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RETURN To an Order of the House for a Return of all correspondence and papers, of any kind whatsoever,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1900

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 63 Vict.     Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 505
RETURN
To an Order of the House for a Return of all correspondence and papers, of any kind
whatsoever, in relation to the cancellation of the pre-emption claim of Thomas
Tugwell at Log Cabin.
F. CARTER-COTTON,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Lands and Works Department,
28th January, 1900.
Victoria, February 9th, 1899.
Thomas Tugwell, Esq.,
Log Cabin.
Sir,—Your pre-emption record for one hundred and sixty acres of land situated at Log
Cabin Settlement, Cassiar District, has been cancelled by this Department, for the reason that
the land was not bona fide taken up by you for agricultural purposes, as provided by section 6
of chapter 113 of the Revised Statutes of British Columbia. Your rights to this land have
therefore ceased, and upon receipt of this letter you will discontinue collecting rents from any
person whatsoever in connection with the said land, and also give up your occupancy of the
said land.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        C. A. Semlin,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Victoria, February 9th, 1899.
Captain W. J. Rant,
Mining Recorder, Lake Bennett, B.C.
Sir;—As Mr. Graham has by this time left for Atlin Lake, I write this letter to you.
Enclosed find copy of a letter addressed to Thomas Tugwell, of Log Cabin. I do not know
whether this letter will reach him by mail. You will therefore write a similar letter to him
forthwith upon receiving this, stating that you have been instructed so to do by this Department, and see that he gets it as early as possible. You will also cause public notice to be
given to all persons at Log Cabin that M r. Tugwell's pre-emption at Log Cabin has been cancelled, and that they are no longer under any obligation to pay him rent for any portion of
this land.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        C. A. Semlin,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works. 506 Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 1899
Victoria, B.C., March 9th, 1899.
The Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria. B.C.
Dear Sir,—Mr. Thomas Tugwell has consulted us with reference to his pre-emption, No.
1, Log Cabin, Cassiar District, which said pre-emption was recorded at Lake Bennett on the
24th of June, 1898, although Mr. Tugwell had been in possession of the laud some 10 months
previous thereto.
It appears that, on the 9th of February, the Government wrote Mr. Tugwell, notifying
him that the Department of Lands and Works had cancelled the record of his pre-emption
claim above mentioned, for the reason that the land was not bona fide taken up by him for
agricultural purposes, and requiring him to give up his occupancy of the same.
Our client considers it only fair that if any charges have been made against him in connection with this land, upon which the Department bases its reason for alleging that Mr.
Tugwell did not pre-empt this land in good faith, as required by the land laws, that he should
have some notice of the same, and a reasonable opportunity afforded him for answering them ;
but it would seem that, instead of following this course, the Department has condemned Mr.
Tugwell unheard, and cancelled his record upon information of which he had no notice, and
which we presume was not even put in the shape of a declaration.
Every miner en route has had full permission to cut all timber that was required for fuel
and tent-building purposes without charge, yet, notwithstanding this, we are informed that
the Department charges Mr. Tugwell with having acted in an arbitrary manner in this respect,
and with having collected payment for the privilege of cutting timber. On the contrary, so
liberally has our client dealt with the people in this respect that the Government Agent
notified him that he was making a mistake, and required him to keep an account of the
timber so cut on his pre-emption claim, as he would be charged royalty for the same by the
Government.
This land was pre-empted by Mr. Tugwell in good faith, for his own personal use and not
for speculating purposes; he has been a resident on the ground ever since; he has expended
large sums of money in improving the same and in the erection of buildings thereon; he has
reserved the timber on the portion suitable for agricultural purposes for fencing, which work
will be proceeded with this summer; and, in consequence of the expenditures of money as
aforesaid, and of the labours of Mr. Tugwell, Log Cabin has become a place of some importance, and it is manifestly unjust that he should now be deprived of the benefit of his labours,
and of the advantages which have solely accrued as the result of his own efforts.
If any representations have been made to the Department adverse to our client, we would
like to have the opportunity of dealing with same and answering them, and, on behalf of Mr.
Tugwell, we invite the fullest investigation concerning Mr. Tugwell's pre-emption, and of all
and every act of his in connection with the same since the record and since he has been on the
land, and we feel convinced that the result will be favourable to our client, and, for those
reasons, we respectfully request that the Department reconsider the question of the cancellation of Mr. Tugwell's record.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Fell & Gregory.
Victoria, March 11th, 1899.
Gentlemen,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th
inst., respecting Mr. Thomas Tugwell's pre-emption at Log Cabin. Your letter has been laid
before the Honourable the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and with a view to the
better understanding of the matter in question, I have to-day written to our agent at Atlin,
requesting him to report to me fully on the matter. When I hear from him, I will again
have the pleasure of communicating with you.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        W. S. Gore,
Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Messrs. Fell & Gregory,
Barristers, &c, Victoria, B.C. 63 Vict.     Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 507
Victoria, March 11th, 1899.
Sir,—As you are aware, a short time ago the Government cancelled the pre-emption
claim of Mr. Thomas Tugwell, at Log Cabin, on the ground that it was not taken up or being
held for agricultural purposes, in the manner prescribed by the Land Act. Mr. Tugwell
strongly protests against this cancellation, stating that he did pre-empt the land in good faith
as required by the Land Laws for his own personal use and not for speculation purposes ; that
he has been resident on the ground ever since, and that he has expended large sums of money
in improving the same and in the erection of buildings thereon.
The Department has been informed that the land in question is not of a nature suitable
for cultivation, and that it is questionable whether it can be used strictly for farming.
I am desired by the Government to request you to report fully on the whole subject. It
will not be necessary for you to make a trip there for that purpose, as you are no doubt fully
conversant with the matter and aware of the nature of the land at that place.
Complaints have been made about Mr. Tugwell collecting tolls from travellers for cutting
timber on this ground. He, however, denies that and states that he granted permission to
every miner the right to cut all timber that was required for fuel and building purposes without charge.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        W. S. Gore,
Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Works.
J. D. Graham, Esq.,
Government Agent, Atlin, B. C.
Care A. C. James, Esq.,
Special P. 0. Agent, Skagway, A laska.
Victoria, B. C, March 28th, 1899.
The Hon. Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Re Thomas Tugwell's pre-emption No. 1, Log Cabin, Cassiar District.
Dear Sir,—On the 9th of March instant, we wrote you fully on this matter, and on the
11th instant, received your reply stating that, with a view to a better understanding of the
matter in question, you had written to your Agent at Atlin (which we presume is a mistake
for Lake Bennett), requesting him to report to you fully on the matter.
On receipt of your reply, we wrote Mr. Tugwell advising him of same, and at the same
time informing him that we considered he would be quite safe in putting in crops and proceeding with the erection of his fences, as we were convinced that the policy of the Government
was one of progress and improvement and not one of stagnation.
We presume there has not been time yet for you to have received a reply from your Agent,
and perhaps this may account, to some extent, for the complaint we have just received from
our client, who informs us that notwithstanding that the ground for complaint against him
was that he refused to allow anybody and everybody to take all the timber and wood they
desired from his land without compensation, the inference being that he should have allowed
all people to help themselves without let or hindrance, he has been visited by the Government's
Collector, who has demanded payment of ground-rent from him and his tenants, also payment
of hand-logger's licence for cutting fuel wherewith to keep themselves warm, and for payment
of royalty for timber which had been cut and actually used in the erection of buildings.
This seems a very harsh and unfair way of dealing with a man who is endeavoring to
make a home in that wild country, and who has moved up his family to assist him in so doing.
If it is the. policy of the Government to drive out all such intending settlers and prevent
all improvements of that nature, the right method is being pursued, but, as we have said
before, we do not believe this to be the intention of the Government, of which we think your 508 Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 1899
reply to ours of the 9th is evidence, and we request that until your Agent makes the report
referred to in your letter of the 11th inst., and until the Department has fully decided what
action they intend taking in this matter, that the Government Agent at Lake Bennett should
be notified not to interfere with Mr. Tugwell or his tenants in possession of his said preemption claim.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Fell & Gregory.
Victoria, March 30th 1899.
Gentlemen,—I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 28th inst., on
the subject of a demand made by the Government's officer for payment of ground rent and
timber dues on land being occupied by Mr. Thomas Tugwell at Log Cabin, Cassiar District.
In reply I beg to say that Mr. Tugwell's pre-emption record has been cancelled, as you are
aware ; he has therefore no status whatever as a pre-emptor at present. As to whether he
will be reinstated or not depends upon the nature of the report from the Government Agent
for the district (whose headquarters are at Atlin, not Bennett). In the meantime the collection of ground rent and royalty on timber cannot be interfered with.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        F. Carter-Cotton,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Messrs. Fell <& Gregory, Barristers, etc.,
Victoria, B. C.
Gold Commissioner's Office,
Atlin Lake, B. C, April 14th, 1899.
The Hon. The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Land Department, Victoria, B. G.
Sir,—In reference to your letter of the 11th ult. (received 7th inst.), re Tugwell's preemption, I have the honour to report as follows :—
1. From enquiries I have made, not having seen the ground without its covering of snow,
the land is unsuitable for agricultural purposes. Taking the railroad track as a fair sample of
the land, it is covered with large and small boulders which were no doubt deposited there by
some glacier.
2. In regard to his not having taken it up for speculative purposes, this is not borne out
by persons who have located on the land ; he charged exhorbitant rates for even locating a
tent on the ground from 25c. a night to as high as $40 a month.
3. The enormous expense he has gone to is not borne out; all he had erected when I was
there was a small log hut, that he used for hotel purposes, and another one in course of erection. This was a necessity for his business, and no other improvements have been made
by him.
4. Mr. Tugwell tells an untruth when he states he did not collect tolls; this he did, and
so exacting, that unless a man paid up at once he made him move off the ground ; in fact the
whole country was taken up by the Tugwell family and friends for miles. This, no doubt, was
with a view of exacting compensation from the R. R.
I have instructed Constable Owen to obtain a return of all rents, etc., collected by Mr.
Tugwell and forward same to me.
I would strongly recommend that Mr. Tugwell be made pay into the Government Treasury
at least one-half of his collections, allowing the other half for his services.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        J. D. Graham,
Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works. 63 Vict.     Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 509
Victoria, B. C, April 29th, 1899.
The Hon.  the Chief Commissioner of Lands and   Works,
Victoria, B.  C.
Re Thos.  Tugiuell's Pre-emption  Claim No. 1, Log Cabin,  Cassiar District.
Dear Sir,—We beg to ask if you are in a position to reply to our letter of the 9th March
last.
As we have written several letters to Mr. Tugwell and received replies, we presume that
your Agent at Atlin has also had time to make his report to the Department.
The matter is pressing for the reason that our client has made all arrangements for fencing
a portion of the land and sowing the same with grass and vegetables, and unless he is enabled
to attend to this work very soon the whole season will be lost to him and, in addition to this,
the trees that he had reserved for fence rails are being cut and used for fire-wood by miners
and others who are not even British subjects.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Fell & Gregory.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, May 3rd, 1899,
Gentlemen,—In reply to your letter of the 29th ultimo, on the subject of Mr. Thomas
Tugwell's pre-emption claim at Log Cabin, I beg to enclose a copy of the report of Mr. Graham,
Government Agent at Atlin, upon the matter, which has just been received. In consideration
of this report it is quite impossible for the Government to re-instate Mr. Tugwell in his preemption, which you are aware was cancelled. No objection will, however, be offered to his
being granted a lease of, say, 5 acres of land, to include his buildings, if he desires to have one.
I have, etc.,
Messrs.  Fell <k Gregory,
Barristers,  &c,   Victoria, B.  C.
(Signed)        F. Carter-Cotton,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works.
Victoria, B. C, May 2nd, 1899.
The Hon.  the  Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works,
Victoria, B.  C.
Re  Thos.   Tugwell's Pre-emption No.  1,   Cassiar District.
Dear Sir,—We have the honour to enclose herewith a petition from the residents of Log
Cabin, Cassiar District, dealing with the bona fides of Mr. Tugwell in pre-empting the piece of
land upon which he is located at Log Cabin.
The petition is signed by all the residents of Log Cabin but two, the two exceptions
referred to are the U. S. Customs Officer and a man named Barrett.
Yours truly,
(Signed)        Fell & Gregory. 510 Cancellation of Thomas Tugwell's Pre-emption Claim. 1899
Log Cabin, B. C, April 14th, 1899.
To the Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works,
Victoria, B. C.
We, the undersigned residents of Log Cabin, beg to say that Thomas Tugwell, the pre-
emptor of Log Cabin vicinity, has not used his position in an arbitrary manner, and did not
charge us for any timber required by us for building purposes, and in every respect has treated
us in a fair manner, and has done all in his power to comply with the law.
(Signed)        B. C. Northern Trading Co., by B. E. Ball, Mgr.
n Graves Hotel, M. Graves,
ii ii G. B. Addington and thirteen others.
Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, May 4th, 1899.
Gentlemen,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2nd
inst., enclosing a petition from the residents of Log Cabin, Cassiar District, dealing with the
bona fides of Mr. Thomas Tugwell in pre-empting the piece of land upon which he is located
at that place.
In view of the Government Agent's report, a copy of which I have sent to you, I do not
see any reason to change the decision expressed in my letter of yesterday.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        F. Carter-Cotton,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works.
Messrs. Fell & Gregory,
Barristers, &c,   Victoria, B.  C.
victoria, b. C:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
1900.

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