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Second annual report of Immigration Agents, British Columbia British Columbia 1884

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VICTORIA: Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office, James' Bay.
1885.  i
VICTORIA: Printed by Riohaed Wo_i_ndbn, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing Office, James' Bay.
1886.  48 Vic.
Immigration Reports.
Year 1884.
To the Honourable Clement Francis Cornwall,
Lieutenant- Governor of the Province of British Columbia:
May it please Your Honour:
The undersigned has the honour to present the Second Annual Reports of the
Immigration Agents, British Columbia, for the year 1884.
Minister of Agriculture.
Victoria, 23rd* January, 1885.  48 Vic. Immigration Reports. 297
Provincial Government Immigration Office,
New Westminster, B. C, 10th December, 1884.
I have the honour to submit the following report, with tabular statements
annexed, for the period of eleven months, ending November the 30th, 1884.
The total number arriving at this agency during the above period was 2,697
souls. There were, as is always the case, a large number of arrivals on the mainland who entered without coming under my notice; and this is more especially the
case with those possessed of considerable means. A great number also find their
way through the many channels of communication from the American side, and I
have no doubt that fully 50 per cent, more than those reported enter in these ways.
The immigrants arrived in good health and are generally well fitted for settlers,
the greater portion of them being farmers and mechanics, and as a general rule just
the class adapted for a new country, strong active men and women. It is a truisim
that only the most energetic and self-reliant men have pluck enough to leave their
homes and seek to better their condition in an unknown and distant land. The very
fact that they have the courage to face the trials and difficulties necessary to be encountered in a new land is sufficient evidence of their strength of character, and to
such we should give all the inducements and encouragement possible.
By the able assistance of the local Agents, there has been no difficulty in locating immigrants on arrival, and those in quest of labor obtained ready employment
at good wages on the.Canadian Pacific Railway and Provincial public works at present under construction.
It will be seen from the accompanying tabulated statement, that the immigration
for 1884 came from the mother country, the Eastern Provinces of the Dominion
(Ontario standing at the head of the list with 542) and from the Western States of
America—Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Washington Territory. This influx in a
large measure is due to the efforts made by the Department of Agriculture, in having
the wealth and resources of the Province made better known abroad—no effort has
been spared in sending pamphlets and hand-books all over Europe, America and
Australia, thus spreading the knowledge of the fertility and the many other natural
advantages enjoyed by this favoured Province.
The efforts which American transportation companies are making to advertise
the lands through which their roads run should be an incentive to our own Government not to spare any expense in spreading abroad a true and thorough account of
the fertile country to which we invite immigration.
I would here suggest the vital importance of old settlers welcoming immigrants
on their arrival and helping them in every way possible. A great deal depends upon
the first impression which the new comer receives of his location and surroundings,
and the treatment from those who are to be his future neighbours. In Manitoba,
Minnesota and Dakota, those who have already secured a home are always anxious
to help beginners. They show them the best locations, help to build their houses, to
break and clear land, to sow the seed, and in a hundred ways aid the new settler.
These new settlers will then become active immmigration agents themselves.
f They will write to old friends and induce them to come out and settle along side of
them.    It would be well if our own settlers would imitate this example.
The fertile valleys of Kamloops, Nicola, Spallumcheen, Similkameen, Kootenay,
and Okanagan are rapidly settling up. Railway construction and Provincial public
works are creating a boom of prosperity such as has not been known since the golden
days of '62.
Another and very important move is the active measures taken by the Government in opening roads for the settlers, thus affording ready means to reach a market
with their produce. Nothing so much encourages the American immigrant as our
liberal system of road-making.
^£9» 298 . Immigration Reports. 1884
The present road policy should be continued as long as the resources of the
country will permit. The increase of settlers in this District is so rapid that new
claims for roads are constantly springing up in quarters where they were not looked for.
The accommpanying map not only shows the roads constructed, but it shows
as well the quarter sections taken up during the present year, amounting to 1;086
claims, or 173,761 acres of land. This must of necessity involve large additional
expenditure for new roads.
The Chilliwhack Exhibition, held in October last, was largely attended, and the
exhibits showed a marked improvement on' previous ones. The samples of grain,
fruit and dairy produce, were the best ever exhibited here.
I am also pleased to state that during the past eleven months, 1C5 have taken
the aliens' declaration oath—seventy-seven of this number being Americans— a
superior class of settlers and bringing with them considerable means.
The final location of the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus, will involve a large
expenditure of money in the construction of works and buildings required to accommodate the traffic on the completion of the railway from ocean to ocean, in November, 1885, affording employment to hundreds of artizans and laborers.
The immigration we have received this year, in consequence of the efforts to
make known the advantages of the Province, is only an earnest of what may be expected in coming years, and this is foreshadowed by the great number of letters
received at this agency by every mail from almost all quarters of the globe.
It is desirable for all intending emigrants to leave early in the spring, for by so
doing they will be able to take advantage of the most favourable season to explore
for locations.
During the past year there has been a great improvement throughout the
mainland, in all branches of business. Real estate has advanced both in city and
country, far beyond the expectations of the most sanguine, and there has been developed a general feeling of confidence and activity in all branches of industry. New
manufactories have been established, and old ones enlarged ; new houses have been"
started in various branches of trade, to meet the growing demands; and failures have
been very few.
In this city, more buildings have been erected than in any previous year, and
still the population is so rapidly increasing that there is not an empty house or room
in the city. A great many of the new comers are purchasing property and building
very comfortable houses.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servent,
To the Hon. John Robson, Minister of Agriculture,
Victoria B. C.
New Westminster, B. C,
13th January, 1884.
I have the honour to forward statement C showing the actual locations or quarter sections taken up by each individual settler in this District during the year 1884.
And since closing my Report on the 30th November, for the year 1884, I beg
to report that up to date, not less than sixty-two have registered at this office, and
nearly all have located on land.
A Mr. McDonald and family arrived the other day per steamer " Idaho," from
Canada, and has, en route per Northern Pacific Railway, several car loads of live
stock, machinery and farming implements. He has purchased two very fine farms
in this District, one for hims.lf and one for his son.    Mr.  McDonald is a gentleman 48 Vic.
Immigration Reports.
possessed of considerable means, and he informs me that several friends are to follow
him as soon as spring opens up. Mr. McDonald was here last spring, and made a
careful examination of all lands on the Lower Fraser, and the result is that he is
back with us, and many will follow him.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
To the. Hon. John Robson, Minister of Agriculture,
Victoria, B. 0.
RETURN shewing number, occupation, sex, etc., of immigrants recorded at the
Provincial Immigration Office, New Westminster, during the eleven months ending
November 30th, 1884, and their ultimate destination.
Oi B
Tbades and
General Destination.
a    3 i  _i
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1751676 270 2697'207 176 66-542>49 142 88 37 811152 25|14!26;64:1020 54 84   315891 1321 _8_l51,7l|ll 42   112
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Aliens who have taken the Declaration Oath.
United States  77
Germany      .'  10
Denmark  1
Sweden      5
Prance  —
Italy  5
Norway  4
Holland :.... —
Austria  2
China  1
Total     105
^SP" 300
Immigration Reports.
STATEMENT showing the actual number of locations taken up and settled upon
in the several Townships, Groups, Blocks and Ranges and unsurveyed lands in
the New Westminster District.
No. of % Sections.
<       2
'   3....
(      *7
'  10
'  12..
'  13
<  14	
'  15	
'  17
'  18..
'  23....
'  26....
'  27...
(  40....
'  41
<  42....
DUp 1	
>cks and Ranges	
surveved Lands	
173,760 acres
William Ross,
Immigration Agent, New Westminster, B. C.
Langley Prairie, 19th November, 1884.
Hon. John Robson,
Provincial Secretary.
Sir,—As Immigration Agent for the Municipality of Langley and adjoining districts, I beg to report that no less than eighty settlers have taken up quarter sections
of land in this and the adjacent townships during the past year. These persons have
all made more or less improvements, and appear to be well satisfied with their locations. I may also state that there is plenty of land in this vicinity fit for settlement
and still unoccupied.
I have, etc.,
W. H. Vanetta. 48 Vic. Immigration Reports. 301
Yictoria, December 31st, 1884.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my report as Immigrant Guide for
Vancouver Island since May 1st, eight months.
During the month of April I accompanied two parties to Salt Spring, Hornby
and Denman Islands.    Some of those men afterwards settled in Alberni.
May 1st, Cowichan.—Party consisting of E. Dawson, J. Hunter and H. Oalwell.
None of those, however, located.
May 14th,     " A. A. Brownell, J. and A. Camp, J. Camp, sen'r,  H. O.
Wellburn, J. Nicholson, D. Christie, A. Brant, J. A. Lawrence.    These took up locations.
May 20th,     " H. and D. Farnworth,- R. Guest, J. Black, James Black,
A. Young, R. D. Wilson and P. Henderson.    Five selected pre-emption claims.
May 28th, Nanaimo.—J. F. Bott, J. C. McLaren, J. McKenow, A. S. Lackie, D.
Sunderland and C. Bott.    Five located on Englishman's
River and French Creek.
During the month nine other settlers, not belonging to the above parties, located
in Cowichan District, and two above Nanaimo.
June 5th, Cowichan.—J. Knox, —Dunning, J. Bitton, H. Ratfish and S. Holmes.
None of those located.
June 13th,        " S. Holmes.    Located.
June 20th,       1 T. Kenon, J. McFarlane and A. Christie.    None selected
July   2nd, Alberni.—S. Beddis and R. Purdy.    Neither took up land.
July 18th,        " Kenneth McKenzie, who settled on the Sumas River with
a large family.
August 4th,     ." W. Sterling and F. Pierce.    Both took up claims.
August 26th,   | H. O. Troup, — Pike and H.  C.  Halpenny.    No pre
September 12th, Salmon River.—Morgan and Poat.    No locations selected.
October 1st, Alberni.—T. Lewis, J. Hurlbert, B. McPherson.    All located.
October 22nd,     " H.  McKenzie,  N.  Quigley and P.  Cummerford.    All
selected claims.
December 1st,    " A. Munroe, G. Boyle and G. Curtis.    No pre-emptions.
Nine other settlers also located in Alberni during the fall.
Not counting the number of miles of walking in actual search of land, I have
travelled, by steamer, 2,117 miles ; by land, 519, and by canoe, 181.    Total, 2,817.
I beg to state that a special report on the capabilities of Salmon River District
has-been forwarded to the Hon. the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
In conclusion, I may just remark that there is a great deal of land yet available
in all of the above mentioned districts, as well as in other parts of Vancouver and
adjacent islands.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Yours obediently,
Wm. M. Halpenny,
To the Honourable Government Immigrant Guide.
The Minister qf Agriculture.
■■CSV 302 Immigration Reports. 1884
The following Report on Salmon River is herewith published as being of interest
to intending settlers.
Victoria, B. C, 19th January, 1885.
To the Hon. Wm. Smithe,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works:
Sir:—I beg to submit a report on Salmon River, Vancouver Island. I left Victoria the 12th September last on board the steamer "Barbara Boscowitz," and
arrived at the mouth of the river at noon on the 15th.
There were two gentlemen on board, in search of farming land, who had brought
a small boat from Victoria. In this we proceeded up the river for a distance of about
four miles, when we had to abandon the boat and get a canoe, the river becoming
shallow with many swift rapids. On the second day, at noon, after much hard work,
we had made about eight miles from the mouth, and here we camped. At this point
the valley seemed to be quite wide, I should say from five to six miles in breadth,
level, and most of it not too heavily timbered. On the left hand side going up
stream, the valley is divided into two parts by a ridge of rock over 1,000 feet high,
which comes out in a bold bluff to the bank of the river, and continues for about a
mile. From where it commences on the lower side of this ridge, there is a fertile valley about five by four miles in extent. We travelled for one day in this valley, and
found it very suitable for farming, though rather heavily timbered with alder, crab-
apple and quite a number of other small bushes and shrubs, and with a solitary fir
tree here and there.
About three miles of a wagon road up from the mouth on the left hand side
would open the way quite into this valley, but not so far as the ridge above mentioned, which is about seven and a half miles from the mouth.
On the right hand side of the river going up, there is quite a flat valley for about
seven or eight miles; the upper five miles is very heavily timbered with fir and
spruce, and shows marks of having been taken up by some lumbermen. Above the
mile of bluff, a larger valley comes in sight, it must be from ten to twelve miles in
length up the river, and will average four and a half in width. This valley is not
over heavily timbered, and has a rich, heavy black soil, but I feel confident that under the present conditions, it could not be successfully cultivated, from the fact that
the river is so much diverted from its natural channel by large piles of drift-wood
which seem to have been accumulating for ages. Nearly the whole water in the
river is turned off over this upper valley, and I should say that over two-thirds of it
is submerged during the period of freshet. On the right hand side, for the same
distance up, the valley is not'so wide nor so level, and is more heavily timbered with
fir and spruce.
To myself and others it seems quite obvious that if these jams of timber were
cut out, the large upper left hand valley, and quite a number of thousands of acres
on the other side of the river would be reclaimed. If the river were cleared of logs,
at a probable cost of about $1,500, and about $2,000 spent on a road and landing at
its mouth, I am of opinion that immigrants might, with confidence, be invited to settle in the valley of the Salmon River.
Your obedient servant,
Government Guide. —
48 Vic. Immigration Reports. 303
The Report of the Dominion Immigration Agent at Victoria, to the Department
of Agriculture, Ottawa, is herewith appended as being of much interest, and containing valuable statistical information respecting the Province.
Immigration Office, Victoria, B. C.
24th December, 1884.
I have the honour of submitting herewith, the Annual Report of this Agency for
the year 1884.
Ofesce Work.
During the year nearly closed, the calls of new arrivals seeking information with
regard to land in various parts of the Province, or inquiring about work and other
matters, averaged eighty-five per month; the maximum number in May being 188,
and the minimum, in Sepember, 44. A majority of those were from the Eastern
Provinces, but the States and United Kingdom were pretty largely represented.
Several were from Germany, with a few Scandinavians, Greeks, and Italians. A
large number of these callers were farmers or farm labourers inquiring for land; the
ratio of mechanics being smaller than in 1883. The correspondence is a heavy item
of work. Letters, inward and outward, are, as a matter of course, about equal—
something over 800 each way. Communications arrive from nearly all parts of northern Europe, United Kingdom, South Africa, Eastern Provinces and United States,
Australia and New Zealand, West Indies, Hong Kong and Japan. Nearly all are
inquiries about the country and its prospects in many lines of life. More than 1,200
parcels of printed matter have been dispatched through the Post Office, to different
' parts of the world. About two-thirds of these parcels were accompanied by letters
containing answers to special questions not dealt with in pamphlets and papers.
After the edition of local Handbook of 1883 (5,000 copies), was exhausted, a
smaller and more concise one was issued from the Local Government Printing Office.
Out of this edition of 6,000, over 4,000 have been distributed to Agents, and. parties
writing direct for information Five thousand copies of a Portland, Oregon, illustrated
monthly, called West Shore, and devoted exclusively to British Columbia, were purchased by the Local Government for distribution abroad among those seeking information about the • Province—of these, 2,000 are still on hand. Nearly a thousand
copies of Kootenay Report were also sent out, together with some hundreds of
Dominion pamphlets and other papers.
With but few exceptions, the daily mail steamer connecting the Northern Pacific
Railroad with this city has been met on landing, and immigrants' families and others,
supplied with such advice and instruction as they required. The Immigrant Home,
also, has been visited at least once a week.
The office has not been so much of a Labour Exchange during the year as it was
in 1883, in consequence of labour being more easily obtained, so that employers were
at no loss for hands. Unfortunately there were but few avenues of employment open
till the Island Railroad was commenced in the fall; and numbers of men were |thus
disappointed in their expectations during the spring and summer months. Many of
these called, over and over again, seeking .work, and though willing to take Chinaman's wages, at almost any kind of labour these undesirable people are doing, yet
they found it impossible to obtain employment.
Early in the year immigration to B. C. received considerable impetus by the
perfecting of arrangements for transit on the then newly opened N. P. Railway, and
*»*■ 304 Immigration Reports. 1884
the running of a daily steamer from Tacoma, the Sound terminus, to this city. During the spring months, from 50 to 100 persons over and above transient travellers
arrived here weekly. This number was increased in April and May to between 200
and 300 per week. A majority of the new arrivals in these months wore labouring
men with a good sprinkling of mechanics who were led to believe that employment
would be plentiful in early summer, on the Esquimalt Graving Dock, and the Island
Railway. Unfortunately the dock remained in statu quo all the year, and the railway
was not commenced till September. In consequence of these public works not being
ready to take on men, a large number of these possessing more or less means went
away anathematizing the Province generally, and declaring that it was "Chinese and
not British Columbia." These men, I have no doubt, after their return home, deterred many of their friends and acquaintances from coming to this coast. Many of
them, could they have been kept in the Province, would have made good settlers, as
they belonged to the better class of farm and other labourers. They came with the
view of obtaining land, after spending a season or two on public works; and, as a
matter of course, had circumstances been more favorable, would have proved a valuable addition to our agricultural population With this drawback, however, a steady
flow of immigrants, in the main well suited to the wants of the Province, continued
through the summer and autumn months; and with some diminution in numbers'Jtill the
close of the year.
One noticeable feature among the new arrivals during the past three or four
months is the numerous families from the Eastern Provinces and old country, en
route to various parts of the Province where homes had been provided for their reception by the head or some other member of each household.
The tourist element to this city and various points of interest within easy reach,
increases from season to season. A trip to Portland and the Sound over the N. P.
Railway, is not considered complete without including Victoria, which, with a daily
steamer, is looked upon as the actual terminus of that important trans-continental
Passengers Arriving in Port of Victoria, B. O, from Jan. 1st to Dec. 21st, 1884.
Puget Sound, whites 13,110—Chinese.. ,1   1,297
San Francisco and Portland..  3,084—      "       1,157
Chinese Ports and Hong Kong "           729
16,194 3,183
Total whites and Chinese, 19,377.    Direct arrivals at New Westminster and Nanaimo
will make the grand total fully 20,600.
Steamers "Starr" and "Anderson" passengers from Puget Sound 3,770, 15 per
cent of whom may be taken as immigrants    566
Mail fine, 9,340, 40 per cent  3,736
San Francisco, 3,084, 40 per cent 1,234
Total immigrants approximate 5,536
It may safely be presumed that 1,000 immigrants came in by way of New Westminster, Nanaimo, Kootenay and across the gap in the C. P. Railway on the Selkirk
Mountains, to the interior and down to the coast. In the months of September,
October and early in November, severel of these " overlanders" reported themselves
at this office and stated that a number of men had distributed themselves through
the country East of the Cascades.
Of those, as near as can be ascertained, nearly 10 per cent., or about 500, left
during the spring and early summer months, on account of not being able to get employment on public works, thus leaving 6,000 approximately as the increase to white
population from 1st January to 21st December, 1884.
Additions to the Chinese population number more than half as many, as several
Chinese from San Francisco were reported as steerage passengers and counted with 48 Vic.
Immigration Reports.
the whites, during the first part of the year. Nearly 200 of these people left this city
a few days ago on the S. S. "Sardonyx" for Hong Kong. A few of them may return,
but a large majority went home to reside permanently.
It will be observed that nothing has been said with regard to the several thousand C. P. Railway men who have come into B. C. from the East and are now working on the line west of the Rockies. Many of these will, no doubt, become settlers
in this Province after railway works are completed. Indeed it is well known that
some have already done so, but as the number cannot be ascertained at present, no
attempt has been made to enumerate them. With this element added, the immigration of 1884 is considerably in excess of that of 1883.
The following are the number of settlers who have passed their effects at the
Custom House in this city from January 1st to December 21st, 1884.
EFFECTS valued at
$21,776 00
31,693 00
United States	
32,085 00
5,450 00
Other Places	
$91,004 00
Fifty-nine bonus certificates of $10 each have been presented and paid to immigrants over 16 years of age, from the mother country, during the year.
Agriculture. £^
During the sum er and autumn of 1883 an effort was made under instructions
from the Minister of Agriculture for the Province, to collect statistics as to the condition of agriculture with a view of ascertaining the number of bona fide farmers and
stock raisers, and constituting a basis from which further progress might be deduced.
The result of this appeal for valuable information was so meagre, only about two per
cent, of farmers and stockmen responding to the call, that the project, for the time
being, had to be abandoned. Should it be considered advisable, I would make
another attempt next summer, under instructions from the Department of Agriculture
for the Dominion, to furnish statistical information on this all-important branch of
That the Province has made substantial progress in this direction, is apparent in
every part of it. In New Westminster District alone, nearly 1,100 new settlers have
selected locations since the Settlement Act became law,- and most of these are busily
engaged improving their holdings. Various sections of Vancouver Island have also
received many accessions to the farming population. A few years ago the importation of farming implements and machinery was almost nil. In Victoria alone, for
eleven months of the year just expiring, it has amounted to $48,088.
The following table shows the annual increase of the imports since 1882 :
$23,192 00
18,461 00
$6,656 67
$30,230 00
25,881 00
$9,081 95
$18,614 00
29,474 00
$5,842 90
$41,653 00
$56,111 00
$48,088 00
The above exhibit for 1884 only shows the imports entered in this Custom House
for eleven months.    As New Westminster and Nanaimo are now independent ports
«•«•*-*-■ -I..—— Pi  UII.I.HUU i - j___
308 Immigration Reports. 1884
women, the latter with six or seven exceptions, being wives of the former. The certificates were distributed among the old country agencis as follows: London, thirteen
men, and ten women ; Liverpool, twelve and nine respectively ; Glasgow, seven and
six respectively ; Belfast, one male, and Bristol one female. In one instance, duplicate certificates were presented, one from London and the other from Bristol; the
London certificate was paid. Only two of the six or seven unmarried women went
out as domestic servants. The holders of six certificates issued to men from the
High Commissioners Office in London, from August 1883, to close of 1884, have not
ye*' presented them for payment. Two certificates to a man and his wife from Bristol, dated October 6th, are likewise unpaid. Presumably some of these people found
employment or suitable locations before reaching this Province, while the others
may report themselves at an early date.
Domestic Servants.
The scarcity of domestic servants has been quite as marked during the past
year as at any previous time. It was expected that among the immigrant families,
there would have been a number of girls willing to go out to service, but in consequence of so many of these families being made up of small children, such has not
been the case. With the exception of one family of ten, from Wellington County,
Ontario, settled at Comox, from among whom four girls remained here at service ;
the supply from this source has been almost nil. Possibly the incoming season's
immigration may be more satisfactory in this respect. It may safely be asserted
that one hundred or more female servants' could procure comfortable homes with
good wages, say from $12 to $25 per month, in this city, New Westminster and
Nanaimo, in less than a week's time. Nine-tenths of the Chinamen now employed
in domestic work would be summarily discharged if their places could be filled with
permanent and reliable female servants. However much the Mongolians may be disliked, their employment is at present a stern necessity, for the very simple and sufficient reason that female help is unobtainable.
Scarcity of Dwelling Houses..
I had occasion in last year's Report to touch upon the pressing want for medium
sized dwellings in this city. It can hardly be said that this stringency is as apparent now as it was twelve months ago, but still it is no easy matter to find suitable
houses. Probably more than 300 residences of "various descriptions have been erected
during the year and occupaied as soon as they were ready, and had this number
been largely increased, the " To Let or to Lease," in windows would still have been
of rare occurrence. A noticable feature in last year's improvements is the great
number of houses built by mechanics md other working men for their own occupation, many of the owners being comparatively new arrivals. Excellent returns for
capital invested still await those who may embark in house building in this city.
The above remarks are also applicable to New Westminster and Nanaimo, where
houses are difficult to obtain.
With Graving Dock work again in operation at Esquimalt, and the impetus
which the Island Railway construction must give to almost all branches of industry,
there is every indication of a greater influx of families next spring and summer, than
has yet taken place, and unless this is met by a corresponding activity in building operations, Victoria will not secure a fair share of the expected immigration.
Cost of Agency.
In consequence of the Local Government assuming the somewhat heavy Postage Account, supplying an office in the Departmect Buildings, and for a portion of
the year providing stationery, &c, the charge of this Agency on the Dominion Exchequer has been less than $50 for the twelve months ending 31st December.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Tour obedient servant,
To the Honourable Bom. Immigration Agent.
The Minister of Agriculture, Ottaxoa.
3 n iM^S, -T> 


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