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RETURN To an Order of the House for a Return showing the conditions on which the lands at Bella Coola… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1895

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 58 Vict. Correspondence—Norwegian Settlers. 499
To an Order of the House for a Return showing the conditions on which the lands at
Bella Coola have been taken up by the colony of Norwegian settlers, and all
correspondence in connection with the same.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
4th December, 1894-.
Memo. — The letter of 6th of August from Mr. Sangstad was not addressed to this office;
enquiry has been made respecting it, but it appears to have been mislaid.
A. C. R.,
Depitty Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
August 15th, 1894.
Rev. Christopher Sangstad,
Crookston, Minnesota, U.S.
Dear Sir,—Your letter of the 6th inst., relating to the settlement of the Bella Coola
Valley, has been referred to me as Minister of Immigration.
The Government cannot reserve the land you require for a term of three years, as it
would lock up land from settlement, but there would be no objection to a temporary reservation of three months, in order to allow you to select your lands.
If the colony is formed, the Government would require a settlement of at least twenty
families, in which case it would give a free grant of 160 acres to each family, but before this
could be done the names of the intending settlers would have to be given, and it would have
to be shewn that they possessed sufficient means of their own to make them useful settlers.
The land would have to be taken up in one block, and the title to the land would be
conditional on the carrying out of bona fide settlement.
If the settlement was of an advantageous character to the Province, the Government
would no doubt assist the settlers by the construction of a waggon road. The question of a
wharf would have to be reserved for future consideration.
I am, ifcc,
(Signed)        James Baker,
Minister of Immigration.
Crookston, Minn., August 27th, 1894.
To the Hon. Minister of Immigration,
.lames Baker, Victoria, B.C.
Highly respected Sir,—Your communication, dated 15th inst., is at hand to-day, and
contents noted.
Allow me to address you the following :—
We are now more than twenty who have been determined to come to Bella Coola this
fall, and, so far, your requirements will be more than fulfilled.
And your offer of a free grant of 160 acres to each family is very satisfactory. oOO Correspondence—Norwegian Settlers. 1894
But there are three terms in your communication I must beg leave to ask a further
explanation of, namely :—
1. You say, " The Government cannot reserve the land you require for a term of three
years, * * but there would be no objection to a temporary reservation of three months,"
etc. If we come as many as twenty (I am now sure there will be forty), can you not put a
reserve on the land for one year, so as to give those who cannot realize their property here so
they can come with us this fall, but will come next summer ?
2. You say, " it would have to be shewn that they possessed sufficient means of their own
to make them useful settlers." Do you require that each settler shall bring a certain amount
of money before they can be looked upon as useful settlers 1
We have never intended to bring paupers into your Province to make a burden to the
Government. We intend to bring means enough to support ourselves till we, with honest
work, can raise the means from the land we occupy.
3. Further, " the title to the land would be conditional on the carrying out of bona fide
Would this term mean that there would be a conditional clause in the deed from the
Government so as to not give the settler a clear title when he has fulfilled the requirements of
the land laws 1
I have called a meeting of the colonists, to be held the 11th of September next. We
will then organize, and settle on the time for our departure from here.
If it is possible for you to give me an answer till that time, you would do me and the
whole colony a great favour. I have worked hard for this cause, and am in a great
I am free to send you enclosed a letter of reference from the Governor of Minnesota.
Other recommendations, I hope, are unnecessary.
We are honest and earnest.
Crookston, Minn.
I am, f&c,
(Signed)        C. Sangstad.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
5th September, 1894.
Rev. C. Sangstad,
Crookston, Minn.
Dear Sir,—In reply to your letter of the 27th ultimo, I may state that the Government
could not reserve the lands for more than six months.
The settlers would each be given a lease of the 160 acres of land for five years, rent free,
on terms of actual residence, a title to be given to the land when it was shewn to the satisfaction of the Government that improvements to the value of $5 an acre had been made on
the land.
Each family would have to show that it possessed $300 in cash.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)        James Baker,
Minister of Immigration.
Crookston, Minn., October 2nd, 1894.
To the Hon. James Baker,
Minister of Immigration, Victoria, B.C.
Highly respected Sir,—We are now in position so as to be able to inform you that the
colony for Bella Coola, B.C., are organized, and will leave Crookston over the C. P. Ry. on the
17th inst.
The colony will consist of between sixty and eighty men, if the men from Seattle join us.
If not, we will be at least fifty from here.
Respectfully your obedient servant,
(Signed)        C. Sangstad,
President of the Bella Coola Colony. 58 Vict. Correspondence—Norwegian Settlers. 50i
Provincial Secretary's Office,
9th October, 1894.
Rev. Chr. Sangstad,
Pastor of lite United Norwegian Church of Crookston,
Crookston, Minn.
Dear Sir,—I am in receipt of your letter of the 2nd inst. It seems to me that you have
chosen a bad time of the year to establish the colony on Bella Coola. It will be the middle
of November before you get on the ground, when the wet season and winter will be commencing, and there will be no shelter or any provision for settlement. Would it not be better
to wait until the spring 1 or send one or two men only to select the lands now, and the
Government would reserve the lands until the spring.
Think well over it before starting.
Yours very faithfully,
(Signed)        James Baker,
Provincial, Secretary and Minister of Immigration.
Crookston, Minn., Oct. 15th, 1894.
To the Hon. James Baker,
Minister of Immigration,
Victoria, B. C:
Respected Sir,—Yours of 9 th inst. at hand and contents noted.
Would say we are ready for our journey, and leave this place on the 17th. We can not
put it off now.
Hope we will stand the hardships as well in your Province as we have done it here. We
will be probably 60 persons, and expect to be in Victoria on the 20th or 21st. Shall be glad
to see the Hon. Government before we start on our journey by steamer to Bella Coola.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Signed)        C. Sangstad.
THIS INDENTURE made the day of A.D. 189    ,
between the Honourable James Baker, Minister of Immigration for the Province of British
Columbia, acting under authority of an Order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, approved
on the day of , 189    , (hereinafter called the Grantor) of the
first part,
(hereinafter called the Grantee) of the second part ;
Whereas the Grantee is a member of a group of intending settlers in British Columbia,
which includes thirty or more families, who, with their families, are hereinafter referred to as
the " Colony," and the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, for the purpose of encouraging
immigration, has agreed to make a free grant from the public lands of the Province to each
head of a family in the said Colony, upon the conditions hereinafter mentioned, which
conditions have been accepted by the Grantee as well as by the whole Colony.
Now therefore this Indenture witnesseth that in consideration of the performance
by the Grantee of the covenants and stipulations to be observed and performed by and on
the part of the said Grantee, the said Grantor, acting herein on behalf of the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council, as aforesaid, and as far as the Crown hath power to grant the same, but
not further or otherwise, doth hereby covenant and agree upon the termination of five years
from the date hereof, that the said Grantee shall receive a Crown Grant of all and singular
that certain piece or parcel of land situate, lying, and being in the District of ,
in the Province of British Columbia, and being composed of lot number
in said District, containing by admeasurement acres of land, be the same more
or less, and which may be more particularly described as follows :— 502 Correspondence—Norwegian Settlers. 1894
Which said grant shall be subject to and in the form provided by the Land Laws of the
Province for the time being in force.
And the said Grantee doth hereby for himself, his executors, administrators and assigns,
covenant with the said Grantor in manner following, that is to say :—
That the said Grantee possesses in cash the sum of three hundred dollars and is worth
that sum over and above what will pay and after payment of all just debts of the said
That the said Grantee, will, within from the date hereof, enter upon the
said land and bona fide occupy and improve the same to the satisfaction of the Grantor, and
will continue to reside thereon with his family, and to occupy and improve the same during
the term of five years from now next ensuing.
That the said Grantee shall, at the termination of the said period of five years from the
date hereof, have made improvements upon the said land to the value of five dollars per acre
That the Grantor may at any time during the said five years, by himself, his servants or
agents, enter upon the premises and view the state of the property and the improvements
theretofore made.
That the Grantee will observe and obey all such reasonable rules and regulations as maybe made by the representatives or managers of the said Colony for its good government and
internal administration, provided the said rules and regulations have been first submitted to
and approved by the Grantor.
That the Crown Grant herein provided for shall be conditional upon the continued
residence and performance of the conditions of similar leases, issued concurrently herewith,
by the other members of the Colony to the number of not less than thirty, it being the intention that the said Colony shall remain entire and be of a number of not less than thirty at the
conclusion of the period of five years when the issue of Crown Grants is provided for.
Provided that in case of non-performance by the Grantee or by the Colony of the terms
of this agreement to his satisfaction, the Grantor may, by notice published in the British
Columbia Gazette, cancel this agreement and enter upon the aforesaid premises.
And the Grantor hereby covenants that so soon as each member of the Colony, to the
number of thirty in all, has erected a dwelling house upon the land comprised in the respective
leases, or so soon as the said Grantor has satisfied himself of the bona fide settlement of the
Colony upon the lands alloted to the members thereof, there will be made and constructed a
waggon road through the land occupied by the Colony.
In witness whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and seals the day
and year first above written.
Signed, sealed, and delivered by"
the Honourable the Minister of Immigration for the Province of British
Columbia in the presence of
Signed, sealed, and delivered by
the within named
in the
presence of
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


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