Open Collections

BC Sessional Papers

RETURN To an Order of the House for copies of all complaints made by people in Atlin District against… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1900

Item Metadata


JSON: bcsessional-1.0063887.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0063887-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0063887-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0063887-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0063887-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0063887-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0063887-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 991
To an Order of the House for copies of all complaints made by people in Atlin District
against Government officials there, since 1st January, 1898, and the answers given
by the Government thereto.
Minister of Mines.
Department of Mines,
80th August, 1900.
I. E. Negus to lion. J. Fred Hume.
Skagway, Alaska, October 24th, 1898.
To the Gold Minister, Victoria, B.C
Mr. W. H. Lynch has kindly offered to hand you a letter if I would write and state to
you my grievances.
I and two others have located discovery on Willow Creek, a tributary to Pine, on August
9th, 1898. Made application to record the same the same date, and also several times since,
but of no avail. W. P. Rant, God (sic) Commissioner, allowed discovery on August 22nd, but
in a few hours after reversed his decision and said he would not call it a creek, and closed the
creek for the season and forbid us working. He also requested us to set our stakes 50 feet
from the senter (sic) of the stream.
Since that time, August 22nd, there has been from $10,00 to $20,000 taken out within
500 feet of Willow Creek, which I think is certainly justly our ground. I petishun the
privilage to re-stake the ground, and that we be allowed some consideration for damages sustained by the Gold Commishioner.
Hoping Justice and nothing more, I would remain yours,
(Signed)        I. E. Negus.
Pine Creek, B.C.
Hon. J. Fred Hume to I. E. Negus.
Victoria, B. C, llth November, 1898.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th ult., drawing my attention to certain complaints you have to make as to the recording of claims on Willow Creek by
yourself and others.
I expect Captain Rant's arrival every day from Bennett Lake, and I will draw his
attention to your letter. In the meantime, you may rest assured that the Government will
do their best to rectify any mistake that may have occurred owing to the sudden rush of
people to the Atlin Lake District.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines. 992 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
W. Barr to Hon. J. Fred Hume, M.P.P., Nelson, B. C.
Skaguay, Alaska, October 27th, 1898.
Dear Sir,—I would beg to call your attention to the manner in which the Recording
Office has been conducted at Atlin, and also at Lake Bennett. I located a claim on Wright
Creek, in the Pine Creek District, on September the Sth, and on the llth called at the Recording Office to get the same recorded, but was told by Mr. Rant, the Recorder, that they could
not record it then, as they had no blanks to do so, but to leave my application for record and
it would be attended to later on. If not there, I could procure it at Bennett on my arrival
there. On calling on Gold Commissioner Rant at Bennett, and tendering the fee for recording, I was told that they still had no blanks and could not record for me, and refused to accept
the fee for the same. So, as you see, I have nothing whatever to show that I have a claim
in the district, and there are many others in the same condition.
Hoping this will receive your kind attention,
I remain, etc.,
(Signed)        Wm. Barr.
Skaguay, Alaska.
Hon. J. Fred Hume to William Barr.
Victoria, B. C, llth November, 1898.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 27th October, with respect
to Capt. Rant not being in a position to record your claim on Wright Creek.
I am aware that Capt. Rant ran out of these forms, owing to the unexpected rush of
people to that district. I expect his arrival shortly in Victoria, when I will talk the matter
over with him. At the same time, I can assure you that the Government will do their best
to see that no miner shall suffer from any failure on the part of their officials to accept records
or efficiently administer the district.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines.
J. D. Graham, Gold Commissioner, to Hon. Minister of Mines.
Lake Bennett, B. C, 1st January, 1899.
The Hon. the Minister of Mines, Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose letter received by me re records at Atlin Lake for C.
Sutherland, which explains itself, and is only one of many others who have complained of the
irregular methods of recording.
I would point out that other irregularities exist of a much more serious nature, which I
will inform you later on.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Graham, 67. C.
To the Hon. J. D. Graham.
[Letter enclosed.]
Skaguay, 11/25/98.
This being the second time that I have written to the officials of the Atlin Mining
District of British Columbia, it is done so with the kind permission of yourself.
I have staked several properties in the aforesaid district, but was able to record only one
(Discovery on Musket Creek). I have staked one, August 14th, on Spruce CrCek, and called
the " Piker " Mining Claim. It numbers about two hundred below discovery. The number-
;ng, that far down, seems to be varying.    I, with three others, have staked a discovery claim, 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 993
dated August 16th, on a small tributary to Spruce Creek. The creek on which we located
discovery, and which we named Sunday Creek, flows into Spruce Creek about two miles
above the confluence of Spruce and Pine Creeks.
The two following locations are the ones for which I could get no record. I endeavoured
to get them recorded while I was in the Atlin District, but was unable to do so on account of
the absence of the books, which were expected every day, and I accordingly postponed applications in view of getting my full record papers, when, on September 16th, the day of my
leaving, I was informed that there would be no recording done nor applications received, and
I received no enlightenment at Bennett.
For myself, I have no fear of losing title to the properties, only I am exceedingly glad of
having the opportunity of explaining the matter to your honourable self.
Most respectfully submitted.
(Signed)        C. C. Sutherland.
Hon. J. Fred Hume to J. D. Graham.
Victoria, B.C., 14th January, 1899.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st inst., drawing my attention to certain irregularities which exist in the records at Atlin Lake, and enclosing also a
letter in this connection from Mr. C. Sutherland.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines.
J. D. Graham, G. C, to Hon. Minister of Mines.
Lake Bennett, 16th January, 1899.
The Hon. the Minister of Mines, Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to report for your information that on account of pressure of
work in this office I have temporarily employed A. G. Lean to assist me in getting the records
(received since my arrival) posted up, as I find they are getting too much ahead of me.
I might point out that there must be considerably over a thousand records to be posted
up, which were received by Norman Rant and bundled up and put away for posting up later
on. These records I have left untouched until Capt. Rant returns, as they are in an incomplete
condition; some of them have been paid for and others have not.
I find that several men tendered their fees for the records, but were declined by Norman
Rant; all of this will have to be explained by the Acting Mining Recorder.
I might state that at the shortest time possible it will take fully six weeks to post up the
records (which will not include indexing); add to that the records and correspondence coming-
in daily, you will see that we are kept pretty busy, and by all appearances likely to continue.
At the present time twenty people are going in daily to Atlin, hauling in their supplies on
hand-sleds, and as soon as the road is open the number will be considerably increased.
I have, &.O.,
(Signed)        J. D. Graham, G. C.
Hon. J. Fred Hume to J. D. Graham.
Victoria, B. C, 27th January, 1899.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 16th instant informing me that,  owing to
the pressure of work in your office, you have temporarily employed A. G. Lean to assist you.
Captain Rant left this office for Lake Bennett on the 24th inst., and I hope that on his
arrival he may be able to assist you in getting the records into good order before the rush
begins; at the same time I fully appreciate the difficulties you have to contend with.
I am &c,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines. 994 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
James Stables et al. to Hon. J. Fred Hume.
Pine City, B. C, June 5th, 1899.
To the Honourable J. Fred Hume, Victoria, B. C.
Respected Sir,—At the regular meeting of the British Miners' Protective Association
here on the 3rd inst., it was unanimously resolved that,—
"Whereas under the Recordership of Norman Rant there has been unwarranted irregularities, taking money from miners, refusing receipts for the same, refusing to record certain
properties, making use of well known unscrupulous parties to secure valuable properties in the
district, thereby defrauding the rightful locators, and causing great injustice and suffering to
mining and dependent industries:
"2. And whereas by the appointment of Mr. J. D. Graham it was expected that many of these
grievances would have been removed, but they have gone on, and for want of manly decision,
and his taking ex parte evidence in cases of mining disputes, and neglecting to secure the full
facts from both sides before deciding, afterwards reversing his decisions; allowing indiscriminate jumping of claims, recording the same; neglecting to punish certain men, jumpers of
honestly acquired miners' claims, who then secure an order from him—the Commissioner—
tieing up the same, causing great loss to the rightful owners, a spirit of unrest among miners
and traders, and strong complaints against the Government:
"3. And whereas the delay of the Government in sending up a Judge, or other competent
legal authority, to settle all past mismanagement by officials and disputes among miners (and
punishment of claim jumpers) is ruinous to the country, and will drive out thousands who will
never come back, besides causing to those who remain great grievances and hardships, and
especially to those who are the rightful claim owners:
"4. And whereas the Government, at its last Session in Victoria, passed an Alien Act
without the machinery to enforce it, or to ascertain who were aliens and who were British
subjects; aliens now when recording claims are all British subjects and, contrary to the Act,
are jumping and recording claims right and left with and (sic) audacity:
"Therefore, resolved, that for the justice, peace, law and order of this district this British
Miners' Protective Association are of the opinion that this matter should be laid before the
Government, and we, your petitioners, will ever pray that these grievances may be speedily
"Yours, very respectfully, in behalf of the above Association.
(Signed)        "James Stables (President),
ii "B. B. Pinkerton, (Secretary).'
Hon. J. Fred Hume to James Stables.
Victoria, B. C, 27th June, 1899.
Sir,—I am just in receipt of yours of the 5th inst., enclosing resolutions passed by a meeting of the British Miners' Protective Association on the 3rd June, and beg to say in reply that
I am sorry that there is such a state of affairs existing in the Atlin District as you set out in the
said resolutions. However, by this time no doubt His Honour Judge Irving has arrived, and
I feel satisfied that he will do his utmost to get the miners' rights straightened out to everyone's entire satisfaction.
The Government thought it not advisable to send the Judge up until all parties interested
in the claims would be on hand, which, as the lay-over season was to the 1st June, lots of the
miners would not have arrived in the country, therefore the delay. The further extension was
granted so as to allow all parties time to appear before the Judge without putting their claims
in jeopardy.
I am, &c,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines.
- 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 995
James Stables et al. to Hon. J. Fred Hume.
Pine, B. C, August 28th, 1899.
To the Honourable J. Fred Hume, Victoria, B. G.
Honourable Sir,—Having heard with gratification that an appropriation for the purpose
of building roads, bridges, &c, was promised to the miners' delegation who some time ago
waited on your Government, and finding that nothing was being done by the Gold Commissioner in the matter which might relieve the distress of a great many miners who have been so
long without employment, a committee from the British Miners' Protective Association waited
on Mr. J. D. Graham to get information as to where and when the work was likely to commence.
To the suprise of the committee, instead of receiving the desired information, they were
answered with this very curt reply from Mr. Graham: "Go home and tell the British Miners'
Protective Association to just mind it's own business and I'll attend to mine."
To say that the miners were indignant on hearing the report of the committee is putting
it mildly, and the following resolution was unanimously passed: —
"Resolved, that this meeting of miners express its indignation at the insulting words
addressed to their committee by Mr. J. D. Graham, Gold Commissioner, and would give the
Government to know that the long suffering of the miners of this district has a limit, which is
reached when a servant of the public so far forgets himself, and we would ask the Government
to deal with the matter.
"Signed in behalf of the Association by
"James Stables, President,
"W. R. Hamilton, Assistant Secretary."
lion. J. Fred Hume to James Stables.
Victoria, B. C, 13th Sept., 1899.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge your letter of 28th August, reporting an interview between a
committee of the British Miners' Protective Association and the Gold Commissioner of the
Atlin Lake District, with respect to the approjoriation set apart by the Government for the
purpose of building roads, bridges, &c.
I will call Mr. Graham's attention to the representations made by your Association; at
the same time I feel certain that Mr. Graham had no intention of showing any disrespect to
the committee, and that he will endeavour to spend the appropriation in the best interests of
those who are in want of employment.
I am, <fec,
(Signed)        J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines.
Hon. J. Fred Hume to J. D. Graham, Gold Commissioner.
Victoria, B. G, 13th Sept., 1899.
Sir,-—I beg to enclose herewith a copy of a letter I have received from Mr. Stables, the
President of the British Miners' Protective Association.
In replying to Mr. Stables, I informed him that I felt sure no discourtesy was intended on
your part, and that you were, no doubt, endeavouring to expend the appropriation in the best
interests of all concerned.
I must request you, however, to report to me your version of this incident.
I am, ifcc,
(Signed)       J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Mines. 996 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
J. D.  Graham,  G. C, to lion. J. Fred Hume.
Gold Commissioner's Office,
Atlin, B. C, Sept. 26th, 1899.
The Honourable J. Fred Hume,
Minister of Alines, Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th instant,
enclosing a copy of a letter received by you from the so-called B. M. P. A. of this district, and
asking for my version of the same, which I am most happy to give, as I find the individual
and his associates have written to the " Vancouver World " on the subject (See page 8 of issue
12/9/1899).    I will be as brief as possible, and state the facts of the case as they occurred.
Some time in August a man knocked at the back door and stated that he wished to speak
to me, and I answered "What is it?" Ho stated that he had been appointed a committee to
find out what I was.going to do about trails in this district. I politely told him that Mr.
Archie Cameron, the Road Superintendent, attended to that part of the business, and referred
him to that gentleman. I then left him and went to the Registrar's office, and on my return
he renewed the conversation. I again told him that Mr. Cameron attended to that part of
the business. He then said the B. M. P. A. wanted to know what work I was going to do,
and persisted in his question. I then turned around and answered him, " If you people will
attend to your own business, I will attend to mine." This was the only way I could get rid
of him. His statement about giving work, etc., was not mentioned at any time to me. This,
I think, will be corroborated by Mr. Young, a clerk in this office, who heard the conversation.
I might state that I always treat all persons civilly and courteously, although at times the
patience of a saint is tried, and more especially in this office. I often wonder that I am not
in the asylum at New Westminster. I do not like to pass any remarks upon any organization, but the B. M. P. A. is one of those institutions that it is hard to fathom, and I should
judge it is more of a political organization than one of mutual benefit for the order.
(See letter in "Vancouver World," 12/9/99.)
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Graham,
Gold Commissioner.
II. Young, Atlin, to J. D. Graham (enclosed with above).
Atlin, B. C, 2Gth Sept., 1899.
J. D. Graham, Esq.,
Gold Commissioner, Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—As requested, I have the honour to furnish for your information the facts, as heard
by me, concerning a conversation which took place some time during the month of August
last, between a man who represented himself to be a delegation appointed by an organization
known as the B. M. P. A., and yourself. The facts of the case, as nearly as I can recollect,
are as follows :—
The man in question came to the door and asked to see you, and being questioned as to
what he wanted, he replied that he wished information from you (presumably for the benefit
of the organization he represented) regarding the work which you intended doing on the roads
and trails in this district. He was told to consult Mr. Cameron, who had entire charge of
that department. He was then told that you had to go to the Court, and for him to go and
see Mr. Cameron, who would give him the desired information. Apparently not being satisfied with this, he again renewed the conversation on your return, and being very busy at the
time, he was told that if these people would attend to their own business that you would
attend to yours.
During the whole conversation nothing whatever of an impolite or discourteous nature
was said, and personally I cannot see any justification for the statement published by the
organization in the "Vancouver World " of Sept. 12th, 1899.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        H. Young, 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 997
A letter was evidently received by Hon. Smith Curtis, but was not handed to be filed in
the Department of Mines, although the reply thereto, which follows, was recorded, being in
the handwriting of the then Minister of Mines, as also the letter to Mr. Graham, which
Hon.  Smith Curtis to  Vlrieh  Bachman.
Victoria, B. C, 13th March, 1900.
Sir,—I have yours of 27th February last, as to demeanour and conduct of officials
towards you. When I hear what is said in reply I shall write you. The questions you ask
are legal questions, which you should properly submit to a lawyer, and not to this department.
With regard to your first question, I may say that no one could very well advise you on that
without seeing the contract between you and the owner of the claim, and even then there
might be a doubt as to which of you should pay.
If Mr. Bickle attempted to stop you working when you had a right to do so, he would, of
course, be acting at his own risk. A person living in a foreign country, if a British subject,
could, of course, hold claims. If claims were transferred it would be the right of the purchaser
to insist on the power of attorney being recorded, and he would be wise to do so.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        Smith Curtis,
Minister of Mines.
Hon. Smith Curtis to J. D.  Graham,  G. G.
Victoria, B. C,  13th March,  1900.
J. D. Graham, Esq.,
Gold Commissioner, Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—Mr. Ulrich Bachman, a placer miner, complains of discourteous treatment at the
hands of Mr. Bickle and a clerk in his office; that his request to see a copy of a judgment
given was refused, and that he had to pay a lawyer $10, who asked for the same record and it
was promptly shown him, but he (Bachman) was not allowed to make a copy of it; also that
Mr. Bickle interfered with his working some claim, although he (Bachman) had an arrangement with the owner to work it.    Please give the other side of this matter.
I trust that you will see that the public are treated courteously by all officials, and in
case any of them fail in this respect, or put them to unnecessary expense, you will not hesitate
to suspend them and report the matter to this Department.
(Signed) Smith Curtis,
Minister of Mines.
J.   D.   Graham,  G. C,  to the Hon.  the Minister of Mines.
Gold Commissioner's Office,
The Honourable the Minister of Mines, Atlin, B. C, March 24th, 1900.
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 13th inst., re
complaint made by a Mr. Bachman of incivility of Mr. Bickle, the Mining Recorder in this
office.    I beg to enclose Mr. Bickle's reply to the same, which I hope will prove satisfactory.
I might point out that the officials in this office have a very hard task in front of them,
on account of the many men requiring the clerks in this office to do work for them in the
shape of hunting up records, etc., which they willingly do if they ha ve the time on their hands.
I might state that I have never heard anything but praise from the miners and others for the
courteous treatment they always receive in the Record Office.
I have impressed on the minds of all parties that " civility is cheap," and it becomes all
persons to treat people with civility, however annoying it may be at the time.
Your instructions in case of incivility will be carried out.
(Signed)        J. D. Graham,
Gold Commissioner. 998 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
Mining Recorder's Office,
Atlin, B. C, 24th March, 1900..
J. D. Graham, Esq.,
Gold Commissioner, Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of a letter written in the form of a
complaint made against myself by one Ulrich Bachman, in which he complains of being treated
discourteously by myself and a clerk in this office; and that I refused to show him a copy of
a judgment; and that he had to pay a lawyer $10, to whom it was promptly shown; and,
further, that I interfered with the working of his claim.
I have the honour to offer my explanation of the matter as follows :—
1st. Neither Mr. Bachman or a lawyer never asked me to show them a copy of any
2nd. With reference to having been treated discourteously by myself and a clerk, I beg
to say that I have only seen Mr. Bachman twice, to my knowledge, and on both occasions he
was treated in a courteous manner by myself; and with reference to a clerk, I beg to say
that there was no clerk present at the time, as I attended to this matter personally, and all
questions asked by Mr. Bachman were answered to the best of my ability.
3rd. I may say that I did interfere with his working the " Mabel" Bench Claim, No. 4
below discovery on Pine Creek, which claim Mr. Bachman did not own, and on which he had
no authority to work. I enclose herewith a copy of a letter received by me from Mr. H. D.
Kirmse, in which he asks me to stop these parties working his claim. I also enclose you a
a letter which I wrote to Mr. Bachman after receiving the letter from Mr. Kirmse. Some
seven days after I had mailed this letter, Mr. Bachman appeared in the office, which, to the
best of my knowledge, was his first appearance. He said that he had made a verbal arrangement with Mr. Kirmse to work the claim during the winter.
I then showed him the letter from Mr. Kirmse, which was to the contrary, and advised
him that he must cease work until satisfactory arrangements were made with the owner of the
claim, which he willingly consented to do. I then asked him how much gold he had taken
out of the claim during the time he was working it, and he said five ounces had been taken
out by him. Some few days afterwards, Mr. Kirmse arrived from Skagway for the purpose of
ascertaining who was working his claim, and made satisfactory arrangements with Mr. Bachman, but found that, instead of five ounces, he had extracted between seventeen and eighteen
ounces of gold from the claim. Mr. Bachman then came and saw me a second time, informing
me that the matter had been settled, which I was pleased to hear, and I said I would like him
to pay me the royalty on eighteen ounces, which he ultimately did. I may say that I have
not seen Mr. Bachman from that day to this. Trusting that this explanation will be
(Signed)        E. W. Bickle.
Mining Recorder.
Skagway, Alaska, 6th January, 1900.
Mr. E. W. Bickle,
Mining Recorder, Atlin, B. C.
Dear Sir,—I have been notified by a party in Atlin that there is three men working
with a rocker on " Mabel" Bench Claim, No. 4 above discovery on Pine Creek, without
authority from me. I wish you would look into this at once and have it stopped, and collect
whatever they have taken out; and what the expense will be I will settle with you when I
come in, as I expect to leave here soon for Atlin.
Please answer, as I am anxious to hear from there.
(Signed)        H. D. Kirmse. 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 999
Mr. Bachman, Pine Town, B. C.
Sir,—It is reported to this office that you are working on the "Mabel" Bench Claim,
No. 4 above discovery on Pine Creek, without any authority from the owners. Before doing
any more work upon the said claim, you will please report yourself to this office.
(Signed)        E. W.   Bickle.
Alining Recorder.
Hon. Smith Curtis to J. D. Graham, G. G.
Victoria, B. C, 10th April, 1900.
./. D. Graham, Esq.,
Gold Commissioner, Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th ult., enclosing Mr.
Bickle's answer to Mr. Bachman's complaint. I am glad to see by Mr. Bickle's explanation
that Mr. Bachman's grievance is probably very much magnified. It is quite probable that an
abrupt and short answer by an official is often taken as an affront by the average hardy
prospector, and I hope that your excellent motto, " Civility is cheap," will be acted upon by
all the officials under you.
(Signed)        Smith Curtis,
Minister of Mines.
Hon. Smith Curtis to Ulrich Bachman.
Victoria, B. C, 13th April, 1900.
Ulrich Bachman, Esq.,
Pine City, Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—Referring to your letter dated the 27th February, I may say that I have made
enquiries through the Gold Commissioner with regard to the charge you make against Mr.
Bickle and one of his clerks of discourteous treatment. From the reply elicited, I fancy you
perhaps expect too much from the officials who, I understand, are kept very busy, and have a
great many enquiries made to them that, perhaps, ought to be made from other persons. At
the same time, I think it wrong if your enquiries do not receive that respectful consideration
which I think it is the duty of Government officials to show the public, whose servants, and
not masters, they really are. I do not think you will have any cause for complaint in the
future in that office.
With regard to the questions which you ask me, I may say that, properly, you should get
replies to them from a lawyer rather than me.
First. As to who should pay the royalty must depend, in the first instance, upon the
agreement between parties. With regard to your agreement, I have no copy of it before me,
and therefore cannot answer that question. If the claim is being worked upon shares, and
nothing is said about royalty, I should say each party should pay his portion.
Second. Mr. Bickle has explained why he asked you to stop work, and I think he acted
quite properly. On the other hand, I do not think you were bound to stop work because he
asked you to do so, but if you had refused, and the owner of the claim made good his charges
against you—and you would have had little chance to rebut his evidence, as your agreement
was not in writing—it might become a serious matter for you. I think Mr. Bickle acted
fairly towards you in this matter.
The other two questions you ask I answered in my previous letter.
I may say, in conclusion, that if you act honourably and do not bother the officials with
matters with which they have nothing to do, I am quite certain you will have no trouble, and
get along all right in following your avocation of placer mining, but if you do not make truthful returns of the gold you recover—and it is charged you do not—you will, and you certainly
ought to, get into trouble.
(Signed)        Smith Curtis,
Minister of Alines. 1000 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
E. J. Thain to the Hon. the Minister of Mines.
Atlin, B. O, 30th May, 1900.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith a protest, signed by claim owners and miners
on Boulder Creek, from No. 5 above Discovery to No. 35 below, against the granting of
hydraulic leases on said creek, some of which have been staked off and are now nearly due to
go through; a duplicate of enclosure has been handed to the Gold Commissioner here.
Many leases have been staked off here, all over the different known paying placer mining
creeks, and as it has been everybody's business to protest against them nobody did it, and the
miners are now realizing their mistake, and are becoming alarmed at the position they are
finding themselves in, that of being slowly but surely driven out of the district, as under the
present ruling recorded claims enclosed by mining leases, if abandoned or allowed to lapse by
the owners, may not be re-recorded by the owners or other "free miners," but lapse not to the
Crown but to the leaseholder, with the result that if this system is pursued a very short time
will suffice to close every known paying creek against the placer miner, and unprospected and
unknown creeks even will be found covered with hydraulic lease applications held for speculation.
In connection with enclosed protest, I would say that the signatures thereon only represent a small part of the owners and miners on even that portion, as many who will be there
later know that it is too cold and frozen to work advantageously.
(Signed)        Edward J. Thain.
To the Honourable the Alinister of Mines,
Victoria, B. C.
Boulder Creek, Atlin, B. C, 29th May, 1900.
Sir,—We, the undersigned free miners on Boulder Creek, hereby protest against the
granting of any leases for hydraulic mining purposes of any portion of Boulder Creek which at
any time has been, or is, recorded to free miners, and which have been applied for, or applications pending, until such time as the creek shall really be abandoned by placer miners, excepting such as may have already been granted and issued, as being contrary to the spirit, as well
as the letter, of the "Placer Mining Act," section 94.
We would also call your attention to the hardship this course, if followed, works to placer
miners through valuable ground being placed out of the reach of any incoming prospectors ;
many of the recorded owners having left for Cape Nome or elsewhere, unworked ground could
be re-located by incoming miners, and no doubt will be, if left as Crown lands.
(Signed)        Geo. M. Mead,
ii Edward J. Thain,
ii P. J. Clark,
ii B. Svenceski and 28 others.
To the Honourable the Minister of Mines,
Victoria, B. C.
Mallcott Richardson to E. J. Thain.
Victoria, B. C, 14th July, 1900.
'E. J. Thain, Esq., Atlin, B. C.
Sir,—In the absence of the Hon. the Minister of Mines, I beg to acknowledge the receipt
of your letter of the 30th May last, enclosing a protest on the part of the owners of claims on
Boulder Creek against the granting of hydraulic leases on the said creek.
If any applications for leases on this creek should be submitted by the Gold Commissioner,
I will see that the attention of the Minister of Mines is called to your letter and the protest
(Signed)        Mallcott Richardson,
L 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1001
Extract from a Copy of the Resolutions passed at a Mass Meeting of Miners held at Atlin on
the 21st of June, 1899.
" 4th. Resolved, that the present Gold Commissioner, J. D. Graham, has not come up to
the expectations formed of him; that he has shown what appears to us to be much indecision
of character; that he has postponed cases repeatedly which he ought, by the powers granted
him, to have settled on a first hearing; and, further, that he, as Gold Commissioner, has
allowed and sanctioned the nefarious practice in vogue in the Government Office of taking
successive fees from many miners for recording one and the same claim, thus producing a state
of affairs amounting practically to a deadlock, and unparalleled in the history of any country,
and in our judgment matters have been much aggravated by the record books not having been
kept posted up to date."    Carried.
(Signed)        Alfred Monk, Chairman,
ii Harry Cowan, Secretary.
W. Queen to the Hon. the Attorney-General.
Atlin, July 31st, 1900.
D. M. Eberts, Esq., Q. C, Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. G.
Hon. Sir,—I herewith beg leave to address you in reference to a case of assault under a
complaint laid by me before E. M. N. Woods, Esq., S. M. of this district, against one T. T.
Brackett. I claim the conduct of the Magistrate was most outrageous during the trial, and
before and after the same. The miners and residents here claim most unjust decisions and
rulings under his jurisdiction against them in the matter of working their individual claims in
favour of the richer hydraulic companies who are able to bestow more favours.
In the case complained of, he dismissed the case in dispute in favour of the hydraulic
company, which the evidence did not bear out, and after the Court was dismissed, and I had
left the Court House and was on the street, I said: "The Justice did not understand the case."
He then sent his constable to the street after me, and arrested me, and committed me to gaol
for the remainder of the day, or 6 p. m. Therefore I respectfully ask that you will order an
investigation into the actions and conduct of the Magistrate on this occasion, as well as during
his term of office here, which I am sure, not only on this occasion, but since he came here, his
conduct has been most reprehensible and unsatisfactory to the people at large in the district,
and that he is totally without the confidence and trust of the people. Hoping that you will
grant the above request, I remain respectfully yours, <fec.
(Signed)        William Queen.
J. D.  Graham, G. C, to the Hon. the Attorney-General.
Gold Commissioner's Office,
Atlin Lake, B. C, Sept. 29th, 1899.
To the Honourable the Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose petition received by me from J. H. Brooks, of this
town, which explains itself, and Mr. Woods', Stipendiary Magistrate, answer to the same.
I wish to make no comment on the proceedings, which explain themselves.
Mr. Brooks desired me to take action in the matter, as being the representative of the
Government. This I declined to do, informing him that my power would not allow me to
interfere with the Magistrate, who was acting in his capacity as a Judge, and informed him
that his attorney would attend to his business.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Graham,
Gold Commissioner. 1002 Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1900
To J. D. Graham, Esq.,
Gold Commissioner and Stipendiary Magistrate, Atlin, B. C.
Dear Sir,—The petition of the undersigned sheweth as follows : —
(1.) That on or about the 12th day of September, instant, one J. Carlson claimed from
me the sum of $235 :
(2.) That on or about said day the said Carlson transferred to one
$100, and to another person named $35, proportions of said claim for $235 :
(3.) That on said 12th day of September, Mr. E. M. N. Woods, your Co. Stipendiary
Magistrate, knowing all the circumstances of the case, and, I have reason to believe, advising
the course to pursue, issued out of the Small Debts Court three separate summons against
me in respect of the said claim of J. Carlson for $235, and notwithstanding the objections to
his jurisdiction to hear the cases, on the ground that the cause of action was for more than
$100, the limit of the said Court, he insisted upon hearing the same, remarking that he well
knew that he had not the right to adjudicate upon the said matter, but that he would take
the responsibility of doing so; and the said Stipendiary Magistrate gave judgment against me
in respect thereof for the full amount of the said Carlson's claim, namely: for $100 in the
action sued on in his own name, and for $100 and $35 in the actions sued on in the two other
persons' names :
(4.) That the said Carlson, in giving his evidence, swore that I owed him the amount of
his claim for $235, and that he divided it for the express purpose of making use of the Small
Debts Court:
(5.) That on the same day that the said actions were heard and determined, the said
Magistrate issued a judgment summons in the Carlson action, against me, returnable the same
afternoon, and the said Magistrate put me through a most severe examination as to my means
of satisfying the said claim, and as to my property :
(6.) That I, on said examination, in the fullest manner informed the said Magistrate all
about my business and financial affairs, and that I had no property or means of satisfying the
said claim or any part thereof. Notwithstanding such evidence, the said Magistrate ordered
that I should pay the said claim in weekly instalments of $20, the first to be paid on Tuesday
last, the 19th :
(7.) Since the said order was made I have not been able to earn any money, and I so
reported to the Magistrate, and he, much to my annoyance and loss, has been ordering me to
appear before him from day to day :
(8.) On the morning of the 23rd day of September I reported as usual, and was told I
would be committed to gaol if I did not pay the said instalment at once. I consulted my
solicitor, who prepared the following affidavit :—
" In the Small Debts Court of Vancouver,
" Holden at Atlin,
" Between
"J.  Carlson ------ Plaintiff,
"J. H. Brooks - -    Defendant.
" I, J. H. Brooks, of the Atlin Mining Division, British Columbia, the above-named
defendant, make oath and say :—
"(1.) That on the 12th day of September, instant, the date of issuing of the summons
herein, I was not possessed of sufficient means, nor had I the ability to pay the debt or costs
recovered against me herein, or any portion thereof :
"(2.) That subsequent to the said 12th day of September I have not been able to earn
any money, and I am not now in any better financial condition than I was on the said 12 th
day of September :
" (3.) That I am not now, nor was I on the said 12th day of September, possessed of any
ready money, or securities for money, nor am I now possessed of any other property other
than mentioned on the hearing of the said judgment summons :
" (4.) That I am not able to pay the said judgment debt, or any part thereof, or the
instalment directed to be paid thereon, and as a matter of fact I am not now possessed of one
"Sworn, etc., (Signed)        "J. H. Brooks.
(Signed)        "C. W. Sawers." 64 Vict. Complaints against Officials, Atlin District. 1003
(9.) That, after swearing to the said affidavit, I handed the same to the said Magistrate,
who, after reading it, declared it would not help me a particle, and he instituted another cross-
examination, and directed me to obtain a letter from the manager of the Bank of Halifax,
stating that I had no money on deposit in said bank, and, as requested, I obtained and handed
to him a letter, of which the following is a copy :—
" The Merchants' Bank of Halifax,
"Atlin, September 23rd, 1899.
" E. M. N. Woods, Esq.,
"Stipendiary Magistrate, Atlin.
" Dear Sir,—This is to certify that J. H. Brooks has no account at this bank, and that
I hold no funds of his " Yours truly,
(Signed)        " W. A. Spencer,
" Manager."
(10.) That I immediately returned and handed said letter to said Magistrate, who, after
reading it, directed me to appear before him on Monday morning :
(11.) That my wife has business interests at White Horse, and, owing to her illness, it is
most important that I should go there for a few days to attend to same. I informed the said
Magistrate of the same, and he ordered me not to leave town, where I and my family reside :
(12.) I only intend being away for a few days, and have no intention of removing from
Atlin :
(13.) Under all of the circumstances above set forth, I have reason to believe, and do
believe, that I have been and am most unjustly treated by the said Magistrate, and, as you
are the head official for the Province in this District, I humbly petition that you will have
this matter inquired into and justice meted out.
And your petitioner will ever pray.
(Signed)        J. H.  Brooks.
Atlin, B. C, September 23rd, 1899.
Registrar's Office, Supreme and County Courts,
Atlin, B. C, September 27th, 1899.
J. D. Graham, Esq., Atlin, B. G.
Re Brooks.
Dear Sir,—I am in receipt of one petition in this matter, and have read the same
The same, like all such documents, contains a certain amount of truth, with a great many
misleading statements, which apparently have been purposely put in. Brooks was examined
as a judgment debtor on the 12th day of September, and was ordered to pay $20 a week, and
since that date he was told by myself, over and over again, that if I was satisfied he could
not make the first payment, I would withdraw the order. I have one strong opinion that he
could pay, and, as you will observe, he has had from the 12th to the 26th to pay me the first
payment, and yesterday Mr. Brooks paid $10 on account, after a lapse of two weeks, and has,
I believe, left town on business. Mr. Brooks informed me himself that, he had no complaint
such as set out in one petition, but that the same was the outcome of a desire on Mr. Sawer's
part to prejudice my position if he could, the latter, on the very day the petition was drawn
by him, having been refused a hearing before me until he apologised, which, by the way, he
did yesterday.
The whole trouble, really, was a struggle between myself, to have my order obeyed, and
Brooks, to disobey. So soon as he showed the slightest attempt to carry it out, I, on duty
bound, more than met him.    This I deem to be the functions of one in my position.
The complaint, of course, I hope you will forward, together with my letter.
Yours obediently,
(Signed)        E. M. N. Woods.
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items