British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jan 31, 1954

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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. 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, 50tf the copy, or $2 the year. Members of the British
Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the Quarterly without
further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical Association
assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors to the magazine. BRITISH COLUMBIA
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. XVHI Victoria, B.C., January-April, 1954 Nos. 1 and 2
The Early Militia and Defence of British Columbia, 1871-1885.
By Reginald H. Roy       1
Post-Contact Culture Changes among the Lummi Indians.
By Wayne Suttles     29
Arthur Kennedy's Administration of the Colony of Western Australia
Examined as a Background to the Initiation of the Vancouver Island Exploration Expedition of 1864.
By H. C. Gilliland  103
The Naming of Holland Point.
By Madge Wolfenden  117
Notes and Comments:
British Columbia Historical Association  123
Kamloops Museum Association  130
New Westminster Historic Centre  131
Boat Encampment Cairn  131
Contributors to This Issue  132 THE EARLY MILITIA AND DEFENCE OF
When the Crown Colony of British Columbia entered into confederation with the Dominion of Canada in 1871, the problem of its defence
was automatically assumed by the Federal authorities. At that time
there existed in British Columbia, at least in name, three militia units.
In the Provincial capital was the Victoria Rifle Corps, a unit formed in
the summer of 1864, consisting of two companies, each of which once
had a peak strength of some forty-five men. On the Mainland, in New
Westminster, were two militia companies. The New Westminster Volunteer Rifles had been formed in November, 1863. In its ranks were
to be found many men who had served with the recently disbanded
detachment of Royal Engineers.1 The Seymour Artillery Company,
also of New Westminster, was organized in July, 1866, as a direct result
of the Fenian scare in the East, but it was not until a year later that this
company received its main armament—two 24-pounder bronze cannon.
The artillery and infantry companies were, as their names suggest,
composed entirely of volunteers. Then, as now, interest in the militia
units was governed mainly by the imminence of internal or external
danger to the colony. Thus, during the time of the Fenian scare in
1866, the militia ranks had been swelled to their greatest numbers. As
fears of such a raid subsided, interest in the companies waned and their
strength melted as a consequence. In many respects the attention paid
the militia by the local government and the Colonial Office paralleled
that in the colony itself. At the height of the Fenian scare the War
Office shipped a supply of guns, rifles, ammunition, and equipment to
the colony, most of which, when it arrived in 1867, was used to outfit
the New Westminster companies. No comparable supply of warlike
stores reached British Columbia again until six years later. The colonial
government, whose past financial grants to the militia companies were
both few and meagre, was delighted at the response to the threatened
Fenian raid.   Not only did the men enrol in the militia, but they pur-
(1) The first detachment of Royal Engineers to be sent from England to British
Columbia arrived in the colony in 1858. Of a total of 165 who came, about 130
decided to remain in the colony when their detachment was disbanded in 1863.
F. W. Howay, The Work of the Royal Engineers in British Columbia, 1858 to 1863,
Victoria, 1910, p. 11.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2.
1 2 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
chased their own uniforms and contributed toward the maintenance of
the companies. This spirit of sacrifice, applauded but unmatched by
the colonial legislature, subsided into an apathy and neglect from 1867
By 1871, therefore, the militia in British Columbia was but a shadow
of its former state. Armed with outmoded muzzle-loading rifles,2
ignored by the authorities in London, faced with indifference at home,
the companies were weak in morale, strength, armament, and training.
With no effective military force available, the defence of the Pacific
Coast rested with such British naval vessels as were present at the Esquimalt naval base. Here, too, the situation was not always satisfactory.
The Pacific Squadron was responsible for the protection of British interests in a sea area covering many thousand square miles, and the troubled
waters off South America frequently denuded the British Columbia
coast of all but one or two gun-vessels. Indeed, such was the situation
when, a few months after its confederation with Canada, an incident
occurred which was to emphasize the defenceless state of British Columbia and which, ultimately, was to hasten the establishment of the first
Canadian militia forces in the Province.
On December 31, 1871, the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, Joseph W. Trutch, received an anonymous letter which read as
follows:— Victoria, B.C.
To His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor   .... 29th December, 1871
There are now in town a Company of Fenians who hold regular meetings and
are well drilled. Take a warning—they are now in part of the Dominion and will
have revenge yet from the Canadians. Several of the Government Rifles and
Bayonets are in their hands, also some of the ammunition for Long Enfield Rifles.
This, Sir, is a warning. You may treat it as you think, but it is true nevertheless.
[Signed] " From a Loyal Subject
  in Victoria"3
(2) In March, 1875, when the Provincial Government handed over its obsolete
military stores to the Department of Militia and Defence, 496 Brunswick Short
rifles and 289 Enfield Long rifles were included in the transfer. These weapons were
far inferior to the breech-loading Snider-Enfield rifles provided the Canadian militia
in 1867. Public Archives of Canada, Papers of the Deputy Minister of Militia and
Defence, Letters Received, 1875, No. 01424. (Hereafter this source will be cited
as D.M. Papers.)
(3) Ibid., No. 6278. This docket contains all the correspondence between
Trutch and the Secretary of State for the Provinces, Joseph Howe, regarding the
Fenian scare in Victoria, together with enclosures sent to Howe relating to Trutch's
correspondence with Captain Cator and others. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 3
Upon receipt of this warning, and after a hurried meeting with his
Executive Council, the Lieutenant-Governor took immediate steps to
forestall any Fenian raid from within or without. On New Year's Day
he sent a message to Captain R. P. Cator, R.N., then Senior Naval Officer
at Esquimalt, advising him of the warning note he had received. In this
message he stated he did not seriously apprehend any such attack to be
impending, but, he added:—
... In view of the events which happened in 1870 in the Province of Quebec
and still more recently in the Province of " Manitoba" and the known character
and aims of the Fenian organization, I think it incumbent to take such steps as are
in our power to prevent the perpetration of robbery and outrage in our neighborhood.4
Under the circumstances, therefore, Trutch requested Cator to station the gun-vessel H.M.S. Boxer5 in Victoria Harbour and to take any
further steps he thought advisable after consulting with the Attorney-
General, Honourable J. F. McCreight, the bearer of the message.
Captain Cator's action was prompt. The Boxer was immediately
sent to the harbour, but, after further consultation, a more elaborate
scheme of defence was worked out. H.M.S. Sparrowhawk6 was directed
to lay off the harbour-mouth to prevent the entry or exit of all boats and
vessels to and from the harbour until satisfied they were engaged in
lawful business. It would also render assistance should there be any
attack on Victoria. The Sparrowhawk was also to keep a lookout for a
signal made by those on shore should the Fenians attack from an unexpected quarter. In such a case, the Victoria PoUce were to fire a series
of rockets from the Government Buildings. On seeing this signal, the
Sparrowhawk would fire three guns in succession. This would both
answer the signal on shore and at the same time alert the ships in
Esquimalt. On hearing the signal guns H.M.S. Boxer was to get up
steam immediately and call alongside the Scout1 and Sparrowhawk for
the purpose of collecting a party of fifty Royal Marines. These men,
under the command of Lieutenant Hume, R.M.L.I., would be rushed
(4) Loc. cit.
(5) H.M.S. Boxer, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander F. W. Egerton, was
a composite-built screw gun-vessel mounting four guns.
(6) H.M.S. Sparrowhawk, commanded by Commander H. W. Mist, was a
somewhat heavier and more powerful gun-vessel than the Boxer but carried the
same number of guns.
(7) H.M.S. Scout, commanded by Captain R. P. Cator, was a screw-propelled
corvette carrying seventeen guns. Its displacement (2,187 tons) and power (1,327
horse-power) were respectively more than triple and double that of the gun-vessels. 4 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
to Victoria and landed near the Government Buildings, while the Boxer
would proceed up the harbour to act as the circumstances warranted.8
The plan of defence, awkward as it appears, was probably as effective a plan as was feasible at the time. In Victoria the government was
unable to call upon the militia to render assistance,9 and the available
handful of police was little more than a token force. Captain Cator
had his own problems, too, since in case of a raid it would be his special duty to guard the Esquimalt naval base, and for that purpose he
would require a large part of the naval force under his command. As
he pointed out to Trutch:—
. . . Without some more efficient force than now exists in Victoria it is
evident that such outrages as are alleged to have been intended, may be organized
with impunity in your midst, and I cannot but suggest that this force should be so
increased and reorganized as to furnish a real protection to life and property, and
so prevent the re-occurrence of such alarms as we have been subject to lately.
I would also bring before your notice the very exposed position of British Columbia,
with scattered towns which would be unable to afford each other assistance in
consequence of their distance apart, and the whole appearing to me entirely
dependent for protection in case of outbreak or raid on what little assistance that
can be offered by Ships of War present at Esquimalt. This I atttribute to the entire
absence of any Military force in the Province and would again suggest that Victoria
should be made the depot of a well organized body of Militia and Police, not only
for the protection of that town, but such as to be able to render assistance in case
of emergency to other parts of the Colony [sfcj.10
These military facts of life had already become glaringly apparent
to Trutch and his Executive Council. On January 2, with the Sparrow-
hawk patrolling the harbour-mouth and the.Boxer, with steam up and
guns ready for action, stationed inside the harbour, Trutch wrote Joseph
Howe hrforming him of the steps he had taken.11 These measures seem
to have been effective, for if there was any factual basis for the warning—
(8) D.M. Papers, No. 6278, Cator to Trutch, January 2, 1872; Trutch to
Cator, January 3, 1872.
(9) The Victoria Volunteer Rifle Corps was in no condition to act in this crisis.
A local newspaper commented on the unit as follows: "It is problematical to
what extent it would be safe to rely upon this force as a means of repelling a
Fenian invasion. If we are correctly informed that it has lapsed into a torpid state,
it would, perhaps, be wisest not to count upon it at all as a means of defence."
Victoria Colonist, January 4, 1872.
(10) DM. Papers, No. 6278, Cator to Trutch, January 7, 1872.
(11) Ibid., Trutch to Howe, January 2, 1872. In this letter Trutch wrote that,
aside from the warning letter he had received, " certain significant though inexplicit
rumours ... of late reached us from San Francisco of some contemplated
Fenian movement in this direction.   .   .   ." 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 5
and certainly the Victoria PoUce could find none—the naval preparations would appear to have forestaUed any proposed raid. Local interest
in the scare quickly subsided, but although it was soon treated as a joke,
newspaper comment expressed the hope that the Province might soon
have better protection.
Stronger defences were also uppermost in the minds of the Executive. At the meeting held on January 2 it was decided that in view of
the inadequate state of the miUtia and the uncertainty of the naval protection afforded by the warships at Esquimalt, the Dominion Government should be urged to take the following steps. First, every effort
should be made to induce the Imperial Government to make Esquimalt
the permanent headquarters station of the British North Pacific Fleet,
and to agree to keep, in addition to the gun-vessels detailed for service
in British Columbia waters, at least one heavy frigate. Further, the
Canadian militia system should be extended to the Province and a regular force of 100 men stationed there. Finally, the Executive asked for
a reliable detective to keep watch on the Fenians and report their intentions or movements.12
In communicating these views to the Federal authorities, Trutch
pointed out that British Columbia, and especiaUy Victoria, was more
exposed to a hit-and-run attack than perhaps any other portion of the
Dominion. Not only would an attack by sea give aU the advantages
of concealment and surprise to the enemy, but the geographical remoteness of British Columbia from the rest of the Dominion made any hope
of timely aid out of the question. Under such circumstances, and until
an efficient militia force was organized, the Navy formed not only the
first but the only line of defence. If the Province could rely upon the
Navy having a minimum of two gun-vessels and a frigate present at
Esquimalt, then, thought Trutch, it would be impracticable for any
party of marauders to get away from the Island even if they should
overpower those on shore. However, as matters stood, H.M.S. Scout
was under orders to go to the Sandwich Islands in March, and the
Admiralty had intimated a few months previously that it wanted the
Sparrowhawk removed from the station.13
(12) Minute of the Executive Council of British Columbia, January 2, 1872,
enclosed in ibid.
(13) D.M. Papers, No. 6278, Trutch to Howe, January 9, 1872. Four days
before sending this message, Trutch had telegraphed Sir John A. Macdonald outlining the measures he had taken. The Prime Minister, in a personal letter to the
Governor-General on January 18, suggested that the Fenian "scare" would be 6 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
Part of Trutch's fears, however, was soon dispeUed. On January
20 word was received in Ottawa that the Admiralty had decided to leave
the Sparrowhawk at Esquimalt for the present, and, further, that a vessel
of similar tonnage and armament would replace her when that vessel
was recaUed.14 Meanwhile, the gun-vessel still remained on guard outside the harbour-mouth, waiting in vain for the Fenians. At the end of
the month the Executive Council reconsidered the necessity of keeping
the Sparrowhawk at its station. Trutch suggested to Cator that, in view
of the severe weather, the ship might be anchored within the harbour
itself, but Cator countered with the proposal that the vessel should be
withdrawn altogether. Despite every appearance of continued peace
and calm, Trutch remained cautious and tartly replied that he had not
received any information "... as would warrant the conclusion
that the special protection offered during the past month by the Naval
Force under your command can be dispensed with, without risk of life
and property in the city."15 A gun-vessel continued to guard Victoria
until the end of February, but target practice provided the only break
in the monotony for its officers and crew.
In Ottawa, meanwhile, Trutch's correspondence and the obvious
need of a system of defence in British Columbia had come to the attention of the Minister of Militia and Defence, Sir George E. Cartier. It
was the opinion of the Adjutant-General of MiUtia, Colonel F. Robertson-Ross, that for the present time a quota of no more than 500 miUtia-
men should be raised in MiUtary District No. II.16 However, he suggested that for " prudential reasons " a depot consisting of sufficient arms,
equipment, and ammunition for 1,000 men should be formed in Victoria
sufficient grounds for repeating the request to the British Admiralty to retain the
Sparrowhawk at Esquimalt for another season. Public Archives of Canada, G 20,
Vol. 140, No. 2286, Macdonald to Lisgar, January 18, and enclosed telegram,
Trutch to Macdonald, January 5, 1872.
(14) Public Archives of Canada, Gl, Vol. 185, p. 32, Kimberley to Lisgar,
January 4, 1872. These instructions reached Ottawa sixteen days later. On that
day Trutch had written Macdonald: " I do trust you are intending to do something
at once to put us in a more decent state of defence. . . . We ought to have not
only a detachment of permanently embodied militia quartered here but a fort for
the protection of the entrance to Esquimalt and Victoria Harbour garrisoned by a
proper force of artillery." Public Archives of Canada, Macdonald Papers, Vol.
278, pp. 150-151.
(15) D.M. Papers, No. 6322, enclosures, Trutch to Cator, January 31, 1872.
(16) British Columbia was designated Military District No. 11 on October 16,
1871. Militia General Orders, October 16, 1871.   (Hereafter cited as M.G.O.) -1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 7
immediately. This suggestion was acted upon, and on February 26 an
order for arms and equipment was sent to England. Although no cannon
were included in the purchase, the arms ordered were the latest type of
breech-loading Snider rifles.17
The choice of a suitable commander for British Columbia fell ultimately on Charles F. Houghton. An Irishman by birth, Houghton had
served as a commissioned officer in the 57th and 20th Regiments of Foot,
both in England and abroad. In 1863, at the age of 25, he sold
his commission and came to British Columbia, where he took up farming in the Okanagan VaUey. In 1871 he was elected a member to the
House of Commons, and it was in Ottawa that he heard the appointment
of Deputy Adjutant-General for Military District No. 11 was to be
filled.18 His application for the position was strongly supported by his
feUow members of parliament from British Columbia, and at the end of
the session, after talking to Cartier, Houghton returned home in June
confident his appointment would take place immediately.
The decision to appoint Houghton to the vacant post was delayed
by the proposed visit of the Adjutant-General to British Columbia to
survey the miUtary situation there for himself. Robertson-Ross arrived
in Victoria for a two-week visit on October 28, 1872. In his report he
suggested the formation of two companies of miUtia at Victoria, one in
Nanaimo, New Westminster, and Burrard's Inlet, and the reorganization
of the almost defunct artiUery company at New Westminster.19 The
death of Cartier once more delayed Houghton's appointment, and consequently the implementation of the Adjutant-General's recommendations.   It was not until March 21, 1873, that Houghton was given the
(17) D.M. Papers, No. 6279, Memorandum, Robertson-Ross to Cartier. These
stores cost approximately $50,000. The arms, etc., were shipped direct from
England to Victoria.
(18) D.M. Papers, No. 6521, Houghton to Cartier, April 22, 1872. Another
applicant for the vacancy was Captain W. A. Delacombe, who at this time was in
charge of the detachment of Royal Marines on San Juan Island. This officer's
application was supported by the signatures of over 200 residents of Victoria.
Houghton's political supporters, however, carried more weight and influence in
Ottawa.  See also ibid., Nos. 6708 and 7785.
(19) Department of Militia and Defence, Report on the State of the Militia of
the Dominion of Canada . . . 1872, Ottawa, 1873, p. cxxvi. (Hereafter cited as
Militia Report with the appropriate year.) This inspection tour across Canada by
Robertson-Ross was probably the most remarkable tour ever made by an Adjutant-
General of the Canadian Forces. See R. H. Roy, " The Colonel Goes West,"
Canadian Army Journal, VTII (1954), pp. 76-81. 8 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
rank of Ueutenant-colonel and designated the Deputy Adjutant-General
of British Columbia.20
The arms and equipment from England did not reach Victoria until
the summer of 1873, and since the town possessed neither magazine nor
armoury, they were stored in private warehouses until that situation was
remedied. In October, Houghton received authority to proceed with
the raising of five companies of militia; the two in Victoria were limited
to an enrolment of fifty other ranks, while a limit of forty miUtiamen was
placed on the rifle companies in the other centres. These men were to
be raised, drilled, and paid under the same miUtia system existing in the
rest of the Dominion. To encourage the formation of the new corps,
band instruments were purchased to help raise the martial spirit, and
both a rifle range and drill-shed were promised, providing the land was
donated by the several municipal authorities.
The formation of the rifle companies at Victoria and New Westminster was completed with Uttle difficulty. Nos. 1 and 2 Company of
Rifles at Victoria came into existence on February 13, 1874. No. 1
Company of Rifles at New Westminster was posted in orders on the same
day.21 The Company at Nanaimo was not formed until some months
later. The method used by Houghton to raise this company was quite
typical of the times. He journeyed to Nanaimo on April 14 and, he
On arrival ... I immediately posted notices and convened a public meeting
at the Court House on the evening of the 16th. On which occasion, having
explained the Militia Act and Regulations to them, I succeeded in enrolling
seventeen volunteers. At a subsequent meeting held at the same place I enrolled
nineteen more names, making a total in all of thirty-six, from which number I
selected a Captain, Lieutenant and Ensign in whose hands I placed the roll for
A further problem Houghton had to deal with was the lack of a driU
instructor for the Nanaimo company. For a short time a private from
one of the Victoria companies, himself newly trained, drilled the volunteers, but it was feared, with good reason, that he was Ukely " to do as
(20) M.G.O., No. 6, March 28, 1873.
(21) M.G.O., No. 3, February 13; No. 8, April 11, 1874.
(22) D.M. Papers, No. 9937, enclosure, Houghton to Colonel Powell, May 4,
1874. Colonel Powell succeeded Robertson-Ross as the Adjutant-General of
Militia. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 9
much harm as good."23 Finally the services of a gunner's mate from
H.M.S. Myrmidon, then stationed at Esquimalt, was acquired for six
weeks, and No. 1 Company of Rifles at Nanaimo set to work with a will.
The summer of 1874 also saw the formation of the Seymour Battery
of Garrison Artillery in New Westminster.24 Although provided with
new uniforms and rifles, the battery—actuaUy a half-battery—had only
the two outmoded 24-pounder howitzers for its main armament. Moreover, the field carriages on which these bronze cannon were mounted
and the harness needed to puU the carriages were fast deteriorating
through long neglect.
Once the new militia was organized in British Columbia, the need
for driU-haUs, magazines, and rifle ranges in Victoria, New Westminster,
and Nanaimo became pressing. By June, 1874, tenders for the construction of a drill-shed in Victoria had been received, and work on the
building began in August. When completed in December it cost almost
$4,500. Measuring 112 by 64 feet, it had a fairly large central hall
with five rooms on either side containing offices and storerooms. At
either end of the haU was a door, one acting as the front entrance, whue
the other led to a cleared plot of land at the rear which was used for
driU purposes.25
A magazine for the storage of ammunition, powder, and explosives
was built several years later. For some time the Hudson's Bay Company rented space on their powder-barge at Esquimalt for military stores,
but by 1878, after paying weU over $3,000 in rentals, the Government
decided it would be cheaper to construct their own magazine. At first
it was proposed to build one on Government land within the city, but
the protests of the City Council, supported by the opinion of the Provincial Premier, who thought the new magazine would be much too close
to the Parliament Buildings, resulted in a change of plans. Beacon Hill,
a site situated on the outskirts of the city, was finally chosen, and construction of the $1,200 building began in February, 1879. When completed four months later, it was used to store artillery as well as smaU-
arms ammunition.26
(23) Ibid., enclosure, Lieutenant Prior to Houghton, June 11, 1874. Prior was
second in command of No. 1 Company of Rifles, Nanaimo, when it was posted in
orders on September 11, 1874.
(24) M.G.O., July 10, 1874.
(25) D.M. Papers, No. 0433,Building Agreement, Victoria Drill-shed.
(26) Ibid., No. 02385. 10 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
In Nanaimo the miUtia company waited in vain for its driU-shed.
For several years the company used the smaU " Mechanic's HaU " as a
poor substitute, and even this was denied them in 1878, when they were
forced to use a sash and door factory for their drill. There is Uttle doubt
that this lack of proper faciUties contributed in no smaU measure to the
losing struggle for existence of this smaU company. The Nanaimo miU-
tiamen had built their own rifle range without government aid, but their
enthusiasm waned as the years passed without any indication of Federal
New Westminster was for a short time sUghtly better off than Victoria or Nanaimo. A driU-shed had been built there by the colonial
government in 1866 for the volunteers. Moreover, the Royal Engineers
had constructed a magazine in the town, a brick and stone buUding with
copper doors. Both these buildings were taken over by the New Westminster units in 1873, and although their foundations were even then
beginning to sag, they served their purpose for several years.
During this time, and indeed for a number of years thereafter, there
were no miUtia units in the Interior of the Province. When he made
his western inspection tour in 1875, Major-General E. Selby Smyth,
commander of the Canadian miUtia, was asked to establish some sort
of a protective force at Kootenay Village and Joseph's Prairie. Kootenay
lay west of the Rockies and was some 600 miles journey from the Provincial capital. In this position—" one of the most isolated portions of
the British Empire," as the general aptly described it—a small white
population of about 150 was surrounded by almost six times their number of Indians. Smyth recommended the establishment of a poUce force
of fifty men in the area, but no further action was taken. He also thought
it desirable to estabUsh a smaU corps of mounted infantry or riflemen
at Kamloops, and further suggested raising additional smaU corps at
Clinton, Cache Creek, and Okanagan. These latter units, he said, could
driU once a month independently, and once a year the whole could
assemble at Kamloops and driU together with the mounted rifles.28
Although Smyth was thinking in terms of an avaUable force to quell
internal disturbances, another British officer looked on the lack of militia
in the Interior as a dangerous gap in the southern defences of the Province.   Colonel G. F. Blair, late Royal Artillery, had been sent to British
(27) No. 1 Company of Rifles, Nanaimo, was finally disbanded on May 2,
(28) Militia Report   .   .   .   1875, Ottawa, 1876, pp. vi-viii. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 11
Columbia to survey the sites for possible defensive works at Victoria
and Esquimalt. At the request of the Federal authorities, he wrote
what is possibly the first military intelUgence report of British Columbia.
The problem of defending the seaboard he thought beyond the resources
of the Dominion, and felt it must be left in the hands of the Imperial
Government. It was the southern frontier which demanded most attention from a strictly miUtary point of view. If, through an unfortunate
series of circumstances, relations with the United States deteriorated to
the point of war, Blair wrote that:—
. . . in the present state of things a Regiment of United States Light Infantry,
preceded by a Corps of Indian Guides and supported by a battery of light rifled
mountain train guns, with a transport of Indian pack horses or mules marching by
the Whatcom trail, could seize upon and paralyze the communications of the whole
country, viz. the New Westminster and Hope wagon Road and the Lower or
Navigable portions of the Fraser, i.e. all below Fort Hope.29
This would be but a prelude to the main action, which Colonel Blah-
envisaged as a sweep by a larger force cutting off and enveloping the
more populous coastal towns from the east, while at the same time an
American naval squadron would land troops on Vancouver Island to
take Esquimalt, Victoria, and Nanaimo from the rear. The estabUshment of a corps of guides along the southern frontier, having a nucleus
composed of the ex-Royal Engineers who had settled in the Sumas and
Matsqui areas, was deemed essential by Blair, together with a survey of
the frontier from a miUtary point of view.30
Both Colonel Blair and General Smyth were unanimous in their
recommendation that Victoria and Esquimalt should be protected by
artillery, for in the absence of a ship-of-war at the naval base there was
nothing to prevent an enemy cruiser from destroying either place with
no fear of retaUation. While on his inspection tour, Smyth noted two
7-inch and four 40-pounder muzzle-loading rifled guns at the naval
dockyard about to be sent back to England as obsolete for naval service.
He proposed, therefore, that they be transferred to the Dominion Gov-
(29) D.M. Papers, No. 02638, Colonel G. F. Blair, "Memorandum on the
Defence of British Columbia." In 1875 the Intelligence Department of the British
War Office asked for detailed reports from the colonies. In Canada the commander
of each military district submitted a report, and Colonel Blair's served for British
Columbia. Among other steps he suggested to place British Columbia in a proper
state of defence, Blair recommended the purchase of Alaska "if possible," the
construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the establishment of a British
garrison at Esquimalt.
(30) Loc. cit. 12 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
eminent and be used to arm an earthwork battery he would have constructed at Macaulay's Point, a commanding promontory midway between Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours. Should such a battery be
estabUshed, he reported, no vessel but an iron-clad would venture to
run the gauntlet of its fire, and even such a ship would have its unarm-
oured decks exposed to the plunging fire the battery would deliver.
Despite the obvious need of estabUshing land batteries to defend
the naval base and Provincial capital, no action was taken on the general's suggestion either by the Admiralty or the Dominion Government.
Indeed, every effort was needed to keep the present miUtia companies
in a proper state of efficiency. The financial depression of the seventies,
combined with the steadUy improving relations with the United States,
reduced mihtia expenditure almost by half, and cut by more than a third
the number of trained miUtia.31 In British Columbia, as elsewhere, the
effect of such a parsimonious budget was evident in the ill-fitting and
worn uniforms of the men, the reduced amount of ammunition aUowed
for annual target practice, and in other similar ways, which decided
many men against re-enUsting when their three-year term of service was
completed in 1876. Nevertheless, the companies continued to function
as new volunteers stepped forward to fill the places of the disgruntled
minority who left. Colonel Houghton even received appUcations requesting the formation of two additional imlitia companies on the mainland,
but these had to be turned down, since there were scarcely sufficient
funds to support existing companies.32
The threat of a Fenian raid had caused the Federal Government to
hasten the formation of miUtia companies in British Columbia in 1872;
five years later it was another threat of a raid—this time by Russian
war vessels—that caused both the Dominion and British Governments
to look on British Columbian defences with renewed interest.
In Europe the long-smouldering Balkans had burst into flame when
Russia declared war on Turkey in April, 1877. Britain's relations with
Russia worsened steadUy as Russian troops drove toward Constantinople
and the Bosporus. To counter what was regarded as an intolerable
threat to her Near Eastern possessions, Great Britain took strong miUtary and naval measures which clearly indicated her determination to
prevent Russia's domination of Turkey.
(31) C. F. Hamilton, "The Canadian Militia:  The Dead Period," Canadian
Defence Quarterly, VH (1929), pp. 78-89.
(32) Militia Report  .   .   .   1877, Ottawa, 1878, p. 274. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 13
The danger of war with Russia led Britain to review the defences
of her empire as a strategic whole. It was very obvious that despite
her immense naval power and resources, the Royal Navy and the widely
scattered British garrisons would be unable to prevent damaging attacks
on her possessions by enemy naval forces. In March, 1878, a secret
circular dispatch was sent from the Colonial Office pointing out the
necessity for the various colonies to be in readiness to protect themselves as far as possible in the event of the outbreak of hostilities. Should
war ensue, the dispatch warned:—
The danger against which it would be more immediately necessary to provide
would be an unexpected attack by a small squadron or even a single unarmoured
cruiser, with the object of destroying public or private property . . . rather than
any serious attempt at the conquest or permanent occupation of any portion of
the colony.33
The danger of a hit-and-run attack by Russian naval forces had been
brought quite forcibly to the attention of British Columbia a month
before this dispatch was sent. On February 9 the newspapers reported
the arrival in San Francisco of a Russian naval squadron.34 This, combined with reports of increasing tension in Europe, created considerable
apprehension in Victoria, especially as the major portion of the Esqui-
malt-based squadron was cruising in South American waters. In view
of these circumstances, a special meeting was held by the Premier of
British Columbia with the senior naval and mUitia officers, at which it
was decided to organize a corps of volunteer artiUery. Captain F. C. B.
Robinson, R.N., then Senior Naval Officer at Esquimalt, promised to
supply guns, which would be placed at selected points covering Ukely
approaches to the harbours, and also agreed to loan the services of a
naval artiUery instructor to train the corps. Volunteers for the new
corps quickly filled its ranks, and within a few days the artiUery unit
started holding regular driU parades.35
While these pro tern, arrangements were being made on the Pacific
Coast, the arrival of the Russian steamer Cimbria at Ellsworth, Maine,
caused considerable apprehension in Ottawa. According to the Commander of the MiUtia, Major-General E. Selby Smyth, the Cimbria,
manned by 60 officers and 600 seamen, had on board a cargo of guns
(33) D.M. Papers, No. 04375, enclosure, Colonial Office, Secret Circular
Dispatch, March 11, 1878. In Canada the warning was probably more applicable
to Victoria and Esquimalt than to other Canadian ports.
(34) Victoria Colonist, February 9, 1878.
(35) Ibid., February 17 and 20, 1878. 14 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
and warlike stores which were to be used to arm fast steamers purchased
in the United States which, in the event of war, would be used against
British shipping in the Atlantic. WhUe warning that the Atlantic ports
must be put in a proper state of defence, Smyth did not forget the vulnerable Pacific Coast.   In this respect he added:—
I have so frequently brought to notice the totally unprotected state of the
harbour of Victoria and the entrance to Esquimalt in Vancouver Island as well as
the immensely important coal mines of Nanaimo that I need only once more very
earnestly urge that guns now lying in Esquimalt Dockyard . . . may at length
be handed over and mounted on Macaulay's Point to command the entrance to
both harbours.86
Smyth's long battle to have the spare cannon at Esquimalt released
for land defence had been won even as he wrote the above. A study
of the defensive needs of Vancouver Island had been undertaken by a
Colonial Defence Committee in Great Britain earUer in the year. Spurred
by the danger of war with Russia and appreciating the remoteness of the
Pacific ports and the time lapse before its recommendations could be
put into effect, the Committee made a special early report on Victoria
and Esquimalt. In view of the fact that Esquimalt was " the only refitting station in British territory on the western coast of America," the
Committee recommended that some eighteen medium and heavy guns
should be sent out from England for the protection of the two ports.
Since this would take considerable time, the Committee suggested that
the Admiralty should loan such available armament at Esquimalt to the
Dominion as could be spared. The guns were to be loaned only until
they could be replaced by those sent from England or until required for
use by Her Majesty's ships. The letter from the Colonial Secretary
accompanying the Committee's report informed the Dominion Government that the Admiralty had agreed to the loan, and that " the whole
armament in store at Victoria and Esquimalt, whether belonging to the
War Office or the Admiralty, wiU be at the disposal of the Dominion
Government for the defence of these points."37
(36) D.M. Papers, No. 04441, confidential, Smyth to the Honourable A. G.
Jones, Minister of Militia and Defence, May 3, 1878. For further details of the
Cimbria affair see L. I. Strakhovsky, " Russia's Privateering Projects of 1878," The
Journal of Modern History, VTI (1935), pp. 22-40.
(37) Public Archives of Canada, G21, No. 165, Vol. 3, secret, Hicks-Beach to
Dufferin, May 11, 1878, and the enclosed Colonial Office print, secret and confidential, " Report of a Colonial Defence Committee on the Temporary Defences of
the Naval Station of Esquimalt and the Important Commercial Town and Harbour
of Victoria," April, 1878. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 15
The Admiralty's decision, cabled to Ottawa, permitted Major-General
Smyth to take the first concrete steps toward setting up a system of land
defences for Victoria and Esquimalt. On May 11 he ordered Lieutenant-
Colonel D. T. Irwin, Inspector of Artillery, to proceed immediately to
British Columbia to supervise the construction of the proposed coastal
Irwin arrived in Victoria on May 27, and on the same evening
attended the first regular enrolment of the volunteer artiUery company.
About thirty men enUsted that night, and within a few weeks the new
corps was up to its estabUshment of fifty aU ranks. Although it had
been training for several months, the new corps, officiaUy styled the
Victoria Battery of Garrison Artillery, did not receive official authorization until July 19.38
Upon his arrival in Victoria, Irwin met with the Commander-in-Chief
of the Pacific Squadron, Rear-Admiral A. F. R. de Horsey, who appointed a smaU group of Royal Navy and Royal Marine ArtiUery officers to co-operate with Irwin on the siting of the batteries. These officers went over the ground quite thoroughly in the foUowing weeks, and
although the naval and mUitary views on defence sometimes differed,
there was a much greater area of agreement.
Before leaving Ottawa, Irwin had been given the plans for a proposed
system of defence drawn up by Lieutenant-Colonel Blair three years
previously. Blair had envisaged one battery at Victoria Point (at the
base of Beacon Hill) commanding the approach to Victoria Harbour;
one at Macaulay Point, which would cover the entrance to both harbours; and one on Fisgard Island, a smaU rocky isle at the mouth of
Esquimalt Harbour. Of these three positions, the Macaulay Point battery was felt to be the most important.39 Work had started on this latter
site even before Irwin arrived in Victoria. However, for some time
work on the battery had been held up by the owners of the site, the
Puget Sound Company, who demanded $2,000 for the 1% acres needed
for the battery. In June, Irwin was ordered to take possession of the
land and construction of the battery continued.40
While waiting for permission to continue work at Macaulay Point,
Irwin received authority to begin construction of a battery at Victoria
(38) M.G.O., July 19, 1878.
(39) D.M. Papers, No. 04470, Smyth to Irwin, May 11, 1878.
(40) Ibid., Smyth to Scott, June 29, 1878. The Honourable R. W. Scott was
Acting Minister of Militia and Defence at this time.
2 16
Reginald H. Roy
Jan.-Apr. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 17
Point. For various reasons two 2-gun batteries were constructed at the
sea base of Beacon HU1—one to command Ross Bay on the east, the
other to guard Victoria Harbour on the west. Irwin had wanted to
place one of these batteries on HoUand Point, where the guns would
have a greater arc of fire. However, it would have cost $400 to purchase the necessary land, whereas the positions at Finlayson and Victoria
Point at the sea base of Beacon HiU were owned by the Government.41
The naval view of the proper location of the various batteries differed
in several respects. Although he did not deny the potential usefulness
of the batteries under construction for the defence of Victoria, Admiral
de Horsey pointed out that owing to the shaUowness of the harbour no
enemy ship of any size could enter it.   Further, he added:—
In the absence of defensive works of any extent not now contemplated, that
city is not defensible except by sufficient land forces to meet an enemy in the
field. ... It will be seen how easily it can be taken in the rear by an enemy
landing in Cadboro Bay, Cormorant Bay or indeed anywhere along a coastline of
some 13 miles or more extent, and yet with a march of only 3 to 5 miles of that
Moreover, the admiral was interested in having the batteries arranged
so as to be able to bring their fire to cover the approaches to Esquimalt
Harbour and the harbour itself. The final result was that the proposed
battery on Fisgard Island was dropped, since the rocky nature of that
island would make the construction of a battery there extremely expensive. Brother's Island, also located at the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour,
was chosen as an alternative site.
By the end of August, after three months of steady labour, the batteries were completed. The two strongest were those on Brother's Island
and Macaulay Point. The former held one 8-inch 9-ton and two 64-
pounder R.M.L. (rifled muzzle-loading) guns, whUe the latter had
three 7-inch 6Vi-ton R.M.L. guns. The two batteries at the base of
Beacon HU1 each had two 64-pounder R.M.L. guns. AU the guns were
mounted en barbette behind earthen breastworks, and each battery had
a smaU expense magazine and an additional wooden buUding to hold
various smaU stores needed to work the guns. The four largest guns
were enclosed in weather-proof wooden sheds, triangular in section, to
protect the guns, sUdes, and carriages from the elements.43
(41) Ibid., same to same, June 29 and July 20, 1878.
(42) Public Archives of Canada, MG13, A 6, Vol. 4, 285a-287, de Horsey to
the Secretary of the Admiralty, July 28, 1878.
(43) Militia Report . . . 1878, Ottawa, 1879, pp. 306-312. For an appreciation of Lieutenant-Colonel Irwin's work in Victoria see J. F. Cummins, "Colonel 18 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
Even as the batteries were being buUt, it was obvious that the problem of manning the guns was not solved with the enrolment of fifty volunteer artiUerymen. Irwin had warned his naval associates that with
this number he could barely man five guns, and these would naturaUy
be, as all the men were enroUed and driUed in Victoria, the batteries at
Beacon Hill and Macaulay Point.44 The question of getting sufficient
trained men to serve the batteries was to be raised time and again for
the next decade.
There had been Uttle trouble in enroUing men to volunteer for the
new artillery unit when it was first formed, but the miUtia rifle companies had suffered as a consequence. Houghton reported at the time
that artiUery driU and practice was much more to the taste of the young
men of Victoria, and this, together with the attractive blue tunics worn
by the gunners, made it the popular corps with recruits. Even men who
had put in their three years with one of the rifle companies had joined
the artiUery.45
Enthusiasm alone, however, could not make up for the lack of numbers, despite the fact that the unit was filled to its authorized strength.
Moreover, the militia commander had grave doubts as to whether they
could be properly trained to man the guns and maintain an effective fire
against armed ships in motion. The naval commander had further
objections.   In a letter to the Admiralty he wrote:—
. . . Esquimalt should be defended by Imperial resources and under naval
control. The Dockyard is Imperial property and bears the same relative position
to our Squadron in the Pacific as Halifax does to the Squadron in the North
Atlantic, but with three-fold force as there is no Bermuda or Jamaica in these
waters, no British possession within possible reach for supplies and repairs. It is
lamentable to think that in the present defenceless condition of this harbour and
viewing the trifling number of Volunteer Militia, any fairly organized enemy's
expedition should suffice to destroy the dockyard and be master of the position
until again ejected by hard fighting.48
For their separate reasons, therefore, both the militia and naval commanders recommended that a force of 100 marine artiUerymen should
D. T. Irwin, a Distinguished Artillery Officer," Canadian Defence Quarterly, V
(1928), pp. 137-141.
(44) Public Archives of Canada, MG13, A 6, Vol. 4, 288-296. Bedford to
de Horsey, June 27, 1878. Captain F. D. G. Bedford, R.N., was chairman of the
board of officers appointed by Admiral de Horsey to co-operate with Lieutenant-
Colonel Irwin.
(45) Militia Report  .   .   .   1878, Ottawa, 1879, p. 214.
(46) Public Archives of Canada, MG 13, A 6, Vol. 4, 286-287, de Horsey to
the Secretary of the Admiralty, July 28, 1878. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 19
be stationed at Esquimalt to take charge of the coastal batteries. Their
recommendation to estabUsh a permanent artiUery corps came at a poor
moment. In Europe the Congress of Berlin had restored at least a temporary calm in the Balkans as Briton and Russian faced each other
across a conference table instead of a battle-field. As tension eased,
less attention was paid to the need of a permanent artiUery corps for
Esquimalt. The only result was that permission was given the Victoria
Battery of Garrison ArtiUery to increase its estabUshment to five officers
and eighty-five other ranks.47
During the latter part of 1878 Great Britain tried to interest Canada
in sharing the expense of erecting permanent works for the defence of
Esquimalt and Victoria, and suggested an Imperial and a Canadian officer should jointly examine and report on the defensive needs of British
Columbia. The Dominion Government stated that it was unable to
take upon itseff a share in the cost of erecting permanent defences, but
agreed to co-operate in a mUitary survey of the Pacific Coast. The
British representative selected was Colonel J. W. LoveU, R.E., then
stationed at Halifax, whUe the Senior Inspector of ArtiUery, Lieutenant-
Colonel T. B. Strange, R.A., represented Canada.
Colonel LoveU made a very thorough inspection of the defences of
British Columbia in 1879, and in his report made recommendations
which, if carried out, would have made Esquimalt a second Halifax. Of
the temporary batteries he wrote: "As neither the excavations for the
batteries nor the material of which they are constructed could be utilized
in permanent works, and the sites do not seem adapted for such works,
I would recommend that the batteries should be left as they are in charge
of the Dominion Government. . . S'48 The sites he selected for
locating permanent batteries were, with one exception, chosen to provide for the defence of Esquimalt rather than Victoria. At Sangster's
Knoll and Cape Saxe, both close to Esquimalt, he would have a battery
of six 10-inch guns, on Rodd HU1 six 7-inch guns, and on Signal HiU,
a feature commanding Esquimalt Harbour and the land approaches to
the peninsula where the naval base was located, he suggested placing
two 10-inch guns. AU these formidable batteries commanded the sea
approaches to Esquimalt and Esquimalt itself. For Victoria, Colonel
LoveU proposed a battery of six 10-inch guns atop Beacon HiU.
(47) M.G.O., August 1, 1878.
(48) Public Archives of Canada, Colonel J. W. Lovell, " Report on the Defences of Esquimalt and Victoria, December, 1879," in " Correspondence of the
Committee on the Defences of Canada, 1886." Vol. VI, p. 437. 20 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
Nor was this aU. To defend the Esquimalt base against an attack
by land, LoveU suggested that twelve field guns—40- or 20-pounder
Armstrong guns—should be accessible to the garrison. In addition, he
thought one or two armour-plated gun-boats stationed permanently at
the naval base would help to prevent an enemy landing, and, further,
that the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour should be protected by a system
of torpedo defence in time of war. FinaUy, the British representative
recommended the estabUshment of a means of telegraphic communication from Victoria and Esquimalt to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and
around the coast to the north of the Saanich Peninsula.
To man these defences, Colonel LoveU beUeved there ought to be
a minimum garrison of 1,138 Imperial regular soldiers in the Province.
Of this number, 120 would be Royal Engineers, 20 of whom would be
speciaUy trained as submarine miners to take care of the torpedo (or
mine) defence. He felt, too, that 900 Imperial infantrymen were
needed to repulse an attack by land, and that at least 118 Royal ArtiUery
men were needed to man the batteries. Both latter corps would be
assisted in their duties by the militia. For example, 500 miUtia infantrymen would be raised locaUy to co-operate with the Imperial force. As
for the artillery, LoveU thought each battery should be served by a force
which would be one-third regular and the remainder militia artiUerymen,
with an additional reserve of militia totalling one-third of the entire
force also drawn from the local populace. Thus, in addition to the
1,138 Imperial troops, Lovell would have Victoria provide an additional
force of 854 mUitiamen!
On the special request of the British Government, Colonel LoveU
went on to visit Nanaimo, New Westminster, and Burrard Inlet (Vancouver) . For Nanaimo he proposed another permanent Imperial garrison to man from six to nine heavy guns which he felt were necessary
for the defence of that important coal-mining town. As an alternative,
he suggested placing eight 40-pounder Armstrong guns there, which,
evidently, he would have manned by the miUtia. He thought a few field
guns and water obstructions would be sufficient to protect New Westminster from an attack by gun-boats coming up the Fraser River; and
for Burrard Inlet, he believed the harbour entrance could be weU protected by a battery on the high ground on each side of the First Narrows,
together with additional batteries on Points Grey and Atkinson to cover
EngUsh Bay. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 21
In summing up his report, Colonel Lovell stated bluntly that the
Pacific Province could not be protected from an invasion from the
south, as indeed it could not. He added, too, that the greatest need for
the defence of British Columbia was the completion of the Canadian
Pacific RaUway and an aU-Canadian telegraphic route.49
The report by Lieutenant-Colonel Strange on the defensive needs of
British Columbia was, in many respects, simUar to that made by Colonel
LoveU.50 Strange, too, believed it essential to estabUsh a system of
telegraphic communication around the southern tip of Vancouver Island
to warn of an enemy's approach. Further, he saw the need of some
sort of torpedo defence for Esquimalt Harbour. He felt, however, that
four rather than twelve field guns in the hands of the militia artiUerymen
would suffice to meet and defeat an assault from the sea. Strange also
advocated the construction of batteries on Signal HiU and Rodd Point,
but he would make the Brother's Island battery permanent. To give
Victoria further protection, he recommended the construction of a battery on HoUand Point. A type of keep or blockhouse on Belmont and
Beacon hills—both high features a few hundred yards behind the Rodd
Point and the Victoria batteries respectively—would, Strange reported,
secure the rear of these batteries from attack.
To man these and the existing batteries, Strange thought it necessary
to have 200 marine artiUerymen at Esquimalt working under naval
control, and an additional permanent garrison of 100 men at Victoria
to man the batteries there. To increase the number of miUtia artiUerymen and to better their instruction and framing, Strange proposed that
a four-battery brigade of garrison artiUery should be formed. The
existing battery in Victoria would be complemented by changing No. 1
Company of Rifles, Victoria, into a second battery. A strengthened
Seymour Battery would make a third, and a new battery to be raised
at Nanaimo would make a fourth. Of all the recommendations made
by both officers, a variation of Strange's last proposal was the only one
acted upon in the next four years.
Although the pressing need of a permanent garrison of artiUerymen
continued to be brought before the Dominion Government in the following years, the more immediate problem of providing sufficient militia
gunners to man the temporary batteries was foremost in Lieutenant-
(49) Ibid., pp. 440-446.
(50) Lieutenant-Colonel T. B. Strange, "Report on the Defences of British
Columbia, November, 1879," in ibid., Vol. VI, pp. 416-425. 22 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
Colonel Houghton's mind. To furnish these men, he endorsed the
Artillery Inspector's plan to convert the riflemen to gunners. At the
annual muster in 1879, although each rifle company had an authorized
strength of two officers and forty other ranks, both companies could
parade no more than a total of thirty-one aU ranks. The Victoria
Rifles, Houghton wrote, were being " annilulated by absorption," and
the only remedy was to convert them into artillery batteries of fifty or
sixty men each, thus forming a three-battery Brigade of Garrison ArtiUery
in Victoria.51
The attempt to strengthen the gun crews by increasing the authorized strength of the existing battery from fifty to eighty-five was found
to be unsatisfactory. From the beginning the battery commander,
Captain Dupont, felt that since his was the most popular corps, he
could be selective. Thus, when he was authorized to raise an additional
thirty-five men for his corps, he made Uttle attempt to do so until he
received sufficient uniforms to clothe the recruits properly. Also, until
1881 he insisted that the recruits must be of the regulation height for
the artillery. His attempt to enrol only permanent residents of Victoria,
and so avoid the expense and waste of training men who would soon
move on to greener fields, was another factor that tended to keep the
battery from reaching its fuU strength. Nevertheless, the battery continued to be one of the best units in British Columbia during its
existence, and the enthusiasm of the men for their corps was remarkable.
In 1880, for example:—
They . . . established a school of arms in the battery and rented a building
for this purpose, where lessons in broad sword, single stick, fencing and boxing are
given one night in each week during the winter season. The necessary material for
the school was imported from England, and the expense of the purchase, as well as
rent, fuel, and pay of instructors, etc., was provided by members of the Battery by
general subscription.52
The reorganization of the British Columbia artiUery did not take
place for several years owing mainly to a change in staff officers. In
October, 1880, Lieutenant-Colonel Houghton was transferred to MUitary
District No. 10, with headquarters in Winnipeg, where, ultimately, he
later played an important part in the Riel Rebellion.53   For over two
(51) Militia Report  .   .   .   1879, Ottawa, 1880, pp. 214-218.
(52) Militia Report   .   .   .   1880, Ottawa, 1881, p. 67.
(53) M.G.O., No. 20, October 15, 1880. Colonel J. W. Laurie was appointed
to replace Houghton, but he was on an extended leave and retired from the militia
in 1882 without taking over the post.  Ibid., No. 2, February 3, 1882. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 23
years British Columbia lacked a permanent Deputy Adjutant-General.
Captain Dupont attempted to carry on the duties of Deputy Adjutant-
General, but during the absence of a permanent officer in that post the
British Columbia militia did Uttle more than hold its own against
indifference in Ottawa and apathy at home.
More serious than the modest turnout for driU and annual training
was the deterioration of the mUitary equipment and faculties. Both the
drill haUs in Victoria and New Westminster were now inadequate and
in serious need of repair. Indeed, the latter was only kept in a useable
state by the support of the population of the town, who held their pubhc
meetings in it. The guns used by the Seymour Battery were in such bad
shape that the battery commander feared for the gunners' safety if the
guns were fired. Even the coastal batteries around Victoria suffered
from neglect. As Captain Dupont wrote in 1881: " There are no fences
around the batteries and cattle range over the parapets and tramp them
down, mischievous persons take out and throw away the quoins and
tampions and fill the guns with sticks and stones, hence everything
movable is taken away and kept under key.   .   .   ."54
A change for the better in British Columbian military affairs came
with the appointment of Captain (Brevet Major) J. G. Holmes, "A"
Battery, Royal School of Gunnery, to the position of Acting Deputy
Adjutant-General of British Columbia in 1883.55 Holmes arrived in
Victoria on May 1, and immediately set to work to bring a greater
degree of military efficiency to his new command. He visited the miUtia
companies, talked with their commanders, reviewed the recommendations made by LoveU and Strange, and made a report to Ottawa on his
Holmes's first major success came late in 1883, when he succeeded
in having the authorities in Ottawa order the estabUshment of the British
Columbia Provisional Regiment of Garrison Artillery.56 This regiment
was to consist of four batteries: No. 1 Battery was formed from the old
Seymour Battery; Nos. 2 and 3 were created by dividing and strengthening the existing garrison artiUery in Victoria; and No. 4 was formed
from No. 1 Company of Rifles, Victoria.
The estabUshment of this miUtia artiUery regiment came hard on the
heels of another important event in British Columbia's mUitary affairs,
(54) Militia Report  .   .   .   1881, Ottawa, 1882, pp. 62-63.
(55) M.G.O., No. 7, April 13, 1883.
(56) Ibid., No. 22, October 12, 1883. 24 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
for two months previously the first Canadian Permanent Force miUtia
unit to be stationed in the Province was authorized to be raised in
Victoria. This new artiUery unit, together with other infantry and
cavalry units, was authorized by the MiUtia Act of 1883, an Act
necessitated by the obvious need for additional Permanent Force militiamen to provide the long-neglected caretaker and instructional service
given by Imperial regular troops up to their withdrawal in 1871. Prior
to the passing of this Act, there existed only two Permanent Force
artiUery batteries in Canada, "A" and "B" Batteries, stationed at
Quebec and Kingston. The formation of a third, or "C" Battery,
which with the others would form the first Regiment of Canadian
Artillery, was discussed as part of the MiUtia Act in the House of
Commons in April. The estabUshment of the new battery was urged
on the grounds that it would serve as a needed additional school of
gunnery instruction rather than as a mUitary necessity for British
Columbia. " C " Battery, Regiment of Canadian ArtiUery, was authorized to be organized at Victoria on August 10, 1883.57 Captain Holmes
was promoted to the rank of Ueutenant-colonel and was given the command of the battery while continuing to act as Deputy Adjutant-General.
It would appear that, with the authorization of " C " Battery, those
responsible for miUtia affairs in Ottawa beUeved a major gap in the
defence of British Columbia had been filled. However, a new problem
arose which was to hamper the actual formation of " C " Battery for
another four years—the problem of recruiting sufficient men in Victoria
to serve in the permanent miUtia.
At the time recruiting for the new battery commenced, British
Columbia was in the midst of a raUway boom which provided good
wages and steady employment for its relatively scanty population. Thus
only a handful of men were interested in enUsting in the artiUery unit at
a time when much higher wages could be gained in private employment.
As the months went by with no change in the situation, the Minister of
MiUtia and Defence, the Honourable A. P. C. Caron, seized upon an
idea presented to him by Captain J. R. East, R.N. This officer had
accompanied the Marquis of Lome to British Columbia when the latter
visited Victoria hi 1882, and he had discussed the matter of Pacific
defences with Lome when they met in London in the summer of 1884.
In a letter to Caron, East suggested that the Canadian Government
should enlist pensioners from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to fill
(57) Ibid., No. 18, August 10, 1883. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 25
the ranks of "C" Battery. These men, aU having artiUery training,
should be induced to settle in Vancouver Island and other special points
in British Columbia, and thus, wrote East, the Dominion would have
avaUable on the Pacific Coast a body of trained gunners already accustomed to discipline. Moreover, such men, drawing a life pension of
from £30 to £50 per annum, would not risk losing their pension by
deserting or by moving to the United States.58
This novel scheme was adopted by Caron as one which would
provide a permanent, weU-trained force to man the guns at Esquimalt
and Victoria and, at the same time, would make avaUable a cadre of
instructors which otherwise would be most difficult to find in Canada.
The British Government was sounded out and favoured the proposal.
The Admiralty, however, while waiving any objections to the pensioners
retaining their pension wlule serving in the Canadian mUitia, refused to
accede to Caron's request that, pending completion of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, British war vessels transport the men to British Columbia. The Admiralty was then asked if they would transport the
men to HaUfax in the spring of 1886, an alternative which the Admiralty
favoured provided the Canadian Government would bear a share of the
cost, estimated at £300. Canada in turn suggested that Britain should
transport the pensioners to Halifax free of charge since the Canadian
Government would bear the greater expense of taking them to Victoria
via the Canadian Pacific RaUway.59
While this haggling over the transportation question was going on,
Caron visited England and in July, 1886, went to see Lord George
HamUton, the First Lord of the Admiralty, on the subject. Agreement
as to the principle of recruiting British pensioners for British Columbia
was again confirmed, but there was a mass of detaU which remained to
be cleared up after Caron's departure. It was not until July of the
following year that recruiting posters for " C " Battery were put up in
England, and then it was found that on the posters someone had made
the mistake of asking for unmarried pensioners. Since most of the
pensioners were married, it was scarcely remarkable that the recruiting
(58) Public Archives of Canada, East to Caron, luly 8, 1884, in " Correspondence of the Committee on the Defences of Canada, 1886," Vol. VI, pp. 851-855.
At a later date, pensioners from the Royal Artillery were included in the proposal.
(59) "Correspondence with Imperial Authorities Respecting the Enlistment of
Pensioners from Royal Navy and Marines for Service ... in British Columbia,
1884-1885," in ibid., Vol. VI, pp. 849-917. This correspondence, covering the
period from 1885 to 1887, is continued in D.M. Papers, No. A3167. 26 Reginald H. Roy Jan.-Apr.
campaign was a dismal faUure. As a result, Caron informed the British
authorities to take no further steps in the matter, and eventuaUy he
secured recruits for " C " Battery from the permanent artiUery batteries
stationed in Quebec and Kingston.60
In the four years between the authorization and actual organization
of " C " Battery, Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes had been partially successful in his efforts to strengthen the efficiency of British Columbia's
defences. During this period various additional recommendations were
made by naval and mUitary officials regarding the number and siting of
the coastal batteries defending Victoria and Esquimalt. None of these
was acted upon by the Canadian Government. Holmes, meanwhile,
concerned himself mainly with the condition of the existing batteries, aU
of which were in need of repair. The carriages, sUdes, and platforms
of several of the heavier guns were becoming unserviceable from decay.
Moreover, he warned, the miUtia was dependent on the naval magazine
at Esquimalt for ammunition to serve the batteries. " We have less than
100 rounds per gun for the 7-inch and 8-inch guns," he reported, " and
hardly any for the 64-pounders. At least 400 rounds per gun should
be always in reserve for these guns."61 To add to his difficulties, the
Royal Navy was in the process of adopting a new pattern of gun, and
thus even the small quantity of avaUable ammunition was Uable to
depletion without replacement. For somewhat the same reason, Holmes
recommended that the British Columbia miUtia should be issued with
Martini-Henry rifles. The Royal Navy and Marines now used these
new weapons, and consequently the largest amount of rifle ammunition
on the Pacific Coast—that held in the naval magazine—was of the
Martini-Henry pattern. The problem of defending Victoria from the
rear led Holmes to suggest that his command be supplied with four field
guns, a recommendation made several years previously by Colonels
LoveU and Strange. One of these guns Holmes would issue to the
Seymour Battery, whUe the others he would hold in Victoria.62
For several years Holmes was unable to secure either the new guns
he wanted or repairs to the existing batteries. Nor was he able to
accept the services of interested groups of men in Nanaimo, Burrard
(60) Ibid., Caron to Tupper, September 23, 1887; M.G.O., No. 16, October
6, 1887.
(61) Militia Report  .   .   .   1885, Ottawa, 1886, p. 56.
(62) Militia Report . . . 1883, Ottawa, 1884, pp. 51-54. The Seymour
Battery was to remain without new armament for a number of years. Of this
battery, Holmes wrote: " How the officers and men manage to maintain interest in
their work, with their present obsolete weapons, mounted on rotten carriages, I
can hardly imagine."  Militia Report  .   .   .   1885, Ottawa, 1886, p. 56. 1954 The Early Militia in British Columbia 27
Inlet, and several towns in the Interior of the Province who offered to
raise artiUery and mounted rifle companies to be incorporated in the
miUtia. These offers, recommended by Holmes, had to be turned down
owing to the parsimonious budget aUowed the MiUtia Department.63
It was not until the spring of 1885, foUowing yet another scare of
a war between Russia and Great Britain—this time over Afghanistan—
that Ottawa was wUling to spend additional money on British Columbia
defences. In Victoria the war scare created the usual alarm over the
defenceless state of the Province. One gentleman, a retired naval
officer, advocated the formation of one or two companies of mounted
volunteers, armed with field-pieces or Gatling machine-guns, to protect
the city from an attack in the rear.64 The Commander-in-Chief of the
Pacific Station, Rear-Admiral J. K. E. Baird, was moved to review the
defences of Esquimalt and made several recommendations regarding
necessary additional coastal and field guns.65 Various pubUc meetings
were held in Victoria which, together with newspaper editorials, expressed concern over the exposed position of the Provincial capital,
and both the Victoria Municipal CouncU and the British Columbia
Executive Council asked the Dominion Government to strengthen
British Columbia defences. However, as Holmes pointedly reported,
very few persons came forward to assist themselves by joining the men
already enroUed in the Active MiUtia.
The Federal Government took the minimum precautionary measures
possible to combat any attack. Sufficient funds were advanced for the
repair of the coastal batteries, but that was aU. The ammunition problem remained a matter of grave concern to the artillery commander,
who realized that, should an actual attack be made, aU the avaUable
(63) Public Archives of Canada, Adjutant-General's Correspondence, Letters
Received, Nos. 04710, A449, and A488; Militia Report . . . 1885, Ottawa,
1886, pp. 54-57.
(64) DM. Papers, No. A1518, Baker to Caron, May 2, 1885; Victoria Weekly
British Colonist, April 17, 1885.
(65) Public Archives of Canada, Adjutant-General's Correspondence, Letters
Received, No. 09577, Baird to Holmes, April 4, 1885. Among other measures,
Baird recommended the construction of a telephone-line between the batteries.
Holmes asked for and received permission to construct such a line, but was told
by the Adjutant-General: "Of course this expenditure [$1,000] will not be made
unless war is actually declared." Ibid., Letters Sent, Vol. 46, p. 683, Powell to
Holmes, May 5, 1885. A good idea of the condition of the Canadian militia after
ten years of such penurious restrictions may be gained from G. F. G. Stanley,
Canada's Soldiers, 1604-1954, Toronto, 1954, pp. 263-264. 28 Reginald H. Roy
ammunition would be expended in a matter of a few hours. No action
was taken to implement the recommendations made by Holmes and
other senior militia officers regarding additional arms and equipment
necessary for the proper defence of the Pacific Coast. Indeed, probably
the only important result of this war scare for British Columbia was
that it renewed Imperial interest in the defence of Esquimalt and focused
attention on the necessity of a firm British-Canadian plan of defence
for the naval base.
The greatest and most significant addition to the real and potential
strength of the defences of the Province came with the completion of
the Canadian Pacific RaUway in November, 1885. The rapid transportation of mUitia and supplies from the Eastern Provinces to crush the
Riel RebeUion had already demonstrated the strategic importance of
the railway to the nation. When completed in the latter part of the year,
it assumed an important place in Imperial strategic planning as weU.
For those charged directly with the task of defending British Columbia,
the termination of the all-Canadian transportation and communication
route brought additional responsibUities as weU as additional strength.
The story of how these new responsibilities were met is beyond the
scope of this paper. It must suffice to note that then, as now, the
miUtia continued to look to the sea-coast rather than the border for the
approach of a potential enemy.
Reginald H. Roy.
Provincial Archives,
The Coast Salish peoples of the inland waterways of Southern British
Columbia and Western Washington seem to have formed a cultural and
social continuum that extended from the northern end of Georgia Strait
to the southern end of Puget Sound or beyond. However, in that aspect
of culture that Europeans habituaUy look to as a basis for classifying
people, poUtical organization, the continuum had no unity at aU, and
no discernible units. PoUtical organization as Europeans understand it
was lacking. Here were only autonomous households. These, singly or
in smaU groups, formed recognizable vUlages, and groups of these vU-
lages formed recognizable units that we now caU "tribes," but neither
viUage nor tribe had any formally separate machinery of government.
Kinship, community of interests resulting from common residence, community of habitual act, and speech were the bases of recognized units.
But weaker ties of the same sorts united tribe with tribe. WhUe members
of a viUage might make war upon more distant vUlages, they obtained
wives from and held potlatches for viUages immediately around them.
Thus a network of marriage relationships and potlatch obUgations overlay the whole area. Culture differed graduaUy in content and in
emphasis from one end of the area to the other, but the underlying
pattern was the same.
Within this area, linguistic and cultural divisions larger than the tribe
were also distinguishable. Such a group of tribes is one that I have
caUed the "Straits" division of the Coast Salish. It can be set off from
its neighbours on the basis of two items—its speech and its most important subsistence activity. To this division belong the tribes Sooke,
Songish, and Saanich of South-eastern Vancouver Island, and the Semiahmoo, Lummi, and Samish of the Washington mainland to the east.
The territories of aU but the Sooke met in the Gulf and San Juan Islands,
so that they occupied a continuous area that lies right across the present
International Boundary. These tribes spoke only sUghtly differing dialects of the same Coast SaUsh language; a more divergent dialect was
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2.
29 30
Wayne Suttles
Territory of the Straits tribes.   (Heavy broken lines indicate language
boundaries; dotted lines indicate tribal boundaries.) 1954 The Lummi Indians 31
spoken by the Klallam on the Olympic Peninsula. This language,1 caUed
Ik'weni'n9i7 by its speakers, was uninteUigible to speakers of neighbouring
languages, that is to say, to persons who spoke only one of the neighbouring languages; bilingual and even trUingual persons were fairly
common throughout the whole area. These tribes buUt their yearly
round of subsistence activities around the yearly runs of salmon, the
most important of which was the sockeye run to the Fraser. They took
this fish in reef-nets set in salt-water channels off the southern shore of
Vancouver Island and in the Gulf and San Juan Islands. This fishing
technique contrasts with those used by neighbours both to the north and
to the south, fishing in streams with smaUer mobUe nets or with weirs
and traps. Associated with reef-netting were several unique ritual practices and a great stress on the private ownership of the fishing locations.
In other respects the Straits tribes differed slightly from one another and
perhaps only sUghtly more from their most immediate neighbours to the
north and south.
In their earUest contacts with Europeans the Straits tribes also shared
in the same experiences. Their territories were aU seen by the first
explorers in the 1790's, though contact was nowhere very great. They
were aU able to trade with the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Langley
after its estabUshment in 1827 and at Victoria after 1843. By 1850 they
had all been converted to Roman CathoUcism, and by 1875 aU had felt
the impact of settlement among them of English-speaking Canadians and
Americans. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, what white
control there was over them was largely in the hands of the Hudson's
Bay Company. But since 1855 the Lummi, the Samish, and a part of
the Semiahmoo have been under the jurisdiction of the United States
Government, while the Sooke, Songish, Saanich, and the rest of the
Semiahmoo have since come under the jurisdiction of the Government
of Canada.
I shall now give a brief sketch of the native culture of the Straits
peoples and of their earUest contacts with Europeans; then I shaU devote
the remainder of this paper to the post-white history of one of them, the
Lummi of Washington.2
(1) Native terms are transcribed with the phonetic symbols currently used for
linguistic work in this area. See Duff (1952), p. 132. For detailed bibliographic
reference to source material, see the appendix accompanying this article.
(2) The Straits peoples have received a rather uneven treatment in the literature. Two early papers appeared on the Songish by Boas (1890) and Hill-Tout
(1907); Curtis (1913) touched upon all but gave more attention to the Lummi;
3 32 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
The aboriginal culture of the Coast Salish of this region was vastly
different from that of the Europeans who met them. It lacked many
features that have been basic in Old World civiUzation for several thousand years—agriculture, animal husbandry, metaUurgy, a system of
writing, hereditary tribal rulers, elected tribal councUs, an organized
priesthood, a belief in an omnipotent deity. It lacked many of the
features that Europeans had already encountered in the cultures of
natives elsewhere in the New World—the corn and squash and matri-
Uneal clans of the Iroquois, the tepees and feather bonnets and warrior
chiefs of the Plains tribes. The words "chief" and "tribe" themselves
cannot be understood in the same sense as they are used for Indians east
of the Rockies. What are called " chiefs" were leaders with prestige but
without clearly defined political power; what are caUed "tribes" are
groups of people forming linguistic and cultural, but not poUtical, units.
Coast SaUsh technology was basicaUy simple. Knowing how to work
stone enabled men to produce cutting-blades; knowing how to twist or
spin vegetable fibres enabled them to make a variety of cordage. With
these they made woodworking tools, and with woodworking tools they
made the great cedar-plank houses they lived in and the great cedar
dugout canoes they travelled in. With cutting-blades and cordage they
made the great variety of spears, arrows, harpoons, hooks, and nets that
they used in taking fish and game.  And the Northwest Coast was so rich
Barnett covered the Saanich in his paper (1938) and element list (1939); but
only one ethnography exists for any Straits group, that of Stern (1934) on the
Lummi. In addition to these works, I have had access to a manuscript by
Diamond Jenness on the Saanich. In 1946 I began what developed into a comparative ethnographic study of the Straits tribes, centring about economic life
(Suttles, 1952, MS.). This work was supported by the Department of Anthropology of the University of Washington and by a Wenner-Gren Foundation Pre-
doctoral Fellowship. The results will appear as a separate monograph. The
present paper began simply as a by-product of the main study, which was on
aboriginal culture. It began when I went systematically through the early Indian
Agents' reports on the Lummi and their neighbours, and added to these notes data
and impressions gathered from Lummi informants. To this I have added material
obtained from further work in the field, this time supported by the Carnegie Grant
to Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. I am indebted to
Mr. H. E. Buswell of Marietta, Washington, for many helpful suggestions and
data on local history. My Indian informants, to whom I am most greatly indebted,
are too numerous to list here; moreover, they are not responsible for my interpretation of their culture and history. 1954 The Lummi Indians 33
in fish and game, and methods of fishing and hunting were so efficient,
that this area not only supported as large a population as has lived anywhere without domesticated food plants and animals, but also gave them
the leisure to develop art and ceremony.
Coast SaUsh society was divided into poUticaUy and economicaUy
independent households. Each great cedar house held several famUies,
as we would understand the term, united by bonds of kinship—usuahy
their heads were brothers or male cousins. Men usuaUy took wives from
outside the household, so each of these households was united by bonds
of marriage. These bonds required the exchange of food and wealth and
some ceremonial co-operation.
In addition to this division into local units, each unit was stratified.
Society here was not at all equaUtarian: there were slave and and there
were free, and among the free there were high and low, noble and commoner. But there was no formal poUtical organization. Each house was
led by its highest-ranking member or members. A wealthy and strong-
minded house-leader might impose his leadership upon other households,
but through ties of kinship and marriage and the obUgations that followed, not through institutions that we would caU poUtical. Early whites
saw leaders and called them "chiefs," saw aggregates of people and
caUed them " tribes," but neither word then meant the same thing here
that it meant in Eastern North America. A few old Indians can stiU teU
you there were no chiefs until they were appointed by the missionaries
and the Indian Agents.
The kernel of beUefs that may be caUed religion seems to have been
something like this: In the beginning the world was quite different from
what it is to-day. The First People Uved then. They looked like us but
were caUed Deer, Raven, Mink, Wolf, and such names, and they also
could use the forms that we now associate with those names. There were
also then many dangerous beings. Then a powerful being came through
the world and transformed things. He transformed the dangerous beings
into rocks and other natural features, and he transformed Deer, Raven,
and the others into their present forms—to be food for or to help the
Second People. The Second People appeared. They were the Indians.
To them the Transformer taught the essential arts of life, to a few of the
First Men of these Second People he taught secret words and songs
giving supernatural power, and to aU he taught that power might be
obtained from nature—from animals, plants, and natural objects—by
bathing, fasting, and removing from oneself aU human taint. The Transformer then went away and came back no more. 34 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
The function and the status of the individual in Coast SaUsh culture
seems to have depended upon what he owned. Material possessions—
food and wealth in blankets, canoes and slaves—were important. But
they were acquired only to share. It was the mark of a great man that
he had plenty and that he was Uberal with it. A man ought to have food
to share with the members of his own household. He ought to have
wealth to give to his wife's people and other guests at intertribal feasts.
The height of UberaUty was displayed in the feast weU known by its
Chinook jargon name "potlatch." But the essential feature of this
giving was that it vahdated the status of the giver or some member of bis
family and demonstrated the ownership of some non-material possession.
Material wealth itself was an indication that a man had non-material
possessions. It was the non-material things that brought him the wealth.
How could he better demonstrate his ownership of non-material things
than by UberaUty with their products, material wealth? By giving away
material wealth he estabUshed good relations with others for his faimly
and household, whUe at the same time he was able thereby to preserve
and cherish those non-material possessions that caused him to be wealthy.
Non-material possessions, then, were what Coast SaUsh stressed.
These were of three sorts: First, there were rights that one inherited
from his ancestors; second, there was instruction, private knowledge,
that one obtained from his feUow man—possibly from an older member
of the fanuly but not necessarUy, since it might be purchased or even
stolen; and, third, there was supernatural power acquired directly by the
individual by fasting and bathing and seeking it in nature.
Inherited rights included names, rights to fishing locations, clam and
bulb beds, and rights to certain songs, dances, and other performances.
Inherited names were necessary to upper-class status and participation
in ceremonial life. Fishing locations, clam-beds, etc., clearly were
sources of wealth. Inherited songs, dances, and other performances were
often regarded as being used for individual purification or for the weU-
being of the community, but, in fact, their main function seems to have
been to display and to vaUdate status.
Knowledge acquired from others included knowledge of the uses of
plants for herbal remedies, which might lead to professional status as a
healer. It included knowledge of speUs and incantations, some of which
might be used in hunting or fishing, some in crafts, some in sports, and
some to separate or reunite sweethearts or husbands and wives.   Knowl- 1954 The Lummi Indians 35
edge of such spells and incantations led to speciaUzation as a rituaUst.
Private knowledge also included something caUed "advice." Some
famUies were said to have advice to give their children; others had none.
This advice consisted of rules of conduct, some ordinary enough, but
some depending on knowledge of forms of behaviour which served to
set off upper-class people from lower-class people. It also included
knowledge of one's own genealogy and great past and of one's rivals'
family skeletons-in-the-closet. Advice was essential for upper-class
Possessions acquired directly from the supernatural included
guardian spirits and the songs and dances given by guardian spirits.
Spirit power conferred a variety of abiUties that led to professional
status. That is to say, the warrior was beUeved to owe his abiUty to his
possessing a warrior's guardian spirit. Similarly, an "Indian doctor"
could find lost human souls and cure illness through his doctor's guardian
spirit. A seeress could see into the distance through her guardian spirit.
Expert hunters and craftsmen owed their abiUties to special spirits.
The acquisition, transfer, and function of these possessions is a constant theme in the life-cycle of the individual. The infant at birth
consisted of nothing more than a body, which was subject to physical
Uls and contaminations, a " person," which was easUy displaced or stolen
and the loss of which meant another sort of Ulness, and the " life," the
animating entity the loss of which meant death. This was the bare individual who ought to be adorned with the incorporeal possessions—the
inherited rights, the knowledge, and the spiritual power—that were
necessary to completeness. This individual was a new stone in a mosaic
of famUy and community relationships; aU his life he would be a part
of this mosaic, his value to it depending upon the colour and briUiance
of his possessions.
At his birth the infant and his mother were aided by a midwife,
probably a kinswoman, who owed her professional status to her possession of private knowledge, either of herbs or of speUs. After the birth,
its contaminating effect on both the parents made it necessary for them
to cease ordinary activities, which they resumed after being treated by
a person having the knowledge of the proper spells and ritual acts needed
to purify them. The infant received a cradle and its accoutrements from
kinsmen of his grandparents' generation. In his cradle, ff he were not
a slave child, he would be bound about the forehead to produce the
flattened head that was the mark of a free man. 36 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
As a chUd, the individual was cared for by older siblings, uncles and
aunts, grandparents, and great uncles and aunts, as weU as parents.
Persons of the grandparents' generation were particularly important;
pubUcly an old man might lecture the chUdren on their behaviour and
make them bathe on winter mornings to toughen them; privately among
upper-class famUies an old person might instruct a chUd in its famUy
history, in upper-class values and etiquette, and in methods of obtaining
guardian-spirit visions. In this way the upper-class chUd got the " advice " necessary for upper-class status. For aU chUdren of both sexes
the toughening led to deUberate guardian-spirit quests with fasting, bathing, and scrubbing the body with conifer boughs. The vision sought at
this time might come then or might come unsought later in life. The
child of an upper-class fanuly also received his first inherited name, at
a gathering that had other functions as weU, through the expenditure of
some wealth. At puberty, girls and boys as weU were given special treatment. In the case of a girl the danger of contamination from the first
menses was great, and so this was an occasion for purification by a
rituaUst possessing the proper formulae and for the display of the famUy's
inherited rights.
For the adolescent there was Uttle freedom in the selection of a mate.
A boy's famUy chose his future wife from a famUy with which they
wanted an affiance, and carried out most of the negotiations. The wedding itself was an occasion for the exchange of wealth and privUeges;
the groom's famUy brought a bride-price of wealth in blankets and other
goods; the bride's famUy nearly matched the wealth for a dowry and
perhaps added to it an inherited name or other privUege to be used by the
as yet unborn son of the couple. Later exchanges of food and wealth
might be carried on for years.
Some time between puberty and middle age most persons became
" new dancers "; that is to say, they began to sing during the winter
dancing season songs acquired from their guardian spirits. The spirit
song seems to have been regarded as an entity separate from the spirit
seen in the vision. In the winter, songs came to their owners and caused
an Ulness that was reUeved only by singing and dancing. During the
winter dance season, individuals or households sponsored feasts at which
aU persons who had spirit songs became possessed, and one at a tune
sang and danced. Some songs came unsought to persons in middle age,
especially after a tragedy; singing them gave their owners a feeUng of
weU-being only.   Others were the means whereby a person tapped the 1954 The Lummi Indians 37
power of the spirit who had bestowed the song. Some of these gave
powers of divination, clairvoyance, and communication with the dead.
On Vancouver Island one kind of song could be induced by older dancers
into a young person who had not yet had a vision. The acquisition of
a song, especiaUy of this last sort, and the first singing of it, comprised an
occasion comparable to any other life crisis, an occasion that might
require purification by a rituaUst, the display of an inherited privUege,
and the expenditure of wealth. Only the shaman did not use his shaman-
istic spirit song as a winter dance song; he used it only to bring into him
the power to handle the souls and guardian spirits of others, enabling
him to treat the sick.
When a person became iU, the famUy made a preUminary diagnosis
and, depending on it, called in a shaman, ritualist, or person with one of
the more speciaUzed spirit powers. At his death, persons of other professions were caUed—an undertaker to care for the body, a woodworker
to make a coffin, a medium or a rituaUst to burn the personal effects of
the deceased and to purify his house and kinsmen; each of these persons
owed his profession to the possession of special knowledge or spirit
power. It was expected that the non-material possessions of the deceased
would be inactive for a time but might be used by his descendants later.
His name was taboo until given to a descendant. His more material
privileges went, ideaUy though not always, to his eldest child. His
guardian spirit and song might be obtained again by anyone, but close
relatives were more likely to get them. His " person " or soul became
a ghost and was for a time close to this world; it was beUeved possible
for it to be born again into a descendant. Some tune after a man's
death, his family found the occasion to pay the persons who assisted them
at the time of the death and possibly to display some memento of him.
This display required the expenditure of wealth, and at the same time
probably better estabUshed their claim to what he had left them.
I. Early Maritime Contacts:  1790 and After
The first recorded European contact with any Coast Salish was in
1790, when the Spanish Quimper expedition explored both shores of
the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the country of the Sooke, the Songish, and
the KlaUam. In 1791 the Eliza expedition explored further; the Spanish
passed through Padilla Bay and Bellingham Bay into the southern end
of Georgia Strait at least as far as Point Roberts and returned southward 38 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
evidently by way of Haro Strait, thus seeing the country of the other
Straits peoples. In 1792 the Spanish continued their exploration whUe
the British Vancouver expedition completed the task. Vancouver explored both Puget Sound and the rest of Georgia Strait and established
the fact that the island named after him is indeed an island.
Members of both Spanish and British expeditions left some record
of observations of the native peoples; none of their observations on
native culture reveal anything starthngly different from what might be
expected from work with the traditions of Uving Indians. But both
Spanish and British accounts indicate that the native peoples already had
at least indirect contacts with European culture. In 1790 Quimper
observed the Klallam at Dungeness using as ear ornaments pieces of
copper, beads, and English, Portuguese, and Chinese coins; he believed
they had obtained these in trade with the people at the entrance of the
strait, that is, the Makah.3 The foUowing year, 1791, at Point Roberts,
the Spanish encountered many Indians fishing for salmon, probably the
Saanich and Semiahmoo at their reef-net locations. Here they were told,
or believed that they were being told, that larger vessels had been in
Georgia Strait before, and from them the Indians had obtained engraved
brass bracelets, which the Indians showed them. They also learned that
these Indians traded with others who came on horseback through a flat
country " on the north," probably meaning up the Fraser.4 Vancouver
found the natives of Queen Charlotte Strait already armed with muskets.5
Whether anyone preceded these explorers or not, British and American trading-ships undoubtedly foUowed them. But during the period of
maritime trade that brought the Spanish and British explorers into the
Strait of Juan du Fuca, the interest of the traders was primarily in obtaining sea-otter furs, which they took to China. As the Spanish observed,
the natives inside the strait had few sea-otter pelts, so it is probable that
fewer trading-ships appeared inside the strait than visited the Nootka and
others to the north.
II. The Fur-traders:   1827 and After
However, early in the nineteenth century, fur-traders began reaching
toward the coast from the landward side; this time the interest was
primarily in beaver.   In 1808 Simon Fraser, of the North West Company,
(3) Wagner (1933), p. 109.
(4) Ibid., p. 187.
(5) Newcombe (1923), p. 80. 1954 The Lummi Indians 39
descended the river named for him, looked briefly at the gulf, heard from
the Musqueams that he should beware of the Cowichans, and returned.
This expedition was foUowed by a period of Uttle or no contact between
the fur-traders and the people of the strait and the gulf. MeanwhUe the
Hudson's Bay Company, the North West Company, and the Astorians
were establishing posts on the Columbia from its mouth to its headwaters,
and on the Upper Fraser. Then the North West Company absorbed the
Astorians and the Hudson's Bay Company absorbed the North West
Company, acquiring a monopoly over the fur trade of the entire area.
Finally hi 1824 McMillan and Work came north from the Lower Columbia to reconnoitre the Lower Fraser; in 1827 McMUlan returned to
establish Fort Langley. The foUowing year Simpson made what was
only the second trip down the Fraser made by a European. Fort Langley,
from its founding untU 1843, was the centre of trade for tribes throughout
Georgia Strait and up Puget Sound at least as far as Port Madison. The
Fort Langley Journal, kept during the fort's first three years, gives an
impressive picture of the goings and comings of numerous peoples on
the Lower Fraser.6 After 1843 Fort Langley took second place to
Victoria, for the Straits people at least, as the centre of trade. Victoria
also became a trading centre for native tribes far up the coast.
The aim of the fur-traders was not to revolutionize native culture.
The fur-traders wanted only a re-emphasis; primarily they wanted the
natives to spend more time hunting fur-bearing animals and less time
quarreffing among themselves. They also needed the natives to some
extent as a source of labour and of food—fish, meat, and potatoes. The
additions that they made to native culture were mainly in material
culture rather than in social organization or reUgion.
III. Early Missionary Contacts:  1841-1857
It is quite likely that the Coast SaUsh learned something of Christianity from the fur-traders or even from other Indians before they had
direct contact with missionaries. The tradition that there was something
Uke the Prophet Dance of the Plateau suggests this. However, the first
recorded contact with missionaries was in the late 1830's. Occasional
contact continued through the 1840's, but steady contact between missionaries and natives probably did not exist until the 1850's.
In 1837 two Roman Catholic priests, Blanchet and Demers, arrived
on the Lower Columbia and estabUshed a mission on the CowUtz River
(6) The originals of these Journals are in the Archives of B.C.   See also Duff
(1952), pp. 25-26. 40 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
in Coast SaUsh territory. In 1839 they were visited by several Puget
Sound Indians; between that year and 1843, Demers, Blanchet, and
Bolduc preached to Indians at NisquaUy, Whidbey Island, Fort Langley,
and Victoria. Probably the first priest that Straits people saw was
Demers in 1841. The priest baptized chUdren, taught prayers and hymns
in Chinook jargon, and distributed and explained the " CathoUc Ladder,"
a piece of wood with groups of notches and symbols carved on it to
represent the passage of time and the principal events since Creation.
The first response of the natives was one of apparent enthusiasm; native
leaders gathered their foUowers for worship and enforced obedience of
some of the rules. But this initial enthusiasm waned and plans to establish a mission on Whidbey Island did not materialize.
There was apparently Uttle contact between the Straits people and
the missionaries again until the early 1850's. In 1847 Demers was
appointed Bishop of Vancouver Island, but he was not able to reach
Victoria until 1851, when he discovered to his dismay that an inexperienced priest had just preceded him and had baptized and married many
Indians without having given them proper instruction in Catholic doctrine, thus making future work more difficult. This priest, whose name
is not recorded, may have been the first to visit the Saanich and Cowichan, although many from these tribes may have seen Demers earUer
on the Fraser. Regular contact with priests began only after the arrival
of the Oblate Fathers, who estabUshed their headquarters at Esquimalt
in 1857. The most influential of these men on the American side of the
boundary was Father Casimir Chirouse, who established a mission at
TulaUp on the Snohomish Reservation in the same year, 1857. During
the next few years, chapels were built for most of the tribes in the Straits
area. Chirouse was especiaUy active among the Northern Puget Sound
and Straits tribes.7
Protestant influence was later and less successful. In time a few
tribes—the KlaUam, the Twana, and the Nooksack, to name three—were
converted to Protestant denominations, and Protestant minorities in time
came to exist elsewhere; but this was part of a later phase of history.
The missionaries aimed at a much more profound change in native
culture than did the fur-traders. While the fur-traders seem to have
sought to influence the native culture only in a few of its aspects to suit
their own needs, the missionaries obviously sought to revolutionize native
culture.   Whether they were conscious of it or not, they were making a
(7) For early missionary work in this area, see Morice (1910), Vol. II, part 6. 1954 The Lummi Indians 41
direct attack on native social organization as weU as on native religion
when they struck at the crisis rites, the guardian spirits, and shamanism.
IV. White Settlers Arrive and Lands Are Ceded: 1849-1859
Probably the first independent white man to settle in Straits territory was W. C. Grant, who purchased land from the Hudson's Bay
Company on Sooke Harbour in 1849. In the next decade, settlers
established themselves near enough to most Straits villages for rather
constant contact. In 1850 and 1852 Governor James Douglas negotiated a series of treaties with the Straits tribes of Vancouver Island by
which they ceded aU of their lands except their accustomed viUage, camp,
and fishing sites; most of these sites later became reserves. In 1855
Governor Stevens of the Territory of Washington persuaded the tribes
of Western Washington to sign treaties ceding their lands except for
certain areas to remain as reservations, each for several tribes; in addition, fishing and hunting rights elsewhere were guaranteed. Of the
Straits tribes in Washington, KlaUam and Lummi representatives clearly
signed; Samish and Semiahmoo perhaps did not, but later interpretation made them subordinate to the Lummi and obliged to settle on the
Lummi Reservation. The KlaUam were supposed to go with the Twana
on the reservation at Skokomish. In actuaUty those tribes who were
assigned to reservations that were in the territories of other tribes generally did not move. The result was that those without reservations were
usuaUy left without legal protection from white settlers, who often appropriated their viUage-sites and drove them off.
After the discovery of gold on the Fraser in 1858, white settlers were
perhaps a minor nuisance to some of the Straits tribes compared to the
stream of transients bound for the goldfields. In 1859 ten or twelve
thousand came to Victoria and crossed through the Gulf Islands or San
Juans to the river. Others landed on the Mainland at what became Bellingham and Blaine, to go overland or up the Nooksack River from
there. Probably of the Straits tribes the Songish, the Lummi, and the
Semiahmoo felt most the impact of the gold-rush. But the heavier settlement left by the gold-rush marks the beginning of constant white
contact for all.
I. Population
The presence of Europeans on the North American Continent had
its effect on Coast Salish population even before the first recorded con- 42 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
tact. Mooney calculates that North-western North America experienced
its first smaUpox epidemic about 1782, nearly a decade before the Spanish saUed into the strait, and that losses everywhere were heavy. Native
traditions corroborate the pre-contact date and indicate that several villages were completely wiped out, whUe aU suffered losses. Later epidemics came in 1852 and 1862, but probably with less severity.
Another factor contributing to a decline hi population was the increase in raids from northern Indians, especiaUy the southernmost
Kwakiutl group, known locally as Yukulta. The Yukulta evidently
received firearms a few years earUer than the SaUsh; they already had
muskets in 1792. This advantage, perhaps added to a culture that
already valued aggression, enabled the Yukulta to expand from their
original homes on Johnstone Strait down Discovery Passage to CampbeU
River and Cape Mudge, where they replaced the SaUsh-speaking Comox.
From here they raided the Coast SaUsh, going as far south as Puget
Sound, and even ascending the Fraser River a short way. They kiUed,
looted, and carried off women and chUdren as slaves. These activities
persisted untU the 1850's or even later.
The Straits tribes themselves seem to have been expanding their
territory just before discovery; the Lummi and possibly the Samish had
only recently reached the Mainland from the San Juan Islands. Then,
when the smallpox wiped out a smaU tribe on Boundary Bay, the Semiahmoo took over their territory. After the introduction of firearms
there seems to have been some fighting at the western end of Straits
territory; according to one account, the Sooke employed the Makah to
wipe out another smaU tribe on Sooke Bay so that they could expand
westward. But the combination of epidemics and raids from the north
produced some empty pockets in the centre of Straits territory. The
Gulf and San Juan Islands were particularly vulnerable to attack from
the north, and probably for this reason the Saanich viUages at Active
Pass and elsewhere in the Gulf Islands moved to the Saanich Peninsula.
In the San Juan Islands two or three Lummi vUlages and one or two
Samish viUages were nearly wiped out by smallpox, and the survivors
moved to Mainland villages. These tribes stiU used the islands season-
aUy, but no longer built their winter viUages there; that is, they no longer
made them their bases of operation. Epidemics left another gap on the
south shore of Vancouver Island, between the Sooke and the Songish.
A part of this was fiUed, just after Victoria was estabUshed, by KlaUam
from across the strait. 1954 The Lummi Indians 43
For 1780 Mooney estimates the population of the three Vancouver
Island tribes—Sooke, Songish, and Saanich—as totalling 2,700; on the
Mainland he puts the Semiahmoo at 300 and the Lummi and Samish
together with the Nooksack at 1,000.8 Kroeber9 points out that
Mooney's figures seem generaUy a Uttle high for the Coast SaUsh of
British Columbia and a little low for those of Washington. As a matter
of fact, Gibbs10 gives the foUowing figures for 1854: Semiahmoo, 250;
Lummi, 450; Samish, 150; Nooksack, 450; totalling 1,300, the same
as Mooney's total for these four tribes for 1780. It is my feeling that
Mooney's 1780 figure for the Vancouver Island tribes comes closer to
being correct, but that the figure for the Mainland Straits tribes (that is,
the Semiahmoo, Lummi, and Samish, excluding the Nooksack) should
nearly equal it. This would mean a pre-smaUpox total of nearly 5,000
for aU six tribes, which is more in Une with Mooney's estimate of 5,500
for the Island Halkomelem and 2,000 for the KlaUam.
II. Material Culture
The changes in Straits SaUsh material culture that occurred during
the early contact period were mainly additions and substitutions of relatively isolated elements that did not disturb underlying complexes.
The Straits tribes evidently obtained metals from other natives before
they had direct contact with whites. Iron or steel was substituted rather
rapidly for stone as the material for blades of woodworking tools—
knives and adzes. To the native inventory, traders added steel axes.
The increased efficiency of the new tools may have stimulated a Uttle
more carving than had existed previously, but there was no development
of this art comparable to what seems to have occurred on the coast to
the north. This in part reflects a difference in the interests of the two
cultures. But the new tools did help to satisfy an increased need for
fortifications and for house posts and planks to replace those destroyed
by enemy raids. Metals also replaced stone for the points of game and
war arrows and replaced sheU or bone for the points and blades of
harpoons. Bone continued to be used for other arrow-points, and antler
for harpoon spurs. Traders introduced large iron cooking-pots; these
replaced to some extent the boxes and baskets used for stone-boiling and,
(8) Mooney (1928), p. 15, has figures for Washington and for British Columbia on page 26.
(9) Kroeber (1939), p. 133.
(10) Gibbs (1855), p. 435. 44 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
since cooks were now able to boU directly over a fire, probably made
stews more popular.
Potatoes were probably introduced by the Fort Langley traders soon
after 1827; they were also spread from tribe to tribe, some receiving
them before they had direct contact with the whites. Potatoes were generaUy planted and dug up by women with digging sticks; their cultivation and use fitted rather easily into native gathering practices.11
Firearms were also introduced by traders probably early in the last
century. The gun came to replace the bow and arrow for single hunters
hunting larger land game, but the deer drive with the net may have been
used longer. Sea hunters came to use guns for killing sea-mammals and
harpoons for retrieving them. The native methods of taking waterfowl,
with nets and spears, were used until much later, probably being the
most productive whUe waterfowl were still plentiful. The gun also
replaced the bow and arrow as the weapon of defence, but the club may
have continued as the weapon of offence in the surprise night attack.
In pre-contact times, trapping was probably not a very important
activity; a deadfaU was used for bears and the smaUer fur-bearing animals; beaver were possibly harpooned; the furs were perhaps of not
much more importance than the flesh. The market for furs that the
traders provided undoubtedly increased trapping, and perhaps the native
deadfall was used more than previously, even after the introduction of
the steel trap.
Some practices associated with hunting and with skin-dressing may
have been introduced by Hudson's Bay Company employees—the use
of the snowshoe, for example, and the use of smoke in tanning. Skin
garments became more widely used; in this, local Indians were probably copying the dress of Hudson's Bay Company employees.
Blankets made on the roUer loom from mountain-goat wool, dog-
wool, and other native materials were probably important items of wealth
in pre-contact times. After the arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company,
these were supplemented by the blankets that the company paid out for
furs, local foodstuffs, and labour. The Hudson's Bay blankets became
the most important item of wealth, not the most valuable, but almost a
unit of value by which the more valuable items, such as canoes, guns,
fine skin garments, slaves, and native blankets, could be measured.
The increase in raids from the north, its effect on population, and
the increased need for defence have already been mentioned.   By the
(11) See Suttles (1951) for discussion of the problem. 1954 The Lummi Indians 45
1840's nearly aU of the larger vUlages on the strait and on Northern
Puget Sound had stockades for refuge in time of danger. Informants'
descriptions include such items as trenches with sharpened stakes, poisoned stakes, tunnels to loopholes in hillsides, and pitch flares that could
be hoisted to the tops of poles. Accounts of Samish, Lummi, Semiahmoo, and Saanich forts indicate that they were probably built in the
1820's or '30's. They may have been inspired by the forts buUt by the
whites, but this cannot be said with certainty.
I beUeve that smoking was introduced by the whites. It is clear
that the natives smoked kinnikinic, madrona (arbutus) leaves, and yew
leaves, and in stone pipes. But anecdotes describe how surprised the
natives were when they first saw whites with smoke issuing from their
mouths. One informant who related such an incident suggested that
the native leaves were first used to adulterate the traders' tobacco because
it was too strong to take straight.
Alcohol was, of course, introduced by whites, but I do not beUeve
any method of manufacture was ever introduced or has ever been used;
the Straits people have always obtained alcohol from the whites. One
informant's account, which may refer to this period, teUs how a trading-
ship gave the Lummi a keg of rum; the Lummi poured it over a great
feast-dish fiUed with salmonberries and ate the rum-soaked berries with
their spoons. But probably alcohol was not obtained very often before
the 1850's.
III. Social Organization
Native social organization was undoubtedly disturbed by three factors—the decline in population, the increase in total wealth, and the
broadening of contacts among native groups.12
The decline in population, which evidently began with the devastating epidemics of 1782 or thereabouts, probably had the effect of shifting persons into positions they would not otherwise have occupied. One
of the requisites for upper-class status was famUy continuity maintained
by tradition; lower-class people, in the words of one informant, were
people who had " lost their history." Very likely chUdren orphaned by
epidemics or raids from the north " lost their histories " and were added
to the ranks of the lower class. Some of the separate villages in serf-like
status may have been created by the loss of aU adult upper-class persons.
In other viUages, persons remotely related to wiped-out upper-class
(12) The first two factors in the historic social organization of the Northwest
Coast as a whole have been discussed by Drucker (1939) and others. 46 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
famiUes may have assumed their privileges with an imperfect knowledge
of the associated traditions. In a society where private knowledge is
valued as highly as it was and is in Straits SaUsh society, a sudden loss
of a part of its personnel could mean actual cultural loss.
The new wealth, trade blankets, guns, and other goods, and the new
methods of gaining wealth, through the sale of furs and labour, were
probably the basis of an increase in social mobiUty. HUl-Tout writes
of a class of nouveaux riches among the Songish; my data would not
permit me to speak of such a " class," but I am certain that individuals
raised their status by gaining wealth from the whites. For example, the
granddaughter of Kwetiseleq, the Semiahmoo "chief" of the 1850's,
said that her grandfather had become rich by seffing furs at Fort Langley
and had bought slaves with what he had earned.13
A broadening of contacts among native tribes began during the
early contact period and has persisted to the present. It appears that
in pre-contact times there was occasional fighting among rather close
neighbours. This was discouraged by the traders and later by the missionaries and government agents. The Salish tribes themselves may
have felt the need in time to maintain peace while deaUng with the whites,
but also they felt a growing need for co-operation among themselves
against the Kwakiutl. According to accounts, some of them pubUshed,14
the SaUsh finaUy retaliated by sending against the Kwakiutl one or two
expeditions that involved the co-operation of parties from several tribes.
(Evidently tribes from the Nanaimo to the Suquamish and the Skagit
participated; the degree of co-operation and basis of organization, in
what appears to be a rather loosely organized society, presents an interesting problem which has yet to be solved.) This need for co-operation,
together with the increased amount of wealth avaUable, may have speeded
up the process of substituting the potlatch for war, a process that has
been described for the Kwakiutl,15 and which seems to have occurred
among the Salish as weU.
Another factor, but probably of minor importance, in the increase
in contacts among natives, was Chinook jargon. Chinook jargon, a sort
of pidgin Chinook, evidently grew up on the Lower Columbia in the
early maritime trading period and was spread northward by the Hud-
(13) Collins (1950) has discussed the development of greater class differences
among the Upper Skagit which resulted from the increase in wealth at this time.
(14) Boas (1889); Curtis (1913), p. 32.
(15) Codere (1950). 1954 The Lummi Indians 47
son's Bay Company, missionaries, and settlers. It may not have reached
Puget Sound until around 1850; Swinomish informants have stated that
the Indian who interpreted at the Treaty of Point EUiot in 1855 was the
first man to learn Chinook in this area. It was a useful though limited
means of communication between Indians and whites, and probably also
among Indians who could not communicate otherwise.16
Another practice by which the natives both widened their social
relationships and gained economicaUy was that of supplying the whites
with women. Many native women were taken as wives in permanent
marriages, many were taken as temporary wives, and many merely used
for the moment. In the native culture a marriage was regarded as a
bond between famUies and was generaUy arranged by the famUies rather
than by the couple. Usually the fanuly of the prospective groom began
negotiations with a gift of food. If this was accepted, the groom himself
might appear, to wait at the prospective bride's door until he was accepted; the bride's family signaUed acceptance by offering food to him.
Then his famUy brought an agreed amount of wealth to give as a bride-
price and received with the bride a dowry of nearly the same value.
Further exchanges of property occurred later. If both famUies regarded
the bond between them poUticaUy and economicaUy useful, they sought
to make the marriage a stable one. To a SaUsh leader a white trader
offering blankets for his daughter probably appeared as a good prospective son-in-law and potential ally. To the trader, unaware of the
obligations a native marriage involved, it may have seemed more like
buying a chattel. On the other hand, it was also possible for the trader
to buy a woman as a chattel if he chose to buy a female slave.
Prostitution is not universal and was probably lacking in aboriginal
Straits culture. Where it exists, it is culturaUy defined; from the viewpoint of European culture it is difficult to draw the Une between prostitution and marriage by purchase. From the SaUsh view-point even a
marriage of short duration was stiU a marriage if some formal exchange
of property had taken place and the intent to estabUsh a bond had been
announced. If it did not last, it was merely a poor marriage. In time
some SaUsh slave-owners learned to prostitute their slaves to the whites,
and some free women undoubtedly entered the profession themselves,
(16) Howay (1942) clearly disposes of the notion that the Chinook jargon
was widespread in pre-contact times. However, Jacobs (1932) describes a form
of the jargon spoken on the Lower Columbia that is so much more complex than
that used elsewhere that it can only be a native development; it may be that in
a small area it was pre-white.
4 48 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
but I am incUned to believe the SaUsh when they deny that men consciously prostituted their daughters as the northern people did so systematically for many years. The northern peoples' willingness to prostitute kinswomen may in part be due to a kinship system that readUy
substitutes one member of a kin group for another, so that in the native
society a man's brother and nephews might legitimately have sexual
relations with his wife; adultery was defined as relations with someone
of another group.17 Among the SaUsh the principle of equivalence of
kinsmen was not carried to this extent, and adultery appears to have
been defined about the same as among Europeans.
IV. Religion
Both the pre-missionary cult and Christianity differed from the native
reUgion in the kind of participation they offered the members of a native
community. Native religion was centred around the individual. Basic
to it was the notion that the individual human being can exert an influence on his environment through his possessing the abUity to manipulate several sorts of supernatural entities or the knowledge of magical
speUs and other formulae which tapped the power inherent in natural
phenomena. The expert in handling supernatural entities, spirits, souls,
etc., was the shaman; the expert with speUs and other ritual acts was
the ritualist. Basic also was the notion that at certain times during his
life the individual is particularly susceptible to the influence of the supernatural, at which time he must receive care by one of these experts in
dealing with it. Most, perhaps all, activities that might be called reU-
gious rites or ceremonies had individuals as foci. They were either
purely demonstrations of an individual's control of supernatural entities,
as in spirit dancing, or were the occasions for treatment of an individual
in danger by another individual with supernatural power, as when a
shaman treated a sick person or a rituaUst treated a person at a life
crisis. Dozens of people might participate in such a ceremony but as
participant-spectators, helping the chief participant, he hoped, through
their own power or simply their good wUl; but the mere presence of a
man in such an audience did not mean that he was helping, for he might
even be working against the chief participant with his own power. Several hundred people might be present at a session of spirit dancing and
dozens of persons might dance, but individually, one at a time, with the
others only helping to provide the proper musical and emotional back-
(17) See Murdock (1934) for example. 1954 The Lummi Indians 49
ground. Indirectly each person's demonstration of power or safe passage through a crisis helped the group, since it eliminated potential
dangers to others. But the only occasions that I know of when a ritual
act was directly for the benefit of a group were the first-salmon rite and
the purification of a house and aU its members after a death. But the
purification may have had the deceased individual stiU in an important
role, and the first-salmon rite, elsewhere often a tribal affair, among the
Straits people was closely associated with the individuaUy owned reef-
net locations where the first salmon were taken. Both the purification
of mourners and the first-salmon rite were conducted by persons who
did so because they possessed the knowledge of the ritual words and acts,
that is, rituaUsts rather than shamans.
Pre-missionary Christian influences brought a rite with another sort
of group participation. Information about this rite is poor (I shall give
the evidence elsewhere), but accounts given by informants from several
tribes suggest that it rather closely paralleled the " Christianized Prophet
Dance " of the Plateau identified by Spier,18 and that it flourished at
about the same time, probably during the 1830's. Its important features
were community participation in prayer to a Supreme Being, identified
by some with the Transformer of aboriginal mythology, and in a circular
dance during which persons could choose marriage partners and be immediately married. The rite was performed under the direction of a
leader, who may also have prophesied changes in the world. According
to one account, the rite came from Eastern Washington via the Skagit
River, was spread to a number of tribes from Southern Puget Sound to
Georgia Strait, and then was rejected when it was demonstrated that
lower-class men could obtain upper-class wives through it. This account
may be correct; the freedom of choice given by the rite certainly conflicted with the family-arranged marriages preferred by the upper class.
However, it is likely that other new elements introduced by the rite had
functions that the Coast SaUsh later found in Christianity. The rite may
also have failed because Christianity came too closely behind it.
As Spier indicates, the Prophet Dance of the Plateau may have had
an aboriginal basis that was later modified by knowledge of Christianity;
the typical Plateau prophet was a man who had come back from the dead
to prophesy a return of the Transformer and to urge his foUowers to
institute moral reforms or new practices; after a knowledge of Christianity reached the Plateau, the prophets incorporated Christian practices
(18) Spier (1935). 50 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
into their teachings. One of the non-Christian elements of the Plateau
Prophet Dance was the circle marriage dance. The importance of the
circle marriage dance in the Coast SaUsh complex seems sufficient to
identify it as the Plateau Prophet Dance, whether it came to the Coast
by way of the Skagit, the Fraser, or even the Columbia. The circle marriage dance was clearly an element that was not native to the Coast and
that could not be integrated into Coast culture.
The character of the prophet, identified by Spier as aboriginal in
the Plateau, may also have been aboriginal on the Coast, but not enough
on the leadership of the Coast Prophet Dance is avaUable. The only
leader identified among the Straits tribes was the one at Lummi, a man
who was later known as David Crockett and who became a leader in the
CathoUc Church. Several stories exist of men who died and returned
from the dead; some of these stories may have been associated with the
leaders of the Prophet Dance, but at least one is of a much more recent
time. The founder of the later Shaker Church was, of course, a successor
of the same Une.
Probably the most significant features of the Prophet Dance were
the community participation and the concept of a Supreme Being. As
I have indicated, it was a rare occasion in pre-contact times when aU
persons present dealt with the supernatural jointly for the common good.
On those few occasions when this might have occurred, the chief participant was probably a ritualist using his knowledge to tap the power
inherent in natural phenomena. In the Prophet Dance the leader was
a person who, like a spirit dancer or shaman, claimed to have estabUshed
a relationship with a specific supernatural being. But unlike the ordinary possessor of a guardian spirit, he claimed for this being enormous
power, perhaps identifying him with a Creator or Transformer of myth
age, and he claimed that others could approach him, too, for the common good. I suspect that this concept was startUngly new. Though the
Prophet Dance was probably short-Uved, it must have prepared the way
for the missionaries who foUowed.
CoUins19 and Duff20 describe prophets among the Upper Skagit and
the Upper Stalo. Duff regards the Upper Stalo prophets as probably
Christian-influenced; CoUins says the Upper Skagit prophets had actu-
aUy had first-hand contact with missionaries elsewhere and had returned
to work out the amalgam.   Neither mentions the circle marriage dance
(19) Collins (1950), p. 340.
(20) Duff (1952), pp. 119-120. 1954 The Lummi Indians 51
as a part of the complex, so these occurrences may not have been of the
same source or contemporary with the Straits complex, though they are
certainly of the same genus. ColUns also points out how the leaders of
these cults were able to use them to institute a stronger sort of authority
than had hitherto existed in native society. I beUeve that this was equaUy
true of the leader at Lummi. Like others elsewhere, this man evidently
derived authority first from his leadership in a cult and later from his
position as a strong convert to the new church; his activities extended
over two periods in native history.
Up to 1852
According to their traditions, the Lummi are the descendants of
people who once Uved only hi the San Juan Islands. One tradition teUs
that the First Man dropped from the sky at the north-eastern end of
San Juan Island and became the ancestor of the Klalakamish people.21
Another teUs that when the Klalakamish had become nearly extinct, the
last man of them gave his house to a man that owned a house that stood
on Flat Point on Lopez Island; the latter, now having two houses but
not enough space to Une them up, put the new one at a right angle to
the old one to make an L-shaped structure. This L-shaped house was
caUed xwlabmas (facing each other), and from this name comes the name
x^a'mi (Lummi). This house was later moved to Gooseberry Point on
what is now the reservation.22 A third tradition teUs how a man of the
SwaUah (swe^bx) people on East Sound on Orcas Island, to avenge the
murder of his brother, sought and obtained a spirit power that enabled
him to kUl aU but a few of the Skalakhan (sk'ale'xan) tribe, who Uved at
the mouths of the Nooksack River. The surviving Skalakhan gave to
the hero and his descendants the river to use for a salmon-weir, whereupon the people of the islands estabUshed themselves on what is now
the Lummi Reservation. This last is by far the best known of these
traditions. It has been pubUshed at least three times,23 and I have obtained several versions. Curtis, on the basis of genealogies, calculates
that the event took place about 1725.   I am less certain of the date, but
(21) Stern (1934), p. 107, and my own informants' versions.
(22) Stern (1934), pp. 107-108, gives this tradition and the first as one; some
of my informants knew the first, but none gave the second.
(23) Curtis (1913), pp. 25-30; Roth (1926), pp. 964-965; Stern (1934),
pp. 115-120. 52 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
I beUeve that the fact that the Lummi have come from the islands to the
Mainland is supported by other bits of evidence. Place-names on the
Mainland shore, for example, frequently have forms that are of some
other Salish language, whUe in the islands they are clearly of the Straits
Whatever the truth of the traditions, other data given by informants
on former land use, knowledge of its resources, and transmission of
inherited rights, aU indicate that before white settlement Lummi territory consisted of about half the San Juan Islands and a few mUes of
Mainland shore to the east. Informants from other tribes define it about
as Lummi informants do. In the islands, Lummi territory included aU
of Orcas and the smaller islands around it, Shaw, the north-western half
of Lopez, and the north-eastern half of San Juan Island. On the Mainland it included the shore from Point Whitehorn to Chuckanut Bay and
extended inland as far as Lake TerreU and the site of the present Ferndale. The immediate salt-water neighbours of the Lummi were other
Straits-speaking tribes—the Semiahmoo to the north, the Samish to the
south, and the Saanich and Songish to the west. Their inland neighbours were the linguistically isolated Nooksack in the Nooksack Valley
above Ferndale and the Puget Sound-speaking Nuwhaha in the Samish
Valley. On Lake Whatcom were the " Lake People," a mixed Nooksack-
Nuwhaha group. The Lummi seem to have shared the shore from
Whatcom Creek to Chuckanut Bay with the Nuwhaha, and possibly with
the Nooksack as weU. Straits, Nooksack, and Puget Sound are mutuaUy
unintelligible SaUsh languages.
OriginaUy the principal viUages in the islands were on the northwestern end of San Juan Island, on West Sound and East Sound on
Orcas Island, and on the north-western end of Lopez Island. The principal viUages estabUshed on the Mainland were at Gooseberry Point
and at The Portage of what is now the reservation. The people of San
Juan were caUed Klalakamish (fole'qamaS); those of West Sound, Ala-
leng (ele?bfi) people; those of East Sound, SwaUah (swe^bx) people.
The last two names are evidently primarily place-names; the last is the
name for Mount Constitution. These names appUed perhaps to clusters
of vUlages. I have recorded no simUar name for the people of Northwestern Lopez; it may be that the term " Lummi" was originaUy used
for these people only, co-ordinate with Klalakamish, etc. And then
perhaps when this group moved to the Mainland the name went with
them, and as other groups joined them and the islands became depopu- 1954 The Lummi Indians 53
lated, the meaning was enlarged to include aU. On the other hand, the
recent use of the term " Lummi" to include the people of the whole
territory just outlined may stiU be an early usage.
By the middle of the last century the islands were becoming depopulated; that is, winter viUages were disappearing, though they were stiU
being used seasonally by people from the Mainland. Some of the island
villages had been wiped out, or nearly so, by the first smaUpox epidemic
in the 1780's. Raids from the north undoubtedly also struck the island
vUlages, possibly more often than those on the Mainland. By 1850 the
most important vUlages were those at Gooseberry Point and The Portage
on the Mainland. The important leaders of the 1850's were from these
villages and, so far as I know, from no others.
About 1850 the leaders of the Lummi were Chowitsut (cawicut)
and his brother George CeUc (c'ilikw), Washington (xaceusam), Jefferson (xwlabqw), Bainbridge (sie'neltxw), David Crockett (xwaUe'naxw),
and a few others. Perhaps aU had plank houses at Gooseberry Point,
where there was in addition a stockade that seems to have belonged to
the group. But Chowitsut also had a large " potlatch house " at The
Portage, where there were some other smaUer houses. At these two
villages the Lummi passed the winter. In the spring they ordinarily left
the Mainland to go out into the islands to dig camas, troU for spring
salmon, fish for hahbut, dig clams, and hunt deer. During this season
they might move about as individual famUies or in smaU groups. Then
by July the owners of reef-net locations would have chosen their crews,
made their nets, and set up their gears in their places. CeUc, Bainbridge,
and several others had locations off ViUage Point on Lummi Island,
where several gears could be set in a row; Washington and Jefferson
had locations off Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island. A few others had
locations off Shaw or Orcas; some may have had locations on the reef
at Point Roberts. Some had none and perhaps could not easily get a
position on another's gear. After a month or two of reef-netting, most
of the Lummi returned to the Mainland to use a weir that was built on
the main mouth of the Nooksack River, then the west mouth, the present
Lummi or Red River, just below its forks. According to one informant,
the weir was buUt under the direction of Washington and his brothers,
but the fish were evidently communaUy taken and shared. Three plank
houses stood by the weir—one owned by Washington and his brothers,
one by Chowitsut, and another smaUer one, the owner of which is forgotten.   Here the whole tribe caught and smoked the faU run of salmon. 54 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
From here they returned to their winter quarters on the salt water for
the winter spirit dance season. Potlatches, when they were given, came
usually in the faU. Chowitsut was evidently the wealthiest of the Lummi
leaders and the chief sponsor of a series of potlatches.
The ten years from 1852 to 1862 were probably the most significant
ones in Lummi history. During this decade white settlement remade
the native economy, white government imposed new authority to replace
in part the older system of controls, and white reUgjon made a headlong,
though not whoUy successful, attack on native reUgion and indirectly on
the whole structure of native society.
I. White Settlement
In 1852 two white men estabUshed a miU at the faUs just above the
mouth of Whatcom Creek. This became the nucleus of the present city
of Bellingham. Shortly afterwards coal was discovered on Bellingham
Bay and mines were estabUshed. To protect themselves against possible
attack from northern Indians, the settlers buUt a stockade in the winter
of 1855-56. The following year the U.S. Army estabUshed Fort Bellingham and stationed a company of troops there.
The year that brought the first whites to Bellingham Bay also brought
an epidemic of smallpox among the Lummi.24 At the same time, danger
of raids from the north was mounting, and their consequences were
worse for the natives than for the whites. Thus weakened by disease
and attacks, some must have seen the white settlement as offering protection, and a few famUies moved across the bay to estabUsh settlements
at the mouth of SquaUcum Creek and one or two other places near the
The prospects of trade and of jobs must have been as inviting as the
prospect of protection. For a quarter of a century before this the Lummi
had been trading with the Hudson's Bay Company, exchanging furs and
possibly potatoes for metal tools, firearms, blankets, and clothing. This
trade was evidently continued with the whites on Bellingham Bay. The
agent Fitzhugh reported in 1857 that the Lummi were disposing of a
great many surplus potatoes to the whites, by this means getting the
(24) Mooney (1928). 1954 The Lummi Indians 55
greater part of their clothing.25 Work at the coal mines attracted members of other tribes as weU as Lummi. The settlement of Sehome was
named after a KlaUam who settled among the Samish and gave his
daughter in marriage to Fitzhugh, who was operating the coal mine there.
In 1858 the Lummi were enabled to seU more than potatoes to the
whites, with dire consequences.   The agent reported:—
The discovery of gold on Fraser and Thompson rivers has caused an immense
concourse of people to gather at this station [Bellingham Bay], it being the starting
point to the mines. The Indians have sold all their canoes, being tempted by the
large prices, and are now destitute of the means of fishing. The money they have
received is worse than nothing; it has been the means of their getting quantities of
The agent was unable to control this trade and predicted the speedy
extinction of the natives. But the boom did not last, and the Lummi
became again a somewhat prosperous though certainly changed people.
II. White Government
One of the major agencies of change was the white government. In
1855 the territorial governor met at Point EUice (Mulrilteo) with representatives from most of the tribes north of Seattle and persuaded the
Lummi " chief " and his " sub-chiefs " to sign away aU but the peninsula
upon which their vUlages stood. From 1857 on they were under the
supervision of an Indian Agent, who himself stood on the bottom rung of
a bureaucratic ladder which led to Washington, D.C.
Thirteen important Lummis signed the Treaty of 1855. At then-
head was Chowitsut, whom the whites credited with control over aU the
tribes between the Swinomish and the border. According to the treaty,
the island made by the mouths of the Nooksack River was to be the
Lummi Reservation. Despite the fact that no Samish, Semiahmoo, or
Nooksack names appear on the treaty, these tribes were to occupy the
reservation with the Lummi. This arrangement did not work out weU.
Members of other tribes came for the annuity goods which the Government passed out yearly at Lummi, but it is doubtful ff many tried to
settle on the reservation. Those who did became discouraged at the
Government's negligence in surveying the reservation and giving out
individual aUotments, and most of them eventuaUy drifted away.  Also,
(25) Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary
of the Interior, Washington, D.C, 1857, p. 326. Hereafter cited as CIA-AR with
year of report.
(26) CIA-AR, 1858, p. 230. 56 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
they were probably unwiUing to settle on the land of another tribe.27
Most of the Semiahmoo had settled just north of the border by the
1860's. The Samish remained on Samish Island tiU about 1875, when
they moved to Guemes Island. The Nooksack, with few exceptions, remained in the upper vaUey. Some of the Nuwhaha, judging by early
agents' reports, were to settle at Lummi, but they did not do so. A few
Lummis also drifted back into the islands.
According to the treaty the Government was to provide the signatory
tribes with: (1) Twenty instalments of $150,000, to be expended under
the direction of the President; (2) twenty instalments, for agricultural
schools and teachers; (3) twenty instalments, for a smithy and carpenter
shop and tools; (4) twenty instalments, for blacksmith, carpenter,
farmer and physician.28
The Government established an agency at Tulalip, with sub-agencies
at the other reservations, including Lummi. It supported a boarding-
school established at TulaUp by Father Chirouse, and for a time a day-
school at Lummi. The smithy and carpenter shop and much later the
physician were at TulaUp, but at Lummi there was a resident farmer,
sometimes in addition to, sometimes equivalent to, the sub-agent.
Agents and sub-agents came and went, some with great rapidity.
A few left the Indian service to settle down with Indian wives. Probably
the most influential representative of the Government (not considering
Father Chirouse as such) was C. C. Finkbonner, who came as resident
farmer in 1862, and stayed as sub-agent at least until 1870, outlasting
several administrations and equaUy praised by each. Finkbonner married a Lummi woman and has descendants on the reservation to-day.
The annuity goods promised by the treaty were handed out annuaUy,
with perhaps a year or two skipped and a few double payments, from
1861 to 1879.29 The Government passed the payment out in the spring
of the year at a clearing on what was then the east bank of the main
mouth of the river. The Lummi remember it to have consisted of axes,
hoes, mattocks, shovels, shoes, flour, sugar, coffee, rice, beans, and the
like. These goods were probably received by a few members of the
tribes said to be " subordinate " to the Lummi.
(27) I am writing here of members of other tribes who were expected to come
and settle as such. Later, when individual allotments were available, a number of
persons whose primary identification had been with other groups came to receive
allotments because of part Lummi ancestry.
(28) CIA-AR, 1878, p. 194.
(29) CIA-AR, 1861, p. 173;  CIA-AR, 1878, p. 164. 1954 The Lummi Indians 57
Because of changes in the course of the river and of the fear of white
encroachment, the northern boundary of the reservation was revised in
1878 to correspond with the section lines rather than less permanent
natural features. But the Government did not give out aUotments of
land to individuals until 1884. To judge from agents' reports and from
statements of informants, this move was earnestly desired by many
Lummi. It was not, as has often been suggested,30 simply the expression
of a naive view on the Government's side that private property would be
an inducement to industry and self-support. Some saw it as appUed
anthropology, a blow for the conjugal famUy against tribal organization.
III. Catholicism
Like other tribes in the area, the Lummi experienced the passing of
a Christianized Prophet Dance evidently just before the first direct
contact with Christianity. Informants' statements suggest that this dance
was later interpreted as an earlier, mistaken form of Christianity. The
Lummis' first direct contact with the religion of the whites came
probably around 1840, when the CathoUc missionaries Demers and
Blanchet preached at NisquaUy, Whidbey Island, and on the Fraser,
Their first steady contact could only have come after Father E. C.
Chirouse, O.M.I., founded his mission at TulaUp in 1857.31 Even so,
the influence of CathoUcism must have been very strong in the late
1850's, and a major factor in the Lummis' relations with the whites. In
1859 David Crockett, who had been a leader in the prophet cult and was
now a CathoUc, became the new " chief," more through his piety than
through inherited privUege or wealth.
Father Chirouse had probably a stronger influence upon the Lummi,
and upon aU the northern sound tribes, than any other white man. He
worked tirelessly for twenty-one years, preaching, teaching, buUding, not
only in Washington, but in British Columbia as weU. From 1857 to
1878 his was the only school for Indian chUdren in the whole area. For
part of this time he was also sub-agent for the TulaUp agency. He was
praised by whites in and out of the Government, CathoUc and non-
Father Chirouse's job was to convert the natives to Christianity and
to Christian ways of life. This meant, above aU, replacing native reUgious
concepts with those of Christianity. To do this he had to attack spirit
(30) Underhill (1944), p. 219.
(31) For information on Father Chirouse I have used Sullivan (1932), 58 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
singing and shamanism. It also meant replacing native observances at
the life crises with the sacraments of the church. Occasions upon which
he administered the sacraments—baptism, marriage, death—were the
very occasions which were so significant in native life for the exchange
of wealth, the transmission of privUege, and the estabUshment of the
mutual obUgations which made native society function. Here he was
striking close to the roots of native society itself. Moreover, he attacked
certain practices which he saw as inimical to Christianity, but which
provided to the native eye symbols of inherited status or acquired power
—slavery, head-flattening, gambling. And finaUy he attacked practices
introduced by the whites themselves—drinking and prostitution. In
most of this he had the close co-operation of the representatives of the
In spite of the Church's opposition to so much of what was basic to
native culture, in a short time the majority of aU of the salt-water tribes
had apparently accepted the Catholic faith. In 1861 Father Chirouse
buUt the chapel of St. Joachim on the west bank of the new mouth
of the river. When Father Chirouse himself was not present, David
Crockett led the Lummi in services. Around the chapel there grew up
a settlement which became the centre of the Lummi community, " Old
Lummi ViUage."
I. The River
Besides sustaining a threefold attack from white culture, the Lummi
suffered another calamity some time during the 1850's;32 the river struck
out to the south from a point above the weir-site, swung west to pass
close to the higher ground, and then turned east again to form a new
mouth on Bellingham Bay at Marietta. Part or aU of this new main
channel was probably a former slough which had been a secondary
mouth; now the former main channel became a slow-moving slough and
the old weir-site was of Uttle value.
One man, Bainbridge, moved his house planks from the old weir-site
up to a place above the new course of the river and re-established
(32) The date of this change is not easy to determine, but I believe it occurred
after 1853. In that year Winthrop made a trip from Victoria to Bellingham Bay,
during which he visited the Lummi weir; but his account does not make his route
clear. The simplest explanation seems to me to be that he went up the main
mouth, then flowing into Lummi Bay, saw the weir, and then descended the slough
to Bellingham Bay.   Winthrop, 1913, pp. 264-266, 278-280. 1954 The Lummi Indians 59
himself. One reason for his choice of the place was its greater safety
from attack, but perhaps primarily it was the fishing. With two sons-in-
law from Fraser River he buUt a weir there for a time. The rest of the
Lummi, however, appear to have given up weir fishing altogether.
It was on the west bank of the new main course of the river that
Father Chirouse built his chapel in 1861. Here also the resident farmer
Finkbonner buUt bis establishment. Around the chapel the Lummis
began to gather, some in great old-fashioned plank houses and some in
single-family white-style houses which Finkbonner helped them build.
They were encouraged to build here by both the priest and the farmer—
and perhaps also by the stiU-present threat of raids from the north.
Old Lummi VUlage lasted as long as the river held its course. But
beginning in 1888 the river shifted again. This time the main channel
flowed straight south past Fish Point, by-passing Marietta. In the
process of finding a new bed, the river washed out the greater part of
Old Lummi VUlage. The church was moved to higher ground, and some
of the buUdings were moved to Fish Point, but by this time there was
no longer the need for such a concentration.
II. The Village
In his report for 1865, Finkbonner recommended good houses as the
best civilizing influence.33   In 1867 he reported:—
The Indian town and agency home is built at the mouth of the main branch
emptying into Bellingham Bay, and contains sixty good substantial board dwellings,
with floors, windows, shingle roofs and chimneys. There is also one good
church twenty-four by forty-five feet, besides a number of large Indian buildings
made out of hewn and split cedar trees. Those are used by the old Indians, and
for drying and smoking their salmon. All of these buildings have been put up
with Indian labor, with my assistance.34
This settlement was not a town in the sense that the settlement of
whites across the bay was; it was a later equivalent of the earher winter
viUage. The houses were occupied by some the year round, but by others
only in the winter. Some of those who left seasonaUy went to the islands
for fish and clams; others, persuaded by Finkbonner, estabUshed farms
on the reservation and maintained native or white-style homes there as
weU. This partem was estabUshed by 1871, when a visiting commissioner wrote:—
(33) CIA-AR, 1865, p. 74.
(34) CIA-AR, 1867, p. 58. 60
Wayne Suttles
The Lummi Indian Reservation.   (A, site of old Lummi village; B, present
site of church and school; C, present River Village.) 1954 The Lummi Indians 61
They dress as white men and live in wooden houses, which are scattered over
the reservation on their small farms. They have also a village, where they chiefly
congregate in the winter.35
Informants have described Old Lummi VUlage as it was perhaps in
the late 1870's. It consisted of two parts with the church between them.
Below the church were two rows of white-style houses, paraUel to the
river. Above the church were four big native-style houses in a row
paraUel to the river. They were owned by (coming down-stream) Jim
Eldridge, General Harrison, Timothy YeUacamut, and Henry Kwina.
They faced the river and a road passed in front of them. Between the
first two was a store which had belonged to a white couple named McDonough. McDonough came to the reservation in 1871; in 1879 he
moved across to the far shore to found the town of Marietta,36 and when
he left he sold the buUding to General Harrison. In front of the store
was the ferry-landing.
Kwina's and YeUacamut's big houses were aU of hewn planks and
had shed roofs. Kwina Uved in a white-style house and used the big one
only for feasts. YeUacamut usuaUy had his house fuU. Harrison's house
had plank waUs but a gabled shake roof. With him Uved his wife, stepson, and brother and family; others came to stay with him during fishing
III. The Last Big House
Jim Eldridge's house was the last big house to be Uved in. By the
middle or late 1880's the others were no longer occupied. Mrs. JuUus
Charles, the wife of one of my principal informants, was the grand-niece
of Jim Eldridge and grew up in this house. She described it as it was in
her childhood.
It was not made of native materials; the waUs were of mUled lumber
and the gabled roof of shakes. As in the other big houses, the floor was
just the earth under it. The ridge-pole was held up by a post at each end
with perhaps one in the centre. These and the posts along the walls were
neither painted nor carved. Around the waUs ran a bed-platform about
the width of a modern double bed and at about the same height. Around
the waUs overhead ran a storage-shelf. Mats lined the waUs, and mats
could be used to construct partitions between famUy sections.
(35) CIA-AR, 1871, p. 121.
(36) Roth (1926), p. 854, and a personal communication from Mr. H. E.
Buswell. 62 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
Seven famUies stayed in this house. Each had its own section and
its own fire. Two square holes in the roof aUowed the smoke to escape.
Each fanuly stacked its bedding on the bed-platform of its section, stored
its fuel under the bed-platform, and stored its provisions, including
bundles of dried fish, on the shelf above. The door was at the north end,
and the comer to its left as you entered was Jim Eldridge's section. This
was the section appropriate to the owner of a house.
The famUy sections in such a house were designated as "first,"
" second," " third," etc., beginning with the section at the left of the door
as one looks in and continuing around in a clockwise direction. This
house had three sections on each side and one at the end opposite the
door. The fanuly heads were, by section: (1) Jim Eldridge, (2)
George sweb'k'nan, (3) Polan £Uxwa'm3tq3n with his nephew Mike
xaikwi'm9ltxw, (4) Tom Squiqui, (5) Louie fi'xwia, (6) Frank HiUaire,
(7) George tieU's. Each of these men had a wife, making a total of
sixteen adults. Their chUdren brought the house total up to forty or
forty-five persons.
Jim Eldridge was the owner of the house. He built it, or at least he
had got the materials for it and supervised its buUding. Jim worked for
a white man in Bellingham named Edward Eldridge and possibly got the
lumber from him. This was not the first house Jim had owned here, for
behind this one was an older house, aU of hewn planks, with a shed roof,
by then converted into a chicken-house.
Jim also freighted groceries up the river to Ferndale and Lynden by
canoe. This was fairly steady work and did not require any seasonal
change in residence. He owned land down at Fish Point, but this was
not far enough for a separate house until he grew old. Some of the other
members of the house, however, left each spring for other quarters and
returned in the faU. George tfeU'S, for example, had a farm on " Onion
Bay," just inside Sandy Point. He and his large famUy left the big house
in the spring to go there to plant his crops. They returned after harvest-
time and when faU fishing started on the river.
Jim Eldridge and George sweb'k'wt3n were Nooksack, married to
Lummi women. (Few other Nooksack settled on the Lummi Reservation.) Tom Squiqui was a Skagit married to a Lummi woman; Frank
HUlaire had been raised at Saanich, but his father had been Lummi.
The others—Polan, Mike, Louie, and George tieU's—were Lummi. At
least the last three had non-Lummi wives. Of the sixteen adults, seven
or eight (nine if HiUaire is included)—that is, about half—were Lummi. 1954 The Lummi Indians 63
AU of the member-famUies of this house were related. George
swebTsMan was a relative of Jim Eldridge, and so was George tieU'S, but
the others were not related to him. AU the member-famiUes, however,
were related to Mrs. Eldridge, their heads addressed by either one of two
native kinship terms signifying " older sibling " and " deceased parent's
IV. The New Pattern: Economy
A new pattern of life flourished on the Lummi Reservation during
the existence of Old Lummi VUlage. It was a pattern that combined
elements of the old life with elements of white culture, though not always
elements shared by white neighbours. It was also a pattern which
differed somewhat from that of other Indian groups. And it was one
which did not outlive Old Lummi VUlage.
The economic life of the Lummi in the 1880's and '90's differed from
that of pre-white times both in content and in form. Its content included
both old activities and new ones. The old hunting, fishing, and gathering
survived, but in truncated or modified form. After the coming of firearms there may have been some increase in individual hunting, but by
this time game had certainly become more scarce and areas open to
hunting fewer. Trapping, too, may have increased some during the
earUer period of trade with the Hudson's Bay Company, but certainly it
declined during this period; the agent reported $2,000 worth of furs
taken in 1867, only $130 worth in 1884.
The gathering of food persisted, especiaUy clam-digging and berry-
picking. Native wUd roots found substitutes in cultivated roots, but
native wild berries found a market among whites. Cranberries especiaUy
sold well. The gathering of this period had a different emphasis and to
some extent a different motive.
Fishing was stiU important, but not without changes. Old techniques
were dropped and new ones added, and by the 1880's the motive was at
least partly profit in sale to the whites. FamUies went out in late spring
and summer to catch ling-cod, rock-fish, and haUbut, and to troU for
springs and sUvers, using pre-white techniques but with white-made gear.
Some of the haUbut and salmon could be sold to whites. Reef-netting
was very important until whites blocked the old locations with their traps
in the mid-nineties. During the late eighties and early nineties a large
part of the reef-net catch was sold to whites.
The Lummi no longer buUt a weir, but used other techniques in its
place in faU fishing.   They continued to use harpoons and gaff-hooks 64 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
from the shore or from canoes. To these they added gUl-nets and seines.
The gill-net seems to have been a pre-white device which had faUen into
disuse and was later revived with white materials. The Lummi in pre-
white times caught flounders with a kind of seine, but not salmon as they
did later. Finkbonner's report for 1867 lists a seine worth $400 as a
part of the Government's property at Lummi; this may have been the
Another item of increased importance was fish-oil, especially dogfish-
oil, which went to logging companies for skid grease. In pre-white times,
dogfish had not been used much, but now fishermen caught them with
set-lines of many hooks.
The Lummi also continued to take waterfowl by both old and new
methods. These were useful as food both for the hunters and for whites,
to whom they were sold. The feathers were no longer twisted into yam
by the hunters' wives, but they, too, could be sold to the whites.
Such items as these could be sold off the reservation or could be sold
to McDonough in Old Lummi Village. An observer wrote of Mc-
Donough's store in June, 1875:—
Indian trade at this store is considerable. It consists of fish oil, furs, hides,
feathers, etc. The day we called the Indians brought in three hundred and twenty
pounds of duck feathers which were caught in nets at the Portage, at Sandy Point
and Birch Bay.3"?
One of the chief aims of the Indian service seems to have been to
replace hunting, fishing, and gathering whoUy with agriculture. The
agents recognized that some fishing and clam-digging was essential to
self-support and made an effort to defend the Indians' rights to fishing
locations and beaches, but they tolerated these activities rather than
encouraged them. To teach the Lummis farming, they stationed resident
farmers on the reservation.
The first farmer established himself on the reservation in 1859, helped
clear some land, and in that year 35 to 40 acres were brought under
cultivation, mostly in potatoes.38   Their only tools at this time were hoes.
By 1867, 155 acres were under cultivation. The farmer had four
ploughs and a team, and the Indians had a few head of horses and cattle
and some pigs and chickens.   Finkbonner describes the economy:—
These Indians cultivate their lands in severality, i.e., each head of family clears
off and cultivates from one to four acres, the principal crop raised being potatoes.
There is planted in all this spring about 150 acres in potatoes and other vegetables,
(37) Roth (1926), p. 175.
(38) CIA-AR, 1859, pp. 338-340. 1954 The Lummi Indians 65
and five acres in wheat. These Indians raise all the potatoes and vegetables they
can eat, and sell all they can find a market for, which enables them to buy their
necessaries, such as flour, clothing, groceries, etc., etc. It is very difficult for me to
approximate at anything near the amount of labor performed on a reservation.
I will, however, give some of the principal labor performed: First, in clearing
off land and planting their crops in the spring, and hoeing during the summer;
second, in gathering berries, which grow in great abundance and variety. Those
which prove the most profitable are the cranberry. From June to October salmon
commence running, during which time all the Indians are engaged in taking, curing,
and salting for winter use. During the winter months they are engaged in various
occupations; some are employed by the whites; some are engaged in the chase
and hunt, and others are at work on the reservation, making canoes, and improvements around home. They cut and put up from twenty-five to thirty tons of hay
every year. The Indians also make all the shingles used on the reservation, cut
roads, make repairs and other improvements for their comfort, etc., etc.
I would, most respectfully, before I close, urge the necessity upon the department to furnish more lumber and building materials for the reservation. They
only have dwellings for about one-half the Indians here, and they all want buildings; it conduces more to civilize Indians than any other class of property the
department can furnish them.
They take great pride in good dwellings and they try to excel each other in this
respect, and in furnishing their houses with the comforts of chairs, tables, cooking
stoves, window curtains, beds, etc.3'
He gives an evaluation of Indian property on the reservation, which
includes $1,300 worth of live stock, about $7,000 worth in canoes, and
$2,500 in firearms. The Lummi took, he says, about $2,000 worth of
furs and skins (referred to above) and raised 10,000 bushels of potatoes,
which were worth, at 75 cents a bushel, $7,500, 150 bushels of wheat
worth $150, and $150 worth of other vegetables, and they cut 30 tons
of hay.
During the 1870's and '80's, agricultural production increased, herds
of live stock increased, and some farmers began seUing poultry and dairy
products. Agents estimated the subsistence of the Lummi in the early
1880's as 75 per cent from " civilized pursuits "; 12Vi per cent from
hunting, fishing, and gathering; and 12Vi per cent from Government
rations. They were, on the whole, very optimistic; in 1884 the agent
Buckley at TulaUp wrote:—
The Lummis number 275, are a proud people, being both industrious and intelligent; 75 of them have received their allotments in severality. They are a home-
loving people, and give their attention entirely to farming. Many of them have
excellent farms, good dwelling houses and barns, and every family has cattle,
horses, hogs and poultry.   They raise large quantities of grain, hay, and all the
(39) CIA-AR, 1867, p. 54. 66 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
garden vegetables, and during the last year have made 1,200 pounds of good
Agriculture was not the only " civilized pursuit" of the Lummi.
Since the first white settlement, some had worked as labourers for the
whites, especiaUy as loggers. This sort of labour often separated young
men from their famUies, but the distance was usuaUy not far. Some time
in the 1880's another kind of labour came into being—hop-picking.
This was a job that required travelUng a greater distance, but it was a
job the whole famUy could participate in. In this last respect it resembled
some of the pre-white summer activities. The two-month outing to the
hop-fields became the high point in the year's activities for many famUies
from all over Western Washington and British Columbia. The hop-
fields thus became an important point of contact between many Indian
groups who otherwise saw Uttle of one another. This activity was one
of the causes which the agents cited as accounting for the decline of
There was some survival of native crafts in this period. Men no
longer made house-planks, but some occasionaUy made house-posts
and some stUl made dugout canoes. Some women stiU made mats and
baskets and even blankets. The agent gives figures for production in
native industries for 1881 (this is for the whole TulaUp agency, so
Lummi is only a fraction of the total): " 4,985 yards matting, 322
canoes, 1,485 baskets, 40 Indian blankets." He adds, as products of
hunting, fishing, and gathering, " 3,320 deer and other wUd animals,
1,110,000 pounds of fish, and 2,638 bushels of berries."41 SUversmith-
ing, so important among some American tribes, was practised by one
Lummi, Jack Pierre, who learned the craft from a Makah and in turn
taught it to a Samish.
To summarize the yearly round of activities: people concentrated in
faU and winter in the village; moved out in the spring to scattered farms
to plant, or to camps in the islands to fish and to gather wUd foods;
fished intensively at reef-net locations in July and August and on the
river in September and October, but with increasing numbers leaving
for the hop-fields in August and September. A few engaged in year-
round farming (dairymen, for example) and year-round work off the
reservation (loggers, sawyers, etc.).
(40) CIA-AR, 1884, p. 169.
(41) CIA-AR, 1881, pp. 172-173. 1954 The Lummi Indians 67
V. White-imposed Institutions:   Government
1. Chieftainship.—Whatever native government was, it was not a
separate institution with a formal organization. PoUtical influence depended upon social position. Social position came from the possession
of incorporeal privileges and the wealth to display them. The wealth
came from the possession of economic privileges or of supernatural
power. Persons with rank of this kind were members of the upper class.
I doubt if the pre-white " chief " was anything more than the ranking
member of the upper class, probably the house-leader of the most
influential household. I doubt if he had any formaUy recognized
authority over anyone outside his own household or beyond his viUage.
The last Lummi " chief " of the old sort was Chowitsut, who began
as a shaman, accumulated wealth, got a wealth power, and gave a number of potlatches. What I have been able to leam about him suggests
that his success was due far more to his personal abiUties than to
inherited position. But he had to have upper-class status in the first
place, and he had to have the co-operation of the other upper-class men
in order to potlatch. Because of his wealth and his leadership in pot-
latching, he was the biggest of the big men at Lummi.
"After the priest came," said one informant, " the chief was the man
who could say his prayers best." David Crockett, who became chief
about 1859, undoubtedly could say his prayers weU; he led the Lummi
in daUy CathoUc services morning and evening. But he was not otherwise a nobody. He had come from an upper-class fanuly, and he had
been the leader of the pre-CathoUc cult. The majority of Lummis had
accepted Catholicism as superior to the native system of beUefs, so
perhaps it was perfectly natural for the man who controUed the new
system best, the ranking CathoUc, to become chief.
About 1865 Crockett chose Henry Kwina as sub-chief, and when
Crockett died in 1874, Kwina succeeded him as chief. Kwina probably
had more claim to upper-class status than Crockett, being the nephew
of Chowitsut. Kwina was chief for a Uttle over half a century, from
1874 until his death in 1926.
In pre-white times the functions of a chief were probably not much
more than those of a house-head. His ranking position seems not to
have been a permanent one, but one dependent on his continuing to
display the proper qualities and one subject to constant reappraisal.
Under white rule the functions of the chief were quite different.
White rule has been both direct and indirect;  in so far as it has been 68 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
indirect, the chieftainship has been one of its principal instruments. To
the white government the chief was the leader of the whole tribe; his
position was permanent, (short of impeachment) and he was partiaUy
responsible for the maintenance of law and order and for the administration of justice. The question of the existence in pre-white times of
leaders of units larger than the viUage does not matter, since now the
whole tribe was in fact a single viUage. But certainly the support of the
agent (if the chief had it) must have given the chieftainship more stabiUty
than dependence upon popular goodwiU alone had given. The law and
order the chief was supposed to keep and the justice he was supposed
to administer were formerly perhaps his concern only within his own
household. The majority of offences were punishable by the household, not by any larger community. The house-head may have been
judge within his own house and represented his house in friendly dealings with others, but in the case of an offence from a member of
another house he seems to have temporarily given over his leadership to
a warrior. Now the chief was expected to represent aU households in
dealing with offences against any and to suppress the exercising of private
To the Lummi their chief was their spokesman in their relations with
the whites. Accounts of informants suggest that the chief was influential
in getting aUotments and in getting help from the agent. This patronage
may have been analogous to that of the pre-white house-head. But it
must have been difficult for members of other households, or after the
break-up of the big households, of other family Unes, to see the chief as
equaUy responsible for and to aU.
2. Police.—As an aid to administration, the agent appointed Indian
policemen—a captain at TulaUp and two privates on each reservation.
Their duties were to arrest persons breaking both laws appUcable to aU
persons in the territory and also agents' rules applicable to Indians only—
rales against drinking, spirit dancing, and shamanizing.
I do not know what the position of the Indian policeman was in the
community, but have some indication that he stood well with the local
whites. Probably it was a position which gave enough prestige to satisfy
native needs.   One might expect a paraUel to the pre-white warrior.
3. Courts.—Using the chiefs as judges obviously had its disadvantages, and apparently to remedy the situation the agent established a
court system.   The agent wrote in 1889:—
Indian courts have been established with fair success on all the reservations
belonging to the agency, but my main reliance has been upon the court located at
agency headquarters (Tulalip), which is composed of the best material we have. 1954 The Lummi Indians 69
This court tries all cases of importance, and generally disposes of the most of
them satisfactorily to all concerned. It has greatly assisted me in maintaining
order on the reservation and the farmers in charge of the Swinomish and Lummi
reservations say the court system is a great improvement on the old plan of
governing by chiefs and head men.42
He adds that the courts would be unnecessary ff whisky had been inaccessible to the Indians.
In his 1891 report he gives the three judges at TulaUp as George
Archffle, whom he caUs weU educated, David Teuse, and Dick Shoemaker. Their decisions, he says, were fair and were taken as final. The
prosecutor was Jim Thomas, who was also captain of police. The convictions for criminal offences during the year 1891 were two adultery,
two assault, thirty-nine intoxication, one neglect of sick, five perjury,
one " Ta-man-no-us " (Indian conjuring), two wife-beating; and forty-
eight civU cases were tried.43 The sentences were, I beUeve, largely to
labour on reservation roads; however, there was a jaU at Lummi. The
next year's report mentions two judges at Lummi.44
VI. The Church
There seems to have been Uttle open resistance to conversion to
Catholicism. It may be that the new religion was reinterpreted to accord
with native beliefs. The native may have seen Catholic worship as
another means of making contact with supernatural beings in order to
acquire power. He may have seen CathoUc taboos as paraUel to those
sometimes imposed by native guardian spirits. The participation of the
"Indian priest" in the services he may have seen as an exercise of a
personal possession like the inherited privileges or the secret ritual
knowledge of native society.
It would be unfair to CathoUcism, however, to suggest that it was
a simple substitution; the Christian doctrine of sin and salvation and the
God-given commandments surely had no close paraUels. Native escha-
tology and native ethics were two separate systems—one bound up with
concepts of disease and psychology, the other with the organization of
society. The more integrated system presented by the priest must have
seemed clearly superior to many phUosophical natives. The priest himself, too, was without a close native paraUel.    The native ritualist's
(42) CIA-AR, 1889, p. 289.
(43) CIA-AR, 1891, p. 459.   This was at Tulalip, so may not include Lummi
cases settled at Lummi.
(44) CIA-AR, 1892, p. 506. 70 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
functions at crisis rites were simUar to those of the priest, but the range
of the ritualist's activities covered only a portion of that of the priest.
Indians rightly identify the native shaman with the white doctor.
But perhaps the principal reason why CathoUcism was accepted was
the one so often given to account for a primitive people's conversion:
" The whites are more powerful, therefore it must be that their reUgion
is more powerful. Let us accept their reUgion and gain their power."
Trite as this is, it may be true. In the native system, success was usuaUy
interpreted as resulting from the possession of some sort of power. The
whites were certainly more powerful, and the whites themselves argued
that conversion was the first step in becoming like whites.
It is even possible that the whites themselves were regarded as a
source of power. An informant once remarked to me as we stood
watching one of the more complex manifestations of white technology,
" 'Ain't no person, white man,' the old people used to say. ' White man
sXe'bqam.'"   A sXelgqam is a being with supernatural power.
The real conflict was probably between the exclusiveness of CathoUcism and native practices. If participation in CathoUc ritual was taken
as an exercise of privilege and thus a source of prestige, then its exclusiveness may have rankled. Catholicism was accepted, but not to the
exclusion of native practices. Performances of spirit dances and sha-
manistic curing continued in secret. It was secret at least on the
reservation, of necessity since it was Ulegal; among those small groups
Uving off the reservation, as among the Samish on Guemes Island, it was
open and active.
Both Lummi and non-Lummi say the Lummi were " strict" in their
CathoUcism. Informants who know the old culture best say too strict.
One said that at first there were no pews in the church, and the people
had to kneel the whole time; another said that persons caught drinking
or spirit dancing were whipped; the crowning insult, in the view of a
third, was the fact that Father Chirouse not only confiscated the spirit-
dancing costumes, but dressed up his schoolboys in them to put on a show
for whites in order to raise money. How much of this is true is hard to
say. The fact remains it was the Lummi who were strict; the priest was
present only part of the time, and the resident farmers were probably
not Catholics.
There were some who held out. One informant, whose fanuly is
entirely CathoUc, said in their defence:— 1954 The Lummi Indians 71
Very few people didn't care to listen to the priest. People were told " don't
make friends with them, they're devils." But at the same time those people they
called devils know who made the world—they knew it was xe'els [the Transformer].
VII. The School
The Indian Agents' reports praise the school as a great civilizing
influence—an example of what Wissler identified as a basic theme of our
culture, faith in the efficacy of education. Trying to discount our cultural
bias, I think the agents may have been partly right. Only a fraction of
the Lummi went to school, but those who did must have been the most
important channel for the dissemination of white culture. At the same
time, however, the school-chUdren themselves were systematicaUy uprooted from the native culture, so that the famiUar drama of the returned
student who finds his home no longer a home may have been re-enacted
many tunes.
Father Chirouse established his first school at TulaUp in 1857. He
took students from all over the area of the TulaUp agency. In 1861
he had twenty boys and five girls.45 Some were no doubt from Lummi;
yet in 1867 Finkbonner reported that, of 125 Lummi chUdren of school
age, only ten boys were at the TulaUp school.46
By 1880 there was a little day-school at Lummi with two teachers—
one a half-breed and the other an Indian, both educated at TulaUp.47
But, according to informants, this school was moved back to TulaUp
in 1884.
The language of instruction at TulaUp was, of course, EngUsh, but
Father Chirouse also used the Puget Sound language for hymns and
prayers, so that pupUs from Lummi learned another SaUsh language as
weU. The report of agent Patrick Buckley for 1884 includes data on the
Tulalip school. It is referred to as an agricultural and industrial
boarding-school. There were at that time fifty-five boys and forty-five
girls and eight employees—two men and six Sisters of Charity. The
instruction for boys consisted of (1) school exercises—prayer, reading,
writing, spelUng, arithmetic, grammar, composition, history of the United
States, book-keeping, and " famiUar science "; and (2) manual labour—
type-setting, attending to Uve stock, procuring and chopping fuel, gardening, farming, and carpenter work. The instruction for girls consisted
of the same school exercises and the foUowing industries:   General
(45) CIA-AR, 1861, pp. 180-181.
(46) CIA-AR, 1867, p. 58.
(47) CIA-AR, 1880, pp. 165-166. 72 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
housework, washing, ironing, mending clothes, cutting out and making
garments, gardening, dairy work, crocheting, braiding, embroidering, and
different kinds of fancy work. The hours of school instruction were
8 to 11.30 a.m. and 1 to 8 p.m. each day. The methods of instruction,
says the agent, were the same as those of the leading schools of the
territory, and the teachers were in every way competent.
The good done the Indian people by this school is incalculably great . . .
with the church, the school is the great civilizing element and those who have been
brought up in both form the better class among our Indians. Their houses are
neater and better furnished, their partners and their children are better dressed,
their gardens better cultivated; they attend church regularly and are industrious
and well behaved.
He also mentions the fact that Father Boulet, who had replaced
Chirouse in the late 1870's, was pubUshing—
a neat little monthly paper, dedicated to the advancement of Indian youth; it
contains much good advice and pleasant reading and is valued by the Indians.
It has quite a large circulation, and as at least one Indian in every family can read,
it accomplishes much good .48
The statement that at least one Indian in every famUy could read is
disproved by the statistics for the year. The population at Lummi in
1884 was 275; of these, 50 persons spoke EngUsh, 40 could read, 60
families were engaged in agriculture, etc.49 From this it appears that
Uteracy was actuaUy a Uttle less than 15 per cent; about one in seven
could read, certainly less than one in every conjugal fanuly. The agent
was, I suspect, overly optimistic. Yet the school must certainly have
made a difference.
In 1892 a day-school reopened at Lummi, but the teacher was beset
with difficulties, and the school did not receive much support from the
people.   I shaU discuss possible reasons for this later.
VTII. Persistence of Native Culture
In spite of attacks by white culture and the acceptance of much of
white culture by the Lummi, some native institutions persisted in the Ufe
of the people of Old Lummi VUlage. In some cases, survival was without
conflict. The private ownership of reef-net locations, for example, fitted
quite well into white theory; the Lummi later lost their locations simply
because they could not legaUy defend them.
Other native institutions survived under great pressure. Spirit-
dancing and shamanistic curing went on in secret, but not in Old Lummi
(48) CIA-AR, 1884, p. 170.
(49) CIA-AR, 1884, pp. 288-289. 1954 The Lummi Indians 73
VUlage. Mrs. Charles, who was raised in Jim Eldridge's smoke-house
there, said that she never saw spirit dancing when she was a chUd. This
was in spite of the fact that several of the famUy-heads were, at that time
or later, dancers, and one, Tom Squiqui, was a shaman. Some were
exclusively " strong CathoUcs," however; Mrs. John Brown said that her
father, George tieU'S, did not beUeve in powers and would not accept one
that he might have had.
Those who stiU danced or cured did so in secret at some place away
from the viUage or off the reservation entirely. Those who were caught
dancing on the reservation were arrested and fined or sentenced to labour
on the road. Off the reservation less secrecy was required; the Bellingham Bay Mail even describes a shamanistic performance held at the
"rancheree" at Sehome on August 1, 1874, with the help of some
visiting Semiahmoo.
Slavery was, of course, forbidden and so was head-flattening, the
older mark of status. And apparently there was some attempt to forget
old class differences; Mrs. Brown says that her father never spoke of
class differences, and that she did not know of such things until she
married at Musqueam. At least one former slave married another,
received an aUotment, and raised a fanuly. But Mrs. Brown's present
strong class-consciousness as weU as her spirit dancing suggest that some
basis for them was built up in childhood, despite her father's professions.
And none of the former slaves' chUdren married Lummis, a fact supporting the likelihood of the persistence of class-consciousness.
Gift-giving was also forbidden or at least discouraged by the priests
and the agent, but it persisted even more openly than spirit dancing and
shamanism. So far as I know, the Lummi have not had any Xe'naq since
Chowitsut's time. A Xe'naq was a "real potlatch" given by several
persons " going company " and inviting members of other tribes. The
Bellingham Bay Mail reported "potlatches" in October of 1873 and
December of 1875, but these were, I suspect, the " paying off of funeral
expenses " or some other obUgation of single individuals. In contrast,
the Samish had several full-dress Xe'naq, the last in 1905.
The persistence of gift-giving was in practices which were a blend
of the old culture and the new.
LX. Areas of Compromise and Emergence of New Forms
It was in the observance of the Ufe crises that native practices came
the nearest to blending with white practices.   Here people recognized 74 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
the necessity of the sacraments and the priest's jurisdiction over them,
but since the life crises were vital to the native culture, they endeavoured
to observe them in the old way as well. The fact that the priest was not
always present made this fairly easy.
So far as I know, recognition of birth and of puberty received Uttle,
if anything, from white culture, and native practices tended to dwindle.
CathoUc baptism came sooner after birth than did any naming ceremony
in the old culture, where boys and girls were often simply caUed " boy "
and "girl" until old enough to receive inherited names. Now they
received Christian names first and native names later.
The first converts received Christian names only, no surnames.
A few of the first generation later used native names as surnames. Some
received full European names from the whites, either for famous persons
such as George Washington or for the settlers they worked for, Uke Jim
Eldridge, who worked for the early settler Edward Eldridge. In some
cases EngUsh nicknames stuck. But the majority of the first generation
seem to have done without European surnames, and most of their
chUdren seem to have used their fathers' given names as surnames. In
most cases the original given name became the surname of the third and
foUowing generations, but some tendency to repeat the first step in the
process remains. Frank HiUaire's son by his first wife calls himself
Edward Frank, but his children by his second wife are aU Hillaires.
The result of this practice is a population bearing names which to the
outsider seem at first hopelessly indistinguishable—Joe BUI, BUI Joe,
George Charles, Charles George, and even Joe Joe and George George,
the last being called Double George. Most of the native names used as
surnames appear to have been dropped, and some of the original baptismal names, being French, became uninteUigible to English-speaking
whites and therefore impractical; I did not recognize use'n as "Eugene "
or pe'tbs as " Patrice."
In addition to English given names and surnames, nearly everyone
received a native name. This required some expense, since the name
had to be given in the presence of others, who were paid to witness the
event. Later in Ufe if a man had an unused name in his genealogy and
could afford it, he might take it, too. So far as I know, there has never
been any attempt to use EngUsh names as inherited privileges; the two
systems have existed simultaneously but separately. To identify a person
completely requires getting his English given name, surname, and possibly
nickname, and his native inherited name or names, and possibly native 1954 The Lummi Indians 75
nickname, since he may have been known by only one or two of these
by different people at different places or times. While in native theory
the inherited name, or perhaps the last inherited name used, was the
person's real name, the English given name appears to be the most useful
for any cataloguing purposes, since it usuaUy endured the whole lifetime.
A far greater blending of the old and the new was to be found in
marriage and marriage relations and in practices associated with death.
To judge from several accounts, among the better off at least, a marriage
was arranged by the famUies of the couple. The famUy of the groom
paid a bride-price in money and perhaps made a gift of food besides,
which the family of the bride used for a feast. When this had been done,
the priest was invited to unite the couple in a CathoUc wedding. After
the wedding the bride's family gave a feast, killing stock for the meal
and putting down a temporary floor in the smoke-house and hiring
a fiddler and caller for a square dance. The parents of the couple caUed
each other sk'walwas (co-parents-in-law), and engaged in later exchanges
of food and wealth. For example, a man might bring a canoe-load of
boxes of hard-tack or biscuits, a favourite article, to bis son-in-law and
the latter's father, at which time they in turn were obUged not only to pay
for the food, but also to pay each of the men who helped to bring it.
This kind of exchange perhaps received more emphasis when the marriage was between a Lummi and a non-Lummi. OccasionaUy it led to
open rivalry between co-parents-in-law. This type of marriage was
purely native in function for the famUies of the couple. From the native
point of view the Catholic wedding service could have been merely
a substitute for the earlier display of an inherited privUege on the occasion
when the couple were brought together before representatives of the
two families. The other foreign elements—the money, the slaughtered
beef, the hard-tack—were only borrowed means to native ends. On the
other hand, the Catholic wedding may well have been the more significant
even for many of the young couples themselves, trained as they had been
in the Catholic school, since some of these marriages lasted for life,
a permanency that might not have been attained in pre-white times.
A death meant considerable expense for the bereaved's family, if
they could afford it. Burial was the rule, and a CathoUc funeral service
was required. But before the funeral the family had to hire two persons
of the same sex as the deceased to bathe and dress the body, two more
to keep a wake, two men to make a coffin, two to make the outer cover
for it, two to dig the grave, and six to act as paUbearers.   The bathing 76 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
of the corpse and the making of the coffin were professional tasks in
pre-white times when the dead were put into raised canoes or grave-
boxes, and those who performed the tasks did so because of their knowledge of the proper speUs and ritual acts. The speUs were stiU used at
this time, and even though burial in the ground was a recent practice,
there were speUs for grave-digging, too. After the funeral the famUy of
the deceased had to give a feast, at which they paid their " funeral debts ";
that is, paid those who had performed the services just Usted. At the
same time, or later, they might display a memento or sing the spirit song
of the deceased and pay those who witnessed. The payment of funeral
debts was perhaps the pubUc repayment of obUgations that most nearly
reached the proportions of the earUer potlatch, which had this as only
one of several functions.
In spite of their earUer praise of the Lummi as successful farmers
and optimism about their progress toward civilization, by 1890 the
agents' reports were beginning to express some dissatisfaction with them.
In 1889 the Lummi were merely not "holding their own";50 by 1891
the statistics themselves show a decline in agricultural production—350
acres cultivated as compared with 500 in 1884, 50 bushels of wheat and
60 of oats as compared with 450 and 2,000 bushels in 1884, 450 cattle
as compared with 600 head, and so on.51 Figures for 1897, however,
show a gain in production, but since they also show a gain in population,
production per capita may not have improved.
The agents' reports for the early 1890's also express a dissatisfaction
with the Lummi over their day-school; the Lummi were unco-operative
and faUed to support the school. The agents seem to be expressing
a feeling that the Lummi were undergoing a general cultural decline, or
at least were losing interest in the things which had made the agents
optimistic a decade or two earUer.
There are several possible reasons for this decline; the first three of
the foUowing were suggested by the agents themselves:—
(1) The isolation of the Lummi aUowed them to sUp out of the
control of the agency.
(2) The opposition of the old people undermined the agency's work.
(50) CIA-AR, 1889, p. 288.
(51) CIA-AR, 1884, pp. 298-299;  1891, p. 459. 1954 The Lummi Indians 77
(3) The attraction of other pursuits, particularly hop-picking, took
people away from the reservations during the season when they should
have been fanning.
The foUowing quotations wiU Ulustrate some of these views:—
One of the largest and naturally most fertile of the five reservations is the
Lummi, but, being more remote and less accessible from the agency than are the
other, the same discipline cannot easily be maintained with these Indians—exposed
to the evil influence of whites and Canadian Indians—as with those on other
reservations. They are more independent and show less inclination to cultivate
their land than do the Indians of most of the reserves, though not a few of the
younger men have industriously cultivated their several holdings and have comfortable farm-homes. For the most part, however, they engage in fishing, sealing
and logging.52
And speaking of aU Puget Sound Indians, not just the Lummi:—
The Indians, as a rule, are not systematic farmers. Farming is with them the
incident and not the business of everyday life. Some of them, the more thrifty
and industrious, have well-cultivated farms and comfortable houses, and are
anxious to have their children educated. They generally live like white people.
Those, however, are the exception. A large majority spend most of their time
in their canoes, fishing, especially during the salmon season. In the summer they
are absent most of the time picking berries. In early fall, with few exceptions, all,
little and big, young and old, go to the hop fields, where they meet old friends
from all over the sound and east of the mountains. Here they drink, gamble, and,
as they say, have a good time generally. This annual pilgrimage to the hop fields
is very demoralizing and positively injurious; but as it has been their custom for
many years, and always permitted by former agents, I did not feel justified in
interfering with what they seem to regard as one of their vested rights.
From close observation I am satisfied that the greatest obstacle to progress and
to the advancement of the young Indian is the old Indian. He still clings to his
old superstitions and cherishes secretly the old traditions and teaching of his
savage ancestors. He is opposed to sending his children to school; creates all
the dissatisfaction and distrust that he can secretly foment in the child's mind;
interferes with the agency physician in the treatment of patients and does whatever
he can in the two months of vacation to neutralize the good effect of the ten
months' school session. With his disappearance from the scene of action, a more
rapid and marked advance will take place among the younger Indians.53
(4) To the attraction of hop-picking I would add the attraction of
reef-netting for sockeye. This activity became a source of cash as weU
as food about 1891, when the canneries began buying fish. And after
the Lummi lost their locations, some went to work for the canneries.
(5) A log-jam caused by a boom at the mouth of the Nooksack
River made it necessary for people to go several miles up-stream before
(52) CIA-AR, 1891, p. 459.
(53) CIA-AR, 1895, p. 319. 78 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
they could cross to go to market. This was not only a deterrent to
intercourse between Lummi and the neighbouring white communities,
but also resulted eventuaUy in the destruction of Old Lummi VUlage.
(6) A further factor in the decline in agricultural production may
have been in the difficulties that were arising over the inheritance of
aUotments. These difficulties are mentioned in the reports of 1890 and
1891. Much later, in 1914, the agent Buchanan wrote that cases had
been accumulating for years, and that land had lain idle because its
ownership could not be determined.54
(7) A final factor in the decline of agriculture and what was perhaps
a general cultural decUne may have lain in the conflict that had arisen
between the two controlling forces, church and state, and the effect this
conflict must have had upon the Lummi. Whatever the truth of the
foUowing statement, it certainly indicates that there was such a conflict;
this is from the school-teacher's report of 1902:—
A serious obstacle to the intellectual progress is, I fear, the presence of the
priest [Father Boulet] under whose teachings they [the Lummi] are. He is opposed
to Government schools in general and does what he can to influence the Indians
against them and to prevent their patronizing such schools.5^
This conflict must surely have had an effect upon the Lummi. Since
the first settlement no doubt their newly acquired values were under
constant attack from what the agent Buchanan later caUed the " vicious
and meddlesome white man " as weU as from the most conservative of
their own group. Now it appeared that the two chief white exponents
of the new values—the agent and the priest—themselves disagreed.
Why then, especiaUy in the face of other difficulties, should one be
a sober, pious, industrious, Uterate farmer?
To make an even more generalized suggestion, it may be that the
Lummi were, or at least appeared to be, sober, pious, and industrious
in the 1870's and '80's because a new cultural pattern had developed
which permitted it, but that this cultural pattern was one which could not
survive in the face of changes going on around it.
Probably the worst blows the Lummi have suffered since the 1850's
were the effects of the log-jam at the mouth of the river and of the
buUding of the fish-traps at Point Roberts and ViUage Point, Lummi
Island. I have already indicated the damage done by the log-jam. The
effect of the traps was to block aU the principal reef-net locations so as to
make them difficult or impossible to use.   In 1895 the Government filed
(54) Buchanan (1914), MS.
(55) CIA-AR, 1902, p. 362. 1954 The Lummi Indians 79
suit for the Indians against the companies concerned. The agent reported
the decision, which was reached two years later:—
The suits instituted by direction of the honorable Attorney-General in the
interest of these Indians, one for the obstruction of the Nooksack River for navigation purposes by the Fairhaven Lumber [Land?] Company, the other against the
Alaska Packing Company [Alaska Packers Association?] for obstruction of the fishing privileges of Indians, have both been decided against the Indians in the United
States district court for Washington. These cases are still pending an appeal to the
United States circuit court. Meanwhile the navigation of the Nooksack River is practically closed by an immense accumulation of driftwood caused by the obstructions
placed near the mouth of the river by the Fairhaven Lumber Company, the current
of the river having been deflected from the east to the west bank thereof, expending
its full force against and overflowing the lowlands of the Lummi Reservation upon
which is located the government day school building and the Indian village; and
the Alaska Packing Company and other cannery companies have practically
appropriated all the best fishing grounds at Point Roberts and Village Point, where
the Lummi Indians have been in the habit of fishing from time immemorial. The
State legislature, at its last session, passed an act imposing a tax upon all persons
fishing with nets in its waters, and at the same time prohibiting persons using nets
from fishing within 240 feet of any fish trap. The average Indian regards the
decisions of the courts and the recent legislation of the State as especially directed
against him, and no amount of explanation on my part is sufficient to convince him
to the contrary.5*
SINCE 1900
During the years before the First World War the Lummi saw the
school system pass completely out of the hands of the church (1901).
The agency finaUy straightened out the tangled Unes of heirship of a
number of unused aUotments, though more accumulated. Some Lummi
found themselves able to lease their lands, and some were even declared
competent to seU if they chose to. A couple of aUotments were sold
because of a lack of agreement among the heirs. Also some of the
Lummis made successful stands against the Fish and Game Commission's attempt to apply its rules to the reservation.
There also began an open conflict of reUgions. About 1910 the
Shakers first made converts in the area; these were the foUowers of
John Slocum, a Puget Sound prophet whose immediate disciples synthesized native and Christian practices.57 In 1912 spirit dancing took a
first step toward becoming legal.
From 1912 to 1917 the Lummi held an annual " potlatch," a picnic
and clambake.   It was to commemorate the victory of the Lummi over
(56) CIA-AR, 1897, pp. 296-297.
(57) Gunther (1944).
6 80 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
the Yukulta at Gooseberry Point, in, according to WiUiam McCluskey's
calculations, 1820, and presumably to make money on the crowds of
whites who came from Bellingham to see the show. For the picnic some
old dances and songs were revived and in some cases revised. Some
features perhaps not originaUy Lummi, such as the sxwaixwei mask and
dance, were added.
Between the wars the Lummi Reservation saw a considerable increase
in population, from 472 in 1921 to 632 in 1932. In 1930 a dyke was
completed around most of the " flats," the delta land which is the best
soU on the reservation. In the early 1930's State schools became open
to Lummi chUdren. And during the 1930's the Lummi rejected, while
the Swinomish and Tulalip people accepted, the Indian Reorganization
After the river washed away Old Lummi VUlage in the 1890's,
some of the people moved their buUdings down to Fish Point. This
did not last as a settlement, however, and for some years there was no
viUage on the river. Then, I beUeve in the 1930's, fishermen began
buUding shacks on the banks of the new river-course, now off the
reservation. In time a strip of land on each side was bought as tribal
property, some improvements were made, and this is the present " River
In 1914 Dr. Charles Buchanan, the agent at TulaUp, wrote:—
So far as is generally known the old Indian dances are obsolete. They are not
generally seen so far as any public knowledge of them, at least, is concerned.
They are of interest only as steps in the past history and evolution of the race
(in which sense they may be considered, in a certain sense, as historic records).
The children in the school are taught to regard these ancient dancing practices as
stages and incidents of a barbarism that is past, though they are stages experienced
by all primitive and uncivilized peoples. They are therefore indicative of lack of
progress and lack of desire for progress and improvement. They are never
seriously given or seriously seen any more. There has grown up at Tulalip a local
Indian holiday, the anniversary of the treaty, January 22nd, which we term Treaty
Day and, in a sense, Old Folks Day. That day is considered a page out of the
history of the past, brought into the present for purposes of comparison and of
historical comparison. Indian history is not written; therefore it can only be
exemplified by oral tradition or by dramatization in the form of what is now
popularly given under the designation of pageantry. In this spirit and with this
in view, we often reproduce at Tulalip many of the old Indian customs, practices,
games, etc., on Treaty Day as a portion of its pageantry, but in no more serious
sense than this.58
(58) Buchanan (1914), MS., December 1, p. 17. 1954 The Lummi Indians 81
The old dances were, of course, not obsolete, but, as was probably
generaUy known, had merely gone underground because of the Government's poUcy of suppression. According to several Lummi informants,
Buchanan freed the power songs on Treaty Day only, for three years,
then forbade them again. They were later freed as far as the Lummi
were concerned through the efforts of John Alexis.
At TulaUp Mrs. WiUiam Shelton described the events there as in
part the result of her husband's diplomacy:—
The Treaty Day celebration started because the agent Buchanan wanted to have
a celebration of the anniversary of the signing of the treaty. The first time he
tried it a number of people said that they were not going to celebrate the occasion
upon which they lost their lands, etc., etc. Buchanan than asked William Shelton
how he could manage to interest people in making it a holiday. William suggested
that they give a show imitating the old skslalitut dances, and the agent agreed to
let them do it. The first year they had it in the schoolhouse. They collected
about fifty dollars to imitate a potlatch, and Johnny Fornsby sang and gave it
away.   A few others danced.   They invited the Swinomish for this.
Because this was in the school building the children were not fed enough [?],
so William said that he would build an old-fashioned house for the following year.
So Buchanan said he would permit it and provided the lumber. William made the
posts and had two fellows build it. This time they invited the Lummi as well as
the Swinomish. This was 1913 when the smokehouse was built, the second year
that they had the dances on Treaty Day. The Swinomish built their smokehouse
the same year and used it to practice in before the Treaty Day celebration. The
Lummi built theirs just after William built his. The Lummi smokehouse was on
Jack Pierre's place.
Measles broke out about the time for the celebration and Buchanan stopped
it for one year because he was afraid that the measles would spread among the
children. So that year the Swinomish went to work and put it on. Since then
they have done so. The old people here had died so William let the Swinomish go
ahead and put it on.
Mrs. Shelton's daughter, Mrs. Harriet WiUiams, added that her
father had written to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and also, she
thought, to the Secretary of the Interior asking that the Indians be given
the right to perform their old dances. I do not know whether this was
before the first Treaty Day show or after the subsequent prohibition;
perhaps it was the latter.
The Johnny Fornsby mentioned by Mrs. Shelton was the Upper
Skagit shaman whose Ufe-history CoUins recorded.59 She gives his
version of what happened verbatim, and unfortunately, I think, without
comment or analysis.   The gist of it seems to be that it was Fornsby's
(59) Collins (1949). 82 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
own skw3di'lic' power that forced Buchanan to free the spirit dances.
A man was lost in the woods in the winter-time at TulaUp. Fomsby's
version holds that Buchanan said, " If John finds that man, 111 let them
use aU the power they want and have a time." Fomsby made sk^drTic"
" boards " of cedar-bark, and they led him toward the man. He did
not find him, but he gave up within 80 yards of where a logger found
him in the spring. Then Buchanan gave the songs back. At the first
performance, in the school-house, Fomsby started with h6yida, a wealth
power, foUowed by others, including John Skudab with q'wa'xq'9d. In
the middle Fomsby sang skwadiTic with the boards. The school-teachers
were frightened because the boards got rough to show their power.
That is how we got Treaty Day. Dr. Buchanan didn't want the Indians to
have the old time way. But that time they saw how the Indians fixed power. And
he saw the guarding power [sk^adi'lic] shake right in the room, running around
the school building.
That is why those folks have a time now on Treaty Day.60
It is difficult to say, from the evidence at hand, just what Buchanan's
motives were. Mrs. WUUams beUeved that they were more or less those
he expressed in the above quotation from him, to show the chUdren
what the old culture had to offer so that they might see better the contrast
between it and what they were learning in school. The effect may not
have been what he desired; Mrs. WUUams was a school-chUd herself
at the time and remarked on how thriUed the chUdren were to hear the
drums as they were marched over to where the show was put on.
Mrs. John Brown at Lummi said merely that Buchanan " got
inquisitive about the old potlatch " and asked to see what it was like.
Buchanan certainly was interested in learning about the old culture,
as his writings indicate, so this may have been a motive also.
There is a third, though less likely, possibUity. The Shakers had
begun making gains at TulaUp not long before, and in the same 1914
report quoted above Buchanan roundly denounces Shakerism as a disguised form of the old " tamanumus " reUgion.61 Informants say that
he even tried to suppress the Shakers for a few years. It is barely
possible that he freed the spirit songs, hoping to fight fire with fire.
It seems likely that the power songs would have come out into the
open in time regardless of Buchanan. There were old people who had
sung in secret or away from the reservation who needed support from
younger people, and there were middle-aged people who had never sung
(60) Ibid., pp. 323-324.
(61) Buchanan (1914), MS. 1954 The Lummi Indians 83
but might have in the old life and felt they needed to now. But the
Treaty Day shows may have given more impetus to the revival. Several
of the people Wike62 worked with at Swinomish told her that they had
first become aware of their powers wlule mimicking the old dancers
for the first Treaty Day shows. Perhaps Mrs. John Brown expressed
Buchanan's role accurately when she said, " Buchanan seemed to unwind
the thing."
At Lummi, perhaps until about 1920, it was evidently necessary to
fight both Buchanan's restrictions and the opposition of the local priest.
Here John Alexis was a man who needed to sing. His wife had died
and he wandered around mourning her. He found in the Bible a passage, " They shaU have dreams of dreams," so he wrote Washington
saying that the power songs come from dreams and thus the Bible
justifies them. He argued with the agent that not aU the old dances
consisted of cutting oneself with knives and drinking blood, and that
these would be left in the past. He invited two priests and a Protestant
minister to a feast for spirit dancing and convinced them that it was
" just a social gathering."
The Lummi tribe exists at this time both as a separate social entity
and as a separate poUtical entity. Its separate existence as a social
entity springs in part from the physical and cultural differences that
exist between the Lummi Indians and their white neighbours, but perhaps also in part from their poUtical separation. The separate existence
of the Lummi as a poUtical entity springs from the fact that their land,
the Lummi Reservation, is in a special status, subject to restrictions not
appUcable to adjacent lands and not directly under the jurisdiction of
local and State governments. The total area of the Lummi Reservation
is 12,502 acres, of which (in 1950) 2,338 acres are held in fee patent
and the rest restricted. The present population is 834. AU persons
bom in the United States are citizens and have the right to vote, but
those Uving on the reservation are subject to restrictions regarding Uquor,
and those on restricted land are subject to restrictions regarding the
use and disposal of that land and enjoy freedom from paying taxes on
that land.   Membership in the tribe is determined by the tribe.
The business of the tribe is conducted according to a written constitution by a tribal councU.   The tribal councU consists of twelve mem-
(62) Wike (1941). 84 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
bers, one of which, the chief, is a life member and the rest of which are
elected to three-year terms. The terms are so arranged that two or
three expire annuaUy. Elections are by secret baUot; aU adult members
of the tribe may vote. However, either the Lummi are weU satisfied
with the councU or else interest in tribal poUtics may not run very high;
it is said that at the last election only forty or fifty persons voted, and
the same persons have been in office for some time. Since the death
of his father-in-law, Chief Kwina, in 1926, August Martin has been the
chief of the Lummi tribe. He is now advanced in years and does not
participate much in tribal business; his main function seems to be that
of tribal historian and genealogist. If any question of membership in
the tribe comes up, it is submitted to his judgment, and his truly remarkable memory for famUy relationships usuaUy settles it. jAfter each
election the councU members elect their officers. At present they are:
Norbert James, chairman; Earl Thomas, vice-chairman; Joseph HiUaire,
secretary; and Victor Jones, treasurer. The councU also appoints committees; there are standing committees on health and education, and
others appointed to handle specific matters to be discussed with agencies
of the county or state governments. The tribal councU also handles
tribal property and funds. In addition to the tribal councU, there are
four other pubUc officials—a judge and a poUceman, nominated by the
councU and commissioned by the Indian Bureau, and a road supervisor
and a dyke supervisor, hired by the Indian Bureau.
AU of the dry land on the reservation was aUotted, so that the only
lands remaining as tribal property are the tide-lands around the reservation. These afford some income for the tribe; areas are leased as
booming-grounds, oyster-beds, and resort beaches in front of some of
the aUotments that have been sold to non-Indians. Additional income
is derived from the sale to non-Indians of permits to hunt on the reservation, and the sale to members of the tribe of permits to fish in the tribaUy
owned waters of Bellingham Bay and the mouth of the Nooksack River.
The tribal income is used for the maintenance of the tribal cemetery
and for the salary of the poUceman. Fines levied by the judge in cases
tried on the reservation also go into the tribal fund.
The Federal Government, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is
ultimately responsible for the use and disposition of land on the reservation, for the maintenance of law and order, and for health and education
among its people. However, the Bureau has been graduaUy withdrawing from direct contact and delegating several of its responsibUities to 1954 The Lummi Indians 85
State and local bodies. It delegates law and order in part to the Indians
themselves. For education it has a contract with the State, which in
turn deals with the school district, and for health it has a contract with
the county. The Lummi have, therefore, a broad range of relationships
with government; they have to deal with the Government of the United
States, the Government of the State of Washington, Whatcom County,
and the local school district of Ferndale.
At one time a sub-agent resided at Lummi, responsible to the agent
at TulaUp. At present the various agencies of the western part of the
State have been combined to form a Western Washington Agency, with
offices at Everett. The Agency stiU has a smaU lot between the school
and the church, but the house where the sub-agent Uved is rented to the
road supervisor. A smaU office also stands on the lot and is used by
a representative of the Bureau who comes to deal with land questions.
The inheritance, lease, or sale of restricted land must be approved by
the Bureau. Inheritance follows the laws of the State of Washington,
which specify which kinsman inherits the property of a deceased person,
but there is stUl a great backlog of cases where the kin are too numerous
for easy settlement. In such cases the land may be leased and the rent
divided among the heirs, but sometimes there are scores of heirs, so
that each receives only a few cents a year. The clerical work required
of the Bureau for this is, of course, enormous, whUe the benefit to the
Indians is sUght. A few aUotments have had a number of heirs who
could agree to a sale, so that these have been sold and are no longer
owned by Indians. However, two pieces of property that have become
valuable as resort areas have been separated in this manner; their sale
was perhaps the best solution to the heirship problem at the time, but
some regret is felt to-day over the loss.
About 1907 the Indian Bureau acquired the site of the present
school and built on it. The present plant was buUt between 1929 and
1936. It includes a five-room school buUding and a gymnasium and
cafeteria. For a time the reservation was a school district by itself with
its own school board, but in 1941 it was consoUdated with the Ferndale
School District. At present most chUdren go through grade school at
the Lummi school and those who go on to high school go to Ferndale.
Two school buses run through the reservation. In the faU of 1952 there
were 110 pupils and five teachers in the Lummi grade school; ninety-
three pupUs finished the year. About thirty were attending junior high
or high school at Ferndale.   A few go to the Assumption School (Catho- 86 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
Uc) in Bellingham, and a few, mainly those without parental care, go
to the Indian boarding-school at Chemawa.
Like aU pubUc schools, the Ferndale schools are supported by taxes.
To compensate for the absence of tax money from Indian property, the
Federal Government aUocates funds to the State Governments, which in
turn apportion them out to the school districts, depending on the number
of chUdren of Indians on tax-free land attending. The Ferndale School
District therefore receives money from Olympia for the Lummi children.
In addition, the Indian Bureau hires a fuh-time caretaker, Aloysius
Charles, for the school plant on the reservation. One Lummi, Earl
Thomas, is a member of the Ferndale District School Board.
According to 1950 figures, sixty-five Lummi were high-school graduates. The figure is no doubt higher now. At least one Lummi has a
university degree, in mechanical engineering, and several have graduated
from business coUeges.
Whatcom County maintains the main roads on the reservation, and
the tribe, helped by the Indian Bureau, maintains the others. The road
supervisor hired by the Bureau grades the tribal roads with the Bureau's
road-grader; the same man also grades on the TulaUp Reservation.
The county is also responsible for health and sanitation on the reservation, as elsewhere in the county. The county health nurse makes regular
calls, but in addition the Bureau pays a doctor from Bellingham to make
weekly caUs. Lummi patients can be admitted to the county hospital
as weU as to the Bureau's Cushman Hospital at Tacoma. The county
administers social security, so old-age pensioners deal with the office in
Bellingham. AU citizens of the State over 65 are eUgible for an old-age
pension; Indians are not excepted.
A series of lawsuits during the first quarter of the century helped
to define the rights of Indians in the matter of fishing and hunting.
After the trap-men took the reef-net locations off the reservation, the
Fish and Game Department attempted to enforce its regulations on the
reservation in the interest of conservation. However, the Indians won
the right to regulate hunting and fishing on the reservation and in the
adjacent waters. The present situation seems to be that Indians have
no rights beyond those of other citizens in the matter of fishing and
hunting off the reservations, with the exception that they do not have
to buy Ucences; instead, they are provided by the Indian Bureau with
cards identifying them as Indians. On the reservation they are not
subject to State game regulations, but the Lummi tribal councU attempts 1954 The Lummi Indians 87
to enforce its own regulations, keeping them in accord with those of
the State. But it is my impression that neither party is whoUy satisfied
with this arrangement.
The present poUceman on the reservation is Joseph Washington.
He is on duty at dances, at the annual carnival, and such occasions.
He is paid by the hour by the tribal councU out of tribal funds. According to the present judge, Aloysius Charles, the great majority of offences
are " drunk and disorderly." His records were not avaUable, but it is
his impression that offenders are more often middle aged than young
persons. Liquor, and more often beer, is easUy obtained from legitimate
dealers; " the bootleggers that used to be in Marietta must have aU
gone to the old folks' home." When a case comes up before Mr.
Charles, he gives the accused his choice of trial on the reservation, in
the County Court in Bellingham, or in the Federal Court in Seattle.
ActuaUy the County Court probably has no legal jurisdiction. Most
minor offenders are evidently satisfied with local justice; any more
serious offence would be sent on anyway. There are only two recent
thefts on record; one is being investigated by the F.B.I. The only case
of the use of narcotics known was the occurrence of a couple of marihuana parties, which were blamed on a Mexican migrant labourer.
In the only recent murder on the reservation, both parties were Indians
but not Lummi; the reservation poUceman made the arrest and caUed
the County Sheriff to take the prisoner to the county jaU, from which
he was taken to Seattle for trial.
According to figures made avaUable by the Western Washington
Agency, the Lummi number at present 834, some fifty of whom Uve off
the reservation. The population on the reservation is scattered over
the whole area but with a concentration at the River VUlage. Probably
most of those Usted as off the reservation are Uving in the adjacent
town of Marietta.
Farming is no longer an important activity of the Lummi. Almost
the only land now cultivated on the reservation is that under the Lummi
dyke, and of this perhaps three-fourths is leased to white farmers. On
the higher land of the peninsula, aUotments that were good farms fifty
years ago are now covered with second growth. Beef cattle and sheep
run free on the peninsula, but stock that requires more constant attention
is rare.
Undoubtedly the major activity of the Lummi to-day is fishing.
Most important are purse-seining and gUl-netting.    There are from 88 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
twenty-five to thirty purse-seine boats owned by Lummi fishermen, each
manned by a crew of about seven, hired from the reservation. These
boats operate during the fishing season out in the near-by channels
and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the southern end of Georgia
Strait; their owners moor them at the Bellingham boat havens. There
are many more gUl-net boats, each operated by one or two men in
Bellingham Bay or the Nooksack River. One man, who is perhaps the
most prosperous on the reservation, owns three purse-seiners, a fleet
of gUl-netters, and also acts as fish-buyer in the River VUlage. Three
or four men have traps in the tide-flats, now Ulegal off the reservation,
but each of these is probably no more productive than a gUl-net. A few
men troU in the winter with outboard motors, but not commerciaUy.
Reef-netting, once the principal fishing method of the Lummi, is
now almost entirely in the hands of whites. Reef-netting declined after
the traps were buUt by whites on the reef-net locations in the 1890's
and then made a come-back after the traps were outlawed in the 1930's.
Now the waters of Legoe Bay off Lummi Island are covered with reef-
nets during the sockeye season. Both gear-owners and hired fishermen
are organized, and the use of locations is regulated by the gear-owners'
association. There are no Lummi gear-owners, but a few Lummi work
on the gears of others.
Industrial work off the reservation probably ranks second to fishing.
During the fishing season many women work at the canneries in Bellingham whUe their menfolk are out on the purse-seiners. Besides this
a few men work in lumbering and a few as carpenters for contractors.
A weaving estabUshment on the reservation operated by a white couple
hires several young Lummi women. Several young women have also
been employed at secretarial work. There has been no noticeable
seasonal migration to the berry and hop fields from the Lummi Reservation since the 1930's.
Native crafts have hardly survived. Only two or three women are
now able to make baskets, and even they do not regularly do so. One
man has attempted to carve for sale, but his style, whUe hi better taste
than that of many commercial carvings seen elsewhere, is stiU more
original than aboriginal.
The CathoUc church stiU stands where it was moved after the disintegration of the Old Lummi VUlage. Father Conger, of Ferndale, celebrates mass here, at Ferndale, and at Blaine every Sunday, alternating
the hours.    The majority of Lummi probably regard themselves as 1954 The Lummi Indians 89
Catholic, although many do not attend church regularly. There is also
a small Shaker church, which is not used regularly, and a Church of
the Nazarene, which was buUt about 1951 and is rather active. A few
people belong to a Pentecostal church in Bellingham. Although the
old smoke-house feU down about 1951, spirit dancing is carried on in
private homes, and there has been some talk of buUding a new smokehouse.
Perhaps half a dozen Lummi served in the United States armed forces
during the First World War. During the Second World War there were
between twenty and thirty. Six were kUled in the Second World War
and one in the Korean conflict. After the Second World War an
American Legion post was organized on the reservation and named for
John Kittles, one of the casualties. Its first commander was a veteran
of the First World War. The combined membership of the post and its
auxiliary is eighty-two. The post is attempting to raise money for a haU
by sponsoring an annual carnival. In the meantime it meets in the school
gymnasium, where it also gives dances (of the customary white baUroom
type). In addition to the American Legion, there are several other
associations—the Altar Society, a CathoUc women's organization of
fifty-five members that attends to the needs of the church; the Helping
Hand, a mothers' club of twenty-six that does welfare work; a Boy Scout
troop of thirty; and a Parent-Teacher Association. During the winter
of 1952-53 an unemployed group was organized with about seventy-five
members; this may only reflect seasonal unemployment.
Strictly speaking, there are no longer any tribally sponsored events.
In the first decade of the century the Lummi stiU had an annual clean-up
of the cemetery, to which everyone came with picnic lunches; to-day
a committee hires men to do the work at an hourly wage. The annual
spirit-dance gatherings at the smoke-house, which began officiaUy in the
teens and lasted until the smoke-house feU down, were tribaUy sponsored
events in that nearly everyone came, most famUies brought food for
a meal for the guests, and guests from other tribes were formaUy invited
and sometimes their transportation was provided. At one time several
famiUes pooled their food for each of the tables for the guests; more
recently aU the famiUes that brought food put it together in the kitchen
for equal distribution to all tables. To-day extra-tribal guests are invited,
but to smaller gatherings at private homes.
The annual picnic in June at Gooseberry Point is the old carnival
held in the teens revived in 1946 by the American Legion post.   It is 90 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
a three-day affair called the " Stommish Water Carnival"; the name is
the native word for " warrior," the choice probably being based on the
fact that it is held on what is believed to be the anniversary of a battle
with the Yukulta. The greater part of the grounds is occupied by carnival
concessions ran by whites. The Indian contribution is threefold: Lummi
women have a salmon-bake; there are canoe races between local canoes
and outsiders invited from both sides of the International Boundary; and
there are performances by an Indian dance troupe, " The ChUdren of the
Setting Sun," organized by Joseph HUlaire. WhUe the songs and dances
of this group are of local origin and are often weU performed, then
costumes are almost entirely in Plains style, and behind the dance platform stands a canvas tepee painted with figures of equally exotic totem-
poles. These touches are presumably concessions to the picture most
whites and even many young Indians have of what " real Indians " look
like. Two features of the Stommish Water Carnival suggest that it has
some of the functions of a community or tribal endeavour; first, aU of the
Lummi labour is donated freely regardless of membership in the Legion;
second, the guest canoe crews are fed during their stay and given money
for gasoUne to bring them to the grounds, even though this expense has
cut down the profits to the extent that the Legion stiU has only a foundation for its projected haU. Perhaps we have here two of the functions
of the old potlatch in maintaining the group's unity and maintaining its
status vis-a-vis other groups. These were undoubtedly functions of the
tribaUy sponsored spirit-dance gatherings in the smoke-house, and if
a new smoke-house is buUt, it wiU be to carry on these functions as much
as religious ones.
In material surroundings the Lummi are nearly identical with their
white neighbours. Their dress is the same. Their houses are similar,
though probably a greater number are unpainted and without modem
conveniences. Most houses are near enough to the highway to have
electricity, but far fewer have running water in the house, and inside
plumbing is rare. Most famUies have automobiles and radios, a few
have refrigerators, and in the summer of 1953 at least two had television
sets. A few have telephones. Many, perhaps most, subscribe to the
Bellingham newspaper.
As among their white neighbours, the houses that the more prosperous are buUding to-day are smaUer than those buUt by their more
prosperous grandparents, but, unlike their white neighbours, they show
little corresponding tendency toward smaUer famUies.   FamUies tend to 1954 The Lummi Indians 91
be large and the houses crowded by white standards. Like their white
neighbours, they Uve in conjugal fanuly units, and consequently mothers
have less help with the children from grandparents, uncles, and aunts
than their grandparents had. But among the Lummi, relatives are usuaUy
close at hand, older chUdren are taught to look after younger chUdren,
and aU are taught self-reliance.
Lummi mothers to-day have their babies at the hospital. There are
no survivals of native observances surrounding birth. Lummi parents
care for their chUdren about as their white neighbours care for theirs,
except perhaps that Lummi parents appear, to the whites at least, to treat
their chUdren more casuaUy. EngUsh is the language of most homes,
especiaUy those without old people. Most chUdren probably learn something of the native language through association with persons of their
grandparents' generation and by being present at gatherings where
speeches in the native language are made. Nothing appears to correspond to the old training and questing for spirit power. Nothing appears
to correspond to the old puberty rite.
Marriages to-day are entirely based on the choice of the couple
themselves. Dating, dancing, and driving about in old jalopies are
probably as much a part of courtship here as among local whites.
Weddings have neither the exchange of bride-price and dowry of the
aboriginal culture nor the feast with fiddling and square dancing of sixty
years ago. However, as one informant pointed out, the shower for the
bride has become an important occasion for gift-giving; it may be held
in the gym, and several cars may be required to take home the presents.
Also, Lummi parents are perhaps more inclined to give property to the
young couple to start them off with than are white parents in this area.
It is my impression that the white attitude toward Uttle chUdren is
"nothing is too good for them," but toward the marriage of a grown
child, " WeU, if you think you're old enough to get married, go ahead,
but don't expect any help from us; you're on your own." But the
Lummi attitude may rather be, toward little children, "Let big sister
take care of little brother, and don't worry about big sister; she can take
care of herself," and toward the marriage of a grown chUd, " We'd better
give them part of the place or a new car; what wiU people think of us if
our chUdren are poor? " The difference, if this impression is correct, is
probably one of identification of parents and chUdren; white parents
may feel that they are judged by their smaU chUdren, but after these have
reached maturity they can no longer be held responsible for them, whUe 92 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
Lummi parents may feel that smaU chUdren are not yet important enough
to add anything to the famUy prestige but that grown chUdren are.
One gets the impression that marriages among the Lummi are less
stable than among their white neighbours. WhUe there are a number of
couples who have spent their entire adult Uves together, there are also
many persons, both old and young, who have been married several times.
One informant attributed the frequency of divorce among the younger
people to the unwillingness of both young men and women to make
concessions in trying to adjust to one another. Marriages seem to have
been not very stable in pre-white times as well, but probably more were
broken because of conflicts in famUy loyalties than because of individual
stubbornness. While the CathoUc Church may weU take credit for many
of the stable marriages, its intolerance of divorce has meant that those
who marry for the first time marry in the church but must, if they cannot
make it last, marry outside the church, so that second and third marriages
are often simply common-law marriages.
Native personal names are still used on formal occasions, though not
everyone has one. Recently a young man was given his great-grandfather's inherited name by his grandmother. The grandmother invited
about thirty persons to dinner and after the dinner asked the chief to
explain the young man's right to the name; that is, to give his genealogy
back to the earUest known bearer of the name. This the chief did, going
back six generations to the great-grandfather of the young man's greatgrandfather, who had first borne the name. After this demonstration
of the inherited right, the grandmother gave out 50 cents each to the
guests, for their having witnessed the taking of the name, and a Utile
more to the chief.
While children have not been sent on spirit quests for many years,
there are one or two new dancers at Lummi each year. Some are persons
in middle age and some are young persons; the two young men who
were new dancers in the winter of 1952-53 are said to know very Uttle
of the native language. The songs that possess the modem dancers are
believed to have come unsought as a result of grief or perhaps just chance
contact; some are the songs of deceased relatives. New dancers—that
is, those dancing their first year—wear a mountain-goat wool head-dress
over ordinary clothes and carry a decorated staff. After the first year,
costumes differ; those with warrior songs may have hair head-dresses
and shirts resembling those of the aboriginal warrior, while those with 1954 The Lummi Indians 93
other songs may simply add a Uttle red or black face paint to their
ordinary dress.
In their reaction to death the Lummi preserve a good deal of native
culture. Since the 1930's they have been required by law to hire Ucensed
undertakers. This has meant that native " undertakers," reaUy a class
of ritualists, no longer care for the body, and that native-made coffins
are no longer used. It also means that more money is spent but less
remains within the community. Wakes are, of course, stiU held before
the funeral, and the majority of funerals are CathoUc; even if the deceased
has not attended church in years, the Altar Society tries to see that he
gets a CathoUc burial. Immediately after the funeral, relatives and
friends come to the house of the family of the deceased, many bringing
food or money. The family then makes a meal for the guests with the
food and then or later pays those who helped with the funeral. The
famUy may also repay those who brought contributions to the feast.
The clothes and personal effects of the deceased are burned, perhaps
before the funeral, except for a few things saved to give to relatives as
keepsakes. Some famUies also bum food for the ghost of the deceased
either before or after the funeral and again at later intervals. The name
of the deceased should not be uttered in the presence of near kin.
I beUeve the feeling for this avoidance is strong; I once observed a
Lummi woman whose father had died the week before deUberately and
with obvious emotion pick up an envelope with his name written on it
and replace it on the table upside down. This woman also put away
aU pictures of her father and said that she would not take them out until
she could afford to display one pubUcly at a winter spirit-dance gathering
and pay the guests to look at it. This last custom is more frequently
foUowed on Vancouver Island and on the Fraser River and may have
been suggested by her Fraser River husband. The custom is probably
an old one, with the modern photograph as substitute for a wooden
effigy, used in the last century on Vancouver Island; the effigy may have
been a post-Christian substitute for the body itself, which was in pre-
white times taken out of the grave-box for rewrapping. I have, however,
seen the spirit-dance costume of a man dead a number of years displayed
in the Lummi smoke-house at a spirit-dance gathering; at the same time
his spirit song was sung by members of bis famUy.
Missing, I beUeve, from the modern Lummi practice is any kind of
purification of the mourners; it may be that the CathoUc funeral service
has made this unnecessary, but the offering of food to the dead is certainly 94 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
not entirely in keeping with Christian notions regarding the destiny of the
human soul.
Another expense required by a modem funeral is for the headstone.
Though some stones in the Lummi cemetery are rather large, they are
simple in design and in as good taste as those seen in white cemeteries.
There seems to be some tendency to use tombstones as a means of
exhibiting one's famffy's status. Recently several stones have been
erected for important ancestors dead seventy-five years or more, in
one or two instances with purely hypothetical dates on them. Also,
several stones for relatives of the last chief bear statements of the
relationships though they are not those that ordinarily appear on the
tombstones of whites.
In their attitudes toward sickness and death, some of the older
Lummi, if not most of them, differ from their white neighbours. Some
informants, at least, have been very quick to attribute both illnesses
and deaths to supernatural causes, or to natural causes resulting from
someone's hostility. Supernatural causes include deliberate attack with
shaman's power or rituaUst's speUs, accidental loss or displacement of
the soul, accidental loss or displacement of the guardian spirit. I do
not know of any active shamans or ritualists at Lummi at the present
moment, but shamans were active until very recently and are beUeved
to be active stiU in other communities. There are a number of spirit
dancers, aU of whom have some power. Chronic illness, especiaUy in
the winter, may be attributed to possession by a spirit that desires the
sick person to become a new dancer and sing its song. Soul loss may
result from accidental contact with a spirit dancer or from theft by
ghosts. According to one informant, the Shakers have inflicted injuries
especiaUy on shamans by capturing their powers and damaging them.
One recent death, which according to hospital records was caused by
pneumonia, was beUeved by the relatives of the deceased to have been
caused by his having been poisoned by his common-law wife. These
attitudes may not be found among the younger Lummi, but their
existence among the older people suggests as much as anything that
a good deal of the native world-view has survived.
To-day Lummi are in direct contact with whites on many jobs, in
schools above grade school, and in some churches. This contact is
without hostUity. It is true that many whites in the area regard Indians
as sociaUy inferior, but overt discrimination seems to be rare. There
are no strong barriers to casual social contact.   White girls have occa- 1954 The Lummi Indians 95
sionally come with Lummi girl friends to the American Legion dances.
There have been a few mixed marriages in every generation, both of
Lummi women to white men and of Lummi men to white women. Two
or three of the leading Lummi men have white wives, and two or three
Lummi women have white husbands Uving on the reservation.
The purpose of this paper has been to present some of the main
trends in the culture changes that have taken place among the Coast
SaUsh and particularly among the Lummi since the arrival of the whites.
This is in a sense both an acculturation and a community study, though
not a fuU or detaUed one. It attempts an historical survey of a sort
perhaps basic to any investigation of the processes involved in cultural
change. A total approach ought to include a considerable body of
quantitative data both on economics and fanuly structure and on
opinions and attitudes. It ought also to include the kinds of generalizations of character that can be made on the basis of numerous life-
histories. Yet I feel that such a study must have the kind of material
that I have presented here as a basis; to understand where a people
is to-day, one must know something of whence they came and by what
route. Moreover, I feel that the material presented here ought itself
to be set alongside comparable material from other Coast SaUsh tribes.
In the preceding pages I have dealt with a number of aspects of
Lummi culture, subsistence, government, religion, marriage, etc. In
several of these aspects of culture rather clear sequences of forms are
distinguishable.   Let me briefly summarize some of them.
In subsistence activities we have seen farming adopted shortly after
the beginning of intensive contact and make, to judge from both the
agents' reports and the informants' accounts, a spectacular rise and
almost as spectacular a faU. The reasons for the faU have been discussed, but in retrospect I must also add that there has probably been
a shift away from farming, at least subsistence farming, among local
whites as weU; farming is becoming a business in which many persons,
including Indians, no longer wish to compete. Fishing, on the other
hand, has persisted in one form or another, the sequence of reef-netting
to gUl-netting to gUl-netting plus purse-seining being determined mainly
by changes in white laws and the development of new techniques.
Throughout, the Lummi have shown a tendency to divide the year among
seasonal pursuits; perhaps fishing, or rather the habits of the salmon, 96 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
is stiU the principal determining factor. Seasonal berry and hop picking
became popular for a time, but declined probably because of the greater
attraction of fishing. The sequence might be summarized as (1) hunting, fishing, and gathering; (2) farming and fishing; (3) fishing, farming,
and migratory labour; (4) fishing and semi-skiUed labour.
In poUtical institutions the sequence has been (1) social control by
other than separate poUtical organs; (2) the appointed chief as an instrument of the agent, possibly plus the priest as a poUtical power; (3) an
elected councU dealing with various levels of outside government. Non-
poUtical instruments of social control—that is, " pubUc opinion," kinship
bonds, etc.—have continued to exist, of course, modified by cultural
change themselves. One might point out, along with changes in government, the sequence in pubUc buUdings—(1) smoke-house, (2) church
and smoke-house, (3) gymnasium.
In reUgion the sequence has been (1) native-beUef system centring
about the guardian-spirit concept; (2) the native system plus a Prophet
Dance with a Supreme Being and greater group participation; (3) CathoUcism with the native system underground; (4) diversification, with
CathoUcism as the orthodoxy, in competition with a revived spirit dancing, Shakerism as a compromise, and several revivaUst Protestant sects.
IndividuaUsm, impUcit in the native system, may be the persistent feature
here, yet diversity, Uke individuaUsm, is typical of modem white society.
In marriage the sequence has been (1) family-arranged affiance with
exchange of bride-price and dowry and display of inherited privilege
equivalent to wedding, later exchanges of food and wealth; (2) famUy-
arranged affiances with bride-price and dowry, CathoUc wedding, feast
with square dancing, later exchanges of food and wealth; (3) free choice
of mates, free choice of kind of wedding. InstabiUty of marriages may
be a persistent feature of native culture or may be simply a feature of
rapid culture change.
In death the sequence has been (Jj) handling of corpse by rituaUsts,
disposal in canoe or raised box, purification of mourners by rituaUsts,
later display and rewrapping of remains, aU services requiring pubUc
repayment; (2) handling by rituaUsts, CathoUc service and burial, post-
funeral feast, offerings for dead, later display of memento and payment
of funeral debts; (3) handUng of corpse by white undertaker, otherwise
as in (2).
A comparative study including several tribes would undoubtedly
reveal similar sequences of forms in the various aspects of culture.   It 1954 The Lummi Indians 97
might also show something of their interrelationships. Are any of the
sequences inherent in the elements of culture involved, or have they been
largely the result of chance factors on the local scene or historic events
on a broader scale?
Certainly each of the Coast SaUsh tribes has had its own post-white
history.   Let me indicate briefly what some of the differences have been.
The nearest neighbours of the Lummi to the south were the Samish,
who, Uke the Lummi, spoke the Straits language. According to the
treaty the Samish were to have come on to the Lummi Reservation, but
very few chose to do so. Instead they maintained themselves in an
independent vUlage on Samish Island until about 1875, when they were
forced to move to Guemes Island. On Guemes they built a great native-
style house divided into three segments, which held as permanent residents more than fifty people. Here the Samish held several potlatches
and carried on spirit dancing and other native practices with Uttle interference from whites. They were probably much more dependent on
native subsistence techniques during this period than were the Lummi
and upon seasonal employment with whites; I do not beUeve that they
did any farming at aU. About 1905 the Guemes vUlage was abandoned,
partly because the big house was falling down and the younger people
preferred to Uve in smaU white-style houses, and probably partly because
it was becoming more difficult to make a Uving there. Many of the
Samish had ties with the Swinomish, so most of them moved on to the
Swinomish Reservation. WhUe they were not numerous, the Samish
were probably influential in maintaining native culture in this area; two
of the recent leaders in spirit-dancing on the Swinomish Reservation,
Charley Edwards and Tommy Bobb, have been Samish. The post-white
history of the Samish obviously presents a rather sharp contrast to that
of the Lummi.
South of the Samish are the Puget Sound-speaking Swinomish. Their
territory became the reservation designated not only for themselves, but
also for the Skagit and several up-river groups. In time many Indians
from these other groups as weU as from the Samish have come on to the
Swinomish Reservation, where they have often continued to think of
themselves as Skagit, Samish, or whatever. The Swinomish did not take
to farming as readily as did the Lummi, and evidently did not experience
any period of prosperity as the Lummi seem to have experienced in the
latter part of the last century. In 1867, when the farmer Finkbonner
wrote in praise of the Lummi as farmers and mentioned " friendly rela- 98 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
tions " with the whites, the agent McKenny, discouraged with the Swinomish, wrote of them:—
The Indians of this island are without an employe [of the Indian Service], few
in number, lazy and shiftless, and much degraded. Many whites have located
near them, and all their vices are imitated without any of their virtues, if indeed
they have any.«3
Recent Swinomish history has also been different from that of the
Lummi. In the 1930's the Swinomish Tribal Community was organized,
estabUshing a tribaUy owned fish-trap, sawmiU, and other enterprises.64
The people of the Swinomish Reservation have to-day considerably more
communal property than do the Lummi; possibly because of this, possibly because of their diverse tribal origins, there also seems to be much
more factionaUsm at Swinomish than at Lummi.
East of the Lummi in the Nooksack VaUey are the Nooksack. They
were expected to move on to the Lummi Reservation, but, like the
Samish, they refused to do so and instead homesteaded land on the river
in their aboriginal territory. Much of this land originaUy homesteaded
has become pubUc land aUotments, tax-free but restricted. The Nooksack had a brief contact with Father Chirouse, but rejected him and later
became Protestants. For a time they maintained their own Protestant
school. WhUe living off a reservation on Guemes Island meant relative
isolation and retention of native culture for the Samish, it is my impression that Uving off the reservation has meant greater contact with whites
and more rapid acculturation for the Nooksack. Whites have Uved
around them and among them, and early relations were evidently fairly
good. Being an up-river people, they have been less able to continue
with fishing as a major activity. But they have also had many contacts
with Fraser River Indians, and what of the native speech that is stiU
spoken among them is Fraser River Halkomelem rather than the original
Nooksack language.
On Vancouver Island the Sooke, Songish, and Saanich speak the
same language as the Lummi and Samish, had the most simUar native
culture, and had roughly the same early relations with the whites. Since
white settlement, however, they have been under a different administration. One of the most striking differences has been in the estabUshment
of Indian reserves. In British Columbia the reserves are considerably
smaUer than the reservations in Washington, but far more numerous.
(63) CIA-AR, 1867, p. 33.
(64) Upchurch (1936) describes their reorganization. 1954 The Lummi Indians 99
Nearly every vUlage-site, fishing location, and even camas-bed of any
importance was made a reserve. Most native communities in British
Columbia therefore escaped the forced removals that many Washington
communities experienced. They were also undoubtedly able to maintain native subsistence methods for a longer period and perhaps to shift
more graduaUy to white methods. But this poUcy in estabUshing reserves
has also meant that no groups were left on the outside, in a more independent situation, like the Samish in Washington.
The Songish, Uving within the City of Victoria, evidently became
rather badly demoralized during the latter part of the last century. However, despite predictions of speedy extinction, they have survived, and
both spirit dancing and the secret society are stiU important native complexes in their culture. The Saanich, being a larger group and Uving
farther from the city, were probably subjected to fewer factors, other
than those resulting from different administrations, as compared with the
Lummi. A comparison of the post-white history of the Saanich and
Lummi might be most rewarding in examining the results of these different poUcies.
North of the Saanich were the Cowichan of the Cowichan VaUey
and several closely related communities on Kuper Island, at Westholme,
and on KuUeet Bay. These communities are relatively populous, and
among them spirit dancing and other elements of the native reUgion are
undoubtedly more active than among any other Coast SaUsh group.
These activities of the Cowichan may weU have exerted a powerful influence on tribes as far south as the Swinomish in keeping spirit dancing
aUve. Like the Lummi, the Cowichan are said to have gone through a
period of successful farming. Whether they have largely given up
farming for similar reasons and whether or not they can make as successful a readaptation to fishing are questions that require further investigation.
These few examples should indicate something of the variety of
experiences that the Straits tribes and their immediate neighbours have
undergone. Obviously valid generalizations cannot be made on the basis
of the post-contact history of one tribe alone. It is in the hope that this
description of the post-contact history of the Lummi can be used in
comparative studies that this paper is offered.
Wayne Suttles.
Department of Anthropology,
University of British Columbia,
Vancouver, B.C. 100 Wayne Suttles Jan.-Apr.
Bibliography of Source Material Used
Barnett, H. G.
1938. " The Coast SaUsh of Canada," American Anthropologist, XL
(1938), pp. 118-141.
1939. " Culture Element Distribution: DC, Gulf of Georgia Salish,"
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Boas, Franz.
1889. "Notes on the Snanaimuq," American Anthropologist, H(1889),
pp. 321-328.
1890. "Second General Report on the Indians of British Columbia.
I. The LkufigEn," British Association for the Advancement of
Buchanan, Charles M.
1914. '"Annual Report, 1914, Tulalip Agency," MS., in the possession
of Mr. Leon Stock, MarysviUe, Wash.
Codere, Helen.
1950. Fighting with Property, New York, 1950, Monographs of the
American Ethnological Society, XVHI.
Collins, June McCormick.
1949. "John Fornsby: The Personal Document of a Coast Salish
Indian," in Marian W. Smith (ed.), Indians in the Urban Northwest, New York, 1949, pp. 287-341.
1950. "The Growth of Class Distinctions and Political Authority
among the Skagit Indians during the Contact Period," American
Anthropologist, LII (1950), pp. 331-342.
Curtis, Edward S.
1913. The North American Indian, Vol. IX, Coast Salish, Norwood,
Mass., 1913.
Drucker, Philip.
1939. "Rank, Wealth, and Kinship in Northwest Coast Society,"
American Anthropologist, XLI (1939), pp. 55-66.
Duff, Wilson.
1952. The Upper Stalo Indians, Anthropology in British Columbia,
Memoir No. 1, British Columbia Provincial Museum, Victoria,
Gibbs, George.
1855. " Report on the Indian Tribes of the Territory of Washington,"
Pacific Railroad Report, Washington, D.C, 1855, Vol. I,
pp. 402-436.
Gunther, Erna.
1949. " The Shaker ReUgion of the Northwest," in Marian W. Smith
(ed.), op. cit., pp. 37-76. 1954 The Lummi Indians 101
Hill-Tout, Charles.
1907. " Report on the Ethnography of the Southeastern Tribes of Vancouver Island, B.C.," Journal of the Royal Anthropological
Institute, XXXVII (1907), pp. 306-374.
Howay, F. W.
1942. " The Origin of the Chinook Jargon," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VI (1942), pp. 225-250.
Jacobs, Melville.
1932. " Notes on the Structure of Chinook Jargon," Language, VIII
(1932), pp. 27-50.
Jenness, Diamond.
" The Saanich Indians of Vancouver Island," MS., in the possession of
the National Museum of Canada.
Kroeber, A. L.
1939. Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America, University
of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, Berkeley, CaUf., 1939, Vol. 38.
Mooney, James.
1928. The Aboriginal Population of America North of Mexico, Washington, D.C, 1928. Smithsonian Institution MisceUaneous Collections, Vol. 80, No. 7.
Morice, O.M.I., Rev. A. G.
1910. The History of the Catholic Church in Western Canada, Toronto,
1934. " Kinship and Social Behavior among the Haida," American
Anthropologist, XXXVI (1934), pp. 355-385.
Newcombe, C. F.
1923. Menzies" Journal of Vancouver's Voyage, April to October, 1792,
Archives of British Columbia, Memoir V, Victoria, 1923.
Roth, Lottie Roeder.
1926.   History of Whatcom County, Chicago, 1926.
Spier, Leslie.
1935. The Prophet Dance of the Northwest and Its Derivatives; the
Source of the Ghost Dance, General Series in Anthropology
No. 1, Menasha, 1935.
Stern, Bernard J.
1934. The Lummi Indians of Northwest Washington, Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology, Vol. 17, New York, 1934.
Sullivan, Nellie.
1932. " Eugene Casimir Chirouse, O.M.I., and the Indians of Washington," MS., M.A. thesis, University of Washington Library,
Seattle, Wash. 102 Wayne Suttles
Suttles, Wayne.
1951.   "The Early Diffusion of the Potato among the Coast Salish,"
Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, VII (1951), pp. 272-288.
1951.   " The Economic Life of the Coast SaUsh of Haro and Rosario
Straits," MS., Ph.D. thesis, University of Washington Library,
Seattle, Wash.
Underjoll, Ruth.
1944. Indians of the Pacific Northwest, Indian Life and Customs,
No. 5, Education Division of the U.S. Office of Indian Affairs,
Washington, D.C, 1944.
Upchurch, O. C
1936. "The Swinomish People and Their State," Pacific Northwest
Quarterly, XXVII (1936), pp. 283-310.
Wagner, Henry E.
1933. Spanish Explorations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Santa Ana,
Wike, Joyce Annabel.
1941. " Modern Spirit Dancing of Northern Puget Sound," MS., in
the University of Washington Library, Seattle, Wash.
Winthrop, Theodore.
1913. The Canoe and the Saddle, or KlaUam and Klickatat, Tacoma,
The Vancouver Island Exploration Expedition of 1864 was a vigorous measure to bring a colony on the brink of depression back to
economic health. When Captain Arthur Kennedy arrived in Victoria
in March, 1864, to assume the government of the Colony of Vancouver
Island, he found it in a poUtical strife that was rooted in a condition of
economic insecurity not then fully apparent to anyone.
After the first overconfidence of the gold-rush six years earUer, Vancouver Island had remained in a dormant financial position until the
Cariboo discoveries of 1861. These discoveries were foUowed by an
optimistic overextension of credit to Cariboo miners by Victoria merchants and bankers. Thus the island colony was happUy existing on the
precarious financial base of complete dependence on one economic
resource, and that not its own—the gold of another colony. As we shall
quickly see, the seeming security of that inverted economic cone was
Yet the optimism engendered in Victoria by the riches of the Cariboo
in the early 1860's had been communicated to London. The home
authorities had likewise realized that the equaUy optimistic people of
British Columbia were determined to have a government separate from
that of the Island. These factors had moved the British Colonial Office,
against its own better judgment, to provide for an entirely separate
machinery of government for each of the two adjacent colonies, which
up to that time had in reaUty been sharing one. As a result of this Ul-
founded optimism, it was decreed that the government of each colony
was to be supported by a large civU list. In return for the guarantee of
that civU Ust, the Island legislature was to have control of its Crown
lands. Two new Governors were also appointed and sent out. Unwarned
of any basic change in the economic situation, the home government was
* The presidential address delivered before the annual meeting of the British
Columbia Historical Association held in the Provincial Library, Victoria, B.C.,
January 15, 1954.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVETI, Nos. 1 and 2.
103 104 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
satisfied that a completely new system of government was safely in effect
in these colonies.
However, by the beginning of 1864 there was premonition of coming
depression in Victoria. It had now become evident that the Cariboo
was not suitable for miners without capital. Some Victoria merchants
were beginning to become uneasy concerning the large credits they had
so eagerly extended to Cariboo miners. Moreover, there had never been
any very robust faith in the natural resources of the Island itself, or of
its agricultural capacity, or of its abUity to maintain a large population
by its own resources. In short, the Island did not want to be forced to
stand alone, even though it was beginning to sense the danger of its complete dependence on the gold of British Columbia. In February, 1864,
the Island legislature therefore refused to accept the responsibUity of
guaranteeing to pay the salaries proposed for its officials. By this rejection of the civU list, the legislature let go the proffered opportunity to
control the resources of the Crown lands. In essence it had repudiated
the new system of government.
Therefore, when Captain Kennedy arrived in Victoria in the next
month, March, 1864, he was like a chess player who takes over a game
partly played by others—a game in which many of his most important
pieces have already been taken. The probabUity of checkmate was
already on the board. For he had arrived to take over a colony whose
legislature he now found to be firmly committed to a dispute with the
home government (and with him as its representative), a colony bereft
of faith in its own resources, a colony Uving on a faulty economic basis,
a colony actuaUy and inescapably on the verge of a severe financial
However, Arthur Kennedy was famUiar with the problem of bringing
a colony out of economic insolvency into prosperity. He had just completed a simUar task in Western AustraUa. That unhappy colony—
CindereUa of the Empire—had been in a state of continual depression
from its founding in 1829, through six successive governorships, until
Kennedy took over in 1855. Since his experience in Western AustraUa
was a vital factor in the initiation and conduct of the Vancouver Island
Exploration Expeditions of 1864 and 1865 and since a proper judgment
of Kennedy's government of Vancouver Island can only be made in the
Ught of his experience in the colony " down under," it is desirable that
attention now be given to his regime in Western AustraUa. It wiU be
interesting to take note of the remarkable parallel between the situation 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 105
of Western AustraUa when Kennedy took over its management in 1855
and that of Vancouver Island when he arrived here in the spring of 1864.1
The causes of Western AustraUa's faUure were many. An original
prodigahty of land grants to early proprietors and officials had forced
dispersion of settlement and had made road-buUding prohibitively expensive.2 This initial handicap constituted the main continuing hindrance
to progress. The home government made affairs worse by introducing
the Wakefield principle of the sale of Crown lands at a relatively high
price3—an unimaginative appUcation of the wrong remedy too late.
During the next decade, the 1840's, the colony's only hopeful export,
wool, was met with rock-bottom world prices.4 To add to the despair
of the colonists, the home government showed a plain determination to
cut down financial aid to the colony. By mid-century Western Australia
was faced with complete faUure.
Confronted with steadfast depression and mounting deficits, the
colonists in despair turned to a desperate remedy. They asked the home
government to send them convicts. At a time when other AustraUan
colonies were vigorously fighting to be freed of the transportation system,
Western Australia asked for its initiation mainly because heavy expenditures would be made in the colony by the imperial government for the
upkeep of the convicts.5
In 1850 the home government started shipment of convicts.6 To
mitigate the evU, it also sent a good many free settlers.7 But the people
of the colony accepted the flow of imperial expenditures in easy-going
contentment. They refrained from expanding agricultural production
lest the high prices they were receiving for produce should faU. Production dragged, prices spiraUed upward, and imports rose out of aU proportion to exports. The flow of imperial moneys was diverted outside the
(1) A fuller study of the career of Governor Kennedy is to be found in the
writer's thesis, entitled The Early Life and Early Governorships of Sir Arthur
Edward Kennedy, submitted at the University of British Columbia in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master of Arts degree.
(2) T. A. Coghlan and T. T. Ewing, The Progress of Australasia in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1902, pp. 254-256.
(3) W. P. Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, London,
1902, Vol. I, p. 206.
(4) T. A. Coghlan, Labour and Industry in Australia, London, 1918, Vol. I,
p. 504.
(5) Ibid., Vol. I, p. 556.
(6) Ibid., Vol. I, p. 557.
(7) Ibid., Vol. II, pp. 640-641. 106 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
colony to pay for these imports. In the absence of increased production,
assisted free immigration could not be absorbed. Local funds were used
unproductively in doles to maintain them in idleness.8 Stationary local
revenues could not stand the strain. The treasury was emptied. Western
AustraUa had placed its entire reUance for its economic welfare on one
resource, namely, imperial expenditures. They had forgotten that pump-
priming is of Uttle value to the economy of a country if no one works on
the pump-handle. The great outpouring of imperial expenditures on
convicts had not brought strength to the colony, but weakness. By 1855,
when Kennedy arrived, the colony had faUen into the deepest depression
of its unhappy existence.
Moreover, the colonists were locked in a struggle with the home
authorities over their arbitrary system of government and the question
of a civil list. The imperial government was willing to institute a partial
system of responsible government and to give the colonial legislature
control over the Crown resources only if the colony would take over the
cost of its own government.9 But to guarantee a civU Ust was the last
thing the colonists wanted to do. Thus a surly antagonism against an
authoritarian system of government was accompanied by a frustrated
unwUlingness to pay the cost of a freer one. In these circumstances the
home government announced that it was going to cut down the amount
of its grants-in-aid.10 The financial situation was made worse by the
fact that the retiring Governor, Captain Charles Fitzgerald, R.N., in
keeping with aU his predecessors, had Uttle clear idea of how much the
actual debt of the colony was. Moreover, the treasury was operating on
a deficit. When Captain Kennedy arrived in July, 1855, there was no
money to pay the July salaries.11
Now Kennedy in Western Australia was the head and master of an
arbitrary system of government. His legislature was appointive—its
members holding office during pleasure. The energetic Governor was
therefore able to have his way in everything. Having made temporary
provision for payment of July salaries, he set the whole administration
to face realities by ferreting out a clear accounting of the colony's actual
financial standing. Western AustraUa now received its first efficient
accounting system—the basis of aU its future records.    A large debt
(8) Ibid., Vol. n, pp. 760-761.
(9) R. M. Martin, The British Colonies, London, n.d., Vol. HI, p. 556.
(10) J. S. Battye, Western Australia, Oxford, 1924, p. 225.
(11) Ibid., p. 228. 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 107
having been disclosed, Kennedy ruthlessly appUed the pmning-knffe to
public expenditures with such force as to mark him at once as a fit object
for pubUc disfavour.12
He next turned his attention to stop the drain on public revenue
caused by the unemployment dole. Reaching back into his experience
as a Poor Law Inspector in Ireland, he instituted the poUcy of requiring
hard work on useful pubUc projects in return for reUef. There foUowed
a speedy reduction in the number of claimants for the dole.13
Regardless of the surly public temper, Kennedy now forced his
Legislative CouncU to introduce new taxes. The first measure he instituted was a great increase in the cost of Uquor Ucences. The bUl to
institute these charges and to reform the sale of Uquor contained one
thoroughly arbitrary and heartily disliked clause which forbade condi-
tionaUy pardoned convicts to hold Uquor Ucences. The ruthless Governor
then introduced severe increases in import duties. This was a rude blow
to a people that was fulfilling so large a percentage of its needs by
importation; and they quickly recognized the new duties as a tax that
they disliked. Now, indeed, was Governor Kennedy at the very outset
of his regime marked for an unpopularity that was to foUow him throughout his career in Western Australia. Within a year of his arrival the
citizens joined in a monster mass meeting, the largest ever held in the
colony, to express their strong condemnation of the administration.
This evidence of pubUc discontent was accompanied by resignation of
one of the leading members of the Legislative CouncU and was foUowed
soon by another.14 Nevertheless, Kennedy's rigorous fiscal reforms were
already bringing about a marked improvement in the financial health of
his colony.
Having stopped the drain on the colony's revenue, he now set about
energeticaUy to seek out positive means of establishing prosperity.
OptimisticaUy he secured the resumption of free immigration into West-
em AustraUa, successfully urging upon the home government that this
supply of labour should be spaced and controUed by his statement of
The vigour of the Governor next made itself felt in the initiation of
extensive exploration.   Its object was to discover good pastoral land in
(12) Loc. cit.
(13) T. A. Coghlan, op. cit., Vol. IL p. 761.
(14) J. S. Battye, op. cit., pp. 228-299.
(15) T. A. Coghlan, op. cit., Vol. H, p. 643. 108 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
large blocks. With the experienced and efficient assistance of Surveyor-
General J. S. Roe, Kennedy inaugurated a systematic exploration programme. The man placed in charge was Assistant Surveyor Frank T.
Gregory—a splendid choice. In 1857 Gregory was sent to complete
the exploration of the Murchison VaUey.16 In 1858 he moved 100
mUes north to explore the Gascoyne VaUey. Here Gregory named the
first large mountain range "Kennedy Range."17 This expedition was
rewarded with the discovery of some good pastoral lands which gave an
immediate impetus to settlement.18
MeanwhUe, Kennedy was pushing to successful completion a new
land poUcy — the first good land policy this colony had ever known.
The spirit of confidence consequent upon the success of the Governor's
poUcies now exploded into a great search for new lands. Not only did
his government continue its steady northward search, but privately supported exploration began to push into the interior to seek new lands.
This type of enterprise was one that Kennedy liked greatly because he
was always an earnest advocate of self-help. One such private expedition, which set out with his hearty approval, was that of B. Clarkson,
C. E. and A. Dempster, and C. Harper. From the main area of settlement they went eastward into supposedly barren interior. After penetrating the discouraging belt of dense scrub, they came into a country of
good soU and rich grass—a region dominated by a mountain which they
caUed "Mount Kennedy." The farthest Umit of their exploration was
a Une of lulls which they named " Georgina's Range " in honour of Mrs.
Kennedy.19 In later years the Governor was proudly to report in person
to a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society in London. At that
time, not faUing to mention Mount Kennedy, he said concerning this
expedition: "That [exploration] was carried out by a very enterprising
band of young settlers, and they found a very fair country in that
direction." 20
In the meantime, with the whole country at last in the midst of its
first wave of justifiable optimism, the government was preparing for its
most ambitious exploring expedition, that into the region back of the
(16) Coghlan and Ewing, op. cit., p. 294.
(17) Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. IU
(1858-59), pp. 34-54.
(18) Coghlan and Ewing, op. cit., p. 294.
(19) Ibid., p. 296.   See also Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of
London, Vol. VI (1861-62), pp. 11, 12.
(20) Ibid., Vol. VII (1862-63), p. 16. 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 109
north-west coast. This great effort was to unite the forces of the colonial
government, the imperial government, the Royal Geographical Society
of London, and the pubUc in the Colony of Western AustraUa. In 1859
Surveyor-General Roe and Assistant Surveyor Frank Gregory were sent
to Great Britain to enlist support. In 1860 they were both in London
seeking the backing of the Royal Geographical Society.21 That powerful
body secured the consent of the home government to a grant of £2,000
on the promise that the remainder of the money needed would be raised
locaUy.22 On receipt of this news the Legislative CouncU voted £1,350,
and the remainder was quickly subscribed by the general pubUc in the
colony.23   The expedition was now assured.
However, when Frank Gregory returned from England, his plans for
the expedition completed with the assistance of the Royal Geographical
Society and approved by the imperial government, he was faced with a
discouraging set-back. These proposed plans were not satisfactory to
the local government. Such is the cautious wording of the accounts given
before the Royal Geographical Society.24 But we can readUy interpret.
The local government was Kennedy. And, in fact, the expedition did not
leave until its plans were reshaped to meet his approval. WhUe this
delay was frustrating to the expedition's able leader and made impossible
the fulfilment of his desire to go farther afield to link up his explorations
with those of his famous brother away over in Northern AustraUa, the
new plans were more fitted to the Governor's purposes, namely, the
search for pastoral lands in regions readUy accessible to the settled parts
of Western AustraUa.
When the expedition finaUy got away, its organization was rigorously
checked in every aspect and tightly competent. Working from a secure
base at Nickol Bay, Frank Gregory led his men with great skUl. Difficulties, hardships, and dangers were overcome with steadfast courage.
FinaUy the coastal desert was defeated and the fertile upper vaUeys of
three great rivers disclosed. These rivers Gregory named the "Ash-
burton," the "Fortescue," and the "De Grey." Here in these pleasant
upper vaUeys lay the valuable pastoral acres that were to complement
Kennedy's splendid new land regulations.25   Within four years some
(21) Ibid., Vol. V (1860-61), pp. 2-4.
(22) Ibid., Vol. V (1860-61), p. 121.
(23) J. S. Battye, op. cit., p. 258.
(24) Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. V (1860-
61), p. 121.
(25) Coghlan and Ewing, op. cit., p. 295. 110 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
3,000,000 acres were under lease in the north-western area, and another
three years saw double that number of acres carrying 40,000 head of
stock.26 Nor was the accomplishment of its original object the sole
reward of this weU-organized expedition. Valuable pearl-sheUs were
discovered in the vicinity of Nickol Bay. Here was the beginning of a
pearling industry which brought substantial yearly accessions of wealth
to the colony from that time onward.27
WhUe Kennedy's encouragement of exploration was primarily
directed to the discovery of pastoral lands to round out and make effective
his truly great revision of the land laws, he did not neglect the possibUity
that Western AustraUa might prove to be as rich in gold as its eastern
sisters. His government, therefore, employed E. H. Hargraves, discoverer of gold in the Colony of New South Wales, to come to Western
Australia to look for gold.28 Since Hargraves could not come at once,
the vigorous Governor sent out Inspector Panter to search the district
around Northam. At the end of 1861 Panter brought back good
specimens of gold.29 On the strength of this find, Kennedy offered a
reward of £5,000 to the discoverer of a paying gold-field within 150
mUes of Perth—this gold-field to have produced 5,000 ounces of gold
before the first of July in 1863. That offer appeared in the Western
Australia Government Gazette on February 11, 1862,30 six days before
Kennedy's government closed. Thus, from the outset of his regime to
its very close, Kennedy encouraged and directed an active, weU-organized
search for natural resources. That poUcy was an outstanding credit to
his governorship. Moreover, it was crowned with brUUant success in the
disclosure and opening-up of those rich resources of good land which, in
conjunction with his truly great land poUcy, were to form the basis of an
agricultural and pastoral industry that brought prosperity to Western
WhUe Kennedy's exploration poUcies were important and truly successful, it was his land poUcy that was the brightest aspect of his administration.   Bad land policy had been the main cause of the previous failure
(26) A. G. Price, "Experiments in Colonization," in I. H. Rose, et al. (ed.),
The Cambridge History of the British Empire, Cambridge, 1933, Vol. VII, Part 1,
p. 230.
(27) T. A. Coghlan, op. cit., Vol. n, pp. 1080-1082.
(28) M. A. C. Fraser, Western Australian Year-book for 1902-04, Perth, 1906,
p. 827.
(29) J. S. Battye, op. cit., p. 274.
(30) Loc. cit. 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 111
of Western AustraUa. More in protest against their own lack of power
than in realization of the Governor's abilities in organization, the Legislative CouncU had referred the whole land problem to the executive
early in Kennedy's regime. Under the Governor's careful guidance the
Executive Council set about to solve the problem. The work was typical
of Kennedy's ability at its best. It was based on comprehensive information secured by research and by pubUc questionnaires. The work was
divided among sub-committees of officials directly under the Governor's
control. The plan was buttressed on all sides against any miscarriage of
its intention.31
Governor Kennedy first proclaimed that part of his plan which related
to pastoral lands. It was coldly efficient rather than indulgent. There
was no reduction in the cost of leasing. In order to force a proper stocking of the land, the amount avaUable for pastoral leasing was cut sharply
in half. Areas close to settlement could be leased for pasture for only
one year at a time. But the lessee of more distant areas was guaranteed
that his possession would not be disturbed for eight years. After that
time, pastoral leases might be reclassified as agricultural lands and sold
to smaU settlers. Thus, while an adequate guarantee was given to the
pastoralist, the real intention of the new scheme was safeguarded, namely,
the gradual settlement of incoming population in productive agriculture.
These rigorous provisions relating to pastoral leases nevertheless met with
immediate success. There was a new wind of confidence blowing in
Western Australia—confidence in the hard integrity and driving force of
a competent, if unloved, Governor—confidence that the colony was at
last under fuU saU to prosperity. Within two months some 2,000,000
acres were taken. Moreover, three-quarters of this amount was in areas
close to settlement, and it was taken in the main by persons of smaU
In no modest jubilation at the success of his lands policy, which had
now doubled the amount of land under lease from the Crown, Kennedy
proclaimed the agricultural part of his scheme. It drove right at the heart
of the colony's problem with intention to place the settler of moderate
means on a medium-sized farm and to prevent the further locking-up of
land in large estates. Provision was made whereby the smaU settler was
guided to the purchase of a farm within his means, yet large enough to
encourage healthy diversity of production.   The price of land was cut in
(31) J. S. Battye, op. cit., pp. 230-232, 243.
(32) T. A. Coghlan, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 667-668.
8 112 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
half. Several years were permitted in which to pay. A bonus of added
acres was given at the end of the first year of settlement. Title was withheld until the end of the third year of occupation. Thus the smaU settler
was forced to persevere through initial discouragements. By this prevention of early sale the unproductive tying-up of lands by speculators was
forestaUed. It speaks wondrously weU of Kennedy's powers of persuasion that he was able to secure approval for such a scheme from a
home government stiU under the influence of Wakefield theories.
This agricultural phase of the scheme met with a success even more
pleasing than the first part had earned. Within two months 10,000 acres
were sold, most of it in minimum-sized blocks of 40 acres to men of the
working class.33 The total of lands purchased from the Crown in the
first year of the plan was an eightfold increase over the year preceding
the new regulations. In succeeding years this healthy process continued
unabated. With justifiable pride, Kennedy was to say on his return to
If you look to the number of acres of land which have been purchased in fee
simple within the last three years, it is something very remarkable that the greater
number of those acres have been purchased in small blocks by bona fide labouring
The success of Kennedy's poUcies in bringing about greatly increased
and productive occupation of the land was directly responsible for the
colony's first period of prosperity. In a letter to the London Times, the
Venerable James Brown, Archdeacon of Western Australia, had this to
say about Kennedy's administration: "The progress of the colony . . .
has been more rapid   .   .   .   than at any former period in its history."35
Kennedy must, indeed, be given credit for a great prosperity that
came to Western Australia under his guidance. He found the country
in poverty with an empty treasury and a debt of unknown amount, its
finances in an inefficient snarl. He brought order out of this chaos, laid
foundations for sound financing in an accurate system of accounting,
made provision for retirement of debt, and reduced expenditures to the
colony's capacity to pay. Then, during the first five years of his administration, he adopted wise measures that increased general revenue by 40
per cent, customs revenue by 58 per cent, and land revenues by 100 per
(33) Ibid., Vol. n, p. 668.
(34) Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the operation of
the acts relating to transportation and penal servitude (British Parliamentary Papers,
1863, Vol. XXI), London, 1863, Vol. II, item 2545.
(35) London Times, October 24, 1861, p. 7. 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 113
cent.36 Once he had placed finances on a sound basis, he was as bold in
his use of money as he had formerly been cautious. Yet the income was
now on such a flourishing basis that the country could take in its stride
the heavy pubUc works expenditures in the later part of his government
and pay with ease for its bold continuance.37
He took over a colony with a paltry few mUes of roads38—a colony
held back by an unimaginative works poUcy. He left it with a grand new
Government House under construction,39 with great areas of swamp
drained and made useful, with over 1,000 mUes of cleared roads in good
repair and weU suppUed with culverts and bridges, and with a further
bold programme of road-building, swamp-draining, and land-clearing
weU under way.40
He found hundreds of people on the dole and aU immigration weakly
brought to a halt. He speedily got people into productive employment
and brought about an orderly resumption of free immigration. During
his administration between 1855 and 1862 the population of Western
AustraUa was increased by 42 per cent.41
He discovered that exploration had languished in duU discouragement for half a dozen years prior to his arrival. He pushed forward a
systematic, unremitting, and successful search for new resources—a
search that was one of the great achievements of his r6gime—a great
successful scheme that for him was reaUy only in mid-stride when his
term of office was completed.
He inherited an unworkable land poUcy that had been a source of
discouragement and embitterment since the inception of this colony. His
was the brilliant genius for organization that guided the formation of a
weU-integrated scheme of productive close settlement. Inner areas were
soon dotted with small farms and sheep stations. Sheep-raising, which
was to be the basis of an increasing prosperity, was steadily pushed
northward and eastward into new blocks of land disclosed by his vigorous
and systematic exploration. Within his period the amount of land held
under pastoral lease was doubled.   The annual sale of land was increased
(36) Statistical Register of the Colony of Western Australia for 1897 and
previous years, Perth, 1899, Part 12, p. 5.
(37) Loc. cit.
(38) Report of the Commissioners   .   .   .   relating to transportation and penal
servitude. Vol. I, para. 73, pp. 59-60.
(39) M. A. C. Fraser, op. cit., p. 38.
(40) Statistical Register  .... Part 12, p. 5.
(41) Loc. cit. 114 H. C. Gilliland Jan.-Apr.
tenfold! By far the larger part of this land was taken in smaU holdings
by persons of moderate means. During his administration both the
amount of stock and the land under cultivation were doubled, and within
three more years they were tripled.42
He found a country where imports far outweighed exports because
the settlers had not addressed themselves to meet the market provided
by convict establishments and assisted free immigration. His administration caused trade to take on a healthier colour through a rapidly
diminishing preponderance of imports. In 1855 the value of exports
was only 43 per cent of the value of imports. By 1862 it had cUmbed
to 63 per cent, and within three years the exports had passed the imports
in value.43
In every material aspect Governor Kennedy's administration had
been good for this people and for this colony. His financial poUcy was
sound—cautious at the outset when conditions were bad, bold when a
foundation for boldness had been laid. His programme of pubUc works
was effective. His poUcy of immigration was controUed but optimistic.
His direction of exploration was vigorous, systematic, and highly successful. His guidance of land settlement was the only successful one this
colony had ever known. At the opening of his regime, everything was
black. At his departure, Western AustraUa was weU on the road to
This was the man who came in March, 1864, to take over the government of Vancouver Island—a colony locked in dispute with the
imperial government—a colony displaying surly antagonism because it
had not control of its own resources, yet unwUling to pay the price for
them—a colony that had neglected any large development of agriculture
and mainly depended for its needs on importation—a colony that, lacking
faith in its own resources, had never made any systematic and weU-
organized exploration to test them—a colony that had placed aU its
economic reliance on one resource not under its own control—a colony
whose merchants and bankers had allowed a faulty optimism to lead
them into a wUd overextension of credit—a colony, in fact, that was
tottering on the brink of its severest financial depression.
This was the man who was still in the grip of an exultant successful
management of just such a problem. This was the man who was still
in mid-stride of a successful campaign of exploration—a man who had
(42) Loc. cit.
(43) Loc. cit. 1954 Governor Kennedy in Western Australia 115
made the discovery of good pastoral and agricultural lands the basis for
a new prosperity—a man who had just started a search for gold and had
not been able to stay to push it forward to a triumphant conclusion.
This was the man who, within a month after his arrival in Victoria,
made the offer that if the pubUc would subscribe funds for an expedition
to explore the Island in search for gold and agricultural resources, he
would provide two doUars from government funds for every one put up
by the pubUc. In this fashion Governor Arthur Kennedy initiated the
Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition of 1864.
H. C. Gilliland.
HoUand Point lies off the Dallas Road in Victoria, about midway
between Ogden and Finlayson Points, but, unUke these, being some
distance from the roadway, it is quite apt to be overlooked by the general
pubUc. Except to the residents of the immediate neighbourhood, who
enjoy the open spaces of the large common which terminates in the point
of land so named, it is probably unknown to the average citizen of Victoria. Moreover, even if they could locate the spot, few would be able
to explain the significance of the name. Does this place-name derive
from the country or from some person or other now lost in the dim
recesses of British Columbia history? From time to time this question has been asked, and until recently no satisfactory answer was
Presumably Captain J. T. Walbran, although he must often have
looked upon HoUand Point from his house on DaUas Road, was not
aware of the origin of the name, for he made no reference to it in his
weU-known British Columbia Coast Names. The majority of the geographical features of the southern portion of Vancouver Island are
named in association with early residents of the area, of which Macaulay,
Finlayson, and McNeill are outstanding examples. Farther back on the
landscape, as seen from a vessel approaching Victoria Harbour, are the
mountains named after Douglas and Tolmie, neither of which require
much explanation.
In the year 1837 Captain W. H. McNeill, in the steamer Beaver,
made a reconnaissance of the southern area of Vancouver Island for
the Hudson's Bay Company with a view to establishing a trading-post
thereon. Captain McNeill was acting under instructions from Chief
Factor John McLoughlin, at that time Superintendent of the Western or
Columbia Department of the Company. McLoughlin himself looked
over the site late in 1839.1
HoUand Point made its first appearance on Captain Henry KeUett's
chart of Victoria Harbour, pubUshed as chart number 1897 by the
Admiralty Office in London in 1848. This chart was the result of surveys conducted by Captain KeUett in H.M.S. Herald during the season
(1) E. E. Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin from Fort Vancouver to
the Governor and Committee, Second Series, 1839-44, London, 1941, p. 231.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2.
117 118 Madge Wolfenden Jan.-Apr.
of 1846. Previous to this, however, in order that the harbour might be
used by vessels of the Hudson's Bay Company, a minimum of surveying
was done by the officers of the Company's ships, one of whom was
Captain James Scarborough of the brigantine Cadboro. Scarborough
prepared a chart from his survey of July, 1843, which was sent to the
Hudson's Bay Company's London headquarters. This chart bears a
note: " The names are all of Mr. Scarborough's own selection except
Clover Point—James Douglas." Holland Point, however, does not
appear named as such on this chart.2 Since a copy of the chart was
made avaUable to the Admiralty in 1844 by the Hudson's Bay Company,
it would appear probable that when Captain KeUett undertook his official
survey in 1846, the Scarborough chart was known to him and that
he incorporated many of the names which Scarborough had appUed.
A study of KeUett's charts of Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours reveals
that a definite plan of naming had been foUowed, in that the names in
and about Victoria distinctly pertain to the Hudson's Bay Company and
that those of Esquimalt derive from Navy personnel. It would seem
reasonable to assume, therefore, that Kellett, in applying the name
" HoUand " to the point, was referring to an employee of the Hudson's
Bay Company.
It is now for the first time possible definitely to identify this mysterious HoUand who through the years so successfully eluded historical
When the famous steamer Beaver made her maiden voyage to the
Northwest Coast in 1835-36, there was on board an able-bodied seaman
by the name of George HoUand.3 Little is known of his early life
except that he came from the parish of St. Pancras, London, and had
entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1835 as a seaman
at a wage of £24 per annum.4 It would appear that he had received
rather more education than the average seaman of his day, for, after
(2) Letter from the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty to Mr. W. H.
Warren, Park Administrator, Victoria, B.C., February 27, 1953. Copy in Archives
of B.C.
(3) W. K. Lamb, "The Advent of the Beaver," British Columbia Historical (1938), p. 169.
(4) Hudson's Bay Company Archives, A. 32/33. (Hereafter cited as H.B.C.
Archives.) The writer wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the Hudson's Bay
Company in searching their Archives in London for information on Holland and
for the kind permission of the Governor and Committee to make quotations from
the material supplied. 1954 The Naming of Holland Point 119
serving in the Beaver and in the Cadboro, in 1839 he became a schoolmaster at Fort Vancouver, after the departure of Rev. Herbert Beaver.
From his record of service with the Company it is noted that he received
"£6 Gratuity for Services as Schoolmaster" in addition to his wage
as a seaman and later as a " middleman." This position HoUand held
until he was appointed to Fort Langley as postmaster in 1843. There
he remained until 1846, when he was transferred to Fort Victoria.5 As
a postmaster his salary was £40 per annum, and the position was looked
upon as involving a fair degree of responsibUity.
Postmasters were men, who, though barred by lack of education from further promotion, had the confidence of their superiors, and were entrusted with such duties
as the keeping of accounts at minor posts or even temporary management of posts
in the absence of their principals. Their salaries went as high as £40 a year, and
they were nearly in the ranks of gentlemen.6
The Fort Victoria journal contains scattered references to George
HoUand, beginning on May 9, 1846, and ending with the entry for
November 10,1847: "... the Bqe. Columbia, towed by the Steamer,
left the harbour, homeward bound. Captain Cooper, Messrs. HoUand
& Lambert passengers. . . . "7 In a letter dated at Fort Victoria,
November 6, 1847, the Board of Management of the Western Department informed the Company in London that HoUand had " obtained
(5) The following record of service has been compiled from his listings in the
Northern Department District Statements, H.B.C. Archives, B. 239/1/7-18:—
Outfit Location Duties
1836-1837—Steam Vessel Beaver Seaman.
1837-1838—Fort Vancouver General
Charges Seaman.
1838-1839—Schooner Cadboro Seaman.
1839-1840—Fort Vancouver General
Charges Schoolmaster.
1840-1841—Columbia Charges Middleman and Schoolmaster.
1841-1842—Columbia Charges Middleman and Schoolmaster.
1842-1843—Columbia Charges Schoolmaster.
1843-1844—Fort Langley Postmaster.
1844-1845—Fort Langley Postmaster.
1845-1846—Fort Langley  Postmaster.
1846-1847—Fort Victoria Postmaster.
1847-1848—Fort Victoria Postmaster.
The last entry had the notation of £17 15s. 7d. for salary for the period June 1 to
November 10, 1847, when Holland returned to England on the barque Columbia.
(6) Frederick Merk, Fur Trade and Empire, Cambridge, Mass., 1931, p. xvi.
(7) H.B.C. Archives, B. 226/a/l.
9 120 Madge Wolfenden Jan.-Apr.
permission to retire from the service as the climate does not agree with
him," and added further that he had served the Company for twelve
years "with an unblemished character and now leaves the service at
his own express desire."8
The Columbia arrived in London in May, 1848,9 and HoUand
evidently set about to improve his status by securing his master mariner's
certificate, for in September he appUed to the Company for reappointment in their marine service.
Being desirous of obtaining an appointment as Master in your Naval Service, I have
been examined by the Board of the Honble. Corporation of the Trinity House and
have obtained their certificate of competency and therefore being duly qualified as
Master Mariner I beg to offer my services in that capacity. ... I entered your
service in the year 1835 and went out in the Beaver Steam Vessel under Captn.
Home where I filled a variety of offices of Trust both in the land and sea service,
at Fort Vancouver, Fort Langley, Victoria, and elsewhere.   .   .   .10
At that time he was informed that " there is not at present, nor is there
likely to be soon any vacancy in the marine department of the Company,"11 but the foUowing year, at a meeting of the Governor and Committee on May 2, 1849, it was ordered: " that D D Wishart be appointed
Commander of the Norman Morison—that Geo HoUand be appointed
Chief and Wm. IngUs second mates on the usual terms of the Co's
Officers."12 Thus it came about that HoUand returned to the Pacific
Northwest on the maiden voyage of stiU another Company vessel.
The Norman Morison left Gravesend on October 20, 1849, carrying
in her the first considerable party of immigrants to come to Vancouver
Island. She reached Fort Victoria on March 24, 1850, and before
returning to England made a coasting trip to Fort Simpson and Sitka
in Russian America. The return voyage was commenced on September
23, 1850, and Gravesend was reached on February 20, 1851.13 One
of the passengers on the outward bound voyage was Dr. J. S. Helmcken,
(8) Board of Management, Western Department, to Governor and Committee,
November 6, 1847, H.B.C. Archives, A. 11/72.
(9) H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/252.
(10) George Holland to the Governor and Committee, September, 1848,
H.B.C. Archives, A. 10/25. This letter was addressed from 11 John Street,
Adelphi, London.
(11) Archibald Barclay to George Holland, 1848, H.B.C. Archives, A. 5/16.
(12) H.B.C. Archives, A. 1/66, p. 48.
(13) For related information concerning the voyages of the Norman Morison,
see A. N. Mouat, " Notes on the Norman Morison," British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, IH (1939), pp. 203-214. 1954 The Naming of Holland Point 121
and many years later, when writing his Reminiscences, he remembered
George HoUand and had this to say of him: " HoUand was not much
of a saUor or anything else,—he and the Captain being so different did
not get on weU together."14 The disagreement between Captain Wishart
and HoUand was such that on AprU 2, 1851, the latter wrote to the
Governor and Committee:—
On the 2nd of May, 1849, you honored me with an appointment as chief officer
of your Ship Norman Morison under the command of Captn. Wishart a period
of nearly two years, having elapsed since that time and finding myself unable to
agree with Captn. Wishart, I therefore most humbly beg leave to resign my situation in the Norman Morison and pray you will be pleased to appoint me to a birth
[sic] in some other of your ships or employment.   .   .   .ts
HoUand's resignation was accepted by the Company at a meeting of the
Governor and Committee held on April 2, 1851,16 but no orders were
given that he should be readmitted to the service.
HoUand, however, must have liked Victoria, for even before the
Norman Morison saUed on her second voyage to Vancouver Island he
again wrote to the Company applying for " an appointment in your
land service at Fort Victoria or elsewhere."17 At that time he referred
to his previous service with the Company, particularly under the immediate orders of James Douglas, " to whose letters I can with confidence
refer you for propriety of conduct and unremiting [sic] zeal in the discharge of my duties." The Company, however, did not re-employ him,
and he was informed that his services were not required.18
Nothing further is known about the later career of HoUand. Perhaps it is sUghtly ironical that the memory of another Hudson's Bay
Company servant who spent part of his youthful days on the high seas
and at the post of the Company in and about Victoria should be perpetuated even though he was not " much of a sailor or anything else."
Madge Wolfenden.
Victoria, B.C.
(14) J. S. Helmcken, Reminiscences, written in 1892, MS., Archives of B.C.,
Vol. H, pp. 71-72.
(15) George Holland to the Governor and Committee, April 2, 1851, H.B.C.
Archives, A. 10/30. This letter was addressed from Forster's Railway Tavern,
Fenchurch Street, London,
(16) H.B.C. Archives, A. 1/67, p. 77.
(17) George Holland to the Governor and Committee, May 14, 1851, H.B.C.
Archives, A. 10/30.
(18) H.B.C. Archives, A. 1/67, p. 99. NOTES AND COMMENTS
The annual meeting of the British Columbia Historical Association was held in
the Provincial Library, Victoria, B.C., on Friday evening, January 15, with the
President, Mr. H. C. Gilliland, in the chair. After welcoming the members the
President called on representatives of the various sections to present reports. The
activities of the Victoria Section were outlined by its Chairman, Miss Madge
Wolfenden, and Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby reported for the Vancouver Section, and
a written report was read from Mr. J. H. Armstrong, Chairman of the West
Kootenay Section, by the Secretary and also one from Mr. Burt R. Campbell,
President of the Kamloops Museum Association.
The outstanding feature of the President's report was the extension of the work
of the Association throughout the Province by the organization of three new
sections — West Kootenay, Nanaimo, and Fort St. James and Central British
Columbia—and a fourth in the Boundary country, which was in the final stages of
organization and would commence in 1954. The President also had had occasion
to visit affiliated societies in Kamloops and the Okanagan Valley.
The Treasurer's report indicated that the finances were in a flourishing condition. While the bank balance reported was $1,243.74, it was pointed out that
the major expense for the year—namely, Quarterly assessments—had yet to be
deducted. Membership during the year had risen appreciably not only as a result
of the formation of new sections, but also in the strengthening of the older sections.
At the closing of the books, membership stood at 435, of which 137 were affiliated
through the Victoria Section, 144 through the Vancouver Section, 16 through West
Kootenay Section, 18 through Nanaimo Section, and 120 members at large. The
Editor of the Quarterly admitted the delay in publication of the official organ had
affected membership but indicated that within the year publication would be back
on schedule. Major F. V. Longstaff presented the thirty-first report of the Marine
Life memberships in the Association were presented to Miss Madge Wolfenden,
recently retired as Assistant Provincial Archivist, and to Dr. W. N. Sage, recently
retired from the headship of the Department of History at the University of British
Columbia. The President paid a warm tribute to their work in the preservation of
historical source materials and in the writing of the history of the Province.
Numerous items of business were discussed, including the condition of the
Leechtown Monument, the formation of a British Columbia Historic Sites and
Monuments Board, and the advisability of beginning preliminary plans for the
suitable commemoration of the centennial of the Fraser River gold-rush of 1858.
In his presidential address entitled The Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition
of 1864-65, published in this Quarterly, Mr. Gilliland outlined the events which
led up to the inception of this expedition by tracing Governor Arthur E. Kennedy's
experience in Western Australia, where he was Governor prior to coming to Van-
Brltish Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2.
123 124 Notes and Comments Jan.-Apr.
couver Island. There Kennedy had directed a vigorous search for natural resources,
the success of which had encouraged him to try a similar policy in Vancouver
The report of the scrutineers was then presented. A total of 156 valid ballots
had been cast. The new Council met immediately following the adjournment of
the annual meeting, when it transacted a heavy agenda of business, during which
the following officers were elected:—
Honorary President     - Hon. Robert Bonner, Q.C.
President Captain Charles W. Cates.
First Vice-President     -       -       -       -   Mrs. A. D. Turnbull.
Second Vice-President      - Mr. James K. Nesbitt.
Honorary Secretary     ...       -   Mrs. Kenneth Drury.
Honorary Treasurer ...       Miss Patricia Johnson.
Members of the Council—
Miss Helen R. Boutilier. Dr. F. H. Johnson.
Dr. J. C. Goodfellow. Dr. W. N. Sage.
Mrs. R. B. White.
Councillors ex officio—
Mr. H. C. Gilliland, Past President.
Miss Madge Wolfenden, Chairman, Victoria Section.
Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby, Chairman, Vancouver Section.
Mr. James Armstrong, Chairman, West Kootenay Section.
Mr. J. McGregor, Chairman, Nanaimo Section.
Mrs. David Hoy, Chairman, Fort St. James Section.
Mrs. Jessie Woodward, Chairman, Boundary Section.
Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Editor, Quarterly.
Victoria Section
A regular meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on Monday
evening, November 30, with Mrs. J. E. Godman presiding. On that occasion Mrs.
Gwen Downes read a paper prepared by Mrs. Lloyd Morgan on The Story of
Julie Apnaut. Mrs. Apnaut died in Victoria on November 6, 1952, at the age of
91. Her story began with the arrival at Fort Langley of Ovid Allard and his
marriage to an Indian woman, Justine. One of the children of this marriage was
Mary, more popularly known as Sennie, who was Julia's mother. Mrs. Morgan
had gathered together many interesting stories of Julia's life, out on the West
Coast with Captain McKay, at school at St. Ann's Convent, Victoria, and her
subsequent marriage, and had woven them into an interesting narrative. At the
conclusion of the paper three recordings made by Mrs. Apnaut some years before
her death were played, mainly of Indian folk-songs.
The meeting held in the Provincial Library on Thursday evening, December 17,
constituted the annual meeting and was presided over by Mrs. J. E. Godman. The
annual report of the Honorary Treasurer, Miss Madge Wolfenden, indicated that
the finances of the Section were in a satisfactory position, the membership having
risen during the year. The Chairman's address, Jade: the Stone of Immortality,
discussed the existence of jade in its various forms in British Columbia and the 1954 Notes and Comments 125
uses to which it had been put by the native Indians. In addition, interesting
parallels were drawn with jade and its uses by peoples elsewhere in China, the
Pacific Islands, and the Antipodes. Interesting examples of jade implements and
costume jewellery were used to illustrate the lecture. The report of the scrutineers
was received, and at the conclusion of the meeting elections for the following year
were held. Mr. Russel E. Potter took the opportunity of proposing a warm vote of
appreciation to the retiring Assistant Provincial Archivist, Miss Madge Wolfenden,
which was heartily endorsed by all the members present. Officers for 1954 are
as follows:—
Chairman Miss Madge Wolfenden.
Vice-Chairman Mr. Russel E. Potter
Honorary Secretary       ....       Mrs. Kenneth Drury.
Honorary Treasurer Mr. A. F. Flucke.
Members of the Council—
Miss Kathleen Agnew. Mr. E. S. Hart.
Mr. Wilson Duff. Dr. F. H. Johnson.
Mr. H. C. Gilliland. Mr. G. H. Stevens.
The first regular meeting of the new year was held on Thursday evening,
February 18, no meeting having been held in January in view of the annual meeting
of the Provincial body having convened in Victoria. Tribute was paid by the
Chairman, Miss Madge Wolfenden, to the late Senator G. H. Barnard and the late
Captain R. P. Bishop, who had died since the last meeting of the Section. The
speaker on this occasion was Mr. I. D. Bonney, a member of the staff of the Provincial Archives, who had chosen as his subject The Central Coast. The area
under review included such interesting communities as Rivers Inlet, Ocean Falls,
Bella Bella, and Bella Coola. It is a rugged country, dotted with islands and
generally alpine in its aspect, rich in scenery but relatively poor in arable land.
Its face is vast and formidable, and in much the same condition as when Captain
George Vancouver saw it first 160 years ago. In the course of his paper Mr.
Bonney dealt with the beginnings of the fish-canning industry in the 1880's and
later timber and pulp and paper industries. Attention was also paid to the Norwegian settlement at Bella Coola. A fine series of pictures illustrative of the region
was displayed.
A meeting of the Section was held on Thursday evening, March 25, at the
Tango Club, when the speaker was Mrs. Rupert W. Haggen and her subject The
Boundary Country. Mrs. Haggen, the wife of the sitting member in the Legislature
for Grand Forks, has been a moving spirit in the organization of the Boundary
Section of the British Columbia Historical Association and is its Honorary Secretary. The Boundary country occupies that narrow strip from Osoyoos to Rossland, within a maximum of 70 miles of the American border. It is a country rich
in historical lore dating back to the gold discoveries at Rock Creek in 1858 and
reaching its hey-day in the base-metal boom at the turn of the century. Mrs.
Haggen recounted much of the early history of many of its thriving communities
of to-day and its ghost towns of yesterday.
The regular meeting held in the Provincial Library on Thursday evening, April
29, was addressed by Professor Sydney G. Pettit, Associate Professor of History at 126 Notes and Comments Jan.-Apr.
Victoria College, on the subject Law and Order in British Columbia. Mr. Pettit
is well known for his study of the career of Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, which
provided an ample background for his subject. His thesis was that personalities
in history should be placed on the continental stage with a wide historical background, and he developed it expertly. He began by considering the westward
movement in history in the seventeenth century and the establishment of colonies
from east to west in a huge political and economic arc. He pointed out that the
French had attempted to hold too much with too few, and that the British followed
in the same error, and as a result the Americans, because of autonomous tendencies,
became a real threat and by 1850 had outstripped the others. The fact that only
a few fur-traders held the territory west of the Great Lakes looked bad to officials
in London, hence the decision to establish colonies first on Vancouver Island in
1849 and subsequently in 1858 on the Mainland. Until then the authority of the
Crown had never been established, and thereafter Americans would be obliged to
recognize the authority of a Crown colony jurisdiction. A policy of containment
was embarked upon and put to the test in 1858, when large numbers of Americans
flooded British Columbia as a consequence of the Fraser River gold-rush. Among
them were the bad element who brought the prejudice and anarchy which had
prevailed in California. There were three principal dangers—an Indian uprising,
anarchy in the gold mines, the autonomous tendencies of the Americans. Each
could have culminated in American intervention, and the danger was real. Douglas
went up the Fraser to quell an Indian uprising, and he intervened again when he
found the Americans establishing a government at Yale. The urgency of the
situation can be sensed in Douglas's dispatches to the Colonial Office, and it was
fortunate that at the time it was presided over by someone of the calibre of Sir
Edward Bulwer Lytton, who appreciated the local circumstances. With imagination he set to work to find men to send to the colony—men whom he felt could
stand up to the American pressure group. One such man was Matthew Baillie
Begbie, sent out as Judge. From the beginning he sought to demonstrate that
British law did not rest on force, but upon the dignity and respect for law and
order. Suffering great hardship, he carried the Queen's law throughout the colony
and earned for himself a reputation for incorruptibility and well-doing.
Vancouver Section
A regular meeting of the Section was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday
evening, November 10, with Mr. D. A. McGregor in the chair. The speaker on
this occasion was Colonel J. W. Nichols, who had chosen as his subject The Story
of Prince Rupert. Colonel Nichols was an early resident of the city and well
qualified to recount its history. The development of Prince Rupert is closely
connected with railway-building in Northern British Columbia, in particular the
extension of the Grand Trunk Railway to the Pacific. In 1903 the Canadian
Government entered into a contract which provided for the construction of a line
from Winnipeg to the Pacific Coast to be known as the Grand Trunk Pacific.
Location engineers examined the coastal area for a seaport terminus, and eventually
narrowed the choice to three possible sites—Kitimat, Port Simpson, and Kaien
Island—and the latter was finally selected.   In 1907 the townsite was cleared and 1954 Notes and Comments 127
a few buildings erected. The first train arrived in 1914, but the official first did not
arrive until September 6, 1915, the railway having by that time been approved by
the Railway Commission. After the First World War, when several railways encountered financial difficulties, the Government took them over and created the
Canadian National Railways. During its early years the main source of revenue
of the city residents was the fisheries, the halibut fishery being the most important
until overfishing began to deplete the resources. In 1910 steamboat service with
the northern city was instituted.
The annual meeting of the Section was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday
evening, December 8. Reports of the various officers were received and gave
evidence of a successful year. The speaker at this meeting was Mrs. Emilie B.
Campbell, who discussed the reasons for the selection of the site for New Westminster and then added some personal reminiscences of earlier days in the Province.
The elections for Council for 1954 were conducted and resulted as follows:—
Chairman Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby.
Vice-Chairman Mr. W. E. Blackburn
Honorary Secretary     ...       -       Mr. Bruce Ramsay.
Honorary Treasurer        ....   Mr. T. H. S. Goodlake.
Members of the Council—
Mrs. W. E. Blackburn. Mr. Norman Hacking.
Miss H. R. Boutilier. Mr. R. A. Hood.
Mr. Donald Buchanan. Mr. D. A. McGregor.
Mr. J. A. Byron. Dr. D. L. McLaurin.
Captain C. W. Cates. Miss E. Mercer.
Miss Margaret Cowie. Mr. Noel Robinson.
Mr. J. E. Gibbard. Rev. F. G. St. Denis.
Dr. Gilbert Tucker.
The first meeting in the new year was held on Friday evening, January 22, in the
Grosvenor Hotel, when the speaker was the immediate Past President of the Provincial body, Mr. H. C. Gilliland, who chose as his subject The Wreck of the Forerunner. Mr. Gilliland has made a careful study of the career of Governor Arthur
Edward Kennedy, and this incident, which was recounted in vivid fashion, throws
much light on the character of Governor Kennedy.
Arctic Exploration was the subject of the address by Dr. J. Lewis Robinson,
Chairman of the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia,
at the meeting of the Section held in the Grosvenor Hotel, Friday evening,
February 9. A veteran of four expeditions to the Arctic, Dr. Robinson ranged
from the earliest exploration to the present time. Early explorers were concerned
with finding the Northwest Passage and usually arrived in northern waters in June.
Unfortunately this brought them right into the face of the outgoing ice-floes, making
navigation practically impossible. Had they waited until mid-August conditions
would have been much easier. Great praise should be paid to the hardy whaling
captains for their daring, for the speaker was constantly amazed when reading in
the early journals of Arctic expeditions to find whaling-boats suddenly putting in
an appearance in what was believed to be unknown territory. Another topic
discussed was the shifting position of the North Magnetic Pole.   In  1829 the 128 Notes and Comments Jan.-Apr.
expedition headed by Sir James Clark Ross located it on the southern portion of
Boothia Peninsula; many years later Amundsen found it farther north on the
same peninsula; and in 1947 it had shifted to the northern extremity of Prince
of Wales Island.
At the meeting held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday, March 9, the speaker
was Dr. Charles E. Borden, of the Department of Anthropology of the University
of British Columbia. Speaking on the subject Aluminum and Archaeology,
Dr. Borden dealt with the archaeological researches undertaken in the Tweedsmuir
Park area prior to the flooding caused by the building of Kenney Dam on the
Nechako River in connection with the development project undertaken by the
Aluminum Company of Canada. The lecture was illustrated with beautiful
coloured slides.
Through the co-operation of Superintendent G. J. Archer, officer commanding,
Vancouver Subdivision of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the films descriptive
of the epic voyage of the patrol vessel St. Roche through the Northwest Passage
in 1946 were made available to the Section for its regular meeting held in the
Grosvenor Hotel on Tuesday evening, April 13. Also shown was " The Loon's
Necklace," a dramatization of a Nicola Valley Indian legend, which involved the
use of Indian masks. Special appreciation was tendered to Constable W. Steen,
who acted as projectionist.
Nanaimo Section
The December meeting of the Section took the form of a series of short reports
on early Nanaimo history by several of the members of the Section. Mr. W. E.
Bray reported on the geographical location of the city, and this was followed by
an excellent report by Mrs. A. Yates on early transportation by water, which
included a list of the names of many of the early vessels entering Nanaimo
At a meeting held on January 12, Mr. James Borserio gave an account of the
first thirty-eight inhabitants of Nanaimo as recorded in a letter by James Douglas.
The names had been investigated and occupations found, providing, in effect,
Nanaimo's first unofficial census. The second paper, Electrification in Nanaimo,
was presented by Mr. W. Barraclough. Drawing from the early files of the
Nanaimo Free Press, the records of the British Columbia Power Commission, and
the personal recollections of several early employees of electrical companies, such
as James Cowie and William Lewis, a very detailed history of this utility was
worked out.
The meeting of the Section held on March 9 received an interim report on
The History of Nanaimo Schools by Mr. J. B. Parker. Much of the early history
was obtained from the diary of Mr. Cornelius Bryant, a pioneer teacher, whose
granddaughter made it available. Members contributed many details about later
teachers, in recalling their own earlier school days. Plans were laid to prepare
records of contemporary events which might be of interest years hence. The
election of officers for the year resulted as follows:—
Chairman   -----   Mr. J. C. McGregor.
Honorary Secretary ...       Miss Patricia Johnson.
Honorary Treasurer   -       -       -   Ven. Archdeacon A. E. Hendy. 1954 Notes and Comments 129
A meeting of the Section was held on April 13, when the Chairman, J. C.
McGregor, read a paper on Nanaimo's Early Jails. Plans were also discussed for
the suitable commemoration on November 27 of the centenary of the arrival of
the pioneers who came out in the Princess Royal.
West Kootenay Section
The annual meeting of the Section was held on December 7, 1953, when the
following officers were elected:—
Chairman Mr. J. H. Armstrong.
Honorary Secretary-Treasurer -       -       Mrs. A. D. Turnbull.
Mrs. J. H. Armstrong. Mr. G. T. German.
Mr. F. M. Etheridge. Mr. A. C. Jenkins.
The first general meeting of the new year was held in the City Hall Chambers
on March 3, when Alderman F. Sindell showed the films taken during the celebration of the golden jubilee of the incorporation of Trail held in June, 1951. Of
particular interest was the displaying of the minutes of the first Council meeting.
Boundary Section
On January 29, 1953, a meeting was held in the Sunday School room of the
United Church in Grand Forks to discuss the advisability of forming an historical
society in the Boundary District. Because of the inclement weather only a few
persons were in attendance, but a resolution was adopted authorizing the formation
of " an Historical Society to be known as the Boundary Historical Society " and that
it affiliate with the British Columbia Historical Association. Mr. John Hutton
was chosen as Chairman and Mrs. R. W. Haggen as Secretary, pro tern. Work at
recruiting members proceeded, and on October 25 a meeting was held in the
Province Hotel, Grand Forks, and the decision to organize as a section of the
British Columbia Historical Association was reached. A petition to this effect
was submitted and approved by the Provincial Association. Officers elected in
October, 1953, were to act until the end of the 1954 season, and were as follows:—
Honorary Chairman -       -    Mr. John Hutton, Grand Forks.
Chairman    ...       -       Mrs. Jessie Woodward, Grand Forks.
Vice-Chairman        ...   Mr. Leo Mader.
Honorary Secretary-Treasurer       Mrs. R. W. Haggen, Grand Forks.
Phoenix Representative   -       -   Mr. Frank McDonald.
Rock Creek Representative   -       Mrs. James Lindsay.
Greenwood Representative       -   Mrs. J. C. Roylande.
Christina Lake Representative       Mr. R. Sandner.
Midway Representative    -       -   Mr. Howard Pannell.
Beaverdell Representative     -       Mr. Bayard Bubar.
Westbridge Representative       -    Mr. Arthur Mellor.
In attendance at this inaugural meeting was Mrs. R. B. White, of Penticton, an
active member of the British Columbia Historical Association and also of the
Okanagan Historical Society.   Plans were laid to hold four meetings a year in
different parts of the district. 130 Notes and Comments Jan.-Apr.
East Kootenay Section
A meeting was held on Saturday, January 2, in the Mount Baker High School,
Cranbrook, for the purpose of establishing an historical society. Mr. W. A. Burton
was elected Chairman, pro tern., and Mr. J. F. Huchcroft, Secretary, pro tern. The
society had for its objective the preservation of historic objects and sites in the
Kootenay District and the collection of material for the writing of the history of
the region.
A second meeting was held in the Mount Baker High School on February 17,
and the decision reached to seek affiliation as a section of the British Columbia
Historical Association. Mr. J. W. Awmack was elected Honorary Treasurer, and
the following honorary officers were elected:—
Honorary Chairmen -       -       -       -   Senator J. H. King.
Mr. James A. Byrne, M.P.
Honorary Vice-Chairmen -       -       -   Mrs. F. W. Green.
Mr. W. D. Black, M.L.A.
Mr. Leo Nimsick, M.L.A.
Mr. Thomas Uphill, M.L.A.
At a meeting held on March 24 the petition to the British Columbia Historical
Association was signed and in due course presented and approval given for the
establishment of the East Kootenay Section.
The annual meeting of this Association was held in the City Hall Committee
Room on Friday evening, January 29, with Mr. Burt R. Campbell presiding. The
various reports presented showed that while membership was small—only twenty-
four members—much valuable work had been accomplished. The diamond
Jubilee of the incorporation of the city had had the full support of the Association,
which had assumed responsibility for a portion of the festivities. In conjunction
with this function a plaque to the memory of Chief Factor Samuel Black had been
dedicated. The Museum had been kept open for regular hours, and over 2,550
persons registered during the year. A number of improvements had been made
to the building—a new stove, a four-drawer filing-cabinet for the safe-keeping of
valuable papers, a show-case, and a typewriter were added to the equipment—and
improved signs directing people to the Museum had been erected. The photographic collection continued to grow, with many new accessions reported during the
year. High tribute was paid to the President, Burt R. Campbell, for his unwavering
enthusiasm and the many hours he had devoted to the work of the Association.
During the past few years failing eyesight has been a serious handicap, and in
consequence he was led to announce his retirement from the presidency. The
members immediately elected him to the newly created position of Honorary
President.   Other officers of the Association for the ensuing year are as follows:—
Honorary President Mr. Burt R. Campbell.
President Mr. J. J. Morse.
Vice-President Mrs. A. J. Millward.
Secretary-Treasurer        ....       Mrs. D. A. Arnott. 1954 Notes and Comments 131
House Convener Mr. R. B. A. Cragg.
Natural History Convener     ...       Mr. D. A. Arnott.
Historical Convener Alderman T. J. O'Neill.
The members of the board of directors responsible for the administration of
the Irving House, New Westminster's beautiful historic centre, for the year 1954
were Alderman J. A. Courtney and Mr. H. Norman Lidster, representing the City
of New Westminster; Miss Janet Gilley and Mrs. Stephen Young, representing
Post No. 4, Native Daughters of British Columbia; and Mr. L. Pumphrey and
Mr. L. Higham, representing Post No. 4, Native Sons of British Columbia. The
officers for the year were as follows:—
President Miss Janet Gilley.
Vice-President Mr. H. Norman Lidster.
Secretary-Treasurer Mrs. Stephen Young.
Curator Mr. Stephen Young.
The Buildings and Grounds Committee was composed of Miss Janet Gilley and
Messrs. L. Pumphrey, H. Norman Lidster, and S. Young.
On Sunday, September 6, 1953, a field-stone cairn with attached bronze plaque
erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada was unveiled by
Mr. Thomas King, Golden, for many years the representative of the district in the
Provincial Legislative Assembly. Boat Encampment was an important point of
transhipment in the fur-trade days. For almost half a century after first being
used by David Thompson in 1811 it served as a meeting-place for the fur brigades
of the North West Company and after 1821 of the Hudson's Bay Company.
By-passed by the railroad, it was not again made accessible to visitors until the
completion of the Big Bend Highway in June, 1940. The cairn has been placed
some 2 miles from the original site to make it more readily accessible to the general
public and is located where the highway crosses the Columbia River about 2 miles
from the junction of the Canoe with the Columbia River.
The ceremony was arranged by the Board of Trade of Golden and was presided
over by Mr. Albert Abrahamson, secretary of the Revelstoke Board of Trade.
The invocation was given by Rev. Father Harrison, who recalled that not all who
dared the dangers of the mountains were motivated by the desire for material gain,
since many priests and missionaries passed over the route. The first sacrifice of
the Holy Mass in the Interior of British Columbia was celebrated at Boat Encampment. Included among the platform guests were Mr. James Byrne, M.P.;
Mr. Louis Berger, owner and manager of Boat Encampment Lodge, who donated
the site for the cairn; and Mr. R. J. J. Steve, Superintendent of Yoho, Glacier, and
Mount Revelstoke National Parks, who had supervised the erection of the cairn.
Dr. W. N. Sage, British Columbia and Yukon representative on the Historic Sites
and Monuments Board of Canada, was present to give an address entitled David
Thompson and Boat Encampment, in which he traced the origin and early develop- 132 Notes and Comments
ment of this particular fur-trade centre.   The inscription on the plaque is as
Boat Encampment
A point of transhipment in fur-trading days.
Here boats from Fort Vancouver (now Vancouver,
Washington), on the lower Columbia, waited for
pack trains coming over the mountains from Jasper
David Thompson after his discovery of Athabaska Pass arrived here in January, 1811. For almost half a century this route was used by the fur
brigades of the North West and Hudson's Bay
By-passed by the railways, this historic spot was
made available to tourists by the completion of the
Big Bend Highway in June, 1940.
Reginald H. Roy, M.A., is a member of the staff of the Provincial Archives,
having formerly been on the staff of the Public Archives of Canada. For some
years he served with the Historical Section, Canadian Army Headquarters, Ottawa.
Wayne Suttles, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University
of British Columbia.
H. C. Gilliland, M.A., is the Past President of the British Columbia Historical
Association and Acting Principal of the Provincial Normal School, Victoria, B.C.
Madge Wolfenden, recently retired as Assistant Provincial Archivist, is a Past
President of the British Columbia Historical Association and a well-known student
of British Columbia history.
Printed by Don McDiaemid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty


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