
When he was about three years old he went to live with his
grandparents, whose home was close by. " I was not spoiled in
any way. I could not get my breakfast on a weekday morning
.until I had memorized two verses of New Testament. On Sunday, my morning task was to repeat the 12 verses I had learned
during the week." His grandmother taught him to read, write,
and spell, with the result that he skipped several grades when
he started to school at the age of seven.   He Went first to the
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 2.
79 80 W. Kaye Lamb. April
school at Chipman's Corner (so called after the Hon. Samuel
Chipman, the patriarch of the township, who was then 83 and
lived to the ripe old age of 101), and later to the nearby Steam
Mill Village School. After a time he reached the limit of the
instruction there given, and what to do next was the subject of
many an anxious family council. " We discussed the Academy
at Wolfville, but father could not see his way to meet the necessary expense. Just then a cousin of his who had married a
veteran of the Crimean War, and was living at Pictou, came to
visit us. Pictou Academy held a high position in the educational
world of Nova Scotia, and she insisted on my coming there to
study. Father agreed, and in 1880 I became a student in the
Academy and spent two years there."
The reminiscences continue: " The students were mostly of
little means, and were bent on getting an education. Many had
obtained their money by teaching school, mostly in farming
sections where salaries were small. Consequently, mostly all
were in deadly earnest and spent neither time nor money unnecessarily. I know of no place where such a large proportion of the
students cared everything for work and nothing for play. . . .
One of my particular friends was George Laurie, son of Major-
General J. W. Laurie. He had plenty of money to spend, but
the work was difficult for him. So I used to help him with his
studies, and he came through with the sweets, and we both were
" When my two years in Pictou were over, I took the examinations for admission to Dalhousie College. Judge of my delight
when I obtained a Munro Bursary of $150.00 per year for two
years. These bursaries were given by George Munro, the publisher of the famous Seaside Library [of cheap editions of the
classics]. ... He was a native of Pictou County, and had
made a gift to Dalhousie out of which the bursaries were paid.
Many of the Nova Scotia boys were in this way enabled to obtain
the benefits of higher education. Without the bursary, I should
have been forced to stop with the Academy at Pictou."
In the fall of 1882 he entered Dalhousie. One amusing minor
detail may be noted: " We all wore College gowns. A freshman
could always be told by its newness. As the students passed into
the higher ranks, the gown got shabbier, until those worn by the
Seniors were wrecks.    I remember those worn that year by J. P. 1945      Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945): A Memoir. 81
McLeod [afterwards Deputy Attorney-General of British Columbia] and his friend Danny Murray. They consisted of one sleeve
and a strip of the skirt. On entering the classroom, this sleeve
and strip were put on so as to be next to the professor. During
the lecture they were removed to the other arm so as to make it
appear in going out that the student was properly clothed."
After spending the summer at home in Cornwallis, young
Reid returned in the fall of 1883 for his sophomore year. However, he soon suffered a very severe attack of the mumps that
affected his eyes, and was compelled to leave college. For the
next six months he had to stay quietly at home, where his
reading was limited " to the bi-weekly edition of the Halifax
Chronicle, and one can understand what an affliction that was
to one who had been reading everything he could lay his hands
on since he was a very small child."
Presently he wrote the examination for a teacher's licence,
secured his certificate, and in the fall of 1884 was appointed to
the school at Woodville, King's County. As it turned out, this
was a decisive move, for it involved him in the chain of events
that brought him to British Columbia. " While teaching," Dr.
Reid recalled, " I boarded with my uncle, Morton Cogswell.
During the winter he had an opportunity to sell his farm and
made up his mind to do so and go west to the Territory of Washington. My oldest brother, Harry H. Reid, and I, caught the
fever for the west, and agreed to go with the party. So in the
spring of 1885 we left Nova Scotia and made our way west to
Spokane Falls in Eastern Washington, now the great city of
Spokane." Here things did not go quite as expected, and Robie
decided to strike out on his own and push on to British Columbia.
" I put my small belongings in my old suit case, and got on the
Northern Pacific train for Tacoma, and thence travelled north
on the old steamer North Pacific to Victoria, which I reached on
July 2,1885, a little over 18 years old, 5,000 miles from home, and
with one four-bit piece in my pocket."
From the first British Columbia proved to be a friendly place.
School teaching was the only thing he knew, and he found that
he had arrived just in time to write the examinations for a Grade
A teacher's certificate. There was only one other candidate for
Grade A—"a little chap from New Westminster with curly
flaxen hair, and as full of pep as any one could be."    The two 82 W. Kaye Lamb. April
were destined to be friends for life, for the fellow candidate was
none other than Frederic W. Howay.
He passed the examinations easily, and then set out for the
Mainland, where he would be most likely to secure a school.
Three of his new-found friends loaned him the modest sum
required to pay his bills and his fare on the old sternwheeler
R. P. Rithet to New Westminster. There he heard that the
Clover Valley (now the Cloverdale) School, in Surrey Municipality, was vacant, and he trudged the long miles out into the
country on foot to interview the trustees and secure the appointment. The salary—$50 a month—seemed a princely sum, and
he found a boarding place and a warm welcome in the home of
one of the trustees, Duncan MacKenzie. Nine years later he
was to marry Mr. MacKenzie's daughter, Lily, and fifty-nine
years later, on October 17, 1944, the couple were to celebrate
their golden wedding in Vancouver.
Two happy years were spent in Clover Valley. He could have
remained longer, but his ambition was to study law, and he
wished to get on with it. His plan was to return to Nova Scotia,
become articled to his uncle, E. J. Cogswell, in Kentville, and
attend the Dalhousie Law School. This plan had been talked
over many times with F. W. Howay, who had a similar ambition;
and in the end Howay himself was able to attend Dalhousie, and
the friends travelled east together in September, 1887.
" We were both earnest students most of the time," the reminiscences state, " but Howay was, I must admit, much the more
diligent of the two. I used to spend many more evenings out
than he did. . . . Still, many a night after he had gone to
sleep—and he was a sound sleeper—I would come home and read
for a long time before I turned in, and absorb more knowledge
than if I had been at work all the evening. I did not tell him
about this and when he used to chide me I would just laugh.
Imagine his amazement when the results of the spring examinations were published, and he and I led the class with first class
in all subjects. I was just a little ahead of him. But my joy
was somewhat lessened when I afterwards met J. Y. Payzant,
one of the lecturers, when he told me, what was quite true, that
although I knew more about writing examinations, Howay knew
more law than I did." Photo by Geo. T. Wadds.
Robie Lewis Reid.
From a photograph taken in 1926. 1945      Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945): A Memoir. 83
Vacation time proved to be important. " We spent the summer of 1888 on the farm at my home, Howay working in the
[Barclay] Webster office [in Kentville], and I in my uncle's.
I was supposed to be studying law, but as a matter of fact I was
studying local history. My uncle, outside his work as Probate
Judge, had comparatively little practice. His favorite occupation was acting as a land surveyor at which he was adept, and
his knowledge of the adjacent country made his services very
useful. . . . Besides using his surveying instruments, he used
his knowledge of the district and the history of the locality,
which was far more accurate and thorough than that of any
one else in the place.   .   .   .
" That summer Arthur Wentworth Eaton, a native of Kentville, poet, historian, genealogist, came down from Boston on a
holiday. He was most interested in King's County history (he
afterwards wrote a history of it) * and naturally he and my uncle
spent hours discussing the subject, with myself as an interested
listener. Probably that is the reason why, ever since, history
has been my favorite study."
It may be added that he wrote down a great deal of his uncle's
local lore and published it in serial form in the local newspaper.2
So far as we know, this was his first appearance in print.
It was during this same summer that he decided to leave
Dalhousie. Ostensibly the reason was that he could secure the
degree of LL.B, at the University of Michigan after only one
more year of study, whereas at Dalhousie the course would last
another two years; but he admits in the reminiscences that
" I had not entirely got over the Nova Scotian idea that I had
to go to the United States if I wanted to get anywhere." September found him at Ann Arbor, where he spent a pleasant
winter and completed his studies in the spring of 1889. Soon
after graduation he and his classmates took the not very onerous
formal examination for the Michigan Bar. Apparently as long
as any one student in the group could hazard an answer to a
question the result was regarded as satisfactory, and all present
(1) A. W. H. Eaton, A History of King's County, Nova Scotia . . . ,
Salem, Mass., 1910.
(2) Presumably the Kentville Advertiser. No copy of these articles may
now be in existence, as the Union List of Newspapers indicates that the only
file reported, that in the publisher's office, goes back no farther than 1926. 84 W. Kaye Lamb. April
were duly accepted as Attorneys of the Supreme Court of the
State of Michigan. No question of citizenship arose; non-
citizens were then freely admitted to practise.
From Ann Arbor Robie Reid, now 23 years of age, headed
once more for the Far West. He went first to Port Townsend,
where for a short time he was a reporter for the local newspaper.
Thence he moved to Fairhaven, now South Bellingham, where
for two years he was in business as a lawyer, real-estate agent,
and insurance salesman. Fairhaven was a boom town, and
when the boom ended so did the prosperity of the young lawyer.
Happening to meet a friend, A. J. McColl, later Chief Justice of
British Columbia, he returned with him to New Westminster,
where he was first employed as a " Calligraph operator," as a
typist was then called. Four months later he became chief clerk
for Eckstein & Gaynor, one of the pioneer law firms of British
Columbia. He was getting back to his last; and the circle was
completed when he was admitted to the British Columbia Bar in
1893, and, later the same year, entered into partnership with
his friend F. W. Howay to form the firm of Howay & Reid.
In the great New Westminster fire of September, 1898, the
firm lost its office and the Reids lost their home and its contents,
but the disaster and its after-crop of troubles impelled him to
enter civic politics. He served as an alderman in 1899 and 1900,
and as a debenture commissioner under the " New Westminster
Relief Act" until 1908. He was also a candidate at the Provincial election held on June 9, 1900, when he made a good
showing, but was defeated by J. C. Brown by the narrow margin
of 88 votes.
The firm of Howay & Reid was finally dissolved in 1905, when
Dr. Reid decided to leave New Westminster. The following year
he moved to Vancouver, where he first entered into partnership
with George Cowan, K.C. In 1907, however, he joined W. J.
Bowser, K.C, then Attorney-General of British Columbia, and
D. S. Wallbridge, to form the firm of Bowser, Reid & Wallbridge.3
He himself was appointed King's Counsel on December 16, 1907.
(3) For purposes of record it may be well to note that in 1916 the firm
became Bowser, Reid, Wallbridge & Douglas; in 1922, upon Mr. Bowser's
retirement, Reid, Wallbridge, Douglas & Gibson; in 1925, Reid, Wallbridge
& Gibson; and, finally, in 1930, Reid, Wallbridge, Gibson & Sutton. Dr. Reid
retired from active practice in April, 1942. 1945       Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945):  A Memoir. 85
Later he became a Bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia, and served in that capacity from 1927 to 1943.
The new partnership quickly became one of the leading legal
firms in the Province, and its multifarious affairs would have
been sufficient to absorb the time and energy of most men. But
it was not so with Robie Reid. He always believed in devoting
as much time as possible to doing the things he enjoyed doing;
no matter how busy he was, he always contrived to devote a
fraction of his time to hopes, hobbies, and organizations that had
won his interest. The hobbies in particular he followed with
a patience and long-term tenacity that only those who knew
him well can appreciate. One example is worth recalling. As
a young man he became interested in numismatics, and when he
came to British Columbia he was intrigued by the story of the
little mint at New Westminster, in which a few trial coins were
struck in 1862. As early as 1900 he was recognized by collectors
as an authority on the subject, and he contributed an article on
" The Gold Coins of British Columbia" to the Numismatist.
He was well aware, however, that there was much still to be
learned about the episode; the difficulty was that he could devote
only odd moments to the search, and the records were widely
scattered. Yet he persevered; for 26 years his interest never
wavered; and at last in 1926 he was ready to publish his well-
known monograph on The Assay Office and the Proposed Mint
at New Westminster.
His interest in Rudyard Kipling illustrates this same characteristic in another field. Kipling's earliest stories and poems
enthralled him, and for over forty years he bought each new
Kipling title as it came from the press. A new volume about
Kipling was on order from England at the time of his death.
At one time he lectured frequently upon topics drawn from the
poems and tales. An account of one of these talks was sent by
a friend to Kipling himself, and soon after, to his surprise and
delight, Dr. Reid received a personal letter from the poet.
He remarked one time that all his life the thing he had wanted
to do more than anything else was to buy books. To him, indeed,
book-buying was far more than a hobby; it was a heart's desire
—one of the fundamental things of life; necessary, even when
it involved real sacrifice. As soon as he was old enough to have
or to earn money he had books; and no home was to him a home 86 W. Kaye Lamb. April
unless it had a bookshelf. His first considerable library was
burned in the New Westminster fire of 1898, though a few items,
including a first edition of Joaquin Miller's poems, picked up in
Oregon in 1887, survived. For a few more years his buying was
relatively haphazard. Then, sometime during the years 1908-12,
when the plans for the establishment of the University of British
Columbia were being worked out, it occurred to him that he
might assemble and present to the University a comprehensive
collection of books dealing with Canadian history and literature,
and books by Canadian authors. " In the plenitude of my ignorance," he recalled later, " I thought this would mean some two
or three thousand volumes, so I started my collecting with the
hope of completing it within a comparatively short time." He
soon realized his error, but instead of giving up in discouragement he settled down to a systematic study of the whole field
of Canadiana, in order to be able to pick and choose intelligently
amongst the mass of material available. Card catalogues of
the books he owned and those for which he was seeking soon
appeared in his office and his home; and through the years the
latter grew into an amazing bibliographical file consisting of
more than 50,000 cards. The library itself consisted finally of
some 9,000 volumes and 4,000 pamphlets, together with a miscellaneous collection of maps, photographs, and clippings. Although
the majority of the books were secured in the East or abroad,
many choice items were found locally. Dr. Reid was a shrewd
as well as a systematic collector; he delighted to match his wits
against those of the book dealers, and to find on their shelves or
in their catalogues some item marked well below its usual market
value. In this connection he used to recall that he once purchased a perfectly good Canadian $5 bank-note from an American
numismatist for 10 cents!
The University lay very close to his heart. He served it for
twenty-nine years as solicitor, and for twenty-two years—from
1913 until 1935—he was a member of the Board of Governors.
In 1936, a few months after his retirement, the University conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Fittingly enough, his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of
Canada was announced the same spring.
Dr. Reid's community interests were many and varied. Years
ago he was a member of the old Vagabonds' Club, a literary Mount Howay and Mount Reid.
This photograph, here reproduced through the courtesy of Lt. Col. G. G. Aitken, Chief
Geographer of liritish Columbia, was taken from a triangulation station west of Hitt Lake.
Mount Howay is almost due east of this point.
It will be recalled that Mount Howay was named in the fall of 1943, shortly after Judge
Howay's death;   the companion peak was named in honour of Dr. Reid in July, 1944. 1945      Robie Lewis Reid (1866-1945): A Memoir. 87
group founded by Francis Bursill ("Felix Penne"). Some members of the Club, interested in drama, conceived the idea of
starting a Little Theatre in Vancouver. The difficulties were
great, but in 1921 the Vancouver Little Theatre Association was
launched successfully, with Dr. Reid as its first President. For
ten years he was a member of the Vancouver Public Library
Board, serving part of the time as Chairman. There were few
better-known members of the Vancouver Kiwanis Club, and the
gay and intimate atmosphere of the meetings of its programme
committee, in the days when he was practically a standing member, will not soon be forgotten by his colleagues. He was a
member of several fraternal orders, but in his heart the Masons
had no rival. In 1923 he served as Master of Cascade Lodge,
and thereafter the history and practice of Masonry became one
of the chief joys of his life. In 1929, he was chosen Grand
Master, and the following year he became Grand Historian.
In addition to the numerous biographical sketches and accounts
of individual lodges that he contributed to the annual reports
of the Grand Lodge, Dr. Reid was engaged upon a detailed
history of the Grand Lodge itself. This had been completed in
draft form, but failing health delayed the final revision, and it
was still incomplete when he died on February 6.
Some forty articles from his pen appeared in the Grand Lodge
reports. Other contributions are to be found in various Masonic
magazines, and in the revised edition of Gould's monumental
History of Freemasonry. Most of this material is historical;
much of it relates to British Columbia; yet it is probable that
very few persons outside the Craft know of its existence. As
this suggests, Dr. Reid's writings are widely scattered, and it
will be by no means easy to assemble a checklist of them. Most
students are familiar only with his articles in the well-known
historical reviews and his papers in the Transactions of the Royal
Society, whereas his hobbies and diverse interests led him far
afield. Literature, the law, and numismatics all claimed his
attention, while he was always ready to offer a helping hand to
a struggling regional periodical.
Dr. Reid was a past President of the British Columbia Historical Association, and readers of this Quarterly know how
constant and constructive was the assistance he rendered the
society.    He was virtually the founder of this magazine, for it 88 W. Kaye Lamb.
was he who in 1937 undertook to secure the minimum number
of subscribers necessary to launch the venture. He not only
more than fulfilled his promise, but gauged the interests of those
he approached so well that the majority of them are still regular
readers of the Quarterly.
Few men were blessed with a larger circle of friends; none
gave more generously of his friendship. To his intimates the
sense of loss is beyond expression. Compensation comes from
the memory of many visits and ventures together that one would
not for anything have missed. To my own mind come memories
of visits to bookshops, and after-hours vigils in the Archives; of
long arguments and longer discussions around the great fireplace
in his library; of trips together to points as far-flung as Cariboo,
Ottawa, Exeter, London, and Paris.
Four lines written a decade ago in memory of another friend,
dear to me and well-known to him, come instinctively to mind:—
You are a part of memories
Of all earth's kind and gentle things—
Long talks beside the winter hearth
And summer gypsyings.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The earliest doctors in the Pacific Northwest (other than the
native medicine men) were those who made cursory visits as
medical officers of the maritime expeditions of discovery. Then,
some years later, came the surgeons of the fur-trading companies, some serving aboard ship, others on shore.
They encountered dangers and hardships of various sorts,
and their science was still in a backward state. Consequently,
many of them died prematurely from disease or accident, or
otherwise met adversity—so many, in fact, that the early medicos
appear to have been a rather unfortunate lot.
William Anderson, surgeon of H.M.S. Resolution, of Captain
Cook's third and last voyage, died of tuberculosis while off the
coast of Alaska on August 3, 1778.1
John Mackay, surgeon of James Strange's expedition in 1786,
" being very ill of a purple fever," decided to stay at Nootka as
the guest of Chief Maquinna until the ship returned next year.2
Strange says the chief promised " that my Doctor should eat the
Choicest Fish, the Sound produced; and that on my return, I
should find him, as fat as a Whale."3 Instead, Mackay was reduced to a daily meal of seven dried herrings' heads washed down
with whale oil, and was stripped of his clothes and obliged to
adopt native dress. More than a year afterwards, Strange having failed to return, he was rescued by Captain Barkley in the
Imperial Eagle, looking and smelling so like an Indian that the
captain's wife (the first white woman to visit these shores)
shunned him as though he had the plague.4 From the fact of his
having attended the natives during his stay, he has been called
the first resident practising physician on the Northwest Coast.6
(1) Captain James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean . . . , London,
1784, II., p. 440.
(2) Captain George Dixon, A Voyage Round the World . . . , Second
Edition, London, 1789, pp. 232-3.
(3) James Strange's Journal and Narrative  .  .  .  , Madras, 1928, p. 22.
(4) For Mrs. Barkley's account see W. Kaye Lamb, " The Mystery of
Mrs. Barkley's Diary," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VI. (1942),
p. 41.
(5) See 0. Larsell, " An Outline of the History of Medicine in the Pacific
Northwest," Northwest Medicine, Seattle, XXXI. (1932), pp. 394-5.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 2.
89 90 A. G. Harvey. April
Alexander Purvis Cranstoun, surgeon of the Discovery, of
Captain Vancouver's expedition, had to give up his post owing to
illness and was invalided home from Nootka in September, 1792.6
Archibald Menzies, who took over Cranstoun's duties, was
the botanist of the expedition, and soon got involved in a quarrel
with Vancouver about the care of his plants, with the result that
he went home under arrest.7
Doctor White, who came on a ship to Astoria soon after its
establishment (1811) " became suddenly deranged, jumped overboard, and was drowned."8
Doctor Crowly, who came from Edinburgh to Fort George
(Astoria) as medical officer to the North West Company, was
charged with having shot a man in cold blood and sent home to
stand trial for murder.9
Mr. Downie, surgeon to the Company's ship Colonel Allan,
of London, committed suicide by shooting himself in his cabin
while off Fort George in 1816.10
The existence of a jinx was conceded by the early fur-traders.
" It had often been a subject of remark among Columbians," says
Alexander Ross, " how unfortunate a certain class of professional
men had been in that quarter, physicians and surgeons."11 Ross
spent fifteen years, 1811-25, in the territory, part of the time at
Kamloops. He himself knew something of surgery, having on
one occasion performed a delicate operation and saved the life
of Short Legs, a Shuswap chief, whose skull had been fractured
by a she-bear.12
But the list continues.
John Scouler, medical officer of the Hudson's Bay Company's
brig William and Ann, spent his spare time in natural history
pursuits. He went too far, however, when he stole three skulls
from an Indian burial place in 1825, and was forced to cut short
(6) George Godwin, Vancouver, A Life:  1757-1798, London, 1930, pp.
76, 215.
(7) Ibid., pp. 139-42.
(8) Alexander Ross, The Fur Hunters of the Far West, London, 1855,
I., p. 80.
(9) Ibid.
(10) Ibid., pp. 81-2.
(11) Ibid., p. 80.
(12) Ibid., pp. 163-5.    Short Legs' legs evidently were too short. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor op Medicine. 91
his stay and rush aboard ship with a pack of furious natives at
his heels.13
Alexander McKenzie, a Hudson's Bay Company's " Surgeon,
Trader & Clerk," and four companions were killed by the Indians
at Hood Canal in January, 1828, while returning to Fort Vancouver from newly-established Fort Langley.14
Dr. Richard J. Hamlyn, who in 1828 accompanied Governor
George Simpson on his memorable " voyage " via the Peace and
Fraser rivers to Fort Langley and thence to Fort Vancouver,
did not get along with Chief Factor John McLoughlin, and after
an open quarrel left in 1830, although his services were badly
David Douglas, the botanist of fir-tree fame, and the first
white man (other than a fur-trader) to visit the Hudson's Bay
Company's posts in the Interior, was not a medical graduate
but won the title of Doctor by his success in giving emergency
treatments. He narrowly escaped being drowned in Fort George
Canyon of the Fraser River in 1833, only to be gored to death
by a wild bull in Hawaii some months later.16
John Frederick Kennedy, an Edinburgh medical graduate,
was engaged by the Company in 1829 to practise either afloat
or ashore in the Columbia district at £60 per annum. A few
months after his arrival at Fort Vancouver a terrible epidemic
of " intermittent fever " (malaria) broke out.17 It spread rapidly and carried off the Indians by the thousands. Whole villages were wiped out, and in the territory along the lower
Columbia three-fourths of the natives perished.18 Its ravages
were described by a careful observer as " fearful. . . . The
beeches [sic] in front of the crowded villages were strewed with
dead.   The aged and the young and mothers with their babes
(13) The Leisure Hour, London, XXXII. (1883), p. 208; Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), pp. 224, 279-280.
(14) E. E. Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin . . . , First
Series, 1825-38, London, 1941, p. 57; R. H. Fleming (ed.), Minutes of Council, Northern Department of Rupert Land, 1821-31, London, 1940, p. 447.
(15) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, p. xcix.
(16) See A. G. Harvey, " David Douglas in British Columbia," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, IV. (1940), pp. 221-243.
(17) The epidemic has been referred to under various names. Intermittent fever seems to be the most common.
(18) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, p. 88. 92 A. G. Harvey. April
remained in the huts to perish; only the more robust flying to
the mountains arrested the progress of the malady, and prevented it from entirely extirpating the river tribes; smallpox
could not have made a more destructive sweep."19
Kennedy soon fell ill of the fever. He recovered, but, dissatisfied at what he was going through for the sake of less than
$25 a month, he gave notice to quit and was transferred to Fort
Simpson, away to the North and out of the fever zone.20 This
left Fort Vancouver, the headquarters post for the entire Pacific
Northwest from California to Alaska, with no doctor except
Chief Factor McLoughlin. At one time he had fifty patients
among the Company's people, besides the natives who flocked to
the fort in such numbers that he was reluctantly obliged to drive
them away. He was kept on the go from daybreak to eleven at
night.21.   Finally he himself fell ill.22
To relieve this deplorable situation, the Company sent out two
more young Scottish physicians, who arrived in 1833. One of
them, William Fraser Tolmie, survived his many trials and tribulations and spent the remainder of his long life here.23 The other
was another of the unfortunate ones.
Meredith Gairdner (the spelling is a variation of Gardener,
which accords with the Scottish pronunciation) was born in
Cannon Street, London, on November 27, 1809,24 his parents being Ebenezer and Harriet Gairdner.25   The father was a Scots-
(19) George Barnston, in Canadian Naturalist and Geologist, Montreal,
V. (1860), p. 269.
(20) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, pp. 96, 234, 316, 324,
(21) Ibid., p. 96.
(22) See Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of the Northwest Coast, San
Francisco, 1884, II., p. 504, where conditions at the time of the epidemic are
described in some detail.
(23) See S. F. Tolmie, "My Father: William Fraser Tolmie," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, I.  (1937), pp. 227-240.
(24) Letter, T. H. Graham, Librarian, Royal College of Physicians,
Edinburgh, to the writer, July 11, 1944.
(25) See letters, Ebenezer Gairdner to J. H. Pelly, February 23, 1838,
Hudson's Bay Company Archives, London, A. 10/6; Harriet Gairdner to
William Smith, June 8, 1839, ibid., A. 10/8. These and subsequent references to documents in the Company's Archives (cited hereafter as H.B.
Arch.) are made by kind permission of the Governor and Committee. 1945       Meredith Gairdner: Doctor op Medicine. 93
man,26 who ten years later, at the age of 43, took his medical
degree at the University of Edinburgh and settled down in the
Scottish capital to practise his profession and lecture on Midwifery and Diseases of Children.27 His previous occupation is
not known.
Meredith followed in his father's footsteps at the University
and graduated in medicine at the age of 20. His thesis, in Latin
and entitled " De Fontibus Calidis," was on the subject of hot
springs.28 During his course he is said to have " distinguished
himself by great acuteness, sound judgment, and extensive range
of knowledge. Meteorology and general physics were with him
favourite pursuits:—to geology and zoology he was enthusiastically attached,—and the charms of botany were far from being
unknown to him."29
He then went to the Continent and, under Ehrenberg, the
great German scientist, made a study of the minute plant and
animal organisms found in liquids. He prepared an analysis
of Ehrenberg's research on the subject and got it published in
an Edinburgh scientific journal.30 Upon his return to Scotland
the investigations that he had made for the preparation of his
thesis, together with a visit to the hot springs in Germany, led
to the writing of a comprehensive work on mineral and thermal
springs.31 A book of 420 pages, it was published when he was
only 22.
He also made the acquaintance of Dr. (afterwards Sir)
William Jackson Hooker, Professor of Botany at the University
of Glasgow, and later famous as the first director of Kew
Gardens. At that time the study of botany was regarded as
ancillary to materia medica, as a means of enabling the practitioner to recognize the plants used in medicine when there
(26) List of the Graduates in Medicine in the University of Edinburgh,
1867, p. 58.
(27) Letter, T. H. Graham, supra.
(28) Ibid.
(29) Note by the Editor, Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XIX.
(1835), p. 1.
(30) " Analysis of Professor Ehrenberg's Researches on the Infusoria,"
Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XI. (1831), pp. 201-225; XII.
(1832), pp. 78-102.
(31) Essay on the natural history, origin, composition and medicinal
effects of mineral and thermal springs, Edinburgh, 1832. 94 A. G. Harvey. April
might be no druggist to appeal to. Hooker's herbarium was the
largest and most valuable private collection in the world, and
was especially rich in North American specimens.
McLoughlin's request for two medical assistants was written
on October 20,1831,32 but it did not reach the Company in London
until early the next summer. Dr. John Richardson, the Arctic
explorer, who was well known to the Company for having
travelled through its territories, was approached for suitable
candidates; and he in turn got in touch with Hooker, who
selected Gairdner and Tolmie.33 Little persuasion seems to have
been needed with Gairdner, as he already had been casting his
eyes towards foreign lands where he might satisfy his scientific
longings.34 Accordingly, we find both being engaged by the
Company. The terms are set forth in this extract from a letter
from the Governor and Committee to McLoughlin, dated September 12, 1832 :—
In consequence of your requisition for two Surgeons, we have thro' the
medium of Dr. Richardson obtained two Gentlemen from Glasgow Dr. Gairdner and Mr. Tolmie, they have been engaged for five years, not only to act
in their professional capacities, but also as Clerks at the establishments, to
which they may be appointed and you will notice by their contracts, that
they are to receive the additional pay of apprentice Clerks, and at the
expiration of their engagements, should they continue in the Service, they
will be eligible for promotion as vacancies fall in, provided their merits
equal other Clerks on the establishment.^
The salary as surgeon was to be £100 per annum,36 which
was a substantial advance over that at which Kennedy had been
engaged only three years before (£60). In addition there was
the pay of an apprentice clerk, which was £20 for the first year,
£25 for the second, and £30, £40, and £50 for the third, fourth,
and fifth years.37
Leaving Gravesend on September 15, 1832, in the Company's
barque   Ganymede,   Captain  William  Ryan,  the  young  men
(32) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, p. 234.
(33) Oregon Historical Quarterly, VI. (1905), p. 307; J. D. Hooker,
"A Sketch of the Life and Labours of Sir William Jackson Hooker,"
Annals of Botany, London, XVI. (1902), p. xxxvii.
(34) Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XIX. (1835), p. 1.
(35) H.B. Arch., A. 6/22, fo. 139d.
(36) Minutes, Committee, June 6, 1832.    H.B. Arch., A. 1/58, fo. 3d.
(37) Robert E. Pinkerton, Hudson's Bay Company, London, 1932, p. 285. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 95
(Gairdner was 22; Tolmie, 20) bravely set out on their long
journey to Northwest America via Cape Horn and the Sandwich
Islands. They had joined the " Great Company," whose very
name stirred the youthful imagination: " The Governor and
Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay,"
but now, since the coalition with the North West Company,
extending its trade to the Pacific. From remarks of friends
we gather that they had been encouraged to believe that they
were going forth somewhat in the guise of scientific missionaries.
Richardson, who accompanied them from London to the ship,
hoped they would make valuable botanical collections, since they
would " have the opportunity and leisure to do so."38 The editor
of the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal (speaking of
Gairdner) said: " In that remote region, the presence of such
a man cannot but prove advantageous to science, and also to the
interests of the Hudson's Bay Company, under whose auspices
he is placed. The liberal and enlightened members of that body,
we doubt not, will find it to be their interest to encourage and
give every facility to Dr. Gairdner."39 To help them to visualize
what was in prospect, a visit was made to the gardens of the
Horticultural Society of London, to see the wonderful plants
which had been collected in Northwest America by Hooker's
pupil, David Douglas.
But Gairdner was to be bitterly disappointed, as developments will show.
The journey—of seven and a half months—was typical of
sailing voyages of that day, with the usual vicissitudes of
weather, quarrels between captain and crew, and threatened
mutiny. The buffeting was too much for a goat which had been
taken along to provide milk for the two women passengers; it
became injured and had to be killed.
Gairdner noted daily the oscillations of the barometer, the
temperature of the air, and that of the sea, and took astronomical
observations for determining the ship's position.40   Tolmie me-
(38) Letter, Richardson to Hooker, October 29, 1832. Original at Kew
(39) Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XIX. (1835), p. 1.
(40) See " Observations during a Voyage from England to Fort Vancouver, on the North-west Coast of America. By Dr. Meredith Gairdner.
In a Letter to Professor Jameson." Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal,
XVI. (1834), pp. 290-302. 96 A. G. Harvey. April
ticulously kept a detailed diary, now in the Provincial Archives,
from which we get most of our information about the voyage.
They varied the monotony by catching strange birds and fish
(including albatrosses, flying-fish, and a shark), and dissecting
them. On Sundays they took turn about in reading prayers
and a sermon to the crew, who attended under penalty of losing
their rum ration.
As is often the case, Gairdner's brilliance was accompanied
by conceit. Cool and reserved in manner, he left it to Tolmie
to chat with the ladies and to attend them and the crew professionally, although sometimes he was called in for consultation.
Tolmie became much annoyed by what he calls Gairdner's
" haughty airs of superiority," and towards the end of the voyage
they were barely on speaking terms. He says that the two
women (Mrs. Charlton, wife of the British Consul at Honolulu,
and her sister, Mrs. Taylor), after landing there, summed up
Gairdner as " proud & vain of his attainments & aiming at
singularity in his manner," an estimate with which he concurred.
The only stop (March 28 to April 8, 1833) was at Honolulu.
Tolmie described it as " a scattered village built without any
apparent order. The Kings country seat, the Mission House &
the Billiard Room are the most conspicuous buildings."41 Most
numerous were the grog-shops—twenty-one of them.
Gairdner and Tolmie separately explored the island (Oahu)
on horseback, each with a party of native guides, but they joined
in climbing Mount Kaala, the highest point (4,030 feet). By
barometric calculations Gairdner estimated its altitude at 3,890
feet. He wrote a report on the island's geography and geology,
the first of its kind, which he sent home for publication.42 It
was reprinted at Honolulu, with the comment: " . . . it is . . .
of great and permanent value, exhibiting the most scientific and
correct geological account of the Island of Oahu with which we
are acquainted . .  ."43
(41) William Fraser Tolmie, Diary, in Provincial Archives. Entry for
March 28, 1833.
(42) " Physico-Geognostic Sketch of the Island of Oahu, one of the
Sandwich Group." By Meredith Gairdner, M.D., Medical Resident on the
Columbia River, Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XIX. (1835), pp.
(43) Hawaiian Spectator, Honolulu, I. (1838), pp. 1-18. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 97
The immorality prevailing is referred to by Tolmie with the
remark that on the day they left Honolulu the Fawn, an American brig, arrived with "about a hundred prostitutes. Every
Jocky had his Jenny gazing at us as we passed."
•Leaving on April 8 with a supply of live stock (hogs, goats,
turkeys, ducks, fowls, and even a bullock), the Ganymede arrived
off Cape Disappointment on the 30th. She entered the river next
day and Gairdner and Tolmie were taken off in a canoe and
landed at Fort George (formerly, and later, Astoria).
The same evening they proceeded up the river in a canoe
manned by five Indians and a Kanaka, with an Orkneyman, John
More, as interpreter and guide. The two medical men were
ensconced on cedar-bark mats in the bottom of the canoe—to
wonder at their slowly changing surroundings by day, and to
sleep by night. The party arrived half famished at Fort Vancouver at 3 a.m. on May 4, after travelling all night. The Indians
along the way had refused to sell them salmon because the fish
were the first caught that season, and they believed that if these
were not roasted in the right native manner the fish would desert
the river.
Heartily welcomed by McLoughlin, and given three breakfasts at suitable intervals, they began their professional duties
immediately. They visited the patients, " pretty numerous &
have been divided between us," and sorted and arranged the
medicines in the Apothecaries' Hall which adjoined the schoolroom. Their attendant was a Sandwich Island boy, Namahama,
who was slow but docile.44 The situation seemed to call for an
end to the ill-feeling which had come between them during the
voyage, and after a heart-to-heart talk they became completely
reconciled. At Tolmie's suggestion they had their sleeping
quarters together, among the medicine chests and shelves in the
Apothecaries' Hall. The floor and walls were of wood, the boards
in some places being two or three inches apart. They closed
these crevices in the walls by pasting brown paper or "leather."
They divided off part of the hall for a surgery, finding the supply
of surgical instruments " excellent," although there was need
(44) Extracts from Tolmie's Diary regarding their arrival and conditions and incidents at Fort Vancouver are contained in Washington Historical Quarterly, Seattle, III. (1912), pp. 229-241, and in Larsell, op. cit.,
pp. 483-5. 98 A. G. Harvey. April
of some cupping glasses (for bleeding the patient) and aneurism
needles (for tying up the vein afterwards).
Keen lovers of nature, both were captivated by the grand
scenery—far more majestic than anything in their native land.
Particularly were they attracted by " the colossal Mount Hood,"45
which Gairdner wished could be " transported to Britain, within
reach of so many men illustrious in the annals of physical
After a bare two weeks' work together, Tolmie was sent to
the newly-established post at Nisqually, leaving Gairdner to carry
on alone. He was kept busy. The malaria had broken out again
and there were many cases, among them McLoughlin and his
son and daughter. By fall he had attended between two and
three hundred patients.47 About this time a hospital was
erected, the first attempt at permanent hospitalization in the
Pacific Northwest.48 By another year (only a year and a half
after his arrival) he had treated more than 650 cases, most of
them malarial.49
Among the hospital patients who were brought back to health
by " the excellent and skilful care of Doctor Gairdner "50 was
William J. Bailey, a young medical student who had run away
from his home in England, and, while on a trapping expedition
northward from California, had been horribly tomahawked and
left for dead by the Rogue River Indians. Bailey remained and
became one of Oregon's pioneer physicians and a member of the
executive committee of its provisional government.51
One operation that Gairdner performed was so exceptional
that it had far-reaching reverberations. The patient (if such
he can be called) was an Indian who used to dress up as a woman,
go aboard visiting ships and offer himself to the sailors.    Flog-
(45) Tolmie, Diary.    Entry for May 8, 1833.
(46) " Observations . . . ," in Edinburgh New Philosophical Magazine, XVI. (1834), p. 302.
(47) Larsell, op. cit., p. 485.
(48) Ibid.
(49) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, November 7, 1834.    Kew Gardens.
(50) John K. Townsend; Narrative of a Journey across the Rocky
Mountains, Philadelphia, 1839, p. 229.
(51) Ibid., pp. 228-9; A. J. Allen, Ten Years in Oregon, Travels and
Adventures of Doctor E. White and Lady, West of the Rocky Mountains,
Ithaca, N.Y., 1850, pp. 111-4;  Larsell, op. cit., pp. 534-5. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 99
ging having failed to stop his mischief, a terrible and lasting
punishment was decided upon. Some sailors seized the rascal
and got Gairdner to castrate him (whether by force or by
trickery is not stated). He probably got little sympathy from
either his own people or the whites, and McLoughlin, who heard
of it almost immediately, seems to have made no stir. However,
some one who evidently had a grievance against McLoughlin or
the Company (perhaps both) went before the British Consul at
Honolulu, Richard Charlton, and made deposition charging
McLoughlin with responsibility for the operation. Charlton sent
the deposition to the Foreign Office in London, but news of it
got across the Pacific to Fort Vancouver, whereupon McLoughlin
wrote to the Company:—
I am informed that Mr. Charlton the British Consul at Woahoo, has
given out that some one has made a deposition before him and which he has
forwarded to the Foreign Office, that I had emasculated an Indian or ordered
an Indian to be emasculated. I never ordered an Indian or any one else to
be emasculated. I wrote to Mr. Charlton by this opportunity to request
him to forward me a copy of this deposition but perhaps he may refuse to
send it. May I request your Honors to do me the favor to cause enquiries
to be made at the Foreign office, to know if such a deposition has been sent,
as endeavouring to fasten such a report on me is a gross and an atrocious
Then, apparently on second thought deciding he had better disclose all he knew about the incident, he added as a postscript:—
It is true that an Indian was emasculated by Dr. Gairdner but without
my knowledge or consent, the fact is the fellow used to dress himself up as
a female and go on board the Vessels and offer himself to the Sailors, the
latter mentioned this and flogged the fellow several times to prevent his
repeating his offences, but this did not put a stop to his proceedings, at last
the sailors got hold of him and Dr. Gairdner emasculated him and I only
heard of it half an hour after the operation had been performed.52
Skilful and successful in his work as Gairdner was, yet in
one case he failed completely. It baffled him for the rest of his
life.    It was the case of himself.
One day in March, 1835, he coughed up some blood. Recurrences confirmed his suspicion as to what the trouble was:
pulmonary tuberculosis ("consumption "), which diagnosis was
confirmed by McLoughlin. He was, of course, greatly upset, and
wrote the Company that he was " quite at a loss to account for
(52) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, pp. 185-6. 100 A. G. Harvey. April
a probable cause, as up to the moment of my seizure & previously
I had enjoyed the most perfect health."53 In an earlier letter to
.Hooker he attributed it to disappointment; nor was it disappointment in love.54
Gairdner had found his position at Fort Vancouver quite
unlike what he had expected. When he engaged with the Company he understood that his duties would not take up all his time,
and that in his leisure he could travel about the country and
indulge his bent for botany, geology, and other natural history
subjects. Upon his arrival, things turned out to be very different. His work was onerous, owing chiefly to the recurrent
outbreaks of malaria, and when there was any let-up, instead
of being allowed to take nature-study jaunts, he was expected to
assist at the Indian Hall in trade with the natives. He had little
or no time for hobbies.
" Opportunities of visiting even the environs of the Fort are
few and far between," he wrote Hooker a few months after his
arrival. " My collections of plants in N.W. America are as yet
but small having made but one small journey into the country
of the Walamet river, ground already traversed by Douglas."
He envied that botanist's freedom, continuing: " The true
method of examining this country is to follow the plan of Douglas, whether with the view of investigating the geognostic,
botanical or zoological riches of the country."55 More than a
year later he again complained to Hooker of the close confinement
to duty: ". . . scientific researches are quite out of the question
in their [the Company's] service however liberal they may be
in encouraging them in persons unconnected with them."56 He
also got his father to write Richardson, asking him to intercede
with the Company. (He had sent Richardson a collection of
Columbia River fish but they arrived spoiled, owing to the alcohol
leaking out.)57
(53) Letter, Gairdner to William Smith, May 17, 1836. H.B. Arch.,
A. 10/3.
(54) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, November 19, 1835.    Kew Gardens.
(55) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, August 31, 1833.    Kew Gardens.
(56) Ibid., November 7, 1834.
(57) Letter, Richardson to Hooker, July 1, 1835. Kew Gardens. He
had better luck in sending plants home. Some are at Kew. His samples of
woods are at the herbarium of the British Museum. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 101
The only natural history trip he was able to make was the
one to the Willamette Valley referred to above. A proposal to
climb Mount St. Helens,58 then in volcanic eruption, had to be
abandoned. A study of the salmon of the Columbia and their
habits59 did not take him from Fort Vancouver. Daily meteorological observations that he made at the Fort60 were dull routine.
Regarded as an able physician and surgeon and a scientist of
wide knowledge (his opinion was sought on such matters as the
origin of the dalles of the Columbia, the eruption of St. Helens,61
and the composition of a mineral specimen from the Queen Charlotte Islands),62 he nevertheless was denied the opportunities for
further knowledge, and required to serve behind a counter and
Weigh out sugar and measure tobacco for the natives.
This was the disappointment that he blamed for his illness.
From the terms of his engagement it would appear that he
either did not read the contract carefully or was misinformed as
to what his duties were to be. Possibly he was misled by Richardson or Hooker. In any event he stood upon his professional
dignity and resented having to act as a store-clerk. He was a
doctor of medicine.
But, correct as was his diagnosis of the nature of his illness,
he was not entirely right as to its origin. Disappointment and
worry may lower one's resistance to disease and thus be contributing factors in tuberculosis, but they are not the primary
cause. He cannot be blamed for the error, however, since contemporary medical knowledge was sadly lacking; not for many
years after did the germ origin of the disease become known.
In all probability he had a dormant infection when he came to
the Columbia (most adults have been infected),63 and by overwork stirred it into active disease; or possibly he got the infec-
(58) Letter, Tolmie to Hooker, September 20, 1835.    Kew Gardens.
(59) Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Oregon, San Francisco, 1886,
I., p. 35.
(60) Meredith Gairdner, " Meteorological Observations made at Fort
Vancouver from 7 June, 1833, to 31 May, 1834," Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, XX. (1836), pp. 67-8.
(61) See for example Samuel Parker, Journal of an Exploring Tour
beyond the Rocky Mountains, 4th ed., Ithaca, N.Y., 1844, pp. 139-140.
(62) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, p. 115.
(63) See Maurice Fishberg, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Philadelphia, 1932,
II., pp. 287-9. 102 A. G. Harvey. April
tion while attending some patient who had the disease—perhaps
(as happens often to-day) one who did not know he had it, and
was suffering from some other trouble.
Methods of treatment likewise were mediaeval. The modern
rest-cure was, of course, unknown. Even if it had been, the idea
of a skilled physician lying in bed doing nothing day after day,
month after month, in the midst of patients, some more ill than
he, all needing his ministrations, would have been as impossible
for Gairdner as for the Company. Venesection was still the
standard " cure-all." Accordingly, he sought to relieve the blood-
pressure in his lungs and stop the haemorrhage by bleeding himself from a vein in each arm.64 We may note that about the
same time, on the other side of the continent, an occupant of the
White House, having at his command the latest discoveries of
medical science and all the advantages of civilized society, was
treating himself in this same heroic way. President Andrew
Jackson, we are told, would often call a servant to hold a bowl
while he opened a vein in his arm and bled himself in a desperate
effort to ward off a pulmonary haemorrhage.65
Receiving no substantial benefit from this treatment, Gairdner obtained leave of absence from McLoughlin to visit Fort
Walla Walla, in the hope that its dry climate would help him.
McLoughlin wrote the clerk in charge, Pierre Chrysologue Pamb-
run, " to do your best to make his stay with you, as comfortable
to him as you possibly can,"66 and told Gairdner to remain " till
you have derived all the advantage you possibly can, from being
at that place, .as your Health must be the first consideration."67
(64) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, November 19, 1835, Kew Gardens;
George B. Roberts, Recollections, MS., Bancroft Library, p. 12. Roberts,
a young naval apprentice (afterwards, treasurer and probate judge of
Wahkiakum County, Washington) assisted Gairdner by binding up his
arms. Also present, at what was probably one of his earliest lessons in
surgery, was 11-year-old William C. McKay, who became the first native-
son physician in the Pacific Northwest.
(65) Fishberg, op. cit., p. 424. In cases of severe haemorrhage some
medical authorities have recommended bleeding, even in recent years. Ibid.,
pp. 424-5.
■(66)  McLoughlin to Pambrun, May 14, 1835.    H.B. Arch., B. 223/b/ll,
fo. 12.
(67) McLoughlin to Gairdner, June 14, 1835. H.B. Arch., B. 223/b/ll,
fo. 14d. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 103
He arrived in the latter part of May, 1835, and found it a
quiet place compared with bustling Fort Vancouver. The natives
themselves were more sedate than those of the lower river " and
have a more noble and manly aspect. They are generally powerful men, at least 6 feet high. None of the women come about the
fort. . . . Though there are about 50 Indians round the Fort,
with everything open to them, and nobody in it but Pambroon
[sic], H.B.C.'s Clerk, the interpreter, one or two boys and myself,
all is quiet. In the evening the Indians say their prayers under
one of the bastions . . ." He attended one of their religious
services and " was struck with the earnestness and reverence of
the whole assembly."68
Not knowing the importance of rest in the treatment of his
disease, he could not forego the opportunity of exploring the
country, an opportunity he had been awaiting for two years.
Accordingly he made a horseback trip over the Blue Mountains
and down into the Grande Ronde Valley and back, a journey of
200 or 300 miles and lasting several days. Notwithstanding
this, he returned to Fort Vancouver after an absence of about
ten weeks feeling improved in health. However, the malaria
had broken out once more, and the pressure of his professional
and other duties brought on a relapse. Then, seeing no prospect
of his work easing, he decided to leave his position for the time
being and make an extended sojourn in the Sandwich Islands.69
At this period the equable climate of the Islands was considered to be highly beneficial to pulmonary sufferers, and it was
authoritatively recommended. One doctor even advised patients
as far distant as the Atlantic seaboard to seek relief in the balmy
breezes of the mid-Pacific, notwithstanding the vicissitudes of
the long voyage around Cape Horn.70
(68) " Notes on the Geography of the Columbia River." By the late Dr.
Gairdner, M.D. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, London, XI.
(1841), pp. 256-7.
(69) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, November 19, 1835.    Kew Gardens.
(70) "Remarks on the Sandwich Islands; their Situation, Climate,
Diseases, and their suitableness as a resort for individuals affected with or
predisposed to Pulmonary Diseases." By Alonzo Chapin, M.D., late a resident missionary at those Islands. American Journal of the Medical Sciences,
Philadelphia, XX. (1837), pp. 43-58; reprinted in Hawaiian Spectator,
Honolulu, I. (1838), pp. 248-267. In contrast to this is the cautious paper,
" Remarks on the Climate of the Sandwich Islands, and its probable effects 104 A. G. Harvey. April
Before leaving the Columbia, Gairdner engaged in a foolhardy venture in the cause of science which jeopardized his life
and aggravated his disease. The Indian custom of elongating
the skull by compressing the forehead in infancy interested him,
and he decided to procure a specimen for study by British scientists, notwithstanding the risk he was assuming, since the natives
held sacred their burial places and gave short shrift to trespassers. The sample he chose was the skull of none other than
the great chieftain Concomly, who had died a few years previously. He succeeded in the escapade and sent the skull to
Richardson, who presented it to the museum of the Royal Naval
Hospital at Haslar, near Portsmouth, where it is preserved;
but he obtained it only with much difficulty, and the exertion
and excitement brought on a severe haemorrhage.71
He left Fort Vancouver late in September, 1835, and on
reaching Honolulu found haven with the American missionaries.
He was down-hearted and had faint hope of recovery.72 Nevertheless he longed to know more of the virgin territory on the
mainland, to explore the region of the Upper Columbia and its
branches, to see the wonderful Rocky Mountains and the great
prairies on the other side—to roam through wood, along river
bank, and up mountain slope, in search of interesting plants,
shrubs, mosses, fish, birds, stones, and other specimens of nature.
So, with a sort of hope against hope, he wrote the Company
requesting either greater freedom to pursue his natural history
researches, or permission to travel through the country on resigning his position. He enlisted the support of Richardson and
Hooker, with the result that the Governor and Committee agreed
to the latter proposal.73 However, the concession was frowned
on by Governor Simpson in America, who wrote McLoughlin
confidentially:  " Should Dr. Gairdner determine on quitting the
on men of bilious habits and on constitutions predisposed to pulmonary
affections," by Gerrit P. Judd, M.D., Honolulu, Hawaiian Spectator, I.
(1838), pp. 18-27.
(71) See A. G. Harvey, " Chief Concomly's Skull," Oregon Historical
Quarterly, XL. (1939), pp. 161-7. A photograph of the skull accompanies
this article.
(72) Letter, Gairdner to Hooker, November 19, 1835.    Kew Gardens.
'   (73)  Letters, Gairdner to Hooker, November 19, 1835;   Richardson to
Hooker, September 19, 1836.    Kew Gardens. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 105
Service it may be well to discourage his coming across the mountains, but that he should return to England by the Ship, as
I understand he is collecting materials for the press, and it is
not desirable that our trade should be brought under public
Gairdner also wrote Simpson direct that he would resume
his duties if they were " made exclusively medical, with an
increase in salary," an offer which was declined with the reply
that " highly as you stand in our estimation, we do not consider
it advisable to accept the offer you have made of your services
on the terms proposed, as they are at variance with the usage
of the service."75 The Company's territory might be growing up, but not the Company! And on Gairdner's departure,
McLoughlin had been obliged to engage in his place a visiting
naturalist, James K. Townsend, who was an American and not
a doctor.76
Early in 1836, Gairdner left Honolulu (the wind and dust
there were not good for his disease) and went to Kailua, on the
west coast of the island of Hawaii, which was regarded as the
best .location for pulmonary sufferers owing to its elevation and
dry atmosphere.77 Here he spent several months between the
homes of Rev. Artemas Bishop and Rev. Asa Thurston.78 But
there was no continued improvement in his condition, and in
May he wrote the Company; "... I fear there is little chance
of their [the Islands'] fine climate being beneficial, the disease
had already laid too firm a hold on the constitution. As yet
there is no mitigation in the severity or unfavourable character of the symptoms. . . . My only regret is that there was
not an earlier opportunity of resorting to a change of climate;
but this was unavoidable. I conclude of course that my salary
ceases from Sept. 1835 the period of my leaving the Columbia.
(74) Simpson to McLoughlin, June 28, 1836. H.B. Arch., D. 4/22, fo.
(75) Simpson to Gairdner, June 24, 1836. H.B. Arch., D. 4/22, fos.
(76) Letters of John McLoughlin, First Series, p. 203; Larsell, op. cit.,
pp. 485-6.
(77) Judd, op. cit., p. 27.
(78) Letters, Asa Thurston to Levi Chamberlain, August 1 and 10, 1836.
Originals in the possession of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society,
Honolulu. 106 A. G. Harvey. April
Whether I shall ever be able to return to my duty, time only
can shew."79
During the summer he suffered much from the heat,80 and
his death was expected.    In August, Thurston wrote:—
. . . Dr. Gairdner . . . has returned to Mr. Bishop's house. He
finds there is considerable difference in the degrees of heat between that
house & ours, & it is more retired is another consideration. He is fond of
being alone, though he likes short & frequent calls. He is gradually wasting away. He was able to attend our communion the last sabbath. He
thinks it will, in all probability, be the last time he will have to attend.
I see at present symptoms of immediate dissolution. He gives evidence of
being prepared for the event, whenever it shall come. May the Lord be
with him in his last hours. He lately received a large packet of letters
from his friends by the Clarion. His parents are living, & he has one
sister. He had one brother who died; so that he is now the only son of his
parents remaining. He remarked the other day, that he wished to write
one more letter to his sister, though he had long since given them all his
farewell, but he feared he should not be able, as it was a very great exertion for him to write now.
He has given a valuable present of philosophical instruments to the
High School [at Lahainaluna, Maui] which I forwarded by the Clarion. He
remarked to me respecting them, that to send them home, would be like
sending coal to New Castle, & to leave the disposal of them in writing, it
would be very easy to misinterpret one's intentions, he therefore chose to
place them where they would be most useful, as he had been informed that
they were in want of such instruments.81
Contrary to Thurston's expectations, he pulled through, and
in October was able to return to Honolulu.82
During Gairdner's stay in the Islands he was too ill to do
anything and did not attempt to practise his profession. His
life's work was done—done in the short two years on the Columbia. He was too weak to return there, even had he been-
encouraged to do so. This picture of him is given by Hiram
Bingham, another missionary:—
During the progress of his disorder, for fifteen months, the failure of
his voice rendering it difficult to converse much, made him feel more keenly
the want of society and of the comforts of home, and yet rendered every
(79) Gairdner to William Smith, May 17, 1836.    H.B. Arch., A. 10/3.
(80) Letter, Thurston to Chamberlain, August 1, 1836.    Hawaiian Mission Children's Society, Honolulu.
(81) Letter, Thurston to Chamberlain, August 10, 1836.   Ibid.
(82) Letter, Lucy G. (Mrs. Asa) Thurston to Levi Chamberlain, October 15, 1836.   Ibid. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 107
free indulgence in conversation the means of fatiguing him, or of increasing
the bronchial irritation.
His alternative sometimes perhaps pursued to weariness, was application to reading, meditation and prayer. The Greek Testament, the Septua-
gint, the Eng. Polyglot Bible, Leighton's Com on Peter, Baxter's Saints'
Rest, the Biographies of Howard, Brainerd, Mrs. Judson, and books of this
kind, with some works connected with his former favourite studies, were his
daily companions.83
Bingham also has much to say regarding Gairdner's attitude
towards Christianity, alleging that until his arrival from the
Columbia Gairdner " did not cherish the love of God in his
heart. He did not acknowledge his claims, till he was mercifully called, by the failure of his health, to explore the path to
a better country." Then, according to the missionary, Gairdner
" took up the gospel and looked at its claims, as a rational man
accountable for the proper exercise of his reasoning powers, as
well as for the disposition and affections of his heart," with the
result that
He saw the truth, the beauty, the fitness, the necessity, and the value of
the Christian system.   .   .   .
On the 6th of Dec. 1835, he made a public profession of his faith in
Christ, took on himself humbly the vows of his covenant, and was admitted
to the Communion of his table at this place [Honolulu], not, strictly speaking as a member of our particular Church, but, (at his own express request,
against which we saw no insuperable objection in his peculiar circumstances) as a member of the Church of Christ in general; desiring to imitate the fellowship of the saints in heaven where there is no room or occasion
for denominational distinctions.
The change in Gairdner's attitude gave him great peace of
mind, says Bingham, who quotes him as saying:—
I solemnly aver that I would not exchange my present state of soul for
restoration to health with the certainty of many years of its vigorous enjoyment with my former state of mind as to the affairs of eternity. I have
indeed reason to. say from the bottom of my heart " It is good for me that
I have been afflicted."
These statements (and more in like vein) were made in a
long letter to Thurston which was written after Gairdner's death
and published in a Honolulu newspaper.84 They brought a caustic reply from an anonymous friend of Gairdner's who accused
(83) Letter, H. Bingham to Rev. A. Thurston, April 7, 1837, Ke Kumu
Hawaii (newspaper), Honolulu, April 26, 1837. Reprinted in Sandwich
Island Gazette, Honolulu, December 15 and 22, 1838.
(84) Ibid. 108 A. G. Harvey. April
Bingham of " wilfully misconstruing the words of a dying man:
for what sinister purpose, to what ignoble end, let his conscience,
if not case-hardened against remorse, answer."
" Gairdiner, poor fellow! " he continued, " was not a wolf in sheeps clothing, ' he was not one of those who do works to be seen of the world; who
make broad there phylaceries, and enlarge the borders of their garments.'
No! his feelings of devotion were not manifested by outward symbols; he
used no set form of speech tending to impress the purblind observer with
an idea of superior sanctity; no sanctimonious phrases issued from his
mouth, emanated from his pen, to disgust others with their specious gloze;
in short he acted not in any manner, as if influenced by the pharisaical
spirit which we so frequently see manifested. Notwithstanding all this,
Merideth Gairdiner, I hesitate not to say, was a man deeply imbued with
sentiments of devotion towards the Almighty; while his faith in the existence of our Saviour, and reverence of doctrines inculcated by the new
testament, were no less conspicuously developed than the other primary
points of faith which I have mentioned."
Gairdner's protagonist went on to charge that " the truth
has been distorted; that words have been coined as wanted, and
put down as originating from our friend," and concluded by
calling Bingham " a sort of spiritual despot," actuated by " pride,
vain glory and hypocricy."85
Neither Bingham nor his critic made mention (perhaps they
did not know) of Gairdner's part in conducting divine services
during the voyage from England—behaviour hardly credible of
an agnostic. Moreover, Bingham's allegations are contradicted
by Levi Chamberlain, of the mission staff, who wrote in his
journal regarding Gairdner's profession of Christianity: " He
is from Scotland: His Parents of the Scotch church & he of that
Communion tho. he had never been confirmed. This act of his
here is viewed in the light of Confirmation. This is his wish as
I understand. ... He is a man of science and polished manners."86
(85) Letter, " Friend to Gairdener, To ,' Esq Oahu," Sandwich
Island Gazette, Honolulu., December 15, 1838.    The mistakes in spelling,
etc., occur in the original.
(86) Levi Chamberlain, Journal, MS., Hawaiian Mission Children's
Society, Honolulu. See also Gairdner's letter to Bingham, November 8,
1834, sympathetically mentioning McLoughlin's efforts to reduce the consumption of liquor among the Indians and the missionary work of Jason
Lee and Daniel Lee, who had recently arrived on the Columbia. George
Verne Blue (ed.), "Green's Missionary Report on Oregon," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXX. (1929), p. 270. 1945       Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine. 109
His disease continued to its final stage. He passed away on
March 26, 1837, in his 28th year, at the home of Mr. Sullivan,
next door to that of Rev. John Diell, chaplain of the Seamen's
Chapel at Honolulu, and two days later was buried in the graveyard of the mission.87 This old cemetery is still in existence,
being situated between Kawaiahao Church and Kawaiahao
Street.88 The funeral was conducted by the missionaries, and
at the grave they used the " burial service of the Episcopal
Church, to which," says Bingham, " his preferences were supposed to be inclined."89 The Church of England was not yet
established in Honolulu. On the following Sunday, Diell preached
a memorial sermon at his chapel, which was well-filled. A gravestone was erected and still stands.   It has this inscription:
the memory
son of Dr. E. and Mrs. H. Gairdner,
late surgeon to the H. H. B. co.
who died in the faith and hope of
the gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ
March 26, 1837;
aged 28.
An only son—a father's pride and care
Fond object of a mother's ceaseless prayer—
Endowments rich adorned his vigorous mind
Health, science, friendship, fame, their aid combined.
While Nature's works he traced with eager eye,
Whose guidance failed to lead above the sky,
Her Author handed down the Book of TRUTH—
He scann'd the sacred page, and felt its worth.90
(87) Sandwich Island Gazette, April 1, 1837; letter, Bingham to Thurston, April 7, 1837, supra;  Chamberlain, Journal, supra.
(88) Letter, Bernice Judd, Librarian, Hawaiian Mission Children.'s
Society, to writer, August 17, 1944.
(89) Letter, Bingham to Thurston, April 7, 1837, supra.
(90) Letter, Bernice Judd to the writer, August 17, 1944. 110 A. G. Harvey. April
Despite the missionaries' concern over Gairdner's spiritual
affairs they received no benefits under his will. Made only eleven
days before his death, it left a fund of four or five hundred dollars
to the Oahu Charity School,91 which was not a mission enterprise,
and appointed as executor George Pelly, Honolulu agent of the
Hudson's Bay Company.92 Apparently the residuary legatee was
Gairdner's mother.93
As is fitting, Gairdner's name has been given to four species
in the realm of nature that he loved so much. Two of them are
wild flowers. Carum Gairdneri Gray is a caraway found in dry
open places and in thickets in various parts of the Pacific Northwest. Its sweet, nutty roots were an Indian food. Pentstemon
Gairdneri Hook, is a beard-tongue found in the dry regions of
Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. Next is Dryobates
pubescens gairdneri, or Gairdner Woodpecker, a bird of the West
Coast resembling, but smaller than, the common Harris Woodpecker. Last is Salmo gairdneri (so named by Richardson) the
well-known steelhead salmon or salmon trout, found in the sea
and coastwise streams from California to Alaska.
Meredith Gairdner: unfortunate pioneer physician. Is that
all we shall say of him? Shall we pityingly pass him by merely
as one who held the medical post at old Fort Vancouver for
a brief period and whose promising career was cut off too soon?
Nay, more. Unfortunate though he was, let us look on him
as the first Hudson's Bay Company doctor in the Pacific Northwest who regarded himself as a professional man, and believed
his spare time ought to be spent in furthering the interests not
of trade but of science, even though it meant clashing with the
" Great Company." It was a period of transition: the fur-trade
was going out; settlers were coming in. Their medical men
were not far behind (the first, Marcus Whitman, arrived the
year after Gairdner left), but before they came Gairdner attended the population in general. Included, no doubt, were some
of the early pioneers, as well as the Company's people from
(91) Hawaiian Spectator, Honolulu, I. (1838), pp. 29-30. The fund
came from the sale of clothing and other effects bequeathed for that purpose.
Sandwich Island Gazette, Honolulu, April 8 and 15, 1837.
(92) Letter, Bingham to Thurston, April 7, 1837, supra.
(93) Letters, Harriet Gairdner to William Smith, June 8 and 20, 1839.
H.B. Arch., A. 10/8. 1945       Meredith Gairdner: Doctor of Medicine. Ill
various parts of its vast domain. On the whole, therefore, we
may say that Meredith Gairdner, short though his term of service was, played no small part in the early development of the
country, and made a distinct contribution to the establishment
of medicine on a sound footing.
Meredith Gairdner:  Doctor of Medicine.
A. G. Harvey.
Vancouver, B.C. 0)
COAST, 1813-1850.
Part II.
The Royal Navy was particularly active on the Northwest
Coast in 1846; no less than five of Her Majesty's ships were
clustered there during the summer. In part this was due to the
critical state of the Oregon boundary question, but routine
patrols and surveying duties helped to account for their presence.
The Modeste lay in the Columbia River, near Fort Vancouver,
throughout the year. First of the new arrivals was the 1,069-
ton frigate Fisgard, 42 guns.49 To her commander, Captain John
Alexander Duntze,60 Admiral Seymour had given the following
wise and restrained instructions, under date of January 14,
184661 :—
. . . the principle [sic] object for which you are detached is to afford
Protection to Her Majesty's Subjects in Oregon and the North West Coast
early in the approaching Spring, and in the event of no urgent cause appearing for your postponing the execution of that important Service, you are to
proceed to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, timing your arrival as early as possible in the Month of April.
You will endeavour, on your arrival, to communicate with Fort Victoria,
a Settlement of the Hudson's Bay Company on the South side of Vancouver's, or Quadra Island, in the above Straits: There you will be probably
able to gain intelligence of the State of Affairs in Oregon, and to procure
the assistance of a Pilot, or the Steam Vessel of the Company to facilitate
your entry into Puget's Sound, to which you will proceed.
(49) Second of the name. Built at Pembroke in 1819; designed after
the French frigate Leda. Commissioned by Captain Duntze for the Pacific
Station May 13, 1843; sailed from Plymouth July 16, 1843; sailed from
Valparaiso, homeward bound, May 17, 1847; arrived at Spithead September
18, 1847.
(50) Entered the Navy, 1818; Lieutenant, May 28, 1825; Commander,
April 19, 1828; Captain, December 24, 1829. While in command of the
Tribune, 42, he served in the blockade at Callao, and captured the Peruvian
corvette Libertad, laden with dollars. Rear-Admiral, July 9, 1855; Vice-
Admiral, May 20,1862; Admiral, December 2, 1865. Retired, April 1,1870.
See O'Byrne, p. 318; Walbran, p. 160.
(51) Seymour to Duntze, January 14, 1846, in Adm. 1/5561; Public
Record Office, London.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 2.
113 114 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
From Port Nasqually at the upper part of that Inlet, or other convenient
Anchorage, you will place yourself in communication, by way of the Settlement on the Cowlitz, with Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, employing for
that purpose, Officers whose prudence and intelligence may be relied upon;
and you will cause them to be accompanied by a sufficient party to secure
them against the attacks of predatory Indians, or other ill-disposed persons;
avoiding any Military display if the Country is in Peace, and being guided
as to the number, by the intelligence received at Nasqually or Fort Victoria.
You are to obtain every information from the Heads of the Hudson's Bay
Company, or leading British Settlers, and will form your opinion in what
manner the Rights of Her Majesty's Subjects in that Territory may be best
secured; observing that no infraction of the rights of the Settlers of the
United States in the Country, under the Convention at present in force, is
to be attempted, and that it is desirable the peace of the Territory should be
preserved during the pending negociations [sic], while hopes remain of the
question between the two Governments being brought to an amicable issue.
If you should find that under the influence of a Contrary Spirit, the
Citizens of the United States have entered upon any proceedings which are
of a hostile character to the just rights of Her Majesty's Subjects, or that
they are employed in the erection of Forts or Strongholds to enable them to
hold an adverse Military possession of the Country, you are to remonstrate
against such proceedings, and if necessary, to cause the entrance of any of
Her Majesty's Sloops of War which may be ordered off the N.W. Coast, into
the Columbia, and even of the Fisgard; but as the difficulties of the River
are Considerable, you are to abstain from that step unless it should become
essential, and that you have reason to believe your presence will afford
British Subjects due security.
At, or towards the conclusion of the Summer, if you should have reason
to consider the continuation of the Fisgard's Services are no longer essential
to protect Her Majesty's Subjects on the North West Coast, and you shall
have received no further directions for your guidance, you are to return to
San Bias by the latter part of November, calling at San Francisco or
Monterey, on your way to ascertain if British Interests require your aid.
While on the North West Coast, you are to make it your endeavour to
preserve a friendly state of feeling on the part of the Natives, Canadians,
and all others who frequent the Shores; and you are to obtain every information in your power as soon as possible after your arrival, whether the
Coals which are represented to abound on the Northern part of Vancouver's
Island can be collected in sufficient quantity to afford a Supply for Steam
Fuel, and respecting the Provisions which the Hudson's Bay Company may
have the means of affording to your Ship's Company.   .   .   .
The Fisgard entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca and anchored
in Port Discovery on April 30.   On May 5 she moved over and 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        115
anchored near Fort Victoria, where she received supplies from
the Hudson's Bay Company. On the 13th she weighed anchor
and proceeded into Admiralty Inlet, and on the 18th was moored
at Nisqually, where she remained until October.
Special interest attaches to the next arrival, H.M.S. Cormorant,52 6 guns, for she was a paddle-sloop—the first man-of-
war with steam engines to visit the Northwest Coast. She was
a vessel of 1,057 tons, built at Sheerness in 1842, and was fitted
with engines of 300 horse-power. She had been sent north by
Admiral Seymour to assist the sailing craft by towing them
through the narrow and tide-bound channels. She was commanded by Captain George Thomas Gordon,63 who had served
almost continuously in steamers since 1832, and whom Seymour
characterized as " one of the best steam officers in Her Majesty's
service."54 The exact date of the Cormorant's arrival is not
available, but it was probably about the middle of June, for, as
we shall see, she was in the Strait and took the surveying ships
Herald and Pandora in tow on the 24th of the month. On July
11 she arrived at Nisqually, with the brig Rosalind in tow.
There, on September 15, Captain Duntze instructed Captain
Gordon to visit the coal mines that had been discovered in the
vicinity of Beaver Harbour, at the north end of Vancouver
(52) Seventh of the name. Built from a design by Sir William Symonds
on the lines of the Stromboli, but with increased width, for power and coal.
When built she had two masts, but later, after serving in the Pacific, she
was refitted in 1848 at Portsmouth, and a third mast added. She was commissioned on August 23, 1849, for the South East Coast of America Station.
This was her last service, as she was broken up at Deptford" in 1853.
Length 180 feet, beam 36 feet, draught 6 feet.
(53) Entered the Navy 1818; Lieutenant, May 6, 1829; Commander,
August 1, 1840; Captain, November 9, 1846. His first appointment to a
steam vessel was to the Rhadamanthus, in October, 1832; later he was in
the steamers Phoenix and Comet. In the former he was present at the siege
of Bilbao, and for his services was awarded the Order of San Fernando.
In 1854 he was Flag Captain to Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Napier, Commander-in-Chief of the Baltic Fleet. Rear-Admiral, 1864; Vice-Admiral,
1871; Admiral, 1877. Died, 1887. See O'Byrne, pp. 407-8; Walbran,
p. 212.
(54) Rear-Admiral Seymour to the Admiralty, February 8, 1847. In
Copies and Extracts of Despatches and other Papers relating to Vancouver's
Island, London, 1849, p. 4. 116 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
Island.65 The Cormorant went thither up the east coast of the
Island, and it is interesting to note that the reference in Captain
Gordon's report to " The difficult and dangerous navigation of
Sir George Seymour's Narrows," is the earliest known use of
the name Seymour Narrows.66 It was, of course, bestowed in
honour of the Commander-in-Chief on the Pacific Station.
Captain Gordon took with him in the Cormorant Captain
James Sangster, one of the Hudson's Bay Company's shipmasters, and his report makes it clear that Captain Sangster's assistance was of great value:—
... I made known to the natives, through Mr. Sangster, my wish to obtain
a supply, and the next day several canoes came laden with coal, and they
continued to increase in number until our departure.
At the advice of Mr. Sangster, I slung a tub, holding about 6 cwt., from
the fore-yard, which was lowered into a canoe and quickly filled; in this
manner we received 62 tons from the 24th to the 26th [September], paying
for each tub as it came up, by articles of trifling value, which I procured
at your suggestion from the officer in charge of Fort Victoria. The whole
of the expenses incurred, including a few presents necessarily made to the
chiefs, will make the coals average not more than 4s. per ton.5?
Captain Gordon tested the steaming qualities of the coal as
compared with that of Welsh and Scottish coal, and although
consumption of the Vancouver Island product was considerably
higher, he felt that this was probably due to the fact that the
samples used had come from surface croppings, and were therefore naturally inferior in quality. His report on the mines was
on the whole most favourable, and Admiral Seymour duly transmitted this opinion to the Admiralty. However, by the time his
dispatch was written, in February, 1847, the political situation
on the Northwest Coast had changed and there was no immediate
need for the coal. " As I withdrew the Cormorant from the
north-west coast, on hearing of the arrangement of the Oregon
question," Seymour wrote, " I presume none will be required,
under present circumstances, for Her Majesty's service, as the
freight of coals to other parts of this station would be less
expensive from England."68
(65) Ibid., p. 4.
(56) Commander Gordon to Captain Duntze, October 7, 1846.   Ibid., p. 5.
(57) Ibid., p. 4.
(58) Rear-Admiral Seymour to the Admiralty, February 8, 1847.   Ibid.,
p. 3. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        117
Reference has been made to the arrival of the barque Herald,56
Captain Henry Kellett, and the smaller brig Pandora,60 Lieutenant Commander James Wood.61 These two surveying ships
had left Plymouth in June, 1845, having been commissioned for
duty in the Pacific. They reached Valparaiso in November, and
the following month moved first to Callao and then to the Galapagos, where their work started in earnest. In the spring they
called at Panama for mail, and then sailed directly for the Strait
of Juan de Fuca, which they reached in seventy days, not having
sighted land in that time.62 It was on June 24, 1846, that they
arrived off Cape Flattery, and the same evening the Cormorant
took them in tow. The latter must have arrived very recently,
for the following passage in the published narrative of the voyage implies that Captain Gordon shared Lieutenant Kellett's
ignorance of the region:—
.   .   .   [The Cormorant] lugged us up about sixty or seventy miles, until we
had passed Port Victoria.   Our knowledge of the place not extending beyond
(59) Built at Cochin in 1823; 500 tons, 8 guns, sloop-rigged. Commissioned at Chatham February 8, 1845, by Captain Kellett for survey duty on
the Pacific Station;  returned to Spithead on June 6, 1851.
(60) Fourth ship of the name in the Royal Navy. Designed by Sir
William Symonds; launched in 1833 at Woolwich; 319 tons, 12 guns.
Lloyd's Surveyor at Falmouth reported in November, 1833, that the brig
had many excellent qualities. Commissioned by Lieutenant Commander
Wood at Devonport on February 8, 1845, as tender to the Herald. The
Pandora is last shown in the Navy List in January, 1862, as a watch vessel,
Coast Guard.
(61) Entered the Navy May, 1825; Lieutenant, October 1, 1841; Commander, December 31, 1850. Commenced his service as surveyor in 1827 at
Fernando Po, under Admiral W. Fitzwilliam Owen; afterwards in the
Hecla in the Bight of Benin, and then on the coast of California. In the
Aetna, Captain Belcher, he assisted in surveys on the coast of Africa, and
later served in the Raven on the west coast of Morocco and in the Canary
Islands. It will be noticed that he was for much of this time in company
with Captain Kellett (see foot-note 18, supra). In 1836 he served with
Captain Hewitt in the North Sea survey, and in 1837 took part in the survey
of the coast of Wales and the south coast of England. Commissioned the
Pandora in February, 1845. After his return to England he served as
assistant to Captain Louis Sheringham on the Home Station; in 1855 he
was given charge of the survey of the northwest coast of Scotland. See
O'Byrne, pp. 1317-8.
(62) For a general account of the voyage see Berthold Seeman, Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald during the years 1845-51, London,
1853, 2 volumes. 118 F. V. LONGSTAFF AND W. K. LAMB. April
Vancouver's information, we did not know where to look for the Hudson's
Bay Company's settlement.6^
It is clear that the vessels anchored in Cordova Bay, and on the
27th, when Fort Victoria had been located and visited, the Cormorant towed them back to its vicinity.
The log of the Pandora shows that she anchored in " Victoria
Bay" on June 27; weighed on July 3, and anchored in Port
Discovery the following day; visited New Dungeness on July
9-11; was at Port Townsend on July 14—15; returned to " Port
Victoria " on July 25-27; was at Port San Juan on August 15-17,
and back once more at " Port Victoria " on August 29. Most of
this time Lieutenant-Commander Wood was away from the vessel, surveying; and he seems to have had only two officers qualified to assist him in this work—Mate H. A. Clavering and 2nd
Master J. Ottley. The printed narrative states that the survey,
which included Sooke Bay and Neah Bay, as well as Victoria
Harbour, Esquimalt Harbour, and the various anchorages already
mentioned, was completed for the season on August 29. Captain
Kellett had not accomplished as much as he had hoped, chiefly
because " fogs in August had been so dense and continuous that
the month was in a great measure lost."64
The Herald and Pandora were off Sooke Bay on September 2,
and the log shows that the latter actually passed out to sea on'
September 9. For both vessels the survey of the Strait of Juan
de Fuca had merely been an interlude in their primary occupation, which was the surveying of the west coast of Central and
South America. This vast task kept them fully employed throughout 1847, but in 1848 Captain Kellett planned to pay a second
visit to Vancouver Island. In April, 1848, however, he was
ordered to take the Herald to the Arctic and there endeavour to
find some trace of the missing Franklin expedition. This assignment occupied him for three summers, and the Herald did not
return to England until 1851. Of the Pandora we shall hear
more later.
(63) Ibid., I., pp. 99-100.
(64) Ibid., p. 112. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        119
The Fisgard spent the summer of 1846 moored at Nisqually,66
where Captain Duntze, in accordance with his instructions from
Admiral Seymour, could keep in close touch with the Hudson's
Bay officers at Fort Vancouver. In the autumn he made ready
to return to the South Pacific. On October 10 the Cormorant
took the Fisgard in tow, and the next day she anchored in what
contemporary records call Fisgard Harbour—probably the Port
Angeles of to-day. On the 12th she shifted across the Strait
to the vicinity of Victoria. Presumably she put to sea a few
days later. The Cormorant was soon after recalled to Valparaiso, as already noted, and after a busy summer the Modeste
was thus once more left alone on the Northwest Coast.
Little had happened to disturb her as she lay in the Columbia
in the shadow of Fort Vancouver. The most exciting event of
1846 appears to have been the arrival of the U.S.S. Shark, a 12-
gun schooner commanded by Lieutenant Neil M. Howison. She
entered the Columbia River on July 18 and arrived at Fort Vancouver on the 24th, where her officers and crew were cordially
received by the ship's company of the Modeste and the staff of
the Hudson's Bay Company. She stayed a month, and then on
August 23 started dropping down the river in leisurely fashion.
On October 10 she attempted to cross the famous bar, and was
totally wrecked on the south spit, fortunately without loss of
life. As soon as news of the disaster was received, the Modeste's
cutter was loaded with provisions and clothing and rushed to
the relief of the survivors. The latter were eventually taken
to San Francisco in the Hudson's Bay Company's schooner
News of the signing of the boundary treaty was received in
Oregon before the end of the year, but the Modeste lingered for
a few months until the first excitement had died down. It was
on May 4, 1847, that she finally left Fort Vancouver. From her
log the writer has secured the following dates and notes, which
enable us to trace her progress on the long voyage to Valparaiso
(65) There were fourteen midshipmen aboard the Fisgard, and George
B. Roberts, of the Hudson's Bay Company, recalls in his Recollections that
" A small building [was] erected for a midshipmen's school at Nisqually,"
and adds: " It was known to us as the ' castle of indolence.' " See Bancroft,
History of Oregon, I., p. 579n.
(66) Ibid., pp. 584-8. 120 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
and thence to England. She anchored in Baker's Bay on May
10; but Commander Baillie, remembering how narrowly the ship
had escaped disaster in 1844, waited for favourable wind arid
sea conditions before atteihpting to cross the notorious bar. It
was not until June 12 that he deemed the weather suitable, and
the Modeste got safely out to sea that day. Proceeding first to
the Sandwich Islands for provisions, she dropped anchor in
Honolulu Harbour on June 28. On August 4 she was at Papeete,
where she took on board six distressed British subjects. On
the morning of September 6 she entered Valparaiso Bay, and
saluted the flag of Admiral Seymour with 13 guns.
There, on September 9, Commander Baillie, who had been in
the Modeste since June, 1843, left the ship, as he had been promoted to Captain as long before as November 13, 1845. The
same day Lieutenant Algernon Austen, formerly of H.M.S. Carys-
fort, joined the Modeste, and on the 10th Acting Commander
Reginald Macdonald was transferred from the Commander-in-
Chief's flagship, the Collingwood, and took command. On October 5 the Modeste weighed anchor and proceeded south. Rounding Cape Horn, she reached Rio de Janeiro on November 13;
sailed on the 18th; crossed the equator on December 5, and
finally moored in .Sheerness Harbour on January 11, 1848. She
had been absent from England for nearly five years.
The boundary settlement seems for a moment to have taken
the edge off the Royal Navy's interest in the Northwest Coast'.
The Modeste was the only one of Her Majesty's ships that appeared there in 1847. Possibly this neglect was due in part to
a change of command on the Pacific Station. On August 28,
1847, Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby67 was appointed Commander-
in-Chief in succession to Sir George Seymour. His flagship, the
84-gun line-of-battleship Asia, had been commissioned three days
previously, but several months passed before she and Admiral
Hornby arrived in the Pacific.
(67) For biographical sketches see O'Byrne, p. 542; Walbran, pp. 248-9;
Longstaff, Esquimalt Naval Base, pp. 113-4; also Mrs. Fred Egerton,
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Geoffrey Phipps Hornby, London, 1896, a life of
Rear-Admiral Hornby's son, in which interesting references are made to
his own service on the Pacific Station. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        121
Another of the ships assigned to the Pacific Station was the
fine new 50-gun frigate Constance,68 which had been launched at
Pembroke as recently as March, 1846. She was commissioned
at Devonport on August 3,1847, by Captain George William Conway Courtenay.69 She reached Valparaiso on April 26, 1848,
and sailed almost at once on a patrol to the Northwest Coast.
She came north by way of Honolulu, where she arrived on June
11, and from which she sailed on the 28th.. Less than a month
later she entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and on July 25 made
naval history by entering Esquimalt Harbour, being the first ship
of the Royal Navy ever to anchor there.
Although the Constance was a sailing ship, Captain Courtenay had been instructed to take certain steps regarding the coal
deposits on Vancouver Island. Their existence had attracted
the attention of Samuel (later Sir Samuel) Cunard, the founder
of the Cunard Line, and in January, 1848, he had written to the
Secretary to the Admiralty suggesting that it would " be well,
in granting lands on this island, to reserve the mines for the use
of the Crown, and to take such measures as may prevent the
natives or others from acquiring or ceding rights to these mines."
He was apprehensive that they would " not long escape the vigi-
(68) Second of name; built at Pembroke in 1846 from a design by Sir
William Symonds. Length 180 feet, beam 52 feet 9 inches, depth 16 feet 4
inches; 2,132 tons. Commissioned at Devonport on August 3, 1847, by
Captain Courtenay for the Pacific. Converted to a screw frigate at Devon-
port in 1862;  last appears in the Navy List in January, 1875.
(69) Born 1795; entered the Navy 1805; Lieutenant, July 19, 1813;
Commander, December 26, 1823; Captain, April 14, 1828. First served in
the Amazon, 38, in which he remained more than six years, and saw much
action; later served in a number of famous ships, including the Victory
and Bellerophon. In the eighteen-twenties he spent most of his time on the
African coast. While serving there in the Cyrene in 1822 he commanded
the ship's boats when they destroyed two slave factories on the Gallanis
River; later, in the Banyi, he captured two Brazilian vessels with 728 slaves
aboard. After further service in the West Indies he returned home in 1831,
and held no further appointment afloat until he took over command of the
Constance on August 3, 1847, from Captain Sir Baldwin Walker, who had
commissioned her at Devonport on April 23, 1846. He remained in her
until she returned to Devonport early in 1850 and was paid off. Promoted
Rear-Admiral of the Blue, November 24, 1854; Vice-Admiral, July 26, 1861.
Died, 1862.   See O'Byrne, p. 234;   Walbran, pp. 115-6. 122 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
lance of the Americans in that neighbourhood."70 The sequel
appears in the journal of Fort Victoria, kept by Roderick Finlayson, who in 1848 was in charge of the post:—
Thursday, July 27, 1848. Capt. Courtenay of the Brig [frigate] Constance
handed me a letter from Mr. Samuel Cunard, to the Secretary of the
Admiralty regarding the propriety of keeping the Coal Mines of Vancouver Island for the use of the British Government.
Thursday, August 4, 1848. Capt. Courtenay of H.M.S. Brig [frigate] Constance brought on shore a printed notice showing his having taken
possession of the Coal District on the Island for the British Crown,
which notice he is to leave here for the Company to erect as early as
possible in order to keep away all foreign intruders."
A further reference to coal is found in Captain Courtenay's
report.   The passage reads:—
The Indians do not claim payment for the coal, but they insist upon
being employed in taking it on board, the payment of their labour constitutes
the sole expense. With reference to the 67 tons of coal left at Fort Victoria,
I have the honour to state I found it there, and on re-weighing it, there
proved to be rather more, as I received 16 tons on board for the use of the
ship, and left 57, which I caused to be built round with logs and thatched
Continuing, the report turns to another topic:—
I could not dispose of it as there were no civilized inhabitants to purchase
it, except the Hudson Bay Company, and I never had the honour of a communication from Mr. Douglas, although that gentleman was made aware of
my having proceeded to the North West Coast ... I lingered on to the
latest day my orders justified in the hope of hearing from Mr. Douglas;
and on the 3rd of September, not having any tidings of him, I addressed
a letter to him of which enclosed No. 7. is a copy; with reference to the
contents thereof, I beg to state that the Company's Servants were in a perfect state of ignorance of any aggressive measure taken on the part of the
Americans and I have every reason to believe that Mr. Douglas's statements
to General [William] Miller [the British consul at Honolulu] on that subject
were written under a misconception. . . . The extent of the outrage committed,
was the American Expeditionary Force making a forced requisition of gunpowder, the Hudson Bay Company having refused to sell it, though the
(70) S. Cunard to H. G. Ward, Secretary to the Admiralty, January 3,
1848.    Printed in Papers relating to Vancouver's Island, London, 1849, p. 11.
(71) Quoted from notes (now in the possession of W. Kaye Lamb) made
many years ago from the Fort Victoria Journal. These and the other
entries quoted below probably vary verbally from the original, but there is
no reason to believe that the general sense is not accurately recorded. The
original Journal, now in the Archives of the Hudson's Bay Company, is at
present in safe-keeping, and therefore not available for checking. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        123
Americans offered to pay for it—which if Vattel,72 is any authority, they
appeared to be justified in having done.
Presumably the Americans had required the gunpowder for
defence against the Indians, who, since the Whitman massacre
in 1847, had been giving more and more trouble, and for some
reason Douglas must have regarded its seizure as an alarming
depredation against which he should protest to the nearest representative of the British Government. Why he failed to communicate with Captain Courtenay we do not know; such neglect of
an obvious duty was quite unlike him.
Finlayson himself had had some difficulties with the Indians
at Fort Victoria, but had always managed to avoid bloodshed and
keep them under a measure of control by his firmness and good
sense. In August, 1848, it so happened that several tribes, none
too friendly to one another, were encamped near the fort, and
late one evening a warlike demonstration by one of them led to
an exchange of shots. Notes compiled from the Fort Victoria
Journal pick up the story at this point:—
Thursday, August 24, 1848. . . . Captain Courtenay of the Constance on
hearing the firing and seeing so many Indians paddling towards the
fort, supposed something serious had happened, and very considerately
came over with four armed boats. Finding only some Flatterys
haranguing the Clalams in front of the Fort, [he] ordered a salute of
7 guns to be fired from the boats, which was done and answered by us
from the Bastion. All hands including some thirty or so marines came
on shore. All arrived and promenaded around the front yard, after
which the Captain with the four boats returned to the ship.
Tuesday, August 29,1848. About 8 A.M. Captain Courtenay at the head of
250 sailors and marines came on shore for the purpose of exercising
them, and were all day performing various evolutions in the Fort Yard
and in the field behind. The ships band was at their head and the
march through the fort to the field was performed, our people having
solicited and obtained permission to enjoy the novel spectacle.^
In his printed reminiscences Finlayson adds some amusing
details to this account:—
This Summer, also, H.M. ship Constance, Capt. Courtney [sic], arrived and
anchored in Esquimalt, a frigate with 500 men and officers. Capt Courtney
[sic] landed and asked if he could be of any service to me, to which I replied
(72) The reference is to the classic work on The Law of Nations, by
Emmerich de Vattel, first published in London in 1758.
(73) See footnote 71, supra. 124 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
that I was situated here surrounded by treacherous Indians, and that if he
would be kind enough to land some of his men for exercise in the use of
arms, to show the Indians what a man of war was, to which he consented,
and landed a large force of marines and blue jackets next day, with an
armed long boat, who performed various evolutions, such as is customary
on parade ground, and at the close of the day, the Captain asked the chief,
through an interpreter, what they thought of the men of war. The reply
was: "Is that the way the whites fight, killing each other in the open?
We fight behind the trees and rocks and kill our enemies in this way."
The Captain was not at all pleased at the savage's reply. The chief, not
losing a chance to beg, asked the Captain for a present, when he was told
to go on board for one. The next day he appeared among his people, quite
proud, with a large white jacket on, with " thief " marked in large letters
in front, and " liar " on the back, which his people much admired—its meaning they were, of course, kept ignorant of. This display of arms from the
.Constance had a good effect on the natives, as they were evidently afraid
to pick any quarrels with us for some time afterward.^
During her stay in Esquimalt the Constance was joined by
the surveying brig Pandora. It will be remembered that Captain
Kellett had received orders in April, 1848, to proceed in the
Herald to the Arctic, to search for the Franklin expedition.
Hastily equipping his ship as best he could, Kellett sailed from
Panama on May 8. The Pandora was still in company; but on
the 11th the vessels parted, and Lieutenant-Commander Wood,
in the Pandora, laid his course first for the Sandwich Islands
and then for the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where he arrived on
August 11. The next month was spent in completing the survey
commenced in 1846. Then, on September 13, the Pandora left
once more to resume her major assignment, in Central and South
American waters. It is interesting to note that it was Commander Wood who surveyed Esquimalt Harbour, and when doing
so he named many of its features after the captain and officers
of H.M.S. Fisgard.''5
The Constance sailed a few days before the Pandora. Captain Courtenay's report records the details: " I sailed from the
Roads of Esquimalt on the 4th of September, during my stay
I received daily supplies from Fort Victoria, of fresh beef and
latterly, some potatoes, partly from the Indians, and partly from
the Fort. Having cleared the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the 5th
September and obtained an offing, I proceeded to San Francisco,
(74) Biography of Roderick Finlayson, pp. 17-8.
(75) Walbran, p. 179. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        125
which I reached on the 16th ..." All was still quiet in
California; but a little later, at the Sandwich Islands, Captain
Courtenay heard of the gold discoveries that quickly transformed
the country. After further service on the west coast of South
America the Constance returned to Devonport in 1850 to pay off.
The only ship of the Royal Navy to visit the Northwest Coast
in 1849 was the 36-gun frigate Inconstant,™ which had been
commissioned at Portsmouth in December, 1847, by Captain John
Shepherd.77 She arrived at Esquimalt on May 12, having been
sent north by Rear-Admiral Hornby on the usual duty of protecting the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company and British
settlers. James Douglas reported that General Joseph Lane, who
had recently taken office as the first Governor of the new Territory of Oregon, seemed disposed to carry out the terms of the
boundary treaty in a most liberal manner. Douglas expected
further that the Hudson's Bay Company's establishments in Oregon would be sold to the Americans during the summer, and its
servants withdrawn from the country. As we know, this expectation was not fulfilled, and the Company did not withdraw from
Fort Vancouver until as late as 1860. It is interesting to note
that Midshipman (later Rear-Admiral) R. C. Mayne was serving
in the Inconstant, and he recalled some years later that " when
(76) Third ship of the name; designed by Captain Hayes; laid down at
Portsmouth in 1834; launched June, 1836. Length 160 feet, beam 45 feet 5
inches, depth 13 feet 7 inches; 1,422 tons. Commissioned at Portsmouth
for the Pacific by Captain Courtenay on December 4, 1847; returned home
and paid off on December 6, 1850. Laid up at Devonport until 1857, then
used as an emigration hospital ship at Cork. Sold 1860. There is a model
of the Inconstant in the Science Museum at South Kensington, London.
(77) Entered the Navy 1805; Lieutenant, February 2, 1813; Commander, August 28, 1828; Captain, October 26, 1840. First served in the
Audacious, 74, then in the Eurydice, Druid, and Endymion, all commanded
by Captain Sir William Bolton, 1807-11. Then served (1812-33) successively on the Halifax, North American, Jamaica, West Indies, Mediterranean, and Lisbon Stations. In command of the Span-owhawk on the
North American Station and at the Cape of Good Hope, 1837-40. In 1846
served for some months as Captain pro tern, of the St. Vincent, 120, flying
the broad pennant of Sir F. A. Collier, in the Channel. Took command of
the Inconstant December 4, 1847, and remained in her until she was paid
off, December 6, 1850. Appointed Commodore Superintendent, Woolwich
Dockyard, December 31, 1853, and granted a Good Service Pension. Rear-
Admiral of the Blue, November 24, 1858;   left the active list in 1862. 126 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb. April
we spent some weeks in Esquimalt Harbour . . . there was
not a house to be seen on its shores; we used to fire shot and
shell as we liked about the harbour, and might send parties
ashore and cut as much wood as we needed without the least
chance of interruption."78 Within five years all this had changed.
Both on her way north and when returning southward the
Inconstant called at San Francisco. Writing from the frigate
there, Lieutenant H. F. Winnington-Ingram gave an interesting
glimpse of conditions at the time:—
The gold fever was raging among the crew, and extraordinary precautions had to be taken by all officers to prevent wholesale desertion of the
ship. . . . Two or three officers, armed, had to be sent in each boat,
ordered to use their weapons in the event of the men breaking into mutiny
and attempting to carry her off. They were also to fire on any individual
of the crew who had quitted his work.
The Constance eventually returned to England the following
year, and was paid off at Portsmouth on December 6.
This brings us to 1850, the year that marked the end of one
era and the commencement of another in the British possessions
on the Northwest Coast. On January 13, 1849, a Royal Grant
had ceded Vancouver Island to the Hudson's Bay Company, at an
annual rental of seven shillings, upon certain conditions, chief of
which was " that the said Governor and Company shall establish
upon the said island a settlement or settlements of resident colonists, emigrants from Our United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland, or from other Our Dominions . . ." The Hudson's
Bay Company was to manage many of the new colony's affairs,
but it was nevertheless to have a government of its own as well.
Richard Blanshard, a young barrister, was appointed Governor
in July, 1849, and in September he left England, bound for Fort
Victoria, which was to be the capital of the colony. To convey him from Panama to Vancouver Island, Admiral Hornby
detached the paddle-sloop Driver,''9 Commander Charles Richard-
(78) Commander R. C. Mayne, Four Years in British Columbia and
Vancouver Island, London, 1862, p. 25. For a biographical sketch see
Walbran, p. 327.
(79) Second ship of the name; designed by Sir William Symonds;
launched at Portsmouth, 1840; 1,056 tons, 6 guns. Commissioned for the
Pacific at Woolwich by Commander Johnson on September 16, 1848; paid
off there in June, 1852. Employed in the Baltic and up to Cronstadt in 1855,
during the Crimean War. Wrecked on Mariguana Island on August 18,
1861, and became a total loss. 1945      Royal Navy on Northwest Coast, 1813-50.        127
son Johnson,80 the second British naval steamship to visit the
coast. Launched in 1840, the Driver had already seen service on
several far-flung stations. Amongst other distinctions, she was
the first steamer to ply the waters of New Zealand, which she
visited in 1846.81 She was a small vessel of 1,056 tons, with a
length of 180 feet and engines of 280 horse-power. She had three
masts, with square yards on all three.
The long passage north from Panama appears to have been
made in good time, and on March 9 or 10, 1850, the Driver
arrived at Victoria. The harbour was then undredged and shallow, but as the Driver drew very little water she was able to
enter. On the 11th, Commander Johnson and his officers were
present at the historic ceremony which included the reading
of Governor Blanshard's commission, and which marked the
inauguration of formal government in what is now British
(80) Entered the Navy, 1826; Lieutenant, February 19, 1840; Commander, October 11, 1847. In 1840 joined the Princess Charlotte, flagship
of the Hon. Sir Robert Stopford, and during the operations on the coast of
Syria in 1841 saw much action on shore. Later he was in the Ganges and
other ships in the Mediterranean. The first steamer in which he served
was the steam-sloop Eclair, to which he went as First Lieutenant in September, 1844. She was employed on the coast of Africa, as was the steamer
Ardent, to which he was next appointed. After a few months in the Trafalgar, 120, in the Channel Squadron, he was appointed to the steamer Comet
in June, 1846, on particular service. He commissioned the Driver for the
Pacific on September 16, 1848. On June 21, 1855, he commissioned the iron
screw store steamship Transit, 500 horse-power, at Portsmouth. Captain,
November 22, 1856; retired Captain, July 1-, 1864; Rear-Admiral, retired,
January 1,1875; Vice-Admiral, retired, June 15, 1879.   See O'Byrne, p. 584.
(81) See History of Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand,
Limited, 1875-1940 [Wellington, N.Z.], 1940, p. 9.
(82) According to Roderick Finlayson's reminiscences (and Bancroft,
who follows this source), H.M.S. Cormorant was also in Victoria Harbour
at this time. See Finlayson's Biography of Roderick Finlayson, p. 23;
Bancroft, History of British Columbia, p. 266; also Walbran, p. 212. This
is clearly an error, for we know that the Cormorant had returned the previous year to England, where she had been recommissioned on August 23,
1849, by Commander Herbert Schomberg for the S.E. Coast of America.
While on that station she cruised against the slave trade. Finlayson wrote
many years after the event, and must have momentarily confused the
Cormorant with the Driver. 128 F. V. Longstaff and W. K. Lamb.
As no accommodation for him was ready on shore, Governor
Blanshard lived on board the Driver as long as she remained in
local waters. Fort Victoria was short of supplies at the time,
and Commander Johnson volunteered to go to Nisqually and
bring back cattle and sheep. The Driver, with Blanshard on
board, arrived there on March 19 and sailed for Victoria on the
22nd, carrying 25 cattle and about 800 sheep.83 She next proceeded to Fort Rupert, on Beaver Harbour, which the Hudson's
Bay Company had built the year before with a view to mining
the coal deposits in the vicinity. There the Driver coaled, but
whether she filled her bunkers or merely took on a small shipment for testing, we do not know.
Soon after this she left Vancouver Island waters, and her
departure furnishes a convenient point at which to bring these
notes to an end. Local government had been instituted; settlement was about to make its first feeble encroachments upon what
had long been an exclusive preserve of the fur-traders. Within
a few years the Fraser River gold-rush would transform the
whole scene. These changes would be reflected in the increased
attention devoted to the Northwest Coast by the Royal Navy, and,
eventually, by the shifting of the headquarters of the Commander-
in-Chief from Valparaiso to Esquimalt; but the details must be
given upon another occasion.
F. V. Longstaff,
Victoria, B.C.
W. Kaye Lamb,
Vancouver, B.C.
(83) See Willard E.  Ireland, " The Appointment of Governor Blanshard," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VIII. (1944), pp. 224-5. THE JOURNAL OF JOHN WORK, 1835:
OCTOBER, 1835.
Edited by Henry Drummond Dee.
[Aboard the " Lama," en route for Fort McLoughlin.]
Tuesday, September 8. Thick fog in the morning, Wind Northerly. On
account of the fog the Lama could not get under way till 10 A.M. when
I took leave of Messrs. Birnie and Kennedy, and the people at the Fort.
The wind was light, we only got through the passage18^ between Dundass'
Island & Isle de Zea by sunsetting, however the weather appears settled and
the wind likely to keep from the northward.
Wednesday, September 9. Fine weather. Had a fine 7 knot breeze all
night and the forepart of the day but the wind died away in the afternoon,
and in the evening we were only off the S. end of Banks Island.
Thursday, September 10. Fine weather hazy in the morning. During
the forepart of the day the wind was light, and blowing off the land from
the Eastward. In consequence made but little progress and were swept out
off the land. In the afternoon the wind shifted round to the Westward and
the sea breeze set in, when we got better on, and entered Millbank Sound,
and by 8 P.M. had passed Actives Cove*8* where I left the vessel in a boat
and reached Fort McLoughlin an hour after, where I had the pleasure of
finding Messrs. Manson & Tolmiei8B and the people all well.
[At Fort McLoughlin.]
Friday, September 11. Fine weather. The Lama kept under way all
night, but the wind was so light that it was the afternoon before she anchored
abreast of the fort. There was a thick fog in the morning which rendered
the navigation in the narrow sound very dangerous, & the vessel was one
time very near ashore. It was determined that she should anchor below,
and the furs be taken down in boats, but this plan was abandoned at
Mr. Manson's suggestion on account of the danger to be apprehended from
the Indians, who have for a considerable time been very insolent and daring,
indeed so much so that a row with them is momentarily expected. Taking
down the furs in the boats would have been a saving of time but the risk
was represented to be to [sic] great, and it was deemed advisable not to
incur it.   The disturbed state of the Indians and their discontent, arises
(183) Camaano Pass, between Dundas and Zayas islands. The Lama
was retracing her way southward over the same route which she had followed in her voyage north in January and February.
(184) Now Kynumpt Harbour.   See Walbran, p. 294.
(185) Donald Manson and Dr. William Fraser Tolmie. Dr. Tolmie
entered a brief note on the arrival of the Lama in his Diary under date
September 13, 1835.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 2.
129 130 H. D. Dee. April
from their being under the impression that our being established here is the
cause of their not getting such high prices for their furs as formerly, in
consequence of the Americans not visiting them so frequently, and also the
loss of the Interior trade or a considerable part of it, as the Interior Indians
dispose of their furs themselves at the fort, and they do not pass through
the hands of the others as formerly.186
Mr. Manson has every thing about the place in high order. The garden,
notwithstanding the great labour bestowed upon it has completely failed,
and it is to be doubted it will be difficult to ever make any thing of it. The
soil is black light peat on a bed of rock and no clay or gravel to be found
to mix with it to render it productive. In a few spots the potatoes look
well, but in general they are but a short way above the ground, and a great
many of them never came up. Cabbages, turnips, carrots & other garden
stuff came up but either died away again or did not thrive so as to come
to any account. Notwithstanding this unfavourable beginning, it is I think
probable that the ground, by exposure to the sun, will improve the soil and
that yet the labour bestowed on the ground will be repaid, particularly could
enough of clay or gravel be obtained to mix a sufficient quantity with the
light peat soil.
The Inventory had been taken some time ago but a new Inventory had
to [be] take[n] today, and all the furs traded included in this outfit, which
was done. Six of the men have been reengaged some time ago. I applied
to the others today but none of them would agree. They did not state any
objection to the place but say that they wish to return home. The bad living
[is the cause] principally dry salmon and salt salmon & Venison, this food
is certainly not good. I intended to have called at Skidegates and buy some
potatos [sic] for the use of this place but the wind being favourable & the
season so far advanced we could not afford time to do so, without running
the risk of being too late of arriving at the Columbia, as we have to go
round by Frazer's river.isv I bought 20 bags of Pease & 120 lbs. grease
from Fort Simpson for the use of this place.
Saturday, September 12. Overcast fair weather in the morning, a good
deal of light rain afterwards, no wind. In the morning had the pease and
grease brought from Fort Simpson landed, and the furs all shipped, and
water taken aboard and every thing ready for sea, but as there was no
wind nothing could be done and the vessel did not move. Four of the men
whose times will be up 1st June, next, will not engage, nor will any of the
men whom I brought from Ft. Simpson engage, so that I have no resource
but to leave these four men here, as they cannot be dispensed with at the
place, and that means may be devised at Vancouver to have them replaced
and conveyed there in the winter to go out with the spring express. Should
this not be practicable the only remedy is to let them remain till next year,
and make them some remuneration for being detained after after [sic]
their time. I leave one Man, Portelanu, in place of an Islander, Horapapa,
who is represented as in a very bad state of health and otherwise unfit for
the place.
(186) These Indians, in common with many of the Coast tribes, had
acted as middlemen between the tribes of the hinterland and the maritime
traders. Naturally they resented the intrusion of the Hudson's Bay Company.
(187) In order to visit Fort Langley. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 131
The returns of this place shipped today are as follows—
1051 Large Beaver (say 1051)
348 Small      „
15 Black Bears
8 Fishers
300 Martens
1 „      Robe, 8 Skins
54 Minks
5 Musquash
6 Sea Otters
107 Land do
185 Deer Skins.
Which at the established valuation amounts to £2095.15.10d, which is something less than the trade of last year. But considering the hot opposition
carried on here, as well as elsewhere, during the season may be considered
not amiss, though far short of the returns the first year. Here as well as
elsewhere, on account of the want of an assortment of cheap calico, Handkfs,
Vermilion principally, & some other small suitable articles such as fine
toothed horn combs, the furs cost dearer than they would otherwise have
done, besides the loss of a great many martens.
[Aboard the " Lama," en route to Fort Langley.]
Sunday, September IS. Overcast lowering weather, rain in the afternoon. Wind from the Southward but very little of it. We took leave of
Messrs. Manson & Tolmie, and got under weigh at 2 P.M., and by 8 had
got past Cape Swain, the wind being light we made but slow progress.
Now in the outside of the cape the wind is contrary though light. There is
a nasty jabble of a sea on, and has all the appearance of being a dirty
unpleasant night, and moreover very dark. Capt. McNeill is now without
officers, Mr. Scarborough the first officer is ill, and has been confined to bed
since before we left Ft. Simpson, and Latty*88 the 2nd Officer has been a
long time suspended from duty, now Oigh [?] the boatswain acts as mate.
Several Indians came along side wishing to trade as we came down the
Sound, but they were desired to go to the fort which they thought strange.
There were also a number of Indians at the fort trading when we came off,
and appeared to have at least 100 beaver skins among them. I instructed
Mr. Manson that should he find that the Indians would not part with their
furs at the present tariff but would hold up their skins, to raise it to a
gallon of mixed liquor with a blanket for a large beaver, so that the furs
might be drawn out of the hands of the Natives before our opponents would
arrive in the spring, so that few would remain for them. The tariff had
been raised to this, when the opposition were here in July last, but was
lowered again towards the end of last month. Though it is most desirable
to reduce the tariff and get the furs as cheap as possible, yet as it is almost
certain our opposition will be back early in the spring, I deem it advisable
and advantageous to have as few skins remaining in the hands of the natives
for them as possible and that it is better to pay a trifle more for them, than
incur the certainty of lossing [sic] them or at least a considerable part of
them, and What part we would then get be obliged to pay much higher for.
(188) It is quite possible that Alexander Lattey, or Lattie, had been
suspended for habitual drunkenness. He was so suspended in 1845. See
H.B.S. IV., p. 190, and H.B.S. VI., p. xiii. n. 132 H. D. Dee. April
Monday, September 14. Dirty, stormy, rainy weather in the night, and
a nasty jabble of sea on. Rainy during the day with a disagreeable swell
on, Wind variable from S.E. to S.W. Owing to the heavy head sea, and
having to make a considerable angle, we made but slow progress. Made
only 45 Miles direct course.
Tuesday, September 15. Wind still light from S.W. Got round Scott's
Islands189 in the morning but the wind was so light that we were still within
15 Miles of them at noon and had not lost sight of them by the evening.
Some rain during the day, hazy weather.    Made 55 Miles.
Wednesday, September 16. Thick fog with drizzling rain, Wind still
light and baffling, and a heavy swell on, notwithstanding there is so little
wind. Made only 1, 2 to 3 knots an hour and only 62 miles all day and not
more than half the distance direct.
Thursday, September 17. Still a dense fog, with drizzling rain forepart
of the day, but fair weather afterwards. The Wind from the S.W., which
is favorable but so light that we made little more than a mile an hour. For
the last 24 hours made only 39 Miles. Though the sea is smooth, there is
a heavy swell, so much so that the vessel rolls so that even when the wind
does freshen up a little occasionally, it does not fill the sails and and [sic]
they remain flapping about the masts. From the continual wet and no
weather to dry the sails and ropes, they are rotting, particularly the seams.
Light as the wind was, two of the sails split within these 3 days. At noon
we were 30 Miles from Woody Point190 which bares [bears] North of us.
Friday, September 18. The fog cleared away in the forepart of the
night and became fine clear weather, delightful clear warm weather all day.
The wind from the Westward, which was fair for us, but so light that we
made very little way not more than from 1 to 3 miles an hour. The last 24
hours made 63 Miles. Early in the morning we were we were [sic] off
the entrance of Nootka Sound191 about 15 Miles distant, and continued along
the land about the same distance all day. The country is very mountainous
and has an exceedingly rugged appearance, many of the higher peaks still
covered with Snow.
Saturday, September 19. In the night the wind changed to the Eastward, which was ahead and carried us off the land till about noon, when the
wind shifted to the Southward which was favourable for entering the straits
of De Fuca,i92 but such a thick fog set in that nothing could be seen, and by
6 P.M. when by computation we were within about 15 miles of Cape Flattery,193 it being deemed unsafe to approach nearer the land nothing being
to be seen, sail was taken in and the vessel had put about to lie off the land
(189) Off the northern extremity of Vancouver Island.
(190) So named by Captain Cook in 1778; renamed Cape Cook by Captain Richards in 1860. The cape is on the west coast of Vancouver Island,
about 70 miles north of Nootka Sound.
(191) Famous in the great days of rivalry between Spanish and British
maritime explorers and traders.
(192) Between the south coast of Vancouver Island and the mainland
of the State of Washington. Its width at the entrance is 13 miles. See
Edmond S. Meany, Origin of Washington Geographic Names, Seattle, 1923,
pp. 291—293, for an interesting historical sketch of this strait.
(193) So named by Captain Cook in 1778. It forms the southern
entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 133
and not go near during the night. During the day yesterday a great deal
of [word omitted in MS.], resembling little lumps of jelly with a small red
speck in the middle of them, were seen floating in the water.194 A number
of whales were seen about the vessel during the night. Made only 56 Miles
during the last 24 hours.
Sunday, September 20. Weather still continues thick. Wind from the
Southward but light and not steady. The vessel was kept laying of [sic]
and on during the night and morning, after which bore up for the land,
and in the afternoon got sight of Cape Flattery when we entered the straits,
and at % past 7 P.M. anchored in Nia Bay.196 The wind being light, and
the night so exceedingly dark that there was no prospect of making any head
way, and it beijig moreover deemed unsafe to run in the night, when the
tide might again have swept us out of the Straits. Some Indians came
aboard from whom we learned that the Cadborough,™ Capt. Duncan, had
been here twice during the summer, and the Dryad,wi Capt. Kipling, once.
Monday, September 21. Remarkably fine warm weather, clear overhead,
but a haze hanging over the land. Light wind from the Southward. It was
calm in the night and forepart of the day until 11 A.M., when a little breeze
springing up, we got under way, but the wind was so light that we made
but little progress and did not get over 15 Miles from Cape Flattery by
Sunset. During the delay occasioned by the want of Wind in the morning,
we traded about 40 gall, of Oil, 1 small Sea Otter & 4 Land Otters, & a
quantity of fish sufficient for all hands for a couple of days. Saw remarkably fine salmon late as the season is. There were about 50 canoes of
Indians, not less than 500 persons, about the vessel when we got underway.
The Indians have a few more Beaver & Sea Otters, but having no blankets
we could not buy them.
An Islander, J. Horapapa, whom we brought from Fort McLoughlin,
and who had been ailing with a sore leg before he left, has been getting
worse and is so bad tonight that there is little prospects of his living till
morning. He is become very ill internally, nothing will remain on his
stomach, besides he is troubled with a looseness and a discharge of blood.
He had been long ill with sores on his legs, at Ft. McLoughlin. Mr. Tolmie
had effected a partial cure but the sores broke out again. Here we are
able to do nothing for him. We have but few Medicines nor do we know
what would be of use to him.
Tuesday, September 22. Fine warm weather, clear overhead, but such a
dense fog below that we could see the land or any object but at a very short
distance.    Wind baffleing [sic], light and variable.    The wind was so light
(194) These would be jelly-fish, with their disk-shaped bodies, probably
Aurelia aurita.
(195) Neah Bay, 4 miles from Cape Flattery, inside Juan de Fuca
Strait. According to Meany, Washington Geographic Names, p. 184, this
bay was for a time called " Scarborough Harbour " in honour of Captain
James Scarborough, who in 1835 was first mate of the Lama.
(196) The Cadboro, a schooner of about 70 tons, was built at Rye in
1826, and purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company the same year for £800.
At this time she was commanded by Captain Alexander Duncan. For
a biographical note see H.B.S. IV., p. 343.
(197) The Dryad was a brig of about 200 tons. Her master, Captain
Charles Kipling, had been in command of the Hudson's Bay schooner Vancouver when she was wrecked on Point Rose in March, 1834. 134 H. D. Dee. April
that the tide swept us back in the night so far, that in the morning, so far
as could be judged, we were we were [sic] as far back as where we started
from yesterday, and all the progress we made during the day advanced only
a few miles, as far as could be judged, farther than we were last evening.
These continual fogs & light baffling winds, and being able to make such
slow progress is extremely annoying, but it cant be helped, and we must
have patience. The delay is much to be regretted as the season is advancing, and the vessel for England may be delaying in the Columbia waiting
for us.
John Horapapa, the Islander who was so ill last night, suffered greatly
during the night and died at half past six O'clock this morning. He received
some medicines such as we had to allay his sufferings during the night but
they were of little avail. Indeed it is doubtful whether, in the state he was,
any medicine would have had any effect. It was the venereal disease he
had, and probably of long standing, he was literally half rotten. . . .
It was wished to bury him on shore, but as we could not get to land, and
it being uncertain when we could, and as he could not be properly kept for
any time on board, we were constrained to give him a sailor's burial and
comit [sic] him to the deep. The funeral service was read. What little
cloths [sic] he had were nailed up in his chest to go on to the Columbia.
Wednesday, September 23. Foggy in the night, and a very dense fog all
day, till four P.M. when a breeze sprung up from the Southward and cleared
away the fog. A light breeze during the night. The vessel was kept under
way, but made little progress till 11 A.M., when it fell dead calm, and we
were obliged to anchor a little above Dungeness198 (though we could not
see the land we did not know exactly where we were) in 55 fathoms water,
in order to hold our own & not drift back. The ebb tide ran out very
strong. A[t] 4 P.M. when the fog cleared off, got under way again with a
fine breeze, but a very strong tide runing [sic] against us, and continued
on with a fine breeze till past 12 O'clock, when the wind died a way, and
the Anchor was let go on the N side of Strawbery [sic] bay island,199 in
25 fath. water. It is a fine clear starlight night to be no moon light, but
owing to the narrowness of the channels between the islands, and the very
rapid tides that run through them, it is a very intricate and dangerous
Navigation, but the Captains skill and perseverance surmounted it. It is
to be regretted that the vessel, with such a valuable cargo as she now has
on board, is necessitated to be brought in this way when so much risk has
to be run. But we have to land here to take on the Fort Langley200 returns.
The woods on both sides are on fire, which shews [sic] that the season for
(198) New Dungeness, a harbour on the south shore of Juan de Fuca
Strait in Clallam County, Washington. Named by Captain George Vancouver in April, 1792, after its similarity to Dungeness in the English Channel.
(199) Strawberry Island, in a bay of the same name on the western
shore of Cypress Island. The Lama was proceeding north through Rosario
(200) Fort Langley was built on the south bank of the Fraser River
in 1827 by Chief Trader James McMillan. Sir George Simpson had originally intended that this fort should become the outlet, via the Fraser River,
for the interior posts. However, because of the navigational difficulties in
the river, the fort never became more than a secondary post. It was rebuilt
in 1839 on a site 2 miles above its original position, to be nearer to better
agricultural land. See Robie L. Reid, " Early Days at Old Fort Langley,"
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), pp. 71-85. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 135
some time has been very dry dry [sic] and perhaps in some measure contributed to the dense fog we had forepart of the day.
[At Fort Langley on the Fraser River.]
Friday, September 25. The weather fine these two days. Fog part of
the forenoon yesterday.- At 5 yesterday morning, the vessel got under
way, and at noon anchored at Point Roberts,201 and at 2 P.M. left the vessel
With longboat and 8 Canadians, and the gig and five sailors, to proceed to
Fort Langley and though we marched all night, Owing to the weight and
bad going of the longboat it was 5 Oclock this morning before we reached
the fort.202 We ran a good deal of risk in the night by running foul of
stumps. My object in leaving the vessel, and coming up here, was in the
hopes of being able to procure large Indian canoes, which with the longboat
and a boat we expected to find here, we might be able to take down the
furs and salmon in less time than by bringing up the vessel which would
be tedious, and thereby get here quicker on to the Columbia. But on arrival
here, I found that the boat is unfit for service, and that no canoes of
sufficient size can be obtained. There was therefore no alternative but
for the vessel to come up. At % past 9 A.M. I sent off the two boats with
a letter to Captain McNeill directing him to proceed up here as expeditiously
as possible with the vessel. The men are instructed to make all the haste
they can down. I sent back all the Canadians to assist in towing if necessary. The water is low now and the flood tides strong so that I am in hopes
the vessel will not take long time to get up. I much regret this delay as it
may be the means of detaining the homeward bound vessel in the Columbia
longer than is wished, but we cant help it. Our instructions are to touch
here and at Nisqualy203 to take on the returns, of which the salt salmon is
a part. We met great numbers of Indians204 yesterday on their way going
down the river from the fishing ground, their canoes all loaded with baggage, and proceeding on to cross to Vancouver's Island where they generally
winter. The woods on both sides of the river are all on fire, which no doubt
is in part the cause of the prevalent fogs we have experienced for some
time back. In the night on passing an Indian village, the men very imprudently did not speak, and the poor Indians hearing the oars became alarmed
that it was their enemies, the Yokiltas206, and fired two guns either at us
(201) A cape on the Strait of Georgia. The boundary-line between
Canada and the United States passes through the peninsula 2 miles north
of this point. Work had passed Point Roberts on his return journey with
McMillan from the Fraser River in November-December, 1824. The cape
was named after Captain Henry Roberts by his successor in H.M.S. Discovery, Captain George Vancouver.   See Walbran, pp. 425-6.
(202) The distance from Point Roberts to Fort Langley is about 40
(203) Fort Nisqually, the first white settlement on Puget Sound, was
built in 1833, at the southern end of the Sound. It was intended to be both
a farming centre and a shipping depot, and had the further advantage of
being within reach of Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia, by an overland
(204) These were of the Cowichan tribe, to which the Indians on the
lower Fraser and the southern end of Vancouver Island belonged.
(205) A large Kwakiutl tribe living between Knight and Bute inlets.
Their name is rendered variously, Yookilta, Euclataw, Euclitus. They were
also known as the Lekwiltoks. See Handbook of Indians of Canada, Ottawa,
1913, pp. 265-6. 136 H. D. DEE. April
or to let us know that they were on their guard. As soon as they were
informed that we were whites they were much pleased, and two canoes
accompanied us some distance.
I found Mr. Yale206 and his people well, He has about 3 packs of furs and
200 barrels of salmon.20? The Cadboro left this [place] on the 16th last
month, with very little cargo on board. These salmon were not then cured.
The salmon fishing this season has been indifferent. There are two kinds
of salmon taken in quantities here, the real salmon as they are called, which
are good and those generally cured, and an inferior kind called Hones,208
which are deemed not good enough for salting. The Hones this season were
far the most numerous. It appears to be the case that when they are very
numerous the others are proportionably scarce.
Mr. Yale also thinks there will be a considerable falling off in the returns
of furs209 this season. The causes he assigns, are that a considerable number of the Indians who used to resort here, now go to Nisqualy as they are.
afraid of the Northern Indians which deters them from coming here, and
also that the Coquilth210 Indians who inhabit about the N.W. of Vancouver
Island and owing to the opposition receive a high price for their furs from
the coasting vessels and at Millbank, come on trading excursions up to near
this place, and can afford to give a higher price for the furs than is given
at the fort here, and carry off a good many skins.
Saturday, September 26. Fine warm weather. Wind Westerly, but
very little of it. Yesterday I examined the farm and stock "about the fort,
and today I accompanied Mr. Yale out to the big plain,211 as it is called,
(206) James Murray Yale, appointed to the command of Fort Langley
in 1833. He had entered the service of the Company in 1815, and in 1821
had been sent to the Pacific Coast, where he spent the rest of his life. Fort
Yale, on the Fraser River, was named after him.   See H.B.S., I., pp. 473—4.
(207) This salmon was intended for export. Between 1828 and 1830
attempts had been made to cure salmon for this purpose, but the product
had not been satisfactory. However, the difficulties were finally overcome,
and the shipment of salt fish from Fort Langley increased yearly, until by
1838 large quantities were being sent to the Hawaiian Islands. See Robie
L. Reid, " Early Days at Old Fort Langley," in British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, I. (1937), pp. 79-81.
(208) It has not been possible to identify this type of salmon. By' the
" real" salmon, Work may refer to the sockeye, for which the Fraser River
is still famous. This is to-day the best fish for canning. However, the
spring salmon is considered the best for salting. The inferior kind may
have been the dog salmon, or even the cohoe. " Hone," " hoan," or " han "
is the word for salmon in the language of the Tsimpsean Indians around
Fort Simpson. See W. F. Tolmie and G. M. Dawson, Comparative Vocabularies of the Indian Tribes of British Columbia, Montreal, 1884, p. 21B.
(209) Ten years later the trade in furs at Fort Langley had become
very slight.
(210) Kwakiutl. Spelled variously by Work as Colcauth, or Coquilth.
See British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VIII. (1944), p. 236, n. 95.
(211) The " big plain" spoken of here is now known as Langley
Prairie. The land in the immediate vicinity of the fort was being cultivated, as the text would indicate, but the soil was poor. Hence, in 1834,
McLoughlin had ordered that the plain be cultivated, although it lay some
distance from the fort. This was one of the reasons for the removal of
Fort Langley in 1839 to its new site. See Reid, " Early Days at Old Fort
Langley," in British Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), pp. 81—4.
Curiously enough John Work had crossed Langley Prairie on his way from 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 137
and inspected the improvements going on there. Much credit appears due
to Mr. Yale for the exertions & perseverance he displays, and the progress
he has made in improvements with the means he possesses. There are
about 60 pigs, and 20 head of cattle, 5 of them calves of this year, 6 of the
Oxen are broke in & working, two of these have been lately brought from
Nisqualy. The cattle are in fine order, but the pigs are rather lean, The
water in the river was very high this season, and overflowed the ground
where they were accustomed to feed, and there was a lack of means
to supply them with a sufficiency of food. The ground has never been
measured, but is reckoned that about the fort about 30 Acres are enclosed
and under cultivation, and at the Big Plain about 40 to 45 Acres are enclosed, including what was ploughed & under crop last year, and what is
being ploughed to put under crop this fall and next spring, The soil
appears excellent and after being broke up a year or two will no doubt yield
abundant crops, but owing to the great quantity of fern and other weeds
and the toughness of the turf it requires great labour to break it up. Indeed
so difficult are these weeds to banish, that some of the ground under crop this
season appears as if it had never been ploughed. This year, owing principally
to the unusual dryness of the season, a good deal of the crops failed and
yielded very indifferently. At the fort 200 bush, potatoes were sowed & at
the big plain 80 bush.; at the fort 5 bush, wheat, & at the big plain 10
bush.; at Fort 15 bush. Pease, and at plain 45 bush.; at the fort—bush,
barley sowed, & at plain 8 bushls. Some oats and Indian corn were also
sowed but yielded indifferently. Mr. Yale estimates that he will have about
300 bush, pease, 200 bush, wheat, and about 50 bush, barley. The soil about
the fort appears very indifferent, part of it is very shingly, and a good deal
in swamps, that have been drained, composed of black peat. There are a
few knolls and spots along the bank of the river that appears a strong good
clayey soil. The big plain is reckoned about 7 miles from the fort, straight
through the woods, but the way we went by the Little river212 it is much
farther. There is another plain of considerable extent, the nearer end of
which is only about one mile from the fort, straight through the woods, but
though it is a very rich soil, as it is subject to inundation, it cant be cultivated except some small spots. But it is covered with a most luxuriant
crop of fine grass and might yield pasturage for 1000 head of cattle, and
were there a stock of cattle here, beef might be raised with far less trouble
& at a much cheaper rate than pork.
The Natives who inhabit the village close bye [sic] the fort have also
a good deal of ground under cultivation, each of the principal men a little
garden, Mr. Yale, by encouraging them to till the ground and raise potatoes,
has conferred a great benefit, for which he tells me they appear grateful, and
indeed well they may, for it is the most effecient [sic] step that could be
taken to promote their civilization, and in some measure to secure themselves against the occasional scarcity of food which people dependant on
the precarious produce of the chase so often experience.
the Columbia to the Fraser in 1824, and had noted its fertility. " The soil
here appears to be very rich," he wrote, " it [is] a black mould. The
remains of a luxurious crop of fern and grass lies on the ground." John
Work, Journal, 1824, entry for December 14. (Original in Provincial
(212)  The Salmon River.    Work in 1824 had crossed from Boundary
Bay to the Fraser River by way of the Nicomekl and the Salmon rivers. 138 H. D. Dee. April
Sunday, September 27. Still fine weather Wind Westerly but very light.
I am afraid the vessel is making but slow progress with these light winds.
But tedious as it may be bringing her up here was the only mode we
could adopt to take the salmon, as taking them down with boats even had
we had them would have been an endless job, and had it blown the least
from the Southward the boats could not have got to the vessel at Point
A great number of canoes passed today on their way to their wintering
ground on Vancouver's Island, and traded a good many dry salmon. Mr.
Yale has now on hand [blank in MS.] pieces of salmon, which he reckons
will be enough.
Monday, September 28. Heavy rain in the night and forepart of the
day. Wind Southerly but very little of it; yet, as it is down the river I
am afraid it will retard the progress of the vessel.
Tuesday, September 29. Heavy rain in the night and all day. Blew
fresh in the night from the Southward. Wind Southerly all day, but not
very strong, but I am afraid sufficiently so to retard the Lama's progress.
Wednesday, September SO. Fine weather. Wind Westerly, but very
little of it. The Indians brought us inteligence [sic] that the Lama is in the
river some distance below the Nanima213 village. The wind is so light, and
the flood tide lasts such a short time, that she is probably [able] to make
but slow progress. Mr. Yale commenced taking up his potatoes today.
The crop is but indifferent owing no doubt from the dryness of the season.
A party of Indians arrived from Nisqualy, from whom I received a
letter from Mr. C. F. McLoughlin dated 7th Inst., directing me to proceed
across land from Nisqualy, so that every thing may be arranged to dispatch the vessel as soon as possible for the Northward, as the ship from
England arrived too late, only in Augt.,214 to be sent to the coast. Also to
take 12 barrels salmon & 35 bush. Pease to Nisqualy for the use of that
place. This will cause more delay. He also directs all the spare grain
from here to be embarked with the salmon for the Columbia. The grain is
not yet thrashed, but even were it ready we would not be able to take it,
as I doubt whether we can get the salmon all embarked.
These Indians have brought two ploughshares for Mr. Yale, which he
is much in want of.
Thursday, October 1. Thick fog in the morning, fine weather afterwards. We hear from the Indians that the Lama is above the Nanima
village, no great distance off. She could not do much this morning tide
owing to the fog which was so dense that nothing could be seen.
Friday, October 2. Fog in the morning, fine warm weather afterwards.
The Lama arrived and moored alongside the wharf in the afternoon. They
had to tow and warp all the way up, and could do nothing but with the
flood tide, which lasts a much shorter time than the ebb, so that they
advanced very slowly. In the evening they were busy clearing up preparing to land the furs &c, to make room for the casks of salmon.
(213) Not identified. The Nanimos, Snanaimoohs, or Nanaimos were
a subdivision of the Cowichan Indians. The city of Nanaimo was named
after these people.
(214) The Ganymede actually arrived at Fort Vancouver on July 30,
1835. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 139
Saturday, October S. Fine weather. Both the crew and passengers
busy all day landing the furs, water casks &c, and discharging ballast, preparatory to taking in the salmon. The furs, notwithstanding the pains
taken in stowing them in dry places in the vessel, are a good many of them
mouldy, but it is dry mould.    I had it all carefully wiped off.
Sunday, October 4. Fine weather. One of the Indians who arrived
here from Nisqualy on the 30th ult. it seems, had been boasting that he
either had or would kill some of the people here with Medicine or conjuring,
which exasperated the Indians here. The man probably supposing it not
safe to remain much longer among them, started this morning on his return
home accompanied only by his wife. A party pursued them to the other
end of the portage,216 big plain, where they had embarked in the canoe, and
shot the man and cut off his head and brought back the wife with them
as a prisoner or slave. Mr. Yale on hearing of the circumstance went,
accompanied by a party of men armed, and released the woman and beat
one or two of the Indians, for behaving so to any strangers that come here,
when at the same time they are depending for their own safety in a great
measure on the protection of the fort. The poor woman seems frantic with
grief for the loss of her husband. This affair will most likely cause a war
as the deceased belonged to the Sinahomish216 which is a powerful tribe.
Their chief, the Frenchman,21'? was here but has gone down to the Namima
village on a visit. It is intended that the woman will be given to him, or
sent on to Nisqualy where she can join her friends.
Monday, October 5. Fog in the morning, fine warm weather afterwards.
The men busy on board all day. Discharged a good deal more balast [sic]
in the morning, and afterwards took 160 Barrels of salmon on board. We
are favoured with fine weather which is a great advantage. It takes a
great deal of time to clear out the vessel but without doing so the salmon
could not be all got on board.
The season is now so far advanced, and the baffling winds to be expected
at this season would cause such a tedious passage to & from Nisqualy, that
taking the vessel there with the 12 casks of salmon and 35 bush, of pease
added from this place, would occasion a great loss of time and be attended
with a heavy expense, as the homeward bound vessel will be delayed waiting the arrival of the Lama, and besides a vessel should be dispatched to the
Northward as early as possible. Taking all these things into consideration,
it is considered most advisable to not delay the vessel for this purpose, but
send her on without loss of time to the Columbia, And endeavour to get the
supplies for Nisqualy or part of them taken on with large canoes, for which
purpose a large old canoe belonging to the fort here is being repaired, and
we are bargaining with the Indians for another, when the few furs at
Nisqualy can be taken across the portage. The men must be taken that
way, even should they be longer than by going by the vessel, as she will be
so full that there will be no room to accomodate [sic] them on board. Perhaps we may be able to hire a canoe from the Indians to take some of the
supplies to Nisqualy. At all events any thing rather than take the vessel
there with the valuable cargo on board of her there at this late season,
(215) The portage from the Salmon to the Nicomekl River.
(216) Inhabiting Possession Sound and the south end of Whidbey Island.
The name is rendered to-day as " Snohomish."
(217) Not identified. 140 H. D. Dee. April
which might be the cause of her being delayed off the Columbia bar so that
she could not get in for a fortnight and exposed to danger at the same time.
Tuesday, October 6. Still very fine weather. Busily employed loading
the vessel. The salmon are now all aboard. Purchased the canoe we were
bargaining for yesterday, and finished repairing the other. But I am afraid
that with what men, only nine, I will not be able to man them sufficiently
to take any cargo worth while in them. We expect to get some Indians
below to go with us, & perhaps be able to hire another canoe to take more
of the things. The Chief Chalahen218 who came from Nisqualy with the
letters went off today, and is to meet us below. He also left two of his men
with us to assist in manning our canoes.
Wednesday, October 7. Weather still continues fine. Finished loading
the vessel, and every thing got ready for sailing tomorrow. She is pretty
deep laden.
[By the " Lama " and by canoe to Fort Nisqually.]
Thursday, October 8. Very close foggy, sultry, weather. The vessel
was hauled out from the wharf in the morning, and we got under weigh at
% past 10, and dropped down the river towing till past 3 P.M., when a sea
breeze blew up the river which we could make no way against, and we had
to anchor 8 miles from the fort. Several Indians came off to us from whom
some cranberries and a couple of geese were traded.
Friday, October 9. A dense fog with scarcely a breath of wind all day.
It was the Captain's intention, to have moved on with the night tide, but
it was so thick that it was too dangerous to attempt it, and we did not
get under way till the tide turned at 11 A.M., when we kept towing and
dropping down the river as yesterday, till the tide turned at Vz past 4 P.M.
when we again anchored, having made only 10 Miles during the tide. The
landmen accompany us down with the two canoes that I am to go on to
Nisqualy with, with the provisions for that place. Some more Indians
came off and traded a sturgeon, and some geese and ducks.
Saturday, October 10. Still foggy weather in the morning, heavy rain
afterwards. The wind being down the river and favourable, the vessel was
got under way at 6 A.M., and proceeded at a slow rate against the flood
tide 6 miles, when she anchored about 10 A.M. about 5 miles from the mouth
of the river, as it set in to rain and the weather became so thick that nothing
could be clearly seen, and it would have been too great a risk to have
attempted to pass down the very winding channel through the sands.
Sunday, October 11. Weather still thick, rain part of the day. Light
wind from the Eastward. The vessel was got under way about sunrising,
and proceeded slowly against a flood tide from 3 to 4 miles down the river,
till about 9 A.M., when she touched on a sand in consequence of which the
anchors had to be thrown overboard, and after a good deal of exertion she
was got off. The remainder of the day was mostly occupied in getting up
the anchors again. We have only now about a mile & a half to go to get
out clear of the sands, but even were we out, with this wind we could do
nothing as it is right ahead. The weather continues always so thick that
objects at any distance cannot be distinctly seen. When we got aground
it was near high water and we run a risk of not getting off till another tide,
(218)  Not identified. 1945 John Work's journal, 1835. 141
and perhaps not then without lightening the vessel, as it is neaps and the
tides falling.
Monday, October 12. Thick showry weather forepart of the day, cleared
up a little with a breeze from the Southward afternoon. Got under way a
little past 6 oclock in the morning and got out of the river, but as the wind
was ahead and light forepart of the day, we made but little progress, and
late in the evening we were only opposite Point Roberts, and at % past 10
at night anchored near Birch Bay.219 As the wind is ahead and light, it
is deemed unsafe to go down among the narrows in the islands in the
night when the tides run so strong. Though the wind was not strong, yet
when the vessel was making to windward today, our canoes that are in
tow, took in some water. I would have been glad to have been ashore with
them as I was apprehensive had it blown strong they might have swamped,
& we would have lost them.
Tuesday, October 18. Still showry weather, Wind S.E. The weather
having moderated, we got under way at a little past 10 A. M. and continued
working to windward, but the wind being right a head and falling away
light, we made but little progress and at 4 P.M. again cast anchor in the
entrance of Birch Bay, having made in upwards of 5 hours, only about
3 miles. It is really vexing to be thus baffled and able to make so little
progress, particularly as the season is so far advanced and the winter
approaching but it is out of our power to remedy it. The business to the
Northward will suffer for want of supplies, and as the Lama, even on
arrival at the Columbia must delay some time refitting, she runs a risk of
being detained by the ice and not getting off in sufficient time. Had we
not unfortunately lost our canoes, I would have proceeded on to the Columbia
by Nisqualy at once. But it blew strong last night, and towards morning
a heavy sea swept over the vessel, carried away new head boards which
were put on at Ft. Langley, and hove our two canoes, which were riding
astern of the vessel, so high out of the water that in the fall they were
both broken and rendered utterly useless and unserviceable. With these
two canoes and [those] which Chalahen, the Nisqualy chief, who left Ft.
Langley a short time before us, was to procure about McLoughlin's island,220
I intended to take on the provisions for Nisqualy, but now I am afraid we
will have to give up the idea of taking them on and if I can get a canoe,
push on without them in order to reach the Columbia as expeditiously as
possible so that arrangements may be made to have supplies sent on to the
coast as expeditiously as possible. The homeward bound vessel will also be
detained waiting for us, and as the weather is now there is no knowing
when the Lama may reach the river.
Wednesday, October 14- Blowing fresh from the S. E. in the morning,
but became moderate afterwards and about noon changed to the S.W. for
(219) In what is now Whatcom County, Washington, not far from the
Canadian border. It was named by Captain Vancouver in 1792. Work
camped at Birch Bay on December 20, 1824, on his return from the Fraser
(220) Lummi Island, in the vicinity of Bellingham Bay. It was known
as McLoughlin Island in Work's day, after Chief Factor John McLoughlin;
given its present title in 1853 by the United States Coast Survey because
it was inhabited by Indians of the Lummi tribe. See Meany, Washington
Geographic Names, p. 152. 142 H. D. Dee. April
a short time, and in the evening again shifted to the S.E. but continued
very light. Got under way at 11 A.M., but the wind was so light and
baffling that that [sic] we made only about 7 miles and anchored near
McLoughlin's island at 8 P.M. The weather appears settling, and we are
anticipating a favourable wind tomorrow. There being little or no wind
and the tide very strong and a narrow passage to pass the island, as very
little progress could have been made, the Captain deemed it most prudent
to anchor for the night. A few Scatchet221 Indians came off and traded
some wildfowl & salmon and a few beaver. Chalahen also came off, and
informed me that there are no canoes sufficiently large for our purpose
among these Indians, but that some large ones may be obtained from the
Clallams,222 who are yet some way ahead so that we must wait till we reach
them. I much regret having lost the two that I brought from Ft. Langley,
as had I had them, I might have left the vessel any where here. And even
should the Indians have canoes it may be difficult to procure three from them.
'Thursday, October 15. The Wind changed to the Westward in the night
about ten Oclock, and blew fresh for some time right on the shore with
rain, but afterwards it moderated. The vessel pitched at her anchor a good
deal for a while, but the anchor held well. Fair weather during the day,
Wind Northerly, but light & variable. Got under way at 6 A.M. and proceeded down the narrows, but as the tide was strong against us in the
forenoon, we made but little progress, & when the ebb tide turned with us
the wind was so light that we did not get on much better, and by 6 P.M.
we were only between Whidby's island and Smith's island.228 Some Clallam
Indians came off from behind McLoughlin's island where they are fishing
salmon, wishing to trade beaver but we would not buy them. I applied
to them for some canoes to go to Nisqualy, which one of them who represented himself as the Chief, proposed to furnish if we would anchor and
wait till he would bring them, but as there was no suitable place to bring
up, and the wind being favourable, his proposal was not acceded to, as it
was deemed better to proceed on to Port Townsend,224 where we expect we
will get them. I desired the Chief to come on after us with three canoes,
which as far as I understood him, he said he would do, if the wind would
not stop him. He wished much to trade his beaver and said on account
of the Walla Walla Indians226 he was afraid to go to Nisqualy. Chalahen
was in company with him, and I sent off his two men who accompanied me
from Ft Langley. I wished to keep one of them as a guide, but was afraid
I might perhaps be able to get only one canoe, and not more than large
enough to carry my own men. I very much regret the loss of the two
canoes I brought from Ft. Langley, as had I had them I would have left the
vessel here at once and not delayed her a moment going into Port Townsend.
(221) The name of an Indian tribe living on part of Whidbey Island.
The present spelling is " Skagit."
(222) A powerful tribe living on the coast between New Dungeness and
Port Townsend.
(223) A very small island at the eastern end of Juan de Fuca Strait.
The Lama had just passed south through Rosario Strait.
(224) On the south shore of Juan de Fuca Strait, lying to the east side
of Quimper Peninsula. Work was now just a few miles to the east of his
inward route via New Dungeness.
(225) The Walla Walla Indians occupied an area around the present
city of Walla Walla, on the Columbia. Why the Clallams should have expected to find them in any numbers at Nisqually is a mystery. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 143
But as it is of importance that I get to Ft. Vancouver as quick as possible
with the papers, I must endeavour to get a canoe—even at the expense of
a short delay. The Captain means to go into the port in the night if it
does not fall calm, at present (6 P.M.) the wind is very light, indeed,
scarcely any, and we have yet 15 miles to go. A little past 6 P.M. the wind
shifted all at once to the S.W., and blew a nice breeze for some time when
it died away calm again, so that the vessel with difficulty got into the
entrance of Port Townsend, where she was anchored at ten O'clock.
Friday, October 16. Rain, with gusts of wind in the night and during
the day. In the morning I took some men with me, and went up to the
head of the harbour in quest of Ind[ian]s. to procure canoes to go to
Nisqualy. I found a few miserable Indians at the head of the harbour, but
they had few canoes & very indifferent. They informed us that there
was another large village of Indians in Port Discovery226 with plenty of
large canoes. I then went across a portage about 5 miles, but there were
no Indians in the village, they were all off fishing. I returned without loss
of time, and bought two of the largest of the canoes from the Indians I first
found. By the time I got back to the vessel it was past 3 P.M., and
immediately had all the pease intended for Nisqualy put on board the canoes,
and sent ashore with the men and followed them immediately after, when it
was getting dark. Where we are no fresh water is to be found, and all we
have for the whole party is a 2 gallon keg we brought from the vessel.
It is impossible for me to get the Salmon intended for Nisqualy taken on,
and I cant detain the vessel to seek larger canoes. I have directed Capt.
McNeill to proceed on to the Columbia without loss of time and as expeditiously as possible, and should the vessel arrive in the Columbia before the
homeward bound ship has dropped down to Fort George,22? to proceed up to
Vancouver without delay; but should the vessel be waiting at Fort George,
he is to remain there till he receives instructions from Vancouver. I have
sent a letter to Mr. C. F. McLoughlin with the packing accounts of the
furs &c on board, which is to be forwarded as expeditiously as possible.
Should the vessel have a favourable run she may be in the Columbia two
or three days before me. Our canoes clumsy and heavy, and I have but
4 men for each; besides the pease, and our baggage, and provisions for the
people, load them heavily and we may be retarded by wind.
Saturday, October 17. Stormy in the night. Heavy rain during the
day but very little wind. Some time was occupied in the morning repairing
and putting the canoes in order. We had them loaded, and were off. At
a quarter to nine Oclock passed by the Clallam portage,228 proceeded past
the entrance of Hood's Canall,229 and at Vz past 5 P.M. encamped on a
beach towards the head of Admiralty Inlet.230    The tide in the afterpart
(226) On the west side of Quimper Peninsula. Named by Vancouver
after his ship, H.M.S. Discovery.
(227) The present Astoria, on the south bank of the Columbia, about
14 miles from the river's mouth. Fort Vancouver, which had replaced Fort
George in 1825 as the main depot, lay on the north bank of the Columbia
almost opposite the mouth of the Willamette River.
(228) A narrow strip of sandy land between the head of Port Townsend
and Oak. Bay, to the south.
(229) Hood Canal, an extensive arm on the west side of Puget Sound.
It was named by Vancouver in 1792 after Samuel, Lord Hood, of the Royal
(230) Admiralty Inlet is the waterway connecting Juan de Fuca Strait
with Puget Sound. 144 H. D. Dee. April
of the day was very strong against us, & we were able to make but slow
progress, as the canoes are heavy and and [sic] four paddles have but little
weight upon them against the tide. We had some difficulty getting a place
to encamp. It was 3 Oclock before we found any fresh water and some of
the people were badly off with thirst. It was still only about half flood
when we crossed the Clallam portage and we had to carry the baggage &
drag the canoes about 200 yards. At high water the portage would be
only 100 yards. A boat was ashore from the vessel before we started,
Capt. McNeill was going to get under weigh immediately.
Sunday, October 18. Thick foggy weather and some heavy rain and
the rest of the time drizzling rain all day. Where we put ashore last night,
was a flat shore though we did not perceive it, and the tide had left us so
far this morning that we had to carry the baggage & drag the canoes 300
yards, which detained us till a quarter to nine O'clock, when we started and
proceeded on to near 6 P.M. when we encamped opposite the North end of
Vashon's Island.231 As the tide was against us the after part of the day,
we were not able to stem the current, cutting from point to point, and
lost a good deal of time passing along shore along the bays. Passed a camp
of Indians in the evening but did not go ashore.
Monday, October 19. Thick weather, drizzling rain in the morning,
cloudy with a fresh breeze from the S. W. afterwards. Blew fresh from the
northward sometime in the night. As the wind was right on shore, I had to
rouse the people in the night to unload the canoes and drag them up on the
beach. We had them loaded again and got under way a little past 6 in
the morning, and arrived at Nisqualy a little past 3 P.M., where I found
Mr. Kittson232 and his people all well. There is an Indian here from the
Cowlitz233 who will accompany me, and provide a canoe immediately on
arrival there; but he has to go some distance for his horse tomorrow morning, and immediately on his arrival I shall start with two or three men for
Vancouver, and leave the others here to follow immediately after accompanied by one of Mr. Kittson's men and take the furs here along with them,
about ten packs, which I expect will reach the Columbia in time for the
vessel going home.
A fair wind for the Lama today if she has got past Cape Flattery, which
I rather doubt, as the wind was very light these two days past; but if she
has not got out of the straits, the wind will be right ahead for her, if it was
the same there as we had it.
[Across the Cowlitz Portage to the Columbia and thence to Fort Vancouver.]
Tuesday, October 20. Overcast cloudy weather, but fair. At % past
One Oclock P.M. the Indian who is to accompany me to the Cowlitz arrived
but without his horse, which he was seeking, and which is still at Nisqualy
(231) A large island on Puget Sound, separated from the mainland on
the west by Colvos Passage. Named by Vancouver after Captain James
Vashon, of the Royal Navy.
(232) William Kittson served in the war of 1812-14 and entered the
North West Company as a clerk in 1817. In 1826-9 he was in charge of
the Kootenay post for the Hudson's Bay Company, and in 1834 took charge
of the farming, stock-raising, and fur-trading at Nisqually.
(233) The Cowlitz River flows into the Columbia from the north. The
Cowlitz farm of the Company was situated on this river. 1945 John Work's Journal, 1835. 145
river234. I started with two men and a boy and sent the Indian on ahead,
we came up with him and encamped at Nisqualy river at 4, where the
Indian's horse was brought him after dark. Left the rest of the men to
accompany one of Mr. Kittson's men with his furs, ten packs, the day after
Wednesday, October 21. Fine fair but cold weather, a heavy dew in the
night. Started236 at 7 A.M. and continued on all day at as brisk a rate as
the horses could bear, and encamped at sunsetting at the second plain on
the Cowlitz side of the Mountain286. Some of the horses were a good deal
fatigued. The road is not yet miry, but from the rain that has fallen,
slippery & fatiguing on the horses. There were a good many long points
of wood to pass, and the branches were so loaded with dew that we were
wet to the skin the forepart of the day. Passed several lodges of Indians
at the Chehaelis river.23?   They are taking considerable numbers of salmon.
Thursday, October 22. Very heavy rain the greater part of the day.
Proceeded on our journey before 7 A.M. and at 11 reached the Cowlitz
river where we left the horses in charge of our guide's brother. Our guide's
canoe which we expected to find here, and embark in immediately, had been
taken away, and we lost 3 hours getting another one, and after we did
embark, our guide had to call at another house where one of his wives is
dieing of the fever and here we were detained, though it was pouring down
rain, another hour. Finally after a short delay at another house, where
we took another Indian in the canoe, we proceeded down the river and at
near dark encamped a little above the South fork of the Cowlitz on a small
sandy beach, where we had some difficulty getting wood and making a fire,
which we much needed to warm ourselves as we were almost benumbed with
cold and completely drenched with the rain, which continued till the evening,
when it changed to snow, which fell thick and in very large flakes.
Friday, October 28. Fair a short time in the morning but thick snow
with raw cold weather all day afterwards. The soft snow, which is worse
than rain, & the cold rendered, it very unpleasant traveling [sic].   We stopped
(234) The Nisqually River, not far from the fort, flows into the head of
Puget Sound from the Nisqually Glacier, on Mount Rainier.
(235) According to T. C. Elliott in " Journal of John Work," Washington Historical Quarterly, III. (1912), p. 227, n. 68, the trail from Nisqually
to the Columbia followed the present line of the Northern Pacific Railway
through Centralia and Chehalis to a point on the Cowlitz River near Toledo.
It was described by Warre and Vavasour as follows: " At the Cowlitz
[Farm] we procured horses and rode to Nisqually, a distance of about 60
miles this route or Portage as it is usually called, passes through small
plains traversing the intervening points of woods, crossing the Quinze,
Sous [Chehalis], Vassals [tributary of the Chehalis], Chute [Deschutes],
& Nisqually rivers, all of which are fordable in the summer but become deep
& rapid in the winter & spring." See letter, " M. Vavasour to Colonel Hollo-
way, Fort Vancouver, March 1, 1846," in Provincial Archives, Record Office
Transcripts, F.O. 5, Vol. 457, 1846, p. 67. The Archives also has a copy of
the sketch-map of the route from the Columbia to Nisqually prepared to
accompany this letter.
(236) Either Mud Mountain or merely the height of land between the
Chehalis and the Cowlitz rivers.
(237) The Chehalis River flows into the Pacific at Gray's Harbour, in
the State of Washington. Work had proceeded up this river from its mouth
on his first expedition to Puget Sound and the Fraser in 1824 146 H. D. Dee.
a short time in the morning to get our clothes partially dried, and then
proceeded on our journey at % past 8 A.M., and encamped at near 5 P.M.
near the head of Deers island238 in the Columbia river, where we put ashore
the Indians, and most of the people were benumbed with cold, for though
our clothes were dried a little in the morning, they were soon completely
wet with the soft snow. The snow fell so thick in the night that the trees,
which have their leaves all on yet, could not bear the weight, & only a few
hours after the snow began, we could hear them breaking down with the
weight in every direction. Many of a considerable size are broken, and the
small ones all bent down. In the Cowlitz the Indians are taking great
numbers of salmon, some of them still pretty good.
Saturday, October 24- Snowed thick during the night and greater part
of the day. Stormy also in the night and morning. Wind S. Westerly.
It blew so strong in the morning and raised such a swell in the river, that
we could not move till past 8 Oclock, when it having moderated a little, we
got under way and arrived at Fort Vancouver at 4 P.M., when I had the
pleasure of finding our friends all well. The soft snow which fell in such
abundance and wet us through, together with the raw cold weather, rendered
it very unpleasant traveling [sic], and much retarded our progress. The
weight of the snow has laid flat all the willows and small trees along the
river side, and broke limbs of a large size of [sic] the large trees.
Sunday, October 25.    Still dirty snowy weather.
Monday, October 26. Still unpleasant rainy snowy, raw cold weather.
A canoe was sent sent [sic] down the river with a letter to Captain McNeill
directing him to come up here with the Lama without delay. If he has got
into the river as it is expected he is, or if he is not yet arrived, to come on
as soon as he gets in.
Tuesday, October 27. Overcast raw cold weather but fair. Sharp frost
in the forepart of the night.
(238)  An island on the south side of the Columbia, about 10 miles upstream from the confluence of the Cowlitz.   Named by Lewis and Clark. ROYAL COMMISSIONS AND COMMISSIONS
By Marjorie C. Holmes.
Part III., 1911-1920.
58. [Commission to hold an enquiry into all matters relating to the
application in the name of Charles William Corby to purchase
lands embraced in Lot 10012, Group 1, Kootenay District.]
No report found.
Commissioner:   Albert Edward Bull, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed March 14, 1911.
59. [Commission . . . to inquire into the conduct of, and fully investi
gate charges and complaints against Nigel B. Ewart, whilst
Provincial Constable at Princeton, with the view of ascertaining whether the said Nigel B. Ewart acted improperly whilst
on duty.]
No report found.
Commissioner: William Howard Bullock-Webster, barrister, of Nelson.
Appointed June 27, 1911.
1912  "
' 60. Synopsis of report and full report of Royal Commission on Taxation, 1911. Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly
of British Columbia. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H.
Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1912.
Cover-title, 38 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers  .  .  .  Session 1912.    pp. B 1-B 38.
The proceedings are on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office,
Commissioners: Hon. Price Ellison, Minister of Finance; Hon. A. E.
McPhillips, K.C, President of the Council; C. H. Lugrin, of Victoria;
W. H. Malkin, of Vancouver.
Appointed September 14, 1911;  report dated January 19, 1912.
This commission was appointed to inquire " into the operation of
the Assessment Act with regard to its practical bearings on the financial
requirements of the Province." Nineteen cities of the Province were
visited, and evidence heard by the commission. Recommendations were
made, the principal ones being the abolition of the poll tax, personal
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 2.
147 148 Marjorie C Holmes. April
property tax, and tax on improvements on land, and the substitution
of income tax for the last named.
61. Report of the Commissioners for revising the Statutes, 1911.
10 pp.
In Sessional Papers .  .  . Session 1912.   pp. N 13-N 22.
Commissioners:  Charles Wilson, barrister, of Victoria;  A. P. Lux-
ton, barrister, of Victoria.
Appointed January 11, 1910;  report dated January 16, 1912.
This report sets out the plan followed by the commissioners in
revising the Statutes, with explanations for the inclusion of new sections in Acts where interpretation was not clear.
62. Public Inquiries Act re Vancouver General Hospital; Commission
er's report.
92 pp.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Robert Wetmore Hannington, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed April 26, 1912;  report dated September 13, 1912.
The commission was appointed to investigate conditions at the General Hospital. This was a fact-finding commission, inquiring into the
running of the hospital, both financial and otherwise. No specific complaint of medical inefficiency was submitted, and other complaints
against the management of the institution were held to be trivial.
The commissioner called attention to the lack of adequate staff.
63. [Public Inquiries Act:  Record of proceedings  .  .  .  to ascertain
to what extent registration has been effected of subdivisions
of lands granted by the Crown since the passing of the Land
Act Amendment Act, 1896, and what lots and blocks of land
comprising such subdivisions have been conveyed to the Crown
in accordance with the requirements of said act  .   .   .]
No report found.
The original typewritten proceedings are on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: William Alexander Macdonald, K.C, of Vancouver.
Appointed January 26, 1912.
The commissioner investigated fully the titles to the land under
64. Report of the Commissioner appointed   .   .   .   under the Public
Inquiries Act for the purpose of inquiring into all questions
relating to the proposed incorporation into a City Municipality
under the name of the City of Alberni of certain parcels of
land situate in the Alberni District, Vancouver Island.
8 pp. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 149
Original typewritten report, evidence, and maps on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Thornton Fell, Clerk of the Legislative Assembly,
Appointed July 4, 1912;  report dated August 13, 1912.
The commissioner reported that he endorsed the proposed incorporation.
65. Report of Royal Commission on Matters relating to the Sect of
Doukhobors in the Province of British Columbia, 1912. Printed
by authority of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin, Printer to the
King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1913.
Cover-title, 66 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers .  .  . Session 1918.    pp. T 1-T 66.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   William Blakemore, journalist, of Victoria.
Appointed August 15, 1912;  report dated December 21, 1912.
The commissioner investigated the " organization, habits, customs
and practices of the Doukhobor Community at Grand Forks, Brilliant
and elsewhere in the Province, including in the inquiry an investigation
into the nature, source and scope of the authority held or exercised by
the leader or leaders of the Community over other members thereof;
the tenure and ownership of property, real and personal; the solemnization of marriages; the registration of births, deaths and marriages,
and domestic relations generally; naturalization; the observance of
law; and generally all matters appertaining or relating to the Community and its social, intellectual, moral and religious life." The commissioner made the recommendation that patience should be exercised
in dealing with the Doukhobors, that the clause granting exemption
from military service be cancelled, and that no more Doukhobors be
admitted to the Province.
The report is an interesting one. A synopsis of the salient facts
connected with the Doukhobor immigration is given, the history of the
sect, which explains the tenets of their creed and beliefs, and the effect
of their social conditions upon their mode of living in Canada. Up to
the date of the report, it is the best history of the Doukhobors in
British Columbia.
66. British Columbia.   Report of the Royal Commission on Municipal
Government, 1912, under "Public Inquiries Act." Printed by
authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed
by William H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1913.
Cover-title, 18 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers .  .  . Session 1918.    pp. L 1-L 18. 150 Marjorhc C. Holmes. April
Commissioners:   W. H. Keary, of New Westminster;   H. A. Maclean, K.C, of Victoria;  A. E. Bull, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed August 7, 1912;  report dated December 30, 1912.
The commissioners investigated the system of municipal government of seven cities in Canada, and of twelve large and several smaller
cities in the United States, where commission government was in force.
The commission was fact-finding, for the purpose of drafting a new
Municipal Act for British Columbia, which was to be submitted for
approval. The report digested the forms of government in the places
investigated, and the application of such forms of municipal government in British Columbia. The report includes a six-page analysis of
the evidence obtained in British Columbia.
67. Report of Royal Commission on Milk-supply in British Columbia:
under " Public Inquiries Act." Printed by authority of the
Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H.
Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1913.
Cover-title, 29 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers .  . . Session 1913.    pp. J 1-J 29.
Commissioners: A. P. Procter, M.D., of Vancouver; F. J. Coult-
hard, of New Westminster; Anson Knight, chief veterinary inspector
for British Columbia, of Sardis.    Freeman Bunting, Secretary.
Appointed December 9, 1911, naming Dr. Fagan, Director of the
Provincial Board of Health as chairman, but as he was unable to act,
a new commission was issued June 24, 1912, naming Dr. Procter (as
above) chairman;   report dated January 25, 1913.
The commission was appointed to investigate " the sale of milk and
the management of dairies, cow-sheds and milk-shops in the province."
Investigation was made of conditions in the larger towns of the Province, existing legislation, and that of other Provinces. The report
recommended that a good, workable Act should be passed to regulate
milk distribution and supply; urged that milk should be classified, and
that an educational campaign on the subject of a pure milk-supply
should be undertaken.
68. Re Board of School Trustees of the City of Nelson: Commissioner's
14 pp.
Original report on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
The evidence and exhibits are filed in the Department of Education,
Commissioner: Peter Secord Lampman, Judge of the County Court,
Appointed February 20, 1913; report dated March 12, 1913.
The commissioner was appointed to inquire into affairs of the board
of school trustees, both past and present, of the city of Nelson, and also
to investigate complaints made by members of the staff of the Nelson
public school regarding the actions of Robert Thompson, principal of 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 151
the school. Financial transactions of the board were criticized, and
the commissioner found that the board had paid for materials not
received. However, the school board had made satisfactory explanations, and since then all funds had been handled by the city of Nelson.
In the second matter, the principal, Robert Thompson, was found by
the commissioner to be at fault, in that he was unable to control his
temper. The school board had previously held an inquiry, as nine
teachers had resigned and affairs were very unsatisfactory at the school.
The board passed a resolution of dismissal. Owing to local politics and
the election of a new school board, Robert Thompson had been reinstated. Judge Lampman thought that the board had made a great mistake in the reappointment, as Thompson had deliberately falsified his
age in applying for the position, thereby committing a fraud for which
he should suffer some penalty. He also advised all those teachers who
had signed the complaint to leave Nelson, as continuance in their positions would only lead to constant bickerings and allusions to past
69. Royal Commission under the " Public Inquiries Act" to inquire
into the administration of affairs of South Vancouver Municipality.
19 pp.
Original typewritten report and proceedings on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Matthew Joseph Crehan, chartered accountant, of
Appointed May 16,1912; report dated May 16,1913.
The commissioner examined the administration of school affairs, the
purchase of school sites, the awarding of contracts, and the purchase
of school supplies. He commented on the fact that the duties of school
trustee were not clearly defined, and that the trustees evidently did not
understand the " School Act." He investigated also the administration
of municipal departments, and made recommendations regarding the
financial affairs of the municipality.
70. Report of the Commissioners for revising the Statutes, 1911.
2 pp.
Typewritten copy of final report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Charles Wilson, barrister, of Victoria; A. P. Lux-
ton, barrister, of Victoria.
Appointed January 11,1910; final report dated January 19, 1914.
This is the final report of the commissioners appointed to revise the
statutes, following their report of two years previously. (See No. 61,
supra.) In this report the commissioners explain their reasons for
including in the Revised Statutes of British Columbia a number of
Imperial Acts which " are yet of importance and may be in full force
in this Province." 152 Marjordj; G. Holmes. April
71. Report of Royal Commission re coal in British Columbia under
" Public Inquiries Act." Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin,
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Cover-title, 30 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .   Session 1914, I., pp. 11-1 30.
The exhibits are on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  William Ernest Burns, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed February 7, 1913;  report dated January 21, 1914.
The commissioner was appointed to inquire into the cost of coal
production, profits, transportation, and shortages for consumption in
all phases of the coal business. Evidence was taken in the large towns
and coal-mining districts of the Province. It was recommended that the
various classes and grades of coal known to commerce be made applicable to all the different coalfields of the Province; that supervision or
inspection be enforced in both mine weighing and grading; and that
a reduction in rates be made on coal from the mines of the interior, and
also a reduction in cost of bulk delivery to customers.
72. In the matter of the Public Inquiries Act and in the matter of a
Commission issued to the undersigned Herbert W. R. Moore,
to enquire into all matters in connection with the proposed
severance of Shaughnessy Heights from the Municipality of
Point Grey and its incorporation as a separate municipality and
any other matter that may be included in or relevant to the
Bill intituled " An Act to Incorporate Shaughnessy Municipality " now before the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
29 pp.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  Herbert W. R. Moore, barrister, of Victoria.
Appointed January 22,1914; report dated February 16, 1914.
The report gives the history of the subdivision, and investigates the
argument for secession from the municipality of Point Grey. The commissioner, however, recommended that the proposed legislation be
73. [Commission  .   .   .  under the Public Inquiries Act] into the mat
ters connected with the occupants of land comprised in the
timber leases held by The North Pacific Lumber Company
Limited on the Chilliwack River in the Province of British
7 pp.
Typewritten copy of report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Frederick W. Howay, Judge of the County Court of
New Westminster.
Appointed July 2, 1913; report dated February 23,1914. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 153
Settlers had entered upon portions of the land embraced by the
lease, which comprised some 4,000 acres north of the Chilliwack River.
An arrangement had been made with the lessee under which Crown
grants would be issued to the settlers for the land occupied by them, on
the understanding that no timber land would be embraced in such
grants, and that all rights and privileges of the timber lessee would be
protected. However, on six Crown grants no reservation of timber had
been made. The commissioner recommended that the company be reimbursed by the Government for failure to reserve the timber, up to a
stated amount.
74. (a.) Province of British Columbia: Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture appointed on the 4th day of December
1912, under the " Public Inquiries Act." Printed by
authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.:
Printed by William H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most
Excellent Majesty.    1914.
Cover-title, ix;  42 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers . . . Session 1914, II., pp. L 1-L 42.
Original report and evidence on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: W. H. Hayward, M.L.A., of Duncan; Alexander
Lucas, M.L.A., of Vancouver; S. Shannon, of Cloverdale; William Duncan, of Comox; J. J. Campbell, of Belson; Thomas Kidd, of Steveston
(who resigned owing to ill-health); J. Kidston, of Vernon. C B. Christiansen, Secretary.
Appointed December 4, 1912; report not dated.
(b.) Full report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture appointed
on the 4th day of December 1912, under the "Public Inquiries Act." Printed by authority of the Legislative
Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin,
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1914.
Cover-title, ix; 398 pp.    1 map.
Commissioners:   as above.
The commission was appointed to inquire into all conditions affect- •
ing agriculture in all branches, and hearings were held in all parts of
the Province. The report was issued in two parts; Part I. dealing
briefly with the findings and recommendations presented to the Legislative Assembly; Part II. issued with the Full Report later, and not
included in the Sessional Papers.
The Full Report, with Part II. and Appendices, included extensive
recommendations. The principal ones concerned the administration of
the Department of Agriculture, the institution of systems of agricultural credit and agricultural education in the Province, and the promotion of co-operation among producers. The report included a lengthy
account of agricultural conditions in British Columbia and discussed
co-operative farming and agricultural credit in other countries. A list
of references on these subjects is found on pp. 381-386. 154 Marjorie C. Holmes. April
75. Province of British Columbia: Report of the Royal Commission on
Labour appointed on the 4th day of December, 1912, under the
" Public Inquiries Act." Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly, Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William H. Cullin,
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1914.
Cover-title, v;  28 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .   Session 1914, II., pp. M 1-M 28.
The proceedings are on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office,
Commissioners: A. M. Harper, of Vancouver; J. A. McKelvie, of
Vernon; R. A. Stoney, of New Westminster; J. Jardine, of Victoria;
H. G. Parson, of Golden, chairman.
Appointed December 4, 1912;  report dated March 3, 1914.
The commission was appointed to inquire into conditions of labour
generally, the wages paid in mines, in the woods, on railways and tramways, the methods of safety employed, the preservation of health, and
the prevention of unsanitary conditions. Each of these subjects was
reported on separately and recommendations made. The commissioners
also made a short report on mothers' pensions, free school texts, electoral privileges, and daylight saving in regard to industry. The
" Workmen's Compensation Act" passed by the Legislature the following year was based on this report.
76. [Commission  .   .   .   for the purposes of inquiring fully into all
matters affecting the values of lands forming part of the former
Songhees Reserve and apportioned to the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Railway Company and the Canadian Northern Railway Company for the purpose of the said railways . . .]
6 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Frederick W. Howay, Judge of the County Court of
New Westminster.
Appointed January 6, 1914;  report dated March 18, 1914.
The commissioner inquired into all matters affecting the values of
two portions of the former Songhees Indian Reserve, containing 29.59
and 33.93 acres respectively, apportioned to the Esquimalt & Nanaimo
Railway and the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway for railway
purposes. The Canadian Northern Pacific Railway was not represented
at any sitting of the commission, but the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway did place some evidence before the commissioner, who therefore
based his conclusions on that evidence. The land apportioned to this
railway, on which it was hoped that a new terminal would be built, was
claimed by the city of Victoria, to be worth $34,000 an acre; if used
for future business and residential purposes, but inasmuch as a considerable amount of excavating would have to be done before the land
could be used for railway purposes, the railway claimed the amount was
too much. The commissioner found that the land value was $12,000
an acre, taking into consideration the expense in developing it, making 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 155
a total of $355,080, if used for railway purposes, or if used for future
business and residential purposes the net value would be $24,000 an
acre, or $710,160 in all. In reference to the 33.93 acres which had
been allotted to the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway, on the same
basis, for railway purposes, the land value was $12,000 an acre or a
total of $407,160, and on the basis of future business and residential
purposes the net value would amount to $24,000 an acre or a total of
77. In the matter of the " Public Inquiries Act" and in the matter of
an inquiry into the affairs of the present Board and past Boards
of School Trustees of the City of Vancouver.
15 pp.
Typewritten copy of report and proceedings on file in the Department of Education, Victoria. Partial proceedings on file also in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   H. O. Alexander, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed February 10, 1913;  report not dated.    [May 1914.]
The commissioner inquired into contracts for school buildings and
their construction, which he found to be faulty. The financial affairs
of the school board were in a state of chaos, and the accounting system
so lax that funds had been overdrawn approximately $50,000 without
the board being aware of the state of affairs. Two trustees were found
to have acted improperly in borrowing money from the contractors.
Nothing was found by the commissioner against the personal characters
of the trustees, but his report uncovered many instances of petty
incompetence and ignorance on the part of the school board. In calling
attention to these facts, the commissioner advocated that some system
of auditing be adopted by the Department of Education, and that a
standard set of books be instituted for the use of school boards throughout the Province.
78. [In the matter of the " Public Inquiries Act" to inquire into all
matters in connection with the application for the Incorporation under the " Municipalities Incorporation Act" of certain
lands situated in Comox District, in the County of Nanaimo,
to be known as Courtenay, B.C.]
3 pp.
Original typewritten report, petitions, and correspondence on file
in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Herbert E. A. Robertson, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed May 9, 1914;   report dated July 6, 1914.
After taking evidence, the commissioner recommended that incorporation should be granted for a portion only of the land in question,
since in his opinion the original area was too large. In view of the
fact that a proper system of water supply and distribution had become
a vital necessity for the population of the district, he recommended
that the Waterworks Company be allowed to proceed with the works
which it had already commenced, and that the municipality should be 156 Marjorie C Holmes. April
allowed to purchase the works  afterwards, in  accordance with the
provisions of the " Municipalities Incorporation Act."
79. In the matter of the " Public Inquiries Act"; reports of the Hon
ourable Mr. Justice Morrison and the Honourable Mr. Justice
Macdonald, Electoral Redistribution Commissioners, appointed
by Royal Commission 18th July, 1914.
Two reports, 6 pp., 5 pp.
Original typewritten reports, correspondence, and map on file in
the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison and Mr. Justice
William Alexander Macdonald, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed July 18, 1914; report (Morrison) dated January 4, 1915;
report (Macdonald)  dated January 5, 1915.
The commissioners differed slightly on some points in connection
w"th the boundaries of the proposed electoral districts in the Kootenay,
a»id for this reason two reports were submitted. However, they were
entirely in agreement regarding the theoretical methods of redistributing the electoral districts of the province.
80. Report of commission on explosion in B. North Mine, Coal Creek.
9 pp.
Typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office,
Commissioner: John Stewart, J.P., of Ladysmith.
Appointed March 13,1915; report dated April 24,1915.
-The commissioner was appointed to inquire into the causes of an
explosion in B. North Mine, Coal Creek, on January 2, 1915. Thomas
Graham, chief inspector of mines, represented the Department of Mines,
and S. Herchmer, barrister, of Fernie, the Crow's Nest Pass Company,
who were the operators of the mine. The inquiry opened at Fernie on
March 29, 1915. The cause of the explosion was found to be the
ignition of a body of gas which had accumulated with the stoppage of
a fan during the New Year's holiday, and the failure to re-establish
ventilation previous to the arrival of the workmen. This resulted in
the death of one man and injury to several others. Thomas Graham
gave a synopsis of the evidence in his annual report to the Department
of Mines for 1915 (Sessional Papers . . . Session 1916, p. K327).
The commissioner commented on the lamentable lack of discipline on
the part of mine officials, and severely criticized the indifference of the
mine superintendent.
81. In the matter of the " Public Inquiries Act" and in the matter of
the inquiry into the cause of and responsibility for the accident
which occurred on the 9th February, 1915, in the No. 1 slope
of the South Wellington Coal Mines.
48 pp. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 157
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice Denis Murphy, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed May 29, 1915;   report dated July 27, 1915.
The commission was appointed to inquire into the cause of, and
responsibility for, the accident in the South Wellington coal mine which
occasioned the death of nineteen miners, and to inquire into the plans
and workings of the mine. The report gives a history of the South
Wellington mine. The commissioner held that one man was negligent,
but did not consider him mainly responsible for the accident.
Thomas Graham, inspector of mines, summarizes this report also
in his annual report to the Department for 1915 (Sessional Papers
.   .   .  Session 1916, pp. K329-K334).
82. [Commission .  .    .to inquire into all matters pertaining to the
proposed adjustment of the boundaries of the Municipalities of
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.]
No report found.
Commissioner: Harold Claude Nelson McKim, barrister, of>*Van-
Appointed December 4,1915.
83. Report of the Returned Soldiers' Aid Commission (British Colum
bia) appointed by order in council approved by His Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor November 29th, 1915. Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria* B.C.;, Printed by
William H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1916.
Cover-title, 15 pp. n . . r	
y Commissioners: Dr. Hr E. Young, LL.D., MX.A.j chairman;
A. Stewart, mayor of Victoria; A. Wells Gray, mayor of New Westminster; A. E; Planta, of Nanaimo; R. H. Gale, pf Vancouver; A. C.
Burdick, of..Victoria; and E. W. Hamber, of Vancouver. James H.
Hill,; Secretary. . (••-„!-•
Appointed November 29, 1915;  report dated March 16, 1916.
The commission was appointed to make provision regarding the
immediate employment of discharged soldiers, to provide technical
training necessary to assist disabled soldiers to obtain work, and to
devise a practical way of placing returned soldiers on the land. The
report includes also the findings of a sub-committee on training in agriculture, by G. H. Deane and J. W. Gibson.
84. (a.) Report of the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs for the
Province of British Columbia. Printed by order Victoria,
British Columbia; in four volumes. Printed by the Acme
Press, Limited, 1916.
Cover-title, 956 pp. 158 Marjorie C. Holmes. April
Commissioners:  N. W. White, chairman; J. A. J. McKenna; S. Carmichael; J. P. Shae;  D. H. Macdowall.   C H. Gibbons, Secretary.
Appointed April 23, 1913;  report dated June 30, 1916.
This was a joint commission appointed by the Dominion Government and the Government of the Province of British Columbia to try
to settle the vexed question of Indian reserves in British Columbia.
Two commissioners were appointed by the Dominion Government, and
two by the Provincial Government. These four commissioners selected
a fifth who was appointed to act as chairman. The report is extensive
and includes descriptions of the boundaries of all Indian reserves within
the Province, accompanied by maps. The recommendations were not
wholly adopted by the Government, and therefore the interest of the
report is chiefly historical.
(b.) Confidential report of the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs
for the province of British Columbia under Order in Council dated the 10th day of June, in the Year of Our Lord
One Thousand Nine Hundred and Thirteen. Printed by
Order, Victoria, British Columbia. Printed by the Acme
Press, Limited, 1916.
28 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: as above.
Appointed as above.
This report is a confidential report made by the Indian commissioners to the Governor-General of Canada bearing on the social and
physical condition of the Indians in British Columbia.
85. [Commission . . . to enquire into certain claims respecting lands
situated within the Esquimalt and Nanaimo railway land belt,
and the present status of all lands excepted out of the said belt.]
No report found.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice F. B. Gregory, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed August 3,1916.
The commission was appointed to inquire into the claims to Crown
grants of any or all persons who, prior to December 19, 1883, occupied
or improved lands situated in the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway belt,
and the status of lands excepted out of that tract as not passing with
the grant to the Dominion Government, or held as school reserves.
86. [Commission to inquire into the sale by public auction in November
1909 of the lands specified in the Minute . . . and to investigate all matters relating thereto.]
57 pp.
Original typewritten report and appendices on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Robert Wilson Harris, K.C, of Vancouver.
Appointed April 28, 1916;  report dated September 29, 1916. i945 COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY. 159
The lots in question were Lots 139, 140, 186, 538, 540, 206, 217, and
2027, New Westminster District, and also lands surveyed as Lot 2,
Block 13; Lot 1, Block 19; Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, Block 20; Lots 2 and 3,
Block 21; Lot 3, Block 44. The commissioner was to inquire into all
transfers and assignments regarding these lands, and the disposal of
money so made. The history of each piece of land was inquired into
thoroughly. The commissioner made recommendations in each case,
including certain concessions on the part of the Government in the
matter of financial arrangements.
87. Commissioner's report, Vancouver Island riots, 1913-14.
15 pp.
In Sessional Papers  .  .  . Session 1919.   pp. F 1-F 15.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   Mr. Justice F. B. Gregory, of the Supreme Court.-
Appointed August 3, 1916;  report dated December 21, 1916.
The commissioner was appointed to inquire into " all claims for
compensation or injury, either to person or property, arising out of and
in the course of the riots or disorders which occurred during the coal-
miners' strike on Vancouver Island in the years 1913 and 1914." The
commissioner was not required by the terms of the commission to
inquire into the cause of the riots of August 12 to 16,1913, during which
considerable damage was done by the miners to person and property at
Extension, South Wellington, and Ladysmith, and in suppression of
which the militia was called out, but to report on the claims for compensation, numbering 380. Schedule A of the report lists the names
of the claimants, the amounts claimed, and the amounts allowed by
the commissioner. Certain specific claims with particulars and recommendations are set out in Schedule B.
88. [In the matter of a commission . . . to enquire into the charge
made by the sixth member for the City of Vancouver in the
Legislative Assembly on the 17th day of April, 1917, John
Sedgwick Cowper did charge " that the sum of $25,000 was
placed in the safe of the Hotel Vancouver by, or on behalf of
the Canadian Northern Railway on the night of the 13th of
September last, and that the same money was received or taken
away the next morning by a person who was a Liberal candidate
at the by-election of February 26,1916, and also at the General
Election of September 14,1916."]
5 pp.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   Mr. Justice F. B. Gregory, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed April 24, 1917;  report dated May 12, 1917. 160 Marjorie C. Holmes. April
This is commonly known as the " Cowper commission." The com-
missipner investigated charges made on the floor of the Legislature by
J. S. Cowper, that the sum of $25,000 was placed "in the safe of the
Hotel Vancouver on behalf of the Canadian Northern Railway, and that
the money was taken away by a " Liberal candidate." At the commencement of the inquiry the charge was revised to read $15,000 instead
of $25,000. The evidence did not prove that the money had anything
to do with the Canadian Northern Railway, but it was brought out
that it had been received by the Attorney-General (Hon. M. A. Macdonald), and paid into campaign funds.
89. In the matter of the Fort George election inquiry act and in the
matter of an investigation and inquiry under the said act;
report of the commissioner.
43 pp.
Original typewritten report, proceedings and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Frederick McBain Young, Judge of the County
Court of Atlin.
Appointed May 19,1917; report dated August 18,1917.
The commission was appointed by statute (1917, chapter 20), to
inquire into alleged irregularities in connection with the election of a
member of the Legislative Assembly for Fort George electoral district
held September 14, 1916. The commissioner found that the charges
were not substantiated.
90. Report of Commissioner appointed to investigate the Economic
Conditions and Operations of the British Columbia Electric
Railway Company and subsidiary companies. Victoria, B.C.:
Printed by William H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.   1918.
Cover-title, 50 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria. | .
Commissioner: Adam Shortt, C.M.G., F.R.S.C, of Ottawa, formerly
Civil service commissioner, •    .,   ..
Appointed July 11, 1917;  report dated November 5, 1917,
The commission was appointed to make an investigation of the
economic conditions and operations of the British Columbia Electric
Railway, to make such recommendations as might be suggested as the
result of such inquiry, and ",to investigate the question, of transportation in ithe city of Vancouver and surrounding districts and 1p decide
definitely as to the possibility of the street car service being maintained
in competition with jitneys." The first part of the report gives a
synoDsjs of ,the agreements, between the British Columbia Electric
Railway ,and, various.^ municipalities in regard to transportation, the
second^ part deals with the situation in Victoria and Vancouver Island.
The commissioner,, as a result of his inquiries, found that transportation deficits should not be chargeable to the light and power business; 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 161
that urban and interurban street railway business cannot be conducted
on the basis of free competition, but as a public utility should be
regarded as a natural monopoly.
91. In the matter of a public Inquiry under an Act of the Legislature
for the purpose of making certain inquiries regarding the By-
Election held in the City of Vancouver, B.C. on the 26th of
February 1916.
No original report found. Victoria Daily Times, August 18, 1917,
page 14, prints full text.
Typewritten proceedings and exhibits on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Mr. Justice W. A. Galliher, of the Court of Appeal,
chairman; Mr. Justice Denis Murphy, and Mr. Justice William Alexander Macdonald, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed May 19, 1917;  report dated August 9, 1917.
This commission is commonly known as the " Plugging case." The
commissioners were appointed by statute (1917, chapter 21) to investigate all circumstances in connection with the by-election held in Vancouver on February 26, 1917. The report found that " an elaborate
and expensive scheme of personation was adopted on behalf of M. A.
Macdonald, the Liberal candidate . . . but there was no evidence
adduced other than the so-called confession of Scott (hereinafter further
referred to and rejected except as evidence against Scott) showing that
Mr. Macdonald had any knowledge of or connection with such illegal
practices. This scheme was engineered by one John T. Scott." The
report reviewed the connection of Scott with the Liberal party at some
length, and also reviewed the methods employed in the personation of
voters. The report completely exonerated M. A. Macdonald from complicity in the affair.
92. Report of Commissioners appointed to investigate the Overseas
Vote in connection with the British Columbia Prohibition Act.
7 pp.
Original report on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners:   David Whiteside, F. A. Pauline, and C. F. Nelson,
Members of the Legislative Assembly.
Appointed May 19, 1917;   report [1917].
The commissioners were appointed by the provisions of the " Prohibition Overseas Vote Investigation Act " (1917, chapter 50), to inquire
into charges that " frauds, irregularities, and improper proceedings "
had occurred in taking the votes of the soldiers overseas in the United
Kingdom or elsewhere on the continent of Europe on the referendum
regarding prohibition. The commissioners proceeded overseas in the
course of their investigation, to take evidence of Ernest Alfred Helmore,
chartered accountant of Chancery Lane, London, who had been appointed
by Sir Richard McBride, Agent-General, acting under instructions, " to
compare poll-books and military records available in England; ascertain 162 Marjorie C. Holmes. April
if names in poll-books represent men from British Columbia entitled to
vote, who were actually at the polling points on the day of polling; also
numbers of repeaters (if any), including final count." The commissioners reported that " grave frauds and irregularities were committed,
and that the regulations laid down for the taking of the vote were in
many instances not observed."
93. Commission   .   .   .   to inquire into the unlawful importation of
liquor into the Province of British Columbia since 24th December 1917, names of firms and disposition of liquor.
No report issued.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice William Henry Pope Clement, of the
Supreme Court.
Appointed December 23,1918.
The commission was held to be ultra vires. One witness, former
commissioner W. Findlay, refused to testify, and a lawsuit resulted
when another witness, Alex L. Gartshore, also refused. Chief Justice
Hunter issued a writ on January 22, 1919, restraining Mr. Justice
Clement from proceeding with the inquiry. Although this decision
was reversed on appeal (See 27 B.C.R. 121), the commissioner did not
proceed further.
94. In the matter of the " Public Inquiries Act" and in the matter of
a commission to enquire into the question of compensation in
respect of losses alleged to have been sustained by persons,
firms and corporations by reason of the operation of the British
Columbia prohibition act.
2 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed January 6, 1920;   report dated January 20, 1920.
Mr. Justice Clement was first appointed to be commissioner of this
inquiry on October 28, 1919, but on account of illness he resigned after
taking a portion of the evidence. Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison was
appointed in his place in January of the following year. A partial
judgment of the commissioner appears in the Daily Colonist, Victoria,
January 20, 1920, in which it is stated that Mr. Justice Morrison
refused to proceed further with the inquiry since it was conceded by
the counsel for the claimants, Sir Charles Tupper and A. Dunbar
Taylor, " that there was no legal right to compensation " though they
proceeded to argue on " moral grounds." The commissioner in his
report states: " I find there are no classes of persons, firms or corporations who are entitled to be compensated by the Province of British
Columbia in respect to such loss, if any." 1945 COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY. 163
95. Commission on Health Insurance etc. (appointed under " Public
Inquiries Act" November 19th, 1919). Report on Mothers'
Pensions with appendix. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by William
H. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, 1920.
Cover title, 16 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .   Session 1920.    pp. T 1-T 13.
Commissioners: E. S. H. Winn, chairman of the Workmen's Compensation Board; Mrs. Cecilia Spofford, of Victoria; T. Bennett Green
and D. McCallum, of the Department of Labour.
Appointed November 19, 1919;   report dated March 22, 1920.
The commission investigated the general principles involved in
mothers' pensions, and made a study of legislation which had already
been passed in other parts of the world, with a view to making recommendations to be embodied in future legislation for British Columbia.
96. In the matter of the Public Inquiries Act;  a commission to con
sider, investigate and inquire into the matter set out in Section
58 of the Local Improvement Act.
No report found.
Typewritten proceedings are on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  George E. Hancox, of Vancouver.
Appointed August 9,1920.
The commission was appointed to investigate inequalities in the
taxation of property owners in connection with the paving of Kingsway,
Vancouver. From correspondence on file in the Public Works Department, it would appear that the Government decided not to take any
action on the report of Mr. Hancox. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
ARTHUR S. MORTON:   1870-1945.
In the recent death of Professor Arthur Silver Morton, M.A., D.D.,
LL.D., F.R.S.C, Western Canada has lost one of her leading historians.
From 1914 to 1940 Dr. Morton was Professor of History and Librarian in
the University of Saskatchewan. From 1937 to his death he was Keeper
of Provincial Records of the Province of Saskatchewan.
Born in Trinidad, British West Indies, on May 16, 1870, of Nova Scotian
parents, Professor Morton was by descent a Scot. His father, Rev. John
Morton, was a missionary among the Hindu labourers who were working on
the sugar estates in Trinidad. Arthur S. Morton received his early training at Queen's Royal College at Port of Spain, and having won high honours
in the local examinations set by the University of Cambridge, he was
awarded a scholarship by the Government of Trinidad. He elected to attend
Edinburgh University. There he obtained his Master of Arts degree and,
after completing his theological course, the degree of Bachelor of Divinity.
He spent one summer in France, and also studied church history at the
University of Berlin under the well-known Professor Harnach.
Returning to Canada in 1896 he was ordained by the Presbytery of St.
John, N.B., and from 1904 to 1907 lectured in Pine Hill College (Presbyterian), at Halifax, N.S. The next few years were spent in London at
the British Museum. In 1912 he returned to Canada to lecture in Knox
College, Toronto. Two years later he was appointed to the chair of history
in the University of Saskatchewan.
During the first World War he gave many public lectures in different
sections of the Province. His interest in local history was quickened, and
in 1917 he founded the Historical Association of the University of Saskatchewan. From then until his death his energies were devoted to the collection and preservation of materials for the history of the Northwest, and to
the writing of that story. Summer after summer he might be found
patiently working away in the Public Archives at Ottawa, and winter after
winter he employed all the time he could afford from his regular duties in
working over the materials he had gathered. He was an indefatigable
worker, and his efforts never flagged. It was typical of him that at the
time of his death he was at work with his old friend and former chief,
President Emeritus Walter C. Murray, writing the history of the University
of Saskatchewan.
Professor Morton spent the summer of 1932 in the Provincial Archives
at Victoria. He was then working on his History of the Canadian West
to 1870-71. In 1933-34 he obtained a sabbatical year and spent it in the
Archives of the Hudson's Bay Company, in London. He was fortunate in
obtaining access to valuable records that had not previously been made
available to Canadian research workers.    The summers of 1935, 1936, and
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VoL IX., No. 2.
165 166 Notes and Comments. April
1937 were also spent in London at the Hudson's Bay Company's Archives,
the British Museum, and the Public Record Office. In 1932 Professor
Morton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1941
he received from that society the J. B. Tyrrell gold medal, an annual award
presented to an outstanding Canadian historian. The University of Saskatchewan in 1941 conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.
Author of numerous articles published in the leading Canadian historical
journals, and of papers presented to the Royal Society of Canada, Dr.
Morton was well-known for his tireless research and for the enthusiasm
which he treasured for a new theory. At times his historical " finds "
brought him into conflict with some of the other authorities in the field.
But Dr. Morton was a " bonny fechter " and did not easily withdraw from
the battle, even though he could not convince his opponents that Duncan
Finlayson was as outstanding a figure in the story of the fur-trade as David
Thompson. Possibly his most valuable historical revision was in the case
of the La Verendryes. He pointed out that La Verendrye and his men were
really fur-traders rather than explorers, and that their explorations were
largely forced upon them by the incessant orders from France relayed
through the Governor at Quebec.
Professor Morton's chief title to fame will, however, rest upon his two
volumes Under Western Skies and History of the Canadian West to 1870-71.
In collaboration with Professor Chester Martin he wrote The History of
Prairie Settlement, the second volume in the series " Canadian Frontiers
of Settlement." Under Western Skies is a popular work, a reprint of
articles which had originally appeared in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.
It is a bright little book which told in simple, straightforward language
fascinating tales of the Old West of the fur-traders. The History of
'Prairie Settlement dealt with the story of agriculture and settlement from
fur-trading days down to 1925. But Dr. Morton's History of the Canadian
West to 1870-71 is, by all odds, his most permanent contribution to Canadian history. In it he attempted to deal with a vast field stretching from
Hudson Bay to the Pacific, and from the international boundary to the
Arctic. It was a stupendous task, but he bent himself good-humouredly
and whole-heartedly to the work. As originally planned the volume was to
be the first of two. The second was to tell the story of the Canadian West
after Confederation. Possibly amongst his massive collection of papers
sufficient materials may be found for the construction of this volume, but
Professor Morton did not live to complete it.
The History exhibits Dr. Morton's virtues and defects as an historian.
His remarkable knowledge of the geography and topography of Western
Canada, his thirst for information, and his painstaking, careful scholarship
are everywhere in evidence. So, too, unfortunately, are his prolixity and
excessive devotion to detail. In order to shorten the work, which as it is
runs to over 1,000 pages, Dr. Morton eliminated practically all foot-note
references. It is thus impossible to check the sources of his numerous
quotations. Many of them, no doubt, are from manuscript material in the
Hudson's  Bay  Company's  Archives, but he  does not indicate this.    He 1945 Notes and Comments. 167
might have followed the custom adopted in the Champlain Society's Hudson's Bay Series of citing the call number of the manuscript volume; but,
alas, the exigencies of space forbade. As a result this great work is neither
adequate as a guide for the research student, nor, on the other hand, is it
a popular history of the West. One may perhaps be allowed to wonder
whether Professor Morton ever seriously considered cutting down the length
of his narrative by omitting interesting but often unnecessary detail and
thereby saving space for essential foot-notes. But, taken all in all, Morton's
History is an outstanding volume which will hold its place for many years
to come.
And now he has left us. We shall miss his cheerful smile, his infinite
kindness, especially to younger historians, and, above all, his Christian
gentlemanliness.    We shall not see his like again.
W. N. Sage.
Victoria Section.
It has for years been the custom of the Section to observe, in some
fitting way, the anniversary of the arrival in March, 1850, of Richard
Blanshard, first Governor of the old Crown Colony of Vancouver Island, and
the establishment of formal British rule in what is now British Columbia.
This year the celebration was specially noteworthy, for His Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Woodward graciously entertained the members at a reception in Government House on Tuesday, March 13. Some 200
guests attended. The Chairman of the Section, Major H. Cuthbert Holmes,
presided, and outlined briefly the short but interesting and historically
important regime of the first Governor. Major Holmes then introduced the
speaker of the evening, Inspector Henry A. Larsen, R.C.M.P., Captain of the
celebrated motorship St. Roch, which last year travelled from Halifax to
Vancouver by way of the Northwest Passage in eighty-six days. The St.
Roch had made the journey in the other direction in 1940-42, but her second
voyage won her enduring fame as the first vessel ever to accomplish the
passage from east to west in a single year. Captain Larsen's attitude
towards the voyage has been well expressed by J. Lewis Robinson. To him
" this historic feat was an achievement of which to be proud, but nothing
about which to become excited. He and his police crew had been travelling
.around amid the ice-floes of the Western Arctic in good and bad seasons
for fourteen years, and had conquered the Passage as a side-activity while
successfully carrying on with their other police duties." Captain Larsen
did, however, describe some of the relics of former expeditions that were
encountered in the course of his two voyages, including the mast of the
yacht Mary, left on Beechey Island by Sir John Ross in 1850. More interesting to British Columbians were the cairn and cache of goods left on
Dealey Island by Captain Kellett in 1852. Six years previously Kellett
had visited the Strait of Juan de Fuca in H.M. surveying ship Herald, and
had commenced the first surveys of Victoria and Esquimalt harbours 168 Notes and Comments.
Captain Larsen expressed his intention of presenting certain relics of
Sir John Franklin and other early explorers to the Archives, and Miss
Madge Wolfenden, Acting Provincial Archivist, expressed the department's
appreciation of this suggestion. Dr. T. A. Rickard, in moving a vote of
thanks to the speaker, insisted that, in his modesty, the Captain had not
sufficiently emphasized the historic importance of his achievement, for the
St. Roch had realized the dreams of some of the greatest sea captains of
former ages.
Mrs. M. R. Cree next presented a musical programme, which included
solos and duets by Mrs. Rickard and Miss Eva Hart, who were accompanied
by Mrs. George Phillips, and two piano solos by Mrs. Harty Morden, the
singers and Mrs. Cree being attired in period costume.
Colonial corsages were presented to Mrs. Woodward and the artists by
Mrs. Cuthbert Holmes, and a delightful supper brought the evening to a
Vancouver Section.
The Section met in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday, February 13, when
the many members present were addressed by Dr. W. N. Sage, who spoke
on the interesting topic, British Columbia becomes Canadian. It is obvious
that the mere fact that British Columbia joined the youthful Dominion of
Canada in 1871 did not at first cause her to be Canadian in anything except
political affiliation, and Dr. Sage had assigned himself the task of discovering just when, and by what steps and stages, the population and economic
structure of the Province had become genuinely Canadian. The old colonial
regime suffered relatively little disturbance until the completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Thereafter the change came fairly
rapidly. Several well-known biographical dictionaries of prominent citizens
had served as rough yardsticks with which to measure the transition, and
Dr. Sage's conclusion was that British Columbia by 1901 had become Canadian in fact as well as in law. No mere summary can attempt to present
the evidence tabulated in the address, and it is to be hoped that a complete
study may appear in print in the near future.
A. G. Harvey, Vancouver barrister, contributed an article on The Mystery
of Mount Robson to the first volume of this Quarterly, and in 1940 published
a second paper on David Douglas in British Columbia. The article here
presented once again reflects his interest in the naturalists who visited the
Pacific Northwest in early days. A fourth article by Mr. Harvey is scheduled for publication in an early issue.
Miss Marjorie C Holmes is Assistant Librarian of the Provincial Library,
Victoria. It is a pleasure to be able to announce that her Checklist of Royal
Commissions, the fourth and concluding part of which will appear in the
July number, will be reprinted as a separate publication by the Provincial
Merton Y. Williams, Ph.D., F.R.S.C, is Professor and Head of the Department of Geology and Geography in the University of British Columbia. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
The Romance of Mining.    By T. A. Rickard.    Toronto:   The Macmillan
Company of Canada, 1944.    Pp. 450.    $3.75.
In this most interesting volume Dr. Rickard, the Dean of mining historians, takes as his motto, " Truth is stranger than fiction." In his clear,
incisive style he first pictures " The Prospector," mythical, ancient, and
modern. In chapter two he associates " Discovery " with the progress of
civilization. Then follow thirteen chapters describing mining ventures in
all ages and all over the globe, ranging from Jason's " Golden Fleece " to
the Bulolo Company's " New Guinea Gold." The final chapter is fittingly
entitled " The Flag follows the Pick."
Of particular historical interest are the chapters on " The Discovery of
Gold in California," " The Australian Diggings," " Gold and Fur in British
Columbia," and " The Diamonds of Kimberley."
The accounts of the finding of gold on the Fraser River and the discovery
of the Cariboo are interwoven with the early history of this Province, and
the author concludes: " They [the discoveries] served to unite the separated
provinces of Canada and fulfilled the national motto:  A mari usque ad mare."
Canadians will be especially interested in " The Gold of the North."
The discovery of the Klondike to the outside world is credited to Carmack
rather than to Henderson, who had prior claim to the discovery of gold in
that vicinity. It may be noted that in the text Circle City instead of Fort
Yukon is placed at the mouth of the Porcupine River, and that this important tributary of the Yukon is pictured as dependent on primitive transportation long after power-boats were used extensively, as they were by 1911.
The chapter on " New Guinea Gold " has an especial appeal to British
Columbians as the Bulolo Gold Dredging Company, Limited, has its head
office in Vancouver, and Mr. C A. Banks, its managing director, was formerly a resident of this city. To him is largely due the modern air transport employed so successfully by his company.
Quoting Rickard: " On May 10, 1938, the Mining and Metallurgical
Society of America awarded its gold medal to Charles Arthur Banks for
' distinguished service in the application of aerial transportation to the
development of remote mining operations.' " The author has also dedicated
this volume " To Charles A. Banks, whose professional career has been alike
honourable, successful and romantic."
Minor errors in names, spelling, etc., will be noted. For example the
reference to Edward S. Dana on page 148 should be to J. D. Dana; Barklay
on page 276 should be Barkley; likewise on page 280, the year of James
Douglas's transfer to the Columbia District was 1830, not 1824, as stated.
Such errors are bound to creep into so comprehensive a work.
The last chapter elaborates a theme which is already familiar, for
throughout the volume Dr. Rickard has not only fastened the reader's
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol IX., No. 2.
169 170 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
attention upon the true romance of mining, but has clearly linked the finding and winning of metals with the progress of human civilization.
M. Y. Williams.
Vancouver, B.C.
Oregon Geographic Names. By Lewis A. McArthur. Second edition, revised
and enlarged. Portland, Oregon: Published by Binfords & Mort for
the Oregon Historical Society, 1944.    Pp. xii., 581.    $6.
The publication of the original edition of this standard work in 1928
evidently did little more than whet Mr. McArthur's appetite. The labour it
represented was immense; but the amount of searching, note-taking, and
letter-writing that has gone into the preparation of this enlarged volume
staggers the imagination. Even so its tireless author still considers that
his task is no more than well started. In a preface he tells us that the new
edition includes only 3,400 headings, covering approximately 5,000 physical
features, whereas there are in the State of Oregon no less than 25,000
place-names that, in his opinion, are " worthy of serious study." Actually
this computation is grossly unfair to an outstanding volume, for the present
work approaches the definitive much more closely than its modest author
admits. Practically every place-name of more than local significance will
be found between its covers.
The names dealt with have an infinite variety. In date they range from
Ouragon, a first version of Oregon, that appeared in print as early as 1765,
to Vanport, the war-born emergency housing settlement for shipyard workers
that sprang up between Portland and Vancouver, Washington, in 1942.
Some are as far-fetched as Gladstone (named after William Ewart, for
some quite inadequate reason); others are as indigenous as Concomly.
Many are as commonplace as the inevitable Salmon River; a few are as
colourful and original as Cathlamet and Kuamaski.
Many of the great figures in the history of the region are, of course,
commemorated. Captain Cook Point, Cape Meares, and Heceta Head bring
to mind three celebrated navigators, while other place-names recall such
champions of American rights in Old Oregon as Hall J. Kelley, Thomas
Hart Benton, and Senator Linn, and such outstanding Oregon pioneers as
Jesse Applegate and J. Quinn Thornton. Yet the number of notables who
are not so immortalized is striking. Alexander Ross, Ross Cox, Gabriel
Franchere, James Douglas, and John Work, all great figures of the fur-
trade, do not appear; nor does Ewing Young, whose death brought to the
fore the necessity of setting up some sort of local government authority in
the region.
Oregon has its quota of less dignified place-names. Bakeoven, Beetles
Rest Spring, Boiling Point, Crazyman Creek, Horse Heaven, Senoj ("Jones"
in reverse), Shirttail Gulch, and Tencent Lake are examples. And although
Mr. McArthur's text is compact and, above all, informative, his pen has
a light touch, and such names as these arouse his sense of humour. Thus
he explains that Shirttail Gulch received its name when one Richardson,
out gathering a load of wood, was attacked by Indians and fled precipi- 1945 The Northwest Bookshelf. 171
tately from the scene. " His speed was so great that his shirttail fanned
out behind him and even the jackrabbits were amazed." A few pages
farther on he makes a spirited defence of Skunk Creek, which some residents
of the vicinity have more than once endeavoured to rechristen. " If the
compiler lived on Skunk Creek he would be glad of the publicity and would
print a picture of the little black and white animal on his letterpaper. The
skunk is independent, brave and capable ... an animal of distinction."
To quote more would give the entirely false impression that the book is
facetious; but it is important to know that the solid meat of the volume
has flavour.
Author and publisher alike are to be congratulated upon the excellence
of the printing. The only typographical error of any importance noted
occurs on page 126, where the date of Meares's visit to the mouth of the
Columbia is given as 1778 instead of 1788. ' Other points noticed are matters either of detail or of opinion. For example, the place-name Klondike,
bestowed on a post-office in 1899, would seem to be sufficiently explained by
the notoriety of the Yukon goldfields at the time; and if Dreadnaught
Island was so called " because it resembled a dreadnaught battleship," the
spelling should have been Dreadnought.
• The index is not entirely satisfactory. The idea of having an index is
an excellent one, as any one who has tried to find some of the material
hidden away in Walbran's British Columbia Coast Names will appreciate;
but the entries are neither entirely consistent nor complete. Cape Meares
is indexed under Meares, Cape, but there is no entry for either Peter Skene
Odgen Park or Captain Cook Point. Mount David Douglas is entered as
David Douglas, Mount, whereas Douglas, Mount David, would surely be
more helpful. A consistent indexing under surname would appear to be the
best solution of what is admittedly a troublesome problem. A few entries
relating to less well-known personages have been missed. Thus Alecs Butte
was named after Alexander Carson, but there is no entry for Carson. As it
is probable that a second printing will be required shortly, a careful checking and considerable expansion of the index would be well worth while.
Finally, the writer would like to enter a very strong plea for the addition
of an outline map of Oregon. Physical features are located in the text by
county, and a simple sketch-map showing the county lines, and possibly the
principal rivers, lakes, and mountain peaks, would add greatly to the convenience of the book.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Vancouver, B.C.
Canadian Government and Politics. By H. McD. Clokie. Toronto: Longmans, Green & Company, 1944. Pp. viii., 351. $3.50.
Professor Clokie, of the University of Manitoba, has done a real service
to Canadians in writing this book, which fills a long-felt want. It is not
a theoretical discussion of the nature of government but a practical " description and analysis of Canadian political institutions." As the author
tells us in his preface, " Attention is centred on organs of government, 172 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
constitutional problems and political processes rather than on economic
and social purposes."
The volume is lucidly written and is, as far as possible, free from personal bias. After a well-thought-out treatment of the unsolved problems
" Is Canada a State? " and " Is there a Canadian Nation? " Professor Clokie
traces the constitutional development of the British North American provinces to 1867. It is clear that " The British North America Act of 1867
did not create a ' state,' it simply created a new and larger colony." The
transition from colonial to Dominion status was accomplished only in relatively recent years. In 1914 Canada automatically went to war as part
of the British Empire; " in 1939 entrance into the war was a matter of
independent national decision."
After this brief but penetrating analysis of Canada's constitutional
growth, Professor Clokie deals with the Canadian constitutional system.
He points out the divergence between British and American usage of the
word " constitution." When Americans refer to " the constitution " they
mean specifically the well-known document formulated in the 1780's. The
British constitution is, of course, unwritten. It is " the actual system of
government under which the people of Britain live." The Canadian usage
of the term is, as might be expected, somewhere between the two. In the
broader sense the Canadian constitution is our form of government; in the
narrower it is the British North America Act, 1867, and subsequent amending Acts. On the whole, Professor Clokie uses the term in the broader
In his chapter on Canadian political parties and the electorate, the author
tries his best to be fair to both the old " major " political parties and to the
new crop of " minor " parties. The major parties have been national in the
sense that they have for years attracted adherents from all portions of
Canada. The minor parties have often been " provincial," e.g., le bloc
populaire, but the chief of them, although it originated on the prairies, has
now become national in scope. The outstanding feature of Canadian politics
has been the dominance of the party leader. Canada was the first nation to
pay a salary to the " leader of the Opposition " in the Federal house. It is
a sure sign of party disintegration when political henchmen refuse to follow
their leader, or when there are frequent changes of leadership.
" The Parliament of Canada " receives adequate treatment in chapter
V., and chapter VI. deals with " The Administration of the Dominion of
Canada." Most of us have some notion about the composition and functions of the Canadian Parliament, and possibly even concerning the Federal
administration, but all of us can profit by reading carefully through Professor Clokie's clear and penetrating discussion. In fact, these two chapters
are a veritable storehouse of information from which any reader can draw
for his profit and pleasure.
Chapter VII. on " The Provinces and Canadian Federalism " is, in many
ways, the keystone of the whole work. Canadian federalism differs from
American federalism in this most important point. When the American
constitution came into being the sovereign states gave up certain rights to 1945 THE  NORTHWEST  BOOKSHELF. 173
the new federal government and retained sovereignty over all other matters.
In Canada " Confederation was not based on a contract between individual
sovereign states, it arose from political agreement between dependent,
though responsible, colonial governments." By the terms of the British
North America Act a separation was made between Federal and Provincial
powers. The intention apparently was that the " residue of powers " was
to be in the hands of the Federal Government, but the series of decisions
of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, dating from Lord Watson's
judgment in 1896, have had the effect of creating a sort of omnibus or
residuary clause out of " property and civil rights " as belonging to the
Provinces. As a result Provincial rights have encroached on Federal rights,
and the Federal Government is supreme " only in national disasters and
" Local Government in Canada" is the theme of chapter VIII. Here
Professor Clokie has also made a real contribution. Sir John Bourinot in
1877 published a volume on this topic, but it has had no successor. Professor
Clokie has gathered together, worked over, and " boiled down" a great
mass of material.    The result is a most useful chapter.
In his conclusion the author deals with " Problems of the Future."
These include the completion of national status and constitutional revision.
" The problem in Canadian federalism," he tells us, " becomes one of devising machinery by which regional differences may find expression without
disrupting the Dominion and may be brought to co-operation for the general
The appendices contain relevant and important documents ranging from
the British North America Act to the Declaration of War in 1939. They
cover sixty-six pages, and form a most useful compendium of essential
illustrative material.
There are a few minor errors. In some places Professor Clokie's own
opinions are perhaps a little obvious; but, on the whole, he has done a fine,
workmanlike job.    It badly needed doing.
W. N. Sage.
Vancouver, B.C.
Ka-mi-akin: Last Hero of the Yakimas.   By A. J. Splawn.   Second edition,
revised and enlarged by Margaret C Splawn.   Portland, Oregon:  Published by Binfords & Mort for the Oregon Historical Society, 1944.
Pp. xv., 500.    $4.75.
The title of this book is misleading.    True, its first hundred pages are
devoted to Chief Ka-mi-akin and a vivid account of the Yakima Indian
wars of 1855-56 and 1858;   but a more truly descriptive title would have
been The Comments and Recollections of Andrew Jackson Splawn, a Singularly Observant and Well-informed Pioneer of the Yakima Country.
Splawn was born in Missouri, but within a few years the family emigrated to Oregon. In 1861, when he was 16, he went to the Yakima country.
There he became prominent, first in the cattle industry and then in local
and state politics, and in North Yakima he died in 1917, after having made 174 The Northwest Bookshelf.
his home in the district for fifty-six years. The bulk of his personal recollections relate to the years between I860 and 1880, but to these has been
added a good deal of earlier material gleaned from pioneers who had participated in the events of the fifties and even of the forties.
The narrative, while primarily a contribution to the history of the State
of Washington, touches British Columbia at several points, as Splawn paid
at least four visits to the Colony in the sixties. In 1861-452 he was one of
a party that drove a band of cattle from the Yakima Valley to Cariboo.
This was one of the first ventures of the kind, and the detailed account of
the journey here given is of considerable historical importance. The drive
commenced in August, 1861, and as it was too late to travel through to
Cariboo that season, the cattle were wintered in the vicinity of Cache Creek.
They were finally marketed at the mines in the summer of 1862. The following year Splawn was back once more, this time with a pack-train laden
with bacon. He took part in a second cattle-drive in 1868, and in 1869 he
and his brother drove a band of horses to Kamloops.
Splawn obviously had a remarkable memory, and he seems to have taken
pains to check dates and details whenever possible. His book has the ring
of authenticity, and contains countless incidents and stories that will interest the general reader as well as the historian. Unlike many American
pioneers he writes of the Indians with sympathy and appreciation—indeed
the volume is dedicated " To the North American Indian, the greatest wild
tribe that ever existed.   ..."
Ka-mi-akin was first published in 1917, and has long been out of print.
This new edition includes considerable new material which Splawn had in
his files but did not himself use. Readers will be glad to find that an index
has been added, and it is a pleasure to receive a book in which printing,
paper, and binding are all up to pre-war standards. It is a pity that the
spelling of British Columbia place-names was not corrected; Lytten, Cash
Creek, Barkersville, Chilcatan, and Savanos are all recognizable, but there
would seem to be no good reason to perpetuate such mistakes, particularly
as they cannot but shake one's confidence in the book's general level of
W. Kaye Lamb.
Vancouver, B.C.
• victoria, b.c;
Printed by Chahles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Mai-at.*..
576-346-6662 We
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour W. C Woodward, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
Hon. H. G. T. Perry     .... Honorary President.
Helen R. Boutilier .... President.
B. A. McKelvie     ----- Past President.
Mrs. Curtis Sampson        ... 1st Vice-President.
E. G. Baynes ----- 2nd Vice-President.
Madge Wolfenden    -       -       -       - Honorary Treasurer.
W. Kaye Lamb      ----- Honorary Secretary.
Mrs. M. R. Cree. E. M. Cotton. J. C. Goodfellow.
A. G. Harvey.       T. A. Rickard.       H. T. Nation.
W. N. Sage.      E. G. Rowebottom.
Willard E. Ireland W. Kaye Lamb
(Provincial Archivist). (Editor, Quarterly).
Helen R. Boutilier H. C Holmes
(Vancouver Section). (Victoria Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history;
to promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of January. All members in good standing
receive the British Columbia Historical Quarterly without further charge.
Correspondence and fees may be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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