British Columbia History

BC Historical News Jun 30, 1974

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JUNE  1974
iJfc-dy^T fc=A==^
Vol. 7 No. 4 June 1974
Published November, February, April and June each year by the
British Columbia Historical Association, and distributed free to
members of all affiliated societies by the secretaries of their
respective societies. Subscription rate to non-members: $3.50 per year,
including postage, directly from the Editor, Mr P.A. Yandle,
3450 West 20th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C V63 1E4.
N.B. DEADLINES FOR SUBMISSIONS: The 10th day of month of issue.
Executive 1973-74
Hon. Patron: Lieut-Gov. Walter Owen
Hon. President: Dr Margaret Ormsby
President: Col. G.S. Andrews
Past President: Mr H.R. Brammall
1st Vice-President: Mr Fo Street
2nd Vice-President: Mr J. Roff
Secretary: Mr P.A. Yandle '
Recording Secretary: Mr R. Watt
Editors: Mr & Mrs P.A. Yandle
Treasurer: Miss J. Rowland
Executive Members: Mrs Clare McAllister
Mr H.B. Nash
Convention '74 or Joseph's Prairie Revisited 2
Minutes 3
Society N4tes and Comments 8
Jottings 9
B.C. Books of Interest 1.1
Book Reviews
History of Port Coquitlam 12 '
Shipwrecks of B.C. 1.3
The Need for Action Now - Jean Webster 1.5
Agnes Deans Cameron - Gwen Hayball 1.8
Query - Help Wanted - Cook Fan 25
A Few Reminders of the Convention 26
Haslam House 26'
Gordon Bowes Memorial - Champness 27
The cover series for Volume 7> drawn by Robert Genn, is
focused on the newest affiliates of our Association. This issue
salutes Creston.
The Society has obtained an automatic collating machine.
If your copy of the News has any blank pages please return it
to the Editor, who will supply you with a good copy. CONVENTION '74 or, JOSEPH'S PRAIRIE REVISITED
When joining the B.C. Historical, how many can realise
The far-flung territory encompassed, in this popular enterprise?
The Convention this year was at Cranbrook, the Society fa rthest East
And the preparations made were fitting, to suit either man or beast.
The call was made to the faithful to pack in an extra day,
So the Thursday before the "proceedings" would take us Montana way.
This extra day of Convention was not going to be taken by all,
For some or us had to stay at work, so this was the rich man's call
Your worthy scribe did not attend, he has a wife out working
And two days off in any week is nothing short of shirking.
When we arrived on Thursday eve, for the wine and cheese affair,
We were blatantly told what we had missed, "You really should've been there".
When we heard about the breakfast, the hospitality "done to a turn"
And the friendly folk of Grasmere, I was slowly starting to burn.
It was all in fun I realised, as they continued to rant and rave
As they told of friends at Roosville, and a visit to Phillipps grave;
And the feed they had. at Libby, and the beautiful journey back.
In fact it had been a terrific day, it was time to "hit the sack."
The Council meeting was set for nine at the Towne and Country Motel;
A few were staying down by "the tracks" and the noise at night was hell.
But bravely we rose and wandered up, as the "flock" began to gather;
We got down to facts about this and that for an-hour of enjoyable blather.
The Hall behind us was filling up for the Annual General Meeting
And promptly at ten the Kootenay Pres. announced a civic greeting.
Alderman Beresford said some kind words, then Gerry took over the chair,
He thought it was time for business, since we were all assembled there.
The Secretary immediately leapt to his feet, and gave his Annual Report;
The Treasurer, the Editor followed in line, without any sharp retorts
And so the meeting rolled right along, till we were told of a pleasant surprise
The Council wished to confer an honour, "Would Donald New please rise;
"Henceforth Donald New, you will always be for us an honoured life member"
And nobody cared what happened next; we had something good to remember.
The meeting was over just after twelve, and we were told to climb aboard
The buses waiting at the door, which would convey this seething horde
To Historic Fort Steele for a quick box-lunch and a leisurely afternoon.
We could look at the Fort or go up the Creek - it would be over far too soon;
Struan Robertson made us welcome, the "haggis" just dripping from his speech;
And then it was the Colonel's turn, to step once more to the breach.
We all dispersed in our various ways, and the scribe was for Kicking Horse Cree
Yet we were all back in time at Cranbrook to hear Windermere's Winifred speak,
She had a story to tell about Father De Smet, and was well underway by eight;
Marjean Noble was next on "the bill", about David Thompson to relate,
And with coloured slides she took us there, including her husband and dog,
We had time for coffee and a snack, and went back to sleep like a log,
Because after the talks we had to fit in a forgotten New Council Meeting
And were barely awake when we suddenly heard our New President's greeting.
Next day we were off to Kimberley, for the town was "ours" today;
The meetings at last were all over, we had nothing to do but play;
We went up to the ski-hill for coffee, and a chance to walk up and down
And many of us needed the exercise, to help shake "the suet" down.
We were taken down town and had a free hand to roam around at will
It was quite a surprise for many of us, to see what had been done with skill
The smart new fronts on all the stores are like a lady's fine new gown;
The Mall, the fountains and little stream, have sure changed an ugly old town. The Kimberley ladies provided lunch - a veritable gourmet's delight,
Then back to the bus and off once more to see some more of the sights.
We were finally taken to the fertilizer plant, and drove among the sheds
But I found it a sad reflection that everything around was dead.
And so we started back for town to get spruced up for the night;
The cocktail hour in the Banquet Hall was a technicolour sight.
For this would be our final chance to complete our socializing;
To-morrow all would fade away and we'd all be moralizing.
The banquet, the speaker and all our friends were what we'd been waiting for;
Our speaker Dave Turner laid on the wit and made certain no one would snore;
He chatted about his Heritage Park in a light and informative way
And rounded out for all of us "The End of a Perfect Day."
Now lest we forget, my "hysterical friends" our Convention in '75
Will be held in Campbell River, and I hope you will all survive.
Minutes of the Fourth Council Meeting of the B.C. Historical
Association, held at the Towne and Country Inn, Cranbrook, B.C. on May
2.4th, 1974 at 9.00 a.m. Present: G. Andrews (Pres.); F. Street (1st Vice-
Pres.); J. Roff (2nd Vice-Pres.); Jill Rowland (Treas.); P. Yandle (Sec)
Anne Yandle (Co-Ed.); R. Brammall (Past Pres.); R. Watt (Rec Sec); Clare
McAllister and H.B. Nash (Exec, members); Helen Ford (Iberni); Cliff
Hunter (Burnaby); Rex Tweed (Campbell River); Al Hunter, H. Mayberry,
Mabel Jordon (East Kootenay); A.K. McLeod (West Kootenay); G, German,
K. Leeming, A. Slocomb (Victoria).
President G.S. Andrews called the meeting to order at 9.00 a.m. and the
minutes of the February Council meeting were adopted as circulated. Mr
Brammall outlined changes in the "Association's Constitution, which the
Constitution Committee was recommending for the consideration of the Annual
General Meeting and noted that the mail situation had prevented the Committee
from meeting the statutory notice of by-law changes required by the
Constitution. Moved, Mrs McAllister, Seconded Mr Tweed, that the changes
outlined be recommended to the Annual General Meeting and the customary
•notice of ahanges be waived. - Carried.
The President then introduced the subject of the venue for the 1975
Convention and the Secretary read a letter from the Campbell River Society
offering to be host. Mr Leeming made a verbal offer to be host on behalf
of the Victoria Society. Discussion followed, which included a report
from Mr Tweed, Campbell River, outlining their plans. Moved, Mr Street,
seconded Mr Watt,, that we accept the Campbell River Society's offer for
1975 and Victoria's for 1.976. - Carried.
There was further discussion including a suggestion from Miss Rowland
that a standing committee for Nootka '78 be formed next year. Moved
Miss Rowland, seconded Mrs Yandle, that the incoming council consider such
a committee. - Carried.
The President then introduced the subject of the report of the Grants
Committee, and Mr German reviewed the extent of the Committee's correspondence
in search of information about the help that other historical associations were receiving. Col. Andrews reported on correspondence he had had with the
Awards Advisory Committee of the B.C. Cultural Fund, ending with a letter
from the Provincial Secretary offering the Association ^600, and his
concern with the way in which this offer had been made to the Association.
Nevertheless, he recommended acceptance of the grant. Moved Mrs Ford,
Seconded Mr Naah, that the grant be accepted. - Carried.
The Secretary reported that fehe Gordon Bowes Memorial book was at
last an accomplished fact, and circulated a copy of the Champness volume
for the Council to see. He wished Council to set a price to our members,
taking into consideration Customs Duty, Brokerage, Freight charges, padded
envelopes and postage. It was the desire of Council that we cover our
expenses and pay Ye Galleon Press his discount list price of $7.20 per
copy and that there would be a no-profit motive entertained. Moved Leeming,
Seconded Mrs McAllister that the price for Champness be set at $1.0.-Carried.
Moved Watt, Seconded Street that the Secretary write to Mr Adams
expressing Council's appreciation of his efforts. - Carried.
Moved Yandle, Seconded Ford that the Champness volume be sold at the
set price to our individual members and that institutions would purchase
through Mr Adams or his agents. - Carried.
The President placed before Council the expressed desire by several
members that Donald New, a member of the Gulf Islands Branch and a Past
President of the Association be honoured for his loyal and devoted service
.to the Association. Moved Yandle, Seconded Miss Rowland that Council
recommend to the Annual General Meeting that Donald New be granted a Life
Membership in the Association. - Carried unanimously.
. . A letter of application was read from the Chemainus Valley Historical
Society requesting affiliation. Moved Yandle, Seconded Watt that the
Chemainus application be accepted. - Carried.
Moved Tweed, Seconded Brammall that the Vancouver Orpheum Theatre
lottery be referred to the  new council. - Carried.
Mr Brammall raised the question of future affiliates, and in particular
expressed concern on the size of some societies seeking to affiliate. The
President repeated his belief that we should have a descriptive brochure
to send prospective members. The matter was referred to the New Council.
For information, Mr Brammall stated that the. Association has status
as a charitable organization in accord with the Federal Tax laws.
The president finally announced that a 30 oz troy weight, formerly
belonging to the Gold Commissioner's Office at Fort Steele, would be formally
returned to the Park Superintendent, Mr Robertson, at an afternoon ceremony.
The meeting was adjourned at 9«55 a.m.
R.D. Watt, Recording Secretary
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the British Columbia Historical Association, held in the ballroom of the Towne and CoUntyy Inn,
Cranbrook, B.C on 24th May, 1974. The meeting was called to order at 1.0.10 a.m. by Mr Hank Mayberry,
President of the East Kootenay and District Historical Association, who
introduced Alderman Arthur Beresford of the Cranbrook City Council.
Alderman Beresford welcomed the delegates on behalf of the Mayor and Members
of Council, and spoke briefly on his view of history and its place in the
community. Mr Mayberry turned the meeting over to Col. Andrews, the
President, who added a few words of welcome.
The Secretary read the Minutes of the 1973 Annual General Meeting.
Moved Yandle, Seconded Roff, that the minutes be accepted as read - Carried.
The Secretary presented his annual report and reviewed the growth of
the Association over the previous year in numbers and stature. The
Treasurer presented her report, which is annexed to the records. Moved
German, Seconded Brammall, that the reports of the Secretary and Treasurer
be adopted. - Carried. The Editor presented his report, remarking that he
and the Co-Editor took particular pride in the fact that the forthcoming
issue would mark seven years of accomplishment. Moved Mrs Jordon, Seconded
Street that the Editor's report be adopted as read. - Carried.
Anne Yandle then read a lengthy and comprehensive report from Mrs
Anne Stevenson, Association representative on the Historic Sites Advisory
Board. Her report included mention of the terms of reference discussions,
The Forestry Museum, Emily Carr House, Barkerville, a research assistant,
a fur trade park, Alexandra House and Bridge, and St. Ann's Academy.
The President remarked on the very comprehensive nature of the report and
asked the Secretary to send Mrs Stevenson a note of thanks.
Moved Slocomb, Seconded Brammall that the usual provisions for 6-weeks
notice of by-law changes be waived, in view of the postal strike and the
lengthy disruption in service that followed - Carried.  Mr Leeming presented
the Constitution Committee's recommended changes, and moved that these
amendments be inserted'in the new draft of the Constitution. Seconded Miss
Rowland - Carried.
The President read a letter from the Secretary of the Chemainus Valley
Historical Society applying for affiliation and said that Council recommended
acceptance. Moved Yandle, Seconded Miss Schofield that the Chemainus
Valley Historical Society's application be accepted. - Carried unanimously.
The President asked the Secretary to write to Dr Ormsby and Dr Prang
of the University of B.C. in view of the imminent change in the incumbent
of the office of Hon. President.
The President announced the unanimous recommendation of the Council to
elect Mr Donald New a Life Member and commented that he believed that no
living member of the Association had contributed more to the aims and work
of the Association. The President observed that the loud applause which
greeted his announcement certainly meant that the General Meeting concurred
in the decision of Council, and he offered Mr New his congratulations.
Mr New accepted, protesting that he hoped he was worthy of the honour and
pointing out that he felt it must be partly directed at the many who had
offered their help in previous years.
The President announced that Council recommended acceptance of the offer
from Campbell River to hold the 1975 Convention there. The meeting
unanimously accepted this recommendation. The President introduced Mrs Weir of the Windermere Historical Society
who reported on the desire of her Society and of many citizens of the
region to have the Government change tne name of Lake McNaughton back to
the original name, Kinbasket. Moved Mrs Weir, Seconded Mayberry, that we
approach the Provincial Government to ask that the lake now re-named
McNaughton Lake be changed back to the historic and honoured name of
Kinbasket Lake. - Carried. Considerable discussion followed, which included
comments on the importance of recognizing the contribution of the native
peoples in the history of the province and the correct agencies to whom
representations should be made.
Br anch reports were received from
Burnaby - Mr Street Port Alberni. - Mrs Ford
Campbell River - Mr Tweed Vancouver - Mr Watt
East Kootenay - Mr Mayberry Gulf Islands - Mrs McAllister
"West Kootenay - Mr Macleod VTindermere - Mrs Weir
Nanaimo - Mr Yandle Victoria - Mr Slocomb
The President announced that orders would be taken for the Champness
book at $1.0,00 per copy including postage. Mrs Stephanie Manson thanked the
Association and particularly the Brammalls and the Yandles for their efforts
in overseeing the preparation of the memorial to her late husband.
Mrs Dunning invited members to take part in the Maple Ridge centennial
Mr Tweed moved adjournmeh4- at 1.2,05 p..m., Seconded Yandle.
R.D. Watt, Recording Secretary
* >J; -Jf    *  rfc * *  * * *
Minutes of the First Council Meeting of the 1974-75 seasan, held at
Cranbrook, May 24th, 1974, Present:  Helen F rd (Alberni); Frank Street
(Burnaby); Rex Tweed (Campbell River); Mabel Jordon, Henry Mayberry (East
Kootenay), Clare McAllister, Donald New (Gulf Islands); A.K, McLeod (West
Kootenay); Jack Roff, Robin Brammall, Jill Rowland, Anne Yandle, Phil Yandle
(Vancouver); A. Slocomb., Ken Leeming, Mrs Turnbull, H.B. Nash, Gordon German,
G.S. Andrews (Victoria); Terry Eastwood (Prbv, Archives)., .
Meeting was called to order at 1.0,00 p.m. by retiring President Gerry
Andrews. It was the first order of business to elect the officers for the
ensuing year.
President: Frank Street        Past President: G.S. Andrews
1st Vice-Pres,: J. Roff.        2nd Vice-Pres.: A, Slocomb
Secretary: P.A. Yandle Treasurer: Jill Rowland
Editor: P.A, Yandle Co.-Ed*- Anne Yandle
Exec» Members: Donald New and Rex Tweed
Recording Sec: R. Watt        Hist.Sites Advisory Bd. Anne Stevenson
Frank Street took the chair and a hearty vote of thanks was given the
retiring President and other members of tho Executive who would not be joining
the New Council..
Matters referred to the incoming Council were the first items to be
dealt with. R„ Brammall saiu we should have a policy regarding affiliates
wishing to join the Association, who in fact were interested people meeting as
a group, yet in principle were not true Historical Societies. The Secretary
suggested that w<2 should consider only those registered under the Societies' Act and they would therefore have a Constitution and By-laws which could be
checked. Moved Mrs McAllister, Seconded Yandle that Robin Brammall be a
committee of one to deal with this matter - Carried. Robin Brammall accepted
but felt that he should have the assistance of P. Yandle and Ken Leeming.
This was agreed upon.
Considerable discussion tokk place regarding the "Save the Orpheum
Lottery". It was finally clarified that the B.C Historical Association
was not as a Council, in any position to sell the tickets for this lottery
but that we should recommend the idea to all affiliates. Moved Tweed,
Seconded D. New that the Council go on record as approving the lottery, and
recommend to all affiliated societies that they consider taking tickets to
assist -the aim of the lottery. - Carried.
The Secretary read a letter from Dr Philip Akrigg, Dept.of English, U.B.C
offering to give an illustrated lecture on "Hudson's Bay Company days in
Early B.C" to any society in the Lower Mainland, Victoria or Nanaimo. He
would be available from January to April 1.975 a^d would have to be booked
by the end of November 1.974.
Considerable discussion took place regarding promotional material that
should be readily available for any member to pass on to interested societies.
Moved Anne Yandle, seconded J. Roff that the Association produce a brochure
of the aims and objects and advantages of affiliating with us. Such a
brochure would be free of names and dates so that it would not become obsolete.
Carried. Anne Yandle and Jill Rowland would take care of it and report
back to the November Council meeting.
Moved Leeming, seconded Slocomb that the present per capita levy remain
in effect for 1974-75. Carried. Moved MacLeod, Seconded Jordon, that the
Treasurer, together with either the President or the Secretary be the
signing officers for 1974-75. - Carried.
The Association had agreed to purchase 500 copies of the Gordon Bowes
Memorial book, and inasmuch as this will soon become a collectors' item, a
time limit should be set, during which only one copy per member would be
available. Moved Tweed, seconded MacLeod, that each Society member be
allowed one copy of "To Cariboo and Back in 1.862" by W. Champness, up to
October 31st, 1974, at which date sales will be open and no limit to
quantity purchases. - Carried.
The Secretary now has 1.30 copies in his possession, which he had to pick
up and have released from Cuatoms at Douglas, B.C. All future shipments
should be taken through a broker at Vancouver and brought in as required.
Storage was also a problem and he did not wish to be held responsible in case
of theft, fire, water damage or any other hazard should this happen while they
were on his property. He also asked that Glen Adams be paid as soon as
possible for the books sent. Moved Leeming, Seconded Brammall, that Glen
Adams be paid, that we get a broker for future shipments, and the Secretary
be absolved from any responsibility in connection with the books. - Carried.
Meeting adjourned on motion at p.m.
N.B. More information on Champness - To Cariboo and Back on back cover. 8
ALBERNI At the April meeting Alice Roff Johannson and Joan and Jack Roff
were the guest speakers. They combined to give readings from lectures
prepared by their paternal grandfather, Wm Roff, for delivery in England,
following his return from an extended visit to Canada, especially the
Alberni District and Vancouver Island. Wm Roff had a keen eye and good
judgement and the lectures were a delight. The Society was given a copy
of the lectures and the Museum was presented with an oil painting done in
I.89I. by Miss Spencer, a relative of the Roff family, and which depicted a
scene on the farm of Hector McKenzie at the junction of the Stamp and
Sproat Rivers.
During the year the Society was given three diaries written by Alberni
Valley pioneers. The Society hopes to edit and publish these. They have
also been given two minute books and a cash book of the Alberni Farmers'
Other projects are progressing favourably: members are taping conversations with old timers of the Alberni Valley; the Society is still
endeavouring to have plaques erected to mark the Horne Lake Trail and the
farm of Daniel Clarke, the first independent land owner; over 1.1.40 copies
of "Tse-Wees-Tah" have been sold, and 65O of Meg Trebett's "Pioneer Women
of the Alberni Valley"; commencing in 1.965 when the Society was organized,
questionnaires were prepared to provide information on residents of the
District. These continue to come in and the files often cover 2nd and 3rd
generations. On Mondays a small group meets at the Museum workshop to file
documents, news clippings etc. and to identify photographs.
GULF ISLANDS The annual meeting was held on Pender Island in April. Donald
New declined to stand again as President and in his place Mrs J,M. Campbell
of Saturna Island was elected. Other officers are: Sec Mrs Hope Jenness,
Treas. Jesse Brown, Councillors - Galiano Mrs Nan New, Mayne Mrs Jesse
Brown, 1. Pander Island Mrs Helen Claxto'n, S. Pender Island Mrs Gertrude
Bennett, Saturna Mr John Saunders.
Preparations are being made for a second volume of Gulf Islands
Patchwork, t° carry it forward from 1.920.
NANAIMO At their April meeting Judge Wardill spoke to the Society about his
family's history. Constantly connected with the sea, the Wardills came to
Canada from Northern England and settled in Nanaimo in the 1.880's where
their home soon became a musical centre for family and visitors. The
Wardills' boats plied up and down the coast carrying cargo and passengers.
Judge Wardill's father and uncles ran the bicycle and sports goods shop on
Victoria Crescent and many remembered the free bicycle repairs that were
given during depression days. The family also had connections on Valdes
Island and farmed next to one of Brother Twelve's settlements.
The speaker at the May meeting was Miss Katherine Capes, an anthropologist
engaged in local investigations under the sponsorship of the Archaeological
.Sites Advisory Board. She spoke on the prehistory of the B.C coast.
1.974 is Nanaimo's centennial year and events are leading to the culmination of celebrations in December. The'Society is urging the preservation
and marking of historic places in the City. Special efforts have been made
to preserve Haslam House, a fine example of early Nanaimo architecture. A
student committee from Malaspina College has been making duplicate copies of
many of Mr Barraclough's tapes. Hopes are fading for having these tapes
transcribed, due to the high cost. Members of the Society have participated
as lecturers in an evening class session organized jointly by the Society
and the Continuing Education Dept;'. of. the Nanaimo School Board, to commemorate
Nanaimo's 1.00 years.        	 VICTORIA New officers for 1974-75 are Pres.: K.L. Leeming, First Vice-Pres.
Mrs S. Manson, Second Vice-Pres.: Mrs D. Laundy, Recording Sec: Gee A,
Turner, Corresponding Sec: Mrs E.F. Stewart, Treas.: L.G. Toms, and
Asst. Treas.: L.W. Turnbull,
WINDERMERE During the past year the Society has been active in trying to
secure protection for several wilderness areas which are of historic
significance. Of particular importance is the Argenta-Windermere (F^rl
Grey Pass) Trail which crosses the Purcell Mountains between Invermere and
Argenta, Though a large portion of the trail has been included in the
recent Furcell Wilderness Conservancy, the fine cabin built in 1.909 by
the then Governor-General of Canada, Earl Grey, has not. It is still hoped
that protection can be secured for this cabin. The great-divide passes.
Whiteman, Palliser, Kananaskis etc., have also been suggested as an area
that should be reserved because of historical interest.
Other activities included an attempt to secure the last remaining
blockhouse from the David Thompson Memorial Fort and the interior finish:ng
of the Indian Room at the local museum.
New officers for 1974-75 are Pres.: Mrs T.N. Weir, Vice-Pres.: Mr
Amor Larson, Treas: Mrs W.G. Lockhart, Sec: Mrs E. Stevens,
From Stuart R. Tomkins, Victoria, a most interesting letter:
;!. . . .1 wrote a couple of years ago that British Columbians should know
more of the history of what is now B.C. before the building of Fort Victoria
arid the coming of Sir James Douglas. It is not the fault, of course, of
Dr Ormsby who has covered it well in her book. But it is surprising how-
few people know that the Spanish at one time occupied Vancouver Island.
May I suggest a couple of corrections in the comments on The Mighty
Company. (See April 1974 issue of News, p.1.0 - Ed.) The first is hardly a
correction but merely a comment or amplification. Though Astoria was sold
by'the occupants to the representatives of the Northwest Cc, that is not
the end of it. The British man of war sent around to capture it arrived
tb find the Northwest Co. in possession of it. However, he insisted that
the sale should be superceded by a ceremony being gone through to represent
its seizure by the Navy. This proved a serious mistake. It thus became a
prize of war, and by the Treaty of 1.81.4, it had to be returned to the
United States', though Astor does not seem to have resumed possession of it=
Tnis proved later to have been a grave mistake since it gave the United
States rights to the northwest coast. This mistake was compounded by
making a still greater mistake that a further treaty was signed in 1.81.8
giving the Americans the same rights as the British to all the country west
of the Rocky Mountains. This enabled the Americans, when the limits of
Russian possession on the Northwest Coast had been established, to insist
on their right to have equal rights with the British. Thus the American
representative Middleton, forestalled the British, by giving the Russians
everything down to Lat. 54°40 north. Stratford Canning who .negotiated the
final treaty had no option but to follow suit. Of course the author is not
bound to expand on this.
Re the amalgamation of the two British companies in 1.821, whatever
Simpson may have signed, he refused .at first to employ Black or Ogden,
both of whom had harried the H.B.-Co. factors unmercifully during the years 10
of rivalry and only accepted them grudgingly after some years had passed.
I think my authority for this is, I believe, R,M. Patterson, in his
introduction to Black's account of his exploration of the Finlay River,
which he edited for the Hudson's Bay Record Society.
Sincerely, Stuart R. Tomkins. "
Items culled from the Vancouver Sun   May 4th, Victoria. An announcement
by Provincial Secretary Ernie Hall that the Provincial Government has acquired
the oldest school in Western Canada and will assume responsibility for its
maintenance and preservation as an historic site. Craigflower School-house
was opened for classes on March 5th, 1.855.
April 25th, Prince George B.C. Hydro will sponsor a $20,000 archaeological
survey of the Peace River Canyon this summer, above the planned site of a
dam. The consulting firm pointed to four "sites of interest" in the
reservoir area - a possible burial site, two circular features each about
1.2 feet in diameter, and an area containing possible artifacts.
From Washington State Historical Society comes the news of an
invitation to take part in a fascinating tour to the South Seas, October
15th - 29th, 1.974. "On the Track of Captain Cook". Anyone wishing a trip
of a life-time for about $1,000 should write immediately to the Society
for information. (315 N.Stadium Way, Tacoma 98403)
A new association of archivists has been formed and will be known
as the Association of British Columbia Archivists. Terry Eastwood, a staff
member of the Provincial Archives, is their Secretary-Treasurer and the
Editor of their Newsletter. The News wishes them every success.
An era has come to an end. Dr Margaret Ormsby will be retiring as
Head of the History Department at U.B.C, this month. She joined the
Department in 1.943 and was appointed Head in 1.965. She has been considered
somebody very special by the Association and has been our Honorary
President for many years. We wish her well in her future endeavours and
hope to keep in touch.
CONGRATULATIONS: To Allan R. Turner who has been appointed Provincial
Archivist to succeed Willard Ireland who recently retired. Mr Turner
was born in Ontario, grew up in Saskatchewan and served in the Army during
World War II. He has a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Canadian history.
He joined the Saskatchewan Archives in 1.953 and since 1.962 has been Provincial
Archivist there. He will assume his duties on July 1.5th. Welcome to B.C.
To Dr Margaret Prang, who has been appointed Head of the Department
of History at U.B.C to succeed Dr Margaret Ormsby who will be retiring
this month.
To Jim Mitchell, our new Provincial Librarian. Mr Mitchell has been
Assistant Librarian for many years before being appointed to his position
on the retirement of Mr Ireland. 1.1
B.C. BOOKS OF INTEREST, by Frances Woodward
BEMISTER, Margaret. Thirty Indian legends of Canada. Vancouver, J.J. Douglas,
1973. 153 pp. illus. $3.50.
BOWES, Gordon E. ed. Peace River chronicles. Vancouver, Prescott Pub. Co.,
1974. 557 PP. illus. $1.7.50. Reprint.
CANADA. Health and Welfare Canada. Pacific Region, medical services. Indian
food; a cookbook of native foods from British Columbia; Victoria, B.C
1973. 63 pp. illus. $5.50.
CHAMBERS, Edith D. History ofPort Coquitlam. Burnaby, B.A. Thompson, 1.973.
unpaged, illus. $3.95*
CHAMPNESS, W. To Cariboo and back in 1.862. Fairfield, Wash., Ye Galleon
Press, 1.972 (1.974). 1.06 pp. illus. $12.00. ($1.0 to individual members
of B.C.H.A, ordering directly from the Editor)
COOK, Fred D. comp. The Canadian Military Engineer (1.973); a brief hiiory
of the Canadian Military Engineers l6l0 to 1.973. CF.B. Chilliwack, Canadian
Forces School of Military Engineering, 1.973. iv, 27 pp.
DENNY, Winifred. The story of a house; Ceperley mansion to Burnaby Art
Gallery. Burnaby, Burnaby Art Gallery, (1.974) unpaged, illus. $2,00.
FOX, Christine R. Index to the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the
Province of B.CVictoria, Queen's Printer, 1974. 895 pp. $1.5.00.
HITCHCOCK, Sharon. Illustrated legends of the Northwest Coast Indians.
Vancouver, Indian Education Resources Centre, University of B.C. 1974.
1.6 pp. illus. $1.25.
JEWITT, John R. The adventures and sufferings of John R. Jewitt, captive among
the Nootka, 1.803-1.805. (from the Edinburgh 1824 edition); edited., by Derek
G. Smith. Toronto, McClelland and Stewart (1974) 1.50 pp. $3»95« (The
Carleton Library)
KNOX, Paul and Philip Resnick, eds. Essays in B.C political economy. Vancouver,
New Star Books, 1.974. 81 pp.
LARGE, Richard G. Prince Rupert, a gateway to Alaska and the Pacific. 2nd ed.,
rev. Vancouver, Mitchell Press, 1.973. 230 pp. illus. $1.0.00.
McCLURE, Willa. The forgotten years; memories of Marysville. (Marysvilo.e, B.C
1973) 140 pp. illus. $3.50.
McCONKEY, Lois. Sea and cedar; how the Northwest coast Indians lived. Vancouver, J.J. Douglas, 1973. 30 pp. illus. $4.95.
MAYNE, Richard Charles. Four years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island.
New York, Johnson Reprint, I.969. xi, 468 pp. illus. $22.00. (Canadiana
before 1.867)
PATT0N, Janice. The exodus of the Japanese; stories from the Pierre Berton
show. Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, 1.974. 47 pp. illus. $1.49.
POTTERT0N, L.A.N. Northwest assignment. (Kelowna) Mosaic Enterprises
Ltd. 1972. 1.31 PP. illus.
SIMEON, John, ed. Natural history of the Cowichan Valley. Duncan, Cowichan
Valley Natural History Society, 1.974. $2.50.
SPROAT, Gilbert Malcolm. Scenes and studies of savage life. Vancouver,
J.J. Douglas, 1974. $8.95. Reprint. (Northwest library series No. 4)
TAYLOR, William C. The snows of yesteryear; J. Norman Collie, mountaineer.
Toronto, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1.973. 185 PP. illus. $7.50.
Hot off the Pressi
Glynn-Ward, Hilda. The writing on the wall. Introduction by Patricia Roy.
Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1.974. 148 pp. $4.95. (First
published in Vancouver in 1.921)
Kalman, Harold. Exploring Vancouver; ten .tours of the city and its buildings.
Photos by John Roaf. Vancouver, University of B.C Press, 1.974. 264 pp.
illus. $5.95. (Official guide book of the Greater Vancouver Chapter of
the Architectural Institute of B.C.) 1.2
HISTORY OF PORT COQUITLAM, by Edith D. Chambers. Burnaby, Web Press,
1973. unpaged, illus. $3,95.
Writing recently in the literary section of the Sunday Times of London,
the historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper, spoke of Professor Braudel's historical
philosophy and method: "total history, written in three different conceptions
of time; the almost immobile level of geography, the slowly moving level of
social and economic factors, the quick moving level of human choice, politics,
The locel historian writes at the pleasing, immediate, third level of
personalities and happenings, in one particular area and, in the case of
British Columbia, in a very short span of time. The record may well be
enlivened by eye-witness and living-memory.
Nevertheless, the excitement engendered by this third level should not
blind the writer, however dedicated and knowledgeable a native son or
daughter, to the importance of the other two. Geography is the essential
foundation for all the rest. Without a map the reader cannot visualize;
without some introductory account of the fundamental nacurai features,
resources and climate he cannot grasp the implications of the early landscape. With such a map and such data, the reader may  trace the influence
of the supra-local socio-economic factors Upon the local scene: the location
of aboriginal peoples, their villages and centres of culture, the routes of
explorers and traders, the gold rush influxes, the. growth of towns, the
engineering of trunk roads, the proximity of the American border, the
economic effects of Confederation, the advent of river steamers and railways.
Over few of these second level factors has the local community had more
.than token influence, for they form part of tne larger design. But at the
third level, the resulting types of settlement, population, occupations,
communications and services control the life style for every individual.
It is the task of the local historian so to report the events at human
scale, they fit, in orderly and credible fashion, into the frame of reference.
Mrs Edith D, Chambers, in her History of Port Coquitlam, has omitted
almost all of the first level. There is no map, and only glimpses of the
geographic situation and resources appear in the descriptive passages of
the text. At the second level, the reader is left largely to guess the
background of events. At the third level, she has collected splendid
material, has obviously engaged in much painstaking research, amassed a vast
number of old photographs and obtained access to civic records,,
She is writing about an intrinsically interesting area. The original
Municipality of Coquitlam was incorporated in 1.891. It comprised what later
became the City of Port Coquitlam, the District of Coquitlam and the
Municipality of Fraser Mills. In their excellent .short History of Coquitlam
and Fraser Mills, Messrs Monk and Stewart have already covered the early
days of the last two. Though all three areas share the north bank of the
great Fraser River, the unpredictable spring freshet, the delta terrain,
the mountain backdrop, each area is different in ethnic pattern, economic
development and the use of che long lines of roads and railways traversing them.
1. History of Coquitlam and Fraser Mills: H.A.J,.MOnk" and j, Stewart,
■ 76  pp. Now out of print. 13
The one supremely dramatic incident in their joint history was the secession
on March 7th, 1.913, of the City of Port Coquitlam from the Municipality,
followed on March 25th by the company-town of Fraser Mills, Fraser Mills
remained a separate entity until two years ago when it rejoined Coquitlam,
but the City of Port Coquitlam still prefers distinctive independence,
Mrs Chambers' book is, in essence, a tribute to the indomitable
spirit of the pioneers of this little town and of their descendants up to
the present day. They have survived the natural disasters of flooding,
the difficult, varying fortunes of logging and agriculture, always hoping
that the grand promises made to them by the Canadian Pacific Railway would
turn tho tide of fortune. The local newspapers in 1913 were filled with
prophecies of huge marshalling yards and machine shops to be built within
the city boundaries. The realtors forecast, and the City fathers believed,
that a vast real estate boom and massive industrial development were
inevitable. After nearly fifty years of constant disappointment, it is
only recently that the growth of the megalopolis Vancouver has brought the
development of a new dormitory town and some commercial prosperity to
the city.
Unhappily, Mrs Chambers' book is extremely hard to read. Not only
is it without maps, the pages of the book are unnumbered. There is no
formal index or bibliography. Thw two-column format makes for ease in
reading a short lirae but requires great care in lay-out. Her general
arrangement is awkward and the chronology is not clear. There are insufficient sub-headings, and not sufficient white space in the division of
subject-matter. Hard facts of funding probably dictate the quality of paper
and reproduction of pictures - many are almost indecipherable - but all
such pictures need clear captions, acknowledgement and dating. The use
of appendix sections at the end would remove from the text an over-abundance
of materials such as lists of mayors, May queens, early voters, the brief
biographies and reminiscences of prominent citizens. Quoted passages are
not fully referred to source. Repititions, misspellings, grammatical and
typographical errors should be cut out at the galley-proof stage. It would
not, perhaps, be out of place, at this point, to suggest that inexperienced
writers and publishers, with fine primary material ready for final arrangement in book form, would do well to seek the advice of an experienced
professional. A tough editorial blue pencil, scissors and paste would
have made this book a more valuable source for future scholars.
Garry M. Colchester.
Mrs Colchester is a member of the Vancouver Historical Society
SHIPWRECKS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, by Alfred C Rogers. Vancouver, J.J. Dpuglas,
1973. 256 pp. illus. foldout map. $10.95*
Several books have been published in recent years on B.C. shipwrecks,
so it was a surprise for me when this one appeared in the bookstores a few
months ago. My initial fear that it would be a mere rehash of the earlier
works was quickly and pleasantly dispelled once I settled back to read.
It is fortunate to find combined in one person the knowledge, interest
and perseveranee possessed by Fred Rogers, He does not write as a romantically inclined outsider, but as a person who knows how the ships are
built, knows how they hehave at sea, knows (intuitively, I assume, as he
doesn't mention his own involvement in an actual shipwreck) how they behave 1.4
in their final hours on reefs or beaches, being smashed or burned, while
their crews do their best to get away with their lives. It is obvious that
Mr Rogers spent many years and much effort in ferreting out the facts for
his book, obvious because without this solid groundwork, coupled with a
good honest writing style, he could never have individualized the story of
each disaster so uncommonly well. This differentiation is not only good
for the reader; it also does honour to the seamen who underwent the hardships he describes. This is an accomplishment worth commenting on.
Mr Rogers brings another dimension to his study of shipwrecks - his
firsthand knowledge as a scuba diver. Some of the most exciting pages in
the book tell of the many dives he has made abound and inside old wrecks.
Diving is a dangerous game, especially in the vicinity of wrecks. Strong
currents, poor visibility, capricious weather, heavy surges in shallow
waters, all these factors and many more., taken singly or in combination,
threaten to smash the unwary diver against a jagged metal plate or crush
him beneath a wobbly structure. He can get lost in pitch darkness inside a
wreck, he can over-exert himself, or underestimate the amount of time it
will take to return to the surface. It will come as a surprise to most
readers to learn that sharks can sometimes pose a threat in our local waters,
and killer whales too, regardless of what Skana would have us believe.
The organization of a book such as this should be dictated quite clearly
by the nature of the material: chapters or parts by geographical area,
episodes within chapters by date. The geographically defined parts are
given us, but the chronological sequence within the parts is rarely observed.
Part 1 is in perfect order, and parts 4 and 5 almost so, but parts 2, 3.
6 and 7 are quite unaccountably scrambled. Fortunately, this is a weakness
which can easily be sorted out for a later edition. Each part concludes
appropriately with a series of excellent photographs.
At the risk of sounding too demanding, I would like to interject here
one suggestion for consideration by Mr Rogers and other writers of books
about registered vessels. I realize the information is sometimes difficult
to come by, but it would be very helpful to have the technical data about
each vessel laid out in a standard format at the beginning of each article,
There are reference works from which this data can be obtained without too
much effort in most cases. Here is an example of what I mean:
The story about the Ocean Plunger on p.223 could be prefaced with:
Canadian registry No. 11.1547
Built 1.900 in Irving, B.C.
Length: 57 ft. Width: 1.4 ft.
Tonnage: 36 gross, 5 registered
Formerly called the Lottie N
I realize the reference works can be inconsistent themselves over the years,
but they do make possible an attempt at standardizing information.
Shipwrecks of British Columbia has a good index and an excellent set of
foldout charts on which are pinpointed the locations and brief circumstances
of over 1.1.00 wrecks or sinkings. The index covers only the vessels referred
to in the body of the text, giving the chart references also where they apply.
For some reason the charts are called A, B, and C in the index, even though
they are actually numbered 1,2, and 3 - a minor inconsistency which presents
the reader with no problems. A more serious omission from the index are the
vessels listed with brief notes on pp. 241-244. 15
I would not be doing my duty as a librarian if I did not put in a
plug for a bibliography. It is true that several works are mentioned in
the foreword, but I would still like to see all the sources cited in
conventional style at the end of the book. It makes further reading,
easier for the person whose appetite has been whetted by this most enjoyable
It was a pleasure reading Shipwrecks of British Columbia, a book
which will certainly remain within handy reach on my. reference shelf. My
criticisms are offered with the sincere wish that they will prove useful
to the author and publisher. I look forward to seeing this work reappearing in a new edition in the not too distant future.
Graham Elliston.
Mr Elliston is a member of the staff of the University of B.C. Library.
'THE NEED FOR ACTION - NOW' - Paper Conservation by Jean Webster
Paper conservation can be broken down into three main divisions:
1. Works of art on paper
2. Rare books.
3. Archival collections.
The basic causes of deterioration and requirements for conservation
are the same in each case; however, when it comes to the final restoration,
rebinding or repair of an item the techniques involved are quite different.
Since I am primarily involved with the conservation of archival material
I shall confine myself to item No. 3 - Archival Collections.
What constitutes an archival collection?
"Archives are an actual part of the activities which gave them birth,
material evidences surviving in the form of writing. '"■
A manuscript or document of archival characteristics is a vehicle of
evidence, of impartial evidence of events from the past and it is for this
reason that it has teen preserved.
No copy, no matter how good, can replace the historical, financial or
aesthetic Value of original material. Originals possess unique and desirable
characteristics which are lost in copying, therefore it is vital to preserve
the original material for reference and, only when absolutely necessary, for
display purposes. Reserachers usually prefer to work with original material.
In many cases the copy may be clearer and in better condition, than the
original, due to deterioration of the paper or fading of the ink, however even
this does not usually deter the researcher from wanting to use the original.
1. G.M. Cunha. Conservation of library materials. Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow
Press, 1971. p.24l.. 1.6
Of course it is not possible to conserve an entire archival collection.
Material must be organized in order, according to its value and importance
to present and forthcoming generations of researchers, and then conserved
according to a priority system created by the custodian of the material.
People often ask why paper conservation is necessary in a part of the
world where even the earliest records are only a little over a hundred years
old. The answer rests in the quality and stability of the paper on which
the records are written. The quality and stability Of the paper is governed
by the raw materials from which it is made. The strongest and most durable
type of paper is hand made from disintegrated linen and cotton rags, and
sized with gelatin. The poorest and most unstable paper is made by machinery
from ground wood and is sized with alum/rosin size.
By tracing back through the history of paper making it is possible to
see where the impermanence of paper began. In 1.774 when it was no longer
easy to obtain clean cotton and linen rags chlorine was used to bleach old
and discoloured rags. If the chlorine was not properly removed from the
pulp it caused a high degree of acidity in the paper and eventual deterioration. In 1.807 the use of alum/rosin size was started; unfortunately, alum/
rosin size is highly acidic and, therefore, harmful to paper. The practice
of making paper from ground wood pulp began in 1.840. This pulp was not only
sized with alum/rosin size, but lignin - the non-cellular part of the wood -
was not removed from the pulp. Lignin is an unstable material and if not
removed from the paper in the initial pulp stage will cause the paper to
deteriorate. This particular cause of deterioration can never be successfully treated once the pulp has been made into paper.
Another factor in paper deterioration in the mid 1.800's was the
increased use of chemicals in paper making. Just as the removal of chlorine
from pulp made from cotton rags was important, equally important was the
removal of chemicals from pulp made from wood. If the chemicals were not
removed from the pulp, paper deterioration quickly resulted. However, if the
chemicals were completely removed from the pulp it was possible to make paper
of the same high quality as that made from cotton and linen rags.
Having touched briefly on the history of paper making it is easy to see
that most records of the North American Continent fall within the time
period when unstable, rather than stable paper was made. In most libraries
and archives we, therefore, have a serious case of paper deterioration with
many books and manuscripts already crumbling on the shelves.
In order to ensure the preservation of archival material it is important
that the factors causing paper deterioration be fully understood in order
that they can be avoided and minimized.
Although the stability of paper depends to a large extent on the raw
materials used in its manufacture, it can also be gravely affected by the
degree of acidity in the paper. Acidity can be acquired during the manufacturing process, through natural ageing, or by the type of ink used on the
In addition to the various injurious compounds found in both, inks and
2. Sizing makes the paper less absorbent and thus prevents ink from
feathering. 1.7
paper there are conditions of storage which adversely affect the permanency
of paper.
I shall briefly touch upon some of the adverse factors which affect
paper stability.
There is a close co-relationship between the loss of strength of
paper and its acidity. As previously mentioned, acidity can be acquired
during the manufacturing process, from acidic inks and from adverse storage
conditions. Due to the amount of sulphur dioxide in the air of urban and
industrialized regions the degree of acidity in paper is much higher than
in rural areas. The paper absorbs the sulphur dioxide from the air which
is then in time converted into acidic compounds, thereby causing a breakdown
in the cellular structure of the paper.
Acidic Migration:
Migration of acid from highly acidic materials to less acidic materials
can also be a serious cause of deterioration in paper. Cheap wrapping
paper, amateur lamination with inferior materials, the use of certain
synthetic materials, corrigated cardboard arid wood panels for backing prints
and watercolours can all be serious sources of acid contamination.
Light Rays:
The UV radiation found in both fluorescent lighting and daylight
creates a photochemical reaction which causes a breakdown in the structure,
of paper. Heat generated from an incandescent light (infrared rays), if
placed too close to a document, can accelerate the acidic deterioration
of paper.
High Temperature:
A relatively high temperature will activate most injurious compounds
found in paper. The length of time and the degree of heat are both factors
to be taken into account when considering the damage that may be expected.
The temperature must be kept below 75°F« and at a constant level.
High Humidity:
The humidity must be controlled' in order to prevent the growth of
micro-organisms. High humidity is a prime cause of acidic migration due to
the movement of moisture in the paper. The relative humidity must always
be kept below 60$, maintained at a constant level, with a free circulation
of air.
It must be understood that all these factors are interrelated; if a
document is already highly acidic and is then subjected to high temperature
and/or long exposure to light, the deterioration of the document is greatly
accelerated by one or both factors.
Before any type of repair work can be done to an item any impurities
within the paper that are causing deterioration must be eliminated or
rendered inert. The type of repair to be done to an item is dependent on the
following factors: 1.8
1. The value of the document, print, drawing, watercolour, etc.
2. The frailty of the document.
3. Whether it is important to retain the aesthetic quality of the
paper as well as the information.
4. The amount the document will be handled and by whom.
In archival repair it is important that no process of repair be
allowed to remove, diminish, falsify or obscure in any way the information
or the value of the document.
All materials used in the process of repair must be of the highest
quality and permanence. Any method of repair must be reversible, except in
the most extreme cases where reversibility is not possible due to the
condition of the item.
To sum up, let it suffice to say that all repositories in Canada and
the United States are faced with a serious problem of paper deterioration.
However, there are ways, some of which I have touched upon briefly, in which
we can all consciously retard paper deterioration in order that the most
valuable part of our collections can be saved - but we must start now.
Miss Webster is Conservationist at the Vancouver City Archives
1863 - 1.912 by Gwen Hayball
Agnes Deans Cameron entered the Victoria scene when the City was
riding on the crest of a wave of prosperity. The Cariboo gold rush was at
its height. Due to the improvement of the Cariboo Road, the urgently needed
supplies of the men in the gold-fields were now reaching them in greater
quantities, and at cheaper rates, from the well stocked warehouses of
Victoria. It was a boom period. But for this, the Cameron's fourth child,
Agnes, would probably have been born in California. Agnes' father, Duncan
Cameron, was a restless adventure seeking man. Just as he had been lured
by gold to California from Scotland, so the Cariboo gold beckoned. The
family arrived in the early sixties. Duncan Cameron was successful In his
mining and contracting ventures.
Old timers, recollecting Agnes Cameron as a child, at the time of her
death, spoke of her as 'the quick-tongued wit and humorist'; a child who was
distinguishable from her companions because of her striking individuality.
While still a girl, Aggie Cameron, as she was called, became successful as
an amateur entertainer. Her personality, together with the original vray  in
which she presented her act, became the chief attraction of the evening.
People went out of their way to attend one of her readings. Her audience
would look forward to the hilarious pieces and Aggie, standing on one foot,
a half smile about her mouth and twinkling eye, would pause, giving the
captivated audience time to fully enjoy the scene described. 19
Of all Miss Cameron's achievements, her career as an educationalist
was probably the most outstanding. She was a pioneer teacher whose methods
of teaching were original and never by rule of thumb. As the Victoria Times
•so aptly put it - 'she robbed the daily school routine of its grind ....'.
At the age of eighteen she secured her first teaching position at Angela
College in Victoria, a private school conducted by the Church of England.
During the next twenty-five years she taught at public schools in Comox,
Granville, (later named Vancouver) and Victoria. In crossing the Georgia
Strait to teach at Granville she was really going to a rather raw community.
The population was not expanding very quickly as the end of steel was at
flourishing Port Moody, twelve miles to the east.
A familiar sight to the new young teacher were the cedar trees and
foxgloves which grew in the bush at what is now the intersection of Granville
and Hastings Streets. She got to know Miss Kirkland, the teacher at Moodyville, and frequently crossed Burrard Inlet by canoe, to visit her. Early
in her career she learned to cope with angry parents, as indicated by a
notice, which appeared on the school door which read: "Irate parents will
be received after 3 p.m.".
Perhaps it was the sudden, tragic death of her father in January 1.884,
that took her back to Victoria and to her mother. The accident occurred
while Duncan Cameron was returning from a shooting excursion. He was thrown
from a spring-cart, on the Gorge Road a few miles from his home, and died
on the spot.
It was while she was principal at South Park School, Victoria, that
the incident occurred which was to erupt into letters in the paper and the
whole town taking sides. Miss Cameron had whipped a boy because she
believed in this method of punishment. The father of the boy took the
matter up with the School Board; meanwhile the ding-dong battle went on.
The strong minded disciplinarian stood by her .guns and fired back by way
of a forthright letter to the Editor of the Colonist. The upshot was, that
she was dismissed for 'insubordination' and her certificate suspended for
three years. This much publicized issue, of which Agnes Cameron was the
central figure, did nothing to mar her career nor break her spirit. In a
clever move, she then appealed to the people of the City for support as a
school trustee, and was elected with the highest number of votes', thereby
becoming a part of the very board that had dismissed her.
For some time Agnes Cameron had been a successful part-time writer of
newspaper and magazine articles. At the age of forty-five she decided to
devote her time exclusively to writing. The new profession as journalist
took her to Chicago and it was from here that she set off on a ten thousand
mile journey to the Arctic Sea. The year was nineteen hundred and eight.
As a companion and secretary, she took a niece, Jessie Cameron Brown.
The two set off from Chicago across the 49th parallel where, to quote the
traveller, "The eagle perches and makes amorous eyes at the beaver". The
tangible result of this six months journey was a fascinating book entitled
The New North. The physical make up of which is like Miss Cameron's style,
rather lavish. The design of the book and Miss Cameron's writing are in
keeping with the period, leisurely, luxurious and no skimping. And unless
read within this context, which I found delightful, the book might appear
too discursive. The many literary, historical and classical references
testify to her broad educational background. The author has no thought 20
for a tightly knit account of the journey. Histories and natural histories
of places, people, animals and plants, the Hudson's Bay Company in a nutshell
and several lengthy chapters on the Eskimo and a thousand and one odd bits
of information all tumble on to the page from the author's tremendous storehouse of knowledge. The book is fully illustrated, and not the least interesting is the photograph of the niece and her aunt at Herschel Island, Seated
before an Underwood typewriter Jessie is typing while Agnes dictates. An
open boat serves as a temporary office. Miss Cameron is dressed in a
Royal Northwest Mounted Police hat, hiding most of her hair, a high-collared
blouse, bush-jacket and a voluminous skirt. The appearance of her niece is
quite feminine, by contrast. Hatless, her hair shines in the sunlight and
stray wisps blow in the breeze. Her blouse is decorated at the neck with a
wide band of ribbon tied in a bow at the front. She is wearing a fashionable
jacket with leg-of-mutton sleeves. This is one of several photographic
illustrations where the cover of the typewriter, with the name "Underwood"
on it, seems to have been deliberately placed to catch the eye. The author
would be quick to recognize the possibilities of this kind of advertising.
There are many interesting, quotable incidents in the book, but I hope
that a few selected passages will tempt you to read the book for yourselves.
Before setting out Miss Cameron placed herself in the capable hands
of the Hudson's Bay Company in Winnipeg. It is almost with a parental
attitude that the travellers' welfare and every need is provided for. She
received introductions to the Factor at each post, a letter of credit which
would secure bacon, beans, blankets, sturgeon-head boats, guides' services,
succulent sow-belly and to quote the author, 'an outfit guiltless of the
earmarks of the tenderfoot'.
The history and atmosphere of Athabasca Landing must have stirred the
adventurer's blood within the daughter of Duncan Cameron. It was the true
gateway to the north and as such had more facilities than most trading posts.
In addition to a large Hudson's Bay establishment there was a school, two
missions, police barracks, post office, a dozen stores, a reading-room, two
hotels and a blacksmith's shop. Less English was heard than Cree, French,
and a mixture of both. Perhaps the Catholic priests of the past were responsible for this, when they told the natives that French was the accepted
language of the white man; only the degraded and debased spoke English.
The little amount of English used by the natives had originally been learned
from the Klondikers.
Tha scow in which Agnes Cameron departed from Athabasca Landing was one
of a flotilla of seven. It was the beginning of the annual voyage taking
supplies to Hudson's Bay posts along the Athabasca, Mackenzie and Peace
Rivers and bringing out peltry.
Interesting herself in the half-breeds who made such skilled crew-men,
she discovers that when a Frenchman marries an Indian woman he reverts to her
level of civilization, but if a Scot marries a native woman he raises her to
his level.
As they floated towards Fort McMurray on the Athabasca the roar of the
Big Cascade rapid was heard, a prelude to the most thrilling experience of
Miss Cameron's life. As the scow tipped over the edge of the limestone ledge
to a sheer drop, a cry of elation escaped from the lips of this intrepid
woman. A near tragedy almost cost the lives of the two passengers in the 21
next scow. With a sharp crack the back of the vessel broke and it began
to fill with water. Quick action on the part of the crews of the other
scows saved the lives of Inspector Pelletier of the Royal Northwest Mounted
Police and Doctor .Sussex, an Englishman. Even at this most dramatic
moment Miss Cameron saw humour in the actions of the two imperilled men.
She describes the scene thus: "The inspector says, 'Step quick, Doctor.
There's no time to waste.' The native politeness of Sussex doesn't fail
him, even in this crisis, 'After you Inspector', Then Pelletier says,
sharply, 'Jump, I tell you, jump, there's no time for - Gaston-and-Alphonse
business here'."
On June 21st the steamer to which they had transferred, entered Lake
Athabasca and tied up at historic Fort Chipewyan. In the loft above the
Company's office, Agnes Cameron and her niece browsed through the old
record books, so faithfully kept by the Factors. Sitting on the floor
amidst ancient flint-lock rifles and discarded ox-yokes they made extracts
from these books, one of which reads: "   a party of Isle a la Crosse
Indians   cast up. They have not come in this direction for the sake
of running about, one of their relations is dead and in their own words,
they are travelling on strange lands to kill grief, not an unusual custom
among the Northern Indians".
Awaiting them at Fort Smith was the newly launched boat The Mackenzie
River. On July 7th, as the Union Jack dipped, the bravely built, new
stern-wheeler, set off on her maiden voyage. It was indeed an honour
to be a passenger, and a joy to be assigned one of its staterooms.
On reaching the confluence of the Salt and Slave Rivers, where the
great salt plains have been created, they came upon the shacks of the
Beaulieu family, 'a family' Miss Cameron says, 'which has acted as guides
for all the great men who ever trended northward. They have been interesting characters always, and as we look in upon them today, neither Beaulieu
nor salt has lost his savour'.
When Miss Cameron stepped ashore at Fort Simpson it had lost its place
of importance and the warehouses were beginning to disintegrate. There
was an air of sadness about the place. Of all Miss Cameron's enthusiasms,
foraging in old buildings Was her favourite-. The discovery made at Fort
Simpson, was perhaps the most unexpected of the whole journey. It was the
mouldering remains of a natural history museum created by Captain John
Bell, originally of the Northwest Company. It was a sad sight to see the
specimens with their glass eyes falling out and stuffing showing through
the skins. While the part time naturalist, Captain John Bell, pursued
his hobby in isolation, several thousand miles away in London, England, an
official of the British Museum had reason for feeling extremely gratified.
An arrangement had been made whereby Captain Bell was to supply specimens
for the Museum. Meanwhile a letter had been sent making certain requests.
The clue to this interesting sideline was found in a Journal dated 1.842,
In part the letter reads: 'I may observe that in addition to the specimens
asked for, any mice, bats, shrew-mice, moles, lizards, snakes or other
small quadrupeds or reptiles would be acceptable. They may either be
skinned or placed in rum or strong spirits of any kind, a cut being first
made in the side of the body to admit the spirits to the intestines'.
Mounting an outside staircase to the upper floor the two women were again
swept backward in time when the library which now faced them, was an
important part of the way of life among the factors and clerks of the Company. 22
Kneeling to examine the dusty volumes strewn about the floor, she patiently
made a list of about thirteen authors represented, including this title,
The Philosophy of living, or the way to enjoy life and its comforts. The
many old journals stored in the room above the offices, were most inviting,
and taking the year 1.837, whe could not resist copying some of the comments.
Among those appearing in her book The New North are: 'February 1.1. Rabbits
are numerous, but the ladies of the Establishment make no ^reat effort in
snaring them'. May 19« Felix and Roderick McLeod made twelve bags of
Pemmican today'. And an extract from the entry of January 1st, 1838;
'The morning was ushered in by a salute fired by our people ,, . . after
which they came to wish us a happy new year - and in return, in conformity
to tho custom . . . they were treated, the men, with half a glass of
brandy each, and the women with a kiss, and the whole of them with as many
cakes as they choose to take and some raisins . . .•.
With the whole population gathered on the banks of the river to say
goodbye, the steamer left Fort Simpson on July 10th. The arrival cf the
big new  ship at the Mackenzie Ramparts was heralded by a group of Indians
firing from ancient rifles. The sound ricocheted between the rock cliffs,
and was heard by more Indians further downstream, who repeated the message
and so the news reached Fort Good Hope within the Arctic Circle,
At historic Point Separation £he Mackenzie delta begins. The name is
associated with Sir John Franklin and Dr Richardson who at this stage of
their exploration, parted, in order to cover different areas of the Arctic
coast. The year was 1.826. The arrival of the two Edwardian ladies on
Herschel Island was probably a 'first', the first white women to step ashore
on this most desolate place, eighty miles beyond the Mackenzie Delta.
On the return trip, in place of supplies the steamer now carried furs
and people, fifty-four people who were 'heading for outside'; a mixed
bunch of surveyors, fur traders, Hudson's Bay Company employees, a Royal
Northwest Mounted Police officer, some nuns and a priest. A relaxed atmosphere prevailed; if Mr Peele, the surveyor, decided a place was good for
fossils, the boat obligingly stopped and everyone gathered -chem.
It was August 6th when the steamer landed Miss Cameron and Miss Brown
at Fort Chipewyan. The next chapter in their adventures covers the great
Peace River country.
Even though they were mere specks on a vast landscape there had been
few opportunities to enjoy solitude during this six months long expedition.
What with the cramped quarters on the various kinds of transportation and
miseries of the ubiquitous mosquito, surely it was a test of endurance,. But
throughout the journey there was no whining or complaining. Instead there
is a verve and often lightheadedness about the writing.
One of the unusual sights to be seen on the banks of the Peace River
are the lobsticks. These are tall, conspicuous trees which are lobbed or
shaped in a certain fashion. A tuft is left at the top, then a section of
the trunk is bared with, the exception of two branches; these look like arms
or direction indicators. They serve a number of purposes. Some denote good
fishing or hunting grounds but most are created to honour individuals, or as
memorials to happenings on the river. Imagine how the two women felt when
the boatmen decided to honour them with their own personal lobstick. The
ceremony and ethics relating to lobsticks are described in Miss Cameron's book, 23
They waited for weeks at Vermilion-on-the-Peace for a steamboat
connection. Finally the tug Messenger transported them to Peace River
In another aside the author pays glowing tribute to all the boatmen who had brought them safely, thus far, in their voyage, on rivers and
lakes of the New North. In addition to having complete confidence in their
skill to master a difficult situation, Miss Cameron also finds their
intuitive delicacy rare and pleasing.
Now a different mode of travel was found to take them overland to
Lesser Slave Lake, a distance of one hundred miles. Waggons were engaged
to transport their dvnnage while Agnes and Jessie chose to walk most of
the way. A slight suggestion of frost made walking invigorating across
the rolling,, lightly wooded country. On October the first they made
good connections for Athabasca Landing via steamer, dugout canoe and
scow. On this occasion Miss Cameron and her niece were travelling in
distinguished company; on board were Judges Noel and Beck, making their
first circuit of justice in this country. Athabasca Landing was the end
of their wilderness trail. Reluctantly Agnes Cameron made her way back
to civilization, Chicago and the writing of her very raadable and informative book, The New North.
As the journalist and her secretary travelled south from Edmonton
they reflected on the picture of the empty spaces beyond the latitude
55 degrees north. Perhaps it was then that Miss Cameron became inspired
to tell the world, figuratively speaking, what a magnificent country
Canada was; its vast potential and beauty, and in particular about the
wonderful opportunities in the wide open spaces of the New North. This
experience had indeed been a preparation for her almost evangelical
venturing forth to spread the word about, the last great frontier where
it was possible for people to live healthily and grow in stature.
And so it was, shortly after this thrilling adventure that Agnes
Deans Cameron journeyed to the British Isles where she achieved great
success as a lecturer. In the meantime she had finished her book and
fulfilled a commitment to give a series of lectures before the Teachers'
Convention at Minneapolis. In Toronto she paused long enough to give
at least two lectures where she received high praise from prominent men
and the press. Miss Cameron had been engaged by the Dominion Government
to carry out a two-year assignment of lecturing and writing to put
Canada on the map, which she did with remarkable success. There is no
doubt that Miss Cameron's sincerity and enthusiasm were responsible for
some if not quite a few immigrants coming to Canada, She had already
produced some effective publicity material for the City of Victoria and
Canada generally, for distribution in the States and Europe *
In the fall of 1.911 Agnes Deans Cameron returned to a British Columbia
where land and forestry speculation were rife and railways were the thing.
She was now a minor national figure and was immediately swept up into the
quickening pace. In addition to giving a series of talks on her two
years' experience abroad, she lent her support to a number of organizations
among Which were, the British Columbia Women's Council, the S.P.C.A.,
the British Agricultural Association, the Canadian Women's Press Club, and
the Ladies of the Maccabees. Yet another of her special interests was 24
the Y.W.C.A., .the library of which houses the Agnes Deans Cameron
In spite of her aggressiveness and rather direct manner, she had a
deep compassion for humanity; for example she gave a talk at the
Victoria Theatre in aid of the survivors of the Titanic disaster, and
asked that the proceeds be given specifically to the stewardesses. Little
did that audience realize that this was to be her last public appearance
in her native city. Two other engagements took her to Vancouver. Members
of the Women's Press Club, Vancouver Branch, had invited her to be guest
of honour at a select luncheon, the date, March 1912. The Vancouver
Province reported the event in detail the following day. It was spring and
daffodils and pussy-willows decorated the oval table in the large drawing
room of the Vancouver Hotel. Open fires created an atmosphere of 'home-
likeness ', the paper says. On the table lay the favours, a spray of
lilies-of-the-valley for Miss Cameron and violets for the rest. Miss
Cameron spoke on her recent visit to 'the old country'.
The second function was the unveiling of the memorial bust of David
Oppenheimer. It is possible that Mr Oppenheimer had joint business
interests with Duncan Cameron, her father.
But her very last appearance in public as an invited guest was at
Alberni on May 3rd. It was the beginning of the new Canadian Highway at
Alberni, when she took part in the planting of the first post. A fitting
last act for one who so loved her native land.
Agnes Cameron was operated on for appendicitis on Thursday evening,
May 9th, 1.912. She died of pneumonia in St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria,
four days later. A memorial service was held in St. Andrew's Presbyterian
Church, Douglas St, Victoria. Her body was then transported by steamer
to Seattle for cremation and the ashes scattered in the Strait of Georgia
in accordance with her wishes.
The wide coverage that the press gave to the sudden passing of a
native daughter was proof, if proof wore needed, of her renown as an
outstanding Canadian. The Victoria Times paid tribute in three and a
half columns. The City Council which met the same day voted a message of
sympathy to the family and a striking tribute was voiced by the Mayor and
two Aldermen. They spoke of the great loss to the community and the
Dominion of Canada, They remembered her services as an educationalist
and as a  publicist for her native city and Western Canada. Victoria was
justifiably proud of their native daughter. .
So much has been revealed of Miss Cameron's personality and character
that it is reasonable to think of her in association with feminist groups
and women's suffrage, although she did not live to see 'votes for Women'.
Mr J.K. Nesbitt in his article on the Cameron family in the Colonist of
June 1.8th, 1.950, confirms the view that she favoured 'votes for women'.
Religion was one of the few subjects on which she did not expound, but her
simple philosophy is worth quoting - 'Do your work well and be kind'.
This paraphrases her mother's simple rule, which she'includes in the
dedication to her mother in The New North. It is, 'We must just try to
do the very best we can'.
■' i J-      "  .   \ 25
Her journalistic output is most impressive. The type of magazine
for which she wrote ranges from the Geographical Journal and Atlantic
Monthly, to the Canadian Magazine and Western Recreation. In addition
she has two books to her credit and a third would have been written, a
history of British Columbia, if death had not intervened.
If this most energetic lady had lived out her three score years and
ten, there were other matters which she would have become actively
concerned with, for example pollution, and conservation of birds and
animals. Ano ther, which was touched upon in her book, The New,North
is a political one, that of the Americans using Herschel Island to take
whales from Canadian waters. And who knows, we might have had a
dedicated member of Parliament named Agnes Deans Cameron.
Miss Hayball, formerly of Mayne Island,is now residing at 67 Walcott Ave.,
Christchurch, Dorset BH 23 2NQ, England.
While a British expedition of two ships led by Captain James Cook was
carrying out explorations in the Pacific Ocean, a situation of war developed
between Great Britain and the United States of America. By 1779 the famous
American Benjamin Franklin was Minister Plenipotentiary from the Congress of
the United States to the Court of France. He knew of the Cook expedition,
though he was under the erroneous impression that it consisted of only one ship. -
Sympathising with the expedition's avowed aims, Franklin issued a letter "To All
Captains and Commanders of Armed Ships acting by Commission from the Congress
of the United States", requesting that in the event of their encountering the
"ship" under Cook, they should "not consider her as an enemy" but treat Cook and
his companions "with all civility and kindness", and give them assistance if
needed. (The great British mariner was dead by the time this letter was
issued.) Some doubts have been expressed as to its effectiveness.
The London periodical The Gentleman's Magazine in Volume 58, p.6l7,
makes references to the Cook expedition and comments to tlie effect that while
the French proved honourable in this respect, "the narrow-souled Americans
and Spaniards did all they could to obstruct him". Vol. 59, p.ll.87 of the
Gentleman's Magazine published a letter sent from New York, with a reminder
that Franklin had issued such a letter, which was therein reprinted, and seems
to imply that it had been sent "to all the commanders of American cruizers
then in the European seas". The next volume of the magazine, Vol. 60, p.217,
published a letter dated March 6th, 1.790, which states: "I say on undoubted
authority that the circular letter issued by Dr Franklin for the protection
of Captain Cook . . . was not allowed by the Americans; and it was purely
owing to the protections of Providence that that celebrated navigator did
not fall into the hands of their cruizers".
This statement was apparently unchallenged in subsequent issues of the
Magazine. I wonder what the facts are . . . Can anyone shed any light on
the matter?
Cook Fan. 26
A Few Reminders of the 1.974 Convention.
1. "Really, I look much better in shorts"
2. 'You can't expect me to believe that kind of a story."
3. "I said smile, not do this."
4. The local Ladies'Aid and friends.
5. "Are you sure the Ladies' is straight ahead?"
6. "Out of gas, and it's a mile to the nearest supply and I have
to lug it back uphill."
7. Weddings, births and funerals a specialty. (St. Eugene Mission)
8. "I wonder if they have a cocktail lounge."
9. "This entry permit says 'tomato plants', but these look like
marijuana to me."
1.0. "In an hour there won't be this much space between us. We're both shy."
11. "Are you sure this is a good road to hitch a ride?"
1.2. "Why don't you pay attention? It's not funny to find I've been aboard
the wrong bus. I wanted Trail and this is Kimberley."
1.3. "You can laugh if you like. I'm warm and you're shivering."
1.4. "M'm'm, now where did I say I'd meet them?"
1.5. "I fully expected to find something different to that, in there."
1.6. "So what! Of course I smoke. Do you think I carry this for ornament?"
17."So long. See you all next year."
18. "If there isn't a litter bin at this corner I'm going to dump this
blasted box in the street."
1.9."Oh look, who is that streaking? I'm sure I know the face."
20. "Sorry old boy. Things are tough all over. Did you ever think of
robbing a bank?"
21. "My GodS Look at the drunken swine."
********** *** ***
At the Convention at Cranbrook, the Council received a Special
Delivery letter from the Nanaimo Historical Society seeking the
assistance of the As'so'ciatiori in helping it to save one of Nanaimo's
historical pieces of architecture. When the Secretary returned home
after the Convention he wrote to the Provincial Secretary, the Premier,
the Historic Sites Advisory Board, and several other interested parties.
Since that time the Provincial Secretary has answered and -assured the
Secretary that he will keep the Association advised as to what happens
*fco the house. The Research Assistant of the Historic. Sites Advisory
Board phoned the Secretary asking for more details and has made a trip
from Victoria to Nanaimo to inspect the house.
Prior to the Nanaimo Society asking our aid, they had appealed to
Heritage Canada for assistance, but were advised that they could do
nothing inasmuch as the Nanaimo Historical Society was not a member
of Heritage Canada. It makes us wonder what would have been the answer
if it was Nanaimo's famous Bastion that was in danger of being demolished.
i  id —
i"**-V           1
*~    4
..'   1
(2>) 27
TO CARIBOO AND BACK IN 1.862, by Wm Champness. Introduction by Wm
Sampson. 1.06 pp. illus. hard cover. Fairfield, Wash., Ye Galleon
Press, (197*0 • $10.00, including postage, to personal members of the
B.C. Historical Association.
This is the long awaited volume which has been published in memory
of Gordon Bowes, who was a highly respected member of the B.C. Historical
Association for many years until his death, and who compiled and edited
Peace River Chronicles in 1963. To Cariboo and Back is a deluxe limited
edition of a long out of print account of a trip to the gold diggings in
the Cariboo. It is hand-printed in two colours on high quality paper,
with lavish illustrations, including a pen and ink portrait of Gordon
by Patricia Brammall.
Five hundred copies of the book have been purchased from the publisher
at a discount, to be sold, at cost, to our members. Until October 31st,
1974, the quantity will be limited to one book per member, after which
the remainder will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
It is important to note that this offer does not apply to institutions,
who should purchase directly from Ye Galleon Press, Fairfield,
Washington, 9901.2.
Tear off
The Secretary,
B.C. Historical Association,
P.A. Yandle,
3450 West 20th Avenue,
Vancouver V6S 1E4,
Please send me one copy of Champness - To Cariboo and Back, for
which I enclose $10.00 to cover cost and postage.
(Would you put my name on reserve for copies after October 31.)
(Do not enclose payment for these.)
Name (please print)


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