British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Apr 1, 1940

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APRIL, 1940 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. F. W. Howay, New Westminster.
Robie L. Reid, Vancouver. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should br the Editor, Provincial
Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine. BRITISH COLUMBIA
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. IV. Victoria, B.C., April, 1940. No. 2
Articles : Page.
The Astronomy of the Explorers.
By J. S. Plaskett     63
" Empress to the Orient."    Part II.
By W. Kaye Lamb     79
Documents :
Helmcken's Diary of the Confederation Negotiations, 1870.
With an introduction and notes by Willard E. Ireland  111
Notes and Comments :
British Columbia Historical Association  129
Early Locomotives on Vancouver Island.
By I. E. Barr  134
Contributors to this Issue  136
The Northwest Bookshelf :
Waddington's The Necessity of Reform  137
A Second Checklist of Crown Colony Imprints  139 THE ASTRONOMY OF THE EXPLORERS.*
The task of tracing the early history of the use of astronomy
in British Columbia is not easy. The writers who have essayed
to give the history of the early explorations have had in general
little knowledge of astronomy and assumed, correctly enough
probably, that their readers would be more interested in a general
account of the explorers than in how their positions were obtained
and their maps constructed. The details of the instruments used
and the methods employed are generally lacking in their accounts,
and have been obtained in unexpected places or are tentatively
given from a knowledge of those in use at the time.
It is desirable at the beginning to give a general idea of how
astronomy was used in the early explorations in the Province. In
order to determine our position on the earth, given in latitude
and longitude, we must measure by suitable instruments the altitudes of, or the angular distances between, some of the heavenly
bodies. In the sky or on the celestial sphere, positions are given
in declination, equivalent to latitude on the earth, and right
ascension, equivalent to longitude. Thus the equator on the
earth, with latitude zero, produced to the sky becomes the
celestial equator with declination zero, and the altitude of the
celestial pole, or the declination of the zenith, is the latitude of
the place. The longitude of a place on the earth is usually expressed as the number of degrees it is distant from the standard
of longitude, the meridian of Greenwich being universally
accepted as the standard with longitude zero. Or the longitude
may also be expressed by the difference in time between the local
time of the place and the time of Greenwich. As the earth
revolves once, or 360 degrees, in twenty-four hours, it is obvious
that one hour of time corresponds to 15 degrees and 1 degree to
four minutes of time. Hence it is only necessary to determine
both Greenwich and local time, their difference being the longitude of the place.
The latitude can be readily obtained as stated above from the
altitude of the Celestial Pole and this can be easily derived from
* The first part of the presidential address to the British  Columbia
Historical Association, October 13, 1939.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 2.
63 64 J. S. Plaskett. April
the altitude of Polaris, which is only slightly more than a degree
from the true Pole. Or it can be obtained from a single altitude
of a star if the local time is known, or both time and latitude can
be obtained from the times of equal altitudes of the same star
east and west of the meridian. Local time can be obtained by
equal altitudes, as above, or by a single altitude when the latitude is known. Latitudes have been obtained with fair accuracy
for some centuries. Columbus for example placed his discovery
correctly on the map so far as latitude was concerned.
Longitude, however, is much more difficult to obtain accurately and it was not until after the middle of the eighteenth
century that any methods were developed which enabled it to be
even approximately determined. This was a vital matter to
navigators who frequently had no idea how far in an east or west
direction they were from land, and in chart-making such distances were frequently guessed at, with grotesque distortions of
the resulting map. For example, as late as 1741, Anson, in the
course of one of the last great voyages made before improved
methods of obtaining longitudes were available, when approaching the South American Coast came upon Cape Noir when he
thought he was still 350 nautical miles to the west of it. A quotation from his account is most illuminating, ascribing the discrepancy to easterly currents: " It was indeed most wonderful,
that the currents should have driven us to the eastward with
such strength; for the whole squadron esteemed themselves
upwards of ten degrees more westerly than this land, so that
in running down by our account about nineteen degrees of
longitude, we had not really advanced above half that distance."
The difficulty in obtaining accurate longitudes, which as
stated above are simply the differences between local and Greenwich times, lies wholly in the determination of Greenwich time.
Local time could be obtained as simply and accurately as the
latitude, but until well on into the eighteenth century there was
no known method for getting Greenwich time. So important did
this appear that in 1714 the British Government offered a reward
of £10,000 for a method of obtaining longitudes accurate to 1
degree, corresponding to nearly 70 miles on the equator and 35
miles at latitude 60 degrees. This reward would be increased to
£20,000 if the longitudes were accurate to half a degree. 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 65
Although it is perhaps doubtful whether the offered reward
was wholly responsible for the advance, it is interesting to note
that two entirely independent methods of obtaining the Greenwich time, and hence the longitude, were developed during the
period 1730-1770.
(1.) By astronomical observations.—Two kinds of observation were used, either the measurement of the angular distance
between the moon and some of the brighter fixed stars, or the
local time of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites. For the measurement of lunar distances, an instrument which could be held in
the hands by an explorer or on a moving ship's deck was essential,
and this was provided by the invention of the sextant by John
Hadley about 1730, which developed into much the same form as
we have it to-day about 1750. For the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites a good telescope and a watch were all that was necessary,
but in general the method of lunar distances gave more accurate
values. From Bayly's and Cook's observations, on Cook's famous
third voyage, the method of lunar distances gave a probable
deviation of between one and two minutes of time, some 12 to
25 miles. The eclipses of Jupiter's satellites gave an error about
half as much again, or 20 to 40 miles. It may well be asked how
the measurement of the angle between the moon and a star could
give Greenwich time. The answer is obvious when it is remembered that owing to its revolution around the earth the moon
moves among the stars about 13 degrees a day, and if we have
tables giving the accurate position of the moon among the stars
for suitable intervals of Greenwich time, the Greenwich time and
hence the longitude can be determined for any given lunar distance. Similarly tables giving the Greenwich time of the eclipses
of Jupiter's satellites, when compared with the observed local
times, immediately give the longitude.
From the foregoing it appears that accurate measurements of
lunar distances or of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites is only
half the battle and would be quite useless to obtain Greenwich
time or determine longitudes without accurate tables giving the
position of the moon at sufficiently short equal intervals of Greenwich time. From these tables, with suitable interpolations, the
Greenwich time corresponding to the measured lunar distance
and hence the longitude can be computed.   Similarly tables giving 66 J. S. Plaskett. April
the Greenwich times of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites would
give the longitude directly from the observed local times. Such
tables of fair accuracy were first published in 1763, while the
Nautical Almanac first appeared in 1767.
(2.) By chronometer.—Greenwich time could be obtained
from a timekeeper of high accuracy and reliability and of sufficient portability to be carried on board ship or across unknown
lands. A pendulum clock, while fulfilling the first conditions,
must be used in a fixed position on land; and only an enlarged
and refined form of watch or chronometer could fulfil both requirements of accuracy and portability. John Harrison, a native
of Yorkshire, after a lifetime of work, produced a number of
chronometers with radical advances in the movements and escapements. His famous No. 4 chronometer, finished in 1759, was
first tested publicly in 1761 on a voyage to Jamaica; and again
in 1764 on a trip to Barbados. These tests showed that the
chronometer came within the required half a degree of accuracy
in determining longitudes, thus fulfilling the Admiralty requirements for the reward of £20,000 offered in 1714. After innumerable delays and postponements, apparently inevitable in Government affairs, Harrison finally received the full award.
All these developments are of particular interest to us because
they occurred only shortly before serious British explorations of
the Pacific Coast began. Cook's second voyage offered one of the
first opportunities to test thoroughly the two methods of determining longitudes. He took with him a chronometer made by
Larcum Kendall — a copy of Harrison's famous No. 4 — also
another of Kendall's own design, which did not behave nearly as
well. Also observers were sent along by the Board of Longitude
to make astronomical observations by the first method, to check
the accuracy of the chronometers. This procedure was repeated
in the third voyage, during which Cook came to the coasts of
British Columbia. The Kendall chronometer, a copy of Harrison's No. 4, proved highly accurate and was enthusiastically
praised by Cook. The general method used in these tests was to
establish stations both on the ship and the shore, and to take a
very large number of observations to check the longitude as indicated by the chronometer, and over a long enough interval to
ascertain the rate of variation of the chronometer. 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 67
The instruments used in the earliest reliable surveys of the
North Pacific Coast, on Captain Cook's third voyage, are fortunately tabulated by W. Bayly, of the Discovery, in the printed
record of the observations made by Captain Cook and himself.
This list includes the chronometer by Kendall just mentioned,
one of the first made; an astronomical clock for stations on
shore; a quadrant of 1-foot radius; two telescopes for observing
Jupiter's satellites; two night telescopes; two sextants, one by
Dolland, one by Ramsden, reading to 15 seconds, for measuring
angles; a marine dipping needle; an azimuth compass; two
variation compasses; artificial horizon, barometers, thermometers, etc. It was from Bayly's Observations that the probable
deviations in the determinations of longitude given above were
obtained and from the same source it was found that the probable
deviation of a good set of observations for latitude was about
half a minute of arc, equivalent to slightly over half a mile.
This description of the astronomical methods used and the
instruments employed in the early surveys of the irregular coast-
fine and in the preliminary mapping of the Interior of British
Columbia forms a necessary introduction to an account of the
astronomy of the early explorers. I shall have to confine myself
to Cook and Vancouver on the Coast, and Mackenzie, Fraser, and
Thompson in the Interior. Captain Cook, one of the most famous
of British navigators and explorers, on his third voyage sailed
up the West Coast of the continent in 1778, entirely missing the
Strait of Fuca, and landed at Nootka, carefully determining its
position. He then followed the West Coast right up through
Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean, reaching north latitude 69°
36'. The island-studded and estuary-indented coast-line was
carefully examined for the famous North-west Passage, for the
discovery of which the Admiralty had offered a reward of
£20,000. Cook took observations at many points, but did not
attempt to make the complete and detailed survey that Vancouver
carried out a few years later. In making his exploration and
survey of this uncharted and dangerous coast, Cook followed a
method, later extensively used by Vancouver, of sailing his ships
as close, to land as safety permitted and then sending out boat
parties to explore and survey the neighbouring territory.   The 68 J. S. Plaskett. April
last inlet explored was named Cook's River, while the farthest
north point in the Arctic he named Icy Cape.
Vancouver, however, made a much more complete and extensive survey of the coastal waters, the islands and inlets of
Vancouver Island and the mainland as far north as Cook's River
or Inlet, in the years 1792 to 1794. In his instructions from the
Admiralty, before starting on his voyage on April 1, 1791, with
his ships Discovery and Chatham, he was ordered to proceed to
Nootka " to receive back in form a restitution of the territories
the Spaniards had seized, and also to make an accurate survey of
the coast from the 30th degree of north latitude north-westward
to Cook's River." Perhaps the main purpose of this survey in
the minds of the Admiralty officers was to settle once and for all
the question of the fabulous North-west Passage, for the discovery of which the reward of £20,000 still stood. That Vancouver was the man to carry out the second part of the instructions was obvious from his training with Captain Cook, and from
his extraordinary preoccupation with his chronometers, astronomical instruments, and his observations during the long years
he was to spend in exploration. It is interesting to note that
Vancouver had with him the Kendall chronometer which Cook
had used on his second and third voyages and praised highly. He
also had two chronometers made by John Arnold, one of the best-
known instrument-makers of the time. Owing to his well-known
capacity in surveying and navigation, it was not considered
necessary to carry observers on this voyage. He took the greatest
pains to get positions as accurately as possible. As many as 199
sets of observations at one place and time were noted, the mean
being accepted as the final result. Notwithstanding this great
care, the limitations of the method of lunar distances, depending
finally on the accuracy of the moon's tables, which were uncertain
in the eighteenth century, made occasional errors of as much as
20 minutes of arc, 12 to 15 miles, possible. Vancouver became a
great scientific navigator, advancing the science by demonstrating
the value of new methods such as chronometer longitudes, then in
its infancy.
Vancouver's method of surveying followed the same plan as
mentioned above, of anchoring his vessels as close to the land as
was safe and then sending out boat parties to survey the coast- 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 69
line under his lieutenants, Whidbey, Baker, Puget, Broughton,
Hanson, and Johnstone, familiar names, given characteristically
by Vancouver to coastal features of British Columbia. From information supplied by F. C. Swannell and others, it seems likely
that Vancouver's method was to keep his ship in one spot for a
sufficient time to determine the latitude and longitude with some
accuracy. In the meantime he sent out his boats to map the coast
in detail. As soon as the ship's position was well determined, he
moved on to a new station and once again determined its position
with the greatest possible accuracy. When the boats caught up,
their outline of the coast, which under the circumstances could
not be highly accurate, was expanded or contracted sufficiently to
make it fit the distance between the two positions. The most
likely way the boat crews worked was to determine as well as
possible the distance and direction of prominent features of the
coast, and then fill in the coast between by sketching in the
general contour. The distance might be obtained by basing it on
the time taken in rowing, subject to considerable errors from
unknown currents, or perhaps by timing the echo of a musket-
shot. Direction would be obtained by compass, probably not an
azimuth compass, as there is no evidence that a sufficient number
were carried to supply all the boats. Inaccuracies were bound to
occur from time to time, but Vancouver's work compares exceedingly well with that of later surveys, and at times actually
surpasses them in accuracy. At Kwatna Inlet, for example, he
gave the distance across the neck of the peninsula as about 1
mile, which is correct, whereas the Admiralty chart based upon
the work of Captain Richards, who surveyed the same area some
seventy years later than Vancouver, is badly distorted and places
the distance at more than 4 miles.
Vancouver fulfilled his instructions literally by surveying the
coast-line from latitude 30° north in lower California to Cook's
River at latitude 61 ° 29' north, taking the summer seasons 1792,
1793, and 1794. In approaching the British Columbia coast from
the south he failed to notice the Columbia River, and sailed into
the Straits of Fuca early in May, 1792. He thoroughly surveyed
the south shore and the intricate coast-line of Puget Sound, and,
although inexplicably missing the mouth of the Fraser River, he
explored Burrard Inlet where the city named after him now 70 J. S. Plaskett. April
stands. Proceeding northward he surveyed the whole intricate,
island-studded and fiord-embedded coast-line and came out into
the Pacific through Queen Charlotte Sound, thus proving the
insularity of the island that bears his name. During the season
of 1793, Vancouver continued his survey up the coast as far as
the north end of Prince of Wales Island, while in March, 1794,
he pushed his way north directly to Cook's River—the limit of
his instructions.
He thoroughly explored and mapped the whole of this inlet,
under most difficult conditions, being greatly hampered by ice
and snow, fixing its northern extent in latitude 61° 29' and
longitude 152° 17' W., hence proving conclusively there was no
river and no North-west Passage here. The ships proceeded
southward on May 7, completing the survey in July, 1794, in a
harbour he named Port Conclusion. Here they held a celebration, signalized by an extra allowance of grog to the men of the
two boats, with mutual congratulations upon the explorations
and surveys successfully completed. Vancouver tells that when
the question of a passage from the Atlantic to this coast was thus
finally settled, " no small portion of mirth passed among the seamen in consequence of our having sailed from old England on the
first of April for the purpose of discovering a North-West Passage, by following up the discoveries of De Fuca, De Fuentes and
a numerous train of hypothetical navigators."
Although success in the discovery of a North-west Passage
meant a prize of £20,000, Vancouver apparently found as much
satisfaction in showing the fallacy of the strange charts and
stories of these old voyagers as if he had found it and enriched
himself. The geographical significance of Vancouver's work, and
the steadfastness with which he pursued the main objective1—
namely, the close examination of the intricate continental shores
for an opening linking the Pacific and Atlantic—was so thorough
that there could never more be fairy-tales of other mariners
where Vancouver's boats had penetrated. A glance at his Great
Chart, upon which his tortuous course is indicated, cannot fail to
rouse admiration for the man under whose leadership it was prepared and whose enduring monument it remains. This Chart
was the sole authority for the western coast of North America
for over a century. 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 71
Before leaving the maritime explorers, it will be interesting
to interpolate an account of the first triangulation made, so far as
known, on the Pacific Coast. In July, 1786, La Perouse spent a
considerable time in the bay he named " Port des Francais "—
now Lituya Bay, Alaska—securing fresh water, wood, etc., and
refitting his ships generally. He spent the time apparently in
making a plan of the bay itself, evidently by triangulation, including observations from a shore station, which is amazingly
accurate even by modern standards. Two short quotations from
La Perouse are of interest in this connection: (a) The list of
instruments taken with the expedition included " Four theodolites or graphometers, with and without telescopes, for measuring
angles on shore and taking plans." (Vol. 1, p. 186.) (6) The
reference to the plan of Lituya Bay reads as follows: " The plan
of Messrs. Monneron and Bernizet was finished as well as the
measure of the base taken by M. Blondelas which had served
... to measure the height of the mountains trigonometrically.".
(Vol. 1, p. 376.)
Turning now to land explorations, we shall begin with Sir
Alexander Mackenzie—perhaps the greatest of the three. His
journey down the river named after him to the Arctic need only
be referred to, because he then felt strongly the need of means to
determine his position and plot his course, being able to determine only the latitude. As he said: " In this voyage, I was not
only without the necessary books and instruments, but also felt
myself deficient in the science of astronomy and navigation. I
did not hesitate therefore to undertake a winter's voyage to procure the one and acquire the other." In preparation then for his
long-dreamed-of journey overland to the Pacific, he sailed to
England in the fall of 1791, where he studied assiduously to
acquire a sufficient knowledge of mathematics and astronomy to
determine his position with the accuracy attainable at that time.
He purchased the necessary instruments and practised their use
until proficient, and when satisfied sailed for Montreal in the
spring of 1792.
His plans met with discouragement and opposition from his
partners, who were much more interested in trading furs than
exploring, and had belittled his successful exploration of the 72 J. S. Plaskett. April
Mackenzie River, but that did not deter him from his projected
journey to the Pacific. Immediately upon his return to Fort
Chipewyan, men were sent up the Peace River to prepare winter
quarters in preparation for an early start in the spring. He left
Fort Chipewyan in October, 1792, and travelled up the Peace to
6 miles beyond its junction with the Smoky River, the post being
called Forks Fort. From several observations its position was
fixed at latitude 56° 9' N. and longitude 117° 35' 15" W.
It is interesting to note that in spite of the fact that Mackenzie had made a special trip to England to secure the astronomical knowledge he thought necessary to make his great
journey to the Pacific, he still seems to have distrusted his skill
as an observer and to have trusted his dead reckoning rather
than his observations, whereas in actual fact the latter were considerably more accurate. Mackenzie had few instruments,
merely a sextant, a compass, a chronometer of sorts, and a large
telescope for observing the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites on
which he depended for longitudes. The sextant was of an obsolete pattern, as on June 22 he could not observe the sun, as its
altitude was too great for his instrument. The compass he used
for taking rough bearings of his courses on the waterways was
probably not graduated in degrees, as his field-notes use the
terms " south west by west" and " south south-east" and he
apparently neglected the variation. Observations for latitude
were made repeatedly on his arduous and dangerous journey, but
for longitude much less frequently, on account of the greater
difficulty and the longer time required for reduction. When we
consider the circumstances under which these observations were
made, the raging torrents, the difficult portages, the hostile
Indians, and the discontent and clamour of the men to return, the
wonder is that he could find time for any observations and their
reduction, and that they were so relatively accurate. Only a man
of his indomitable energy and determination could have overcome
these difficulties and finally reached his goal, the waters of the
Mackenzie and his crew of ten men left Forks Fort on the
evening of Thursday, May 9, 1793, and after innumerable difficulties and dangers finally reached salt water at the mouth of the
Bella Coola River, emptying into Bentinck Arm, on July 19.   On 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 73
the next day they were so much troubled by hostile Indians that
the men urged Mackenzie to commence the return journey immediately, but this he would not do until he had determined his
position. So they sought a place that could be defended, and
where an uninterrupted view over water of several miles would
enable the artificial horizon to be checked. Landing at what is
now known as Mackenzie's Rock in Dean Channel, they prepared
for defence and camped for the night of July 21. The morning
of July 22 fortunately being fine, Mackenzie commenced observations, and still being seriously threatened by Indians and urged
by his men to commence the return journey, continued them until
satisfied, conceding to his men, however, that they could load the
canoe while he was observing. One can imagine his feelings of
anxiety during the observations, with the Indians crowding
around examining his instruments, but persisting, nevertheless,
until complete. Most of us, under such circumstances, could not
have made very dependable observations.
Mackenzie took several observations and finally fixed the position of his Rock as 52° 20' 48" north latitude and 128° 2' west
longitude. In his journal he says: " I had now determined my
situation which is the most fortunate circumstance as a few
cloudy days would have prevented my obtaining the longitude of
it." The exact position of Mackenzie's Rock was for long unknown, and was finally identified by Captain R. P. Bishop, of
Victoria, who made a special expedition for the purpose in 1923,
and by careful and thorough work found the identical rock.
Captain Bishop found that Mackenzie's longitude was 40 minutes
of arc in error, nearly 30 miles, and the latitude about a mile and
a half. Even without considering the trying circumstances under
which the observations were made, these are very good results
for the time and place. Thus ended this memorable journey, the
first crossing of the American Continent north of Mexico—even
though the American historian, John Fiske, states the first crossing was by Lewis and Clark in 1805, twelve years later.
We seem to know less about the astronomical competence of
Simon Fraser than about the other two land explorers, although
it is certain he made observations for latitude, probably with a
sextant. He started the descent of the river named after him on
May 28, 1808, believing he was on the Columbia, which he had 74 J. S. Plaskett. April
been sent to explore. It was only finally when the mouth was
reached and he observed the latitude to be nearly 49°—actually
some minutes north of 49°, while the mouth of the Columbia was
known to be at 46° 20'—that he realized that the impracticable
and tumultuous waterway he had descended with such difficulty
and danger was not the Columbia River. In connection with this
misconception of Fraser, and also of Mackenzie, it is curious that
at the very time Fraser was struggling down the raging torrent
he thought was the Columbia, David Thompson—the astronomer
and explorer par excellence of the early days in Western Canada
—was paddling up the true Columbia without knowing it! It
may be wondered how they could make such mistakes; but it
must be remembered that they had no maps, and all that had
been discovered was the upper waters of an unknown river and
the mouth of the Columbia.
David Thompson had a good training in mathematics at
school and had a gift for astronomy and surveying. Apparently
he commenced trading in furs, his business, and surveying, his
hobby and pleasure, in the Northwest Territories in 1789 when
he was 19 years old, and in British Columbia in 1807. That year
he travelled from Rocky Mountain House over the divide through
what is now called Howse Pass, though Howse did not begin to
use it till two years later. In 1811, Thompson travelled down the
Columbia to Astoria and back to the source, surveying and mapping as he went.
The instruments he carried are given in his Journal, and consisted of a 10-inch Dolland sextant reading to 15 seconds; an
achromatic telescope of high power for astronomical phenomena,
mainly the eclipse of Jupiter's moons; one of the same for general
use; a Mercury artificial horizon for double altitudes; an azimuth compass; thermometers and other minor articles. With
these simple instruments he obtained geographical positions that
were of a different order from his predecessors, and would put to
shame some recent determinations with modern instruments.
Thus in the longitudes of ten places taken at random in the west,
using lunar distances, his determinations are remarkably close to
modern ones, the average difference being only about 5 minutes
of arc, not much more than 3 miles, while his latitudes are less
than a mile out.   His surveys were not merely rough sketches 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 75
sufficient to give some general knowledge of the country, but
were careful traverses made by a master in the art, short courses
being taken by compass, the variation being constantly checked,
the distances carefully determined; and the whole checked by
numerous observations for latitude and longitude.
He not only accurately mapped his course, but recorded the
height of the mountains, the length of the rivers, the extent of
the plains, and the general topography of the country he explored. Mackenzie and Fraser devoted all their time and energy
to the one object of accomplishing their explorations and surveys,
and then turned to other work. Though Thompson's business
was trading in furs, surveying was his chief pleasure, and he
spent all his spare time in exploring, surveying, and mapping
the features of the country in which he was living or travelling.
The quality and quantity of his work is accounted for largely by
his passion for it, and his systematic continuation of it for
twenty-seven years. A fine tribute to Thompson's work was paid
by J. B. Tyrrell, who wrote his life: " Between the years 1883
and 1888, while engaged on the staff of the Geological Survey of
Canada, it fell to my lot to carry out explorations in canoes, on
horseback, or on foot, over many of the routes which had been
surveyed and explored by David Thompson a century before, to
survey the rivers he had surveyed, to measure the portages he
had carried, to cross the plains and mountains on the trails which
he had travelled, to camp on his old camping grounds, and to take
astronomical observations where he had taken them. Everywhere his work was found to be of the very highest order, considering the means and facilities at his disposal, and as my
knowledge of his achievements widened my admiration for this
fur-trading geographer increased."
These eulogistic remarks by Dr. Tyrrell of David Thompson's
skill as an observer and surveyor have been subjected in a recent
article by W. M. Stewart to a critical analysis. He admits that
Thompson's observations for latitude and longitude were in general remarkably good, his latitudes being mostly within a mile
and his longitudes on the average mostly within 2 miles, except
in isolated cases. Mr. Stewart's main criticism is directed at the
track surveys used to fill in between his astronomical positions.
Thompson's directions were obtained by a compass apparently 76 J. S. Plaskett. April
graduated only to five degrees, and Mr. Stewart states that his
magnetic bearings will include errors up to two and a half
degrees, perhaps more. Thompson's distances were in most cases
underestimated; that is, his mile was actually on the average one
and four-tenths miles. Nevertheless Mr. Stewart finally concludes his article by stating: " To have entered the unmapped
region of the Northwest, and to have fixed the location of the
main topographical features of so vast an area as closely as he
did, has. established David Thompson as the greatest of American
The final, practical astronomical event in British Columbia
to be discussed is the Survey of the International Boundary
between British Columbia and the United States. The treaty
was made in 1846, but it was not until 1858 that work was
started. Captain Hawkins was the British, and Archibald Campbell the United States Commissioner, while Captain Haig was
Chief, and Captain Darrell Assistant Astronomer, in the British
party. At first there was some disagreement, mainly on methods
of marking the Boundary, between the two Commissioners; but
later these differences were ironed out and the work was concluded amicably. The method of determining the Boundary, the
49th parallel, was to choose suitable stations a few miles apart,
as near the Boundary as possible, and to determine repeatedly
and with the utmost care the latitude of these stations. The
instruments used by the British astronomers were a 12-inch, and
—wherever it could be handled—a 15-inch theodolite. Also,
somewhat later, a zenith telescope which seemed to give somewhat better results. After considerable discussion the final latitude of the station was taken as the mean of British and
American results. The average differences were of the order of
one second of arc, slightly over 100 feet, the smallest being 38
feet and the largest 860 feet. The large differences were ascribed
to observations being made at different times and temperatures
and with different stars.
These stations were sometimes as much as 3 miles distant
from the 49th parallel, and this distance had to be accurately
measured along a meridian, directly north or south. As it was
a rough and mountainous country often heavily timbered, this
was difficult and slow work.   These points along the parallel had 1940 The Astronomy of the Explorers. 77
to be joined along its curve and a path cut through the forest
and marked by monuments. Iron monuments were provided
west of the Cascades and stone cairns between the Cascades
and the Rockies. So great were the difficulties of transport
and supply in this rough and unsettled country that the survey
and marking were not completed until the end of the third season,
November, 1861, and the final maps and description until 1869.
A resurvey and remarking were carried out early in the present
century under Dr. W. F. King, H.M. Commissioner, and O. H.
Tittman, U.S. Commissioner.
J. S. Plaskett.
Victoria, B.C. 78 The Astronomy of the Explorers.
Anson, George.
Voyage Round the World in the years 174.1-2-8-t.    London, 1748.
Bayly, William.
The Original Astronomical Observations made in the course of a Voyage
to the Northern Pacific Ocean.    London, 1782.
Bishop, R. P.
Mackenzie's Rock.    (Historic Site Series, no. 6.)    Ottawa, 1924 (?).
Cook, James.
A Voyage towards the South Pole and Round the World, performed in
. . . the Resolution and Adventure in the years 1772, 1778, 177U
and 1775.    London, 1777.    2 vols.
Cook, James.
A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean . . . performed . . . in . . . the
Resolution and Discovery.    London, 1784.    3 vols, and atlas.
Fraser, Simon.
Journal of a Voyage from the Rocky mountains to the Pacific Coast,
1808. (In Masson, L. F. R., Les bourgeois de la compagnie du
Nord-Ouest    Quebec, 1889, vol. I.)
Gould, Rupert T.
The Marine Chronometer: its history and development.    London, 1923.
Klotz, Otto.
The History of the Forty-ninth Parallel Survey west of the Rocky
Mountains.    (Reprinted   from   the   Geographical   Review,   May,
La Perouse, J. F. Galaup, comte de.
A Voyage Round the World performed in the years 1785, 1786,1787 and
1788.    London, 1799.    2 vols, and atlas.
Macken2:ie, Snt Alexander.
Voyages from Montreal . . . to the frozen and Pacific oceans in the
years 1789 and 1798.    London, 1801.
Stewart, W. M.
David Thompson's surveys in the North-West.    (In Canadian Historical
Review, September, 1936.)
Swannell, F. C.
Mackenzie'8 Expedition to the Pacific Ocean in 1798. (In British
Columbia Historical Association, Fourth Report and Proceedings.
Victoria, 1929.)
Thompson, David.
David Thompson's Narrative of his Explorations in Western America,
178U-18U;  edited by J. B. Tyrrell.    Toronto, 1916.
Vancouver, George.
A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World.
London, 1798.   3 vols, and atlas. " EMPRESS TO THE ORIENT."
In the shipping world reputations are rarely made in a day,
but fame and popularity seem to have come the way of the
Empresses almost with their maiden voyages. No doubt this
was due in part to the fact that they were the largest and fastest
steamers trading across the Pacific. Even in 1891 size and
speed made a strong appeal. But, in addition, the graceful
appearance of the vessels, and their very names, seem to have
caught the imagination of the travelling public.
The consequence was that they immediately captured a large
share of the first-class passenger trade. In 1890 the old chartered liners had landed 279 saloon passengers at Victoria and
Vancouver. In 1892, the first complete year they were in service,
the three Empresses landed 993.1 In 1897 Van Horne could
state that they were carrying " 60 per cent, of all the first-class
travel across the Pacific notwithstanding that there are 18 steamships competing for the business."2
Then, as now, the traffic was seasonal. In April, May, and
June the Empresses almost always arrived with their saloon
accommodation well filled. Outward voyages to the Orient were
busiest in September, October, and November. The fluctuation
in passenger lists in the course of the year was often startling.
In 1897, for example, the number of first-class passengers carried
eastbound varied from 14 to 130. Four sailings in the rush
season handled more than half the saloon passengers booked
during the whole year.
Steerage travel fluctuated less violently. The chief seasonal
influence was the Chinese New Year, to celebrate which many
Celestials made a round trip to the Orient, thereby swelling westbound passenger lists just before, and eastbound lists just after,
the great event. During the nineties most of the steerage passengers were Chinese. When the head tax imposed on Chinese
immigrants entering Canada was increased from $50 to $100 in
(1) See appendix for details and the source of these figures.
(2) Vancouver News-Advertiser, October 20, 1897.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 2.
79 80 W. Kaye Lamb. April
1901, and finally to $500 at the beginning of 1904, this traffic was
naturally affected, but substantial numbers continued to be
carried. In later years many of the Oriental passengers were
bound for distant destinations, notably the West Indies. In
attracting this trade the Empresses benefited greatly from their
close association with a transcontinental railway.
After the turn of the century the number of Japanese carried
increased sharply, and in 1905 Hindu immigrants appeared on
the passenger lists. The peak was reached in 1907 and 1908,
when as many as 700 Hindus landed from a single ship. This
trade ended abruptly when a " gentleman's agreement" was
concluded with Japan, and steps were taken to bar Hindu immigration.
In view of the many factors involved, it is surprising that the
total number of steerage passengers carried did not fluctuate
more widely. In 1892 the eastbound total was 4,312. In 1897 it
was 5,341, and it seems to have remained thereabouts for a good
many years. In the six-year period 1908-13, for example, it
averaged 5,630. Westbound steerage traffic in the same period
averaged 3,690. The average total movement in both directions
was thus 9,320.8
In November, 1891, T. G. (later Baron) Shaughnessy, then
Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific, sailed from Vancouver in
the Empress of Japan with instructions " to look into matters
generally and to make such arrangements for conducting the
company's business in China and Japan as he may find necessary."4 This commission he carried out so effectively that the
Empresses continued to sail with well-filled holds, even during
the depression years of 1892-95.
Homeward-bound the most important items in their cargoes
were silk and tea. Speed was of cardinal importance in the
transport of raw silk, and, since they offered the fastest schedule,
the Empresses captured a large proportion of this trade. Million-
dollar shipments were carried from time to time. Even this
figure was surpassed in 1902 when, within forty days, Canadian
Pacific steamers landed four silk cargoes in Vancouver valued at
(3) See traffic statistics in appendix.
(4) Quoted in J. Murray Gibbon, Steel of Empire, Toronto, 1935, p. 336. 1940 ■" Empress to the Orient." 81
$5,941,000.B Tea shipments came mostly from Japan. Extra
ships were chartered occasionally at the peak of the season if
more cargo offered than the Empresses could handle. The sailing-vessels /. B. Walker and Benjamin Sewell landed 5,500 tons
measurement of tea at Vancouver in 1891, and the steamer
Hupeh made a voyage for the Company in 1896 and another in
Opium shipments arrived on almost every steamer for some
years. Rice was also carried in large quantities. Curios and a
small assortment of miscellaneous packages completed the usual
inward cargoes of the Empresses.
For many years the most important items in their outward
cargoes were flour and cotton goods. At first almost all the flour
carried came from Portland, Oregon. Its usual destination was
either China or New South Wales. The latter trade continued
even after the establishment of a direct line of steamers between
British Columbia and Australia, in 1893. Efforts were made
later to develop a market for Canadian flour in Japan.6 Other
important cargo items were machinery and a variey of manufactured goods. In common with other lines, the Canadian Pacific
found that the volume of freight loaded for the Orient was substantially lower, on the average, than that carried inward. Nevertheless the Empresses frequently sailed with capacity cargoes,
and sometimes were even compelled to leave freight on the dock.
The annual reports of the Company show that even in 1891,
when their reputations were still in the making, the three
steamers " cleared their working expenses and the interest on
their cost, without taking into account the value of the business
contributed to the railway itself."7 Shareholders were informed
in the report for 1893 that the Empresses had " shown a healthy
increase in profits each year since the line was established."8 A
year later the directors reported that these profits had risen by
$80,467 in 1894, in spite of the prevailing depression.9   In 1895,
(5) Vancouver Province, November 12, 1902.
(6) The first large shipment was made in 1903.   See Vancouver Province, August 20, 1903.
(7) Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1891, p. 9.
(8) Ibid., 1893, p. 10.
(9) Ibid., 1894, p. 11. 82 W. Kaye Lamb. April
though hard times continued, profits fell by only $3,000.10
Though mentioned quite casually in the annual report, this fact
was actually of vital importance to the Company, for it was the
revenue derived from the Empresses, together with the through
traffic they brought for the railway, which " helped to save the
Canadian Pacific from the disaster which sunk a hundred and
fifty-six American railroads in the depression of 1893-95 and
might well have overwhelmed a new railway through Canada
depending for its existence on local business."11
Freight traffic grew so rapidly that the Canadian Pacific was
contemplating additions to its trans-Pacific fleet only two years
after the Empresses were completed. " The experience of the
Company in this trade indicates the need of a more frequent
freight service," the report to the shareholders for 1893 stated,
" and your authority will be asked for the building at the discretion of the Board and at such time as the general conditions of
trade may warrant, two freight steamships to supplement the
three passenger steamships now in the line."12 The authority
asked for was duly given, but the project was dropped, owing to
the depression of 1893-95.
When reinforcements for the Pacific fleet finally arrived, they
came from an unexpected quarter. The gold-rush to the Klon-
dyke, which caused immense excitement in 1897, induced the
Canadian Pacific to enter the coastal trade. Late in the year the
Company purchased the steamers Athenian and Tartar from the
old Union Line, and announced that they would be placed on the
run from Vancouver to Skagway the following spring. Captain
Archibald, commander of the Empress of China, was sent to
England to bring out the Tartar, which sailed from Southampton
on February 5, 1898. Travelling by way of Cape Horn, she
arrived in Vancouver on April 1. Her cargo included a submarine telegraph cable which the Tartar herself laid between
English Bay and Departure Bay—that is to say, between Vancouver and Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island—on April 6.13    On
(10) Ibid., 1895, p. 9.
(11) Gibbon, op. cit, p. 336.
(12) Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1893, pp. 10-11.
(13) The distance in a direct line was 32 miles, but 40 miles of cable were
required.    Laying commenced at 5 a.m. and was completed about 10.30 p.m. S.S. Tartar.
£  -
S.S. Athenian.
—— ■
S.S. Monteagle. o
a .5
5 02
s 3
* S
a 3
2-S 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 83
the 12th the Athenian arrived, under the command of Captain
H. Mowatt, formerly Second Officer of the Empress of India.
Captain Mowatt remained in the Athenian for some years, but
Captain Archibald resumed command of the Empress of China
and was succeeded in the Tartar by Captain Henry Pybus.
The service to Skagway called for a departure every Thursday. The first sailing was taken by the Tartar on April 28, 1898.
Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that traffic was quite
insufficient to give profitable employment to such large steamers
and they were withdrawn in July, after each vessel had made but
six round voyages. The last trip of the Tartar is of interest
because she arrived at Skagway just after the death of the notorious " Soapy " Smith. As a result she had the doubtful honour of
carrying away his accomplices and henchmen, who were forced
to flee the country.14
After swinging idly at anchor for several months in Vancouver Harbour, the Athenian and Tartar entered the trans-
Pacific trade. The Athenian sailed in October for Vladivostock,
carrying a heavy cargo which had been loaded at Portland. She
was then laid up at Hong Kong for a time and did not return to
Vancouver until April, 1899. After a trip to San Francisco she
made a second voyage to the Orient, in the course of which she
rode out a great storm at Kobe. Meanwhile, in December, the
Tartar had entered service, and on her first homeward passage
carried 600 Japanese to Hawaii. Her call at Honolulu was the
first to be made there by a Canadian Pacific steamer. The Tartar
made two more trips to the Orient, but both she and the Athenian
were employed somewhat spasmodically, and no attempt was
made to place them on a regular schedule or relate their sailings
to those of the Empresses.
As early as June, 1898, when the Spanish-American war was
in progress, the United States Government had wished to charter
the Athenian and Tartar for its transport service.   The offer had
(14) " We arrived at the Skagway dock just in time to receive the gang
of murderers—men and women—as the citizens rounded them up, after the
shooting. . . . The crowd were driven into our ship with rifles behind
them, with no money, the men working in the bunkers to make enough money
to get a meal when they got ashore in Vancouver." (Letter from Walter
Lewin, who was an engineer in the Tartar, to J. A. Heritage, January 25,
1940.) 84 W. Kaye Lamb. April
been refused because the Canadian Pacific would have preferred
to sell the vessels at that time. Early in 1899 the United States
found itself faced with an insurrection in the Philippines, and a
little later, when the offer of a charter was repeated, it was
accepted by the Company. The Tartar was taken over for six
months, as from July 4, 1899. This was later extended to nine
months, and she was not turned back to her owners until April,
1900. The Athenian was chartered later in July, 1899, and
served for a similar period. The vessels were employed in carrying troops, horses, and supplies from Pacific Coast ports to
Manila. The Athenian proved so satisfactory, and Captain
Mowatt was so popular with the United States Army officers, that
she was taken over a second time in July, 1900, when the Boxer
Rebellion made further troop movements necessary, and retained
until February, 1901. These charters were in effect practically
continuous, for in the brief interval between them she made a
special voyage for the United States Army to St. Michael, Alaska.
The Tartar returned to the ordinary trans-Pacific trade in
May of 1900, and was joined by the Athenian the following year.
In the autumn of 1901 it was at last determined to operate the
vessels on a regular schedule, and thus establish an intermediate
service which would supplement the express service maintained
by the Empresses. The first sailing was taken by the Tartar
from Vancouver in September, 1901. Thereafter regular Canadian Pacific departures increased from fifteen to twenty-four or
twenty-five per annum.
The Tartar and Athenian were not ideal additions to the
trans-Pacific fleet, but they were soundly-built ships and useful
traders. Moreover, their capital charges were low, as they had
cost the Company no more than $297,000.16 Both were iron,
single-screw steamers, designed to run in the mail service of the
Union Line between England and South Africa. The Athenian
was of 3,882 tons gross, and was built at Whiteinch, near Glasgow, in 1882. The Tartar was a little larger, registered 4,425
tons, and came from the same yard in 1883.
For more than a decade the three original Empresses were
beyond dispute the premier ships in the trans-Pacific trade.   So
(15)  To be exact, $297,336.28.    (Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1897, p. 26.) 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 85
far as saloon passengers were concerned, their only serious rival
was the Fairfield-built Pacific Mail liner China, which sailed out
of San Francisco. On the northern route the Upton Line, which
attempted to establish a service from Portland to the Orient, soon
collapsed, and for a time the only competition came from the old
Victoria and Tacoma (formerly the Parthia and Batavia) and a
few chartered steamers, all of which were sailing from Tacoma
in connection with the Northern Pacific Railway. Though of
little importance as competitors for the saloon trade, these vessels
were popular with the Chinese, and in later years handled much
more freight than the Empresses.
Presently a new and more aggressive rival appeared on the
scene in the person of James J. Hill, President of the Great
Northern Railway. In 1896 he concluded a working agreement
with the Nippon Yusen Kaisha, which led to the establishment of
the first Japanese steamer line across the Pacific. The pioneer
ship of the service arrived in Seattle on August 31, and monthly
sailings were maintained thereafter. In a few years the N.Y.K.
was able to assign larger ships to the Seattle line, and by 1901
the vessels employed exceeded the Empresses in size. The Kaga
Maru, for example, was of 6,301 tons gross, and when she reached
Victoria on July 9, 1901, she was the largest ship which had ever
used the port. But much more startling developments were in
store, for by that date it was known that Hill was not satisfied
with the improved N.Y.K. service. He was planning to organize
a steamer line of his own, and to build and operate several monster ships of 20,000 tons in the trans-Pacific trade.
Meanwhile new rivals had appeared, or were in prospect, on
the southern route. A second Japanese trans-Pacific line had
been started by the Toyo Kisen Kaisha, and the company's first
vessel, the Nippon Maru, arrived in San Francisco in January,
1899. She and her two sister ships slightly exceeded the Canadian Pacific liners in size, and imitated their appearance so
obviously, with their twin funnels and clipper bows, that the
crews of the Canadian ships immediately dubbed them the " tin
Empresses." As they were operated on different routes, their
relative capabilities were rarely put to a test, but the Empresses
were undoubtedly superior in speed. The story goes that upon
one occasion the Nippon Maru undertook to race the Empress of 86 W. Kaye Lamb. April
India between two Oriental ports. Despite the fact that her
boilers were forced to such an extent that she burned the paint
off her funnels, she dropped far astern.16 On the San Francisco
run, however, the Nippon Maru and her sisters could outstrip
any of their competitors, with the possible exception of the China.
Fortunately for the Pacific Mail Company, its financial resources
were sufficient to meet the situation, and before the end of 1899
it was able to order two new steamers, intended to be the largest
and fastest on the Pacific.
In the midst of all this competition, actual or impending, the
Canadian Pacific seems to have remained curiously unperturbed.
When paying a visit to Vancouver in 1897 Van Horne told newspapermen that " trade and traffic " with the Orient were
outgrowing the present service. That service must be made more frequent
and quicker, and we hope some day to be able to substitute larger steamships for the Empresses of the China line, and establish a fortnightly
service.   .   .   .!'
How soon this would be done, however, he could not say. Four
years later, in August, 1901, action on the matter was evidently
contemplated, as the directors reported that
The growth of the Company's traffic on the Pacific Ocean suggests the importance of providing at an early date an additional steamship, somewhat
larger and faster than the [present] Pacific Steamships of the Company.iS
The shareholders subsequently authorized the issue of bonds to
cover the cost of construction, but no order for a new steamer
was placed.
This left the three pioneer Empresses, supported after a
fashion by the Athenian and Tartar, to meet the intense competition which now developed in the trans-Pacific trade. In July,
1902, the first of the new Pacific Mail liners, the Korea, entered
service. On her second homeward voyage she sailed from Yokohama with orders to omit the usual call at Honolulu and to do her
best to capture the Pacific record. She arrived in San Francisco
on October 28, having covered 4,537 miles in only 10 days 15
hours and 15 minutes, at an average speed of 17.8 knots. So far
as average speed was concerned this passage broke all records,
as it surpassed the 17.14 knots which the Empress of Japan had
(16) Captain A. W. Davison described this incident to the writer.
(17) Vancouver News-Advertiser, October 20, 1897, which quotes his
statement at some length.
(18) Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1901, p. 8. (Photo courtesy Canadian Pacific Railway.)
Officers of the Empress of India, 1894.
Back row, left to right: Wm. Carf rae, 6th engineer; Thos. Proctor, electrician ; — Wetherall, 3rd officer; Daniel Crocket, 6th engineer; Captain E.
Beetham, 2nd officer; J. A. Heritage, 8th engineer; Basil Hoch, purser; Wm.
Milne, 10th engineer ; Stanley Menhinick, 9th engineer; Walter Lewin, 4th engi
ncer;   James McGown, 3rd engineer.
Middle row, left to right: Hedley T. Richardson, 2nd engineer: Captain
Henry Pybus, chief officer; Captain 0. P. Marshall, master ; James Adamson,
chief engineer.
Front row, left to right: Andrew T. Roy, 7th engineer; — Galway, 4th officer;
S. C- Binns, assistant purser; — Peyton, 5th officer; Jack McPherson, boiler
(The original photograph fs in the possession of J. A. Heritage, of Victoria,
B.C.) EH
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O   * 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 87
maintained on her famous voyage in 1897. If the Korea had
been travelling on the shorter northern route, she would, of
course, have broken the time record as well. Even on a course
300 miles longer than that to Victoria, she was only 5 hours and
15 minutes behind the Empress of Japan's fastest homeward
passage of 10 days 10 hours.
The Korea was joined by her sister ship, the Siberia, early
in 1903. Together they cost the Pacific Mail Company almost
$4,000,000.19 The Siberia registered 11,284 tons gross—8 tons
more than the Korea—and by this narrow margin was the largest
ship on the Pacific. She did not hold the distinction for long, for
about the time she entered service the Pacific Mail purchased
two still larger steamers, which were building for the trans-
Atlantic trade, and renamed them Manchuria and Mongolia.
They registered 13,639 tons gross and were completed in 1904.
Within three years the Pacific Mail thus acquired four new liners
totalling almost 50,000 tons, the average size of which was more
than twice that of the old Empresses.
Developments of equal interest were taking place on the
northern route, for James J. Hill and his Great Northern Steamship Company had proceeded with his grandiose plan for the construction of two big liners to run between Seattle and the Orient.
The Minnesota and Dakota were monster vessels for their day,
had a gross tonnage of 20,718 tons, and could each carry the fantastic total of 22,740 tons of cargo. Their weakness lay in their
slow speed, and, in addition, they proved to be singularly unlucky
ships. Nevertheless, for a time Hill made a formidable showing
in the North Pacific. He arranged to have the big freighters
Shamut and Fremont, which were owned by the Boston Steamship Company, run opposite the Minnesota and Dakota. Three
smaller vessels of the Boston Company's fleet maintained a second
service in co-operation with three N.Y.K. liners. By 1906 Hill
thus had ten steamers operating in connection with the Great
Northern Railway, including the two largest ships on the Pacific,
and might well feel that he was leaving all competitors far
(19)  The exact sum was $3,979,114.37.   Annual Report of the Pacific Mail
Steamship Co. for the year ending April 80th, 1903, p. 8. 88 W. Kaye Lamb. April
In spite of this the Canadian Pacific continued to rely upon
the now ageing Empresses to maintain its prestige in the trans-
Pacific trade. Early in 1903 the Company had extended its shipping interests to the Atlantic by purchasing the fleet of the
Beaver Line, and its neglect of the Pacific was undoubtedly
largely due to its preoccupation with this new venture.
In 1906 a modest improvement was made in the Oriental
service when the former Beaver Line steamer Monteagle was
transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific. She was a sturdy
twin-screw vessel of 6,163 tons gross and was completed in 1899.
She was one of a very successful series of freight and cattle
boats, and had seen service as a transport during the South
African War. Originally she was intended to carry only six
cabin passengers. Before she left for the Pacific, however, she
was refitted at Liverpool to carry 97 cabin class and as many as
a thousand Orientals in the steerage. She then loaded a full
cargo of Welsh coal for the Admiralty at Newport, and proceeded
to Hong Kong by way of Teneriffe and Durban. She sailed from
Hong Kong on her first trans-Pacific voyage on May 2, 1906, and
arrived in Vancouver on the 26th. One of the newspapers remarked at the time that there was " nothing remarkable about
the Monteagle."*0 In a sense this was true; yet in the course of
a few years she acquired an excellent reputation. She was noted
for her steadiness and, although her accommodation was far
from elaborate, at least one of her captains remembers her as the
only ship he ever commanded in which he never received a complaint from a passenger.
The Monteagle was brought out by Captain H. Parry, of the
trans-Atlantic fleet, who handed her over at Vancouver to Captain Samuel Robinson, formerly commander of the Athenian.
Her Chief Engineer was J. B. Penty, who came ashore after a
few voyages and took over the post of Engineer of the new
Empress Hotel, then under construction in Victoria.
Disaster almost overtook the Monteagle after she had completed only two round trips across the Pacific, for she was caught
in Hong Kong by the great typhoon of September 18, 1906. The
Empress of Japan, which was also in port, rode out the storm
successfully, but the Monteagle was driven ashore and damaged
(20)  Victoria Times, May 26, 1906. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 89
her stern-post. As a new one had to be forged in England, she
was laid up all winter and did not resume service until March,
A few months later, early in August, it was announced that
the Athenian and Tartar had been sold to Japanese purchasers.
On the 22nd the Athenian sailed from Vancouver for the last
time, under the command of Captain A. 0. Cooper. Her final
voyage was made without incident, but the career of the Tartar
had a more exciting conclusion. She sailed from Vancouver on
October 17, 1907, with Captain A. H. Reed, now Harbour Master
of Vancouver, on her bridge. Outside the Narrows she encountered fog, and presently collided with the coastal steamer
Charmer. The Tartar was badly holed and was beached in English Bay, where she lay for some days. She was repaired in the
old Esquimalt dry-dock, but various small misfortunes caused
further delays, and it was not until December 15 that she finally
reached Yokohama.
Neither the Tartar nor the Athenian was operated by their
new owners for long, and both went to the ship-breakers in 1908.
Such traffic statistics as are available indicate that the old
Empresses retained their popularity to a surprising degree
throughout these exciting times. The reason is not far to seek.
Though surpassed in size and speed, they still offered the fastest
regular schedule across the Pacific, and the reliability of their
service remained proverbial. These were considerations of great
importance to the silk and tea trades, and it was because they
could meet these specialized demands that the prosperity of the
Empresses continued.
Their success in attracting first-class passengers is more
difficult to explain. Their faster schedule accounts for it in part,
and they benefited greatly from through bookings to and from
the Canadian Pacific Railway. But there is no doubt that the
yacht-like lines which had caught the imagination of the travelling public when they first entered service, together with the
reputation they had established in the intervening years, were
important factors. For, considered objectively and stripped of
the glamour which surrounds their memory, the old Empresses
cannot be said to have been specially attractive ships in some Canadian Paolfic Railway Company's Royal Ntail Steamship _,{»•
Plan of the first-class accommodation of the original Empress liners,
from an advertising booklet issued in 1906.
Reproduced " Empress to the Orient." 91
respects. They were speedy and safe, but wet and very uncomfortable in a rough sea. They could roll and pitch in an astonishing way, and upon occasion threw the clinometer beyond 45
degrees. They were fitted with bilge-keels in 1901, which reduced
their rolling considerably, but there is no doubt that the Monteagle was the comfort ship of the old fleet.
It is interesting to recall some details of their passenger
accommodation. Even by the standards of 1908 it was becoming
antiquated. The largest of the three public rooms for first-class
passengers was the dining saloon, which was at the forward end
of the upper deck. The two long tables down the centre of the
room, and the dozen smaller tables along the walls, could seat a
total of 104 persons. The style of decoration used is well illustrated in the accompanying photograph. The saloon measured
about 36 by 48 feet, and its dome occupied the centre of the
library, or lounge, which was on the promenade-deck above.
This was a smaller room, about 30 feet square, decorated in a
similar style. The smoking-room, which occupied the traditional
position farther aft, was smaller still. All the furniture in all
three rooms was either built-in or screwed down, which was just
as well, in view of the lively way the Empresses behaved at sea.
The first-class cabins were mostly outside rooms, and were
well fitted for their day. Almost all of them had three berths.
There was no such thing as a private bath on board, and the
" special suites of staterooms " referred to proudly in the early
handbooks were nothing more than four larger cabins on the
promenade-deck, which boasted real bedsteads and sofa berths.
About 160 first-class passengers could be carried, and cabins for
another 40 persons were provided aft in what was sometimes
called second class, and at other times intermediate. Accommodation in the steerage varied in extent, for as much 'tween-
deck space as was required could be fitted up at short notice if
an exceptionally large number of Orientals booked passage.
Two other important reasons for the success of the Empresses
must not be overlooked. In the first place, they were kept in good
condition. Upkeep was never stinted and they were thoroughly
overhauled at Hong Kong each year. In the second place, they
were well run, and had the good fortune to attract a large number
of efficient and popular officers. 92 W. Kaye Lamb. April
Of the three original commanders, Captain 0. P. Marshall of
the Empress of India was easily the favourite. He was popular
with both crew and passengers, and took such care of his ship
that she was referred to humorously by those in the service as
" Marshall's private yacht." She was his last command, for he
remained in her until May, 1905, when he resigned to become an
Elder Brother of Trinity House. It is said that he received this
appointment, for which he was admirably qualified, through the
good offices of the Prince of Wales, later King George V., who, as
Duke of York, had visited British Columbia in 1901. The Royal
party travelled from Vancouver to Victoria in the Empress of
India on October 1 and returned in her on the 3rd. The Duke
was much impressed, both by the smartness with which the
liner was handled and by the personality of her commander.
Captain Marshall retired some years ago, and died as recently
as December, 1939.
The first Chief Engineer of the Empress of India, F. A. Wood,
died at sea in 1892 and was succeeded by James Adamson, the
Second Engineer. Adamson was as capable and careful an engineer as Marshall was a commander, and together they made a
team which became famous in the Empress service. The India
was undoubtedly the most economically run of the three pioneers,
and her fuel consumption was consistently lower than that of her
sisters. This result was obtained by good management and not
by slower speed, and Adamson always regarded the records held
by the Empress of Japan a little ruefully. He served as Chief in
the India for twenty years and left her in 1912 to join the new
Empress of Russia.
As noted previously, Captain Tillett, first commander of the
Empress of China, left her in 1892 to become Marine Superintendent for the Canadian Pacific at Hong Kong. He was succeeded by Captain Rupert Archibald, formerly Chief Officer of
the Empress of India. Although the Empress of China was the
unlucky ship of the three, every one agreed that this was not the
fault of her popular skipper. Captain Archibald commanded her
for over nineteen years—the longest term any Empress captain
has ever served in a single ship. He seems to have looked back
with some regret to the days of sail, for he made much more use 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 93
of the canvas with which all the Empresses were originally
equipped than did his brother officers.
Ill-health compelled Captain George A. Lee of the Empress of
Japan to resign in August, 1900, and he spent the rest of his life
in retirement in England. His successor was Captain Henry
Pybus, one of the most prominent figures in the history of the old
Empresses. Captain Pybus came to the Pacific as Chief Officer
of the Empress of China, and in 1892 became Chief of the India
and relieving captain for the fleet. Though somewhat of a martinet, Pybus was an able navigator, and when he was on the
bridge things were likely to happen. Thus it was while he was
relieving in the Empress of India that she had her adventure
with the cruiser Olympia, in 1896, and he was in the Empress of
Japan when she made her record run in 1897. His first permanent command was the Tartar, in 1898, and from her he was
promoted to the Empress of Japan in 1900. He retired in January, 1911, and lived in Vancouver until his death in July, 1938.
The last of the original officers of the Empresses to receive a
command was Edward Beetham, who came out as Fourth Officer
in the Empress of Japan, in 1891. His promotion was rapid, and
within a few years he was next in seniority to Captain Pybus.
As a consequence he succeeded Pybus as commander of the Tartar
when the latter moved on to the Empress of Japan in 1900, and
in 1905 Captain Beetham himself took over the Empress of India
upon the resignation of Captain Marshall. In 1913 he moved on
to the new Empress of Russia, and in 1914 came ashore in Vancouver as Marine Superintendent.
Three other Empress captains who were very well known in
later years received their first commands while the old liners still
headed the trans-Pacific fleet. Captain Samuel Robinson joined
the Empress of Japan as a junior officer in 1895, and became
Chief Officer of the Empress of China in 1899. In February,
1903, he was appointed Captain of the Athenian, and it will be
recalled that he took over the Monteagle when she came to the
Pacific in 1906. Upon the retirement of Captain Pybus, in 1911,
he moved to the Empress of Japan. He was in her only two
years, as he was sent to the Clyde to join the new Empress of
Asia in March, 1913. 94 W. Kaye Lamb. April
The early careers of Captain A. W. Davison and Captain A. J.
Hailey closely paralleled that of Captain Robinson, for they were
taking successive steps up the same ladder. Captain Davison
joined the Empress of China as a junior in 1895, and after
serving as Chief Officer in the India was appointed to his first
command, the Tartar, in 1905. He succeeded Captain Robinson
in the Monteagle, and in 1913 was promoted to the Empress of
India, which he left early in 1914 to take over the Empress of
Russia. Captain Hailey entered the service as Fourth Officer of
the Empress of Japan in 1900, and after a spell in the Athenian
returned to the Japan as her Chief Officer in 1905. His first permanent command was the Monteagle, but both before and after
this appointment he made voyages as relief captain in the
Empress of India. In 1914 he became her regular skipper and
remained in her as long as she was in the Canadian Pacific service. It is interesting to note that Captain Hailey grew up across
Morecambe Bay, within sight of Barrow-in-Furness, and well
remembers the days when the old Empresses were taking shape
in the shipyard there.
Analysis of these biographical notes shows that the three
pioneers had remarkably few captains, considering their length
of service. Though they sailed the seas for the Canadian Pacific
for a total of seventy-five years, they had no more than twelve
regular commanders between them. For purposes of record the
following tabulation will be of interest:—
Commanders op the old " Empresses."
Empress of India: 0. P. Marshall 1891-1905; Edward Beetham,
1905-13; A. W. Davison, 1913-14; A. J. Hailey, 1914-15.
Empress of Japan:   George A. Lee, 1891-1900;   Henry Pybus,
1900-11;  Samuel Robinson, 1911-13;  W. Dixon Hopcraft,
1913-21; A. V. R. Lovegrove, 1921-22; A. J. Holland, 1922.
Empress of China: A. Tillett, 1891-92; Rupert Archibald, 1892-
A similar tabulation of the Chief Engineers of the old liners
would not be of much greater length, and a few of the names
which would appear should be mentioned here.   The record of
James Adamson, in the Empress of India, has already been noted.
In the Empress of Japan, Thomas Tod was succeeded after a
brief period by E. O. Murphy, who was Chief when she made her 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 95
fastest passage in 1897. Murphy retired to go into business in
Hong Kong in 1899, and his post was taken by William Auld, who
was in the Japan for some fourteen years and was then promoted to the new Empress of Asia. James Fowler, first Chief
Engineer of the Empress of China, resigned about 1900 to become a Lloyd's Surveyor. H. T. Richardson succeeded him, but
after a time was appointed Superintendent Engineer for the
Company at Vancouver. The next Chief of the China was James
McGown, who served in her until 1902, when Richardson was
promoted to the post of Superintendent at Hong Kong and McGown came ashore to take over his duties at Vancouver. James
Neish then became Chief of the China, and in 1907 was succeeded
by D. H. Mathieson, who served in the Empress until the end of
her days.
Although small delays and misfortunes inevitably came their
way, the Empresses suffered remarkably few serious accidents.
One such occurred about 2.40 a.m. on the morning of November
6, 1900, when the steel barque Abby Palmer collided with the outward-bound Empress of Japan. The liner was struck on the port
side, well forward, and suffered considerable damage. Fortunately this was all above the water-line. A lookout-man on the
bow of the Abby Palmer jumped aboard the Empress as the
vessels met, and it is amusing to note that he stayed with the ship
and joined the crew. Captain Pybus contended that the lights of
the Abby Palmer were improper, but the court of inquiry found
the steamship to blame.
After the accident the Empress returned to Victoria for temporary repairs, and although she was nearly six days late in
sailing, she managed to land her mails at Hong Kong within the
contract time.21
Some three years later the Empress of India was involved in
a much more serious collision. When darkness fell on August 17,
1903, she was steaming between Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Shortly before midnight the officer on watch realized suddenly
that she was coming up with another vessel, later found to be the
(21) For an account of the accident see Victoria Times, November 7,
1900. The finding of the Admiralty Court is printed in full in the Times,
April 20, 1901. 96 W. Kaye Lamb. April
small Chinese cruiser Huang-Tai, travelling on a parallel course.
Exactly what happened in the next few minutes is still not
entirely clear, but a press dispatch based upon Captain Marshall's
report to his owners reads as follows:—
When the Chinese gunboat was off the Empress' starboard bow, the
captain of the cruiser suddenly starboarded his helm and turning to port
attempted to cross the bows of the liner. The Empress immediately reversed
her engines, trying to avoid being rammed broadsides by the cruiser. The
liner sheered off sufficiently to catch a glancing blow from the bows of the
cruiser instead of receiving the direct impact of the war vessel, which would
probably have cut her in two. The cruiser struck the Empress near the
starboard side of the bridge and in sliding off carried away some of the
upper works of the liner. As she drifted back, the steamer was still working her engines to stop, and still steering to sheer off from the warship.
The result was that the starboard propellor of the Empress smashed the side
of the warship as the latter passed her stern.22
It turned out later that the Empress had suffered relatively
little damage, but the Huang-Tai was so badly holed that she
sank. About 150 of her crew were rescued, but a group of officers
refused to leave the ship and went down with her.
The sudden change of course made by the Huang-Tai has
never been explained satisfactorily. Various stories have gone
the rounds, one of which suggests that the collision was due to
the mistaken interpretation of an order shouted to the helmsman
on the bridge of the Empress, while another insists that the
cruiser was making a deliberate attempt to sink the liner, because
she was carrying Chinese political refugees.
A curious misfortune befell the Empress of China late in
October, 1907, while she was tied up at the Canadian Pacific
dock in Vancouver. About 6 p.m. a longshoreman on board
made the startling discovery that the vessel was sinking. Fire-
pumps were rushed to the dock, but lack of proper hose connections made them ineffective and by midnight the Empress was
down by the stern and resting on the bottom. For a time she
was in grave danger of rolling over into deeper water. Fortunately the coal hulk Robert Kerr was lashed alongside and held
her upright. It was known that the trouble was due to an open
condenser discharge, through which water had poured into the
engine-room when the loading of cargo and coal brought it below
the water-line, and a diver was hurried to the scene to close the
(22)  Vancouver Province, August 18, 1903. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 97
offending valve. Early next morning the salvage steamer Salvor
came, alongside and her pumps had the Empress safely afloat in
a few hours. Thanks to the heroic efforts of all concerned, she
was able to sail from Vancouver on time, but dynamo trouble
made it necessary to hold her overnight at Victoria.23
Fourteen months later, in February, 1909, the Empress of
China was again in difficulty, this time in the Inland Sea of
Japan. A shifting current carried her off her course and she
ran ashore. Though she struck heavily, she was able to get off
under her own steam three hours later. The damage suffered
extended for a hundred feet of her length, but she was able to
complete her voyage to Vancouver before going to Hong Kong
for repairs.
In the autumn of 1906 the schedule of the Empresses was
altered for the first time since 1891. Henceforth the vessels
were expected to travel from Vancouver to Hong Kong in nineteen days, instead of twenty-one. This change was due to
developments on the Atlantic, where the Canadian Pacific had
recently placed in service the first Empress of Britain and the
Empress of Ireland. These vessels were the largest and fastest
in the Canadian trade. By speeding up the trans-Pacific liners,
the Company hoped to be able to carry mails from Liverpool to
Hong Kong in as little as twenty-nine days.
This was asking much of steamers which had been running
for sixteen years, and the old Empresses were taxed to the
limit by the new schedule. It left practically no margin for
contingencies, and assumed that the mails would always reach
Vancouver at least approximately on time. For a few months
all went well, but early in 1907 the line incurred its first penalty
for the late arrival of an Empress at Hong Kong. To add a
touch of irony to the incident, it was the queen of the fleet, the
Empress of Japan, which fell behind the contract time. The
fault was not really hers, for the English mails were over four
days late in arriving in Vancouver, and it was obviously impos-
(23) The Empress's own water-soaked dynamo could not be repaired in
time for her sailing, and the substitute secured had proven unequal to its
task by the time the liner reached Victoria. The Tartar was in Esquimalt
dry-dock, after her collision with the Charmer, and her dynamo was hastily
installed in the Empress overnight. 98 W. Kaye Lamb. April
sible for her to complete the voyage to Hong Kong in only
fourteen days.
It was evident that new tonnage was needed on the Pacific
if the faster schedule were to be maintained satisfactorily. In
January, 1907, D. E. Brown, an official of the Company, stated
that two new Empresses would be built at once, but no order
was actually placed.24 In July it was announced, on the much
better authority of Arthur Piers, General Manager of the Canadian Pacific steamships, that plans for one new Pacific Empress
were in preparation.26 A month later, shareholders found the
following paragraph in the report submitted at the annual meeting of the Company:—
The subsidy that is now being paid to your Company for the carriage of
the mails between Liverpool and Hong Kong will expire in April of next
year, and it is not improbable that a faster and more frequent service will
be made a condition of its continuance. In view of this fact your Directors
recommend that they be authorized to arrange for the acquisition or construction of two steamships to meet the requirements of your Pacific trade,
or to build two larger and faster boats for the Atlantic service and transfer
the Empress of Britain and Empress of Ireland to the route between Vancouver and Hong Kong.2^
But matters do not seem to have worked out quite as anticipated. Though the new contract signed in October, 1908, covered the carriage of mails all the way from Liverpool to Hong
Kong, the service required was slower than that the Canadian
Pacific was already maintaining.27 Moreover the amount of the
subsidy was reduced from £60,000 to £45,000 per annum.
No doubt these circumstances account for the fact that nothing more was heard about new Empresses for several years.
Meanwhile the old steamers carried on with remarkable regularity and success. Competition ebbed and flowed in a curious
way. On the San Francisco route the Toyo Kisen Kaisha placed
in service two fine new turbine steamers, which were the fastest
and most modern ships on the Pacific. On the northern route,
James J. Hill's formidable merchant fleet dwindled rapidly. The
Dakota was wrecked, the Boston Steamship Company's steamers
(24) Victoria Times, January 23, 1907.
(25) Ibid., July 25, 1907.
(26) Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1907, p. 8.
(27) The contract time from Liverpool to Hong Kong, via Quebec or
Rimouski, was 818 hours;  via Halifax or St. John, 853 hours. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 99
were withdrawn, and only the ships of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha
and the single American liner Minnesota remained. Through it
all the Empresses continued to offer the shortest route to the
Orient. Though they were equipped with wireless in 1909,28 no
great attempt was made to bring their passenger accommodation
up to date. But if their deficiencies were apparent, so were
their low capital and maintenance charges.
In the summer of 1911 it was announced at long last that
two new Empresses had been ordered from the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company, builders of the Empress of Britain and
Empress of Ireland. The assumption was that the new liners
and two of the old steamers would maintain a fortnightly service to the Orient. This gave rise to some speculation as to
the fate of the third old Empress, but this ended a few weeks
later when the Empress of China was wrecked on the Japanese
The unlucky ship of the fleet met this final misfortune of her
career on July 27, 1911. She had just come safely through a
typhoon, and was proceeding cautiously through a fog-bank,
when she struck Mera Reef, off the entrance of Tokyo Bay. The
engines were put astern, but she was found to be hard aground.
All the passengers and most of the crew were soon taken off by
small craft which came out from shore. No one was injured.
The official inquiry found that the accident was due to the fact
that the Empress had been carried 18 miles off her course " by
a strong and unusual current, of the existence of which the
master had no knowledge and no means of knowing, and to the
mistiness and obscurity which left him in ignorance of his proximity to the shore."29
The Empress of China was so firmly embedded on the reef
that salvage operations proved difficult and costly. It was not
until December 12 that she was floated and taken to Uraga for
docking.    Several months later it was decided to abandon her
(28) The first Empress to arrive with wireless was the Empress of
China, which reached Victoria on May 29, 1909. R. L. Stevens was her first
operator.   See Victoria Times, March 12 and May 31, 1909.
(29) The finding is quoted in the Victoria Colonist, September 6, 1911. 100 W. Kaye Lamb. April
to the underwriters.    They, in turn, disposed of her to ship-
breakers.    The price is said to have been $65,500.30
Captain Archibald stood by his ship until illness compelled
him to leave her, shortly before she was floated. In March,
1913, he succeeded J. A. Fullerton, who had held the post since
1888, as ship's husband at Vancouver. He retired in 1914 and
lived in North Vancouver until his death in May, 1936, at the
age of 82.
The interval between the loss of the Empress of China and
the completion of the new Empresses was a difficult one for the
Canadian Pacific. The Monteagle had to be pressed into the
mail service, for which she was too slow and inadequately fitted.
It is significant that first-class bookings fell off 60 per cent, in
1912 as compared with 1911. No wonder every one in the service looked forward to 1913 and the arrival of the new steamers.
The story of the Empress of Russia and Empress of Asia
lies outside the scope of this article, which is concerned with the
older units of the fleet, but their chief characteristics may be
stated briefly. Their length over all is 592 feet and their gross
tonnage 16,900 tons. In 1913 they were exceeded in size on the
Pacific only by Hill's lonely giant, the 20,718-ton Minnesota.
Their construction aroused considerable interest, for they were
the first large steamers to have cruiser sterns. This novelty in
design, together with their three large funnels, gave them a distinctive appearance which was much admired, and which has
been copied in all later Empresses. Their turbine engines, driving quadruple screws, enabled both sisters to exceed 21 knots on
trial. As their passenger accommodation was luxuriously furnished, it is not surprising that the two vessels cost the Company
slightly over $5,000,000.31
The Empress of Russia was completed first and sailed from
Liverpool in April, 1913, under command of Captain Beetham.
Her maiden voyage ended at Vancouver on June 7. On the last
leg of her long journey she travelled from Yokohama to William
Head in the record time of 9 days 5 hours 29 minutes.    Like the
(30) Frank C. Bowen, History of the Canadian Pacific Line, London,
1928, p. 113.
(31) Entries in the reports of the Company for 1912, 1913, and 1914,
indicate that the cost of the two liners was $5,005,738.84. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 101
Empress of India before her, the Russia thus ended her first
passage Queen of the Pacific. She was joined presently by the
Empress of Asia, Captain Samuel Robinson, which arrived in
Vancouver on August 31.
Experience was to prove that the Empress of Russia and
Empress of Asia were indeed the fine, soundly-built vessels
which they appeared to be. In particular, the years were to
show that their builders had anticipated the subsequent trend of
liner design to an astonishing extent. The result is that they
are much the most modern-looking ships of their age now afloat.
When new, in 1913, they immediately restored the old prestige
of the Empress line, for they were beyond dispute the fastest
and best-equipped steamers in the trans-Pacific trade.
The new liners inevitably overshadowed the old Empress of
India and Empress of Japan. Though admired as much as
ever by ship-lovers, to most people they seemed all at once to
be small in size and antiquated in equipment. Nevertheless
they were still sufficiently fast to run in conjunction with the
Empress of Russia and Empress of Asia, and the four vessels
enabled the Canadian Pacific to inaugurate a fortnightly service
to the Orient. It took the old liners all their time to make the
trip from Vancouver to Hong Kong, but the superior speed of
the newer Empresses left them with a few days in hand. In
June, 1914, it was therefore possible to extend the run of the
Russia and Asia to Manila. Only two calls had been made there,
however, before the whole schedule was disrupted by the declaration of war.
The Empress of India sailed from Yokohama just before the
outbreak, and arrived at Victoria on August 14. She had made
the crossing to William Head in 11 days 18 hours, which was the
fastest time made by an old Empress in some years.32 When
she left for the Orient on August 22 it was realized that perils
and adventures probably lay ahead, but few can have suspected
that the famous pioneer of the Empress line was leaving Vancouver and Victoria for the last time. Officially, the voyage was
number 120, outward; actually, it was her 238th trans-Pacific
crossing.    Captain A. J. Hailey was in command.
(32) Victoria Times, August 15, 1914. 102 W. Kaye Lamb. April
When the Empress of India reached Hong Kong she was
ordered to Bombay, there to await orders from the Admiralty.
She proceeded thither via Singapore. No lights were shown
after she passed through Malacca Strait, as the German cruiser
Emden was still at large in the Indian Ocean. At Bombay the
Empress was examined by the Director of the Indian Marine,
who informed Captain Hailey that his ship would be fitted out
as a hospital ship, under the patronage of certain Indian royalty.
The work of conversion was started at once and took about two
months to complete. Meanwhile, in December, it was announced
in London that the Empress had been sold to the Maharajah of
Gwalior, who proposed to equip and maintain her as a hospital
ship, at his own expense, as a contribution to the war effort of
the Empire.83 The price paid was £85,000.84 In keeping with
her new purpose, she was christened Loyalty at Bombay on
January 19, 1915.
Shortly after this she was ordered to the Persian Gulf.
Then, when two days out at sea she was directed to proceed to
Karachi. From there she sailed for Southampton, where she
picked up sick and wounded Indian troops. In March she was
back at Bombay. All this time she had retained her Canadian
Pacific officers and crew. Upon her return to Bombay, however,
Captain Hailey handed her over to the Indian Marine, and the
last link with her original owners was broken.35
Her subsequent career as a hospital ship was a busy one.
Press reports state that by the end of the war she had made
forty-one voyages and carried a total of 15,406 patients. These
included British, Indian, Chinese, East African, West African,
and West Indian troops, and a number of German, Turkish, and
Arab prisoners.
After the Armistice the Loyalty served briefly as a troopship. Then in March, 1919, she was sold to the Scindia Steam
Navigation Company, of Bombay, which proposed to operate her
between Indian ports, the Mediterranean, and Great Britain.
She was refitted as a passenger ship, and a sketch furnished by
(33) Ibid., December 16, 1914.
(34) Annual Report, Canadian Pacific Railway, 1915, p. 11.
(35) Most of the details given in this and the preceding paragraph were
given to the writer by Captain Hailey. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 103
the Company indicates that some minor changes were made in
her superstructure. Her period of service proved to be brief,
for she was laid up at Bombay in March, 1921, after making
only a few voyages to Marseilles and London. For two years
she lay at anchor, neglected and rusting. Finally she was sold
for scrap to Messrs. Maneckchand, Jivray & Co., late in February, 1923.36 The records of Lloyd's Register of Shipping show
that the actual work of breaking her up commenced in June.
Very different were both the war record and the subsequent
career of the old Empress of Japan. She had sailed from Vancouver on July 23, 1914, and was nearing Yokohama when war
was declared. She hurried on to Hong Kong, where she was
at once fitted out as an auxiliary cruiser. She was stripped of
movable fittings, but her passenger accommodation was not
otherwise interfered with. Her armament consisted of eight old
4.7-inch guns, platforms for which had been provided at the
time she was built. Some difficulty was experienced in securing
a crew, but in spite of this she was prepared for sea in remarkably short order. When commissioned she joined the squadron
under Rear-Admiral Jerram which was protecting the Eastern
and Australian trade routes. While on war service she had a
naval commander, but her regular skipper, Captain W. Dixon
Hopcraft, stayed with her as navigator.
Her first cruise took her to Singapore, and then to Batavia,
Macassar, and Sandakar. On October 8 she was back in Hong
Kong. For ten days she had had the honour of serving as flagship of Admiral Jerram, while H.M.S. Minotaur was detached
on special duty. In addition, she had convoyed several captured
enemy ships to Singapore. Her chief concern was the cruiser
Emden, then at the height of her career as a commerce raider.
Later the Empress was to have the satisfaction of retaking the
British steamer Exford, which the Emden had seized and placed
in charge of a prize crew.
From Hong Kong the Empress of Japan proceeded to Co-
lumbo, where she remained about three weeks. Her next cruise
took her to the Red Sea, where she assisted the Empress of Asia
and Empress of Russia in bombarding Turkish batteries and
(36)  Scindia Steam Navigation Co. to the writer, November 4, 1939. 104 W. Kaye Lamb. April
capturing armed dhows. When her services were no longer
needed there, she was ordered to Bombay, where she was dry-
docked, overhauled, and finally released by the British Admiralty.
As Captain Hopcraft was ill at the time, the Empress was
taken to Hong Kong by her Chief Officer, Captain A. J. Holland.
There another two months were spent refitting her for her regular run across the Pacific. It is amusing to note that while she
served as an auxiliary cruiser the Empress retained her white
hull and yellow funnels. When turned back to her owners, however, she was painted grey as a precautionary measure. As
events turned out, she never regained her familiar colouring,
for the hulls of the Empresses were all painted black for some
years after the Great War.37
The Empress of Japan sailed from Hong Kong on December
1, 1915, and arrived in Vancouver on the 21st. As the Empress
of Russia and Empress of Asia also returned to their regular
run in the spring of 1916, the Canadian Pacific service reverted
for a time more or less to normal. Later, however, the two
big ships were again commandeered, and only the Empress of
Japan and Monteagle were left on the Pacific. Even so, many
war-time duties came their way. The Empress carried thousands of Chinese labourers, who were either bound for France
or returning home, and in 1919 she brought many of the British
and Canadian troops in the Siberian Expeditionary Force back
from Vladivostock.
When she finally returned to her normal trade it was clear
that her remarkable career was nearing its end. True, she was
still sound and trim, and lovely to look upon. But she was nearly
30 years old, and was obviously too small to be retained longer
than necessary. In the Fairfield yard the new Empress of
Canada was already taking shape, and presently it was announced that the German liner Tirpitz had been acquired and
would come to the Pacific as the Empress of Australia.
The Empress of Canada was expected to be ready for service
in 1921, but her completion was delayed, and the Empress of
Japan was reprieved for another year.   In the interval Captain
(37) On the war service of the Empress of Japan see the illustrated
article, based on data secured from Captain Hopcraft, in the Victoria
Colonist, December 23, 1915. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 105
Hopcraft, who had been her commander since 1913, was succeeded by Captain A. V. R. Lovegrove. He remained in her for
only three voyages, after which she was taken to Hong Kong
by her Chief Officer, Captain P. Sinclair, and there turned over
to Captain A. J. Holland, in April, 1922.
On June 1 she sailed for the Orient on her 158th and final
round trip. On her return she passed through the First Narrows and tied up at Vancouver for the last time, on July 18.
The next day the proud new Empress of Australia arrived from
England to take her place in the sailing schedule.
Few ships have served their owners as well, and caused them
as little anxiety, as the old Empress of Japan. From first to last
she was in commission for over thirty-one years. For twenty-
two of them she held the Pacific record. She crossed the Pacific
no less than 315 times, yet the collision with the Abby Palmer,
in 1900, was the only serious accident in which she was ever
involved. She steamed in all a total of over 2,000,000 miles,
62,000 miles of which she covered while in the service of the
Admiralty as an auxiliary cruiser.
During the longshore strike of 1923 the old Empress was
used as a floating hotel for stevedores. Except for this interlude she swung at anchor in Vancouver Harbour for almost four
years. Finally, in the spring of 1926, she was sold to Victor
Lamken, who acted on behalf of R. A. Mahaffay, of the Railway
Equipment Company, of Tacoma. It was said at the time that
she would be dismantled and the empty hull sold as a barge.
Actually, however, she was broken up by slow degrees in North
Vancouver by R. J. Christian, a local contractor.
Two relics remain in Vancouver to recall the memory of the
beautiful old liner. Her bell was purchased by F. H. Clenden-
ning and presented to the Merchants Exchange, where it hangs'
to-day. Her dragon figurehead was acquired by the Vancouver
Daily Province, and has been erected in Stanley Park, not far
from the First Narrows, through which the Empress passed so
many times.
In conclusion, a word should be said about the later years of
the Monteagle. She was in Vancouver when war was declared
and was held in port for a time as a precautionary measure.
She finally got away to the Orient on August 19.    In September 106 W. Kaye Lamb. April
she was taken over by the Admiralty at Hong Kong. She was
released early in 1915, but was taken up again in 1918 and for
a time in 1919. Most of her time was spent in the Pacific,
though upon occasion she travelled as far afield as Suez. She
carried many coolies from North China, and in 1919 called
several times at Vladivostock to repatriate prisoners of war
from Russia.
One of the few exciting incidents in the career of the Monteagle came in 1921, when she rescued the survivors of the French
steamer Hsin-Tien under conditions of great difficulty. The
gallantry of her crew was suitably recognized by the French
Upon the arrival of the new Empress of Canada and Empress
of Australia in the summer of 1922, the Monteagle was withdrawn from service and laid up in Vancouver Harbour. In September it was decided to send her to the Atlantic. She loaded
a full cargo of lumber and sailed for St. John, New Brunswick,
on the last day of the month. There she lay idle for a second
time, after which she crossed the Atlantic to London.
Her last days have been described by Frank C. Bowen. It
seems that she was laid up in the East India Dock during most
of 1923, and was then taken down the Thames to Southend,
where she swung at anchor for another two years. She was
retained all this time because the Canadian Pacific had intended
to rebuild her as a modern cargo-carrier and rename her Belton.
Owing to rising costs and low freight rates the plan was abandoned. In the spring of 1926—about the same time her old running mate, the Empress of Japan, was sold—the Monteagle was
disposed of to Messrs. Hughes Bolckow, of Middlesbrough. The
purchase price was £10,750. Subsequently she was towed to
Blyth, where many great liners have met their end, and broken
So passed a famous generation of ships from the Pacific.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Provincial Library and Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
(38)  Bowen, op. cit, pp. 186-187. 1940 " Empress to the Orient." 107
Many persons have assisted most generously in the work of gathering
the material for this history of the old Empresses. Mr. M. McD. Duff,
Assistant to the Chairman, Canadian Pacific Steamships, not only talked
over old times, but very kindly answered a number of inquiries by mail.
Captain E. Aikman, General Superintendent, Vancouver, placed all available records of the old Empresses at my disposal. More recently Captain
R. J. Hickey, Assistant Marine Superintendent, kindly checked a number of
points. I am indebted to Mr. J. Murray Gibbon, General Publicity Agent,
Montreal, for the loan of two of the photographs used to illustrate this
I am also greatly indebted to a number of retired commanders and
former officers who served in the original Empresses, all of whom have
contributed reminiscences and have enabled me to clear up innumerable
points which would otherwise remain in doubt. They include Captain
Samuel Robinson, Captain A. W. Davison, Captain A. J. Hailey, and Mr.
H. L. Radermacher, all of Vancouver; Mr. J. B. Penty, of Victoria; and
Mr. J. E. Macrae, of New York City. I also had the good fortune to spend
an afternoon with the late Captain Henry Pybus, in 1936, and my files
include letters from two other pioneer Empress captains who have passed
on, Captain Rupert Archibald and Captain O. P. Marshall.
The Secretary of Lloyd's Register of Shipping, London, and the Manager
of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, of Bombay, both searched their
records and contributed a number of details to the narrative.
Finally, I am specially indebted to two friends. One is Mr. John Haskell
Kemble, of Pomona College, an authority on the history of trans-Pacific
shipping, who contributed various notes and suggestions. The other is
Mr. J. A. Heritage, of Victoria, who served for several years as an engineer
in the Empress of India before he joined the B.C. Coast Service, of which
he was senior engineer at the time of his retirement. If the story is found
to be technically correct as well as historically interesting, the credit will be
very largely his. W K L
1. Specifications of the Athenian, Tartar, and Monteagle.
The Athenian was built in 1882 by Messrs. Aitken & Mansel, at White-
inch, near Glasgow, for the mail service of the Union Line between England
and South Africa. She was an iron, single-screw steamer, and was fitted
originally with compound engines of some 3,200 indicated horse-power,
which gave her a speed on trial of slightly over 13 knots. In 1887 she was
given new boilers and triple-expansion engines, which developed 4,600
horse-power and increased her speed on trial to 14.76 knots. The new
engines were so much more economical than the old that her fuel consumption was lower than before, in spite of the marked increase in both power
and speed. When first she came to the Pacific the Athenian had very high
topmasts, but these were cut down later to the height shown in the accompanying photograph. 108
W. Kaye Lamb.
The Tartar was built in the same yard, and for the same service, in 1883.
She, too, was an iron, single-screw steamer, and her original compound
machinery was likewise removed and replaced by triple-expansion engines.
Captain A. W. Davison, whose first command she was, in 1905, recalls that
she was an exceptionally well-built ship, with solid teak deck-rails and
elaborate brass fittings. He states that upon one occasion she was used as
a royal yacht by Queen Victoria, and that when she came to the Pacific the
furniture in one of her rooms still bore the royal arms.
The Monteagle was a steel ship, and was completed in March, 1899, by
the Palmers' Company, of Newcastle. She was built for the Beaver Line,
and, as stated elsewhere, was one of a very successful series of cattle and
freight steamers built by the line in the decade 1897-1907. Her regular
run was from Bristol to Montreal, though she made voyages to various
ports in the United States as well. While on the Atlantic she became
noted for the consistency of her performance, and her ability to keep strictly
to schedule, in fair weather and foul. Her three double-ended Scotch
boilers had a heating surface of 11,721 square feet and a grate area of 363
square feet. Her triple-expansion engines drove twin screws. The Monteagle was the first vessel in the Canadian Pacific trans-Pacific fleet to have
refrigerated cargo space.    Its capacity was 24,785 cubic feet.
The principal dimensions of the three steamers were as follows:—
Tons Gross.
Tons Net.
• Depth moulded, 30 feet 10 inches.
2. Westbound Traffic Statistics, 1892 and 1897.
Careful search has so far failed to reveal any official record of the traffic
handled by the Empresses during the nineties. It has therefore been necessary to turn to the newspapers of the time for the statistics set forth in the
two tables which follow. The arrival of practically every Empress was
described at some length in early days. As the tables themselves suggest,
the ship reporters frequently secured from the purser a detailed return of
the passengers carried. However, at other times they were content with
estimates or round figures, and it must therefore be emphasized that too
much reliance must not be placed upon the totals given. It can be said with
confidence that they are not very wide of the mark, but on the other hand it
is equally certain that they are not entirely accurate.
Oddly enough, much less attention was given by the press to the sailings
of the Empresses than to their arrivals, and it has proven quite impossible
to compile any corresponding tables for their outward voyages. 1940
Empress to the Orient.'
Canadian Pacific Trans-Pacific Steamships,
(a.) Passengers carried, Inward Voyages, 1892.
Arrival Date.
1st Glass.       2nd Class.       Steerage.
January 26
February 22
March 22	
April 19	
May 7	
May 28	
June 18	
July 8 	
July 29	
August 25—
September 9 ...
September 30-
October 30	
November 22„
December 20—
(b.) Passengers and Cargo carried, Inward Voyages, 1897.
Arrival Date.
1st Glass.
2nd Class.
(Tons Measurements).
April 8
Arril «7
Mny 19
J'lly 2"
September 21 .	
Totals...    _	
3. Traffic Statistics, 1908-1913.
Official returns of the traffic handled by the trans-Pacific steamers are
available for the years 1908 to 1913. These are included in the report on
subsidized steamship services which is found in the annual report of the
Department of Trade and Commerce. The tables which follow have been
compiled from this source. 110
W. Kaye Lamb.
Canadian Pacific Trans-Pacific Steamships.
Traffic Statistics, 1908-1913.
(a.) Passengers.
1st Class.
3rd Glass.
4th Class
Inward voyages—
1911 ...              	
Outward voyages—
Inward and outward—
(b.) Freight
Tons Weight.
Tons Measurement.
Inward voyages—
Outward voyages—
Inward and outward—
On May 10, 1870, a delegation of unusual importance left
Victoria for San Francisco, en route to Ottawa. It was composed of three of the leaders of the political life of the colony
of British Columbia: the Hon. J. W. Trutch, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works; the Hon. R. W. W. Carrall and the
Hon. J. S. Helmcken, elected members of the Legislative Council
for Cariboo and Victoria City, respectively. To them Governor
Anthony Musgrave had entrusted the task of negotiating with
the Canadian Government suitable terms for the entry of the
Pacific colony into the newly federated Dominion of Canada.
Federation with Canada had been mooted in the colony since
1867, but the supine administration of Governor Frederick Seymour had done little to secure its accomplishment. It remained
for his successor to initiate the official action which alone could
bring the matter to a successful issue. Upon the opening of the
regular session of the Legislative Council on February 15, 1870,
Governor Musgrave, referring to the projected union with
Canada, had said:—
For my part I am convinced that on certain terms which I believe it would
not be difficult to arrange, this Colony may derive substantial benefit from
such an union. But the only manner in which it can be ascertained whether
Canada will agree to such arrangements as will suit us, is to propose such
as we would be ready to accept.1
Consequently the Governor, after consultation with his Executive Council, had drawn up a series of proposals for presentation
to the Legislative Council. Long and careful consideration by
that body resulted in certain amendments to the terms and the
addition of some supplementary recommendations. Thus armed,
the three delegates travelled to Ottawa to sound out the Canadian Government.
Hitherto a veil of secrecy has shrouded the negotiations which
followed. The various occasions upon which the delegates met
with representatives of the Canadian Cabinet were, of course,
(1) Victoria Daily British Colonist, February 16, 1870.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 2.
Ill 112 Willard E. Ireland. April
noted in the press; but no details whatever of the proceedings
were made public, either then or later. Moreover, careful search
in the Archives of the Dominion, and in other collections, has
failed to produce any minutes or memoranda, and after a lapse
of almost seventy years it still appeared that not one of the
participants had left any record of the discussions which took
Such a record has now finally come to light. Amongst the
papers belonging to the late Dr. J. S. Helmcken, recently transferred to the Provincial Archives by the heirs of his daughter,
Mrs. Edith L. Higgins, is a concise, day-to-day account of the
eventful negotiations between the British Columbian and Canadian delegates. The diary was kept in an ordinary exercise-
book. When Dr. Helmcken refused a senatorship and retired
from politics in 1871, he seems to have placed it in a drawer of
his secretaire and ignored it thereafter. Possibly he regarded
it as a personal and confidential document, as no reference to it
has been noticed in any of the reminiscences he contributed in
later years to the press.
The historical importance of the diary is obvious. Though
relatively brief, it reveals clearly both the general course of the
negotiations and the questions upon which discussion centred.
Two points are of special interest. The sincerity of Canada's
desire to secure the adherence of British Columbia was made
patent by the generosity of the final terms offered by the Dominion. Helmcken's journal makes the interesting suggestion
that the concessions Canada was prepared to make were limited
only by the necessity of carrying the terms through the federal
parliament. The reader cannot but be struck by the number of
times this matter is referred to in the diary. In the second
place, the journal enables us, with some degree of certainty,
to account for some of the most important differences between
the proposals which the delegates took to Ottawa and the terms
of union offered later by the Dominion. It is not necessary here
to detail all the changes made, but Helmcken's notes throw much
light upon three of the most important alterations—those in the
terms relating to subsidies, to communications, and to the form
of government. For the sake of clarity these are reproduced in
full. 1940
Confederation Negotiations, 1870.
British Columbia's Proposal.2
Final Terms of Union.s
3. The following sums shall be
annually paid by Canada to British Columbia, for the support of
the Local Government and Legislature, to wit:—
An annual grant of $35,000, and
a further sum equal to 80 cents a
head per annum of the population,
both payable half-yearly in advance, the population of British
Columbia being estimated as aforesaid at 120,000. Such grant equal
to 80 cents a head to be augmented
in proportion to the increase of
population, when such may be
shown, until the population amounts
to 400,000, at which rate such grant
shall thereafter remain.
(Amendment proposed by the Legislative Council:—
That the Governor be respectfully
requested to strike out figures
" $35,000," and insert in lieu therof
" $75,000."
That   the   figures   "400,000"   be
altered to " 1,000,000.")
3. The following sums shall be
paid by Canada to British Columbia for the support of its Government and Legislature, to wit, an
annual subsidy of 35,000 dollars,
and an annual grant equal to 80
cents per head of the said population of 60,000, both half-yearly in
advance; such grant of 80 cents
per head to be augmented in proportion to the increase of population, as may be shown by each subsequent decennial census, until the
population, amounts to 400,000, at
which rate such grant shall thereafter remain, it being understood
that the first census be taken in the
year 1881.
8. Inasmuch as no real Union
can subsist between this Colony
and Canada without the speedy
establishment of communication
across the Rocky Mountains by
Coach Road and Railway, the Dominion shall, within three years
from the date of Union, construct
and open for traffic such Coach
Road, from some point on the line
of the Main Trunk Road of this
Colony to Fort Garry, of similar
character to the said Main Trunk
11. The Government of the Dominion undertake to secure the commencement simultaneously, within
two years from the date of the
Union, of the construction of a
Railway from the Pacific towards
the Rocky Mountains, and from
such point as may be selected, east
of the Rocky Mountains, towards
the Pacific, to connect the seaboard
of British Columbia with the railway system of Canada, and further,
to  secure the completion of such
(2) British Columbia, Legislative Council, Debate on the subject of Confederation with Canada, Victoria, 1913, pp. 162-164.
(3) Howay and Scholefield, British Columbia, Vancouver, 1914, II., pp.
696-697. 114
Willard E. Ireland.
Road; and shall further engage to
use all means in her power to complete such Railway communication
at the earliest practicable date, and
that   Surveys   to   determine   the
proper line for such Railway shall
be at once commenced; and that a
sum of not less than one million
dollars shall be expended in every
year, from and after three years
from the date of Union, in actually
constructing the initial sections of
such  Railway from the  Seaboard
of   British   Columbia,   to   connect
with the Railway system of Canada.
(Amendment   proposed   by   the
Legislative Council:
That the word " and," between
" construct"    and    " open,"    be
erased,  and words  " and maintain "  be  inserted after " traffic".  That this Section be altered
so that the section of the Main
Trunk  Road between  Yale and
New   Westminster   may   be   included in the Coach Road which
the Dominion Government is to
be   asked   to   construct   within
three   years   from   the   date   of
Railway within ten years from the
date of the Union.
And the Government of British
Columbia agree to convey to the
Dominion Government, in trust, to
be appropriated in such manner as
the Dominion Government may
deem advisable in the furtherance
of the construction of the said
Railway, a similar extent of public
lands along the line of Railway,
throughout its entire length in
British Columbia, (not to exceed,
however, Twenty (20) Miles on
each side of the said line,) as may
be appropriated for the same purpose by the Dominion Government
from the public lands in the North-
West Territories and the Province
of Manitoba. Provided, that the
quantity of lands which may be
held under pre-emption right or by
Crown grant within the limits of
the tract of land in British Columbia to be so conveyed to the Dominion Government shall be made
good to the Dominion from contiguous public lands; and, provided, further, that until the commencement within two years, as
aforesaid, from the date of the
Union, of the construction of the
said Railway, the Government of
British Columbia shall not sell or
alienate any further portions of
the public lands of British Columbia in any other way than under
right of pre-emption, requiring actual residence of the pre-empter on
the land claimed by him. In consideration of the land to be so conveyed in aid of the construction of
the said Railway, the Dominion
Government agree to pay to British Columbia, from the date of the
Union, the sum of 100,000 dollars
per annum in half-yearly payments
in advance. 1940
Confederation Negotiations, 1870.
Form of government.
15. The constitution of the Executive authority and of the Legislature of British Columbia shall,
subject to the provisions of " The
British North America Act, 1867 ",
continue as existing at the time
of Union until altered under the
authority of the said Act.
14. The constitution of the Executive Authority and of the Legislature of British Columbia shall,
subject to the provisions of the
" British North America Act,
1867 ", continue as existing at the
time of Union until altered under
the authority of the said Act, it
being at the same time understood
that the Government of the Dominion will readily consent to the introduction of Responsible Government when desired by the inhabitants of British Columbia, and it
being likewise understood that it is
the intention of the Government of
British Columbia under the authority of the Secretary of State for
the Colonies, to amend the existing
constitution of the Legislature by
providing that a majority of its
members shall be elective.
It is now generally conceded that the inclusion of the guarantee of responsible government in the terms was largely the
work of H. E. Seelye, the diligent special correspondent of the
Victoria Daily British Colonist.*
Willard E. Ireland.
New Westminster, B.C.
(4) See Harkin, W. A. (ed.), Political Reminiscences of the Right Honorable Sir Charles Tupper, London, 1914, p. 128. 116 Willard E. Ireland. April
Diary of the Confederation Negotiations, 1870.
Friday, June 3rd.5
We arrived at Ottawa City at 1 o'clock to day from Prescott;
would have been in yesterday had we not missed the train.6 Mr.
Trutch sent in a note stating we had arrived. The Governor
General summoned us to his presence at 3 o'clock.7 We were
received courteously; after a few minutes Sir G[eorge] Cartier
made his appearance and we were introduced to him and very
shortly after conducted and inducted by him to the Privy Council
and presented to all the Members—a Council being at that time
held.8 After an ordinary conversation, we were informed that
we should be made acquainted with the time when our presence
would be required and then the Hon. J[oseph] Howe [President
of the Privy Council] volunteered to shew us the City. He did
so and we dined with him in the evening, Sir F[rancis] Hincks
[Minister of Finance] being present and Honble. Mr. Tilley
[Minister of Customs]. We subsequently learned that on Monday next we were required to meet the P [rivy] Council at 2 P.M.
Monday.    [June 6.~\
According to appointment we proceeded to the Govt. Buildings and met Sir G. Cartier, whom we found in his shirt sleeves,
hard at work. He, as usual, was exceedingly pleasant, gave us
sherry, and introduced us into the Privy Council, Mr. Trutch
(5) Contrary to the general acceptance of June 4th as the date for the
arrival of the delegates (see Howay and Scholefield, op. cit, II., p. 293), the
date here mentioned is correct. Compare telegraphic message in the Victoria Daily British Colonist, June 5, 1870.
(6) The Toronto Globe, June 10, 1870, states quite definitely that the
delegates arrived in Ottawa on the 28th of May, and H. E. Seelye, special
correspondent of the Victoria Colonist, in Toronto on the 27th. Presumably
they made a short visit out of the capital before undertaking to contact the
Government, for this same issue of the newspaper quotes at length from a
speech made by Dr. Helmcken at a dinner in honour of R. W. W. Carrall, in
his native city of Woodstock, Ontario.
(7) Sir John Young, later Baron Lisgar, Governor-General of Canada,
(8) The reference here is to a meeting of the cabinet. It is to be remembered that the Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was seriously ill at
the time. Consequently the responsibility for the negotiations fell upon Sir
George Cartier, Minister of Militia and Defence, the acting prime minister. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 117
being told to occupy the Gov. General [sic] seat, I upon his right
and Carrall the left.9 We were informed that the Council had
agreed to appoint a deputation from their body to confer with
the delegates and discuss the various points submitted by /from
the Govt, of B.C. Mr. Tilley explained to the Council, that the
Delegates considered they were here to give every information
and explanation required or desired, 2nd to support the terms
of their own Govt., 3rd That they had no power whatever to
bind the Colony to any terms, but that the terms as agreed upon
would be submitted to the people as proposed and already determined upon by the Governor of B[ritish] Columbia. From the
remarks of various members of Council, it appeared as tho the
Govt, of Canada would grant everything they possibly could or
that they could get the parliament to agree to. Sir Francis
Hincks thought the 120,000 population clause a very ingenious
manipulation of figures, and advised that we should bring all the
information upon which it was based. After conversing generally and pleasantly it was agreed that we should meet the committee at 3 o'clock to-morrow to proceed to business. The Committee being Sir George Cartier, Honble. Mr. Tilley, and Sir
Francis Hincks. We have every reason to be pleased with our
reception—the cordial feeling exhibited towards us—the plainness & simplicity of manner and the studied endeavour to be
agreeable and to conduct the business in a fair, plain and upright
Tuesday.    [June 7.]
We attended at 3 o'clock but found Sir G. Cartier engaged
and continued so for half an hour longer. He then excused himself in a most merry way, took us to wine and himself to a sandwich likewise, he not having had time to take anything before.
It is astounding how Sir G. works—morning, noon, night, brings
no cessation.    Of course the first thing entered upon in Council
(9) This was in reality the first business meeting of the negotiation.
An endorsation by Sir John Young on the dispatch of Governor Musgrave
t introducing the delegates reads: " 6 June, 1870. Acknowledge receipt and
say I have placed these gentlemen in communication with the Council of the
Dominion. They are to have their first meeting this morning." Musgrave
to Young, May 7, 1870. Canada Public Letters Received, G series, no. H9S
(Public Archives, Ottawa). 118 Willard E. Ireland. April
was the 120,000 population. The ministry knew of course this
to be a fictitious number and stated they could not propose it to
parliament,10 but Sir Francis Hincks observed that he saw that
we must have the $150,000. Yet the puzzle was how to get it.
It could not be done by real population and real debt even supposing the allowance for the debt to be increased. We made no
objection to our population being put down at its real number
provided that the money could be obtained. We consented to
[sic; too] that our Tariff should remain in force, but suggested
that it might be improved for B[ritish] Columbia as well as
themselves. Sir F. Hincks believed that under present circumstances the tariff could be different in the two countries for some
time to come at all events. Tilley differed, but bowed to Sir F.
Hincks. They both saw that if they did not maintain the B.C.
Tariff the income of the Dominion would not be the same as that
set down. However much they could get over our fictitious
population they could not support our mode of calculating the
debt.11 It was not logical and could not go down. When we
were at a non-plus as to how it was to be done, viz., the money
we demanded, obtained, Sir George conceived the brilliant idea
of our giving up lands for the Railway and for the Govt, to compensate the colony therefore and in this way make up the sum
(10) Governor Musgrave explained the method of computing the population at 120,000 as follows: " It is proposed therefore that for the purposes
of an arrangement with Canada our Population should be estimated from
the amount of Revenue contributed to the general fund of the Dominion,
from the sources which would be transferred. On a moderate computation
the Customs and Excise duties are estimated for this year at $350,000.
This sum is more than is raised from 120,000 of the population of Canada,
. . . British Columbia claims accordingly to come into the Union with the
privileges, as she relinquishes the Revenues, of 120,000 of the population of
the Dominion." Musgrave to Young, 20 February, 1870, Canada Public
Letters Received, G series, no. 1359.
(11) The debt clause of the terms proposed by British Columbia read as
follows: " British Columbia not having incurred debts equal to those of
other Provinces, now constituting the Dominion, shall be entitled to receive,
by half-yearly payments in advance from the General Government, interest
at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum on the difference between the actual
amount of its indebtedness at the date of Union and the proportion of the
Public Debt of Canada for 120,000 of the population of Canada at the time
of Union." British Columbia, Legislative Council, Debate on the subject of
Confederation, p. 162. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 119
specified. Every one was taken by surprise and all conceived
the idea to be good. The ruling idea was however that they
must obtain as much money from the B.C. tariff as B.C. now
does, that they could not go to Parliament without that, because
all the other Provinces would oppose or all would require to be
put upon the same footing as B[ritish] Columbia. They could
understand our wish to gain as much as we could, but at the
same time it must be recollected that they could not give us more
than parliament would allow. They would give us everything
they could possibly ask of parliament.
Wednesday.    [June _.]
I saw Sir F. Hincks to-day upon the subject of the Tariff and
recommended that our tariff should be altered so that Silks,
Satins and such articles should be admitted duty free. He
replied that there would be a loss of Revenue and what they had
granted had been granted upon the condition of our Tariff being
maintained. He asked would we allow our duty upon Sugar to
be increased equal to that of Canada? I told him that a reduction of from 12 down to 5 per cent, would not be a loss to the
Govt., because the trade in those articles with foreign parts
would increase to that extent. He did not believe it. I told
him, if he would allow us to alter our tariff to that extent, we
could then go in under that tariff. He would not go in for Free
Trade in V[ancouver] I[sland]12 because in the first place the
same amount of Revenue could not be obtained from direct taxation; secondly, smuggling could not be prevented; thirdly, it
was doubtful whether people wanted it. I pointed out to him
that the B.C. tariff and and (sic) the Dominion Excise Laws
could not go on together, that if we kept our Tariff we could not
have the Dominion Excise at the same time, that it would be
increasing our taxation and giving apparently a larger revenue
than we proposed, but at the same time it would not be really
so because the introduction of the Excise Laws would prevent
(12) At the time of the union of the colonies of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia in 1866, Victoria had lost the free port privileges granted
to her by proclamation in 1860. The restoration of that system was frequently mooted and assumed considerable proportions in the editorial discussions of the Victoria Daily British Colonist during February and March,
1870. 120 Willard E. Ireland. April
brewing altogether and ruin the Brewers and react upon the
farmers. It is true that more beer might be imported but that
would not be beneficial to the country. Sir F. Hincks would
maintain that my proposition would diminish the revenue. He
did not believe in the increase by increased trade. He would
think over the matter. Other people came in to see see (sic)
Sir Francis and then I had to leave.
Wednesday afternoon.    [June _.]
Had to wait as usual for half an hour. The ministers seem
overworked.13 Sir G. said the same thing occurred with every
province, but the peculiarity of our case was that our tariff was
in reality higher than theirs. After due consideration there
seemed to them two simple courses to pursue, either to take the
Canadian Customs Act and Excise or to keep our own Act and
Excise. To make a special tariff for B.C. would look very bad
and indeed they could hardly face the Commons with it, because
each province would then want something for itself specially and
lead to great trouble, besides they could hardly propose a diminution of the revenue, because our whole scheme was based upon
possessing so much revenue. After some general debate, the conclusion come to, seemed to be, to allow our own tariff to continue
until the Railway was built or until the legislature petitioned
for the adoption of the Canadian Tariff and Excise. With regard
to the Railway the Committee the committee (sic) were enthusiastically in favor thereof. They do not consider that they can
hold the country without it. It was a condition of union with
the provinces14 and they could not see any reason why if agreed
upon it should not be made a condition with us. They agreed
that a railway was necessary to Red River, ours or that of B.C.
would only be an extension of the Railway from Red River. The
Committee seemed to agree to put the railway in as part of the
(13) It should be remembered that the Red River difficulties were approaching a crisis at this time. The expeditionary force under Colonel
Wolseley sent to suppress Riel and his associates was en route to Fort
(14) The idea here conveyed is that as the Intercolonial Railway had
been a sine qua non of union between the Maritimes and Canada, so the
Pacific Railway should be the sine qua non for the admission of British
Columbia. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 121
terms. They then had a long conversation about the Railway
and country and Mr. Trutch proposed a plan for advertising, so
as to obtain tenders for the construction of the road. With
regard to the Dry Dock16 [at Esquimalt] they did not see much
difficulty in that, it was to guarantee interest upon a certain sum.
It was a purely local work and Quebec and Ontario would object,
but in such a case a similar guarantee might be given to those
provinces for a similar work. The Committee thought they now
had all the information required and they would report to the
Privy Council. In the meantime we were to go to Montreal to
see the Prince installed into various orders,16 having received an
invitation from the Gov[ernor] General so to do. Mr. Tilley
said he would go with us by steamer down the St. Lawrence to
Montreal, and probably we would be asked to go to Quebec.
[Negotiations were not resumed until June 25, and in the interval the
delegates visited Montreal and Quebec. The following paragraph in the
dispatch by H. E. Seelye which was printed in the Victoria Colonist for July
8, 1870, is of interest:—
" At the investiture of the Prince at Montreal our Delegates were honored with seats among the Cabinet Ministers of the Dominion. Hon Mr
Trutch dined with the Prince, and in the evening the three Delegates
attended a party given by His Royal Highness, by whom they were treated
with marked attention, the Prince assuring them that he would visit Victoria
as soon as the railroad was completed to the Pacific over British soil."
Presumably the Canadian Cabinet next proceeded to consider the question of union in the light of the information garnered from the discussions
with the representatives of British Columbia. The visit made meanwhile
by the delegates themselves to Montreal and Quebec seems to have assumed
the character of a " stumping tour " in the interests of confederation and
the construction of the transcontinental railroad.
The two paragraphs which immediately follow are clearly an interjection
into the regular diary. Upon his return to Ottawa, Dr. Helmcken evidently
jotted down, in the notes which follow, his recollections of certain conversations relating to the question of union which he had had in the course of the
Proceeded to-day by steamer to Montreal, Mr. Tilley and Mr.
Mitchell [Minister of Marine and Fisheries] accompanying. We
had long conversations upon the subject of our mission.    Mr.
(15) The fourth term proposed by B.C. asked the guarantee of 5 per
cent, on a loan of £100,000 to build a dry-dock at Esquimalt.
(16) H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria,
was then serving in Canada. The ceremony mentioned was his investiture
as K.C.M.G. 122 Willard E. Ireland. April
Tilley said the Govt, wished to grant all they possibly could, but
we must recollect that they had the Parliament to deal with and
that they could only grant such things as they were able to carry
through the House. He spoke very favorably about steamboat
communication with Puget Sound,17 but he could not advise to
allow the Govt, of B.C. to alter the tariff. He made various
enquiries about the colony. Mr. Mitchell said that he would do
all he could to promote our wishes. At Montreal we saw various
Senators, Governors and other influential people to whom we
talked railway and confederation. All appeared to be impressed
with the necessity of a Railway to connect the Colonies.
From Montreal we went to Quebec and there saw many influential people likewise. The general character of our conversation
was the same, and the wishes and desires of the people there in
regard to Railways and other matters seemed to be about the
[The narrative diary resumes.]
Saturday.    [June 25.1
Met the Council to-day. The Honble. Mr. Tilley read over the
draught of the Resolutions which the Government were prepared
to adopt. The population to be 60,000, they could not give the
120,000 for reasons before asked. The debt to be allowed to be
at the rate of $27.77 per head, 5 per cent to be allowed upon the
smaller amount of indebtedness of the Colony.
The Council would not agree to increase the rate of $35,000.
If they did the other colonies or provinces would require the
same, besides we, they conceived, had a very good bargain without, always remembering that we were to have $100,000 per
annum for roads.
The Council would not accede to the desire to increase the
400,000 to 1,000,000 people. There was no reason why they
should do so, if they did the other provinces would complain, and
the Govt, could not probably carry it through the house.
With regard to the Dry Dock, they did not wish to grant it,
because it was purely a local work. If they granted it to B.C.
every other province would require the same thing.   It was not
(17) Assistance in maintaining communication with Puget Sound and
San Francisco was another of the requests included in the proposed Terms
of Union. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 123
the amount they dreaded so much as facing parliament with so
unusual a demand. They understood the whole subject of the
benefit to be conferred upon the Colony and through it upon the
Dominion. After long argument on both sides and cold determination on ours, a modification of the clause was agreed to,
making the limit of the guarantee ten years, and that being considered preferable to the indefinite period " the completion of
the Railway."
Court of Appeal was struck out because the Judges must be
paid by the General Government, but the local Government establishes the Court.
A very long discussion took place about the Telegraph service
but Sir George Cartier decided it, by saying the Telegraph would
be valuable and fall in with the plan of the Govt to build a Telegraph to Red River, from there to B.C. would follow, so the
Telegraph was taken over.
With regard to Steamboats we reminded them that they had
previously agreed to allow us mail communication with Puget
Sound; so they consented to put it in altho at the same time
demurring very much.
Of course the Railway had been previously agreed upon by
the Govt., who still seem enthusiastic upon the matter. The
resolution was drawn up by Mr. Trutch to-day, and was considered the best that could be had under the circumstances.
The Waggon road could not be allowed, could not be carried
either in the Council or the House. Having granted the Railway
the other must be considered a local work. We should not
attempt to press the govt, too much.
The erection of Lunatic Asylums did not belong to the Dominion, but they had no objection to a ward of the hospital being
appropriated thereto if found advisable, but with regard to the
Marine Hospital they did not wish to stipulate to build one
specially, as the organic act18 provided for it. They might put
their seamen in an ordinary hospital and pay for them. We told
them this was the very thing we did not want, but exactly vice
versa and moreover we wished to establish a Med[ical] and
Surgical school in connection therewith. It was promised that
a resolution should be drafted conveying the obligation to build.
(18)  That is, the British North America Act, 1867. 124 Willard E. Ireland. April
The penitentiary was also in a similar category. They had to
build it in accordance with the terms of [the] Organic Act and
no doubt would do so.
Coast mail service, after various explanations, granted.
Sec[tion] 11 not considered applicable to B.C. altho it was to
Newfoundland, therefore expunged.19
12. The Govt, had nothing to do with immigration, but the
Provinces had, the clause must be expunged.20
With regard to Senators, it was agreed that they might be
taken from any place or places in B.C. With regard to the qualifications of members of the Commons it was left to the local
Govt., because the General Govt, had no law upon the subject.
Clause about volunteers considered unnecessary.
With regard to Tariff the draught was read and thought to
answer, it being in accordance with the Terms previously agreed
upon, but it was decided that all domestic productions must be
admitted duty free.
The Fishery laws of the Dominion would not apply to B.C.
until made to do so by an order in Council.21
The laws in force in B.C. would continue until altered by the
Govt of [the] Dominion.
The subject of tariff I broached again but there is an evident
reluctance to grant the request.
Mr. Tilley now informed us that the Council would privately
consider the resolutions arrived at. On Monday we should be
furnished with a clear copy and probably on that day we should
be called together and the government or rather privy Council
(sic) would make a minute upon their journal of the whole
(19) This clause asked that the Dominion Government extend "in
similar proportion to British Columbia " whatever " encouragement, advantages, and protection " it afforded to the fisheries of any of its Provinces.
(20) A similar request that British Columbia should participate in any
measures or funds appropriated by the Dominion for the encouragement of
(21) The final Terms of Union stated that Canada would " assume and
defray the charges for " certain stated services, including " Protection and
encouragement of fisheries." No attempt was made to define either Dominion or Provincial responsibility or jurisdiction, and fisheries questions
have since been taken to the Privy Council at least twice. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 125
The Council have sat four hours then adjourned, but not
before the subject of Govt. Responsibility; i.e., Responsible
Government] had been talked over, but we were obliged to wait
for telegram from Governor.22
With regard to the million dollars for the Railway. The
Govt, did not intend to do the work so could not agree to the item,
as they could hardly make a contract to that effect even with
contractors. The Government of [the] Dom[inion] was quite as
much interested in this question and as anxious for the completion of [the] Railway as the Delegates, as something must be
trusted to their honor.
With regard to material guarantee of money. The Delegates
thought that the first thing to be kept in remembrance was to
have the Railway commenced from B[ritish] Columbia. Whilst
the agreement considered it would be a breach of honor and of
the agreement not to carry it out, if not carried out the people of
B.C. had just cause of complaint, even for asking separation, and
no doubt the Dominion Govt, would do something for them in
compensation for the injury resulting from the non-commencement of the Railway. On the other hand to put in a forfeiture,
which, however, the Govt, would not agree to, was to offer an
inducement not to commence the road on the Pacific coast, at all
events it might so happen that a few thousand dollars forfeiture
per annum would be rather borne than carry out the agreement.
On the other hand it would be very easy to commence the work
on the Pacific and do very little. What is a commencement and
continuous working. It might mean anything. Considering then
that the first object to be held in view was the commencement of
[the] Railway on [the] Pacific, we considered it more advisable
to rely upon the honor of [the] Govt to fulfill the treaty and
secondly if for some cause it was not, to leave it to the people of
the time to decide for themselves what demand they would make
or what steps take in the matter.
June 27th.    [Monday.]
Met the council at 4 o'clock. The subject of Railway and Dry
Dock was again gone over and Railway and Dock resolutions
finally agreed to.   Of course much of the old ground was gone
(22) No explanation of this reference seems to be available.
5 126 Willard E. Ireland. April
over again. The Govt, wanted to diminish the amount for dry
dock but had to give in, which they gracefully did but considered
that it was the hardest thing they had to swallow as it would open
so many questions in the House.
The whole of the Resolutions were gone over again. Clause 5.
The District Judges would be paid by Govt but their services
would be also utilized in other ways, probably as Indian agents
and so forth. With regard to Court of Appeal the Council promised not to oppose a Bill to that effect in any way.
A promise was made to build the Marine Hospital at Victoria
and to admit other patients upon making reasonable allowance.
Langevin could not make any stipulation as to the time. He
would probably visit Victoria beforehand.23
With regard to penitentiary. The Govt, could not take in
prisoners sentenced for short periods. It had been tried and
people had very much complained that small criminals should be
mixed up with great ones. Such had been the case in Nova
Scotia, where the Govt, had now to build a penitentiary or make
arrangements with the local government. We must remember
that the local govt, could oblige the Dominion to build a penitentiary, because when there were any prisoners sentenced for
long periods the general govt, must have a place to keep them in
and therefore the local government could if it thought fit compel
them to do so.
Lunatic Asylums the Govt, has nothing to do with.
With regard to Pensions.24 The resolution was agreed to, but
the ministry said they meant to make such arrangements as would
suit and be agreed to by Gov[ernor] Musgrave. Perhaps give
them appointments or get appointments for them from H.M.
Govt. With regard to Attorney General [the Hon. H. P. P.
Crease] he might be made a judge and thus settle [the question
of a] court of appeal and an official at once.   Pensions they did
(23) The reference is to H. L. Langevin, Minister of Public Works. He
visited British Columbia in 1872 and his Report appears in the Canada Sessional Papers, 1872, V., no. 6, paper 10.
(24) Under the terms proposed by British Columbia, pensions were to be
provided for those executive officials of the colony whose services were dispensed with as a result of confederation. The inclusion of this clause had
influenced not a little the change in attitude of the officials towards the
question of confederation. 1940 Confederation Negotiations, 1870. 127
not like to go before parliament with, they did not like them and
were afraid of them. As few officials as possible would be interfered with.
With regard to the Addresses to be presented to the Queen,25
the forms would be found in the journals of the House of Commons, copies of which would be sent to Victoria.
The section about Responsible Govt, would be put in and
speaks for itself. The Govt, are not particularly anxious about
Responsible Govt, but will put no objection in its way. It would
perhaps be advisable to let confederation come first and settle the
responsible govt, afterwards.
The clause about Indians was very fully discussed. The Ministers thought our system better than theirs in some respects,
but what system would be adopted remained for the future to
determine. I asked about Indian Wars and Sir G. Cartier said
that it depended upon the severity, as a rule the expense would
have to be borne by the Dominion Govt.
The Laws of B [ritish] Columbia would remain in force until
altered by the Dominion Parliament.
There was some probability of a Reciprocity Treaty,26 in
which case B [ritish] Columbia would have to be included. This
was considered certain.
It was likewise determined that all produce and manufacture
of the Dominion or of B [ritish] Columbia should be admitted
free from Customs Dues, each being a portion of the same
country.   It was decided that the clause mean this.
Mr. Tilley likewise said that if the Governor determined to
or desired the Tariff to be slightly modified, if he would show the
alterations, the Dominion Govt, would consider and most likely
agree to them, but the Dominion could not invite such a request.27
(25) The reference is to the Addresses necessary in the admission of a
new Province as laid down in the British North America Act, 1867.
(26) The original reciprocity treaty of 1854 had been abrogated in 1866
although considerable opinion favourable to the negotiation of a new treaty
existed. The signs were particularly hopeful at the close of 1869 and during
the early months of 1870. See Shippee, L. B., Canadian-American Relations,
18U9-187U, New Haven, 1939, pp. 304-321.
(27) Such a request for tariff adjustment was made early in 1871 (see
Musgrave to Lisgar, February 10, 1871, Canada Public Letters Received, G
series, no. 1879), but it was not acceded to, for it was considered inadvisable
to make any changes prior to the consummation of the union. 128 Willard E. Ireland.
The Council desired the Resolutions to be kept quiet until the
Governor choose to make them public,28 the fact being that a
Minister was about to proceed to Ontario to get lands there for
the Railway and if Sand [field] McDonald [Premier of Ontario]
got wind of it beforehand, he would not give up the lands.29
This was understood to be the reason.
Sir G. Cartier considered that Lower Canada and B.C. would
be the most important of the divisions of the Dominion, that the
former would be the manufacturing part of the Dominion, B.C.
had a great commercial future before it. That in the Dominion
Parl[iamen]t the Maritime Members of the Atlantic would
always be with the B.C. Members in matters relating to shipping,
&c, whilst the interior would also have a policy for its own
interest supported by its own Members. That the Dominion
would ever act kindly by B [ritish] Columbia and that her Members would be as much listened to as those from other places.
That all the provinces would act for the public good and the
greatest goodwill existed among all.
I am to tell from Sir George Cartier that it is necessary to be
Anti-Yankee. That we have to oppose their damned system—
that we can and will build up a northern power, which they cannot do with their principles, that the Govt, of Ontario or rather
of the Dominion is determined to do it.
(28) The reference is to Governor Musgrave. A postscript marked
private to Young to Granville, July 5, 1870, reads as follows: " Sir G.
Cartier desires me to add that it was understood between the Canadian
ministers and the delegates from British Columbia that the publication of
the terms of the agreement should first be made by Governor Musgrave in
British Columbia."    CO. 4_/687.
(29) The terms were made public in British Columbia on August 31,
1870. It is interesting to note that the Toronto Leader, July 7, 1870, mentions the arrival of a deputation of the Canadian Privy Council, composed
of the Hon. Sir Francis Hincks, the Hon. Alexander Morris, and the Hon.
J. C. Aikins, to wait on Sandfield McDonald to secure his assistance in building the Pacific railroad, a scheme which is heartily endorsed by the newspaper. From a previous article on July 4, 1870, it is apparent that while
the newspaper was aware that British Columbia was making a grant of
land, it did not know of the indemnity awarded for that grant. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Victoria Section.
No less than four meetings of the Section have been held since the last
number of the Quarterly went to press. The first of these was held in the
Provincial Library on January 29, 1940, when the Section was addressed by
its President, Mr. B. A. McKelvie, who chose as his subject Facts and
Fancies of our Historical Beginnings. Mr. McKelvie believes that North
America was discovered by castaways and explorers from Asia, a thousand
years before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, and devoted the greater part of
his fascinating address to a review of some of the manuscripts that support
this contention which have been found in archives in China. These indicate
that the Chinese visited the Pacific Coast frequently during the years
458-566 A.D. Mr. McKelvie has had new translations made of certain
passages in these documents, and he feels that these new versions clear up
certain puzzling points quite satisfactorily and go far to establish the
authenticity of the originals. Turning to a later period, he next discussed
certain new evidence that suggests that the story of Juan de Fuca may,
after all, be authentic, and concluded his remarks by describing how.he and
Mr. W. M. Halliday had uncovered certain relics of the visit to this coast of
James Strange, who presumably buried them under a tree in 1786.
On February 19 the Section was addressed by Dr. J. A. Pearce, of the
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, who spoke on Early Postal Communications in British Columbia. Dr. Pearce devoted special attention to
the old express companies, and explained the very important part they
played in the postal service, as well as in general communications, in colonial
days. His address was illustrated with a remarkable series of slides, which
traced the history of the postal service from the letters and reports carried
by the servants and brigades of the North West Company and the Hudson's
Bay Company to the present day. Dr. Pearce, who is an authority on the
postal history of the Province and has a large and valuable collection of
Crown Colony stamps and covers, brought many of his original documents
with him to the meeting in order that they might be examined by those
present. His interesting and authoritative account of the gradual improvement in communications, and his explanation of the significance of many
of the " covers " treasured by collectors were much enjoyed by the large
number of members who were in attendance.
In view of the approaching retirement in May of the Chief Justice of
British Columbia, the Honourable Archer Martin, Dr. Lamb, who presided
in the absence of the President, suggested that a vote of congratulation
should be sent to His Lordship upon the consummation of a long and successful term of office. This was duly moved by Mr. Beaumont Boggs,
seconded by Dr. Rickard, and passed unanimously amid applause.    It will
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IV., No. 2.
6 129 130 Notes and Comments. April
be recalled that the Chief Justice is a charter member of the Association,
and that he has been known for many years as an historian and collector of
Northwest Americana.
Some time ago His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor and Mrs. Hamber
graciously extended an invitation to the Section to hold the annual observance of Blanshard Day at Government House, and the members will long
remember the gathering held on March 11. The programme commenced
with a brief address by Mr. McKelvie, who explained the significance of the
anniversary of the reading of his commission by Governor Blanshard in
1850, and thanked His Honour and Mrs. Hamber for their great kindness
in entertaining the Society. Dr. Kaye Lamb next outlined the life and
career of Richard Blanshard and sketched the historical setting of the one-
act play, entitled His Excellency Requests the Pleasure, which followed.
This play, which was written by Mr. A. M. D. Fairbairn, and produced
under the direction of the author and Mr. H. S. Hum, enabled those present
to meet Blanshard in person, as it depicted a reception held by the Governor
in the cramped quarters of the first Government House " on the afternoon
of the eighteenth day of November, A.D. 1850." The incident is apocryphal,
but the deftness of the playwright and the skill of the large cast, which was
headed by Mr. W. H. Brimblecombe, in the role of His Excellency the Governor, gave it all the vividness of actuality. It is to be hoped that the text
of the play will be made available to amateurs elsewhere, for it is not only
dramatic in itself, but a most interesting re-creation of an important episode
in the early history of the Province as well.
Following the play, Dr. T. A. Rickard outlined the history of the British
Columbia Historical Association since its organization in 1922, and suggested ways in which members might further its work and the cause of
historical knowledge in the Province.
The second part of the programme consisted of a series of Tableaux
Vivants—living pictures depicting the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors
of what is now British Columbia from 1851 to 1900. Many members and
friends had loaned family heirlooms and treasured costumes for the occasion, and the representations were both artistic and authentic. During the
presentation of the pictures Mrs. Arthur Cree gave a resumS of the personalities and lives of the respective Governors, Lieutenant-Governors, and
their Chatelaines.    Those taking part were as follows:—
Before Confederation: Played by
Mr. James Douglas     -       -     (1851-1864)       -       -       Mr. John Goldie.
Mrs. Douglas Mrs. E. Heddle.
(Afterwards Sir and Lady)
Lt.-Col. R. C. Moody, R.E. -     (1858-1863)       -       -       -    Mr. L. Duke.
Mrs. Moody ---- Mrs. L. A. Genge.
MR. A. E. Kennedy     -       -     (1864-1866)       -       - Mr. Douglas Bullen.
Mrs. Kennedy Mrs. D. Doig.
Mr. Frederick Seymour - (1864-1869) - - Mr. R. H. Palmer.
Mrs. Seymour Mrs. Elkington. 1940
Notes and Comments.
Mr. Anthony Musgrave     -     (1869-1871)       -       - Mr. Logan Mayhew.
Mrs. Musgrave Miss Wolfenden.
(Afterwards Sir and Lady)
After Confederation:
Mr. Joseph Trutch     -       -     (1871-1876)       -       -   Mr. H. W. Walker.
Mrs. Trutch Mrs. John O'Reilly.
(Afterwards Sir and Lady)
Mr. A. N. Richards     -       -     (1876-1881)       -        Major H. C. Holmes.
Mrs. Richards Mrs. McKinnon.
Mr. F. C. Cornwall    -       -     (1881-1887)       - Mr. J. A. Duff Robertson.
Mrs. Cornwall Miss Helen Cornwall.
Mr. Hugh Nelson       -       -     (1887-1892)       -       - Mr. G. H. Harman.
Mrs. Nelson        -------        Mrs. Douglas Bullen.
Mr. Edgar Dewdney   -       -     (1892-1897)       -       - Col. J. H. Goodland.
Mrs. Dewdney     ------       Miss Yolande Langworthy.
Mr. T. R. McInnes      -       -     (1897-1900)       -       Capt. J. U. Copeman.
Mrs. McInnes      ------- Miss Anne Gardiner.
Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere   (1900-1906)       -       -        Mr. Neil Perry.
Lady Lotbiniere Mrs. W. K. Lamb.
At the conclusion of the series, His Honour and Mrs. Hamber graciously
consented to complete the picture by posing for a moment in the large
frame, and were greeted with hearty applause by all present.
The costuming and arrangement of the tableaux were under the direction of Mesdames Fitzherbert Bullen (convener), Curtis Sampson, L. A.
Genge, T. A. Rickard, and Arthur Cree. It is interesting to note that
several of those who posed in pictures were related to one or other of the
Governors represented. These included Mrs. E. Heddle, Mr. Douglas Bullen,
and Mrs. Douglas Bullen, greatgrandchildren of Sir James Douglas; Mrs.
McKinnon, a granddaughter of Lieutenant-Governor Richards; Miss Helen
Cornwall, a granddaughter of Lieutenant-Governor Cornwall, and Mrs.
John O'Reilly, who is a niece-in-law of Sir Joseph Trutch.
The programme concluded with the singing of the National Anthem,
after which refreshments and a social hour brought the memorable evening
to a close.
The fourth meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on
April 8. The speaker was Mr. A. G. Harvey, of Vancouver, who had chosen
as his subject Douglas of the Fir. Mr. Harvey is the leading authority on
Douglas's life, and his most interesting account of the man and his work
was much enjoyed by all present.
Vancouver Section.
David Douglas, a Scottish botanist, whose name was later given to the
outstanding commercial tree of British Columbia, was the subject of Mr.
A. G. Harvey's address at the February meeting of the Section.
A native of Scone, near Perth, where he was born in 1799, Douglas
obtained much of his early training in botany as an apprentice on the 132 Notes and Comments. April
estate of the Earl of Mansfield, where he spent seven years. He eventually
succeeded in gaining admission to the Botanic Garden at Glasgow, where
he made the acquaintance of Professor W. J. Hooker, under whose influence
he was recommended to the Horticultural Society as a Botanical Collector.
His first expedition to North America was a short one in the spring of
1823, to the United States, where he procured a fine collection of trees.
This led to his being sent, through the Hudson's Bay Company, to Northwest America the following year on a similar mission.
Douglas spent four interesting and profitable years collecting plants in
Oregon and northern California, returning to England overland by way of
York Factory and Hudson Bay in the late summer of 1827.
In 1830 he again came to Fort Vancouver and from there he explored
and collected, this time penetrating to New Caledonia.
The speaker sketched a vivid picture of Douglas's arrival at Fort St.
James in June, 1833, with the annual brigade. He was the most unusual
visitor Fort St. James had ever had. Hitherto the trading-post had only
received Hudson's Bay Company employees, Indian trappers, and such like,
but here was a man laden with boxes of botanical specimens and astronomical instruments, at whose heels trotted a faithful terrier.
A cherished plan to continue his explorations northward beyond New
Caledonia into Alaska, and to return home by way of Siberia and Russia,
had to be abandoned after hearing reports of bad weather and ravages of
intermittent fever amongst the natives. Whilst descending the Fraser
River on his return to Fort Vancouver, Douglas was unfortunate enough
to lose his Journal and his botanical specimens when his canoe capsized at
" Stoney Islands," his astronomical instruments alone were saved.
Having been attracted to the Hawaiian Islands, he accordingly left the
Columbia in October, 1833, for the last time, and met his disastrous and
untimely death there the following July.
Douglas found his work in Oregon and New Caledonia both interesting
and disheartening. The extremes of climate and the hostility of the Indians
did much to try his patience and perseverance. But, in spite of his dangerous and uncomfortable journeys, he diligently kept Journals, which, with his
letters to Professor Hooker, show him to have been remarkable as a naturalist and traveller.
In summing up David Douglas's contribution, Mr. Harvey said: " To no
single individual is modern horticulture more indebted than to Douglas. He
was the pioneer botanist of North-west America, and made two hundred
and fifty-four plants known to the world. He died young in years but old
in achievement."
In moving a vote of thanks to the speaker, Mr. E. S. Robinson referred
to the tremendous amount of research which Mr. Harvey had put into his
study of David Douglas, and emphasized the value of the British Columbia
Historical Quarterly as a medium for the publication of such studies.
Dr. M. Y. Williams, Head of the Department of Geography and Geology
of the University of British Columbia, was the speaker at the meeting of 1940 ' Notes and Comments. 133
the Section which was held on March 4. His topic was entitled The History
and Development of the Peace River Area of British Columbia.
Dr. Williams outlined the close relationship between geology and human
development, and compared the strata to the leaves of a book. Sir Alexander Mackenzie's Journal is remarkably accurate according to Dr. Williams, who has made many trips through the country which the explorer
described. At one point Mackenzie referred to smoke issuing from a rock:
at the present time a coal-seam is burning underground and there are
places where the rock is too hot to touch. There are curious quirks of
nature to be noted: regularly arranged rows of timber trees on the south
side of the river, while the north side is bare; cactus growing on the banks
of the river in some places, seed of which must have been carried by the
buffaloes in the fur of their coats.
The modern Peace River area belongs to Alberta in everything except
politics. In 1922 a few settlers were to be found near Fort St. John, but
there were probably not a thousand settlers in the British Columbia section.
When the Pacific Great Eastern Railway survey was made in 1929, the
population was increasing and good wheat was being grown near Rolla
and Dawson Creek.
Coal is one of the greatest assets of the area, but transportation has, to
date, been an almost insurmountable problem. In an area possessing vast
reserves of coal, that produce is being imported from Alberta and Pennsylvania at $30 per ton! In recent years river transportation has fallen
off, but aeroplane service is excellent.
Dr. Williams referred to his appointment as leader of a Provincial survey party to investigate the possibilities of oil resources in the Peace River
area. He said that the oil-seepings are very small and that it is the general
character of the country that makes geologists expect to find petroleum
there. The only reason that wells have not already been drilled is that the
land has been closed to private enterprise. The location the party has
chosen for investigation is 85 miles west of Dawson Creek, and nearer to
the coast than any other known field. There are no concessions to cross
and, provided the geologists' opinions are proved to be correct, British
Columbia may yet develop into a rival to Turner Valley.
The annual dinner is to be held on April 19, at the Hotel Georgia, when
Dr. W. N. Sage, of the University of British Columbia, will speak on Sir
James Douglas, the Father of British Columbia.
New Westminster and Fraser Valley Section.
The annual meeting of the Section was held on April 10, 1940, when the
following officers were elected for the current year:—
Honorary President Judge F. W. Howay.
President E. M. Cotton.
Vice-President Mrs. E. G. Pearson.
Secretary Mrs. C. D. Peele.
Treasurer E. H. Sands. 134 Notes and Comments. April
Members of the Council:
D. E. MacKenzie. Otway Wilkie.
H. Norman Lidster. Mrs. J. Burr.
A. W. Petapiece. S. L. Speck.
G. A. Mercer.
The Section has had a most promising first season, at the end of which
the local membership was forty. A drive for additional members is planned
for the near future.
The guest speaker of the evening was Mr. J. W. Sinclair, who gave a
most interesting address on the old days of the Hudson's Bay Company.
Later, other members spoke on the early days of New Westminster.
By I. E. Barr.
Due to fortunate preservation and a certain amount of publicity, the
locomotive Countess of Dufferin, now on exhibition in a small park in front
of the Canadian Pacific station in Winnipeg, has become widely known as
the first locomotive in Western Canada, and similarly the Curly, now preserved in Hastings Park in Vancouver, bears a plate stating that it was
the first in British Columbia. Actually, however, there were several earlier
locomotives on Vancouver Island and one of them, the Pioneer, was at work
nearly fifteen years before the Countess of Dufferin arrived at St. Boniface
on the deck of a scow.
The Vancouver Coal Company commenced mining operations in the
vicinity of Nanaimo in the early sixties and in 1863 they imported from
England the small standard-gauge locomotive Pioneer. It was built at
Staleybridge, near Manchester, and the manufacturers sent out Harry
Cooper and Thomas E. Peck with the engine to set it up, and they became
the first engineer and fireman west of Ontario. The Pioneer was a saddle-
tank engine, outside connected, cylinders 8 by 10, 36-inch drivers; the
throttle was a slide-valve, the safety-valve was spring-loaded and the pressure carried was 115 lb. The pump was operated by an eccentric on the
main axle. The weight in running order was about 10 tons. In 1903 it
was reconditioned by the late William H. Hall, Master Mechanic of the New
Vancouver Coal Company, and sold to a contractor for construction-work
near New Westminster.
The second to arrive was the Euclataw, and it was landed in 1866. It
also was built at Staleybridge and was similar to the Pioneer but somewhat
smaller. At its arrival a number of Indians gathered around, saying that
ten of them could hold it from moving, so the Euclataw tribe, being the
smallest on the island, felt proud of the locomotive being named after them.
It was a saddle-tank engine, inside connected, cylinders 6 by 8, drivers 30-
inch, and the water-feed pump was operated from the wrist-pin. The
Euclataw was used principally to take ballast from the ships. It was sold
in 1903 to the Joseph Dobeson Foundry at Nanaimo, and broken up several
years later. 1940 Notes and Comments. 135
The next to appear was the Nanaimo, in 1874. It was built by Boiling
& Low, of Leeds, and was generally similar to the Pioneer and Euclataw.
It was a 0—4-0 saddle-tank engine with cylinders 8 by 10, 36-inch drivers,
and weighed about 10 tons. After many years service it was sold to the
Dobeson Foundry, rebuilt, and then sold to John W. Coburn, who used it in
his lumbering operations near South Wellington. Later it was sold to the
Pacific Great Eastern Railway for laying track during construction, and
finally it was scrapped about 1908.
The London, built by Manning & Wardle, of Leeds, came out in 1884.
It was a 0-6-0 side-tank locomotive, inside connected, with 10 by 12 cylinders, 54-inch drivers, and it weighed about 20 tons. In 1918 it was sold to
a junk-dealer in Vancouver and scrapped.
In 1891 the Vancouver Coal Company purchased its first modern locomotive from the Baldwin Locomotive Works; it was called the San Francisco, later No. 5; it was 0-6-0 type with 15 by 22 cylinders, 48-inch drivers,
and it weighed about 35 tons. It gave good service, and another, No. 6, was
bought in 1896, and still later Nos. 7 and 8. With the old locomotives it
was hard to ship 2,000 tons of coal in twelve hours, but shortly after No. 6
was put to work 5,800 tons were put aboard the steamer Titania in ten and
one-half hours, which at that time was a world record.
The Vancouver Coal Company became the New Vancouver Coal Company, then the Western Fuel Company, and is now the Canadian Collieries
(Dunsmuir), Ltd., and controls most of the large mines on Vancouver
When Robert Dunsmuir opened the Wellington Colliery he built a 5-mile
line from Wellington to Departure Bay, using fir rails, 4 by 4 inches, topped
with strap-iron. The gauge originally was 2 feet 6 inches, but later was
widened to 3 feet. It was a gravity-operated cable railway and the loaded
cars in descending pulled the empties back. In 1874 Mr. Diggle, one of the
partners, bought two traction-engines from the Admiralty in London which,
on arrival, were changed to locomotives by the application of flanged wheels.
They each had one cylinder mounted on the top of the boiler, a fly-wheel
6 feet in diameter, and a chain gear to the drivers. One of these engines
was used for shunting at the mine and the other at the Departure Bay
wharf, each one replacing six horses.
In 1878 these rebuilt traction-engines were replaced by two small 0-6-0
saddle-tank engines, the Duke and Duchess, products of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. The Duke was built in 1876 and was exhibited at the
American Centennial Exhibition, where Mr. Dunsmuir saw it and liked it
so well that he bought it and ordered another just like it; they arrived at
Nanaimo in 1878. These locomotives had 10 by 12-inch cylinders, 42-inch
drivers, and originally were 2 feet 6 inch gauge, but later were altered to
3-feet gauge. The Duke worked around the mines until 1909, when it was
scrapped, but the Duchess had a much more interesting career. At the time
of the Yukon gold rush, Captain John Irving, manager of the Canadian
Pacific Navigation Company, went north to build steamboats on the northern
lakes.    The route from Skagway to Atlin City was by the White Pass & 136 Notes and Comments.
Yukon Railway to Bennett Lake, by boat across to Taku Arm, then across
a portage to Scotia Bay on Atlin Lake, and then by boat to Atlin City.
Atlin Lake was 40 feet higher than Taku Arm, and the distance across was
2% miles, so the Atlin Southern Railway was built across the portage.
This little " gold rush " railway was one of the smallest and most expensive
in the world, and the passenger fare was $2 for the 2% miles. At first it
was operated by horse-power, but in 1899 the Duchess was bought and sent
north on the steamer Danube. At Wellington it had been a coal-burner,
but when it went north it was converted into a wood-burner, and somewhat
later into an oil-burner. The cars were flat cars with seats along the sides
facing inwards; freight and baggage were loaded between the seats and in
many cases the passengers had to get out and walk and push to help the
Duchess over the grade. The Atlin Southern became part of the White
Pass & Yukon and a few years ago the Duchess was spurred off at Taku
City and a more modern locomotive assigned to this run.    It is still there.
Following the Duke and Duchess, Mr. Dunsmuir purchased three more
Baldwin engines which were of the same type but a little larger. They
were the Robert Dunsmuir in 1883, the Departure Bay in 1887, and the
Victoria in 1889. They were later rebuilt to standard gauge and worked
around the mines for many years.
Going back a few years, a Mr. Chandler, from San Francisco, opened a
mine at East Wellington, and he brought in three Baldwin locomotives
which were the same as the later Dunsmuir engines. They were the
Premier, built in 1878, and the East Wellington and San Francisco, both
built in 1883; the Premier was second-hand, as they all arrived in 1883.
They were 0-6-0 saddle-tank engines with 10 by 20-inch cylinders and
30-inch drivers. A short time later the mine was closed because of a
threatened strike and the locomotives were then purchased by Mr. Dunsmuir, and eventually were altered to standard gauge. In 1905 the Premier
was transferred to the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway for switching purposes, and finally scrapped in 1912.
Dr. J. S. Plaskett, C.B.E., F.R.S., was Director of the Dominion Astro-
physical Observatory until his retirement some years ago. He has contributed many papers to the proceedings of learned societies, and is one of
Canada's most distinguished scientists.
Mr. I. E. Barr has been a member of the staff of the Esquimalt &
Nanaimo Railway for many years. The account of early locomotives on
Vancouver Island which he contributes to this issue appeared originally in
the Bulletin of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, and is here
reprinted by kind permission of the association and the author. THE NORTHWEST BOOKSHELF.
Historians and bibliographers both will be interested to learn that a copy
of this long-lost pamphlet has at last been located. Oddly enough it has
turned up many miles from home, in the Library of Acadia University, at
Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The University recently published a catalogue of
the Eric C. Dennis Collection of Canadiana, and the entry caught the ever-
watchful eye of Dr. Robie L. Reid. Dr. Reid immediately wrote to the
librarian of Acadia, who very kindly permitted a photostat copy of the
pamphlet to be made for the Provincial Archives.
The name of the author nowhere appears, but there is little doubt that
Bancroft was correct in attributing the booklet to Alfred Waddington
(History of British Columbia, 1887, p. 769). To ascribe it to Amer de
Cosmos would appear to be the only alternative, and certain statements in
the text seem to rule out this possibility. It is true that certain passages
resemble paragraphs in editorials in the Victoria Colonist, of which de
Cosmos was editor, but it is entirely possible that Waddington was a contributor to that journal. On the other hand, it is almost inconceivable that
de Cosmos, who was born in Nova Scotia, could have written the paragraph
in the pamphlet which includes a disparaging reference to persons whose
" only knowledge " of British institutions was " derived from their native
soil, in Nova Scotia or other parts of the Canadas."
A brief note in the Colonist for February 19, 1859, indicates that the
intended publication date of the booklet was February 22. A week later, on
the 26th, the Colonist announced that " A little work on Reform, just issued
from this office, may be found at all the bookstores in town to-day."
Some indication of the contents of the pamphlet will be of interest. It
considers first the general principles which should guide political reform in
Vancouver Island, and refers frequently to the reform movement which at
the time was sweeping Great Britain. The author, though an ardent democrat, was no extremist, and comes out strongly in opposition to anything
approaching an unrestricted franchise, as the following passages show:—
" Universal suffrage, however, is a bug-bear. Those of us who have
resided in the United States, and observed the working of the principle, can
afford to smile at the notion of taking for a model an American election, or
appealing to the sacredness of the ballot. . . . The British people cannot
adopt the American custom; they consider that the safety of reform is in
' the manly virtue of the enfranchisement,' and they know that personal
liberty and safety are better assured, and that public opinion is more faithfully represented, and acts with a better regulated power, than in the
United States."
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. TV., No. 2.
137 138 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
And again:—
" What measures may be brought forward ... is not known; but we
may be satisfied it will not be either universal suffrage or vote by ballot,
after San Francisco fashion; neither will the House adopt the Chartist
principle of manhood suffrage."
The outline of the political abuses in Vancouver Island which it is hoped
to correct forms the most interesting part of the pamphlet. The principal
charge is that the House of Assembly, as then constituted, made no true
representation possible; and it is evident that the writer must have agreed
with most of the hard things that de Cosmos had to say in the Colonist about
what he termed the Company-Family Compact. The following excerpts are
" The present restricted Franchise deprives a large number of our fellow-
countrymen of their just Electoral rights; entails on the Colony bad Legislation and an irresponsible policy; and demands a radical reform in the
Representation and the Representatives of the people."
" The present system is a monopoly—an iniquity. The great Supreme
has given to man intellect and intelligence, and he who obstructs, by anti-
deluvian ideas, the exercise of those powers can be no friend of the human
" The people want to see an infusion of new and popular materials into
the Executive Council, which has hitherto been composed of ' three Chief
Factors' of the Hudson Bay Company. They want a reform that will give
them twenty members instead of seven, that will bring nearer to a balance
those who advocate open, wide-spread legislation, and take cognisance of
their general interests, to weigh down the monopolists whose actions are
selfish and exclusive."
Later the author indicates certain matters which it is most desirable
should be " agitated," and devotes a vigorous paragraph to the £50,000
which Fort Rupert is said to have cost, and which the Hudson's Bay Company contended was chargeable against the Colony.
In a postscript, prompted by the introduction of a proposed franchise
bill sponsored by J. W. McKay, the writer finally reduces his general
demands to specific proposals, and asks for a £10 household franchise, an
assembly of fixed duration, and the abolition of the property qualification
for members.
Bancroft dismissed The Necessity of Reform as being " merely a tirade
against the restricted franchise, and the petty infelicities of the day." The
stricture was unduly severe, and students will find that it is of some interest;
but it is not a document of any great importance.
W. K. L. 1940 The Northwest Bookshelf. 139
a second checklist of crown colony imprints.
Being a supplement to the checklist printed in the Quarterly in October,
1937, pp. 263-271.
39. [Waddington, Alfred Penderill, 1801-1872.]
The Necessity of Reform. A tract for the times; addressed to the
Colonists of Vancouver Island by one of the people. Victoria, Printed
at the British Colonist Office, 1859.
The only known copy is in the Eric C. Dennis Collection of Cana-
diana in the Library of Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Photostat copy in the Provincial Library and Archives. Attributed to
Waddington by Bancroft (History of British Columbia, San Francisco,
1887, p. 769).
40. Waddington, Alfred Penderill, 1801-1872.
Judicial Murder.   Victoria,, 1860.
No imprint.
A protest against " the mockery of a trial" and the alleged prejudice which had resulted in the execution for murder of a young Indian
in Victoria.    Dated August 27, 1860.
41. [British Columbia]—Immigration Board.
Assisted Immigration.    1870.
Three blank pages, no imprint.
Gives notice of " a scheme of Assisted Immigration, on an extended
scale  .  .   ."   Dated at Victoria, August 12, 1870.
42. [British Columbia—Legislative Assembly.]
Rules and Regulations, issued in conformity with the Gold Field
Act, 1859.    Victoria, V.I.    Printed at the British Colonist Office, 1860.
cover-title, 12p.T.
Commercial reprint of a government document. Judging by its
small size it was intended to slip into a miner's pocket.
43. British Columbia and Victoria Steam Navigation Company.
Act of incorporation of the British Columbia and Victoria Steam
Navigation Company Limited. Incorporated February, 1860. Victoria,
V.I.    Printed at the British Colonist Office, Wharf Street, 1860.
Printed cover. 140 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
44. Colonial Bank of British Columbia.
The Colonial Bank of British Columbia.    [Prospectus.]    [1862].
No imprint.
Signed by Henry Holbrook, John Cooper, and F. G. Claudet, members of the " Provisional Managing Committee." The project was never
carried further.
45. Cridge, Edward, 1817-1913.
"Spiritualism:" or Modern Necromancy. A sermon, with preface
and notes, by Edward Cridge, B.A., St. Peter's College, Cambridge,
Dean of Christ Church, Victoria, Vancouver Island. Printed by request.
Victoria, B.C.    Printed by David W. Higgins, 1870.
cover-title, 12p.O.
Dedication dated July 5, 1870.
46. Hibben & Carswell.
Dictionary of Indian Tongues, containing most of the words and
terms used in the Tsimpsean, Hydah, & Chinook, with their meaning or
equivalent in the English language. Published by Hibben & Carswell,
Victoria, V.I. Printed at the office of the Daily Chronicle, Government
Street, 1862.
[2]    15p.D.
47. Hibben & Carswell.
Dictionary of Indian Tongues, containing most of the words and
terms used in the Tshimpean, Hydah, and Chinook with their meaning
or equivalent in the English language. Published by Hibben & Cars-
well, Victoria, V.I.    Printed at the British Colonist Office, 1865.
cover-title, 14p.sq.D.
48. Hibben & Company.
A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, or Indian trade language, of
the North Pacific Coast. Published by T. N. Hibben & Co. Victoria,
B.C. Colonist print, Victoria, B.C.    [1871?]
cover-title, 29p.O.
None of the three dictionaries listed above is in the Provincial
•Library and Archives. The entries have been copied from J. C. Pilling,
Bibliography of the Chinookan Language (Washington, 1893).
49. Naval Club, Esquimalt.
Rules of the Naval Club, Esquimalt, V.I., established 1867. Victoria, V.I., Higgins, Long & Co., 1867.
Rear-Admiral Hastings was Patron of the Club, and Captain R.
Dawkins, of H.M.S. Zealous, its first President. 1940 The Northwest Bookshelf. 141
50. New Westminster Public Library.
Rules and Regulations for the management of the Public Library,
New Westminster.
Has two blank pages.    No imprint.
Probably issued in 1864.
Marginal notes and corrections;  apparently a proof copy.
51. Parsons, Robert Mann.
Abstract of meteorological observations taken at the Royal Engineer Camp during the year 1862. . . . New Westminster, Royal
Engineer Press [1863].
[4]p.illus. (map)sq.Q.
The tinted map indicates the gold regions.
52. [Parsons, Robert Mann.]
{Report of a journey from New Westminster to Lake la Hache.
New Westminster, B.C.    Printed at the Royal Engineer Press, 1862.] maps,Q.
Covers and title-page wanting.
Includes an interesting tinted profile of the entire route,
53. [Shotbolt, Thomas.]
An Account of the Establishment and subsequent progress of Freemasonry in the Colony of British Columbia, from its origin in 1859 to
1871.   Victoria, B.C.    Printed at the British Colonist Office, 1871.
cover-title, 18p.O.
Signed by Thomas Shotbolt, District Grand Secretary. Dated Victoria, April 24, 1871. Contains letters and documents relating to the
founding of a Grand Lodge in British Columbia.
A very rare pamphlet. One of the few copies known was secured
recently for the Provincial Archives through the kind offices of Dr.
Robie L. Reid. Much of the contents was reprinted in the Report of the
Grand Lodge of British Columbia for 1937.
Printed by Chables F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
600-340-4302 We
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour Eric W. Hamber, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia,
OFFICERS, 1939-40.
Hon. G. M. W_m       - Honorary President.
T. A. Rickard  President.
Kenneth A. Waites       -      -      - 1st Vice-President
B. A. McKelvie   ----- 2nd Vice-President.
G. H. HaRMAN  Honorary Treasurer.
Muriel R. Cree   ----- Honorary Secretary.
Robie L. Reid  Archivist
F. W. Howay J. M. Coady H. T. Nation
J. C Goodfellow Helen R. Boutilier
B. A. McKelvie (Victoria Section).     J. R. V. Dunlop (Vancouver Section).
W. N. Draper (New Westminster and Fraser Valley Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history;
to promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of October. All members in good standing receive
the British Columbia Historical Quarterly without further charge.
All correspondence and fees should be addressed in care of the Secretary,
Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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