British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Apr 30, 1949

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APRIL, 1949 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
Madge Wolfenden.
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine.
The Quarterly is indexed in Faxon's Annual Magazine Subject-Index
and the Canadian Index. We
" Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past"
Vol. XIII Victoria, B.C., April, 1949. No. 2
Russia's Approach to America.     Part I.     From Russian
Sources, 1741-1761.
By Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead     55
The French in British Columbia.
By Willard E. Ireland  _   _..   67
The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.    Part I.    September 16,1853, to March 31, 1854.
Edited with an introduction by James K. Nesbitt      91
Notes and Comments :
British Columbia Historical Association  113
The Papers of Sir Joseph Banks  114
Contributors to this Issue  115
The Northwest Bookshelf :
Mcllwraith:  The Bella Coola Indians.
Review article by H. B. Hawthorn      117
Halliday:  The Valley of Youth.
By Margaret A. Ormsby  122
Kuykendall and Day:  Hawaii: A History.
By A. F. Flucke  124
The Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin.
By Willard E. Ireland  126
Twelfth Report, Okanagan Historical Society.
By Walter N. Sage L  127 Map I. A copy of the map of De ITsle, 1752. W« J^/u/ow   ii«cZ~/75C.
Map II. Showing accurately only the results
of the Bering expedition of 1828.
•Tlant tie <SttSfic.
,-. ■  ' llrtt, <U»attf,jtr*t*-
Jit &»#njit*>lr ties I'utfa*
■j. ^Btttiirt tfm tu4
'/        Zyt'
■mz-A? ':■-■  ##    tuagb
/ it.<i**?."-£:~~:
Map III. This map was prepared by Muller. RUSSIA'S APPROACH TO AMERICA.
When Peter the Great issued his first directive for an expedition into the North Pacific, he must have been aware that Russia
might be encroaching on Spain's exclusive claims to the west
coast of America. Indeed the instructions issued on February
5,1725, to Vitus Bering for his first voyage indicated as much:—
[You are instructed] to find out where it [Asia] joins America and . . .
seek out some city in European possession; or, if a European ship is
sighted, inquire of it what it [the city] is called and make a note of it; and
go ashore on the coast itself and get first-hand information; and, having
put it on a map, return.1
In fulfilling this injunction, Bering was not altogether successful. Skirting the Asiatic coast he passed through Bering
Sea and Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean, penetrating as far
north as 67° north latitude. This left still open the question
whether the two continents by some chance might be united
north of that point. A rumour persisted among the Chukchi
to the effect that from time to time, when the fog lifted, there
could be seen at a great distance a huge island where lived a
strange people with whom they were frequently at war. After
Bering's return, a Cossack chief, Afanasii Shestakov, was sent
northward with an expedition to verify this story of " a great
land " over the horizon. This attempt failed, and Shestakov
was killed, but a sea expedition which sailed under a Michael
Gvozdev in one of Bering's old vessels coasted northward to
Bering Strait and there made the crossing from East Cape, on
the Asiatic side, to Cape Prince of Wales, on the American mainland.   The problem was now one step nearer a solution.
(1) Ivan Ivanovich Golikov, Dyeyaniya Petra Velikago, mudrago pre-
obrazovatelya Rossii, sobrannyia iz dostovyernykh istochnikov i raspolozh-
ennyia po godam (12 v., Moscow, 1788-89), IX, 187. Since Peter died on
January 28, 1725, the document in its final form was issued by his wife
over his signature. See also Frank A. Golder, Bering's Voyages, New
York, 1922-1925, I, p. 11, citing Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii,
VII, Doc. 4649. For a full account of the first voyage of Bering, see
Volume I of Golder's work.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 2.
55 56 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.      April
It was now that Bering, stung by a sense of failure in his
first attempt, came forward with a proposal for another expedition—actually a series of voyages—that would put an end to all
uncertainty; that would map the whole hitherto unexplored
northern coast of Siberia and, at the same time, clear up the
mystifying uncertainties of " Gama Land " and " Yezzo," legendary islands off the coast of Asia customarily inserted on
seventeenth-century maps, but not heretofore identified. But
Bering's most unique proposal was that he himself should strike
boldly eastward into the hitherto uncharted wastes of the Pacific
in search of the American continent. The more northerly expeditions were to descend the Siberian rivers and coast along the
shore to solve the mystery of the north-east passage. Since they
called for no great nautical skill, they were entrusted to junior
officers. That across the Pacific was to be commanded by Bering
himself. The immense scope of the project called for the collaboration of two governmental bodies—the Academy of Sciences
and the Admiralty College—and orders went forth to this effect.
The voyage of Bering himself involved the risk of conflict
with Spain, and this was frankly recognized in the ukaz from
the Senate to the Admiralty, the latter being directed to give
Bering secret instructions to guide him in case of contact with
foreigners. The specific instructions from the Senate were a
repetition of those issued by Peter in 1725 (cited above), and,
in addition, they enjoined on Bering to guard against traps and
not to disclose the route by which he was to return. Furthermore, an interpreter versed in both Latin and French was to be
provided for the voyage by the Slavyano-Latin school.2
There is no doubt from an examination of this document
that the Russian Government was nervous about trespassing on
the territory of Spain and running into international complications. It will be interesting to trace the stages by which this
second expedition of Bering and subsequent voyages brought
Russian explorers progressively closer to Spanish dominions,
and to observe how this gradual approach was reflected in the
reports of the Spanish embassy in St. Petersburg.
(2) Polnoe sobranie zakonov, VIII, Doc. 6291. An approximate rendering (though by no means an accurate translation) appears in Golder, op.
cit, I, pp. 29-32. 1949 Russia's Approach to America. 57
The second Bering expedition was epoch-making in the history of the north-west coast. But it failed of one of its main
purposes. It was conceived on a vast scale to settle for all time
the uncertainty regarding the relation of America to Asia. It
included, as we have seen, plans for the exploration of the North
Siberian coast, the final task of which was to fix definitely the
location of the Chukchi Peninsula; that is, the extreme northeastern part of Asia. The expedition across the Pacific under
Bering's personal direction was, however, not to be a mere
plunge into the void. If he reached the continent (as it was
presumed he would), Bering was to turn north and follow the
coast until he reached a point opposite the Chukchi Peninsula.
Thus, complete continuity would have been established in the
mapping of those regions where the two continents approached
one another. Since these instructions regarding the course to
be followed were to be kept secret, it is fairly clear that the
purpose was to avoid any possibility of a clash with Spain.3
Bering failed to follow these instructions for two obvious
reasons. In the first place, they were based on a completely
false conception of the American coast. It was assumed that
it trended uniformly towards the north-west in much the same
way as the Asiatic coast trends towards the north-east until
the two approached one another in the vicinity of the Chukchi
(3) We do not have a copy of the orders which laid down the course
Bering was to follow. According to Polnoe sobranie zakonov, VIII, Doc.
6291, Sect. 13: " The instructions the voyagers receive are to be forwarded
to the Senate [to be] appropriately phrased and supplemented by special
instructions from the Senate itself. These are to be kept secret, but if
foreigners are met, they are to be told that the expedition is scientific, having been prepared on the recommendation of the St. Petersburg, Paris, and
other academies. This is the ostensible explanation to be given out; the
other instructions are not to be revealed." We are indebted to Steller, who
accompanied the expedition as naturalist, for a general idea of what these
instructions were. After describing the course to be followed by Bering
across the Pacific, Steller adds: " If in doing so America should be reached,
it was proposed to follow the coast in a northerly direction until we came to
the parallels of 64° and 66°, where the farthest point of Asia or the Chukchi
promontory is situated, towards which it was then intended to turn in a
westerly direction and, having determined the distance between both continents to the north, to make ready for the return to the home port when it
was intended to let the remaining part of the investigation be conditioned
on a second voyage the following year."    Golder, op. cit, II, p. 19. 58 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.      April
Peninsula. No one dreamed that a huge peninsula was interposed
between Bering and his objective, and that this obstacle was
prolonged 800 miles farther by the Aleutian Islands, the persistent fog in which they were customarily veiled heightening the-
illusion that they were continuous with the mainland. Secondly,
the loss of a supply ship as Bering was leaving Okhotsk in the
spring forbade any long stay off the American coast. It was
necessary that he limit his efforts for the year to an attempt to
reach the American coast and return immediately.
On this voyage both Bering, commanding the St. Peter, and
his lieutenant, Chirikov, in the St. Paul, managed to reach the
American coast, though independently of one another. On his
return Bering was cast away on an island near the Asiatic
mainland. There he died, but the survivors of his crew put
together from the wreckage of the St. Peter a craft in which
they made their way back to Petropavlovsk, in Avacha Bay, in
the summer of 1742. Chirikov was more fortunate. Though his
crew had suffered the extremities of hunger, thirst, and scurvy,
they had finally brought their ship the St. Paul to anchor in
Avacha Bay on October 12, 1741.
Although numerous private ventures following Bering's
track carried Russian exploration and even temporary occupation into the Aleutians, nevertheless both the location of these
islands and their relation to America remained uncertain till
they were finally determined by Krenitzyn and Levashev in
1769. Even then Spain was not completely convinced that Russia's position in these islands constituted actual occupation of
any part of America until the results of Cook's third and last
voyage were made known in 1784.
The results of the first three official voyages—that is, the
two carried out by Bering and that by Gvozdev—did not immediately become known to the Russian public nor to the world at
large. Spain being at that date the European country chiefly
concerned, it seems reasonable to assume that her Government
would keep posted on geographical discoveries as their results
were published. But one must bear in mind the general air
of secrecy with which these geographical expeditions were surrounded. The instructions for the second Bering expedition
had contained the following injunction:— 1949 Russia's Approach to America. 59
The correspondence regarding the expedition is to go to the Chancellery of
the Senate to be translated into Russian, the originals then to be turned
over to the Academy to be prepared for publication. They are not to be
published either secretly or openly until such publication is authorized;
nor are their contents to be divulged by correspondence abroad until after
their publication here. The violation of this secrecy is to be visited with
severe penalties.4
The news of the first Bering expedition (1728) began to reach
the outside world within seven years. In 1735 there was published at the Hague, Jean Baptiste du Halde's Description geo-
graphique, historique et chronologique de la Chine et de la Tartaric chinoise, in four volumes. An English version appeared
in London in the same year with a slightly different title, The
General History of China: Containing a Geographical, Historical, Chronological, Political, and. Physical Description of the
Empire of China, Chinese Tartary and Thibet, in four volumes
like the French. At the end of the fourth volume an account
of the first Bering expedition is added with a map prepared after
Bering's return, by Joseph Nicolas Delisle and engraved by
D'Anville.5 The author gives the following account of the
channels through which this was received:—
Captain Berings having punctually executed his orders returned to Petersburg on the first day of March 1730 and brought a short account of his
voyage, with a map, which he had made of it; This Map was sent to the
most serene King of Poland as a Present worthy of his Regard and Curiosity,* and His Majesty having been pleased to communicate it to me, with
a Permission to make what use I pleased, I thought that the Public would
be somewhat obliged to me if I added it to all the others I have promis'd.7
In 1745 the Academy of St. Petersburg issued its first atlas.
It was called Atlas Rossiiskoi and it covered all parts of the
Russian Empire. For Eastern Siberia, it showed the results
of the first Bering expedition. Although the results of the
second voyage (concluded in 1741) had reached St. Petersburg
(4) Polnoe sobranie zakonov, VIII, Doc. 6291  (1732).
(5) See article " China " in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. III. Two
subsequent editions of Du Halde's work appeared within a few years, attesting to its wide appeal.
(6) Probably Augustus II, King of Poland (and Saxony), who died in
1733 and whose death provoked the War of the Polish Succession.
(7) Jean Baptiste du Halde, The General History of China, IV, p. 429.
It may be noted that the map shows only the Asiatic coast, since Bering
apparently did not see the coast of North America. 60 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.      April
by 1743, two full years prior to publication, the Academy refused
to embody these in this work or even to consult the members
of the expedition that had returned.' The atlas was immediately
exposed to unfavourable comment, and within ten years directions were issued for a new edition.8
Information of the first Bering expedition was also contained
in a publication that came out in London about 1748. There had
appeared in 1705 a work by John Harris entitled Navigantium
atque itinerantium bibliotheca; Or a compleat collection of voyages and travels: consisting of about four hundred of the most
authentick writers . . . in the English, Latin, French, Italian,
Spanish, Portugese, German or Dutch tongues (2 v., T. Bennet,
London). A second edition came out forty years later under the
editorship of John Campbell, the sub-title now reading . . . consisting of above six hundred of the most authentic writers originally published . . . by John Harris . . . now carefully revised
with large additions, and continued down to the present time,
including particular accounts of the manufactures and commerce of each country (2 v., London, T. Woodward, 1744-48).
Campbell made use of the journal of Bering for an account of
his first voyage. As to the second, he cites a letter of Leonhard
Euler, dated December 10, 1746, in which the latter mentioned
the second voyage of Bering but expressed doubt whether the
Russian Government would publish the results of the expedition.9
Nevertheless, in spite of the purpose of the Russian Government to keep the second Bering expedition secret, its hand was
forced by an event that took place outside of Russia.    Delisle, the
(8) As a matter of fact the Atlas had been issued by the president, I.
Schumacher, on his own initiative and without the authority of the Academy's members. Almost from the first there were complaints of the incompleteness of the maps. See V. F. Gnucheva, Geograficheskii Department
Akademii Nauk XVIII vyeka, Moscow and Leningrad, 1946, pp. 52-57.
(9) James R. Masterson and Helen Brower, " Bering's Successors, 1745-
1780," in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XXXVIII (1947), pp. 35-83, 109-155.
The significance of this letter lay in the fact that Euler, professor of higher
mathematics in the Academy of Sciences, had been assistant to Delisle in the
Geographic Department of the Academy, which had been founded October
22, 1739, and had taken some part in its work. But he was no longer in the
Russian service, having left Russia for Berlin on February 16, 1741. See
Gnucheva, Geograficheskii Department, pp. 30, 31, 48, 49, 52. 1949 Russia's Approach to America. 61
geographer of the Academy, had gone abroad, and on April 8,
1750, he appeared before the Royal Academy of France and read
a report on the Bering expedition of 1741. This report was
accompanied by a map and purported to set forth the true course
of the Bering expedition. The map and report were published in
1752 by Philippe Buache in Paris.10 It was inaccurate, however,
and when Count Keyserling, Russia's ambassador at the Austrian
court and former president of the Academy at St. Petersburg,
heard of it, he at once wrote to Count Razumovskii, then president, and demanded that a public refutation of the statements
there contained be prepared by Professor Muller.
Miiller's reply appeared the following year as Lettre d'un
officier de la Marine Russienne a un seigneur de la Cour. It was
published at first separately and later in the Nouvelle Bibliotheque
germanique (Berlin, 1753); in the same year both English and
German translations appeared.11
Muller now proceeded to bring to completion and publish the
maps begun after 1745 in order to correct the defects in the
Academy's Atlas of that year. In 1754 a revised map was
engraved to illustrate the discoveries, and it is probable that
copies of it found their way into circulation, though none have
been found. Muller followed this up by preparing a full account
of Bering's last voyage for submission to the Conference of the
Academy. This was read before the latter body and published
four years later with the title Nachrichten von Seereisen und zur
(10) Gerhard Friedrich Muller, Istoriya Sibiri, Moscow, 1937, I, pp. 101,
102. The map was entitled Carte des nouvelles decouvertes au nord de la
mer du Sud, tant a Vest de la Siberie et du Kamtschatka, qu'A I'ouest de
la Nouvelle France, dressee sur les mi-moires de Mr. de I'Isle . . . par
Philippe Buache. In justice to Delisle it should be noted that at the time of
the latter's departure from Russia many of the documents of the Bering
expedition had not yet reached the capital but were still in Siberia. Delisle's
report bore the title Explication de la carte des nouvelles dicouvertes au
nord de la mer du Sud.
(11) Golder, in his Bering's Voyages, I, p. 362, erroneously ascribed the
work to Sven Waxel; and the error has been repeated by Masterson and
Brower, " Bering's Successors, 1745-1780," loc. cit, p. 37. But it was
unquestionably the work of Muller. Indeed, he says distinctly in his autobiography that he was the author. .See " Avtobiografiya " in Muller, Istoriya
Sibiri, I, p. 150. A careful perusal of his Sammlung Russischer Geschichte,
St. Petersburg, 1732-1764, III, would also have disclosed the authorship. 62 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.      April
See gemachten Entdeckungen die von Russland aus langst den
Kiisten des Eismeeres und auf dem dstlichen Weltmeere gegen
Japan und Amerika geschehen sind zur Erlduterung einer bei der
Akademie der Wissenschaften verfertigten Landkarte. It was
accompanied by a map—that of 1754 brought up to date.12
This account of Bering's voyages was incorporated in the
author's Sammlung Russischer Geschichte (III, 1-304) and
remained for over a century and a half the standard version,
until superseded by the work of Frank Golder, which was based
on the original log.13
The voyage of Gvozdev (1730-1732) into Bering Strait,
although authorized by the Administrative Senate, was little
noted at the time. Perhaps it was veiled in official secrecy,
though no such efforts in that regard are known. But Gvozdev's
expedition, if it touched the American mainland as claimed,
(12) Gnucheva, Geograficheskii Department, pp. 63-65; A. I. Andreyev,
" Trudy G. F. Millera o Sibiri," in Muller, Istoriya Sibiri, I, pp. 103-106.
This map was reproduced in S. P. Krasheninnikov's Opisanie zemli Kam-
chatki, St. Petersburg, 1755, which appeared shortly afterwards in French
and English translations. It was also published by A. F. Prevost in 1768
at Paris in Histoire generate des voyages, XVIII, p. 367.    See map III.
(13) Golder, Bering's Voyages. Actually, interest in Bering had been
revived early in the nineteenth century by V. N. Berkh, who published two
short studies on him: Pervoe Morskoe Puteshestvie Rossiyan predprinyatoe
dlya resheniya geografischeskoi zadachi, St. Petersburg, 1823; and
" Biograficheskoe Svedenie ob Kapitanom Komandorom Vitusye Beringye,"
Syevernyi Arkhiv, VI, No. 8 (1828). About the middle of the nineteenth
century Lieut. A. P. Sokolov wrote some articles on the Kamchatka expeditions which provoked a controversy, in the course of which Karl E. von
Baer wrote " Zaslugi Petra Velikago po chasti rasprostranenii geogra-
fischeskikh poznanii Rossii i progrannichnikh s neyu zemlyakh Azii," in
Zapiski Imperatorskogo Geograficheskogo Obshchestva, III (1849), pp. 217-
253; IV (1850), pp. 260-283. Late in the century two works appeared in
the United States: Peter Lauridsen, Russian Exploration, 1725-1743; Vitus
Bering, the Discoverer of Bering Strait, Chicago, 1889; and William Healy
Dall, "A Critical Review of Bering's First Expedition, 1725-30, together with
a translation of his original report upon it," in National Geographic Magazine, II (1890), pp. 111-169. These added little to what was already known.
Golder's publication of the logs of both vessels that took part in the expedi-'
tion was epoch-making. Soviet scholars have been extremely active in
searching their archives for material on the Bering and subsequent expeditions. One of the more important of the publications that has emerged from
this activity is: Aleksei Alekseyevich Pokrovskii, Ekspeditsiya Beringa:
Sbornik Dokumentov (Moscow, 1941). 1949 Russia's Approach to America. 63
probably did more to answer the question " Is Asia joined to
America?" than did the second Bering voyage, and thus it fitted
more directly into the story of exploration.
After the reports of the second Bering expedition had been
received at the capital, official interest in exploration waned.
The expenses of this and other expeditions had far exceeded all
expectations. Elizabeth was more and more drawn into diplomatic and military entanglements which strained the financial
resources of the country, and there was no money for new
expeditions. In the words of one writer, " the acquisition of
new material by the Geographic Department [of the Academy]
during the period from 1746 to 1765 was almost negligible."14
Actually, there was much new geographical information at
the disposal of the Academy had its members had access to it.
Fur-traders in Eastern Siberia, fired by stories of the pelts of
a hitherto unknown fur-bearing animal—the sea-otter—brought
back by the Bering expedition and sold at fabulous prices in the
Chinese market, b'egan slowly and unskilfully to back-track on
Bering's course to find this new pot of gold. They secured
permission to use Bering's ships till they fell to pieces or were
wrecked; then they built themselves crude ships of native lumber
till they painfully acquired the art of ship-building. Landsmen,
they often sailed without benefit of compass or chart. They had
no instruments to take observations. And when they returned
from a voyage, they could give only the vaguest account of the
seas they had traversed, or the islands they had visited. There
was no special reason why the Government of St. Petersburg
should bestir itself for the fur trade, save to provide pelts for
China. The State was concerned only with levying its percentage
on the cargo and with the collection of yassak (tribute) in the
Aleutian Islands. Since Siberian officialdom was notoriously
corrupt, there was an additional motive for the suppression of
information from these new lands. The silence regarding
developments in the North Pacific that pervaded the official world
after the second Bering expedition came to an end about the
year 1760.
The factors that caused the new discoveries in the East to
become a matter of public interest are obscure.   It is unthinkable
(14)  Gnucheva, Geograficheskii Department, 59. 64 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.      April
that in the midst of the Seven Years' War Elizabeth had time or
inclination to turn her attention in this direction. One can but
assume that the cumulative effects of previous discoveries, the
great profits derived from the Siberian fur trade, and the appearance of new and forceful personalities in the fur business, as well
as the accession of a new and energetic sovereign, combined to
produce a revived interest in fur-trading and exploration.
The solicitude of the Government for the fur trade is further
attested by the abandonment of the State monopoly of the trade
between Siberia and China.15 Perhaps to compensate for the
loss of revenue involved in this, it was decided to tighten up on
the collection of yassak from the natives of Siberia as well as
from those of the Kurile and Aleutian Islands.16 The State seems
further to have adopted the practice of remitting the tax of
10 per cent, on the profits of the voyages of the fur-trading
The Andreanof Islands were explored and mapped; the most
easterly lying of the chain—the Fox Islands, including Umnak
and Unalaska—had been violently brought under Russian control
in the savage fighting of 1762-1764; the mainland had been
visited in 1761; and the Island of Kodiak explored in 1762-1763.
Word of these and other explorations which trickled back to St.
Petersburg reached there at an opportune time, when Catherine
II, having secured the throne for herself, was casting about for
fields of activity in which her brilliant gifts would have full
scope. It is not to be wondered at that geographical discovery
could look forward to a bright future.
(15) This monopoly, established by Peter in the last years of the
seventeenth century following the Treaty of Nerchirsk (1689), w^s somewhat relaxed in 1728 by the Treaty of Kiakhta, by which two ports of entry
had been provided for by private traders. Raymond H. Fisher, The Russian
Fur Trade, 1550-1700, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1943, p. 227; William
Coxe, An Account of Russian Discoveries, London, 1780, pp. 201-210.
(16) Waldemar Jochelson, Archeological Investigations in Kamchatka,
Washington, 1928, pp. 12, 13. The collection of yassak was tantamount to
effective occupation, as we can see from a dispatch from Governor Chicherin
to the Empress Catherine on the return in 1761 of the expedition of Andrean
Tolstykh. Russia, Archives Department, Papers Relating to the Russians
in Alaska, 1782-1796, 21 v. (photostat copies of originals in Russian Archives
in the University of Washington Library, Seattle), II. 1949 Russia's Approach to America. 65
Yet, despite the awakened official interest, it was only slowly
that really accurate information began to accumulate. The death
of the great savant Lomonosov in 1765, the departure of Muller
in 1767 (to assume the post of archivist of the College of Foreign
Affairs in Moscow), and the outbreak of the Turkish War in
1767 were only partly compensated for by the return from abroad
(after an absence of twenty-five years) of Leonhard Euler with
his son, the physicist, Johann Albrecht Euler, and the complete
reorganization of the Academy of Sciences.17
The Geographic Department was galvanized once more into
life. Despite feverish activity, however, it did little beyond
incorporating knowledge already assembled into cartographical
form. Little attention was at first given to the fund of material
accumulated by the fur-traders since Bering's time. Such
information was seldom reduced to writing, but could have been
obtained from the participants in these voyages.18
(17) Gnucheva, Geograficheskii Department, pp. 52, 84, 87; "Avtobiog-
rafiya " in Muller, Istoriya Sibiri, I, p. 153.
(18) The paucity of records of these voyages still hampers the student
of the exploration of the North Pacific in the eighteenth century. Our all-
too-scanty knowledge of them is drawn from a handful of sources—not all
of these independent. The most important relevant material is contained in
the following (arranged so far as possible in the order of publication) :
Jakob Staehlin von Storcksburg, " Kratkoe Izvestie o novoizobryetennom
Syevernom Arkhipelagye " (accompanied by a map), which appeared in the
Mesyatsoslov istoricheskii i geograficheskii for 1774 and was reprinted in
Sobranie Sochinenii iz mesyatsoslovov for 1789, and which is usually attributed to Staehlin; Das von den Russen in den Jahren 1765-1767 entdeckte
Insel-Meer zwischen Kamtschatka und Nord Amerika, Stuttgart, 1774; an
English translation of the same, An Account of the new Northern Archipelago lately discovered by the Russians in the Seas of Kamchatka and
Anadir appearing also in 1774, at London; J.L.S., Neue Nachrichten von
den neuentdeckten Inseln in der See zwischen Asien und Amerika aus mit-
getheilten, Urkunden und Ausziigen verfasset, Hamburg and Leipzig, 1776,
for the authorship of which see Masterson and Brower, " Bering's Successor, 1745-1780," loc. cit; William Coxe, An Account of Russian Discoveries
between Asia and America, London, 1780, which went through three subsequent editions (1780, 1787, and 1803); Peter Simon Pallas, " 0 rossiiskikh
otkrytiyakh na moryakh mezhdu Azieyu i Amerikoyu," in Mesyatsoslov
istoricheskii i geograficheskii for 1781, reprinted in Sobranie Sochinenii
vybrannykh iz mesyatsoslovov, 1796; Pallas, Neue Nordische Beytrage zur
Physikalischen und geographischen Erd-und Volkerbeschreibung, Natur-
geschichte und Oekonomie (7 v., St. Petersburg and Leipzig, 1781-1796),
material from which, bearing on Russian discoveries in the North Pacific, 66 Stuart R. Tompkins and Max L. Moorhead.
It is to be noted that from the time of the second Bering
expedition down to the date when Catherine began to intervene
in the task of exploration, not less than thirty-five separate
voyages had been made by private Russian traders eastward
from the coast of Siberia. While neither the officials in Siberia
nor the central government could have been in complete ignorance of this activity, definite information regarding their
results seems to have been lacking in St. Petersburg until the
year 1764, when a participant in one of these expeditions had an
audience with the Empress and submitted for her examination
a map drawn by one of his shipmates.19 Thereby official interest
was rekindled. In the effort to clear up the uncertainties regarding the location of the new discoveries, Catherine decided to
intervene officially in the work of exploration. The voyage of
Lieutenant Sind (1765-1766) and especially the expedition of
Krenitsyn and Levashev (1768-1769) for the first time brought
some order out of the cartographical chaos.
Stuart R. Tompkins.
Max L. Moorhead.
University of Oklahoma,
Norman, Oklahoma.
is translated by Masterson and Brower, op. cit., in Pacific Northwest
Quarterly for January and June, 1947; Moriz August, graf von Beniowsky,
Memoirs and travels of Mauritius Augustus count de Benyowsky (tr. by
William Nicholson) Dublin, 1790; Vasilii N. Berkh, Khronologicheskaya
Istoriya Otkrytiya Aleutskikh Ostrovov Hi Podvigi Rossiiskago Kupechestva,
St. Petersburg, 1823; A. Polonskii, List of Journeys of Russian hunters in
the Pacific Ocean from 1743-1800 (undated MS. in the archives of the
Geographical Society in St. Petersburg), which has been consulted by
Bancroft, Jochelson, and others; A. O. Andreyev, Russkie otrytiya v Tikhom
Okeanye i Syevernoi Amerikye v XVIII i XIX vyekakh, Moscow and Leningrad, 1944.
(19)   Berkh, Khronologicheskaya Istoriya, p. 88 ff. t    ■? 3 *    llH OS A view showing, in the foreground, the French Hospital
as it was in the 1870's. THE FRENCH IN BRITISH COLUMBIA.*
It is not unnatural that in the history of British Columbia
great attention has been given to the gold-rush era. The discovery of gold brought to an abrupt end the era of the fur trade
and ushered in, with almost unseemly haste, the era of extensive
exploitation of natural resources that has, in effect, prevailed to
this day. Successive discoveries of gold and their accompanying
minor " rushes " — to Wild Horse Creek, to Big Bend, to the
Stikine, to the Peace, and to Cassiar—gave to men a knowledge
of the geography and wealth of British Columbia almost
undreamed of. Naturally, too, the emphasis has been on achievement—where did they go? how much did they find? what did
they do ? Frequently the more lasting social implications of this
sudden metamorphosis have been lost sight of in the rapidly
changing scene, for the cycle of " boom and bust" in the gold-
rush economy has usually been relatively short in British
It is hoped that this article will give some indication of the
part played by one segment of that complex mass of gold-crazed
humanity that funnelled through Victoria and the Fraser River
to the goldfields of the Cariboo. At best it can only be considered
a preliminary study, for much more detailed examination of
material remains yet to be done. However, some generalizations
can now fairly safely be made concerning the role of the French
in British Columbia.
To pass over the contribution to the development of this
Province of the many French-Canadians who served in the fur-
trading companies is unfortunately necessary. Men like Jules
Maurice Quesnel, a fellow traveller with Simon Fraser on his
epic voyage in 1808 who died a member of the Legislative Council
of Canada, or like Leon Labine and Jean Ba'tiste Fortier, whose
handiwork survives to this day in the bastion of old Nanaimo,
made a worth-while contribution to our Province, but their story
lies beyond the scope of this survey, which is strictly limited to
* The presidential address delivered at the annual meeting of the British
Columbia Historical Association, held in Vancouver, January 14, 1949.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 2.
67 68 Willard E. Ireland. April
those whom Mons. de Saint-Amant in his Voyages en Calif ornie
et dans I'Oregon called " Les Francais de France . . . pour les
distinguer des Francais d'origine canadienne."1
The question might well be asked why an envoy of the French
Government was visiting California and Oregon in 1851 and
1852, for such was the function of Mons. de Saint-Amant. The
answer is to be found in the large-scale migration of Frenchmen
to California following word of the discovery of gold there in
1848. The first group of some forty men arrived in San Francisco on board La Meuse on September 14, 18492—the precursors
of an immigration which it is claimed, between November 30,
1849, and April, 1851, brought over 4,000 Frenchmen to California.3 Smaller numbers of French had come in from Mexico,
Chili, the Sandwich Islands, and Louisiana, but the vast majority
had come direct from Europe, largely through the aegis of dozens
of " societies of emigration."
France at that time was in a turmoil. The Revolution of
1848 had seen the downfall of Louis Phillipe and, in the interlude
before the election of Louis Napoleon as President, economic
distress was widespread. Thousands were unemployed; the
" national workshops " failed to provide the remedy, and emigration came to be regarded as a solution. The story of the duplicity
and graft of many of these emigration societies is not a pleasant
one,4 but they were responsible, in a large measure, for the
existence of so large a French colony in California.
Since it was from this source that British Columbia received,
in turn, its French population, it is interesting to examine what
manner of person had found his way to California. Daniel Levy,
in his history Les Francais en Calif ornie, is perhaps a prejudiced
commentator. He contended that the French formed not only
the largest but the most important element of California's
foreign population and that this arose mainly because an urban
population had been transferred. The Mexicans and Chileans
were mainly labourers, without either capital or education; the
(1) Mons. de  Saint-Amant, Voyages en Calif ornie et dans I'Oregon,
Paris, 1854, p. 157.
(2) Daniel Levy, Les Frangais en Calif ornie, San Francisco, 1884, p. 67.
(3) Ibid., p. 75.
(4) Gilbert Chenard, When the French Came to California, San Francisco, 1944, passim. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 69
Irish and Germans were either labourers or from rural areas;
whereas the French, coming mainly from the towns, were better
educated, had more capital, and were a more representative cross-
section of their native land.6 One thing is certain: they did
represent all shades of political opinion.
Perhaps a more reliable opinion is that offered by the San
Francisco Alta California in 1853, which is interesting, too, for
its attitude towards the French colony:—
There are about six thousand Frenchmen in this city. They are engaged
in all occupations; they are bankers, physicians, speculators in land,
importers, wholesale jobbers, retail merchants, mechanics and day laborers.
A fair proportion of them are wealthy, and nearly all are industrious and
good citizens. They come from all parts of France. . . . They all have
the characteristics of Frenchmen, they must live in company, and talk so
long as they remain awake, and gesticulate while they talk. There are but
very few of them from France who intend to make California their home;
they long for the time when they may have enough of the shining gold to
return to La Belle France, and live there in ease and independence. They
learn the English language very slowly, probably because they do not intend
to make their permanent home here. They cannot avoid comparing California as it is, the growth of half a decade of years, with their own country,
the growth of a thousand years, and as they see it, the comparison is very
much in favor of the latter. Their universal intention of returning to
France is an error, for which many of them will repent in time.
They complain that they have suffered injustice at the hands of the
Americans. No doubt many of them have, like many of the Americans
themselves. But one reason that the French have suffered injustice is that
they have no political power.   They have not endeavoured to become citizens,
(5) " Nous avons deja dit que, dans le principe, les Fran?ais formaient
la population etrangere la plus remarquable et la plus importante, au point
de vue du nombre et au point de vue des elements qui la composaient.
" Expliquons-nous.
" Les emigrants de race espagnole, Mexicain, Chiliens, etc., etaient
presque tous des travailleurs, sans capitaux et sans education. Les Irland-
ais et les Allemands apportenaient aussi generalement par leur origine, aux
classes laborieuses et rurales.
" II n'en etait pas de meme de nos compatriotes. Par leurs allures, leurs
idees, leurs sentiment, leurs professions, leurs habitudes et leurs mceurs, ils
presentaient dans leur ensemble, le caractere et la physionomie d'une population urbaine. Les ourvriers, de divers metiers, etaient nombreux; mais
il y avait aussi des capitalistes, des negociants, des medecins, des profes-
seurs, des notaires, des architects; plus, un certain nombre d'anciens fonc-
tionnaires publics, des journalistes, des hommes de lettres, des proscrits
politiques, etc.; bref, beaucoup d'element excellents, avec un melange de
declasses."    Levy, op cit, pp. 107, 108. 70 Willard E. Ireland. April
and they have not learned the English language.    They are in the country,
but not of it.   .   .   .6
Certain it is that they did not confine themselves only to
California. Saint-Amant found a few in Oregon as early as
1851—" ricochet de la Californie," as he termed it7—and the discovery of gold in British territory drew them still farther north;
indeed, some were in the vanguard of the great rush.8
It is impossible at this time to hazard even a guess as to the
number of French that came to British Columbia, but they were
in sufficient number to be recognizable as a national group.
Governor Douglas, in reporting the arrival on April 25, 1858, of
the steamer Commodore with 450 passengers stated: "About 60
British subjects, with an equal number of native born Americans,
the rest being chiefly Germans, with a smaller proportion of
Frenchmen and Italians composed this body of adventurers."9
Several months later Douglas had revised his estimate upwards,
for he reported:—
About two thirds of the emigrants from California are supposed to be
English and French; the other third are Germans, and native citizens of
the United States. There is no congeniality of feeling among the emigrants,
and provided there be no generally felt grievance to unite them in one
common cause there will, in my opinion, always be a great majority of the
population ready to support the measures of Government.10
It is probable that the conditions found to be existing in
British Columbia in comparison with those that had been experienced in California would be conducive to a considerable immigration of foreign miners. One of the principal differences was
the absence in British Columbia of any discriminatory form of
taxation.    Licence fees might be vexatious, but all were required
(6) San Francisco Alta California, May 13, 1853.
(7) Saint-Amant, op. cit, p. 157.
(8) Saint-Amant's comments regarding British territory in the Pacific
Northwest are interesting: " Depuis la perte des regions au-dessous du 49«
degre, les Anglais donnent un peu plus d'attention et de surveillance aux
possessions qui leur restent dans la Nouvelle-Caledonie. Les six cents
blancs, tout au plus, qui forment la population de Pile Vancouver, parlent
pourtant deja de reclamer des liberies et des franchises locales comment le
Canada. C'est la vue et le voisinage des etablissements prosperes des
Americains qui leur donnent cet appetit precoce d'independance." Ibid.,
p. 159.
(9) Douglas to Labouchere, May 8, 1858, MS., Archives of B.C.
(10)  Douglas to Lord Stanley, July 1, 1858, MS., Archives of B.C. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 71
to pay them. There was nothing comparable to the foreign
miner's tax which in California had run as high as $20 per month.
Still later, when mining boards were established, admittedly with
limited powers, there was no discrimination—British and foreign
miners alike shared in membership.
An even more subtle indication of their relative position and
one of particular satisfaction to the French, is to be found in the
fact that Governor Douglas had early in his experience given
official employment to one of the French miners. Mons. 0. J.
Travaillot, more popularly known as Captain Travaillot, had
arrived in the colony in the early spring of 1858 and had pushed
well into the Interior. From time to time he forwarded reports
to the Governor, and in June he was appointed " Revenue officer
for the District of Fort Dallas or Fork of Thompson's River,"
with power to issue licences to miners and to collect legal fees.
In addition, he was empowered to " raise and maintain a force
of eight men for the service of Government, and to swear in all
persons who take out mining licenses as special constables, for
the maintenance of law and order. . . ."n Travaillot continued
in his capacity as Assistant Gold Commissioner for many months,
and he it was who, with Corp. William Fisher, R.E., surveyed
and laid out the townsite of Hope,12 although his official district
stretched from Lytton to the Fountain. It is interesting to
note, in passing, that many of his official reports to the Governor
were written in French and were so reproduced in Parliamentary
Papers.13 One cannot but wonder at the problem they may have
posed for Government officials in New Westminster and Victoria.
Travaillot remained a citizen of this Province until his death
in 1879.14
The most obvious evidence of the existence of a considerable
body of Frenchmen in the colony was the establishment of a
French-language newspaper at Victoria in September, 1858.
Le Courrier de la Nouvelle Caledonie was in effect the fourth
newspaper to begin publication in Victoria.    Its proprietor, Paul
(11) Ibid.
(12) Douglas to Lytton, October 12, 1858, MS., Archives of B.C.
(13) Papers relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, Part I, [Cmd.
2476], London, 1859, p. 21.
(14) Victoria Colonist, February 2, 1879. 72 Willard E. Ireland. April
de Garro, was reputed to be a French count who had been forced
to leave France for political reasons in 1851. Presumably, in
his newspaper venture in Vancouver Island de Garro had the
support of Bishop Modeste Demers, for it was upon the old hand-
press given to the prelate by the Society for the Propagation of
the Gospel of Paris that the newspaper was printed. Its editor
was W. Thornton and the printer, Frederick Marriott, who had
several months earlier begun the publication of his own newspaper, the Vancouver Island Gazette. The Courrier made its
first appearance on September 11, 1858. De Garro was completely forthright in his announcement:—
Au Public Francais.
En entreprenant la publication d'un journal francais dans cette colonie,
je ne me suis pas dissimule les nombreuses difficultes que j'aurais a sur-
monter pour edifier une oeuvre durable.
II m'a f allu en quelque sorte creer avec presque rien " Le Courrier de la
Nouvelle-Caledonie," cependant fort de la sympathie que mes compatriotes
ne manqueront pas d'accorder a une feuille francaise, je suis hardiment
entre dans la lice, comptant sur 1'appui de mes amis et de tous ceux qui a
un titre quelconque aiment le nom Francais.
Je n'ai rien neglige pour rendre le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Caledonie aussi
utile et interessant que le comporte 1'etat actuel de la colonie.
J'ai obtenu le concours d'un redacteur, dont la position et le nom bien
connu ne pourront manquer d'etre agreable au Public Francais et Anglais.
J'ai pris de mesures pour reprandre dans nos mines le plus grand nombre
d'exemplaires possibles, je me suis dej& mis en relation avec 1'interieur, San
Francisco et meme La France, afin de pouvoir tenir les lecteurs de Courrier
de la Nouvelle-Caledonie au courant de tout ce qui peut les interesser sur
cette terre lointaine.
Si le concours de la communaute ne me fait pas defaut, j'espere que le
Courrier de la Nouvelle-Caledonie tiendra plus qu'il ne promet et que le
resultat sera aussi satisfaisant pour les interets des uns et des autres que
pour ceux de votre tour devoue serviteur.
P. de Garro."
(15) Victoria Le Courrier de la Nouvelle-Caledonie, September 11, 1858.
A free translation of this statement follows:—
To the French Public
In undertaking the publication of a French newspaper in this Colony I
have no illusions as to the numerous difficulties that I shall have to surmount in order to build up a lasting work.
I have had in some way to bring into being from almost nothing the
Courier of New Caledonia. However, sure of the sympathy which my compatriots will not fail to accord to a French paper, I am bravely entering the 1949 The French in British Columbia. 73
Nor was he any less honest in announcing his policies:—
Organe des populations Francaises et Canadiennes, le Courrier de la
Nouvelle-Caledonie suivra une ligne independante, aucune consideration
quelconque ne le fera devier dans sa marche, aussi longtemps que nous
aurons 1'honneur de tenir la plume; mais cette independance nous fera
precisement un devoir de rendre justice a qui de droit et 1'on nous trouvera
toujours dans les rangs des defenseurs de la loi et des grands principes de
liberty et de justice legues par la Constitution de la Grande Bretagne a ses
glorieux enf ants et a tous ceux qui vivent sous son egide.16
Not only was the Courrier to be the " Organ of the French
population in the English Possessions " but it aimed to be a
" political and literary journal " and with some justification for
it did publish literary comment, including " Civilization in
California," by Charles Dickens. It is also to be noted that
de Garro printed Alfred Waddington's famous pamphlet The
Fraser Mines Vindicated, one of the earliest colonial imprints.
Launched originally as a tri-weekly, only nine issues are known
to have been printed between September 11 and October 8, 1858.
In addition, a weekly—" Edition Hebdomadaire pour les Mines
les Etats Unis et l'Europe "—was projected and issued on September 18 and October 9. The early demise of this newspaper
is probably accounted for by the fact that its clientele was too
lists counting on the support of my friends and of all those who for any
reason whatever love the French name.
I have neglected nothing to make the Courier as useful and interesting
considering the existing conditions of this colony.
I have obtained the services of an editor whose well-known name and
position cannot fail to be agreeable to the French and English public.
I have taken steps to have the greatest possible number of copies distributed
to the mines and I have already established a connection with the interior,
San Francisco and even France in order to keep the readers of the Courier
aware of everything that might be of interest to them in this remote land.
If the co-operation of the community does not fail me I hope that the
Courier will perform more than it promises and that the result will be as
satisfying for the interests of everyone as for those of your devoted servant.
P. de Garro.
(16) Ibid. Organ of the French and Canadians, the Courier will follow
an independent line; no consideration whatsoever will cause it to deviate
from this course as long as we have the honor of holding the pen; but this
independence gives us a precise obligation to render justice to the truth, and
we will be always found ranged in the ranks of the defenders of law and the
great principles of liberty and justice bequeathed by the Constitution of
Great Britain to her glorious infants and to all who live under her protection. 74 Willard E. Ireland. April
limited, particularly during the first winter of the gold-rush.
Presumably de Garro's plea "que le nerf de la guerre est 1'argent,
ou pour nous son equivalent, les abonnements et les annonces ""
went unheeded. However, it should also be pointed out that its
printer, Marriott, was of none too savoury a reputation and that
he was shortly thereafter ushered out of the colony. De Garro,
however, continued to reside in the colonies until, in 1861, he fell
victim to the explosion which wrecked the steamer Cariboo Fly
outside Victoria harbour.18
As would naturally be expected, many of the French gold-
seekers, like the others, stayed but a short time in the colony.
Discouraged by difficulties in reaching the mines, many returned
to California. But there remained, particularly in Victoria, the
nucleus of a permanent colony that exhibited many of the
characteristics of its counterpart in San Francisco, yet with
many differences worthy of note.
For one thing, evidently the French themselves were careful
to differentiate themselves from the French-Canadians. In 1861
the Victoria Colonist reported the trial and conviction of a
Frenchman, Noel Le Clerc, but in the next issue made a point
of stating that he was " not a Frenchman, but a native of the
Canadas, and of French descent."19
Moreover, it is obvious that the French were made welcome
in the colonies. Towards the end of 1861 it was rumoured that
many French families in San Francisco were making preparations to come to Victoria and British Columbia. Of this event
the Colonist wrote: " Let them come. We'll give them a hearty
welcome. The French are quiet, orderly, industrious, and
thrifty colonists. The more we have the better."20 Several
years later a contemporary newspaper reported:—
While speaking of our French fellow citizens we may call attention to the
remarkable fact that no native of La Belle France has ever been brought
before a Police Magistrate [for] disorderly or criminal conduct since the
establishment of the Colony.21
(17) Ibid.   .   .   .   that the sinews of war is money or for us its equivalent—subscriptions and advertisements.
(18) Victoria Colonist, August 3, 1861.
(19) Ibid., January 31, February 2, 1861.
(20) Ibid., November 25, 1861.
(21) Victoria The Vancouver Times, March 6, 1865. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 75
While not strictly true, nevertheless the fact remained that by
and large the French proved themselves to be a law-abiding
But what is much more to the point, the criticism levelled
against the French in California that they were " in the country
but not of it" never applied in British Columbia. Presumably
the experience of nearly a decade of life in California before
coming northward is partially responsible. Very definitely they
were " of the colony." In some instances they did retain national
characteristics and functions, but in the main they fused their
identity with general community life and affairs. Possibly the
relatively small population in the colony made this all the more
necessary. In San Francisco they had organized and maintained
their own volunteer fire brigade—La Compagnie Lafayette des
Echelles et Crochets22—but in Victoria they participated actively
in the volunteer brigades as organized amongst the general population.23 Many of them were Masons and joined with their
fellow colonists in the affairs of that ancient craft.
There is no evidence of criticism being levelled against them
for their failure to speak English. It is probably not without
significance that Edward Mallandaine when > advertising his
" Select School" in 1860 added a special note, in French incidentally, to the effect that " French gentleman are invited to
take an evening course in English, and to send their children to
Mr. Mallandaine."24 In this connection the career of Mons. B.
Deffis in the colony is interesting. Formerly a lieutenant in the
French Army under Louis Phillipe, he had come to California
after the Revolution of 1848 and later came on to British Columbia.25 It was his custom to spend the summers working in the
mines and the winters in Victoria, where for several years he
evidently conducted well-patronized classes in French, Spanish,
(22) Levy, op. cit, pp. 199, 200.
(23) See F. W. Laing and W. Kaye Lamb, " The Fire Companies of Old
Victoria," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, X, (1946), pp. 43-75,
(24) Victoria Colonist, May 17,1860. " Messrs. les Frangais sont invites
a faire un cours d'Anglais le soir, et a envoyer leurs enfants chez M.
(25) Ibid., November 21, 1873. 76 Willard E. Ireland. April
and English.26 He was a man of some considerable scientific
training and for several years acted as the Cariboo correspondent
for the Victoria Colonist, providing interesting and detailed
reports on mining activity. Indeed, it was he who acted as their
correspondent on the Big Bend " rush " in 1866, and sent out the
report that frankly warned the public of possible overoptimism.
Typical of his sane reporting is the following:—
I consider that undue excitements have to a great extent contributed to the
general state of depression under which the country is laboring. I shall say
this much. This quartz discovery may still prove to be a " fizzle," though
we have the greatest confidence that the reverse will be the case. Should
the lead turn out as we anticipate, a new era of unparalleled prosperity
will dawn upon these Colonies, as it will pave the way to the discovery of
many new lodes in this part of British Columbia.27
Quartz-mining was his main interest, and he discovered a lode
in the vicinity of Williams Creek in 1868 and remained in the
Cariboo until his death by accident in the South Wales claim on
Lightning Creek in 1873.28
As previously suggested, in some ways, particularly culturally, the French colony tried to maintain its individuality, For
example, in January, 1861, they organized their own choral
society—La Societe des Enfans de Paris29—presumably following
the pattern of a similar society organized in San Francisco in
1855.30 This group was under the direction of Mons. George
Sandrie, who was also the conductor of the pioneer Victoria
musical society, the Philharmonic. Its first concert, presenting
an all-French programme, was held under the distinguished
patronage of Governor Douglas and was well received. The
Colonist reported:—
The theatre was comfortably filled with ladies and gentlemen, and we have
no hesitation in saying that no entertainment of the kind ever given here
afforded more real satisfaction than that of last evening. . . . The conductor deserves great praise for the state of efficiency to which he has
brought his company of amateurs; and we trust that the Society will
become a permanent institution in our city, and that our residents will
enjoy many entertainments of a like nature.81
(26) Ibid., October 31, 1864;  December 11, 1865;   October 29, 1866.
(27) Ibid., August 31, 1866.
(28) Ibid., November 21, 1873.
(29) Ibid., January 29, 1861; July 22, 1861.
(30) Levy, op. cit, p. 211.
(31) Victoria Colonist, August 17, 1861. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 77
The group was composed of thirty to forty members and gave a
second concert early in September,32 but no further notice is
made of the society, and the assumption is that it was absorbed
by its English counterpart, the Philharmonic. An incident in
the career of its conductor, Mons. Sandrie, indicates the harmony
existing between the French and the citizens generally. As he
grew older and became confined to his home, a benefit ball was
planned for him in 1870, about which the Colonist wrote:—
All classes appear anxious to assist the worthy couple, who have grown old
here and of late have become incapacitated, by reason of their infirmities
from earning a livelihood.* The case is one that appeals directly to the
tender sympathy of all, and if we know Victorians as well as we think we
do, the appeal will not be in vain.33
It would be interesting to trace the activity of many of the
leading members of the French colony in British Columbia, but
the detailed research involved yet remains to be done. Sufficient
evidence, however, has come to light to lead one to believe that
British Columbia was singularly fortunate in those it attracted.
Many of the leaders of the French colony in San Francisco transferred themselves to the colony. Possibly the fact that the immigration here was entirely a voluntary matter—there is no record
of any assistance by emigration societies—accounts in a large
measure for the type of Frenchman that came. In passing, mention will be made of only three typical individuals.
One of the earliest Frenchwomen to arrive in San Francisco
was Mme. V. A. Pettibeau, who is remembered there for her
activity in the field of education. In fact, in conjunction with
two other women, she opened, in 1853, the first girls' school in
that city—" un pensionnat de jeunes filles."34 She transferred
her activity to British Columbia in the early months of the gold-
rush and for a time, at least, taught in the school instituted by
Bishop Demers. ' Shortly thereafter she opened her own school,
as an advertisement in the Victoria Gazette indicates:—
Madame Pettibeau informs the public that she has opened a
Seminary for Young Ladies, on Fort Street, between Government and Broad street.
Lessons given in French and Music.
For terms and references apply at the School.^
(32) Ibid., August 28, 1861.
(33) Ibid., May 10, 1870.
(34) Levy, op. cit, p. 119.
(35) Victoria Gazette, March 10, 1859. 78 Willard E. Ireland. April
British Columbia became her permanent home, for she lived here
until her death on April 20,1880, when the Colonist noted: " We
regret to announce the death last evening of Madame Pettibeau,
a very early resident of this city, and for many years a successful
school teacher."36 Her funeral, conducted by Bishop Cridge,
was attended by many of the leading citizens of the community.37
The other two are men who came t^ occupy prominent places
in the commercial and social life of Victoria—Jules Rueff and
Sosthenes Driard. Both of these men came to British Columbia
in 1858—Reuff to engage successfully as a merchant and Driard
equally successfully as a hotel proprietor. Driard became, in
effect, the leader of the French community, and his hotels, the
Colonial and Driard House, the centre of activity. He was a
native of Lachapelle and left France in the revolutionary period
for New Orleans, whence he went to California in 1850.88 The
interesting fact about these two friends is that while in San
Francisco, in company with Mons. J. Vaillant, they were responsible for the establishment of a Maison d'Asile for the sick and
destitute who were not members of the French Benevolent
Society. This shelter had accommodation for forty-four persons, and while it had only a short existence, it paved the way
for the establishment of a municipal alms-house.39 It is not
surprising, therefore, to discover that with such a record of
philanthropy behind them in San Francisco, they soon set about
to provide similar assistance in their new home.
As a result of their activity, there was founded on February
24, 1860, La Societe Francais de Bienfaisance et Secours Mutuels
de Victoria—or as it came to be called, " The French Benevolent
Society." Since this organization in so many respects symbolizes
French activity in British Columbia, a more detailed examination
of it is in order, for its effects are felt even to this day. In the
first place the date of its establishment is significant. February
24 was the anniversary of the overthrow of Louis Phillipe, and
(36) Victoria Colonist, April 21, 1880.
(37) Ibid., April 24, 1880.
(38) Ibid., February 16, 1873.
(39) Levy, op. cit, pp. 200-202. 1949 The French in British Columbia. ' 79
the organization of this society on that date provides, at least to
a degree, a clue as to the political affiliations of many of the
French that came to the colony. In addition, the society provides
a further example of the degree to which the " principle of
Association " had become a French national characteristic. This
principle had come very much to the fore in the latter days of
Louis Phillipe's reign and was the basis of the form of socialism
advocated by Fourier and his fellows. The emigration societies
mentioned earlier were still another exemplification, and while
they, for the most part, ended in failure, the benevolent societies
were unusually successful.
At the time of the organization of the French Benevolent
Society, the Colonist commented:—
We learn with pleasure that a French Benevolent Society has recently
been inaugurated in town on the principle of mutual relief for the sick. It
will be supported by a small monthly subscription open to persons of all
nations, and who thereby will become entitled to the benefit of the institution. The bye-laws of the Society are in a great measure adopted from
those of the French Benevolent Society of San Francisco, which rendered
immense services to the sick and distressed of California, and which began
under the humblest auspices and is now one of the important Institutions
of the State. We certainly think such an establishment is highly creditable
to the French people.40
The contemporary Gazette was equally complimentary to the
The French residents in this Town, like Frenchmen in all foreign
countries, form an orderly, industrious, and highly respectable body, have
established a mutual relief Society in this Colony. The public should
encourage and support all such useful and charitable institutions, for they
do an incalculable amount of good in all communities.41
Immediate action was taken to implement the plans. A house
was rented from Alfred Waddington and refitted as a hospital,
with accommodation for twenty patients,42 and by June it was
ready to open its doors.43
(40) Victoria Colonist, March 6, 1860.
(41) Victoria Gazette, March 7, I860. For details on the organization
of the French Benevolent Society of San Francisco see Levy, op. cit,
pp. 166-188.
(42) Victoria Colonist, March 24, 1860.
(43) Victoria Gazette, June 8, 1860. At that time the board of directors
was as follows: P. Corbiniere, president; A. Ledrier, vice-president; T.
Perrodin, treasurer;   L. A. Henselin, secretary;   H. Banel;   J. Bigne;   A. 80 Willard E. Ireland. April
To-day, as we are embarking upon a Province-wide scheme of
hospitalization, this pioneer venture in co-operation is doubly
interesting. The rates were almost ridiculously low—$1 per
month. This entitled the subscriber to admission to the hospital,
the services of a physician, and free medicines. Non-subscribers
could take advantage of the hospital facilities at a prescribed
rate of $2 per day. There was no restriction as to nationality,
the only stipulation being that a majority of the members of the
executive committee administering the institution should be
Frenchmen and that all proceedings were to be kept in the
French language.44
The physician in charge was Dr. Nicolet Michel Clerjon, who
had been practising in the colony since September, 1858. He
was a native of Paris and his first advertisement gave pertinent,
if amusing, information:—
Dr. C. is a student of the Medical Academy and Clynique of Paris; has
practised a long time in China, where Fevers, Dysentery, Rheumatism and
other diseases were dreadful; and for the last eight years in California.
Has been " Medicin en Chef " of the French Asylum Benevolent Society of
San Francisco.
Persons leaving the city can receive advice and Medicines, with directions for the treatment of all diseases at a moderate charge.
Treatment purely Vegetable.4^
Dr. Clerjon retained his position until his death in February,
1864,46 when he was succeeded by Dr. I. W. Powell,47 who held
the position until his resignation in 1872 and his replacement by
Dr. John Ash.48
By 1865 the society had prospered to such an extent that a
new hospital had been built, newly furnished, and entirely free
of debt, according to a report in the Vancouver Times:—
In February, 1860 a few noble minded Frenchmen originated the idea, and
subscribed money in shares to purchase a lot of ground and erect a hospital
for the sick. They have lately replaced the first building with a more handsome, well  arranged,  and  substantial  structure.    They have  also  newly
Casamayou;   S. Driard;   P. Manetta;   J. Rueff;   J. B. Timmerman;   Dr.
N. M. Clerjon, physician.
(44) For  the  detailed  rules  and  regulations  of the  society see  the
Appendix to this article.
(45) Victoria Gazette, September 3, 1858.
(46) Victoria Colonist, February 26, 1864.
(47) Ibid., April 29, 1864.
(48) Ibid., December 10, 1872. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 81
furnished it, and the whole stands free from debt or embarassment. There
is no better accomodation for the sick in the town than this noble institution.
There are six beds, and the doors are open to men of all nations.49
The French hospital, with its tricolour fluttering in the breeze,
was one of the landmarks near Humboldt street.60 Despite the
hard times through which the colony was passing, it continued
to flourish, although the rates for non-members were eventually
raised to $3 per day.51 In 1870 extensive alterations and additions were made to the existing building,52 and yet the society
was still able to report a cash surplus out at interest. Apart
from the subscription fees, it was financed by an annual picnic
and tombola usually held early in August,53 which was one of the
events of the year—indeed, a civic half-holiday was occasionally
(49) Victoria The Vancouver Times, March 6, 1865.
(50) Victoria Colonist, January 17, 1867. "The French people are
proverbial wherever they go for the careful provision they make for their
own sick and needy. The pedestrian, winding his way to Beacon Hill, must
have often seen the tricolor fluttering in the breeze from a building near
Humboldt Street, and probably concluded that it indicated the French
Consulate, but such is not the case; this same flag is the flag of humanity,
unfolded over the abode of the sick. Six years ago, our French residents
established a Society for benevolent purposes, and we are glad to hear, that
the society has continued to prosper ever since, so that, what was at the
outset but a bud, has ripened into a fruit bearing tree. By dint of frugal
management on the part of those entrusted with the finances of the Society
a lot with a nicely furnished house has been secured, affording all the
comfort and accommodation needed for the inmates; and a good sum of
money invested at interest for the benefit of the Institution."
(51) Ibid., November 20, 1868.
(52) Ibid., June 21, July 1, August 14, September 6, 1870. " The contractor, Mr. D. F. Adams, has virtually completed the new wing of the
French Hospital, raised the old building twelve feet and converted the
establishment into one of the most complete and beautiful Maison de Santes
on the Pacific Coast. There is such an air of comfort—a rest-and-be-thank-
fulness—and cleanliness and neatness withal—pervading the establishment
that the prospect of a long illness is robbed of half its terrors. The establishment contains spacious suites of rooms for male and female patients,
three bath rooms—one on the Russian principle—drawing-room, kitchen,
closets, &c. A wide piazza surrounds the building. The grounds are about
one acre in extent and will be laid out with walks and beds, and planted with
flowers, shrubbery and fruit trees."   Ibid., September 7, 1870.
(53) Ibid., September 6, 1870; July 21, 1872; August 3, 1873; August
2, 1874;  August 8, 1875. 82
Willard E. Ireland.
proclaimed for the event.54 Every year, too, there was an anniversary dinner,56 which, in effect, was a gathering together of all
public-spirited organizations—the fire brigades, Germania Sing
Verein, and Turn Verein, the Caledonian Benevolent Society, and
the like.
Throughout its career the annual financial statements as'
published in the newspapers with but one exception revealed an
increase of assets over liabilities.66 Nor were its benefits confined only to Victoria, for there were corresponding members for
New Westminster, Burrard Inlet, Nanaimo, Clinton, Lillooet,
Quesnel, and Cariboo.
Of slightly more than passing interest is an item that appeared
in the Colonist of June 28, 1870, commenting on a projected
medical aid society for London, England:—
The Lancet is opposed to the principle of the association as constituting
the first step towards reducing the whole profession to the level of a trade.
In whatever light it may be regarded by the profession there can be little
doubt that such an association is in the interest of so dense a community as
that of London. In new and thin communities there is far less reason for
such combinations, but even in Victoria, we find a similar principle recognized by the French Benevolent Society, whose members are entitled to
command medical attendance at less than half the current rates.67
The society and its hospital always commanded the loyal support
of the community. In 1873, when Frenchmen the world over
were straining to aid La Belle France, the Colonist wrote:—
It cannot but be admitted that its originators and their countrymen here
have good cause to rejoice at the signal success which has crowned their
(54) Ibid.
(55) Ibid.
February 25,
(57) Ibid.
, September 4, 1870.
, January 21, 1867;
Hospital        Furniture
and and
Lot. Equipment.
$1,225.00 $375.00
1,225.00 375.00
1,225.00 425.00
4,087.00 795.00
4,645.28 873.00
4,940.30 982.31
5,345.06 1,010.93
5,345.06 1,010.93
5,345.06 1,010.93
5,345.06 1,010.93
, June 28, 1870.
March 25, 1868; February 26, 1869;
Cash and
Ibid., February 20,1868.
Ibid., February 13,1869.
Ibid., February 13,1870.
Ibid., February 4,1871.
Ibid., February 4,1872.
Ibid., January 29,1873.
Ibid., January 13,1874.
Ibid., January 27,1875.
Ibid., January 18,1876.
Ibid., January 17,1877. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 83
efforts at relieving suffering humanity. Its past administrations . . .
have been composed, for the most part, of Frenchmen; and to their har 7
monious working, intelligent effort and conscientious discharge of duties do
we now owe an institution which is in every way a credit to this city. May
national pride long find in such worthy objects cause upon which to plume
itself. . . . Long may the French flag float over such works of peace and
In 1872 a special event took place when a presentation was
made to the founder, Sosthenes Driard.69 It was a timely gesture,
for before the next anniversary could be celebrated Driard was
Everywhere, yesterday, there was heard but one expression, and that of
keen regret, when it became known that Mons. Sosthenes M. Driard, proprietor of the Colonial Hotel and Driard House, had breathed his last. He
will be sorely missed, for in truth he was a good and active man, first and
foremost in every charitable work.60
Still further indication of the high esteem in which he had been
held is the fact that the Legislative Assembly adjourned its proceedings in order to permit its members to attend the funeral.61
That year, too, saw Jules Rueff return to France in search of
health.    But in two years he, too, was dead.62
Their work lived on, for it was not until 1884 that the hospital
was closed, but even then the members continued to be eligible
for weekly sick benefits,63 and operating on that basis the society
(58) Ibid., January 29, 1873.
(59) Ibid., March 2, 1872.
(60) Ibid., February 16,1873.
(61) Ibid., February 18, 1873.
(62) Ibid., September 1, 1875. " Mr. Rueff came to the Province in 1858
and early embarked in business as a merchant, etc. He remained there till
1873 when he returned to France to recover his health. . . . Mr. Rueff
was a valuable and public-spirited citizen. He always took great interest
in charitable institutions, was one of the founders of the French Benevolent
Society in 1860, and was a prominent Mason and Odd Fellow."
(63) "At a meeting of the Directors held last Sunday at the Driard
House it was resolved that the institution be closed and the building and
grounds of the hospital sold. The sum gained thereby to be deposited in the
bank, new by-laws to be framed, subscriptions continued, and members to be
paid when in sickness, a certain weekly sum to be afterwards decided upon.
It will be conducted upon a similar basis to the Odd Fellows, etc." Ibid.,
January 22, 1884. " The committee met again last evening when it was
resolved that the hospital should be closed for the present and that the
members should be paid, when sick, $10 per week, with medical attendance."
Ibid., February 29, 1884. 84 Willard E. Ireland. April
continued to flourish. In 1890 the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria was incorporated, and provision was made that when a
satisfactory arrangement had been effected between the board of
directors of the hospital and the executive committee of the French
Benevolent Society for the transfer of the property of the French
Hospital by Order in Council, the latter society would be given
the right to elect three representatives to the board of directors
of the Royal Jubilee Hospital.64 Almost immediately negotiations
for an amalgamation were begun, at which time it was pointed
out that it would be " quite a help to the Jubilee Hospital as the
property is worth from $10,000 to $12,000."65 A mutually satisfactory plan was agreed upon in October,66 and by Order in
Council of April 6, 1891, the arrangement was formally ratified.
In this way the French Hospital went out of existence. The
members of the society in good standing became " life members "
of the Royal Jubilee Hospital, entitling them, amongst other
things, to receive " free of charge the treatment of a first-class
day patient.67 How well Driard and Rueff had laid the foundations is reflected in the fact that at this time of writing two
(64) "An Act to Incorporate the Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital,"
chapter 37, Statutes of the Province of British Columbia, 1890, Victoria,
1890, section 19, p. 48.
(65) Victoria Colonist, April 22, 1890.
(66) Ibid., October 9, 1890.
(67) Order in Council No. 114 of 1891, dated April 6th, contained the
agreement. It continued the provision regarding representation on the
board of directors and formally transferred Lots 1197, 1198, and part of
1199 in Block 28 and the buildings to the Royal Jubilee Hospital. The exact
provision regarding existing members of the French Benevolent Society
read: " . . . all the present members of the French Benevolent and Mutual
Society shall become life members of the Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital,
the term ' life member' being understood to mean one who is entitled to
receive free of charge the treatment of a first-class day patient at the said
Hospital, and who shall enjoy all the rights, benefits and privileges of the
Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital, except the right to vote for the election
of the Directors at the Annual Meeting. Provided always that the Directors of the Hospital shall only be bound to receive a member in to the pay
patients' wards when unoccupied, but room shall be provided at all times at
the Hospital to such members when actually in need of hospital treatment."
It is interesting to note that as recently as 1937-38 the privilege of electing.
representatives to the board of directors of the hospital was at least
partially used. 1949 The French in British Columbia. 85
British Columbians may claim exemption under the present
hospitalization scheme by virtue of their membership in the old
French Benevolent Society.
The activities of this society have been detailed at some
length to indicate not only a significant accomplishment of the
French residents of the Province, but also to show the reaction
of the British population to their efforts. In all probability Paul
de Garro's statement of faith in support of British institutions
was generally acceptable to his countrymen. Certainly in the
testing-time provided by the depression following the collapse of
the Cariboo " boom " their loyalty never wavered. While other
foreign elements in the population might support the annexationist movement and even sign the petition, such was not the
case for the French.68
Nor did time and distance dim their love for France. There
was an immediate response to the appeal made by the French
Consul-General in San Francisco on behalf of the families of
soldiers killed or wounded in the Franco-Prussian War.69 Still
later when France was struggling to pay off the huge indemnity
demanded of her by Prussia in way of reparations, aid was
forthcoming from Victoria. All the proceeds of the celebration
held in connection with the reopening of Driard House in the
spring of 1872 were devoted to the " National Subscription."
The projectors are true sons of La Belle France, and not only shall have
the support of their fellow countrymen but of all nationalities. Today the
Tri-colored flag of Old France will mingle in friendly harmony with the
Union Jack and the Star-spangled Banner, and people of every race will
join in the endeavor to ransom Britain's ally.70
Such then is the story of the French in British Columbia,
albeit hastily and perhaps too casually surveyed. That their
influence is not more readily recognizable to-day arises from a
variety of factors. In numbers they were always relatively few,
and it could hardly be expected that they might perpetuate themselves as a distinctive entity. Moreover, many of the early
settlers did return to the homeland in the 1870's and 1880's, and
(68) See Willard E. Ireland (ed.), " The Annexation Petition of 1869,"
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, IV (1940), pp. 267-287, passim.
(69) Victoria Colonist, September 1, 1870.
(70) Ibid., May 4, 1872.   Levy, op. cit, p. 295, states that in the National
Subscription for 1872 the sum of $157.50 was raised in British Columbia. 86 Willard E. Ireland. April
the influx of population at the completion of the transcontinental
railway submerged those that remained. But theirs is a pleasant
heritage — an industrious, loyal, philanthropic people with a
vivid, social consciousness.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
Founded at Victoria, V.I., February 24th, 1860.
Rules and Regulations.
Art. 1.—The Society is instituted for a benevolent purpose, and
mutual help in cases of sickness; it does not, nor ever will, entertain
any political or religious question.
2.—Every Frenchman or foreigner may become a member of it.
3.—The number of members is unlimited.
4.—The monthly subscription of each member is fixed at ONE
DOLLAR. To become a member it is necessary to be in good health,
pay in addition to the monthly subscription an Entrance Fee of not
less than ONE DOLLAR, and sign a copy of the Rules and Regulations.
5.—The payments are to be made dating from the first of each
month, to the Collector of the Society, and in his absence to the
Treasurer, to one of the Members of the Committee, or to the Manager
of the Society's Hospital. In the Mining Districts the Corresponding
Members of the Society shall receive subscriptions, deliver receipts for
the same, and furnish a copy of the Rules and Regulations.
6.—The members, provided they subscribed when in good health,
shall enjoy the rights, benefits and privileges of the Society, one month
after the first subscription; but these rights, benefits and privileges
are forfeited by allowing three months to elapse without making the
usual payments. The rights may, however, be enjoyed before a month
in cases of fracture or other unfortunate and unforeseen accident.
The Committee shall have power to decide on such admissions.
* Reproduced from a printed form used in the year 1870 and issued to
Mr. John Connell.    [Now preserved in the Archives of B.C.] 1949 The French in British Columbia. 87
7.—Every person suffering from acute, chronic or other malady,
reputed incurable at the time of his first subscription, shall not have
the right of admission to the Society's Hospital nor a claim to medical
8.—Members suffering from Syphilitic disease shall pay ONE
DOLLAR per day during the course of their treatment inside of the
Hospital; outside they shall have the right of gratuitous consultation,
and to have the medicines furnished at the reduced prices of the
9.—All medicines ordered by the Doctors of the Society will be
delivered gratuitously at the Pharmacy of the Society, with the
exception of those mentioned in Art. 8.
10.—No Patient shall be allowed to participate in any of the
advantages or privileges of the Society, unless he presents his subscription paper in good order and signed by him. Should the member,
however, have lost it, the Executive Committee shall examine the
registry of subscriptions, and on finding that the claimant has observed
all the rules and regulations of the Society, his demand shall be allowed.
11.—Ex-Members of the Society shall be allowed to re-enter the
Society, on the same conditions as the new members.
12.—A Legal Adviser, or Minister of any Religious Denomination,
shall be immediately called in, upon the expressed desire of a member
or other patient.
13.—The Society receives donations and other special gifts, of
whatever kind they may be, and applies them conformantly to the
wishes of the Donor.
14.—Every sick person not being a member, without regard to
nationality, is admissable to the Hospital at the rate of TWO DOLLARS per diem. They will receive every attention. Private rooms
will be held at the disposition of members, at the rate of ONE
DOLLAR per diem, and at the rate of $1.50, if the member is suffering
from some Syphilitic disease, and at the rate of THREE DOLLARS
per diem for patients not being members.
Executive Committee.
15.—The Committee is composed as follows: A President, a Vice
President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and Seven Directors.
This Committee shall be elected in general meeting by a majority
of votes. The majority of the members of said Committee shall be
composed of Frenchmen, and all proceedings shall be kept in the
French language. Rules and Regulations shall, however, be printed
in English.
16.—The Committee shall be elected for one year, and it shall elect
its own officers.
17.—The Committee shall be renewed each year by election. One
Or more of the outgoing members may be re-elected. 88 Willard E. Ireland. April
18.—No member shall be admitted to vote, unless he has belonged
to the Society for at least two months.
19.—Every person elected as a member of the Committee must
become a member of the Society, if he is not so already.
20.—The Medical Gentleman in charge of the Hospital shall not be
a member of the Committee. He must elect for one or the other
21.—The Committee will appoint a Collector for the Society, who
shall attend at the sittings and give his opinion on measures to be
voted by said Committee.
22.—The members of the Committee will meet according to the
Rules and Regulations, which are to guide them.
23.—Six members of the Committee shall form a quorum.
24.—The President, or in his absence the Vice President, shall
direct the course of business brought before the meetings, and announce
the decisions voted by the majority.
25.—At each monthly meeting the Treasurer shall present a report
of the receipts and expenditure. The Collector shall furnish the
Treasurer an exact statement of all subscriptions and other sums
received by him for the Society, and present a monthly report to the
26.—The Treasurer shall not pay any funds unless the accounts are
approved and signed by the President, or the members of the Special
Committee; all accounts having reference to the Hospital must, before
payment, be approved by the Manager.
27.—One of the Secretaries shall keep the minutes of the meetings,
and have charge of the correspondence.
28.—The Treasurer shall receive, direct from the Corresponding
Members, the amount received by them for subscriptions, and the
Collector shall acknowledge such payments, and furnish all necessary
and useful information to said correspondents.
29.—Two members of the Committee shall be alternately and
monthly appointed to act as a Special Committee, to examine strictly
into all that concerns the administration of the Society, and about the
care taken of the sick; their duty shall also consist in examining
attentively the account of expenses at the hospital before approving
30.—In case of resignation, absence, or death of one or more
members of the Committee, an election shall take place within three
months in a general meeting of the members of the Society; said
meeting to take place at the room of the Committee, and notice given
at least eight days previously.
31.—The Manager of the Hospital shall attend at the sittings of the
Committee, and give his opinion on measures to be voted by said
32.—The Corresponding Members may attend the sittings of the
Committee, and give their opinion on measures to be voted by said 1949 The French in British Columbia. 89
Committee. They shall send every month to the Treasurer the amount
received by them, with the names of the members to whom these
payments are to be applied.
33.—An election for members of the Executive Committee shall
take place every year in the beginning of January.
34.—All modifications, alterations, or additions to the rules and
regulations, shall be made in general meeting of the subscribers, and
all general meetings shall be preceded by a preparatory meeting, at
least fifteen days previous to said general meeting; eight days' notice
must be given of said preparatory meeting.
35.—A quarterly report of the situation of the Society shall be
posted at the Hospital and in three public establishments of Victoria.
Regulations for Subscribers.
1.—Three members out of Victoria may choose a member correspondent for their locality, and pay him their subscriptions. Upon
notice being given to the Treasurer to that effect, the Committee will
forward subscription papers and the necessary authority to collect.
2.—The consultations take place at the Hospital.
3.—All patients, members or others, having cause to complain, shall,
if at the Hospital, apply to the Manager of the Hospital or to the
Special Committee;  if at home, to the President of the Society.
4.—All letters, complaint or information, may be addressed to the
Members of the Committee at the Hospital.
President: S. DRIARD. Vice President: JULES RUEFF.
Treasurer: J. KRIEMLER.     Secretary: H. PASSERARD.
Soon it will be 100 years since the barque Tory dropped
anchor in Esquimalt Harbour, inbound from England. It was a
bright May day, the 14th to be exact,1 and the passengers, crowding the rails, suddenly felt as bright as the day itself. They had
been at sea so long, for the ship had cleared from Gravesend
early in November, 1850.2 Six months at sea, with intermittent
periods of storm and calm, had made even more impatient the
impatient passengers. The novelty of the sea voyage had soon
worn off, and everyone was anxious to get ashore and settled in
the new land of Vancouver Island. Many of our pioneers made
the long haul around Cape Horn in sailing-vessels. Firm friendships were often struck up on board during the tedious days at
sea that lasted lifetimes in Victoria. Each vessel carried its
quota of brave souls coming to hew new homes out of a wilderness far removed from the comforts and settled civilization of
the British Isles.
The Tory was a small ship, only 433 tons burden, having two
decks and a poop.3    She was commanded by Captain Edward
(1) This is the date given by William John Macdonald, one of the passengers, in his reminiscences entitled A Pioneer 1851, n.p., 1914 [?], p. 6.
Governor Blanshard wrote to the Colonial Office of the arrival as follows:
" The ship Tory, has just landed about one hundred and twenty persons,
all, with two exceptions, servants of the Hudson's Bay Company. . . ."
[Blanshard to Grey, June 10,1851, MS., Archives of B.C.] The earlier date,
however, is substantiated by an entry in the Fort Nisqually Journal under
date May 21, 1851: " Evening arrived A. Beinston accompanied by Mr.
Lewis 2d officer of the Ship " Tory " which vessel arrived at Victoria sometime last week." [Victor J. Farrar, '■' The Nisqually Journal," Washington
Historical Quarterly, XIII (1922), p. 135.]
(2) " The Tory will be ready to sail next week." J. W. Pelly to James
Douglas, London, October 25, 1850, MS., Archives of B.C.
(3) The Tory had been built at Monkwearmouth Shore, Durham, by
Luke Crown and was first registered at London on August 20, 1842, and her
first owner was Joseph Somers, of Broad Street, Ratcliff, Middlesex. Her
dimensions were as follows: Length, 113.2 feet; breadth, 25.3 feet; depth,
19 feet. In 1850 her owner was Frederick William Green, a ship-owner of
Bristol, and Captain Edward Duncan was appointed at London on October
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII. No. 2.
91 92 James K. Nesbitt. April
Duncan, whose wife accompanied him on the voyage. The exact
number of passengers is not known,4 but there were well over
100 persons on board. Many were servants of the Hudson's Bay
Company and its subsidiary, the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, and there were also two groups of independent settlers.
Possibly no vessel disembarked as many men and women destined
to be true founders of British Columbia as did the Tory. There
was Captain E. E. Langford, his wife and five daughters, coming
as bailiff of the Colwood farm of the Puget Sound Agricultural
Company;6 W. H. Newton, a farm assistant who later married
Emmeline Tod, daughter of the prominent Hudson's Bay Company fur-trader; W. J. Macdonald, who came as an apprentice
clerk of the Hudson's Bay Company and lived to build "Armdale "
and die a Canadian Senator;6 and Miss Cecilia Cameron, niece-
by-marriage of James Douglas, soon to become the governor.
18, 1850.    The vessel was wrecked near Point Saint Stephen, New South
Wales, in 1853.
(4) Governor Blanshard in reporting her arrival had stated that there
were about 120 persons on board. On the other hand, W. J. Macdonald,
op. cit., p. 5, states: " In the first cabin twenty-one of us, in the second
cabin, thirty; and in the steerage, ninety labouring men and families."
This would make a total of 141. A copy of the passenger list in the
Archives of B.C. lists 88 men, and notes also the presence of wives and
families, but there are some known omissions; for instance, there is no
reference to Martha Cheney. Pelly, when writing to Douglas on October
25, 1850, of the imminent departure of the Tory, stated: " By the Tory
there will be sent three Bailiffs and 74 Labourers 9 Women & 4 Children."
(5) For further details regarding the Langfords see Leigh Burpee
Robinson, Esquimalt: "Place of Shoaling Waters," Victoria, 1948, pp. 59-64.
(6) Many years later Macdonald wrote of his experiences on board the
Tory: " Soon after putting to sea we encountered severe gales, chiefly in
the Bay of Biscay. Close reefed topsails for days, green seas washing over
us. This delay caused an apprehension as to the scarcity of food, water
and stores generally, which determined the Captain and Supercargo to put
into Saint Jago, in the Cape de Verdes, off Portugal, and belonging to that
country. Here we obtained supplies of different kinds. ... On sailing
from Cape de Verdes we soon got to the tropics—trade winds, calms and
beautiful weather, rain occasionally, and a burning sun, our companions
being porpoises and flying fish. I used to enjoy being soused in the wash
deck in the early mornings. Mrs. Duncan having a piano, and Aubery
Dean, a second cabin passenger, having a metal flute, we used to have dances
after dinner, on the quarter deck. As we neared the Falkland Islands the
weather became much colder, gales, rain, thunder and lightning.    Very 1949    The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.       93
The independent settlers arriving by the Tory are of particular interest. The leader was Captain James Cooper. Born
at Wolverhampton, England, in 1821, at an early age he had gone
to sea and in 1844 joined the Hudson's Bay Company's marine
service. In 1849 he was in command of their barque Columbia,
and shortly thereafter, having returned to England, he severed
his connection with the company.7 Determined to settle upon
Vancouver Island as an independent settler, he made arrangements to bring out his wife and effects on the Tory. In addition,
he brought out, in sections, a small iron schooner, with which he
proposed to engage in trading operations, a design which brought
him into conflict with the Hudson's Bay Company. He came to
play an important role in the life of the young colony, serving as
a member of the Legislative Council from 1852 to 1856. With
him came Thomas Blinkhorn to act as superintendent of the
farm, which was carried on with success until 1856. At that
time, Blinkhorn having died, the farm was sold, and for a time
Cooper returned to England. In fact, he was there in time to
appear before the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company in May, 1857.8 Subsequently, he returned to Vancouver
Island and was appointed harbour-master for British Columbia
on January 13, 1859. He continued to serve in various marine
capacities with both the colonial and early Provincial Governments until 1879, and shortly thereafter with his family removed
to California.9
stormy off the River de la Plata. . . . Sailing south with strong head
wind, snow and hail, going to 63 degrees south in trying to round Cape
Horn. After getting into the Pacific Ocean our voyage was uneventful, no
ships met, no land sighted. Our food by this time three months out, became
bad and scarce, cheese and biscuits full of weevils, water scarce and putrid
part of the time. . . . Very monotonous sailing week after week without
seeing any signs of life besides some sea birds and porpoises." W. J.
Macdonald, op. cit, pp. 5, 6.
(7) James Cooper, " Maritime Matters on the Northwest Coast and
Affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company in Early Times," MS., Bancroft
Collection, University of California, photostat in Archives of B.C. This
document was written at Victoria in 1878.
(8) Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company
.   .   .   , London, 1857, p. 192 ff.    Cooper gave his evidence on May 21, 1857.
(9) For a brief biographical sketch of Cooper see Captain John T.
Walbran, British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906, Ottawa, 1909, pp. 110,
111. 94 James K. Nesbitt. April
Thomas Blinkhorn was born on May 3, 1806, at Sawtry,
Huntingdonshire. From 1837 to 1849 he engaged in stock-
raising in Australia and was credited with being instrumental
in rescuing Captain Sir John Franklin from almost certain death
when he had become lost in the bush.10 Captain Cooper contacted him in England and persuaded him to assume charge of
the farm that he proposed to establish on Vancouver Island. In
this connection the comment of the Hon. Charles William Went-
worth Fitzwilliam, who had visited Vancouver Island during the
winter of 1852-1853, when giving evidence before the Select
Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company in 1857 is interesting:—
... he [Captain Cooper] was in partnership with a farmer, Mr. Blenk-
horn [sic], who was by far the most energetic settler on the island; he was
a man who had been in Australia for several years, and afterwards came
back to England, and then went out with Mr. Cooper to the island.11
Blinkhorn had married Anne Beeton, of Great Gidding, Huntingdonshire, and she accompanied her husband to Vancouver Island.
In March, 1853, Governor Douglas appointed Blinkhorn as
Magistrate and Justice of the Peace for the " District of
Metchosin and twenty miles around."12
Perhaps the brightest and most excited of the passengers on
the Tory was Martha Beeton Cheney, niece of Mrs. Blinkhorn,
then a young girl in her mid-teens.13 She had kept the passengers
(10) A brief biographical sketch of Blinkhorn is to be found in ibid.,
pp. 55, 56.
(11) Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company
. . . , London, 1857, p. 119. Fitzwilliam appeared before the committee on
March 5, 1857.
(12) The official commission, signed by James Douglas, is preserved in
the Archives of B.C. In addition, it is to be noted that Blinkhorn was one
of the independent settlers that signed the memorial to Governor Blanshard
shortly before his return to England urging the appointment of a Legislative Council. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay
Company   .   .   .   , London, 1857, p. 293, reproduces the text of this memorial.
(13) W. J. Macdonald, op. cit, p. 5, states that at the time of the voyage
on the Tory Martha Cheney was 14 years old. However, she was probably
slightly older, for at the time of her death in 1911 it was stated that she
was in her seventy-sixth year. [Victoria Colonist, April 10, 1911.] This
would mean that in 1851 she was in her sixteenth year, a fact that more
closely corresponds with the information that at the time of her marriage
in 1855 she was 19 years of age. 1949    The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.       95
in good spirits during the long voyage and was a general favourite. She had good cheer in time of storm, and when the vessel
lay becalmed, she fished with the men passengers, and no doubt
brought tea to the ladies as they lay prostrate in their bunks
when the waves thudded against the Tory as if her very timbers
would fall apart. Little did she known then that for more than
sixty years she would live in Victoria, that she would marry a
gallant sea captain, and know sorrow and joy in this new world
as the mother of pioneers.
Martha Cheney kept a diary. Some days she was so busy
that she had to ignore it and then, when she had a few minutes,
make several back entries. It is the only diary by any woman
on Vancouver Island in the pre-goldrush period that has yet come
to light. Only portions of the diary have survived, for it was
written in a simple blue-lined scribbler. The earlier surviving
portion, which she entitled " The Second Volume," covers the
period September 16, 1853, to March 31, 1854. Then occurs a
lapse of several months, for the second portion commences with
a mutilated entry for January 1, 1855, and continues to November 25, 1856. Both portions were presented to the Provincial
Archives by her last surviving son, Henry Reece Ella, a short
time before his death on October 30, 1941.
The diary gives a delightful, vivacious picture of early life in
this part of Vancouver Island, viewed through the eyes of a
young woman filled with the joy of adventure in a rugged land.
In its pages we see that the young women of her time could dance
until 4 o'clock in the morning at the Governor's Ball at the fort
or on the quarter-deck of a British man-of-war and spend the
next day ironing. Theirs was the happy faculty of combining a
bright social life with hard domestic cares, the duties of wifehood and motherhood. How these women found the time to lead
so full a life is something difficult to understand to-day, for in
those earlier days a kitchen did not resemble a hospital operating-room as does the modern North American kitchen to-day.
Captain Cooper took up land at Metchosin,14 and it was there
that Thomas Blinkhorn and his wife settled.    Martha Cheney
(14) Blinkhorn is not listed in the Census of Vancouver Island, 1855,
although the details regarding the Cooper farm are to be found there.
See W. K. Lamb, " The Census of Vancouver Island, 1855," British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, IV (1940), pp. 51-58, passim. 96 James K. Nesbitt. April
lived with them in the rambling farm-house and helped with
the chores. Everyone was welcome at the Blinkhorn home.
"A houseful of company " wrote Martha more than once in her
diary, for in effect the home became the half-way house to Sooke.
The friends of the Tory were often there—those old shipmates
that always had so much to talk about that darkness, even in
summer, came before they realized it and then there was nothing
to do but spend the night and start back in the morning, strengthened by a huge farm breakfast that Martha had helped her aunt
to prepare.
We get a clear idea of Martha Cheney's girlhood at the
Metchosin farm from entries in her diary: " I had a ride with
uncle around the plain ... I had to churn and make up the
butter . . . Ironing all day . . . We set the goose on five
eggs . . . Went to a dancing party on board the Trincomalee,
kept up until four o'clock in the morning." She was a belle of
the period, blushing with the coyest of the maidens behind their
fans, yet how capable she was as well. It is no wonder that she
was destined to become one of Victoria's most gracious hostesses,
equally at home in the drawing-room of Government House or
presiding over the wonderful smell's of preserves and fresh bread
in her own kitchen. She was a typical Vancouver Island woman
of her time, and she led a full life.
Martha Cheney was not out of her teens when romance came
her way. When she first met Henry Bailey Ella is not known
to-day. He had been born on Tower Hill, London, in 1826 and
went to sea at the early age of 14. He first came to Victoria in
1851 as chief officer of the Hudson's Bay Company's chartered
barque Norman Morison and sailed for some years between Victoria and England. Undoubtedly, he may have been a guest at
the Blinkhorn home, although there is no record of this, for the
first mention of him in the diary was on January 7, 1855. In the
intervening period he had been in command of the Recovery, and
later he became a pilot on the coast and in this capacity assisted
Captain G. H. Richards, R.N., in his surveys in H.M.S. Plumper
and H.M.S. Hecate in the years 1858 to 1862.15
(15)  For a brief biography of Captain Ella see Walbran, op. cit, p. 167. 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.       97
On July 19, 1855, Martha Cheney and Henry Ella were
married.16 We may well imagine the day—the farm-house at
Metchosin wrapped with excitement after days of preparation.
What baking must have gone on in the big kitchen, how juicy
and fender the hams from the farm must have been, how rich the
preserves. Tables were spread under the apple-trees, and soon
the guests began to arrive—even the Governor himself, as well
as old shipmates from the Tory. The young folk in all probability
went out by horseback and arrived at the farm-house gates in a
swirl of dust; the older people may probably have paddled out
by canoe and picked their way up over the rocks and the meadows
from the beach where they had landed.
The next year Thomas Blinkhorn died. " I trust he has gone
to rest, Poor Uncle," wrote Martha Ella in her diary on October
13, 1856. Soon there was an auction at the farm—"A dreadful
wet day, the Stock sold remarkably well, altogether it was a good
sale "—and Mrs. Blinkhorn with Captain and Mrs. Ella moved
into town, where Mrs. Blinkhorn owned property and cottages
just outside the fort, where Broad and Yates streets join at the
south-east corner to-day. She and Rev. Edward Cridge were
very great friends. At that time Victoria had no hospital—a
fact that greatly worried Rev. Mr. Cridge, and Mrs. Blinkhorn
promptly came to the rescue and presented him with one of her
cottages which became Victoria's first hospital.
Victoria was commencing to grow in 1862, and the Blinkhorn
property was too valuable to continue to be used for residential
purposes. Besides, the Ellas had become interested in a piece
of property further removed from the turmoil of the bustling
town. It was on the Cadboro Bay Road, as Fort Street was then
called. It was a fine place for a family—plenty of space in
which to romp and oak-trees to climb, and, of course, th^re would
be an orchard and a dairy, for Mrs. Ella was never quite happy
unless churning her own butter. This property was on the crest
of the present Fort Street hill, and, with the choice made, Captain
Ella gave orders for the building of his new large home, " Went-
worth Villa " he called it, and so well was it built that it stands
to-day, handsome as ever, a link with the Victoria that is gone.
(16) The marriage is recorded in the Register of Marriages solemnized
in the Parish of Victoria [Christ Church Cathedral], transcript of which is
in the Archives of B.C. 98 James K. Nesbitt. April
Early in December, 1862, the downtown Blinkhorn property was
Moving an old settler.—The dwelling of Mrs. Blinkhorn, which was built in
'55 on what is now the corner of Broad and Yates streets, but which when
built was one of the very few houses outside the fort pickets—is being
removed to make way for a more modern structure. So go the old settlers—
one by one moved out of the way to make room for new-comers.1'
Mrs. Blinkhorn went to live with the Ella family, for she was the
darling grandmama—and what home in those days was quite
complete without an old lady?
Seven children were born to Henry and Martha Ella, four
daughters and three sons—Annie, Louise, Marion, Mary, Tom,
Henry, and Fred.18 It was a happy home, and the boys and girls
loved to gather each evening in the big drawing-room to listen to
" grandmama " tell stories far more exciting than could be found
in books. Stories of the long voyage in the Tory, and of the big
farm at Metchosin, and of Indians, sometimes with their faces
painted, who beat tom-toms and chanted strange noises far into
the night.
In 1873 tragedy came to " Wentworth Villa," for Captain
Ella was accidentally drowned. The Colonist told the story to
shocked Victorians:—
A private telegram from Burrard Inlet, on Monday night, announced the
sad intelligence of the death of Capt. Ella, by drowning, while attempting
to cross the Inlet on that day in a canoe. Capt. Ella was one of our earliest
settlers, was formerly in the Hudson's Bay Company, and at the time of his
death was a licensed pilot.19
(17) Victoria Colonist, December 3, 1862.
(18) The Register of Baptisms solemnized in the Parish of Victoria
[Christ Church Cathedral], a transcript of which is in the Archives of B.C.,
gives the following details:—
Elizabeth Ann, baptized May 29, 1857.
Louisa Martha Blinkhorn, baptized April 29,1859.
Thomas Richards, baptized March 17,1861.
Marion, baptized sometime between March and April, 1863.
Henry Reece, baptized January 22, 1865, born December 20, 1864.
Frederick William, baptized February 10, 1867.
Mary, baptized August 23, 1868, born July 23, 1868.
The Victoria Colonist, February 2, 1863, gives the date of birth of Marion
as January 31, 1861.
(19) Ibid., February 19,1873. 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.       99
Further details became known the next day:—
He left Moody & Co's mill in a canoe on Sunday afternoon [February 16,
1873] intending to cross the Inlet. A Chinaman was in the canoe and steering. When halfway across, the canoe was caught by a heavy sea and upset.
Capt. Ella sank at once. The Chinaman clung to the bottom of the canoe
and was saved.20
Martha Ella was to have her full share of sorrow. Less than a
year later, in September, 1874, her eldest daughter, Elizabeth
Ann, died. She was only 17 years of age, having been born on
April 25, 1857. Of her, the Colonist said: "A lovely and accomplished young lady, endeared to all that knew her."21
As in all large families, the hurt of sorrow is assuaged and
left tender memories. Mrs. Ella and " Grandmama " Blinkhorn
could laugh again with the sons and daughters that were left.
Mrs. Blinkhorn was growing old, and when she reached her
eightieth birthday on August 11, 1884, there was a party at
" Wentworth Villa." The Colonist called it " a memorable
gathering," with both young and old " assembled to do honor to
the lady, who, notwithstanding her great age, took an active part
in the pleasures of the evening." Each guest was received with
a warm welcome and the old lady " passed about among her
guests receiving congratulations and good wishes from all
sides."22 Laughter was soon turned to tears once more in the
Ella home, for less than three weeks after the bright birthday
party, on August 29, 1884, Mrs. Blinkhorn died.23 In paying
tribute to her, the Colonist reported: " Mrs. Blinkhorn has
crowned a useful life with a beautiful old age."24
Then once more came the laughter and the happiness of wedding bells. The first wedding at " Wentworth Villa " was that
of Marion Ella to Samuel Nesbitt on February 9, 1887,26 and on
April 23, 1888, there was another wedding when Louise became
the bride of Robert E. Dodds.26 As Mrs. Ella grew older, she had
her grandchildren to brighten her big home. She had her old
friends and her memories, her church work—for she was devoted
(20) Ibid., February 20, 1873.
(21) Ibid., September 19, 1874.
(22) Ibid., August 12, 1884.
(23) Ibid., August 30, 1884.
(24)- Ibid., August 19, 1884.
(25) Ibid., February 10, 1887.
(26) Ibid., April 25, 1888. 100 JAMES K. NESBITT. April
to the Reformed Episcopal Church. There were also her dreams,
although she was an old lady who did not believe in looking backward too often, for that, she maintained, made one's mind old.
One must always look forward, too, as well as recall the past with
pleasure. Doubtless, she often thought of the Tory's voyage and
the fields of Metchosin, over which she had galloped with her
uncle; of the canoe trips between Victoria and the farm; of the
dances at the fort and on shipboard when the Admiral was her
host; of her courtship and her happy marriage and her babies.
Marth Ella died on April 9, 1911, in her seventy-sixth year, and
without fear of contradiction the newspaper in announcing her
passing could say: "Mrs. Ella was an ardent worker in charitable
causes and her name will long be remembered in many homes
throughout the city."27
James K. Nesbitt.
Victoria, B.C.
(27)  Ibid., April 11, 1911. 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     101
Part I.   September 16, 1853-March 31,1854.
September 16th, The Second Volume   .   .   .
16th, Our house full of company in the afternoon old Mr Muir1 came
in went on to Soake [sic] in the evening presently in came John
and Archibald Muir2 they stayed all night, and then between
9 & 10 oclock at night just as we were going to bed in came
Mr. Swanston,3 Mr. Skinner4 and Capt Grant6 & Capt Cooper
(1) John Muir, Sr., his wife, Anne, their four sons, Andrew, Robert,
John Jr., and Michael, and married daughter, Marion Turner, with her two
sons, and a cousin, Archibald Muir, came to Vancouver Island on the
Harpooner in 1849, destined to work the coal deposits at Fort Rupert for
the Hudson's Bay Company.    This venture proved unsuccessful.    Early in
1852, Muir Sr. examined the coal deposits at Sooke and still later that year
helped to open the Nanaimo coal seams. Eventually the entire family
removed to Sooke and late in 1853 acquired the estate of Captain W. C.
Grant. They engaged in farming and lumbering. [See W. K. Lamb,
" Early Lumbering on Vancouver Island," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, II (1938), pp. 48-53, 95-97.] John Muir, Sr., died on April 3, 1883,
aged 84 years. [Victoria Colonist, April 4, 1883.] His wife, Anne Miller,
a native of Ayrshire, died on February 18, 1875. [Ibid., February 19, 1875.]
A diary kept by Andrew Muir covering the period of their voyage to and
early days on Vancouver Island is preserved in the Archives of B.C.
(2) John Muir was born in Airdrie, Scotland, in 1828 and died at Sooke
on January 21, 1909.    [Ibid., January 23 and February 14, 1909.]
(3) James Douglas wrote of Robert S. Swanston the he was " not a
Colonist, and has no real property in the Colony, being merely Agent for a
Mercantile House in San Francisco, from whence his imports are exclusively
received and to which his returns are remitted." [Douglas to Newcastle,
March 13, 1854, MS., Archives of B.C.] Swanston had urged an investigation into the loss of the brig William and then refused to appear before the
Court of Vice-Admiralty. For this he was arrested and fined £50 with
costs for contempt. Douglas reported: " The fine was immediately paid
and the young man was discharged from custody. . . ." [Ibid.] He was
closely associated with Rev. R. J. Staines and was once referred to as his
" coadjutor." Later, in 1856, he was active in the agitation over the conduct
of Chief Justice David Cameron.
(4) Thomas James Skinner reached Vancouver Island early in January,
1853, on board the Hudson's Bay Company's barque Norman Morison, accompanied by his wife and family. He became the bailiff of the Puget Sound
Agricultural Company's farm at Constance Cove on Upper Esquimalt Harbour. He was active in the political life of the colony, representing his area
in the first Legislative Assembly elected in 1856, and also served as Justice
of the Peace from 1854 onwards.    [.See L.. B. Robinson, op. cit, pp. 67-74.] 102 James K. Nesbitt. April
was here too a fine housefull [sic] some had to go up in the
Loft to sleep, the two Muirs
17th,   The two Muirs went away as soon as they were up, the other
party went after breakfast to Soake in Capt Websters6 Boat.
18th,   Sunday, Mr Pierce's7 and Mr Lewis,8 1st, Mate of the Propeller
Steamer Otter9 the same person that was Second Mate in the
Ship Tory—they went home in the evening, we walked down to
the Beach with them and something very wonderful we were
in bed before 8 oclock   that is a Memo.
19th,   Received a English letter from Aunt Hannah telling us of
Grandfather['s] death, the letter was dated July 14th, 1853.
(5) Captain Walter Colquhoun Grant was Vancouver Island's first independent settler. Having purchased 100 acres of land from the Hudson's
Bay Company in England, he sent out eight settlers in the Harpooner, who
arrived in June, 1849. Grant himself arrived by a more devious route. He
was also engaged by the company as surveyor, an obligation that he was
unable to fulfil adequately. He settled in the Sooke area and engaged in
farming and lumbering, but during 1851 and 1852 went gold-seeking in
Oregon. In 1853 he sold out to the Muirs and returned to England. Still
later he served in the Crimean War and in India, assisting in the siege of
Lucknow.    He died at Saugor, Central India, in 1862, aged 39 years.
(6) " Mr. Webster, a crafty American Adventurer, who was striving to
secure a monopoly of the timber exports from Soke District," so wrote
Douglas to the Colonial Office. As a result of his activity, Governor Douglas
decided to establish the Supreme Court of Civil Justice under David Cameron, and as a consequence of this addition to the Bench " Mr. Webster
decamped and has never returned to this Colony." [Douglas to Sir George
Grey, December 11, 1854, MS., Archives of B.C. jSee also W. K. Lamb, op.
cit, loc. cit, p. 49.]
(7) Presumably Benjamin William Pearse, who was born in Devonshire,
England, on January 19, 1832, and came to Vancouver Island in the fall of
1851 to be an assistant to J. D. Pemberton, Surveyor-General. Later, from
1864-1871, he succeeded to this position.   He died in Victoria, June 17, 1902.
(8) Captain Herbert George Lewis was born at Aspeden, Hertfordshire,
England, on January 2, 1828. He joined the Hudson's Bay Company's
marine service in 1846 and sailed on the barque Cowlitz. He was second
officer on the Tory in 1850-1852, returning in her to England via China.
In January, 1853, he became first officer on the steam vessel Otter and continued active in marine affairs on this coast. He died in Victoria on
March 30, 1905.    [See J. T. Walbran, op. cit, pp. 304, 305.]
(9) The Otter was the second steam vessel on this coast. Built in 1852
at Blackwall, London, she was 122 feet in length, 20 feet beam, and 12 feet
depth of hold. She first arrived on this coast in June, 1853, in command of
Captain Miller. She ended her days as a coal hulk for the Canadian Pacific
Navigation Company and was finally burned for her metal in June, 1890.
[Ibid., pp. 367-368.] 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     103
20th, Mr Swanston and Capt Grant came in the evening to tea stayed
all night.
21st, The 2 Gentlemen went away before breakfast in a canoe to the
Brig William10 in Pedder Bay Mr. Swanston came in to dinner
walking from the Bay Capt Grant went on to Soake in a Canoe
Mr S went to the Fort after dinner.
22d, Mr Swanston came in from the Fort in a Canoe, wanting to go
on to Soake but could not get a Canoe from the Indians on
account of their feast, so went to the Fort again after dinner
in Capt Kirk's Boat the Capt of the Brig William Capt
Mitchell11 gone to the Sandwich Islands. Capt Grant came in
the evening from Soake on horseback I had a ride with Uncle
round the Plain.
23d, Capt Grant went away to Capt Coopers direct after breakfast
a wet morning.    I almost distracted with the Toothache.
24th, A wet day Michael12 & Archibald Muir called on their way to
the Fort walking, they went from here in Uncle's Canoe to the
Fort.    3 ships in the Straits.
25th, Sunday, Capt Grant came in to breakfast from Mr Langfords13
on horseback. Mr. Ford14 the%Engineer of the Sawmill came
over in the afternoon we all went down to the Indian Village
it being their feast and we went to see them, when we got down
the Old Tyee, that is the Chief man he invited us in the camp
(10) The British brig William, 204 tons, was engaged in the carrying
trade between Vancouver Island and San Francisco and at this time was
commanded by Captain James Kirk. Subsequently, on December 5, 1853,
she cleared San Francisco for Vancouver Island in command of Captain
John Mcintosh and on January 1, 1854, ran ashore near Nitinat. Although
the crew was saved, Mcintosh lost his life. [San Francisco Daily Alta
California, December 6, 1853; February 15, 1854.] A full account of the
inquiry before the Court of Vice-Admiralty is contained in Douglas' dispatch to the Colonial Secretary, March 13, 1854.    [MS., Archives of B.C.]
(11) Captain William Mitchell, a native of Aberdeen, was born in 1802.
He first came to this coast in 1837 in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1852 he was in charge of the Una on her famous visit to the
Queen Charlotte Islands. He continued to live in British Columbia until
his death on January 13, 1876.    [See J. T. Walbran, op. cit, p. 340.]
(12) Michael Muir was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, and at the time of
his death, January 15, 1888, was in his fifty-fifth year. [Victoria Colonist,
January 17, 1888.]
(13) Edward Edwards Langford, a travelling companion in the Tory,
was in charge of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company's Colwood farm.
Langford returned to England on January 12, 1861. [See L. B. Robinson,
op. cit, pp. 59-64.]
(14) In August, 1853, Giles Ford succeeded John Hall as millwright,
engineer, and sawyer of the Albert Head mill of the Vancouver's Island
Steam Saw Mill Company.    [See W. K. Lamb, op. cit, loc. cit, p. 44.] 104 James K. Nesbitt. April
to see his friends—so we went in and then it was Oh Siame,
Siame, how do you do. Siame, means the same as Tyee—they
were very proud to see us, so they honoured us with a dance
and a song it was quite amusing to see them all with their
Knifes [sic], Pistols, Swords, & Guns in their hands, holding
them above their heads, now and then firing a Gun or two out
of the Roof, then we saw about 9 more Canoes come in then
they shoot and the Canoes come up in a Row the Indians that
are in the canoes singing and Dancing all the time they are
coming, when they get near the Beach one Man goes to the edge
of the water and makes a speech, to the Indians that are in the
canoes, Saying, that his heart is very good towards them, and
hopes theirs are towards him, and that he had invited them to
come to this feast and share with [him] some Blankets that
they had to give away. But if their hearts are not good towards
them, they were not to come on shore, and a great deal of more
of what I did not understand, then there is a [w] hooping,
Drumming and Dancing. After seeing all that we came home
as it was getting Dusk. Capt Grant stayed all night. Mr Ford
went home.
26th, Capt Grant went on to Soake after breakfast Capt Cooper came,
Michael and Archibald Muir, returned from the Fort stayed all
night Capt Kirk of the Brig William came in the evening for
a short time
27th,   the two Muirs went away in the morning before Breakfast.
28th,   Mr Swanston arrived from Soke [sic] walking.
29th, Mr Swanston went up to the Fort in a Canoe back in the evening to tea. I have been almost mad with the toothache the last
3 or 4 Days    is now a little better.
October 1st, Mr & Mrs Langford came over in the afternoon on horseback, stayed all night.
Sunday 2d, a housefull of company Mr & Mrs L[angford] Mr
Swanston Capt Grant & Capt Kirk. Mr & Mrs Langford went
home in the afternoon, the other 3 Gentlemen stayed all night
went away early in the morning returned again in the evening
very tired with a long journey.
4th,   Capt Cooper came, still in the Timber trade.16    Capt Grant gone
to Soke.    Mr Swanston gone to the Fort.
Sth,   Miss Phillips,16 Miss Langford17 and Miss Mary18 came over on
horseback   I went back with Miss L and Mary in the evening
left Miss Phillips with Aunt.
(15) For a general survey of the timber trade at this time see W. K.
Lamb, op. cit, loc. cit, pp. 38-53.
(16) Ellen Phillips was the sister of Mrs. E. E. Langford.    On December 19, 1860, she married Dr. Alfred R. Benson.
(17) Miss Louise Ellen Langford was a sister of E. E. Langford.    She
joined him in the colony and established a school on the Colwood farm— 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     105
6th,   Went to the Fort with Uncle    Mr Langford and Mr Swanston
on horseback, stayed at the Fort all night.    Court day.19
7th,   Went from the Fort to Mrs Cooper w[h]ere I have been staying
a for [t] night.
8th,   Uncle & Mr Swanston got home.
13th, Capt & Mrs Cooper and I went to a Dinner Party at Mr Lang-
fords.    5 oclock in the evening.
18th, there was a theatre on Board man of War Trincomile20 [sic],
Capt & Mrs Cooper and myself were invited to see the Scene and
of course went. Mr & Mrs Langford and family, the Governor
and his family Mr & Mrs. Skinner, and the Gentlemen from the
Fort, went on board about 6 oclock in the evening, went home
in the evening I stayed all night, came to the Farm in the
morning on the Black Mare with one of Mr Langfords men,
that is my Journal while from home. Now for what they were
doing at home, going back from the day I went away.
8th, Uncle went home from the Fort with Mr Swanston, Capt Cooper
came home from the Farm
10th, Capt Grant came from Soke in a canoe stayed all night at our
house also Mr A Muir21 came from the Fort in a canoe he
stayed all night, Capt Grant and Mr Swanston went to the Fort
in the morning    Mr Swanston returned again in the evening.
12th, Mr Swanston went to Soke. Mr A Muir called on his way to
Soke. . Uncle got a bad face ache.
"Academy for Young Ladies "—that became very popular amongst the older
families in the colony.
(18) Mary Langford, a daughter of E. E. Langford, had fallen in love
with Herbert George Lewis, second officer on the Tory, on the voyage out
from England, but her father disapproved of the match. However, years
later they were married in London in 1870.   •
(19) The administration of justice posed an acute problem for Governor
Douglas. His great difficulty was to find competent persons to act as
Magistrates. In April, 1853, he appointed E. E. Langford, Kenneth McKenzie, T. J. Skinner, and Thomas Blinkhorn as Magistrates. He described
the system of justice as follows: " We have provided for the administration
of Justice by appointing a resident Magistrate for each District of the
Colony except Soke, where none of the Colonists are qualified in point of
character or education to perform the duties of that responsible office. . . .
One or more of the Justices hold a petty sessions on the 1st Thursday of
every month, and a general quarter sessions of the Peace, is held once in
every quarter to hear and determine cases." [Douglas to Newcastle, July
28, 1853, MS., Archives of B.C.]
(20) H.M.S. Trincomalee, a sailing frigate, 1,066 tons, commanded by
Captain Wallace Houston, arrived at Esquimalt in July, 1853, and remained
on the Pacific station until 1856.    [See J. T. Walbran, op. cit, p. 495.]
(21) Andrew Muir, the diarist of the family, married Isabella Weir in
1854.    He died at the age of 31 and was buried January 13, 1859. 106 JAMES K. NESBITT. April
14th,   Mr Swanston and Capt Grant returned from Soke, also Mr A
Muir with his father on their way to the Fort.
15th,   Mr Swanston and Capt Grant both went to the Fort   Mr S
returned the same day.    Capt Cooper came down in a canoe
back in the evening.
16th,   Capt Kirk came and spent the afternoon with us from the Brig
18th,   Mr Swanston went to Soke.
19th,   Mrs Coopers Wedding day.
20th,   I came home   that is all.    Capt Grant & Mr Swanston came in
the evening stayed all night.
21st,    The 2 Gentlemen both went to the Fort in a canoe.
22d,     Mr Langford came over on horseback, with 2 Oncers [sic] from
the Trincomile, Mr Hall & Sir Ampton Loraine22 a Midshipman,
went away in the evening,    Capt G and Mr Swanston came in
the evening.
23d,     Capt G went to Soke    Mr S still here.
24th,   Capt & Mrs Cooper, & Miss, came down in a canoe.    Capt C
went home in the evening    Mrs Cooper staying a few days
with us.
25th,   Mr Swanston gone to the Fort.
26,      A very wet day   cold quite wintry [sic].
27th,   Aunt gone over to Mrs Langfords on horseback, left Mrs Cooper
and I to keep house.
29th,   Aunt still at Mrs Langfords.    I had to churn and make up the
31st,    Aunt came back from Mr Langfords in the evening with Clout.
November 1st,    Coultus.
2d,     Mrs Cooper went home   left Lizzy23 with us.    Uncle went with
Mrs C as far as her house   stayed there all night   went to the
Fort the next day being Court day, which happens the first
Thursday in every month.
4th,   Uncle came home and brought with him Mrs Langford & Miss
Phillips to stay a day or two with us.
Sth,   Remember Remember [sic] the 5th of Novem[ber]    we had a
Bonfire, and fireworks too.    close to the house   it Illuminated
the whole place24    Mr Swanston here.
6th,   Mr Langford came over in the morning.
7th,   A very wet day   Blow Breezes Blow.
(22) It has not been possible to identify Mr. Hall. Sir Lambton
Loraine, the eleventh baronet, was born on November 17, 1838. He received
his lieutenancy on September 13, 1858, and had a distinguished naval career,
eventually rising to the rank of Rear-Admiral.    He died on May 13, 1917.
(23) Elizabeth Emma Cooper was born on August 7, 1851, and baptized
by Rev. R. J. Staines on September 7, 1851.
(24) Guy Fawkes Day. 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     107
8th,   Mr & Mrs Langford went home and Aunt with them to stay
a few days Miss Phillips stayed with me to keep house.
9th, Capt Grant came in the afternoon from Soake brought bad
news, that the Ship Lord Western26 had sprung a leak, on her
way to California and was sinking very fast, he, Capt Grant
was on board of her, and says that he and two of the men were
Pumping her day and night for nearly a week, when they got
her back to Soake w[h]ere he left her sinking.
10th, A miserable day Mr Swanston Mr Yates26 and Mr A Muir
came in on there [sic] way to Soake on foot.
11th,   Cold miserable day    Snowing.    Aunt went up to the Fort.
12th, Aunt still at Mrs Langfords. I had to churn and make up the
13th,   Sunday, a dull miserable day.
14th, Aunt came home, brought Miss Langford and Miss Mary Tod27
with her to stay a day or two.
16th, Capt Cooper came on horseback to fetch Lizzy home also Miss
Phillips Miss L and Miss Tod all on horseback.
17th,   Mr Swanston came in the evening   stayed all night.
18th, Mr S went to the Fort in a Canoe, Uncle and I went to Mr Langfords on horseback got nearly wet through coming home in the
evening Mr A Muir called at our house on his way from Sooke
to the Fort.
19th,   Sunday,    Nothing particular.
20,       Uncle went to Mr Langfords   back in the evening.
(25) The Lord Western, a British barque of 530 tons in command of
Captain James Parker, cleared for San Francisco on October 26, 1853, with
a cargo of salmon, piles, and squared timber to the value of $4,000, the
greater part of which was consigned by Robert Swanston. Evidently, after
putting back to Sooke, she was made seaworthy again and put to sea only
to run into foul weather, and, according to the San Francisco Daily Alta
California, January 12, 1854, she was abandoned near Nootka Sound on
December 1st. Governor Douglas first heard of the disaster on December
19 and sent the Otter to the rescue. Captain Parker and three of his crew
were saved and returned to Victoria on December 26. [Douglas to Newcastle, January 5, 1854, MS., Archives of B.C.]
(26) James Yates was born on January 21, 1819, at Linlithgow, Scotland. He came to Vancouver Island as an articled clerk of the Hudson's
Bay Company in 1849 and after some eighteen months was successful in
obtaining a cancellation of his articles. He subsequently set up as an independent trader and prospered. He took an active part in the political life
of the colony. In 1860 he and his family returned to Scotland, where they
remained, although from 1862 to 1864 he was again in the colonies. [J. B.
Kerr, Biographical Dictionary of Well-known British Columbians, Vancouver, 1890, p. 325.]
(27) Miss Mary Tod was the second daughter of John Tod. She married
John Bowker on May 24, 1864.    [Victoria Colonist, May 26, 1864.] 108 James K. Nesbitt. April
21st, Washing all day.
22d & 23d, The same.
24th & 25th,    Ironing all day,    in the evening of the 25th, we felt a
Shock of an Earthquake, which shook the whole house, which
nearly took us off our feet    it was about 5 oclock.
26th,   very stormy   the wind blew Terific [sic] in the night.
27th,   Sunday, very blustering   Mr A Muir called on his way to Soake
over the plains walking.
29th,   Mr A Muir returned from Soake, and went on to the Fort.
30th,   Uncle went to Mr Langfords from their [sic] up to the Fort
the next day, it [being] Court day.
Dec 2d,    Uncle returned from the Fort.    Aunt and I very busy putting
a Calico Ceiling round her room.
3d,     Mr Staines28 came over from Mr Langfords on horseback, went
up to the Fort in the evening in Canoe    Mr Swanston came
down in the evening per canoe.
4th,   Sunday   Uncle went over to Mr Langfords stayed all night   the
Doctor29 Cupt [sic] him.   Mr Swanston gone to the Fort.
Sth,   Uncle came from Mr Ls in the afternoon.
Nothing particular this week.
11th,   Sunday   Mr Lewis & Mr Ford came   went away in the evening.
12th,   Uncle went over to Mr Langfords.
14th,   Mr Swanston came   Just returned from Tetena a day's Sail
from here.
15th,   Mr Swanston went to the Fort.
16th,   Mr Ss birthday.
17th,    Micheal [sic] Muir and one of the young Weirs80 called on their
way to the Fort.
18th,   Sunday   nothing particular.
(28) Rev. Robert John Staines, chaplain to the Hudson's Bay Company,
arrived in the colony in 1849 with his wife and nephew. He was also the
schoolmaster. He soon joined the anti-company faction in the colony and
became one of its leaders. Of him, Governor Douglas wrote: " He entertains a most unaccountable and unreasonable dislike to the Company, and
has done so ever since he arrived in this country; and he moreover endeavours to fill the minds of every stranger who arrives here, with the rancorous
feelings of his own breast." [Douglas to Barclay, May 27, 1853, AfS.,
Archives of B.C.] Early in 1854 Staines agreed to carry the colonists'
grievances home to the British Government. His ship, the Duchess of San
Lorenzo, cleared on February 22, 1854, but was lost off Cape Flattery, no
persons surviving. [San Francisco Daily Alta California, March 27, 31,
(29) Presumably Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken.
(30) Robert Weir, affectionately known as "The Laird," arrived at Vancouver Island on the Norman Morison in 1851. He was a widower and was
accompanied by his four sons, John, William, Hugh, and Adam, and two 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     109
23d,    Theatricals at the Fort.
25th,  Sunday   Christmas day   a fine day
26th,  The Gove[r]nors Party.
27th,  Uncle gone over to Colwood.31   Mr Swanston called on his way
to the Fort from Sooke, he brought us an English letter Dated
Oct 1853.
31st,   The Last day in the old Year and a very fine day.
January 1st 1854.   we wish Aunt Edgley many happy returns of the
day.    Sunday    New Years day.
2d,    Nothing particular.    Bad Ink.
5th,   Court day   Uncle gone to the Fort.
14th,   Mrs Cooper confined of a little girl32   nothing particular   frost
and snow.
17th,  Uncle walked to Mr Langfords   Snow on the ground   came
back the next day, the same day we heard of the wreck of the
Ship William.   The Captain was drowned.
19th,  A deep snow fell in the night.
20th,  Uncle tryed [sic] [to get] to Mr Langford ['s] walking, he got
to the river walking across the ice and fell in, had to come back
and change his things   Tryed to get a canoe could not get one
the Indians would not go   it was Snowing very fast and very
21st,   Uncle went up to the Fort in a Canoe, rather rough & very cold.
22d,    Mr A Muir married to Miss Weir.88   Uncle get a bad cold sitting in the canoe on the water going to the Fort.
27th,   Aunt had a fall   Bruised herself very much.    Uncles cold no
28th,  Aunt in bed most part of the day from the effects of the fall.
29th,   Sunday   Aunt little better   Uncle the same   cough not so bad.
30th,  the same.
February 1st,    Uncle went up to the Fort in the evening and to Capt
3d,    Friday, Uncle came back from the Fort at night.
Saturday, Mr Finlayson34 Mr MacDonald36, & Mr Pemberton36
came down to see us, stayed an hour or two.
daughters, Isabella and Robina.   Weir came originally as head stockman to
the Hudson's Bay Company and subsequently became an independent settler.
(31) E. E. Langford's farm.
(32) This baby was baptized Fanny Mary on January 24, 1854, by Rev.
R. J. Staines.
(33) This is an error, for Andrew Muir and Isabella Weir were married
on January 31,1854.
(34) Roderick Finlayson, one of the builders of Fort Victoria in 1843,
was born March 16, 1818, at Lochalsk, Rosshire, Scotland. In 1839 he came
to the Pacific Northwest in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. He
was a member of the first Legislative Council of Vancouver Island. He
died in Victoria on January 20, 1892. 110 James K. Nesbitt. April
5th,   Sunday, Mr. Lewis & Mr Weighton37 came down in the morning
went back in the evening to the Fort.    A beautiful day.
6th,   Uncle cold worse   had two Blisters on the back of his ears.
8th,   Mr Swanston called on his way to Soke   came in to breakfast
walking from Mr Langford's.
9th,   Uncle cold much better.    Capt Cooper down with the Alice.38
10       CC. went on board in the evening went off before daylight next
morning   came on to snow very fast.
13th,   Uncle went to the Fort to take Dr Tolmie's farm39   came on to
14th,   Snowed all day   Uncle came to Mr Ld
15th,   with Mr Staines    stayed all night
16th,   Uncle came home with Mr Staines   the latter came to see us
before starting for England.
17th,   Uncle went back with Mr Staines to the Fort.    Mr A Muir
called on his way to the Fort.
(35) William John Macdonald, a travelling companion on the Tory, came
out in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company, from which he retired in
1858. He was one of the three Senators appointed at the time of British
Columbia's entry into Canadian Confederation.
(36) Joseph Despard Pemberton, surveyor for the Hudson's Bay Company and later Colonial Surveyor-General, was born in Dublin, July 23,
1821, and came to Vancouver Island in 1851. [For further details see
Harriet Susan Sampson, " My Father, Joseph Despard Pemberton, 1821-
1893," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VIII (1944), pp. ill-125.]
(37) Stephenson Weynton was the son of the marine superintendent of
the Hudson's Bay Company in England in 1856 and a brother of Captain
A. J. Weynton of the company's barque Cowlitz, 1847-1850. He served with
the Hudson's Bay Company in various capacities on Vancouver Island.
(38) This was the iron vessel brought out in sections by Captain James
Cooper and assembled at Vancouver Island. She was registered as of 45
tons burden. Of her, Governor Douglas wrote: " The 'Alice ' is the first
and only sea going vessel that has been built on Vancouver's Island."
[Douglas to George Aiken, H.B.M. Consul at San Francisco, May 4, 1852,
MS., Archives of B.C.]
(39) Dr. William Fraser Tolmie was born in Inverness, Scotland, February 3, 1812, and came to this coast in 1833 in the Gannymede. He served
at various Hudson's Bay Company posts, including Forts McLoughlin,
Nisqually, and Vancouver. He did not settle permanently on Vancouver
Island until July, 1859, but he had previously acquired property which
became the family estate, " Cloverdale." [Simon Fraser Tolmie, " My
Father: William Fraser Tolmie, 1812-1886," British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, I  (1937), pp. 227-240.] 1949   The Diary of Martha Cheney Ella, 1853-1856.     Ill
19th, Sunday, Uncle came home walking. Mr Newton,40 & Mr Macdonald [sic] came part of the way with him. 2 Bullocks dead,
Swan & Coy.
20th, Mr A Muir gone to the Fort per Canoe. Aunt and self alone
with Indians untill [sic] the 25 which was Saturday.
26th,   Sunday    Mr Swanston called    stayed all night.
28th,   Uncle gone to the Fort.
March 2d,    Court day   Uncle still at the Fort.
4th,   Uncle came home on horseback   Mr & Mrs Langford, & Miss
Phillips & Miss Langford, came over to see Us,    stayed Sunday
with us.
6th,   Monday   they went home   Aunt & I went down to the Indian
village with them to get a Canoe for them, to go as far as Albert
point.    Micheal   [sic]   Muir called on his way to the  Fort.
Uncle and I went for a ride up the Plain in the afternoon.    3
Vessels in the Straits, and a Boat     a fine day rather cool.
7th,   Mr Lee41 came here in a canoe    heard that the Emigrant Ship
Colinda42 was anchored in Metchosen [sic] Bay little way from
here.    The report not true.    Mr Weir came in the evening.
8th,   Uncle went to Colwood in the morning   to the Fort in the
evening to his Farm of Dr. Tolmies Clover Dalei3 came back on
Friday evening.
(40) W. H. Newton, a fellow passenger on the Tory, was a native of
Bromley, Kent, who came out as a servant of the Hudson's Bay Company.
He married Emmeline Tod and later lived in the neighbourhood of Fort
Langley. At the time of his death, January 21, 1875, he was 42 years of
age and in charge of Fort Langley, having succeeded Ovid Allard. [New
Westminster Mainland Guardian, January 28, 1875.]
(41) William Thomas Lee Leigh arrived in the colony in the Otter in
August, 1853, and entered the Hudson's Bay Company's service in a confi
dential capacity and afterwards supervised the building of the steamer
Sir James Douglas. In 1863 he became the town clerk of Victoria, the
second person to hold that position, and remained in that capacity until his
death on May 1, 1884.    [Victoria Colonist, May 2, 1884.]
(42) The Colinda, commanded by Captain John Powell Mills, was chartered by the Hudson's Bay Company to bring 212 passengers, coal-miners
and other company servants, and cargo to Vancouver Island. She was to
have come direct, but as a result of a mutiny on board she put into Valdivia
and was subsequently taken by the British Navy to Valparaiso, where Captain Mills failed to substantiate his charge of mutiny. Douglas wrote to the
Colonial Secretary as early as February 28, 1854, reporting these circumstances, but had no idea when the vessel would arrive. Actually she entered
the port on April 16, 1854.
(43) This was the farm of William Fraser Tolmie. From this account
it is apparent that Blinkhorn was administering this farm for Tolmie. 112 James K. Nesbitt.
12th, Sunday Mr Weir went to the Fort came back Tuesday Morn.
Uncle went to the Fort again the next day. Mr Andrew Muir
called on his way to the Fort.
17th,   Mr Muir Junior returned.
18th,   Uncle returned from the Farm.
19th,   Mr Lang44 from Steam Saw Mill came over   stayed all night.
20th, Uncle went as far as Colwood on his [way] to the Farm went
on in the morning Mr Swanston called in the morning got
here to breakfast stayed all day and all night.
On Wednesday morning 22d, he went on to Soake walking.
Beautiful weather. No signs of the Clorinda [sic] at present
expecting the Thomas46 in every day.
23d, heard that Mr Swanston had an accident going down to Soake
his foot slipped jumping off one log on to another he fell and
hurt his side very much he fainted and laid some hours before
he came to himself   he reached Soake 12 o'clock in the night.
24th,   Uncle came from the Fort.    Mr Weir gone away.
26th, Sunday, a beautiful day we had a walk up the Mountain in the
afternoon   a Ship in the Straits
28th, Uncle went to Cloverdale came back the next morning Aunt
and I alone all night
29th, Snow, Hail, Rain, and Blowing a hurricane at time[s] all day.
Mr & Mrs Langford, Mrs Skinner and her babe, Constance
Langford Skinnerie came over walking from Colwood that
miserable day to see us they were almost Frozen they stayed
all night, went back the next day fine day but very wet. We
set the Goose on 5 eggs. The Propeller Otter came in yesterday
from San Francisco loaded with goods.
31st, Micheal [sic] Muir returned brought us news that the Colinda
was in Valpariso [sic]    has been great disturbance on board.
(The concluding part of the Diary will appear in the July
issue of the Quarterly.)
(44) Robert Laing was a native of St. Andrew's Scotland. He came out
to this coast on the Susan Sturgess and was among the group that was held
captive after the ship was attacked by the Indians in 1852. Eventually he
got to Fort Simpson, the company having ransomed the crew, and reached
Victoria on Christmas Day, 1852. He then " engaged with the H. B.
Company and had charge of their saw mill at Albert Head till it was burned
down in '54." He became one of the leading ship-builders in the colony and
died on September 29,1882, aged 66 years.    [Ibid., October 1, 1882.]
(45) The Thomasine or Tomasine, Captain Edward Owen, entered from
London on May 7, 1854, and cleared for Hawaii on June 17.
(46) Constance Langford Skinner was born February 23, 1853, and
baptized February 5, 1854. She married A. E. B. Davie on December 3,
1874, and died in Victoria on December 3, 1904.    [Ibid., December 6, 1904.] NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Victoria Section.
A meeting of the Victoria Section was held in the Provincial Library on
Friday evening, February 18, with some seventy members in attendance.
As the annual meeting of the Provincial body had been held in Vancouver,
Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and Archivist, repeated his
presidential address on The French in British Columbia, which is published
in this issue of the Quarterly.
On April 11 a meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library,
with over sixty members present. The speaker of the evening was Mr. F. G.
Roe, who chose as his subject Buffalo Trails and Railway Routes in Canada.
Mr. Roe is an authority on the buffalo and, in the course of his lecture,
related numerous interesting sidelights on buffalo migrations and, in an
informative and emphatic manner, disposed of the popular legend that
highways and railway routes took their inception from animal trails across
wild country.
Vancouver Section.
The regular meeting of the Section was held on Tuesday evening,
February 22, in the Hotel Grosvenor, Chairman L. S. Grant presiding.
The speaker of the evening was Miss Corday Mackay, who had selected as
her subject The Magnetic Telegraph Comes to British Columbia. The same
thorough research, lucid style, and flair for the adventurous and picturesque
that had characterized her article on the Collins Overland Telegraph in the
July, 1946, issue of this Quarterly delighted her audience on this occasion.
Her substantially documented narrative of Perry McDonough Collins' well-
planned and enterprising, though futile, project was enlivened by entertaining excerpts from the old files of the New Westminster British Columbian,
portraying the social life of that city in the 1860's under Governor Seymour.
Rev. George Forbes, O.M.I., was the speaker at the meeting of the Section
held in the Hotel Grosvenor, Tuesday evening, March 22. His address,
entitled Pioneer Priests in British Columbia, was in effect a comprehensive
survey of approximately three-quarters of a century of missionary activity
following the arrival in 1774 of the two Franciscan friars, Fathers Crespi
and Pina, who had accompanied the Spaniard Juan Perez. Fifteen years
later two chaplains and four Franciscan friars arrived at Nootka, and on
June 24, 1789, mass was celebrated—the first Christian service to be held in
any part of what became British Columbia. More permanent missionary
activity dates from the arrival of Modeste Demers and F. N. Blanchet, who,
on October 14, 1838, reached the Big Bend of the Columbia River and there
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 2.
6 114 Notes and Comments. April
celebrated the first mass to be said on the Mainland of this Province. The
travels of Father Demers in those early days were recounted, and his consecration as the first Bishop of Vancouver Island in 1847 noted. References
were also made to the work of Fathers de Smet, Nobili, and Bolduc.
The lecture was followed by the showing of a series of beautifully
coloured pictures taken by Mr. Dick Corliss on an aeroplane trip northward
over the Cariboo, Northern British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska.
Recently British Columbia was honoured with a visit from Miss Phyllis
Mander Jones, librarian of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, New South Wales,
Australia. There are many points of common interest in the history of the
Antipodes and of our own Province, notably the explorations of Captain
James Cook, R.N. Miss Jones has kindly contributed the following note on
the project involving the publication of the papers of Sir Joseph Banks:—
" Your readers may be interested to hear of a project, originating in
Australia, to publish the papers of Sir Joseph Banks. A public fund for
this purpose is held in trust by the Board of the Mitchell Library, Sydney,
and it has recently been announced that Dr. J. C. Beaglehole, the eminent
New Zealand historian of the Pacific, has been appointed editor.
" The purpose of the undertaking is not only to make the papers available to scholars but to provide a fitting memorial to the great traveller and
scientist, whose influence on the young colony and on the exploration of the
continent was so beneficent that he has been called the Father of Australia.
" So far only a small proportion of Banks' papers has been published.
Large quantities of them exist and in any scheme of publication, selections
will have to be made. Some of those in the twenty-three folio volumes in
the Mitchell Library were included in the Historical Records of New South
Wales but there are many more in the Mitchell Library collection which are
worthy of publication. Banks' Journal on the Endeavour when he accompanied Captain Cook on the voyage of 1768-1771, also in the Mitchell
Library, was edited from a transcript by Sir J. D. Hooker and issued by
Macmillan in 1896, but with numerous alterations and omissions. The
Stats Library of California has published Banks' correspondence relating
to Iceland from the large quantities of Banks' manuscripts in its Sutro
Collection in San Francisco. A few other small items have been published
but there is need for an inclusive edition of important papers from the many
coll actions which can be traced.
" During my visit to England, Canada and the United States, September,
1948, to March of this year, I have been privileged to examine several
important collections. The British Museum of Natural History has a
number of volumes of transcripts and there are Banks papers in the Library
of the Royal Society and at Kew Gardens. In the United States I have
seen papers at Yale University and in the Sutro Collection. Should any of
your readers know of other collections of Banks' papers I should be most
grateful for information about them." 1949 Notes and Comments. 115
contributors to this issue.
Stuart R. Tompkins is a member of the Department of History of the
University of Oklahoma and an authority on Alaskan history. His most
recent book in this field is Alaska:  Promyshlennik and Sourdough.
Max L. Moorhead is a colleague of Professor Tompkins in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma.
James K. Nesbitt, second vice-president of this association, is press correspondent in the Parliament Buildings for the Vancouver News-Herald.
Keenly interested in local history, he is currently writing a series in the
Victoria Colonist on historic houses of Victoria.
H. B. Hawthorn is head of the Department of Anthropology at the
University of British Columbia.
Margaret A. Ormsby, of the Department of History of the University of
British Columbia, is president of the British Columbia Historical Association and editor of the Okanagan Historical Society Annual Report.
A. F. Flucke is presently attached to the Provincial Archives as special
research assistant for a local history project sponsored by the Department
oif Education.
Walter N. Sage is head of the Department of History at the University
The Bella Coola Indians.    By T. F. Mcllwraith.    Toronto:   University of
Toronto Press, 1948.    Pp. xix, 763; ix, 672.    Maps, ills.    $15.
The two-volumed study of the Bella Coola Indians by Professor
Mcllwraith of the University of Toronto is a specialized work in cultural
anthropology, and pre-eminently must be viewed in this light.
What are the purposes of study, and perhaps also of teaching, in this
field, according to which this work may be judged, in so far as it accomplishes some of them? These purposes have changed with the development
of the science, and to-day are changing so fast that there is danger of some
serious work being dominated by ephemeral fashions or even fads which
do not belong in scientific endeavour. Some recent works in anthropolgy
can clearly be categorized as of this passing nature and this temporary
interest; frequently they are of some general popular interest, and just as
frequently are not likely to be remembered by scholars in another five years.
One of the earlier pursuits of anthropology was that of origins; in
what manner, in what phase of human pre-history, it was asked, lay the
beginnings of religion, of the family, of political life? That cultural
anthropology gave up major attempts to answer these and similar questions
was decided by the apparent impossibility of answering them. Except
for equivocal indications yielded by the archaic survivals in man's language,
customs, and in material refuse such as that of middens and burials, evidence is generally lacking, and reconstruction becomes so speculative as to
be unattractive to the scientist.
A later pursuit of scientists could be called a zealous attempt to spread
the " anthropological point of view." Relativist in tone, this attempt was
spurred by the necessity for imparting to agents of the dominant civilizations, to colonial officials and missionaries, the fact that other cultures, or
civilizations as there is every reason for calling them, have equally long
histories, are devoted to satisfying much the same set of wants, and
include systems of law and morality which are related to the remainder
of the culture as they are in our own. Unlike the speculative attempts
to explore the origins of culture, this remains one of the aims of much
anthropological teaching to-day, and is often one of the purposes achieved
by those anthropological works, like Ruth Benedict's Patterns of Culture,
which find a wide audience. One can assert that this has been fulfilled by
Mcllwraith's study, using as proof the non-specialist reviews of the work
which have appeared in the weekly supplements. The Bella Coola become
understandable, say the reviewers; their culture is shown to be intricate,
and also to be worthy of respect. Benedict would have pursued this a
little further, to say that an evaluation of Bella Coola customs and institutions was not to be reached by a mechanical application of the principles
of the Indian Act or of our own morality and creed;   full appraisal could
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XIII. No. 2.
117 118 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
be made possible only by a sensitive examination of the operation of these
customs in their relation to Bella Coola individuals and their culture, in
relation to their physical welfare, their sense of freedom and happiness,
values which might be realized effectively in their own setting but almost
assuredly could not be approached by means of a mechanical substitution
of some of our own customs and institutions.
Without any doubt, Mcllwraith has succeeded in making this point with
the Bella Coola. The reviewer may pause a moment to say that it needed
making, even in our enlightened age. It is not an easy point to grasp,
except in the abstract. Even the Trusteeship Council of the United
Nations, even the American Anthropological Association attempting to
draft a set of principles to guide the Trusteeship Council, find it mightily
delicate and complicated, and perforce have to become satisfied with an
approximate application. In British Columbia it is still a principle far
from recognition. In so far as the Indian cultures persist, they are not
only misunderstood, but combated as evil. We fear that which is different
from our own; only as we have destroyed the main structure of the native
cultures do we become sentimental about their remnants, trying to revive
" folk arts," handicrafts, dances stripped of their intense meaning, costume
worn incongruously by self-conscious performers who have momentarily
doffed their street clothes. There is no doubt that Mcllwraith's study is
timely, and no doubt either that it takes more than a scientific publication
to alter such a situation.
Yet another set of aims is held by most current anthropological writing.
This is the achievement of insight into parts of our own culture. Based
upon the principle of basic identity of physiological and psychological
equipment of all peoples, a principle universally accepted by anthropologists, these aims direct modern studies in cultural anthropology to the
elucidation of the operation of primitive institutions so that they exemplify
points which are of value in understanding our own. Well known among
such approaches, even if challenged in detail, are some of Margaret Mead's
studies of the relationship between physiological and psychological factors
in different cultural settings. It has by now, after the publishing of many
such studies in the past two decades, been adequately shown that these
comparative studies can be made to yield the critical instances when human
institutions reveal their innermost nature; they can furnish extremes of
behaviour that test any generalization about human nature and culture;
can give data sufficiently different from that in which we are immersed by
daily life so that we can achieve an objectivity perhaps impossible when
viewing our own behaviour and institutions; and can at times give enough
instances so that even some quantitative checks can be applied to a notion
about the relationship between elements of human life.
It is in this setting that The Bella Coola Indians makes one of its most
significant scientific contributions. With a fullness of detail that will be
the envy of his colleagues, whose field-work is less painstaking or whose
publishers are less appreciative of the importance of the minute particular,
Mcllwraith reports of the social organization, the religion, the mythology 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 119
of the Bella Coola so that at the end we know significantly more about
human social organization, religion, and mythology.
A South African anthropologist now visiting the United States, Hilda
Kuper, states in a recent work on the Swazi: "Originally I intended to
write a general monograph. I collected innumerable facts and fitted them
into stereotyped headings—Economics, Politics, Religion, Magic, and so on.
After a few months in the field, the ' pattern' of the culture slowly
emerged for me. Unfortunately I persevered in collecting all the usual
material of an ethnographic account. Even after I left Swaziland I devoted
some months to forcing these facts into the artificial chapters of a standard monograph. Finally, I decided to write on what appeared to me the
essential orientation of Swazi life—rank."
With a few changes, Mcllwraith might have included the above paragraph in his monograph. His object was the full description of a primitive culture; his presentation shows a culture in which religion, ceremony,
and rank are of the greatest importance, and colour the whole of Bella
Coola life. The story beccmes told from the point of view of ceremony
and belief, and the result for the patient and interested reader is a penetrating vision into a life whose aims are very far removed from our own.
This is a result not often eventuating from descriptions of primitive life;
too frequently the sympathetic observer portrays the culture as one eminently reasonable according to our tenets; the primitives emerge as
Canadians—or Americans—but for the superficial accidents of language
and outward forms of custom. In the majority of cases this is simply not
true, however comforting. Mcllwraith offers no such short-cut to understanding. The Bella Coola are as different from ourselves as can readily
be imagined, and a disciplined reading is needed before that difference can
be fully comprehended.
Bella Coola religion, presented in this work as less systematized than
was indicated by Boas in the classic study, The Mythology of the Bella
Coola Indians, has a belief in a supreme deity, in several worlds, in stories
of creation, and in the continuing relation of the individual and his acts
and surroundings to the supernatural. Religion ordered the daily life
of the Bella Coola in many particulars. The hunter, the fisherman, the
stroller in the woods, the eater of salmon, in short everyone in almost
every act, paid heed to the religious aspects of his situation; prayer,
observance of a less intense nature, offering, might be called for to ensure
success. Although Bella Coola religion did not include a directly ethical
teaching, the majority of its operations were for the benefit of others as
well as for the individual. It would not be possible to deny that the Bella
Coola possessed religion, or honestly to stigmatize it as worship of idols
or devils. It was central to their culture, and little imagination is needed
to see that when religion was successfully attacked, Bella Coola culture
had to fall.
Comparison is inevitable with the earlier formulation of Bella Coola
religion by Boas, with which Mcllwraith manifests a number of points of
disagreement, usually of stress rather than fact.    It seems to the reviewer 120 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
that Mcllwraith's formulation and material is to be accepted. Bella Coola
religion does not appear quite as clearly systematized as Boas had stated,
to the reviewer's personal and irrelevant regret, but the convincing sense
and consistency of Mcllwraith's overwhelming mass of data force acceptance of this as the definitive presentation.
It is also enticing to compare Bella Coola religion with that of other
cultures of the area. Its general form, its clearly recognized supreme
deity, most of its pantheon and some of its observances are unique. But
many important features come up in form almost identical with those of
other North-west Coast cultures. Features such as the special nature of
animal life, kin to humans and under special circumstances seen to possess
human form and speech, parallels beliefs found in a much wider area
even than in the Coast. Special figures such as Raven have their counterparts in the mythologies of other peoples, and even many of the stories
and qualities attributed to him are closely similar. In religion, as in social
organization and in winter ceremonials, the reader may regret Mcllwraith's
decision not to pursue comparisons with other North-west Coast cultures.
A grouping of those who claim descent from one of the first mythological ancestors places the individual socially and bestows his names upon
him. The interrelationship of this unit, called " ancestral family" by
Mcllwraith, with the village and with the individual family illustrates
aptly some generalities of North-west Coast social organization, although
it is pointed out that the Bella Coola had much less political cohesiveness
than did the surrounding peoples.
The excellent data on rank indicate the need for more definitive studies
of this topic in this cultural area. In the reviewer's opinion, better results
might come from treating it essentially as the result of the strivings of the
heads of the households rather than competition between individuals of
different social classes. This should yield a more comprehensible explanation of the extraordinary strivings of the whole group for the attainment
of high position for the leading member; rather than seeing this competition as one in which three or four social classes operated, it then becomes
apparent that all except the slaves, captives of war, are identified with the
success of leading members of the family or household by both kinship
and residence. To borrow a phrase, "All were kings in those days," or at
least every person was a son, daughter, husband, wife, nephew, or niece of
a chief. When the older people say ruefully, " Nowadays everyone is a
chief," they are expressing the extension of this striving to the heads of
the smaller unit, the individual family.
The winter ceremonials and their dances played a colourful and
important role in Bella Coola culture, which Mcllwraith sets out in great
detail. More clearly and understandably than in any comparable monograph, Mcllwraith shows how it is possible for these " secret" portrayals
of origin myth and the sources of power to deceive an audience of the
uninitiated who are friends and relatives of the performers. On the other
hand, there are to-day no more uninitiated, and one wishes that it had been
possible to obtain in the actual numbers of those in the performance and 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 121
those in the audience in the former times. One wonders if, as in other
settings, everyone finally became initiated in the normal course of events,
and the children furnished the only really naive audience.
Mcllwraith does not report the usually credited correlation between
ordinary rank and importance in the winter ceremonial, and it would have
been an addition to the study had he dealt with this differentiation. A very
different social organization prevailed during the winter; it did not seem
to reflect the social and economic distinctions of the rest of the year, in
contrast to the Kwakiutl and some other cultures, and a poor man was
able to perform some of the most important of the rituals. On the other
hand, the parallels between the Cannibal and Breaker dances of the Bella
Coola and comparable ones of the Kwakiutl and Nootka are extensible
even to details, and recently the reviewer was told of past shamanistic
performances on the Nass River which resembled closely the Stomach-
Cutting and other Bella Coola performances which feature elaborate
deception. It comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the situation
to read Mcllwraith's denial of the popular belief that the ceremonial dances
were orgies of immorality; this fact might well be publicized even to-day,
as an important contribution to ethnic understanding.
Within the wide meaning of the gift-bestowal ceremonies of the Northwest Coast, the potlatch of the Bella Coola had a special significance, which
Mcllwraith defines. He mentions the loose employment of the term
" potlatch" by scientists and others, and in spite of the many elements
shared with ceremonies of this nature in other cultures, correctly makes
a very clear distinction of the special meaning of the Bella Coola potlatch.
Its closest definition is a rite in which a man's ancestral myth is displayed;
it was performed on the occasion of a marriage, or the assumption of a
professional prerogative or a name; its validation was dependent on the
presence of witnesses and its importance was proportionate to the number
of witnesses.
The distinctive definition of the Bella Coola potlatch indicates a problem
both for anthropologists and for others who wish to understand the
Indians of British Columbia. In its briefest statement, there is a great
need for a study of the gift in the cultures of this area. Comparable
features, often striking ones, have enabled people to write and think of
the potlatch as essentially the same ceremonial in all these cultures, and
have enabled the Indian Act to attempt its blanket suppression. Actually,
the ceremonies and their setting, the meaning and the occasion of the
bestowal of gifts vary in their esssentials. There was a range of competitiveness from a negligible quantity to the destructive rivalry described
by Benedict as a Kwakiutl pattern, but which actually was only one of
their gift-bestowal patterns. There were different occasions and reasons
for gift-bestowal among the Bella Coola, in many instances representing
essentially a rewarding of the necessary craftsmen and witnesses and
performers, and in others the marking of an important stage in the individual life. Forced loans at high rates of interest were by no means a
widespread feature of the ceremonial.    As with other neighbours of the 122 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
Kwakiutl, the elements of extreme competition, aiming at the humiliation
or even the destruction of a rival, were known, but not the norm. Through
the potlatch a Bella Coola strove for standing which, although relative to
that of others, did not aim at single and unchallengeable dominance.
It would be erroneous for this review to give the impression that it has
attempted a summary of this monumental work; in fact, it has been possible only to touch on a few of the aspects covered by Mcllwraith, and to
mention some of their implications. Chapter headings cover Location and
Environment; Religion; Social Organization; Rank; Features Associated with the Potlatch; Origin Myths; Birth, Adolescence and Marriage;
Death; Relations with the Supernatural; Stories illustrating the Supernatural; Medicine, Magic, Taboo; Winter Ceremonial Dances; Songs;
Warfare; Games; Stories; The Man Himself. An excellent index makes
the use of the large volumes appreciably easier, and a full vocabulary aids
one to pick a path through the wide use of native terms and facilitates the
attainment on the author's part of a consistency in their spelling and
employment which has not been a feature of even some of the great publications on the anthropology of this region.
In conclusion, it seems hardly necessary to state that this is a work of
the greatest importance, and perhaps cannot be duplicated for any other
North-west Coast culture. It will certainly stand among the definitive
works on this area. It is also needful to add, however, anticlimatically,
that the same details and particulars which make it invaluable for the
scientist may make it too prolix for the enjoyment of the non-specialized
reader, and that its price will preclude its purchase by many individuals.
, H. B. Hawthorn.
Vancouver, B.C.
The Valley of Youth.    By Charles W. Holliday.    Caldwell:   The Caxton
Printers, Ltd., 1948.    Pp. 357.    111.    $5.
In the writing of this book, Mr. Holliday allows his memory to stroll
down the highways and bypaths he has travelled in a long but unhurried
life. He recalls old friends and adventures and recounts with quiet
humour the experiences of a man who has spent a good life in pleasant
The Valley of Youth contains Mr. Holliday's memoirs. It is the tale
of an Englishman, born in 1870, who set out at the age of 16 in search of
health and adventure. Both of these he was to find. His health was
much improved by a voyage in a four-masted barque around the Horn to
San Francisco in 1887, and a return trip to England. There was adventure on this trip, too, and when the Pacific Coast lured him back in 1889,
and he left California to push northward to Victoria, he added to his store.
His experiences on these voyages are described in Part I, " Fifty Thousand
Miles," which he added to The Valley of Youth at the publisher's suggestion. There is much that is interesting in this part of the book—especially
the description of San Francisco in the eighties—but the second part of
the book deals with a theme that is less well known. 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 123
In part II, " The Land of My Dreams," Mr. Holliday reaches the valley
of his youth—the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. In 1889, when
he entered the valley from Sicamous, the surveys were being made for the
Shuswap and Okanagan Railway. The cattle-ranching era was just
ending, the settlers were arriving in greater numbers, lumbering was
becoming an important industry, and fruit-ranching was commencing.
These changes are barely noticed by Mr. Holliday. His reminiscences are
much more concerned with the companions, friends, and neighbours who
shared with him the pleasures of an almost idyllic existence.
Like so many pioneers, Mr. Holliday has a gift for "yarning." The
yarns he tells are part of the history of the Okanagan Valley, and he is
the first to write them down. Because his work has the integrity which
comes from being based on fact, he has succeeded, as no novelist has yet
done, in catching the real flavour of life in the Okanagan Valley after the
first wave of English settlement struck it.
Mr. Holliday's pioneers are types who might seem to be overdrawn to
" outsiders." But in the valley, their names and reputations are part of
household currency, and they are proudly remembered as persons who .
helped to make the quality of life there distinctive. Among the persons
Mr. Holliday knew in the nineties are the Kentucky colonel who, after
serving with Gordon in the Boxer Rebellion, is now turned hotel-keeper;
the eccentric titled Englishman, come to rest after empire-building in Asia;
the English public-school boys; the remittance man; the irrepressible
young Scottish aristocrat who is succeeding in throwing off the shackles
of Presbyterian restraint; the lumberjack; the prospector; the occasional
desperado; the democratic Provincial Cabinet Minister who is always
called by his Christian name; the speculator in lands; the mining swindler;
the Austrian backwoodsman;  and the strong-willed steamboat captain.
The Valley of Youth supplies material for those interested in social
history. In these memoirs, one learns of the pastimes of young Englishmen in a new country that is bountifully supplied by nature; of law-
enforcement; of the influence of the missionaries and other religious
leaders. Indirectly, one gains knowledge of the economic development of
a pioneer community in reading of the supplying of essential services:
transportation, merchandising, banking, etc. Mr. Holliday also notes the
emergence of class consciousness and the appearance of snobbery as new
settlers arrive in the valley. (Is it possible that in his own attitude
toward the Indians, there is a trace of this in Mr. Holliday himself?)
In telling of the care-free life of young Englishmen in the valley during
the days when it was being opened up, there is no hint of their later
suffering from economic hardship. Indeed, such an aura of serenity surrounds the book that one cannot imagine any of its characters faced with
hazard or haunted by insecurity. Perhaps Mr. Holliday is one of the
favoured few who escaped the real suffering that was experienced by most
Okanagan families in the " hungry thirties." In any case, it is good to
know that at the age of 75 he can write of his youth in these words: " We
were a pretty lively bunch and used to whoop her up considerably at times, 124 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
and probably the way we lived would have seemed deplorable to our
respectable relations at home, but we certainly enjoyed life and most of
us eventually settled down as the country did the same and became quite
respectable citizens and as to making fortunes in the Okanagan, I never
heard of anyone doing that—it used to be a sort of joke that if you once
got in the valley you would never amass enough money to get out again."
(p. 125).
Altogether this is a charming book, full of delight in the beauties of
nature and the enjoyment of simple pleasures. Mr. Holliday's account
has colour and life, for he writes with enthusiasm and puts down on paper
many of the little details and the arresting anecdotes the historian so often
The Valley of Youth is an artistic production, well printed and well
supplied with illustrations. These include a coloured reproduction of a
painting of an Okanagan scene by Mr. Holliday, and drawings and
numerous photographs to illustrate the text. He has been fortunate in his
publishers and must be grateful for the pains they have taken to do justice
to his words.
Should a new edition be brought out, something should be done to
eliminate misspellings of place-names: Saucelito (p. 92); Frazer (pp. 150,
214); Caribo (p. 175); Naramatta (p. 243); and Naranatta (p. 244);
Quesnal (p. 271); Lillooet (p. 243). To me there is mystery in the fact
that Enderby is spelled correctly in two places in the text, but appears
elsewhere as " Enderley." Surely this is rather cavalier treatment of an
old friend, Mr. Holliday! And Mr. Bruce McKelvie, whose encouragement
is acknowledged by the author (p. 10), should appear as President of the
British Columbia Historical Association.
Margaret A. Ormsby.
Vancouver, B.C.
Hawaii:   A History.    By Ralph S. Kuykendall and A. Grove Day.    New
York:   Prentice Hall Inc., 1948.    Pp. x, 331.    Ills.    $3.
During the last decade of the eighteenth century and the first half of
the nineteenth, nearly every trading nation in Europe had a finger in the
juicy and strategic Sandwich Island pie. The joint authors of this very
readable history have given a graphic, if necessarily abbreviated, account
of the difficulties besetting the native monarchs in their attempts to gain
for the Hawaiian people some of the economic blessings of the European
world, while still retaining for them a measure of political and cultural
Hawaii: A History is "in straight narrative form, the consecutive
events of Hawaii's history to date." Written for the intelligent reader
who has neither the time nor the inclination to wade through masses of
historical detail, it supplies on the one hand a condensed, but accurate
description of the social, political, and economic development of this
strategic group of islands from earliest times to the present. On the
other hand, it is an attempt to rouse some appreciation, particularly among 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 125
Americans, of the progress achieved by the Hawaiians who, as the authors
state in their foreword, " have passed, during the span of one hundred
seventy years, from the Stone Age to the Atomic Age."
Professor Kuykendall, now a member of the staff of the University of
Hawaii, is an acknowledged authority on his subject. He was Executive
Secretary of the Historical Commission of the Territory of Hawaii from
1922 to 1932 and is the author of several other historical works, two of
which were written under the auspices of that body. His partner in this
latest work, A. Grove Day, while a comparative newcomer to the Islands,
is nevertheless an author of some standing in historical studies and is at
present professor of English at the University of Hawaii.
The work is divided into six " books." Book I, headed "Ancient
Hawaii," is a brief topographical and cultural survey taken up to the time
of Captain Cook's death in 1779. The other headings are self-explanatory.
Book II, "Evolution of a Constitutional Kingdom"; Book III, "The
Middle Period of Change, 1854-74 "; Book IV, " Later Years of the Kingdom, 1874-93"; Book V, "Hawaii in Transition, 1894-1900"; Book VI,
" Hawaii a U.S. Territory, 1900-."
Of particular interest to British Columbians is the close connection
between the early history of their own part of the world and that of
Hawaii. The Sandwich group provided excellent winter shelter for the
vessels engaged in the North-west Coast trade and a popular stopping-
place for the ships en route to Orient ports. Capt. James Hanna was
there in 1785—first trading-ship to stop at the Islands. The Irish surgeon,
John Mackay, first European to spend a year living with the Nootkan
tribes of Vancouver Island, debarked from the Imperial Eagle and
remained to settle on Hawaii. Our own Capt. George Vancouver introduced the first cattle to the Islands and thereby established an industry
still of prime importance to the country. Kaiana, a prominent Hawaiian
chief, by sailing with Meares to China, began a trend which reached alarming proportions by 1850, when it was estimated that nearly one-fifth of the
native male population of the Islands were on the high seas.
Of even greater interest is the part played by Sir George Simpson,
Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, who, while visiting Hawaii in
1842, offered his advice and services to Kamehameha III as a commissioner
to seek guarantees of Hawaiian independence from Great Britain, France,
and the United States. His efforts were successful in the case of the first
two countries mentioned, and their official declarations in the matter were
subsequently exchanged.
The story of the succeeding monarchs' trials in coping with the
intrigues of European governments and American commercial interests
ends with the establishment of the provisional government of the republic
in 1893. The long-awaited annexation to the United States followed
shortly after, and the final chapter shows the young Territory striving
for recognition of its fitness for full statehood.
Together with the reactionary desires of the last two rulers, the authors
stress the effect of the notorious " Gibson Regime " in bringing about the 126 The Northwest Bookshelf. April
downfall of the monarchy by its fostering of racial antagonisms and stimulating the resentment of the haoles, or foreign element. While indicating
the part played by American officials who favoured the provisional government of the annexationists, the authors treat the latter-day history, not
from the point of view of an indigenous people intent on maintaining its
freedom in the face of foreign encroachments, but as a number of poly-
racial groups, each with its own particular axe to grind.
For a book of a mere 300 pages, this history contains a wealth of detail
concerning the economic and cultural development of the country. Although
admittedly written for popular consumption, it carries a brief glossary of
Hawaiian alphabetical sounds, an enlightening statistical and chronological
appendix, and an inclusive and pertinent bibliography. Some forty photographic illustrations add materially to the reader's information and
A. W. Flucke.
Victoria, B.C.
Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin written at Fort Vancouver, 1829—1882.
Edited by Dr. Burt Brown Barker. Portland: Binford & Mort for the
Oregon Historical Society, 1948.    Pp. iv, 376.    $6.
The early history of Oregon is, inevitably, bound up with the career of
Dr. John McLoughlin, and much has been written thereon. But it is only
comparatively recently that authentic source material has become available
in print in any quantity. The Hudson's Bay Record Society paved the way
with its publication of the three-volume series of McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters covering the period 1825 to 1846. These are the basic
reference works, for in the main the letters contained therein were those
in which the over-all policy of the company was hammered out.
Now the Oregon Historical Society has sponsored the publication of
another set of Letters of Dr. John McLoughlin. This volume constitutes
a much-needed supplement to the earlier-mentioned volumes. More restricted in coverage—for only the years 1829-32 are dealt with—it records
the minutia of the Hudson's Bay Company's administration in the
Columbia Department. It is, in effect, a record of the inner workings of
the company. Here one can find details in abundance—the allocation of
personnel and trade goods to the various posts, the rates of exchange
of goods for furs, instructions regarding the establishment and operation of
such non-fur trade activities as grist- and saw-mills, the supervision of
the marine service, involving victualling as well as crew transfers—to
mention but a few. As a result, the letters do not always make easy or,
for that matter, interesting reading; but they were all well worth publishing. A reading of these letters fills one with amazement at the facility
with which McLoughlin coped with the infinite detail of his department,
but at the same time his ability as an administrator is called into question.
Was he incapable of assigning responsibility to his senior assistants? or
worse, was he unwilling to do so? for surely men of the calibre of James
Douglas and Peter Skene Ogden could have shared the burden. 1949 The Northwest Bookshelf. 127
AU of the 280 letters in the original leather-bound letter-book have been
reproduced. Many of them were in McLoughlin's own handwriting and
have been so identified. Over a third of them are entirely new, for copies
have not been discovered in the company's archives in London. Such
copies as exist have been compared with the originals and any differences
noted. All of which gives evidence of the patience with which Dr. Burt
Brown Barker has carried out his editorial duties. In addition, he has
contributed several useful appendices—the names of the individuals
mentioned in the letters have been arranged alphabetically and pertinent
biographical data provided; similar lists have been prepared for the posts
and ships of the company. His appendix entitled " Technique of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Columbia District" is a clear and concise
statement that might better have formed part of the introduction.
The foot-notes to the letters have been segregated letter by letter in an
appendix, a system which this reviewer finds particularly irksome. Dr.
Barker has taken great pains with these notes, and they are extremely
useful. Surely the references on pages 62 and 176 to the " Beaver " should
have read " Bearer," for the steamer Beaver did not arrive on this coast
until 1836, and this reviewer knows of no other vessel by the same name
in the company's service. Similarly, the list of private letters forwarded
by the Eagle in 1830 notes one to Miss Cecilia Douglas (p. 148), and the
suggestion is made that this was to a sister of the botanist David Douglas.
A more reasonable identification would appear to be Cecilia, the sister of
James Douglas, who later came to Vancouver Island as Mrs. David
While the book is very well printed, nevertheless the general format
leaves much to be desired. It will not be an easy book for students to use,
although the index obviates some of the difficulty. These are criticisms
in the realm of book-making and in no way reflect upon the editorial
standard of the volume, which reflects great credit upon Dr. Barker.
Willard E. Ireland.
Victoria, B.C.
The Twelfth Report of the Okanagan Historical Society.    Penticton:   The
Penticton Herald, 1948.    Pp. 223.   Ills.    $2.50.
This is the first report of the Okanagan Historical Society to be issued
under the editorship of Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby, associate professor of
history in the University of British Columbia. The society is to be congratulated on the production of such a full and comprehensive volume so
ably edited. It is a worthy successor to the long series of volumes edited
by the late Mr. Leonard Norris.
Almost every phase of life in the Okanagan has been touched upon in
this report—the natural features, the early legends, Indian arts and
crafts, the fur trade, the colonial period, early settlers and settlements, the
mining camps, sawmill, fruit-ranches, newspapers, schools, medicine, the
militia, and place-names. There are twenty-two signed and one unsigned
article, and also a most valuable reproduction of the earliest map of the 128 The Northwest Bookshelf.
Okanagan Valley, made in 1827 by Archibald McDonald of the Hudson's
Bay Company. Special mention should be made of the following articles:
"The Seven Stones of Similkameen," by Rev. John C. Goodfellow; "Price
Ellison, A Memorial by His Daughter," by Myra K. DeBeck; " From
Ranches to Orchards," by F. M. Buckland; " Camp Fairview," by Hester
E. White; "Early History of Hedley Camp," by Harry D. Barnes;
" Medical Services in the Okanagan Valley," by Dr. F. W. Andrew;
" Okanagan Newspapers," by Burt R. Campbell; "A History of the Okanagan Regiment," by Lieut.-Col. D. F. B. Kenloch; and "Marketing Fruits
in British Columbia," by A. K. Loyd. Dr. Ormsby has edited Francis G.
Claudet's Journal of 1867 and Mr. A. G. Harvey has contributed an outstanding study on " Okanagan Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning."
There is also a brief section, contributed by the editor, dealing with
" Recent Books Mentioning the Okanagan Valley."
Local historical societies fulfil a special function. They not only collect
and preserve materials which might otherwise be lost, but they also provide
the basis for a sound local patriotism upon which may be built a more
comprehensive national feeling. The Okanagan Historical Society has,
since 1925, paid close attention to the story of the Okanagan Valley,
including in that term " all that portion of British Columbia which is
drained by the Okanagan, Similkameen and Spallumcheen Rivers and their
tributaries." The good work begun by Mr. Leonard Norris is being continued by his successors.
Walter N. Sage.
Vancouver, B.C.
Printed by Don MoDiasmid, Printer to tbe King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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